Falcons Q & A: Smith gives Jamaal Anderson update

Jamaal Anderson is expected to play half of his snaps at end and the other half at tackle. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Jamaal Anderson is expected to play half of his snaps at end and the other half at tackle. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

On the eve of training camp, one of our regular commenters, BJK, wanted me ask head coach Mike Smith a few questions.

Q: (BJK) HOW MUCH TIME WILL JAMAAL ANDERSON SPEND BETWEEN TACKLE AND END?

A: (SMITH) Jamaal reps will be very similar in terms of what we did last year. In our base defense, we spent about half of the time in base defense and half of the time in sub defense. You have about 1,000 snaps a year on average, Some where between 950 and a 1,050 offensive snaps a year. We end up playing half of our snaps in base defense and half of our snaps in sub, give or take a couple of percentage points. He will continue to play left defensive end in our base package and then depending on what the offense does either by down and distance or by personnel . . . we have to play in sub, we are going to reduce him down and have him play some tackle for us.

We want to have a good rotation in terms of all of our defensive guys. He’s not going to be a guy that plays 65 snaps. Of course we don’t have any defensive linemen who play 65 snaps in a game. Most of our guys, we try to get in the 40 to 50 snap range for about six of the guys. Then there are two other guys, who will be playing in the 15 to 20 snap range.

Q: (BJK) ANY OF THE UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS YOU’RE INTERESTED IN SEEING IN TRAINING CAMP, BASED ON WHAT THEY DID IN OTAS?

A: (SMITH) I think there are a number of young guys that showed very well for themselves in OTAs. But I think it’s way too early to (single anyone out) because we haven’t put the pads on yet. Really to me that’s when you really find out what kind of football player that you have. You must have an opportunity to see them in pads.”

44 comments Add your comment

ToccoaBird

July 28th, 2010
4:39 pm

Its time for some football

E's Dirty Birds

July 28th, 2010
4:58 pm

Dirty Bird Zone

July 28th, 2010
5:02 pm

Looking forward to some Falcon Football!

Wildebeast

July 28th, 2010
5:04 pm

What’s sub defense? Is that like in Battleship?? I bet Jamal Anderson is really good at playing Battleship! He’s about as mobile.

Under Over on Sacks - 4 for the year

July 28th, 2010
5:06 pm

He gonna get beat out by a guy with a big MOTOR!!!!!

I.MUS WRITE

July 28th, 2010
5:10 pm

I can hear Hank Williams singing now “Are You Readey For Some Football” Open practice here i come.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 28th, 2010
5:12 pm

Wildebeast — sub defense = nickel package (4-2-5)

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 28th, 2010
5:14 pm

Under Over on Sacks — 4 for the year: Nice name. What if he breaks out and has 10 this year. (don’t think you can play with two 255 DEs on first and second down.

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
5:20 pm

Enter your comments here

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
5:21 pm

I wonder how many posts before those asinine Saints fans come around? You’d think they would have their own forums to go to….

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
5:22 pm

JA98 has to get it done this year. Or, he’ll be low on the depth chart or out the door. Peters could take his spot inside if he does well…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marcus Graham, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Falcons Q & A: Smith gives Jamaal Anderson update http://bit.ly/cUl13F [...]

David

July 28th, 2010
5:26 pm

I’m just ready for the Birds to crank it up and play some football. Don’t want to talk about it any more. Ready to do it. Can’t wait for a piece of the Aints’.

Sly Ty

July 28th, 2010
5:30 pm

I am very happy today, our team is about to prep for battle. May they all make it through training safely, because I already know of one NFC South casualty. Madden Cover Boy Drew Brees. Long live the Madden Curse.

waynester

July 28th, 2010
5:45 pm

DLed
We’ve been crossing ourselves for the past few years hoping that JA would break out–to no avail. Maybe this will finally be the year(crosses self)…..

BT

July 28th, 2010
5:54 pm

I like JA#98, he seems to be a real nice guy.

