Falcons predicted to finish 7-9 by “Outsiders”

BLOGCATIONVILLE — Headed for that last blog-cation before the season starts. Needed to get a few things for you all to nimble on.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan on winning and ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Show airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan won an ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Show airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Not everyone is predicting greatness for the Falcons in 2009.

The folks over at Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, are predicting more doom and gloom. In their eyes, the streak will reach 44 seasons. There will be no playoffs and someone’s pet is probably going to die.

In the publications’ eight page analysis of the Falcons, Rob Weintraub, a local free lancer and TV production worker, points out that over the last 30 years, 17 teams have improved by seven games — including the Falcons and Miami last season — but only the 1998 Jets under Duane Charles Parcells (some folks call him Bill) have improved the next season.

Those other 14 teams, wins decrease by an average for four. That would put the Falcons at 7-9 in 2009.

“Every other team has come back to the pack for various reasons,” Weintraub said. “It’s the NFL, parity rules.”

Part of the Falcons summary reads, “2009: That bar is set much higher, and the team is weighted down by almost certain regression.”

Here’s how they see the Falcons coming back to the pack:

THE DECLINE IN HEALTH: “The more statistical things that we’ve gone through point to injuries. The Falcons were a very healthy team last year. They were fifth-best in terms of our stats: man-games-missed by their starters.

Here's what an ESPY looks like.

Here's what an ESPY looks like.

“We found that there is no correlation from year-to-year. Teams that stay healthy for one year don’t necessarily stay healthy the next year. In fact, teams will go backwards in that category.

“If you just have a couple of injuries to a couple of linemen, that could be overcome. Now, if Matt Ryan goes down in the second weak of the season, then the whole thing falls apart. There is a great deal of fortune involved.”

Falcons fans have been there. Check 1999, injuries to Jamal “Jam” Anderson not Jamaal “Sackmaster” Anderson and to Chris Chandler the year after going 14-2 and reaching the Super Bowl. That team went 5-11.

THE SCHEDULE: The Falcons don’t have the AFC West and the NFC Central to kick around. They have the AFC East and NFC East.

“The schedule is significantly more difficult,” Weintraub said.

THE CURSE OF 370: The Outsiders have come up with this “Curse of 370” notion.

Here’s how that works, only one running back – Eric Dickerson – has managed to stare down the Curse.

“Any running back who carries 370 times or more in a single season, there is a significant dropoff or injury the next season,” Weintraub said. “Eric Dickerson is the only guy who’s beat that.”

Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson

Micheal Turner had 394 carries for 1,742 yards in 17 games last season.

“You are talking about a very high probability that he’s going to experience a significant (dropoff) this year,” Weintraub said. “Now, it would behoove the Falcons greatly to ease off on his carries. They have Jerious Norwood, whom we love as a back.

“If they can establish a real combination back there, that could definitely offset some of the projected decline in Turner’s numbers.”

The great Dickerson went for 1,808 yards on 390 carries in 1983. He followed that up with 2,105 yards on 379 carries in 1984.

In 1988, Dickerson had 388 carries for 1,659 yards and in 1989 he had 1,311 yards on 314 carries.

Sadly, he was worn out at age 29. By the time he got to the Falcons in 1993, Dickerson could only muster 91 yards on 26 carries.

THE X- FACTOR: The Outsiders don’t know what to do with the addition of tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Tony and October Gonzalez

Tony and October Gonzalez

“We’ve never really had a projection to account for adding a hall of fame tight end, when your biggest need is tight end,” Weintraub said. “It’s obviously a plus, assuming he stays healthy and stays at the level he’s been at.

“He’s also defied all kinds of logic and projections that we’ve done. Our numbers have said they he was going to fall off for the last three years and he hasn’t. That’s a testimony to what a great all-time great player that he is.”

CAN RYAN WIN SHOOT OUTS?: The Outsiders ranks Ryan’s rookie season as the finest of any quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

“They may have to beat teams 35-31 every week,” Weintraub said. “That’s not a sustainable way to go to the playoffs. Now, it can be done, but I think they’ll need a better plan of attack.”

THE DEFENSE: In their regression analysis, more than 100 variables were looked at for each team. They had to consider the ensuing upheaval with replacing five starters on the defense.

“These guys could step up and play lights out,” Weintraub said. “Stephen Nicholas could turn out to be a Pro Bowl linebacker, we’ll see. But the trend over the last 15 years with teams putting (five or more) starters who have played so little into their starting defense, doesn’t bode well.”

CAVEAT: They still have to play the games.

“We projected the Falcons not to be good last year,” Weintraub said. “But (Matt Ryan) significantly out performed the trends. Surely, that can happen again. We certainly acknowledge that there are times when players step up and become superstars.”

IN SUMMATION: A lot has to happen for the Falcons to end that 43-year streak of never posting back-to-back winning seasons.

“Overall, they have a lot of trends, anchoring them and weighing them back to the pack this year,” Weintraub said. “Right now the numbers say they are going to take a step back.”

You can get the Football Outsiders Almanac 2009 off their website: www.footballoutsiders.com and print-on-demand copies from Amazon.com in late July.

D.LED’S UNOFFICIAL/BOOTLEG DEPTH CHART

Falcons need to line up Decatur's Keri Hilson to do the National Anthem to open the season.

