Falcons could turn to DeCoud at Safety

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud is after Lawyer Milloy's vacate spot. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud is after Lawyer Milloy's old spot. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

THE BRANCH – Just four days into training camp and the battle to replace Lawyer Milloy at strong safety is starting to take shape.

“I think the safety position is one where there is a good battle,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said on Monday.

Who is going to win the starting Strong Safety spot?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Thomas DeCoud
, a third round pick out of Cal from the 2008 draft, made a big push over the offseason. He’s a high-wonderlic guy and is not going to make any classroom mistakes.

DeCoud has major range and the striking ability his flashed on special teams last season appears to translate.

“Thomas DeCoud is coming back from a good year last year where he had an opportunity to compete and play on special teams,” Smith said.

William Moore is now wearing No. 25 to honor a friend. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

William Moore is now wearing No. 25 to honor a friend. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

For William Moore, the second round pick from Missouri, it’s a matter of how quickly he pick things up. He’s physical and has helped his foot speed  by losing 10 pounds.

“William Moore is just learning our system, but he has the skill set that we are looking for in a safety,” Smith said. “Not necessarily a strong safety, but the safety position.”

It’s not wise to look past some of the reserve safeties. Von Hutchins is getting some run at safety.

Jamaal Fudge and Eric Brock came away with interceptions in drills on Monday. Antoine Harris is battling back from groin surgery.

“Von is very valuable guy for us because he can play corner, nickel and we are working him at safety,” Smith said. “He could be a utility player if he doesn’t win the starting position.”

It’s plenty early, but it looks like DeCoud is trying to put a stranglehold on the open spot.

“Again, we are going to put a good eye on all positions,” Smitty said. “The best 53 are the guys who are going to make our roster.”

FUNNY STUFF: You need to check out Jeff Schultzdigi-blog. He got escorted around the building by Arthur Blank and came up with some hilarious stuff.

CHEER MEET AND GREET/FUNDRAISER: Funds raised from the event will benefit “The Rally Foundation.” There will be a fashion show and performances by the Atlanta Falcon Cheerleaders on Thursday.  Here’s the ticket info.

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Meet and Greet this Thursday at the Tongue and Groove in Buckhead.

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Meet and Greet this Thursday at the Tongue and Groove in Buckhead.

RODDY CORNER: It’s Day Four in Roddy White’s holdout. Discussions are ongoing, with the Falcons apparently set to increase their offer.

Pro Bowler Roddy White

Pro Bowler Roddy White

Don’t know if the Falcons are ready to put White in the $9 million a year neighborhood where Green Bay’s Greg Jennings, Buffalo’s Lee Evans and Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant reside.

The thing to file in the back of the mind is that when players come back from holdouts, especially wide outs, you have to ease them back in. You can’t run them too much, too fast and lead to a hamstring injury.

The Falcons are fining White $15,888 per day. He’s up to $63,552. Wonder where the fine money goes?

59 comments Add your comment

Roddy White

August 4th, 2009
8:29 am

I don’t give a damm bout the Falcons….SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! If you think I slacked my first 2 years, wait til I sign that FAT contract I’m bout ta get! Ha Ha ….SUCKAS!!!!

JJ

August 4th, 2009
8:34 am

D-Led – great stuff, I hope we get RW in camp soon, but he’s avg. 7 td’s a yr. Besides his drops, isn’t 7 pretty low for a #1 WR? Yes, the falcons are a rushing team first, but 7? Also, do you know of any websites that compiles stats on WR, specifically how many drops?
Curious how RW compares in the top 10. Anything over 8 mil a yr is too much IMHO.We need to resign the OL next yr and Norwood, unless TBrown is heir apparent. Thanks!

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
8:50 am

JJ

August 4th, 2009
8:54 am

Unca’ Bob – thanks, So RW is tied for 5th (9)- most dropped passes, and he wants top 5 money? I remember one of those 9, Denver. Woulda, coulda, shoulda all aside, but that catch may have given us the division.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 4th, 2009
8:59 am

I’m about to hit the practice field. Since it’s an open practice we can tweet away. Follow me at DorlandoAJC on Twitter.com.

