Falcons TE Toilolo leads league in dropped passes

The expectation is that Falcons wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones will quickly get over their dropped passes because they are veterans with long track records of NFL success.

Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo, a first-year starter, doesn’t have that kind of history to draw on as he deals with his own problems with drops.

Toilolo’s three dropped passes in Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Bears increased his season total to six in 21 targets. According to Pro Football Focus, Toilolo’s 28.5 percent drop rate is the worst in the league for players who play at least a quarter of their team’s snaps. Only Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has as many as six drops, but those came on 40 targets.

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said Toilolo “is constantly working on his catching” in drills with quarterbacks and by using the Juggs machine. He noted that Toilolo made a difficult catch for a 15-yard gain early against the Bears.

“He dropped that second one, and then to me it was all confidence after that,” Koetter said. “When he catches the ball with good technique, has the right technique, Levine’s hands are fine in my opinion. He just has to get back on the horse. That’s all he can do.”

Two of Toilolo’s three drops against the Bears would have gained enough yards for first downs if he’d made the catches. The game was already decided when Toilolo had his third drop on a short pass in the final two minutes.

Toilolo showed sure hands for the Falcons as a rookie last season with no drops and 11 receptions in 14 targets with two touchdowns. He said his issues with drops are mental.

“You hear it a lot: ‘One play at a time and you’ve got to move on when bad things happen,’” Toilolo said. “My expectations for myself and the standards I have for myself, when I make one mistake one thing I’m working on is moving past that and worry about making plays going forward. Trusting my ability and having that confidence I think is key, especially at this level.”