MISS KERI BABY: Falcons need to line up Decatur's Keri Hilson to do the National Anthem to open the season.

Before we get to the depth chart, here are three campers to keep an eye on:

Rashad Bobino, Linebacker, 5-11, 230: Was a big thumper at middle linebacker for the Texas Longhorns. Made the Big 12 team three times. Check out his pro day workout.

Ryan Stanchek, Guard, 6-3, 305: Was a four-year starter at West Virginia. Was all-Big East in 2006 and 2008. Played left tackle in college. Got snubbed by the coaches in the all-conference voting last season.

Thomas Johnson, Defensive tackle, 6-2, 305: His name keeps popping up. Has been with three teams since coming out of Middle Tennessee in 2005. He hasn’t been able to stick with Dallas, Houston or the New York Jets. He made three starts with Houston in 2006.

THE DEPTH CHART

QUARTERBACK: Starter — Matt Ryan. Backups – 2. Chris Redman, 3. D.J. Shockley, and 4. John Parker Wilson.

RUNNING BACK: Starters — Michael Turner and Ovie Mughelli. Backups – 1. Jerious Norwood, 2. Jason Snelling, 3. Thomas Brown and 4. Verron Haynes.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters – Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. Backups – 1. Harry Douglas, 2. Brian Finneran, 3. Eric Weems, 4. Troy Bergeron, 5. Chandler Williams, 6. Aaron Kelly, 7. Darren Mougey and 8. Bradon Godfrey.

TIGHT ENDS: Starter – Tony Gonzalez. Backups – 1. Ben Hartsock, 2. Justin Peelle, 3. Keith Zinger and 4. Jason Rader.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Starters – LT Sam Baker, LG Justin Blalock, C Todd McClure, RG Harvey Dahl, RT Tyson Clabo. Backups – Center – 1. Brett Romberg, 2. Ben Wilkerson.
Guards – 1. Jeremy Newberry, 2. Romberg, 3. Wilkerson, 4. Ryan Stanchek, 5. Jose Valez.
Tackles – 1. Will Svitek, 2. Quinn Ojinnaka, 3. Garrent Reynolds, 4. Michael Butterworth.

Falcons All-Pro defensive end John Abraham.

Falcons All-Pro defensive end John Abraham.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Starters – RDE John Abraham, RT Peria Jerry, LT Jonathan Babineaux, LDE Chauncey Davis.
Backups DE – 1. Jamaal Anderson, 2. Kroy Biermann, 3. Lawrence Sidbury, 4. Willie Evans and 5. Maurice Lucas. DT – 1. Jamaal Anderson, 2. Trey Lewis, 3. Jason Jefferson, 4. Thomas Johnson, 5. Vance Walker, 6. Tywain Myles

LINEBACKERS:
Starters – WLB Michael Peterson, MLB Curtis Lofton, SLB Stephen Nicholas. Backups: 1. Coy Wire, 2. Edmond Miles, 3. Tony Gilbert, 4. Spencer Adkins, 5. Robert James, and 6. Rashad Bobino.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: LCB – Chris Owens, FS – Erik Coleman, SS – William Moore, RCB – Chris Houston. Backups – CB – 1. Chevis Jackson, 2. Brent Grimes, 3. William Middleton, 4. Von Hutchins, 5. David Irons (injured), 6. Glenn Sharpe, 7. Tony Tiller. S – 1. Thomas DeCoud, 2. Jamaal Fudge, 3. Antoine Harris, 4. Eric Brock.

SPECIAL TEAMS – KR – 1. Jerious Norwood, 2. Thomas Brown. PR – 1. Harry Douglas, 2. Brian Finneran. P – Michael Koenen. PK Jason Elam. LS – Mike Schneck.

The Countdown to Training Camp is winding down!

1,184 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

July 18th, 2009
10:16 pm

MMMMM the Barber twins!

Sarah B

July 18th, 2009
10:23 pm

OK I’m up and running on the FFL. I need schooled on a online draft. We Have always drafted live in person.

Sarah B

July 18th, 2009
10:24 pm

There were lots of typo’s in the FO article as well.

D3

July 18th, 2009
10:33 pm

Catch-Up Part 2………

WR – The battle for the backup spot will be very interesting with them adding John Parker Wilson to the mix. We’ll see. I would very surprised if they added JPW for Shockley to be in direct competition with. I mean what would the point be with that? I’m thinking they may see if DJ can be a suitable #2, allowing a trade or release of Redman and his huge salary for a backup ($4.85 Million). Where from in ClayCo?

BT – I’m closer in line with you’re thinking, this is a big year for proving, and 12-4 seems a bit high to me. I’m going more with 10-6.

WR(2) – Excellent point. Those idiots talked about the weak defense as you mentioned, but we already had one of the worst DEF’s in the league yardage wise, but one of the better ones in terms of total points. In all likeliness, there’s a huge chance that our DEF will go up, not down.

