A look at Saints wide receiver Willie Snead IV throughout the 2016 season.
After coming tantalizingly close to attaining 1,000 yards receiving in his first NFL season – 984, to be exact – Willie Snead IV didn't shy away from the fact that he wanted to reach the mark in 2016. It seemed a logical next step for the former free agent rookie who twice was released, by Cleveland and Carolina, before the New Orleans Saints signed him to their practice squad in '14.
He didn't get there. With Brandin Cooks (1,173 yards) and Michael Thomas (1,137) topping the mark, Snead's total slipped from his first year, from 984 receiving yards to 895. But that doesn't mean that Snead had a "down" year.
He raised his number of receptions from 69 to 72, and also increased his touchdown haul, from three in '15 to four in '16. Along with Cooks and Thomas, Snead gave the Saints the most productive receiving trio in the league and continued to prove to be one of Drew Brees' most reliable targets underneath, and in tight coverage. And he also showed his throwing prowess – his one attempt was a 50-yard touchdown pass to running back Tim Hightower.
BEST GAME:In the season opener against Oakland, the Saints' passing game was on point, and Snead was a focal point. He caught nine passes for a career-high 172 yards and a touchdown, posting his only 100-yard game of the season.
BEST QUOTE:"The struggle definitely is not the same as it was when I first got here. I am established a little bit more, I feel a little more comfortable. (But) at the same time, I'm always pushing myself to get better at something.
"I'll never take for granted being on the team because I've been cut before, and that's the worst feeling in the world. That'll always be a reminder for me; when it comes down to it, you can always be replaced. I just always want to be the hardest-working guy in the building, and always emphasize hard work, commitment and pushing myself to the limit." – Snead