After a remarkable training camp and preseason, fans across all fanbases were excited to see what the second-year wideout could do.
However, with only three catches and 22 yards across two games, it hasn’t looked good. While the entire offense struggled on Sunday, Callaway only had one catch on two targets, even in the 38-3 victory over Green Bay. It seems as if the Tennessee product is struggling to get open.
While things have been bleak for Marquez Callaway, all of the blame shouldn’t be placed on the Saints receiver.
For one, in Week 1 he faced one of the best corners in football in Jaire Alexander, who is one of the most dominant corners in recent years. His unique combination of playmaking and coverage abilities make him a problem for any receiver to face.
He held notable receivers like Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, Justin Jefferson, and Robby Anderson, all under 50 receiving yards last year. It should’ve been expected that Callaway would struggle in his first game as the true number one option when facing Alexander.
Week 2 was one of the worst Saints offensive performances we’ve seen in a while. Jameis Winston didn’t look good, the offensive line looked atrocious, and the receiving core looked to gain little to no separation.
In fact, the game’s leading receiver only had 27 yards (Lil’Jordan Humphrey accomplished this feat on one catch). While Callaway’s trouble to get open was a problem, it wasn’t all on him. Again facing another tough matchup in Donte Jackson and the fact that Winston was under constant pressure made it a recipe for disaster.
Callaway has also been thrown into a pretty significant role with little experience. After only being on the field for 31.7% of the team’s snaps in 2020 and being thrown into being the number one target is a big ask.
Most first-round rookie wide receivers aren’t even asked to have that significant role right out of the gate.
It will be interesting to see what Callaway does in the upcoming weeks. It will be up to him to prove the doubters wrong and help this offense.
However, he does have some tough matchups in the coming weeks, facing J.C. Jackson, James Bradberry IV, and Kendall Fuller. Fans should remain optimistic for Callaway, but there certainly is some fear to be had.