It’s supposed to get hot (up to 93) today. I’m predicting that we’ll have our first “camp fight” today. My money is on Harvey Dahl against the field.

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
9:13 am

JJ,

Carolina would still won the division thru tie breakers. That loss did serve us to move up Draft Day.

Falcon fan

August 4th, 2009
11:30 am

Win division, don’t lose to Cardinals.

NCFalconFan

August 4th, 2009
12:22 pm

For you Roddy Haters: I know I don’t make the money NFL players make (but I aspire to that) however, when I work my butt off, when I take on extra projects, take courses to not only better myself but the organization I work for, increase my workload that causes me to work on Saturdays and some Sundays instead of bringing in another individual that will take up additional salary, you best believe I am in my boss’s office asking for a salary increase. It’s one thing to be loyal to the people that are good to you, but it’s also one thing to be stupid.

chc4

August 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

NCFalconFan — what are you talking about? Roddy’s output has increased but that’s what is expected of a 1st round pick. You can’t compare a football players work to that of a regular joe. It’s apples & oranges.

Brian Hunt

August 4th, 2009
12:30 pm

I like the idea of DeCoud at safety. He’s already had a year in the system and is probably prone to fewer mistakes, but I can’t shake the fact that the team turned to Fudge when Milloy couldn’t play. Fudge is a fringe NFL player and you’d think that DeCoud would’ve played ahead of him.

ATLJBO

August 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

I knew this was going to be a good camp battle…. Thomas Decoud has range and his a good tackler….. At Cal Decoud was always around the ball…. I’m also very high on William Moore….. I honestly feel like we have our 2 future safeties on our roster (not pushing Erik Coleman out the door)

My Thomas Decoud and William Moore video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECmaOrrrdHA

Mr. Egger

August 4th, 2009
1:26 pm

On the fines, I always thought they went charity, either the Atlanta Falcons charitable foundation or some other charity of the Falcons’ choice.

MortNYC

August 4th, 2009
1:27 pm

John

August 4th, 2009
1:52 pm

Unca’ Bob

August 4th, 2009
9:13 am

JJ,

Carolina would still won the division thru tie breakers. That loss did serve us to move up Draft Day.

Nope, we would’ve won the division if we had won that game. We won the tiebreakers against them.

midnite

August 4th, 2009
1:55 pm

I just got back from the 8:30 a.m. practice. My wife and I were on the field the whole time. They had on pads and there was some hard hitting out there. A lot cooler this morning than the afternoon practices I’ve been to. I smelled those burritos on my way out. Best “new” name I saw was Zinger gotta love that. My wife and I are in that twitter pic of yours (she was taking a pic also) with Micheal Turner, he is a humble guy.

midnite

August 4th, 2009
2:36 pm

DOL, I was mistaken that was J. Moores twitter pic we were in. I saw you and was expecting you to be more “studious”, you know with that bowtie. You looked like a guy on vacation. I was right there when you were talking to Harry Douglas, and also when you were talking to Bergeron.

SPS

August 4th, 2009
3:42 pm

John: The first tie breaker for the division is head-to-head record, which was a wash. Next tiebreaker is division record. Carolina went 4-2, Falcons went 3-3. Carolina wins that tie breaker.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

August 4th, 2009
3:43 pm

Moore and DeCoud both start by the end of camp…certainly by the end of the year…both can play either position VERY well. Von Hutchins may win the corner spot opposite #23. Grimes to the inside with Chevis Jackson, where they both excel in planting their feet and driving on crossing routes. We might trade current FS Coleman to pick up a DL or draft pick for next year right before the beginning of the year. We are going young D-Led…Coleman just does not have the range that DeCoud and Moore have. Odd man out…he could be traded to help shore up a position that suffers injury.

