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Falcons' Sanu embraces bigger role, wants 'to show guys how we do things'

Following the best season of his career, receiver Mohamed Sanu says he is ready to take on more of a leadership role in his second season as a Falcon.

Sanu caught 59 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He was especially effective on third down, with 33 of his receptions resulting in first downs for the Falcons – a 55.9 first-down percentage.

Now that he's entering his sixth year in the NFL, including one year of Atlanta's offensive system under his belt, the 27-year-old appears ready to take his game to another level. That also means taking a leadership role.

"[I'm] just out there embracing my role, trying to be a leader, trying to show guys how we do things around here," Sanu said.

Sanu also has one of the most outgoing personalities on the team and plans to use that to help instill a sense of urgency among his teammates that starts with him.

"I feel like a lot of guys look to me to be the energy, be that guy that gets everything going," Sanu said. "I embrace it and take full advantage of it."

The Falcons could have one of the deepest wide receiver corps in the NFL with Julio Jones, Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy, newcomer Andre Roberts and Sanu all returning for the 2017 season.

That receiving group was a big reason why quarterback Matt Ryan was named the NFL's 2016 Most Valuable Player and also walked away with the Offensive Player of the Year award. Ryan threw for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and averaged an eye-popping 9.2 yards per passing attempt.

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