My thoughts on the Duckett-Lelie trade

I’m going to be blunt and honest. I hate the Duckett-Lelie trade. Lelie is just not a receiver that fits our offense. On the boards, I posted a simple stat that in my mind sums up the stupidity of this trade:

31 touchdowns vs. 12.

The first figure is the number of times Duckett has reached the endzone in his short career, and the second of course is Lelie’s.

Call Duckett a bust and I’d disagree with you. Call him a disappointment, and I’d agree. But Lelie is the exact same player, but in Denver’s baggage. The problem now is that he is stuck on a team and depth chart that has no use for him. This team has no use for a top notch third wideout if the starters are up to par. The only reason why Finneran had so much success last season was because he was better than any of the starters: both Whites and Jenkins.

From all indications, hopes, and desires that would and should not be the case this year whether he was healthy or not.

This is not a team or offense that is designed to significantly use three wide receivers. Sure, Lelie gives this team a lot of speed and a definite vertical threat (something Roddy has yet to show), but last I checked we were running a West Coast Offense, not the Air Coryell scheme of Mike Martz. Why do you think Lelie “failed” in Denver in Shanahan’s West Coast? Because he doesn’t do anything besides go deep and won’t catch short and intermediate passes.

What this brings to this offense is yes a guy that can help in keeping defenders honest, but that’s only if he’s on the field. Are we going to transform into a single back, 3-WR offense now? If so, I love the fact that we decided to do this 3 days after we broke training camp (note the sarcasm!).

I hate this trade. I was on record of saying if the Falcons traded Duckett to New York for Justin McCareins it was a dumb trade. Lelie and McCareins are basically the same player except McCareins is a little taller, Lelie a little faster and has somewhat better hands.

Duckett may have been a disappointment during his four years here, but he was an extremely valuable role player that was a major contributor to why the Falcons finished tied for second last season in third down conversions.

Here’s hoping that the trade is somehow voided in the coming hours between this posting and it’s officialization.

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Aaron Freeman
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2 Comments on "My thoughts on the Duckett-Lelie trade"

  1. When the trade was first made I agreed whole-heartedly with you. However, as I thought more about it I came to the conclusion that it may not be that bad.

    First, Duckett was in a logjam at RB. Norwood will need carries to get the experience needed to take over for Dunn when that time comes. This trade creates more of those opportunities.

    Second, we finally get more Griffith. I’ve felt he’s been underutilized, especially as a receiver out of the backfield. He’s also more than capable of being the short yardage back.

    Finally, there’s Lelie himself. Whatever we may or may not think about what he brings, he’s certainly more of a threat than anything we could hope to line up at #3 right now. Pathon just isn’t scaring anyone and certainly doesn’t have the playmaking ability that Lelie brings.

    I know we all hope it works for the best but I don’t think it’s one we can really lose on.

  2. Lelie seems to run good routes and gets good seperation. I want to see him and Roddy spreading the defense giving Jenkins room to operate out of the slot. Crumpler will have more room to operate too.

    Lelie also seems to adjust well to the ball and runs good crosses. He seems fearless but we will have to wait and see if he can handle Vick’s velocity.

    I like the move. The Falcons need more than one gear. They need a way to get back into the game quickly when and if they should fall behind by 10-14 points. They have all the parts needed for a truly explosive offense if they can put it all together.

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