Q&A: Thomas DeCoud hopes to follow-up big season

DeCoud posing with a fan after mini-camp practice last Saturday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Free safety Thomas DeCoud posing with a fan after mini-camp practice last Saturday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Free safety Thomas DeCoud had a breakthrough season in 2009.

He landed the starting free safety spot and was named to USA Today’s All-Joe team. He finished fourth on the team in tackles with 113 (73 aolo, 40 assists), he was second on the team with three picks and he had two sacks, according to the coache’s stats after film review.

We caught up with DeCoud right after he took the picture with the lovely lady above.

Below is the Q&A:

Q: What’s been your offseason focus?

A: Just trying to make myself better athletically. I’m trying to keep getting better and not plateau as an athlete. I’m learning everybody’s position on the defense. Being able to get a d-lineman lined up or a corner if I need to. I just want to be that field general. That’s what I want to get better at.

Q: Was it an honor to be named to USA Today’s All-Joe team?

A: It was good to be recognized. I felt like I played well last season. It’s always good to be recognized and have your name called out and put on a team, somewhat of an all-star team.

Q: What’s your ceiling?

A: I just want to be a field general. I want to learn our system in and out. . . like I did last year. I just need to build on the things I did well last year and make the things I didn’t do as well better.

Q: How has the unit adjusted to the new secondary coach, Tim Lewis?

A: Really well. He’s a teacher. Me, personally, I learn on the board and in practice. He’s a guy who likes to teach on the board and in practice. He’s making things simpler and a lot easier for guys to comprehend and get a hold of.

Q: The unit finished 28th against the pass. What are some of things that you all can do to improve

Safety Thomas DeCoud laid a big hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Monday Night Football on Nov. 2. The hit led to a Falcons touchdown.

Safety Thomas DeCoud laid a big hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Monday Night Football on Nov. 2. The hit led to a Falcons touchdown.

against the pass?

A: Just knowing our scheme. Once we know our scheme, we can match things . . . stop wasting time trying to figure out what’s going on. We can match routes a lot faster and get our hands on more balls.

Q: Is being competitive with the Super Bowl champs the team’s number one goal?

A: We go against the Saints every year. They are a good team. They are pretty much the litmus test for the NFC South. If we play well against them, we feel like we can play well against any team in this league.

Q: What are some of the offseason things you’ve done away from football that have been pleasurable or something you’ve been looking forward to do?

A: I haven’t been away too much this offseason. I went back to California and worked out the whole month of February. I took a couple of weeks off then got right back on the grind. You can’t get too lax in the offseason.

Q: It doesn’t sound like there’s too much fun in there?

A: I kick it, but mostly I’m a home body. I’ll go out every once in a while. But I stay at home and play the video games. I’m more a home body type dude.

78 comments Add your comment

florida falcon

May 13th, 2010
7:31 am

i like his attitude.

Kurt

May 13th, 2010
7:32 am

I expect DeCoud to only get better and better.

waynester

May 13th, 2010
7:32 am

DeCoud certainly has the intelligence to fill the role of “field general” and with Tim Lewis now coaching the DB’s this will, hopefully, be his breakout year. Great guy–glad he’s a Falcon…

Chop Buster

May 13th, 2010
7:35 am

I just hope he picks up where he left off last year with his attacking style of play. I love the delayed blitz where he bust up Drew Brees. Let’s Go Falcons!!!

Chop Buster

May 13th, 2010
7:35 am

Oh yeah…and Decoud is my next jersey purchase. This boy is a baller.

florida falcon

May 13th, 2010
7:44 am

BTW-This “first: thing is overated! I thought that after being “first” in a blog, my lawn would magically cut and my mortgage paid! D-led-I want a refund!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Crystal Summers. Crystal Summers said: Q&A: Thomas DeCoud hopes to follow-up big season: Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) What are some of things that… http://bit.ly/dy2TMp [...]