Nookah – great points about being the hunted. Not a reason to say we’re the best team in the NFC, but 7-9 after adding TG and speed on Defense? These guys are bunch of number crunchers that have never strapped on a pair of shoulder-pads and its all about numbers. Taking advice from these chumps is a joke.

kidfunkyfly – I understand where you’re coming from on statistics. But that’s all they do is run numbers and formulas that have no contact or context to the actual game. In regards to the lack of depth on the Lines, this is actually the deepest the two Lines have been in years. Last year we had Grady Jackson & Babineaux starting being backed up by Jason Jefferson & Kindal Moorehead. This year we have Babineaux & Peria Jerry likely starting, with Trey Lewis(a stud before he was injuried), Thomas Johnston(Big Body), and Vance Walker(late round steal). O-Line is stacked with backups who have had starting experience in Brett Romberg, Will Svitek, & Jeremy Newberry. Not including new draft pick Garrett Reynolds and Quinn Ojinnaka. Even though I don’t agree with it, I could understand 8-8, but 7-9 is a bit of stretch.

Wabe – nice analysis. Definitely expect to see a more aggressive defense this year with more athletic and faster defense. Sure there will be some growing pains with a young secondary, but overall a much more aggressive defense should be expected. Glad you’re becoming a regular member of the Bird-Cage.

BT – Abe can also be used as an outside OLB as well. He did that quite a bit in New York with the Jets.

jason & Seminole – good analysis on 3-4. Definitely expect to see some of those looks with Sidbury to the mix and JA being a prototypical 3-4 DE, Biermann playin the edge, and Nicholas playing as rush end in 3-3-5 look last year. Did you know that Biermann has put on like 20 lbs? He’s up to 260 now. Dude’s been hitting the weights hard.

More in a bit…….

D3

July 18th, 2009
10:34 pm

Re-Post…..

WR – The battle for the backup spot will be very interesting with them adding John Parker Wilson to the mix. We’ll see. I would very surprised if they added JPW for Shockley to be in direct competition with. I mean what would the point be with that? I’m thinking they may see if DJ can be a suitable #2, allowing a trade or release of Redman and his huge salary for a backup ($4.85 Million). Where from in ClayCo?

BT – I’m closer in line with you’re thinking, this is a big year for proving, and 12-4 seems a bit high to me. I’m going more with 10-6.

WR(2) – Excellent point. Those idiots talked about the weak defense as you mentioned, but we already had one of the worst DEF’s in the league yardage wise, but one of the better ones in terms of total points. In all likeliness, there’s a huge chance that our DEF will go up, not down.

Nookah – great points about being the hunted. Not a reason to say we’re the best team in the NFC, but 7-9 after adding TG and speed on Defense? These guys are bunch of number crunchers that have never strapped on a pair of shoulder-pads and its all about numbers. Taking advice from these chumps is a joke.

kidfunkyfly – I understand where you’re coming from on statistics. But that’s all they do is run numbers and formulas that have no contact or context to the actual game. In regards to the lack of depth on the Lines, this is actually the deepest the two Lines have been in years. Last year we had Grady Jackson & Babineaux starting being backed up by Jason Jefferson & Kindal Moorehead. This year we have Babineaux & Peria Jerry likely starting, with Trey Lewis(a stud before he was injuried), Thomas Johnston(Big Body), and Vance Walker(late round steal). O-Line is stacked with backups who have had starting experience in Brett Romberg, Will Svitek, & Jeremy Newberry. Not including new draft pick Garrett Reynolds and Quinn Ojinnaka. Even though I don’t agree with it, I could understand 8-8, but 7-9 is a bit of stretch.

Wabe – nice analysis. Definitely expect to see a more aggressive defense this year with more athletic and faster defense. Sure there will be some growing pains with a young secondary, but overall a much more aggressive defense should be expected. Glad you’re becoming a regular member of the Bird-Cage.

BT – Abe can also be used as an outside OLB as well. He did that quite a bit in New York with the Jets.

jason & Seminole – good analysis on 3-4. Definitely expect to see some of those looks with Sidbury to the mix and JA being a prototypical 3-4 DE, Biermann playin the edge, and Nicholas playing as rush end in 3-3-5 look last year. Did you know that Biermann has put on like 20 lbs? He’s up to 260 now. Dude’s been hitting the weights hard.

More in a bit…….

Iceman

July 18th, 2009
10:45 pm

Matt Ryan has too much determination to let them be a meager 7 win team. 12 wins I say.

D3

July 18th, 2009
11:09 pm

Catch-Up, Part 3……….

Seminole – Thanks for asking, my little Future Wide Receiver might be moving inside to Tight End if he keeps growing like he does. Things are going much better now that he’s sleeping during the day. The Falcons onesie is ready to roll baby!

jason – Wow, breaking out the Rhino package. You my friend, and all else, are dropping some serious knowledge on us today. Like it. I think that there will be a rotation at first, but once one or the other improves their respective weaknesses(Moore-Pass, DeCoud-Run), than one of them will take over permanently.

Seminole(2)- Moore for Rookie of the Year? Can you imagine if TD drafted two Rookies of the Year in a row? He definitely will be coming in hungry and ready to show all the teams up that passed on him.

Najeh – very fair assessment. It should be at least considered that our win-loss could range anywhere from 8-8 to 12-4, but 7-9 is a little too low in my opinion.

Seminole(3) – Gotta disagree with you a little on the CB battle. I would replace Hutchins with Jackson. I think Hutchins will be too far behind with his nagging injury. The Lisfrance fracture has ruined many O’ athletes careers. I’m not counting too much on him.

jason(2) – Gotta depart with you on the starting CB’s, I could be dead wrong but I don’t see Owens coming in and beating out Grimes or Jackson for the spot, two guys who have been in the system. I guess I’m the only one, but I think that Jackson has a huge shot at winning the starting CB spot after having a great year in the nickel in the small amount of experience he had. It’ll be fun to watch.

