Joseph Morgan: New Orleans Saints wide receiver could step-up in 2012
By Keith Null
The New Orleans Saints have one of the leagues deepest and most productive receiving cores, thanks in large part to the work of head coach Sean Payton, who continues to find the correct players that fit in his offensive scheme.
Of course the Saints have Drew Brees, the most accurate quarterback in the league, and the man that finally broke Dan Marino’s long standing passing yardage record throwing them the ball.
Currently the Saints receiving core is comprised of Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Adrian Arrington, Joseph Morgan, Courtney Roby, and Andy Tanner.
Colston is the alpha dog, and the most productive of the lot.
Since 2006 he has caught 449 passes for 6,240 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Colston is an important part of the Saints offense as he dominated the middle of the field with his tight end like size, and of course has become the go-to-guy in red zone situations.
The Saints were able to lock him up for another five years this off-season when analyst’s said they could not in consideration to his potential price.
However general manager Mickey Loomis was able to re-work a few contracts to find the money for Colston’s shiny new $38-million dollar contract.
Colston’s retention could have cost guard Carl Nicks, who went on to sign a mega-deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it was the right move for the Saints to keep Brees’ top target in place.
New Orleans lost Robert Meachem to the San Diego Chargers last month.
It’s unclear just how much the Saints really wanted to keep the former first round pick, but it stands to reason had the Chargers not signed him he may have returned to the team to reprise his role as a deep threat receiver.
For now the Chargers plan to make Meachem the number one guy for quarterback Philip Rivers.
Head coach Norv Tuner believes Meachem has that type of potential and is more than capable of posting a 1,000 yard receiving season.
Meachem may do this, but he was always inconsistent during his time with the Saints and often disappeared from the offense during long stretches of the season.
Now second year wide receiver Joseph Morgan has a chance to fill Meachem’s shoes, and develop into the teams next great deep threat receiver.
Morgan shined for the Saints in the preseason last year — returning a punt 78-yards for a touchdown in week one and also hauling in a 56-yard touchdown pass the following week — before a knee injury landed him on injured reserve.
Now healthy, with a year of learning the Saints offense under his belt, Morgan could be ready to ascend to the active roster in 2012.
An undrafted product out of Walsh University, Morgan lead the team in receptions with 41 passes for 653 yards and five touchdowns.
He finished off the season tying the team high receptions mark with ten catches against Marian.
Morgan attended the 2011 NFL combine where he posted a 4.40 and a 4.38 forty-yard dash time. Reports also said he has been clocked as low as 4.28.
He has the speed to be a threat as a receiver, and of course on special teams, and if he can stay healthy could be the player to watch this season with the Saints.