Falcons' Calvin Ridley 'definitely' playing faster in Year 2 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – For most rookie wide receivers, a season that ended with a stat line of 64 receptions for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns would definitely be considered an above-average season.

For Calvin Ridley, however, that's the not the case. And that's what makes him unique.


After looking back at his first season, Ridley said he believes he could have been better. Ridley has a standard he's looking to match every time he steps on the field.

"I definitely think I'm a really good receiver; I think I could be really good in this league," Ridley said. "I want to do [well] for me and the team. I definitely think I should be playing at a high level, that's the standard for me."

Atlanta's 2018 first-round pick admitted that the hardest part of the transition from college to the NFL was adjusting to the length of the season.

Wide receivers and assistant head coach Raheem Morris has no doubt Ridley will only continue to improve with the mindset he comes to work with every day.

"I think when Calvin is saying he didn't have the season he wanted as a rookie player, I think he's talking about being consistent all the way throughout," Morris said. "Not having the player of the month, but the player of the year kind of a status. He's searching for greatness and I'm going to help him get there. He puts in all of the effort; he gives you all the work and there's no doubt in my mind he's going to be successful."

With a full year under his belt, Ridley acknowledged how much more comfortable he is at this point and how it's helping him on the field during organized team activities (OTA).

"I thought I played fast last year but I'm definitely playing faster," Ridley said. "I see it better, I understand exactly what the coaches want, what Matt wants, so I feel a lot better."

Ridley set a franchise record for most touchdowns as a rookie with 10. The former Alabama receiver became one of nine rookies since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to record 10-plus touchdown passes during their rookie season.

They key moving forward for Ridley to build on his success is not adding more, it's about slowing it down. Ridley admitted sometimes he can "overdo" at times.

"Just slowing it down … getting more mental reps," Ridley said. "Getting my body more prepared for games and the long season."

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