Wabe – I like the way you think brother. Jackson definitely could add some good height and size to the CB spot. Owens has nice frame and actually weighs 10 lbs more than Jackson, but the nickel is a great way for rookie CB’s to get experience and work their way in. Jackson will also thrive in BVG’s zone coverage as well.

jason(3) – perfect response to the hate bait. Love it.

dan – excellent, excellent point my man. Previous years have NOTHING to do with one another. Besides being a mental psyche-out to some players, curses and garbage like not having back-to-back winning seasons have nothing to do with this year. Particularly since not one single Falcon other McClure were around for all those other failings. Love to have another Bulldog in the ‘Cage. We gotta offset these ACC boys in here. My expectations are fairly low for our ‘Dawgs this year. I tried believing the hype right before the ALA game and that was the worst, most embarassing @– whipping I’ve seen in a while.

danny ray – also good points. Bye weeks only pay dividends with coaching staffs that are very good, like the Giants and Eagles. The Redskins and Cowboys don’t strike any fear into me, regardless of preparation.

Whew, I think I’m finally caught up. My ‘Cage fix has been relieved.

DHD

July 18th, 2009
11:09 pm

I never heard of Outsiders. Who gives a crud what they say? Just win.

Mike Vick

July 18th, 2009
11:31 pm

Yet another new article today about me – is this city so desperate for material that you can’t run blogs about Matty Ice?

I am not a loser Falcon anymore – move on guys please.

D3

July 18th, 2009
11:34 pm

Last point on the Dwight Schrute Football Analysts, I mean the Football Outsiders; they are looking for a niche to make money in a seriously saturated market of football prognostications. Evidently they pick the vast majority of teams to do worse, weasel their predictions into the respective markets, create controversy(which is of course great PR), and thus sell magazines.

If you take a look at their website, you see exactly that: they have the articles where their “magazine” has created a stir; not to mention the fact that their website looks juvenile at best.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

Ken Strickland

July 19th, 2009
12:12 am

BAD NEWS-Do you even have a clue? TGonzalez made the Probowl last yr and led all TE’s in receptions by a wide margin, his 96 receptions tied him for 4th, he ranked 12th in total yds and 5th in TD’s. And you’re dilusional enough to think there was a TE available in the 2nd round that could match or exceed his production. There will be TE’s in future drafts that we can take for the future.

You’re using the same warped attempt at logic the so called experts used last yr to predict we’d finish 1-15. They said losing 5 OFF starters, having a new coaching staff, new OFF system, revamped OL, a rookie QB and LT, no receiving TE and a new RB would doom us. DO YOU SEE HOW STUPID THAT LOGIC WAS?

What makes you or anyone else think our DEF is 2yrs away, and what exactly are we 2yrs away from? If you had a clue, you’d know that with a balanced dominant ball control OFF like ours, our DEF won’t have to be dominant, just good at controlling the scoreboard, like last yr. Although we finished 21st in pass DEF, 25th in rushing DEF and 24th in overall DEF, we ranked 11th in points allowed. Yet, you somehow think that all the speed, quickness, athletic ability and overall DEF talent we’ve added won’t benefit us in any way for another 2yrs?

SOME PEOPLE JUST CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES.

CBrass

July 19th, 2009
12:32 am

SeminoleWarrior,

I’m hanging in there. It’s just a lot to take in at times. The terminology that you guys use just blows me away at time…but I’m getting it.

D3,

Wow I’m a vet now?!?! If so it’s simply because you guys have been so kind and actually answered the questions that I’ve had. Thanks again!!!

Well I’m out check up with you guys in the morning.

WR

July 19th, 2009
12:37 am

D3, my thoughts exactly, even those that are predicting the Falcons to fall back in the pack say its because of the defense, like I said, as I recall the defense from last year was 24th out of 32 teams, it was bend but don’t break. What people fail to realize is that the defense of last year featured starters in the twilight of their career or starters going through the need for a change in scenery. Look at the defense of this year, the playmakers are back, Coleman, Abe,Babs,Lofton, even Andersen and Houston. Now you add youthful speed and reckless abandon, and what should you get, an improved defense. No I don’t expect Stephen Nickolas, Peria Jerry, or William Moore to come in and have the knowledge and experience of Michael Boley, Grady Jackson, and Lawyer Milloy, but they do have the speed, youth and capabilities to learn from mistakes and get better as the season goes alone. Brooking for Peterson is a wash, with Peterson offering more of an upside although he to is in the twilight of his career. Overall the positions will be improved, Boley needed to change scenery, I won’t take anything away from him because he could have been a good player in the A, but things in his personal life changed and so did he on the field, Peria might me 50lbs lighter than Jackson, but he is 50 times faster with more athletic ability, Lawyer Milloy was the unsung hero of the defense in my opinion, but father time can careless when he finds you, but William Moore looks like a bigger, stronger, faster, version of Milloy, even in Milloy’s prime. Foxworth was considered our best corner, but people forget Foxworth didn’t start until Grimes got hurt halfway through the season, so to think either Owens, Jackson,Grimes, or Hutchins can hold down that position is reasonable. Now I will pose a question that might get me kicked out of the cage:

Who before last year had ever heard of James Harrison from Pittsburgh. He was just a player before last year, his best season was in his fifth year until he had a breakout preformance in his sixth year, now he is supposedly the man. Up until last year he was no Julius Peppers, Demarcus Ware, Shawn Merriman, Jared Allen, Justin Tuck, Dwight Freeney, or even a John Abraham. What about Jamaal Andersen, a comparison;

Harrison: Year 1-4, Games played 44, Tackles 110, Sacks 4
Andersen: Year 1,2 Games played 31, Tackles 57, Sacks 2

Andersen may not breakout, I don’t believe that, but when considering the numbers, I’m guessing Jamaal must be on his way to defensive player of the year, maybe thats to far, but he is progressing before than one of the so called greats.

jason

July 19th, 2009
12:53 am

jason – like you, I can’t wait to see what BVG has in store for us with all this new speed, talent, fire, and striking ability. Next best thing with him leaving UGA was him finding his way to our Beloved ‘Birds. God, Willie Martinez’s seat has GOT to be on fire. It ticks me off too about how Richt is so non-chalant about it too.

I thought he was to young to be a DC. He proved me wrong. Drop some knowledge about what BVG will do as a DC for ATL once he has his players ruuning the D.

D3 as for the CB spot. I see Houston and your man Jackson starting. Owens is going to be starting after the bye week. Will it be Houston or your man Jackson he replaces. I don’t know, but one is going to the bench. I like Jackson because of the size. He matches up with the opposing teams bigger WR. I think Owens will begin to push Houston if he is not getting better. I also see alot more man coverge this year. That is susposed to be Houston’s forte. We shall see.

Sarah B, I knew you were coming for your Barbera infusion. I called it. What’s up my Lady. See, some men do listen (if you are talking football).

I get off line and everybody blows up thr joint. On the Rhino package, I don’t know who brought it up, but Moore is perfect for it. I can see Moore winning Rookie of the year, but also Jerry.

I t is a great time to be apart of the Cage. I can’t wait for the preseason. I want to see some action. I want to see Adkins run and hit. I know he is a developemental player, but with that size and speed. He and James are going to go at it. May the best LB win.

D3, what are your thoughts on a multiple D? I think we have the personell to run the 4-3, 3-4, Tampa 2, what else? the Zone Blitz….
we have drafted alot of players that fit BVG’s Scheme. Fast and atheletic. BVG is going to ATTACK, not react. I say we double our TOs, and possibly our QB SACKS. What say you?

WR

July 19th, 2009
1:25 am

Sense I’m the only one posting on a Saturday night, which some of you will find funny because I’m never around on Saturday nights, its a good time to say whatever:

Sarah, get back in the cage, yeah you post here and there, but sense the fall out you have been avoiding us. I know you were offended but it was taken the wrong way by some, they are still here and you should be too. As busy as your schedule is, you have always found time for the cage, if nothing else blame it on me, I can take it.

Between Nooah and Seminole’s return the cage is getting its life back. For awhile there, it seemed liked having an opinion that was different from everyone else’s seemed like a bad thing, than the crew came back through and all is good. Seminole and Nookah, both of you are truly some good buddies, we can have a laugh here and there, disagree here and there, but in the end you are the two people that truly feel like brothers in the cage. D3, not to leave you out when I said that, you my friend are the glue that has held it all together. Jason, if you didn’t know by now, we have a new found respect, not because of UGA or GT, but because you could always see the lighter side, you might as well feel as though you have been there from the start, because you have truly made a place for yourself here in the cage. I can’t go without mentioning my new posse brother, JJ, we have had some falling outs, more misunderstandings than anything, but you too my friend have made your mark, I feel as though I have helped your perceptions on a few things and you have helped mine, don’t know about Derby’s yet, but where ever we go your first drink is on me. BT, haven’t had much back and forth but you seem to fit right in, I started chatting in the cage as a way to vent about the Falcons, I found friends, I may not see any of you in person, but I really believe I found people that I can be real with, and they will be real with me, JJ, you better not ask for a translation,LOL, honestly I think I can ask most of you anything, and if you have an answer, you will give it whether I like it or not, and that to me is what makes this the Bird Cage.

Note to members of the FFL: It is late at night, I enjoy the cage, I enjoy the comments and discussions, but none of you are absolved from the competition, so while ya’ll are pulling out your violins to sing along to my songs, the trash is coming, and its coming to a neighbohood near you.

Nookah

July 19th, 2009
1:38 am

Well guys, I just had a chance to check in. Got off the road with the family and just had some peace and quiet to do a quick check in the cage.

One thing I can say about D3, he brings it. Man I enjoy your responses.

WR, nuff respect for the compliments. You made my day man. (Tito, can you pass the tissue?)…lol.

I endorse your point though, we truly are establishing a bond on this blog. This is indeed great and a perfect case study in organizational behaviour.

Ken Strick, did you not read Jason’s post on Thursday? “Don’t take the bait”. My brother, or should I say Coach Ken (as per D3), don’t waste your time my brother, there are far more important things to discuss on this blog.

It’s all good citizens of Falcon Nation.

