This past week against the Buffalo Bills, rookie wide receiver Kenny Stills broke out, catching three balls for 129 yards and two touchdowns. His performance was impressive and was refreshing to see coming out of a bye week that, in all likelihood, emphasized wide receiver production. Stills’ development in the New Orleans Saints’ offense will be essential going forward.
It still remains to be seen whether Stills is just a flash in the pan or a future consistent contributor, but watching him every week suggests the latter. He has been gaining more snaps and looks every week and at times is keeping Marques Colston on the bench in two wide receiver sets. Stills showed his ability to be a productive receiver in college and also showed he has top end NFL speed, running a 4.38 at the combine.
It was apparent at the beginning of the season that Brees was not used to Stills’ speed as Stills was constantly underthrown on deep balls. However, it seems that Brees and Stills are finally clicking, with Stills hauling in three out of the four targets this past week against the Bills. Those three catches include one touchdown pass where Brees just threw it up for grabs and Stills was able to get it.
Every year, the Saints have had an explosive offense, and every year it has featured a prototypical deep threat whether it be Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, or Joe Morgan. Stills seems like he is starting to fill that void. His development is just going to make things easier for the rest of the offense, creating space for Lance Moore and Colston, who has been missing in action lately. Expect Stills to grow as the season wears on and be more involved in the passing game with not only deep routes, but some intermediate routes.
Stills’ development shows another example of the Saints’ front office prowess grabbing a talent like him in the 5th round. Stills, despite his 5th round billing, has outperformed many of the receivers taken in front of him including first rounders Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson. As Stills’ progresses, so will this offense. And production will be needed as the Saints face some formidable defenses in the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers in the second half of the season.
Read more Saints rumors, news and opinion on our New Orleans Saints page