**FBD**

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
3:53 pm

SPS,

Thank you.

SPS

August 4th, 2009
4:00 pm

If anyone wants to cry about one dropped pass that cost the Falcons the division title, it was the game saving interception that Michael Boley dropped late in the Saints loss. It was an easy catch that might have changed the Falcon’s post season fortunes completely. That’s the one I’m still crying about. It cost us a bye week and a home playoff game against the Cardinals.

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
4:03 pm

ATLJBO,

I enjoyed your link. Got all fired-up just watching. They can both bring it.

JJ

August 4th, 2009
4:15 pm

Unca’ bob – just got home, man it was damn hot. I noticed you haven’t been over to the cage since answering my question. I hope their is no problem. You are very impt. to the cage sir!!! Plus, I look forward to our ff match! You were NOT singled out yesterday for the filter (all computer programming anyway). Sometimes it happens for no reason, as we’ve all encountered.

Deep

August 4th, 2009
4:18 pm

Can’t wait for this season

JJ

August 4th, 2009
4:21 pm

Ken Strickland

August 4th, 2009
4:22 pm

It’s amazing how narrow minded some fans can be when it comes to judging a player they don’t like. Because certain fans are upset that RWhite is holding out, they’ve chosen to focus on any negative stat they can find to justify their position. Case in point. Some fans are focusing exclusively on his 9 dropped passes as their justification, while ignoring the 88 receptions out of 97 attempts.

What’s even more amazing is their refusal to consider the Falcons didn’t have a pass catching TE on the field most of the time, which means their were usually only 2 receivers on the line in most passing situations, and Roddy had to fight double and triple teams for most of his receptions.

I responded to one RWhite hater who said he wasn’t in the same league with Calvin Johnson, even though they had the same number of drops and Roddy had more total yds, receptions and was selected by both plays and cosches to the Probowl, and CJohnson wasn’t. TOO MANY OF OUR FANS ALLOW THEIR PERSONAL AND EMOTIONAL ISSUES TO OVERRIDE ANY APPROACH TO INTELLIGENT THOUGHT AND/OR COMMON SENSE.

Not enough fans realize the impact a quality SS and FS can have on an overall DEF. Just look at the top DEF teams, and you’ll see a SS and/or FS prominately featured. With any of the competing SS’s on our roster, we’ll be able to cover the entire backside of the field, which will make our CB play far superior to last yrs. Just look at the superior secondary play that’s taken place during training camp so far. \

Any DT on our current roster will provide a better pass rush than GJackson provided last yr. And if DE JAnderson doesn’t improve his pass rushing skills, he’ll be replaced by CDavis, who registered 4 sacks to Anderson’s 2, and in less playing time. I’d consider that an improvement. With KBiermann and LSidbury on the roster, the loss of DE JAbraham won’t eliminate our ability to provide an outside pass rush.

chc4

August 4th, 2009
4:25 pm

Roddy White is a great player. There’s no denying he’s had some big drops… even during the last 2 years when his #s have been great. That said I have no problem with him wanting a new deal. I DO have a problem w/ the way he is going about it. It’s the wrong way. This regime that they will sign vets to extensions before they hit UFA. White should be in camp… that’s my gripe.

JJ

August 4th, 2009
4:37 pm

chc4 – agreed + he wants top 5, some say top 3 money. I want him to get a new deal, but as great as he is, he’s not top 5. That is why I have shown some stats to corrobarate (misp?) that point. He is somewhere in between 7-10 IMHO. We still need to take care of other players as well who are in camp and playing their final yr. Pay him what he’s actually work so we can resign other players as well!

JJ

August 4th, 2009
4:37 pm

Falcons message board fairies

August 4th, 2009
4:45 pm

Hey NCfalcon fan,

If you went to sleep in your company’s meetings and were a slacker when first hired, YOU WOULD HAVE BEN FIRED!! BEFORE you got to year 5!!
Hello??!!??!!??!!!!!