Go Falcons!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!!!

jason

July 19th, 2009
2:12 am

WR, We feeling sentimental? I enjoy it here in the Cage. Now, I am not as good as Coach KEN, but I try to drop the knowledge from what I observe. I will go from watching the ball to watching the lines. I see what I see, and rely on others like you D3, Ken, Unca Bob to show me what I missed. I give you a hard time for being a Jacket, but I respect the Jackets,as I do All GA teams. I am looking forward to the FF so we can do this thing right. ATL/GA I am born and bread. At the time of Hershel Walker, I found Steve Bartkowski, I fthat doesn’t say enough I also found Dominquie Wilkins, Spud Webb, John Konkak… Dale Murphy, Brett Butler(before he was traded, Phil Neikro, Rick Mahler and so forth. I am a GA man born and Raised. GA will always be my home no matter how far away I am. I am GEORGIA.

kevin ( i hope u understood me)

July 19th, 2009
2:52 am

Lets see if we have one one out are hurt bad at start ….and this time we win and be 7-1 at home n 6-2 on road 13-3….Oh i know its a wild question i wish be answered…..why can’t the NFL and CFL that the one in Canada u know get together n play also and be counted n we play in arena under CFL rules there…and superbowl winner play the winner of Grey Cup for a true Football championship!

Jason

July 19th, 2009
5:09 am

Yet another piss-poor “article” from AJC writers who had to go dig up some blog from some nobody which predicts the Falcons will have a terrible season. How novel.

AJC is going to hell in a handbag and there is no one to blame other than the rejects who have been hired in the past few years who will pilot the damn thing down in flames.

Unca' Bob

July 19th, 2009
5:51 am

Cager’s,

Please re-read this sentence written by D-Led.

Those other 14 teams, wins decrease by an average for four. That would put the Falcons at 7-9 in 2009.

Now look at the word average. That says to me, some lost less and some lost more. D-Led simply deducted the average from last years win total and D-Led , not Football Outsiders, came up with 7-9.

Well D-Led, it worked. You sure stirred-up the ‘ol dookey pot, and a real Falcon blog came out. Good job!

Sarah B

July 19th, 2009
7:05 am

WR I havee not disappeared from the The Cage. I’m still here, siggnrd up for the league last night and I’m gonna kck your azz.

Unca' Bob

July 19th, 2009
7:21 am

jason,

When you go back to the join link, there is a box that you need to check. Accept email blah,blah,blah. You have not not joined yet, nor has Strig. Once you join, then you can modify your team name,etc.

kclubmember

July 19th, 2009
8:58 am

The Atlanta Falcons’schedule this season is very difficult,so winning ten out of sixteen regular season games is crucial.I believe the Falcons’offense will be more assertive than the defense.Watch out for Jerious Norwood this year:He will breakout this season.

SeminoleWarrior

July 19th, 2009
9:59 am

Goooooooood morning Posse!! Wr, I’m sorry I left you hanging last night brother. What was supposed to dinner ended up being a roll to Savannah with smooth jazz and a LATE dinner. I was kidnapped!! But hey, if Mama is not happy, no one is happy!

I see the action stayed hot. K Strick chimed in with the skill he known for. D3, fresh from the labors of the paper, hit it strong. Jason kept the flow moving along with passion, representing US 84 and south GA well. Ohhhhh yeah, WE know passion and loyalty along that highway, right Jason? Oops…got caught up in football home cooking.

D3, my nephew is moving to TE now? What is Mama3 feeding our man? LOL.

K Strick, thanks for making my points in regards to Sapp and McFarland. Sapp was a PENETRATOR; McFarland was the STOPPER. That is what I see in Lewis and Jerry. Babs reminds me of the early Sapp, the little engine that will not quit. He is not a beast against the run but he is very disruptive in his play. Add Jamaal alongside him and there is a nice pairing to stop the run in a shared rotation with Jerry & Lewis.

Biermann is on his way to becoming a star; D3 called it – I read that the guys has put on 20 pounds and is as solid as Stone Mountain!! I like that. He will be a beast off the corner or dropping back into an OLB slot if and when we shift to the 3-4 (Jason, Wabe…I’m sold on it now). Sidbury will be a similiar hybrid.

As far as my DROY prediction for William Moore, I do not think it is as far fetched as some would think. If he is back to full health, which I think he is, and he reports on time, which I think he will, he’s a beast. Keep an eye on his development as the year moves along.

To the rest of the posse, nothing but love for ya! And as my brother said, don’t take the bait from the haters! We, you and I, are family in the greatest of BLOGS….THE CAGE!! Let them hate; we will celebrate!

Okay..that was a cheesy Jesse Jackson attempt at a laugh. LOL. Laters!!

SeminoleWarrior

July 19th, 2009
10:07 am

Oh…Let me be clear. While I’m open to the occasional 3-4 shift, I’m still an open favorite of the Tampa 2. So don’t think that I’m jumping totally on the 3-4 wagon. I’m accepting the BRIEF shift based on the history of TD’s background and what Jason, Wabe, and the other UGA loyalists have taught me this week about BVG.

SeminoleWarrior

July 19th, 2009
10:10 am

I think our CBs are physical but not physical enough to handle a more established and persistant man-to-man scheme. Thus zone coverage will still be a mjor component of the defense. The “weak” link as far as the T2 would be is at the MLB. But I think Lofton is better in coverage than he is given credit for. And then, if my UGA brothers are right, a healthy Tony Gilbert adds more to the scheme for BVG in that coverage aspect right?

