The Falcons offense has struggled to take off; in fact, they’re the worst (32nd) group in the league, according to Football Outsider’s DVOA. Arthur Smith’s unit was nonexistent in the season opener against the Eagles, not even able to muster a touchdown. The team as a whole looked more competent in Week 2, but the offense only really had a few productive drives.
Smith was hired because of his offensive pedigree, but there hasn’t been much for fans to root for. Atlanta’s offense has had minimal explosive plays and rarely throws anything more than what seems five yards down the field. The team obviously noticed that given they brought in John Brown for a workout.
John “Smokey” Brown was drafted back in 2014 when the Cardinals selected the speedy wideout in the third round out of Pittsburgh State. He would play in Arizona for four seasons, where he would haul in 173 passes for 2,515 yards and 17 touchdowns. Then, he signed with the Ravens as a free agent in 2018, and again with the Bills in 2019, where he would stay for two seasons.
Brown only played in nine games last year, but in his first year in Buffalo, he caught 72 passes for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. He was released by the Bills last offseason but quickly found a home in Las Vegas with the Raiders in March. It was surprising to see the Raiders cut him, given how productive he’s been over his career. He did end up on the IR last year, which could’ve had an impact on Jon Gruden giving him the boot, but if he is healthy, the Falcons could do far worse. Brown is an explosive vertical threat that Atlanta currently doesn’t have. He can scare defenses with his speed, which opens up the intermediate and short passing games.
It makes sense that the Falcons brought him in for a workout. Russell Gage is also dealing with an ankle injury, but Brown remains unsigned. Hopefully, that changes in the coming weeks. Even if the offensive line can’t hold up long enough for a deep route concept to develop, Brown’s presence alone will affect defenses. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but obviously, something is keeping Terry Fontenot from putting pen to paper.