Roddy White

August 4th, 2009
4:48 pm

Hey D. Orlando, where did you park my car? and did you finish shining my shoes?

JJ

August 4th, 2009
4:51 pm

Why do some people refuse to consider that Roddy White is not worth 9-10 million a year? Why not consider that we want him in camp but not to break the bank so that we cant resign other players? If we add up all the stats, where does he fall? It’s not hating, its called reality!
But I agree to disagree with some others opinion, no big deal.
…I trust in TD!

Roddy White

August 4th, 2009
4:52 pm

Hey, Ken Strickland…thanks for havin my back….these fools think that
just cause I partied all night long and fell asleep during meetings my first 2 years in the league, that I shouldn’t get my money…
F@ck them amd the Falcons….I’m gon’ get mines!!!
I want my new contract so I can get some sleep in the meetings again!
SUCKAS!!!

chc4

August 4th, 2009
5:00 pm

JJ — The problem with these contracts is top 3 WR money today won’t even be top 10 in three years. Everyone claiming the players get shafted b/c contracts aren’t guaranteed…. they’re kidding themselves. The payback for non-guaranteed salaries are the insane signing bonuses they get out the outset.

JJ

August 4th, 2009
5:05 pm

Fishy, fishy, fishy- not biting today!

chc4 – then should they go for less yrs? I’ve seen some bloggers going for 6 yrs, hell no! I’d like 3-4 yrs at 7-8 mill, what % is signing bonus, do you know? Thanks

JJ

August 4th, 2009
5:16 pm

The only reason real falcon fans care about what Roddy is paid: its the cap. Who really cares if a millionaire makes 7 or 10 million a yr? Without the cap, take all of blanks money as you can!
We want to be able to sign other players as well (this yr. and next) within the cap.

chc4

August 4th, 2009
5:19 pm

JJ — Typically the longer deals feature bigger signing bonuses so the team can spread it out over more years. But even 6 year deals are in reality 3-4 yrs that are designed to be renoegotiated in year 3-4. But if the team cuts the player at that time, that’s when they deal with dead money… that’s the amount of the signing bonus that hasn’t yet been accounted for on previous caps. The remainder accelerates to the current cap year once the guy is cut.

I’d prefer we sign him to a 3-4 year deal. After that Roddy will still be in his prime so he’d be due another nice deal (if he’s still performing at a high level). I think Fitz’s deal was 4 yrs $40mm w/ a signing bonus of $15mm. For Roddy, maybe we look at a 4 yr 30mm w/ $10-12 to sign?

AM

August 4th, 2009
5:47 pm

Anybody notice how much improved “all” of the receivers were last year (Jenkins, White, Douglass). Maybe…just maybe…it was because of Matt Ryan and an improved offensive line. Therefore, the arguments about Roddy being lazy the first two years is not wholly fair and those correlations between being a football player and being a corporate cog are not relevant at all. Fitz, Jennings, ect all play in pass first systems that allow them to flourish on the stat sheets; Roddy doesn’t. Does it mean anything to you guys that Michael Jenkins looked so much better last year that he got an extension before the year was done? Maybe because he wasn’t a “bust” as most of us suggested…he just needed a quarterback. Try to do your job without your computer and have some clown call you inadequate.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

August 4th, 2009
5:55 pm

DOL – Great blog. Thanks for the updates. It certainly looks to be turning out to be every bit as competitive as we hoped it would be.

JJ

August 4th, 2009
6:50 pm

smurfy – you killed the blog…lol…give pov or stay in the cage…lol..I’m multi-tasking my friend!

CBrass

August 4th, 2009
7:41 pm

ATLJBO,

Thanks for the link. The hits that W. Moore were handing out….!!!! Man I can’t wait to see both of them play!!

MARTIN

August 4th, 2009
9:11 pm

The Saints are coming, Beware DIRTY BIRDS

mars

August 4th, 2009
9:14 pm

Had a chance to watch practice Sunday afternoon. The player that caught my eye was Aaron Kelly. Wow what a steal! He’s going to be something. I like Roddy, but he’d better realize we’ve got some hands out there.