Tom

May 13th, 2010
8:24 am

You’ve got to love this guy. He’s really, really good and he’s humble too. Not to mention, he’s great with fans. I’ve got a picture with him from last year’s Roam the Dome and he was really happy to get up from behind the autograph table to pose with me.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 13th, 2010
9:06 am

He has great range in the zone defenses. Gets over the top well and is rarely out of position. He’s a keeper.

Enz

May 13th, 2010
9:10 am

Pretty decent player. Coleman was said to have an off year last year.

blord

May 13th, 2010
9:38 am

I like Thomas DeCoud and think he will only get better. He was a nice find by TD and the gang.
BTW, I heard a rummor DOL that you were going to have some heavy news today about the dline. Is this true?

AtlantaTransplant

May 13th, 2010
9:43 am

So we know Decoud is a rising star and Coleman has been solid. The next question is ‘where is Moore going to line up this year?’ Is he going to unseat Coleman or just stay injured all year? I had high hope for Moore last year in camp, but now he’s hurt again. You can’t get better without practice. You can’t show talent if you don’t play. Are we ecpecting him to be the answer back there with Decoud or is the arrow pointing down on him?

Wesley Brown

May 13th, 2010
9:55 am

News about the DLine? Can’t wait to hear it.

Oregon Falcon

May 13th, 2010
9:56 am

Hey, we have some Falcons fans out here in Oregon. Three including me to my knowledge.

Hamp

May 13th, 2010
10:16 am

Decoud is one of my favorite players. He missed the pro bowl by the skin of his teeth maybe he will get there this year. I have seen people calling for coleman’s job he is a pretty serviceable vet. Moore better bring it because coleman is not gonna give it to him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 13th, 2010
10:18 am

Blord — Q&A with Abraham was my heavy item. Can’t hold back news. If I have NEWS I have to put that up immediately.

Oregon Falcons
— Send us one of those cool Duck jerseys.

blord

May 13th, 2010
10:21 am

DOL,
Missed it. Computer is currently jacked up so I have missed being able to check things online in a couple of days. I will have to go back and read the interview. Thanks.

Fish2774

May 13th, 2010
10:34 am

DOL it looks like we’re about to see a Ed Reed/ Polamalu prototype in Decoud. You very seldom hear players talk about not only learning his position, but learning his teammates position and where they should line up on the field. That’s what you call leadership, responsibility, and maturity. Way to go………… Decoud

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
10:34 am

I WAS LISTENING TO TIM RYAN AND PAT KIRWAN ON SIRIUS NFL RADIO THE OTHER DAY AND A FAN CALLED UP FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A TRADE FOR HAYNSEWORTH AND HE WAS OFFERING JAMAL AND TREY LEWIS BUT THEY SAID THE REDSKINS DONT WANT THAT THEY WANT CHRIS OWENS AND DECOUD AND THE FAN SAID HE WOULD DO IT. I DIDNT FEEL TO COMFORTABLE WITH THAT. HOW BOUT YOU GUYZ?

Falcon Devil

May 13th, 2010
10:36 am

Nice piece! Gotta love this guy, he’s smart, hardworking, and very talented. Love watching these TD picks mature!

Falcon Devil

May 13th, 2010
10:39 am

J Falcon, the idea that any team would trade the best DT in the league for two scrub DT’s who never have done anything is beyond laughable. The second scenario seems plausible but it would leave us thin at both secondary positions for a spoiled brat, TD and Blank aren’t going to do that.

S. Davis Falcons FAN

May 13th, 2010
10:41 am

Decoud does seem to be a player, if he steps up a little more this year and W. Moore is even close to the pot. he is said to have, or FS and SS are set for the next 7 years or so!! Lets hope the CB step up ALOT this year, and our D-Line makes a huge JUMP, they will make EVERYONE better from our LB’s to the DB’s!!!!!!!!!!! Heres looking forward to a great season! and some PostSeason action from OUR dirty birds!

Truly seems like TD and Coach Smith knows what’s going on! As fans we seem to think we know it all! ! I know I DO LOL

I would like to say that if TD and Coach Smith don’t bring in Big Jonh Henderson to our D-Line they have a reason! Coach Smith knows what kind of player he is on and off the field! They know we could use his talent. So since they haven’t brought him in even for a talk tells me all I need to know.

