On the receiving end, Sanu played both outside and slot, giving the Bengals more confidence in his playing ability as the season progressed. Sanu technically didn’t start his first game until week 11 against the Chiefs, however, when he played in an extended role the offense was on a roll. In three of the five games Sanu played in,Dalton had above a 109 QB rating, the offense also scored under 20 points only one time since he received playing time on offense. One can look into those stats and see that it’s a team trait, which it is, but it also shows how much Sanu can contribute to this offense.
Sanu isn’t the fastest wide receiver by any means, but he makes up for it with his route running and his soft hands. Sanu uses his body to get away from defenders but he also uses it to get the defenders away from the ball when it’s coming towards him. In this day of the NFL, you need more than just one reliable wide receiver on your team to win big games.
In 2013, Sanu is going to have to challenge Marvin Jones to become the receiver opposite of AJ Green, which will definitely be an interesting battle to watch throughout preseason. One attribute Sanu has is he can line up anywhere on the field and be a threat, which he showed in flashes last season. Do not be surprised to see Sanu play a lot of time in the slot position a lot as his body could be used for quick slants to gain first downs.
With an excellent size, Sanu could turn into one of Andy Dalton’s favorite targets in the future. Although he is not a natural deep threat by any means, Sanu still possesses great hands to make tough catches in traffic and he tries to keep the play going by keeping his legs moving. He’s very good at working intermediate routes and working in the middle, two things that he will excel with in the west coast offense Jay Gruden has implemented.
As a physical receiver, Sanu is going to be a red zone threat during his time in Cincinnati, something many fans were able to see during his playing time. Sanu will have to make sure he is healthy and continue to work on route running and be competitive to be a starter on this team. Being versatile, it’s hard not to find places to plug him in and play. Don’t be surprised if Sanu plays a huge role in the Bengals offense in 2013. Sanu has a chance to become a breakout player this year.