NY Giants

August 4th, 2009
9:52 pm

Mr. Dimitroff,
You may have heard we are in the market for a big play wide receiver. We would be willing to trade our 1st and 3rd round picks in next year’s draft. You have no pick in the second round next year and impending needs at sam, will, and center. You have just added a go-to receiver at tight end. You have a second year receiver in Harry Douglas that can step in and be the deep threat. If the injury bug hits, Troy Bergeron can be a deep threat for your team. This would give you an opportunity to solidify your roster with three legitimate starters and draft another receiver. Please call.

stendec

August 4th, 2009
10:50 pm

So Roddy “Butterfingers” White is holding out. SCREW HIM! Without Vaseline. His drop against the Broncos cost the Falcons a victory, the NFC South championship plus a very possible Super Bowl berth! I have never liked the sorry son of a betch anyway! Too many damn drops at crucial times. He is like Thrasher Kari Letemin who allows soft goals galore at worst possible times. Some uneducated idiots think that LaLa Land resident is wonderful too. But I digress. Trade the heartless bestard! Matt Ryan has other folks he can pass the football to! Send the cancer packing. The sooner stone hands and his thug attitude are out of Atlanta the better! Holdout my a#s. Brainless self centered MF! Those who whine pay him ARE NOT true Falcon fans!

Ken Strickland

August 4th, 2009
11:29 pm

Like I said, some fans can’t get past their personal, emotional, and in some cases, cultural issues long enough to entertain a rational thought when it comes to certain issues, like RWhite’s holdout.

MARTIN-the Saints came last yr and still finished last in the NFC South. You need to get a clue.

AM-Isn’t it amazing how some of those who complain the most usually exhibit a very low football IQ? The fact that certain WR’s function in a pass 1st OFF, like the Saints and Colts rather than a run 1st OFF like ours, doesn’t register with them at all. Also, the fact that RWhite flurished during the joke of a season under Petrino, and caught 83 passes for 1202 total yds from 3 different starting QB”s(JHarrington, BLeftkowich & CRedmon)proves he’s good at getting open and doesn’t allow turmoil of the worst kind stop him from succeeding no matter who’s throwing the ball.

What RWhite does, and how the Falcons deal with him, isn’t a problem for overly emotional fans to be concerned about.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 4th, 2009
11:30 pm

RODDY: Your car is ready. I don’t do shoes though.

MIDNITE: Glad you enjoyed practice. Training camp is laid back and yes, that was one of my vacation outfits with the hat from the Bahammas. I dress much better for games or when I have to go into the office. If it’s a big game, I’ll break out one of my many bow ties.

Just a 1:30 p.m. practice tomorrow. There were big Roddy talks tonight, but don’t know if there was any major movement in the negotiations. Phone is on, waiting for updates for you all.

Pulleeze

August 4th, 2009
11:35 pm

Out of the 36 receivers on that STATS list for drops, Roddy White was tied for 5th with 9 drops. The 36th receiver was tied for 19 with 6 drops. Hmm, that’s only 3 fewer. I wonder how many times the 11 receivers with 6 drops were thrown to. Stats don’t always tell the true story.

Kieran

August 5th, 2009
4:20 am

Hey, don’t look in black and white at the drops people. Yeah, he had 9 drops. Guess what? He was also the most TARGETED player in the NFL last year. 32.5% of all Matt Ryan’s completions were to Roddy White. You know who was 2nd? Steve Smith, who had 29.5%. That is much lower, too. Roddy is so valuable to Matt Ryan. Pay the man.

The Real Fan

August 5th, 2009
8:52 am

Kieran-Snap!

THE TRUTH

August 5th, 2009
9:09 am

Kieran….that will definitely change this year! Tony Gonzalez WILL be the go-to-guy for Matt Ryan.