DOWN ON THE DELTA – Got a bad case of the offseason down home blues.
There are no OTAs to cover. No mini-camps. The draft has been over for months.
Have to push away from the football table, try to re-charge and then be ready to strike when things heat back up.
This is officially the “offseason” for the NFL. About the only thing going on before training camp is the rookie “don’t act a fool when you get your money” symposium.
Someone named “ATLJBO” has this six minute highlight tape of the Falcons 2009 offseason additions out on youtube. It’s pretty cool.
To pass time, I’ve tried to watch a couple of Braves games. Been following the Hawks in the draft and free agency.
Rode the roller coasters at Six Flags yesterday.
Got to set up the second annual golf match with Falcons VP of Communications Reggie Roberts. He got me
last year. I must win this re-match and the right to talk wrestling smack all season long.
I’ve been walking two-miles in the mornings the last two weeks to get ready for the Peachtree Road Walk. Others will be racing. I’ll be walking.
In my role as Second Vice President of the Professional Football Writers or America, I’ve been reviewing the league’s 2009 medial access policy. A couple nice rules changes that will help the fans follow their teams. Can share those later.
Also, my buddy and former editor Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was recently inaugurated as President of the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Football-wise, saw that Mike Brown signed with the Chiefs. So that makes Lawyer Milloy the top unsigned veteran safety.
But there is one area on the team that I’ve been studying a lot this offseason.
I understand why they have Curtis Lofton at middle linebacker, Michael Peterson at weakside and Stephen Nicholas at strongside. But trying to make sense of the reserves is pretty intriguing. There are going to be some good roster battles and if the first teamers fall on their faces, there appears to be help.
Here’s a look at the reserve linebackers:
COY WIRE, 6-0, 228: Can play all three positions. Took over for Michael Boley in running situations late last season. Played some safety earlier in his career. Is one of the top special team players.
EDMOND MILES, 6-0, 243: From Tallahassee. Played at Godby High. Always want to know why guys from Florida leave the state. Miles played at Iowa. Did Miami, Florida State or Florida not recruit him? Was he a late bloomer? Did he just want to play right away at Iowa? Made the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie in 2007. Played mostly weakside linebacker in college.
ROBERT JAMES, 5-10, 218: Fifth round pick in 2008. Didn’t play last season after suffering a head injury
and was placed on injured reserve. A super-fast, run-and-hit guy. Fits the teams “need for speed” profile. Have to worry about him being a little to small. Nicknamed “The Beast” in college.
TONY GILBERT, 6-0, 248: The former Georgia Bulldog was signed late last exhibition season. He was not active for any games last season. But he knows the system and quietly goes about his business. With Peterson coming over there might not be a place for Gilbert. If something happens to Lofton, Peterson, a former MLB with Jacksonville, could shift to the middle.
SPENCER ADKINS, 5-11, 246: Played a lot of weakside for the Hurricanes. Is extremely fast with good striking ability. He will have to make the team on special teams. “An intriguing natural talent who was used primarily as a situational pass rusher. . . but his lack of instincts always could restrict him from developing,” according to Pro Football Weekly’s 2009 Draft Preview.
RASHAD BOBINO, 5-11, 230: Played on some good defenses at Texas, starting 45 of 52 games over his productive career. Went undrafted, despite being all-Big 12 three times. He’s definitely a player to watch when training camp opens.
Mainstays, Keith Brooking and Michael Boley are gone off to Dallas and New York.
But what about the depth at this position. Do you like it? Worried about them being too small?
Any sleepers in the bunch? And yeah, Roberts, you’re going down!!!