SeminoleWarrior

July 19th, 2009
10:25 am

And to add to what WR stated about the composition of the Cage. I was drawn to the Cage several months back prior to the draft. DO-Led was serving up some very good questions. I was always a fan of Steve Wyche and was a little nervous when he left us for NLF.com. But DO-Led has stepped in and carried the torch with honor, skill, and class.

When I say that this is a PREMIER blog, I’m totally serious. If you are an avid football fan like I am, and you read a lot of stuff, you will see quickly that this is a candid love of the game with some fans that are deeply passionate about the game and the Falcons. But is is more. There is a real sense of a bond here. Hell, we have brothers and sisters in here offering to help another find a house. We have had people in here offer help in looking ofr jobs; prayers are extended to families with loved one serving in harm’s way. None of that has to do with football; but the lessons of the game, commitment, loyalty, and teamwork, come out in all we do here. WR is right: we will not always agree but we will NEVER be disrespectful of each other. We are one. So when Nookah quotes “Nesta”, we all smile as our souls, football and otherwise are touched. When D3 shares the fun of being a new young dad, it reminds us “old-schoolers” of what precious moments he is yet to share. Okay…I’m rambling like a good old south GA preacher now..but you all get my point.

Simply put, I’m DAMEDN proud to be a member of the BIRD CAGE. DO-Led thanks for your leadership and continued success be yours. D3, Nookah, WR, Stirg, Big Ray, Unca Bob, thanks for welcoming me into the fold a few months back. Jason, US 84 and the passion we share for the home front will keep us united for years to come my brother. And to all the others, remember, we are ONE NATION!! THE FALCON NATION!!

Okay, I’m going to catch my breath, grab some OJ, and take a chill. Catch my family a little later here.

WR

July 19th, 2009
10:43 am

Seminole you didn’t leave me hanging, just had a Saturday night alone and at home so I figured I should say some good things before I start hurting everyone’s feelings in the FF.

Jason, I wouldn’t say sentimental as much as I would say I just have enjoyed the cage, its easy to enjoy a place where you can have an opinion and people will argue for or against it and the arguments are reliable if not valid.

Sarah, why would you go there after giving me all the bulletin board material in the world, if I was the head of the AJC and our teams where professional sports teams I would have the perfect headline when playing you: Bend over (insert your team without the es) while your shouting bring it on. Watch for the bulletin board material, it will be used against you,LOL.

D3, when you come back in, you come back in, talk about catching up, if you are half as precise as a teacher as you are on here, I know Clayton has finally gotten a good one, its going to take many more but it starts with one, and you appear to at least be one, glad to see you back in the cage, but the aforementioned comments do not apply to FFL, just not that nice when it comes down to competition.

niremetal

July 19th, 2009
10:56 am

As long as Turner doesn’t pull a Jamal, we’ll be fine…

WR

July 19th, 2009
11:07 am

D3, on the backup situation, I agree, I think the birds are going to look closer at DJ for the two, and hope to keep John Parker for the three. One of our biggest fears is what happens if the Iceman gets hurt, but Steve Young replaced an injured Joe Montana, and Tom Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe, who knows whats awaiting the next major injury. I believe the same even when considering Turner, between Snelling and Brown, you never know what gems may be awaiting an injury to the starters of today.

JJ

July 19th, 2009
11:09 am

WR, translation? j/k my brotha, back after the golf…

WR

July 19th, 2009
11:18 am

By the way Seminole, my thoughts exactly, I actually find the cage to be relaxing no matter the circimstances I face once I walk out of my front door and even within the walls of my own home. Always some good football talk, some words of encouragement for your personal life, some shouts of praise and prayer and even some recipes, now find another blog where you can get all that.

jason

July 19th, 2009
11:20 am

Jason, I wouldn’t say sentimental as much as I would say I just have enjoyed the cage, its easy to enjoy a place where you can have an opinion and people will argue for or against it and the arguments are reliable if not valid.

I know, I know. This is my first stop when I get on-line. Kind of weird in a good way. Enjoy talking to fellow fans with some football knowledge. Also enjoy the trash talk, and the fact that we can step away from football and talk about life; you whether D3 is considering a position change for his ‘lil wr. Might be growing for TE. This is without a doubt the best blog going. Debate, disagree, but doing it with respect. Falcon Nation is arising.

Seminole, The Tampa 2 is and will be a fixture in our D. The 3-4 will a change up; different look. The base D will be the 4-3. I am thinking more of the 3-3-5 than the 3-4. I think Smitty wants to be versitile in D formations. Give the opposing QB more info to process.

On the CBs, I think we will continue alot of zone. TD drafted Owens and Middleton as man covers. You will see a push to more man coverage after the bye week or later. The youguns have to get some game experience. I know that Houston in Man is a strength. Hutchins I believ is a Zone CB. I would like to think that Jackson could play man. He has the size and is physical in nature.

CBrass

July 19th, 2009
11:20 am

Morning all. Hope everyone is doing well.

jason,

“Sarah B, I knew you were coming for your Barbera infusion. I called it. What’s up my Lady. See, some men do listen (if you are talking football).”
This is so true!!! It is the only time that you guys actually listen to us…LOL

As for my thoughts on the cage I have felt very welcome here. The past couple of weeks I have learned more about the game than I would have if I tried to teach myself. That is credited towards all of you (Unca’ Bob starting me out with my first quiz) answering all of the questions that I may have. I will say the level of respect is just outstanding. I’ve read other blogs and they do not come close to the knowledge of the game and the respect towards others that is displayed here!!!