How about if, they start left DE that not so likable and opposing QB`s agree?

bass stringerfish

July 28th, 2010
6:01 pm

I am not sure why we don’t just keep him at tackle and get on with it and draft or trade for another DE? If he’s going to play 2 positions, it looks like he’d be better inside and on the nose (although a bit small by comparison at the nose)…He doesn’t seem to have that extra step and that killer instict that other ends seem to have. Just a step slow in the NFL…

Charles J.

July 28th, 2010
6:13 pm

Thanks for all of the good leads into trainingcamp DLed, and for pointing outthat JA98 is of much more value then he’s given creadit for. He’s very stout on run plays and he has a lot of near misses in the sack dept. Now yall need to slow down with your bashing of him. Now don;t get me wrong I truly hope this is the year that his breakout comes, but you gotta know that lil 255 to 259 DE like JAbes. And K Beri. can hold down the point with those big lineman pulling and running them over week end and week out.

alanfalcon

July 28th, 2010
6:14 pm

The Falcons and Jamal Anderson remind me of the Braves and Yunel Escobar, neither of them seems to have the ability to grow up and get the job done, the falcons seem to have a need as the Braves did, play him until they can no longer put up with him no matter the cost.

Hot Bird

July 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

Come on Falcons fans, time to get with me on this.We are going to score more goals than the Patriots this time

South ga boy in the atl

July 28th, 2010
7:12 pm

DOL. I didn’t hear CMS say that JA98 is automatically a starter so does that mean his starting position is up for grabs (Dear God, let it be so) because I believe this is the yr that Bierman takes over as a starter. Am I reading this right.

robertussen

July 28th, 2010
7:24 pm

anderson may not be good at rushing the passer, but he’s solid at stuffing the run.

BT

July 28th, 2010
7:41 pm

robertussen

July 28th, 2010
7:24 pm

”anderson may not be good at rushing the passer, but he’s solid at stuffing the run.”

That may be true but does very little in helping the near bottom ranked defense in 3rd down efficiency.

layinlow

July 28th, 2010
8:19 pm

So of all the players on this roster that you could have asked Mike Smith a question about, Jamal Anderson is the subject? Good lord, I would have been more enamored about the third string punter’s training routine. The Falcons will be stuck in neutral until they do something about this defensive line that cannot get any push or put pressure on the QB. The Falcons did not make the defensive line a priority in the draft or free agency so those issues will continue. And unless harry Douglas has regained his prior form the Falcons will lack another threat opposite roddy white. Because of those two issues the falcons are still not super bowl material.

Wildebeast

July 28th, 2010
8:21 pm

Just watched Rich Eisen interview the Commish on NFL Network. I think Rich should have grown a pair and asked Goddell the salient question regarding length of season, specifically, “why not just charge season ticket holders like me a slightly reduced price for the two pre-season games held in Atlanta instead of lengthening the regular season to 18?” Why risk injuries to veterans like Tony Gonzales, and franchise players like Roddy White and Matt Ryan on a season that will become incrementally too long, like NASCAR’s and the PGA TOUR? Wonder what the Braves charge for a pre-season ticket at Disney World? Full price? I don’t think so. So, who is our advocate? Do we have one? AJC? Please?

RUDEDOGG

July 28th, 2010
9:47 pm

I agree with you Layinlow; we didnt do anything about the weak points on the team. We cant keep waiting on what if players to get to the next level; either produce or BEAT IT!!!!!

take bad with good

July 28th, 2010
9:58 pm

Ok falcon nation J.A came one step of about six or seven sacks, sort of like a force without notice, that is for some of you fans, versatility is key to this players value he must develop a mean streak outside or better because BEERMAN will be pushing him.

fanATicaL

July 28th, 2010
10:52 pm

Rudedogg either you dont know football or you arenot a Falcons fan.The weak points you are referring to.Maybe defensive pass rush or secondary coverage.That could be considered one and the same.Because one effects the other.Better pass rush means less time to cover recievers.Dunta Robinson is definitely better than Houston.Some would even say addition by subtraction.The pass rush comes with an healthy Peria Jerry and Corey Peters.The other issue was tight end coverage.That would be our first round draft pick(Sean Weatherspoon).
I could go on with the depth at almost every position.But the posting of your statement means you havent been reading.At all this off season.Which means you maynot read this . . . .pick another team to almost follow.

