Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is looking forward to making his NFL debut. It only comes against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener at 8:20 p.m. on Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Falcons are hoping that Ridley, who was selected in the first round of the draft (26th overall) will provide a big-play spark to the offense. He also may contribute as the kickoff returner.
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“I feel pretty good about my role,” Ridley said. “I’m just going to focus on what I need to do to help the team. I have to be able to make plays and take advantage of every opportunity.”
In the Falcons’ 15-10 loss to the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs last season, slot receiver Taylor Gabriel wasn’t a factor. He caught two passes on three targets for seven yards.
The Falcons are hoping that Ridley will add more to the attack.
After playing in college at Alabama, Ridley doesn’t plan to get caught up in the pre-game emotions.
“I’m just trying to stay focused,” Ridley said. “Just be confident in myself. Just go out there and play winning football.”
Ridley feels he’s prepared for the game.
“The game plan, I’m doing pretty good,” Ridley said. “I’m studying every night. I’m learning every thing so that I can continue to be in the game. Even if I don’t know something, I can ask Julio (Jones) or Mohamed (Sanu) and they’ll correct me. I’ll be fine.”
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