Be back later.

jason

July 19th, 2009
11:21 am

WR , It’s our 1 stop shopping for relaxation.

jason

July 19th, 2009
11:33 am

CBrass, Unca Bob is the man for football knowledge and research. Wait until Coach Ken gets a hold of you. He will have you coaching a PeeWee team in no time. Between those 2 you have Unca Bob dropping the knowledge with outstanding reasearch, and then the Coach will dissect it easy as A B C. He will have my 3 year old daughter understanding it. Then you have the maestro (D3) tying everything together in the Cage.

There is some serious knowledge to be had here in the Cage. I am glad I came on board. I joined during the Draft this year, and have been having a good time ever since.

WR

July 19th, 2009
11:51 am

CBrass, men listen to women all the time, women fell to listen or understand so they claim men don’t listen. I’ll give you a good example: notice how there are mostly guys in the cage, guys make a comment and then other guys comment on their comment. Thats how guys work in real life, one guy says something, another guy responds. Women and men conversations work differently, women say something and they keep saying something and after a while men hit the cut off switch and women turn into that character on charlie brown, blah, blah, blah, blah. If more women would pause between their long speeches they would figure out that guys are actually listening, but guys are also built with an automatic cutoff, when you exceed the cutoff point, no we don’t listen. So the key is a pause

Unca' Bob

July 19th, 2009
11:58 am

CBrass,

I think you have earned your Stripes as well. You could have blown it off and not gone back to do your homework. But you didn’t, and came in with with what I thought was a very good response. You got my vote, and I don’t care what y’er runnin’ for.

Titans Ticket Operator

July 19th, 2009
12:04 pm

Season tickets have been sold out in 1-day. Thank you for “supporting” your team.

Go Titans!

Top 5

July 19th, 2009
12:10 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=4336648

Sorry guys, T.D. & Smith didn’t make the list. Apparently, to make the top 5 you have to actually win playoff games, not just make it there.

Maybe next year!

Top 5

July 19th, 2009
12:11 pm

Oh did I mention: The Panthers were number 3 on the list.

WR

July 19th, 2009
12:11 pm

Man are creatures of habit, if you pay attention to the habits you will learn and understand most men. If you try to break the habit which some women do, you will have some problems. Another example: a man’s favorite football team is playing, a woman decides she wants to have a talk and here in lies the problem. A football game last approx. 3 hrs, most of the time men are doing nothing before the game and nothing after the game, but for some reason during the game is when women want to talk. Men even go through hoops to get women satisfied so that they can have that little 3 hrs, you hear things like I got to take the lady of the house to the mall, do we really want to go, no, but we don’t mind because hopefully we can get those 3 hrs peacefully.

jason

July 19th, 2009
12:16 pm

WR, You are digging a hole. I am patiently awaiting Sara B’s response.

So, someone throw a topic of discussion and let’s it started.

SeminoleWarrior

July 19th, 2009
12:30 pm

Alright, Jason, here is one for the Posse to consider.

If the defense finishes the season in the top 20, we win the divisioin, and make the playoffs, is Smitty the Coach of the Year for the second year in a row?

JJ

July 19th, 2009
12:44 pm

Tom Watson (59 yrs) is leading the british open by 1 with 3 to go!

jason

July 19th, 2009
12:51 pm

SeminoleWarrior, I am going to say no. ATL isnot PItt or NE. I think the NFL also likes to spread the reconigtion. If Abe (Strig) duplicates last year, he could be in line for Defensive player of the year.

CBrass

July 19th, 2009
1:11 pm

WR,

That’s my first time hearing about the “pause”. How long should this said “pause” last? Long enough for you (all guys) to process and answer the question that was just asked or just simply as a way to show that we have one or two more questions coming? And what is this cut off? Is it…I was going to ask more questions but I thought I would give you the said “pause” so that you can process and prepare your answer and I also didn’t want to exceed the “cut off”. As for the little 3 hours I’ll get to that later.

jason,

Your right. I so can’t not wait to hear what my fellow sista Sarah B. has to say. LOL

Unca’ Bob,

Glad to hear you say that. D3 I believe said that I was no longer a rookie but a vet and now you’ve said that I’ve earned my stripes. Feeling right at home. That coming from you means a lot(not taking anything away from anyone else who has made me feel welcome here) simply because you were one of the first to make me feel so welcome here.

Sarah B

July 19th, 2009
1:19 pm

Ok Jason, here it is… I actually concur with WR which is why I think I have more male friends than female. The women I work with, except for a couple, are just like that. Blah, blah, blah… and mostly just won’t shut up. The worst part is it’s all ME ME ME. Actually my ex-husband was kinda like that. The Falcons or any other game I wanted to watch and all of the sudden it was blah, blah, blah. And I was like ‘what part of the fact that there is a game on do you not understand?’ But I’m weird like that. But then I would rather cut the grass than run the vacuum cleaner. Go figure. I think I’ll go to the pool for a while. I’ll jump back in.

Sarah B

July 19th, 2009
1:24 pm

Sorry CBrass. That was probably not the response you were looking for. But no worries, we are still Sista’s in the ‘Cage :)

Sarah B

July 19th, 2009
1:25 pm

And NO don’t start with lesbien jokes – it ain’t so.