Colston Could Have Big Year As Opposing Defenses Focus More On Graham.

Marques Colston Could Have a Career Year in 2012: Fan’s Take

Yahoo! Contributor Network

By Mike Patton | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Tue, Jul 3, 2012 5:31 PM EDT

In 2011 the New Orleans Saints‘ passing game often featured second-year tight end Jimmy Graham, who led the team in receiving yards six times in the Saints’ first 11 games. However, as defenses began to key on Graham, wide receiver Marques Colston recovered from an early-season injury. In the final six games, including two postseason contests, Colston was the team’s reception yards leader each week, accumulating 44 catches for 678 yards and six touchdowns during these games. As a Saints fan, I am looking for Colston to carry this late momentum into the 2012 season and possibly have his best season yet.

In six years with the Saints, Colston has become one of the best receivers in team history. He needs just 83 catches, 1,614 yards and two touchdowns to reach the franchise lead in each category. While he sat out with an injury for two weeks last year, Colston has only missed three games since 2008. If he stays healthy this year, at least two of those franchise marks could fall.

Graham helped to elevate the role of the tight end throughout the league last season, but now teams have had a full offseason to prepare. If Graham’s targets are limited in any way, this can only mean more passes for Colston. Furthermore, receiver Robert Meachem has left the Saints via free agency after averaging 43 receptions, 660 yards and seven touchdowns over the past three years.

Colston is a quiet leader and does not seem to be getting as much attention as he did earlier in his career. This could be because he established his current career highs in 2007 with 98 receptions, 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns. This could also be due to the fact that the Saints have so many other weapons in the passing game, including Graham, Lance Moore, Darren Sproles, Devery Henderson and Pierre Thomas. However, remembering the way Colston ended 2011, I believe 2012 could end up being a great year, reminding people why he is a top-level receiver in the NFL.

Source

Football Reference

Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints’ first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.