S. Davis Falcons FAN

May 13th, 2010
10:42 am

23?!?!?!?! GO ME! I agree the first thing got to go! Really grown men trying to BE FRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really you got nothing better to do with your life?

Zoomie

May 13th, 2010
10:46 am

Haynesworth for DeCoud and Owens? No way. We need teams guys, not “me” guys. If Haynesworth ever shows up to camp at Washington, look for him to show up in eye shadow, lipstick, and a long, flowing, sequined gown — looking like the diva that he is . . .

Fish2774

May 13th, 2010
10:49 am

I don’t see TD or Mike Smith interested in Haynesworth. If You’re talking about mental problems Haynesworth is one. This dude is really a headcase. Does anyone remember the crap he pulled in Tennesse?

S. Davis Falcons FAN

May 13th, 2010
10:49 am

That would be a terrible trade for the Falcons, taking on that kind of salary. Hayn’s has proven he is not a team player and the falcons seem to be drafting only high caliber on and off the field players. He takes too many snaps off and too much off the fields stuff! plus he is a quiter! NO THANKS.

Fish2774

May 13th, 2010
10:53 am

Jamal may have brought him some time with the upcoming Babineaux suspension.

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
10:54 am

YEA GUYS THATS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING. I REALLY LIKE DECOUD AND OWENS AND WOULDNT WANT TO GET RID OF THEM FOR ANYTHING RIGHT NOW TO BE HONEST. ALSO WE ARE PRETTY DEEP AT DT RIGHT NOW IM HAPPY WITH WHAT WE GOT. BUT DID YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT MERRIMAN BEING TRADED AND POSSIBILY TO THE SAINTS? ANYONE INTERESTED IN HIM?

CaliDirtyBird

May 13th, 2010
11:23 am

I listen to Sirius Radio too and I’m pretty sure the hosts askedthe callers for Grimes not Owens. The two possible options he gave were: 1) DeCoud and Grimes OR 2) Grimes, Jamal Anderson and a fourth round pick.

The caller said losing DeCoud would hurt but he’d done either one. He also said he likes what type of player Grimes is but sees Grimes as only a Nickle Back. I think the second option might be plausible but like everyone else don’t think the Brain Trust is willing to gamble any young players or mid to high draft picks on Hansworth.

I would not trade DeCoud period.

Screg

May 13th, 2010
11:35 am

who cares what some random dude said on a football radio station? nobody wants Haynesworth. He had 1 good year, and that was beacause that entire Titans Defense was good that year.

truth

May 13th, 2010
11:45 am

To H*LL WITH THE SAINTS!!!

Chop Buster

May 13th, 2010
11:55 am

CaliDirtyBird you are right on…I heard the same conversation. They were asking a hypothetical question if this guy were the GM what trade would he make to get Haynesworth. It’s all in fun…of course this is a useless conversation because it will never happen. BTW, I wanted to call in and tell that dude he’s out of his mind to even have Decoud in the conversation. We haven’t had a decent safety in a long time and you want to get rid of a young, up and coming FS? That’s real smart.

JB FALCON

May 13th, 2010
11:57 am

I realize this is a blog and anything is acceptable but ALL CAPS IS RUDE

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

NAH U GUYS MUST OF HEARD A DIFFERENT CALLER CUZ I KNOW WHAT I HEARD AND THE GUY WAS A FALCON FAN PART OF OUR FAMILY. AT LEAST THATS HOW I SEE IT. I DONT KNOW HOW ARROGANT OR RUDE U GUYS R TO FELLOW FANS BUT IM NOT LIKE THAT. WE ALL FALCON FANS AND TRUST ME I KNOW ALOT ABOUT FOOTBALL BUT I NEVER ACT LIKE I KNOW MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE, IF I HAVE THE OPPURTUNITY I TEACH BUT I ALSO SIT BACK AND LISTEN TO SEE WHO IS AS KNOWLDEGEABLE IN THE GAME AS I AM. BUT SOME OF U CATS NEED TO LIGHTEN UP N REALIZE WE NEED TO STICK TOGETHER AND EDUCATE THE LESS EDUCATED IN THE GREATEST SPORT IN THE WORLD.

