The Falcons wide receiver duo is clearly one of the best tandems in the entire NFL. But most who size up NFL teams' wideout rosters focus on the high-profile pairing of Roddy White and Julio Jones. But another veteran route-runner, Harry Douglas, stands poised to enter the spotlight this season.
Douglas, who re-signed with the Falcons during the offseason, will be Atlanta's slot wide receiver in 2012. While it's the same role he's played since his rookie year in 2008, under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, he's expected to see an increase in his usage.
An increase in his usage means a potential jump in his production as NFL.com's Steve Wyche sees it. Douglas made Wyche's list of of players on the verge of a breakout season in '12.
An injury took Douglas' 2009 season, another year many pegged him as a breakout candidate. The 2010 season for Douglas was all about finding his legs and confidence again. Last season saw him catch a career-high 39 passes for 498 yards. This season, according to Wyche, could see even more of a jump for Douglas despite a bigger season from Jones in his second season. Wyche thinks the relationship with Koetter will benefit Douglas.
"(Douglas) has an opportunity to emerge a more of a factor than he's been," Wyche wrote.
Douglas said recently that Koetter's presence with Atlanta was a big factor in returning to the Falcons.
"Coach Koetter, he's a good guy," Douglas said. "I sat down and talked with him before I signed back here. The stuff he sees and the stuff he does, it's good. It's good because he's going to play to our strengths. It's always good when you can do that."
Though it won't help his fantasy football cause, Douglas is also expected to compete for the punt and kick returner's job in 2012, a role he performed with electric results during his rookie season. A strong showing as a receiver and in the return game could prove Wyche correct by the end of the season and show everyone both Douglas and the Falcons made the right decision during the offseason to continue their partnership