So for the present Sanders must be content with learning Atlanta's intricate defensive schemes. "I wish we could just all pick out a man and guard him," he says. "That way, if you get beat, you know who got beat. Everybody knows. But I tell you what. It ain't gonna be me."
Early in the season Sanders complained about his lack of snaps and volunteered to play offense if it would get him more playing time. Nobody snickered; rather, a newspaper poll produced overwhelming support for playing him at wide receiver. And in Sunday's 30-28 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Sanders in fact lined up at wide receiver for two plays. He was thrown to both times, but the passes fell incomplete. Current Falcon offensive coach Jim Hanifan is the freethinker who, as head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981, played the versatile Roy Green at both cornerback and wide receiver. "I hate to say it because this guy hasn't even learned defense yet," says Hanifan, "but hell, yes, Deion could do both."
Forget whether Atlanta loves him or hates him or can't live without him. Or even if the NFL is really ready for Prime Time. The question may be: How would pro football like two of Deion Sanders?