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
12:24 pm

My bad JB its that at my job my programs werent work without caps but please accept my apologies.

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
12:28 pm

But yea Chopbuster i wish i could of called in also cuz i dont wanna give up decoud either. i was thinking maybe coleman if moore can stay healthy but even with that wondering if i we really want haynesworth.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 13th, 2010
12:36 pm

Atlanta is No. 2 on Forbes’ ‘miserable sports cities’ list

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-is-no-2-525763.html?cxntlid=sldr_hm

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 13th, 2010
12:38 pm

J. Falcon — No way you make that trade. Haynesworth a major headache. Falcons in post MV7 days are not doing headaches.

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
12:42 pm

thats what im saying i just wanted to bring it up among my fellow falcon fans. i live in jersey so i dont have too many of u guys up here lol.

Sly Ty

May 13th, 2010
1:09 pm

Thanks for remaining loyal, even though you’re in Jersey J.Falcon. To answer your question, no way in H-LL do I trade DeCoud in any package that brings HaynesWorth. I actually like Jamaal Anderson as a run stuffer, but if it were a straight trade for he and Haynsworth, then yes, i would even through in Thomas Johnson as well. Both are good players, and would give help to the Redskins as 3-4 DEs. No thanks on any combination of trading any of the following young players: Decoud, Chris Owens, Bierman, Sidbury. They are all good young players, and with Decoud I will say he is an outstanding young player.

Greg

May 13th, 2010
1:25 pm

There’s a nice highlight film on DeCoud on youtube. Re-visit some exciting moments from last season (I love to watch him play…he brings it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uIGSDghH5Q

Fish2774

May 13th, 2010
1:45 pm

J.FALCON, I knew you had to be up north because since moving back home to GA from D.C. I have told these folks done here that real fans don’t turn on their teams they ride the wave all the way through. I’ve been to numerous games while living round the Beltway and you wouldn’t dare hear fans from DC, B-More, Philly, or New York throw their teams under the bus. But it seems to happen in Georgia everywhere I’ve been. I can say there are plenty of fair weather fans here in Atlanta.

ScoutDawg

May 13th, 2010
1:55 pm

Yeah, I really like this young mans attitude. IF we can get PJ, and the other hurt safety back(Moore), plus the good corner we lost to injury at the beginning of last years season, plus the plethora of DT’s damn we should have a good defense.

alanfalcon

May 13th, 2010
1:56 pm

Sounds as if Thomas wants the lead role and you can’t say enough about that willingness to take control and make the unit function sucessfully. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
2:02 pm

Yea fish i guess they dont know what its like when u r surrounded by so many non-falcon fans. nothing but giants, jets, eagles, cowboys, steelers, patriots n more lol around me.

Samuel

May 13th, 2010
2:30 pm

You keep Owens and Decoud, their going to be good players for a long time. I know Moore is frustrated- How can you compete for a job when you keep getting hurt? I just hope he doesn’t have the Grant Hill syndrome. Where it took the last part of his career to get healthy. Say what you want but Grimes is a baller, he can jump high and plays like he’s six two. Jamaal Lewis is a weak link, We should try to package this guy with a draft pick. If anyone is interested.

Brent

May 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

Wouldn’t trade Decoud for 2 Haynesworths

Hollywould

May 13th, 2010
3:02 pm

Fish, you are livin in a fish bowl. Check out the washington/philly blogs and tell me the people don’t turn on their team. WAKE UP MAN

Paddy

May 13th, 2010
3:07 pm

Just reading between the lines here. Better coaching coming to the db’s this year than in past. It can only help.

J.FALCON

May 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

but its the eagles Hollywould everyone knows what their fans are like