New Orleans Saints

Willie Snead could bring explosiveness back to Saints offense

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) catches a pass during the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 24, 2016 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

Willie Snead is expected to be back in the saddle for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Fresh off a bye week, the talented wide receiver’s presence could restore the lethality in an uncharacteristically quiet Saint offense.

Be afraid, NFL. Be very afraid.

Snead missed the first three games of the season due to a suspension following a DWI arrest. Then his anticipated Week 4 return was postponed due to a hamstring injury. The 24-year-old wideout is ready to get back to work against a Lion defense that was carved up by the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

“I think once the weeks go by, I’ll be back to where I was before,” said Snead, per ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “I just think I’ve got to work a little bit harder. I’ve got to prove my worth, and once those opportunities come I have to take advantage. I feel like I do have something to prove right now to not only myself but to my teammates, the coaches, the Who-Dat fans, that I’ve been in a bad place but right now I’m past that. I’m ready to move on and help this team.”

It’s a team that could definitely use help with its passing attack.

Last year’s team averaged 317 yards through the air per game and 7.8 yards per passing attempt. Those numbers have dipped to 277 and 7.5 in 2017. The loss of Brandin Cooks could be reflected in those figures.

However, talent shouldn’t be a concern with Drew Brees behind center and a receiver corps that already includes Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr. and Brandon Coleman. The addition of Snead, who came close to 1,000 yards receiving in back-to-back seasons, could finally put this group over the top.

If anything, he’d be a strong No. 2 receiver who could potentially open things up for Thomas and Ginn. This is still a Saint team riding the coattails of its offense, despite the defense showing clear signs of life in its last two games.

For the first time this season, Brees will have all of his weapons on the field at the same time. Snead’s presence might be enough to awaken a sleeping giant.

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