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Falcons WR Calvin Ridley: 'I should be elite this year'

Calvin Ridley lives in Julio Jones' shadow in Atlanta. It's a reality the young receiver is comfortable with, but he always wants more.

Entering his third NFL season, Ridley believes it's his time to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

"I should be elite this year," Ridley said, via the team's official website.

Ridley was well on his way to proving he is elite during his second season before an injury wiped out the final three games. He finished with 63 receptions for 866 yards and seven TDs. Had he played the final three games with those averages, he'd have broken the 1,000-yard barrier.

Ridley said he's "100 percent" healthy heading into 2020 after an abdomen injury ended his season prematurely. He's out to blast past the century plateau.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm real hungry to show people that I'm easily a 1,000-yard receiver, easily -- and even better," Ridley said. "I think that's what it is for me. I'm always confident in myself, and I'm just really hungry and want to help the team win as much as I can."

After the Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu to New England midway through last season, it opened the door for Ridley to play the full-time No. 2 role. The 25-year-old has shown excellent route-running ability and speed to beat teams deep.

In 2020, in his first year as a full-time second receiver, Ridley should see plenty of targets his way, particularly when Julio is doubled in the red zone.

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