FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Mohamed Sanu adores when his number is called to play as a quarterback in the formation of the Atlanta Falcons savages.
He does not know if the Falcons (7-4) will line him up behind center against Minnesota (9-2) on Sunday, but he would love another chance.
"I just go to the game and whatever it's called, I run what it's called," Sanu said on Friday. "I just go out."
Sanu, a sixth-year receiver of the NFL, says he can easily throw the ball 75 yards, difficult to dispute after he sailed a 51-yard touchdown pbad with little effort to Julio Jones last week.
"I'm just an athlete," he said. "It's not a way of thinking, just go out and play."
Probably a little more complicated than that. Sanu played quarterback in high school and took some snapshots in QB during his time at Rutgers and with the Cincinnati Bengals. After lobbying last year in practice, Sanu finally won the confidence of Falcons coach Dan Quinn, and took advantage of his first wild cat play, running 5 yards against Arizona.
This season he has had three opportunities. The first two were races against Buffalo and Seattle. He finally had the opportunity to pitch last week against Tampa Bay.
The situation was perfect with the Buccaneers playing against Jones, twice All-Pro, in male coverage. The Falcons saw the opportunity to expose a weakness, and Sanu, after bargaining, threw the ball like Matt Ryan, Atlanta's starting quarterback and NFL MVP last year.
"The other times the wildcat has run, that look was not" "Who to go to," Quinn said. "It may have been called, but the look did not come in. It so happened that sometimes the stars have to line up properly to have the right look."
Sanu has a perfect professional pin index, completing all six attempts, and has thrown three touchdowns. A 73-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Green in 2012 covered 50 yards in the air.
The Falcons were eager to sign Sanu in March 2016. They released Roddy White, the franchise's leading receiver, eight days earlier. When free agency was opened, Sanu was at the team's headquarters the next day, agreed to a five-year contract with $ 14 million guaranteed.
There were reports that the Falcons paid in excess for a guy who had fallen out of favor in Cincinnati, too many balls fell and he was considered more a No. 3 receiver than a No. 2. Atlanta was his only visit to the agency free.
"I did not worry about that," Sanu said. "I was worried about coming here, playing, having fun, I'm excited to be here, they saw him in the movie, the film speaks for itself."
The first part of last season was nothing special. It took Sanu a few games to understand the nuances of the offense.
"It was not the most perfect transition at the beginning," Quinn said. "I would say he really took a step in the middle (of the season), but we always liked his physical style and the attitude he played in. In this system, you'd better block and have no problems doing it. you can win in some man-to-man matches and the good part here is that (Jones) on the other side has certain looks, so when your chance comes, can you catch her? "
25 games with Atlanta, Sanu has solid numbers : 104 receptions for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns. He has made some spectacular plays and has played the role of receiver of possession and a reliable option in third chance.
But Sanu wants Quinn to know he can do more than catch, block and throw. Sanu says he is also available to kick, adding that he scored a 60-yard field goal a couple of summers while he was distracted on the driving range at Rutgers.
"When you call your second group, I say, 'Do you need me to kick, coach?' Sanu said," You know, just kidding, having a good time with that. "
But Quinn knows that Sanu would take the opportunity to score some points with his foot.
"I told him that Jim Brown has all those records – touchdowns, extra points and field goals," Quinn said. "But he's a versatile guy and a very good athlete. ".
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