D Money

July 28th, 2010
11:25 pm

JA98 I think has one more year. As said before he was always a second too slow to get a sack. Now that we have improved the secondary, hopefully they can provide that extra second needed to get sacks.

rekingball

July 28th, 2010
11:27 pm

SirReal

July 29th, 2010
7:57 am

Im so sick of this stupid “rotation” and we wonder why we dont get anything consistent at that end. I think Biermann should just flat out start on Abes other side and Anderson moved to DT. How can a player truly develop if they are always being rotated? I dont like this particular wrinkle of Smiths defense. Never have and never will. Other than that, thumbs up.

BKJ

July 29th, 2010
8:20 am

DOL — Never thought my questions would be presented in Q&A like this on your blog(and even attributed to me!). My sincere thanks! I am really impressed with how well you interact with and solicit ideas from us “customers”.

I really thought/hoped? that Jamaal’s role would change from last year. Meaning he would move exclusively to DT. I guess if he doesn’t actually start on DE, then his reps at that position would probably end up being minimal anyway.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Coach did not single out any UFAs. Was just hoping there was someone out there that has already begun to catch the coaches’ eyes. Even if so, maybe he doesn’t want to draw attention to them just yet. Or maybe, there just aren’t really any slots available on this team this year?

(Thanks BKJ. I have get the answers for the fans. –dol)

SeminoleWarrior

July 29th, 2010
8:53 am

SirReal, I am with you.

Normally, I am all supportive of Smitty and the Process. But I can not understand for the life of me why the coach continues to put Anderson at the top of the depth chart when he has done LITTLE and I mean, LITTLE. In three years, he has not shown me enough to warrant him continuing as a starter for the Falcons. His pass rush is pathetic in my opinion and for all the talk about him being a force against the run, the tackles sure do not reflect it.

In 44 career starts, he has average 1.5 tackles a game. And my calculator does not have enough decimal points and zero to average his sack totals.

We moved Chris Houston when it became clear that he was a “liability” to the team. In his defense though, while torched like a good bag of Kingsford charcoal at times, Houston did make FAR more plays than Anderson has ever made. I am mindful, through a conversation with a friend, that the most memorable Anderson moment, was a late hit on Tom Brady that resulted in a first down and an eventual successful scoring drive.

Look, how are we ever going to know what we have in Biermann and Sidbury if they are stuck behind an woefully, inadequate defensive end. Biermann is a double digit sack machine waiting to be unleashed and we want to restrain him. He has put in the work to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Sidbury can not get onto the field to show his stuff because he too is stiffled by a player that simply has not produced and to me, is incapable of producing.

JA98 having a breakout year. I stand a better chance of beating Roy Barnes in November to be Georgia’s first governor of color.

Love ya Coach Smith…but this move is not a good one. Anderson is situational at best and the sooner we realize that, the better we will be.

Zone4FalcFan

July 29th, 2010
9:19 am

You guys are missing the point. Starting only means he is guaranteed to open first downs = “Starting” the drive. JA98 is still a lot better than Biermann versus the run, no matter how much of a pass rushing bust the kid may be. Teams usually run the ball on first down. So why put a pass rushing specialist in on first down? Why put JA98 in on 3rd & long? Biermann has yet to prove he is as stout versus the run to this point so he will remain a pass rushing specialist.

Pass Rush = Pass Coverage go hand in hand. CBs/Safeties can cover for more then 5 seconds but it shouldn’t take a DLine 5 seconds to get to the QB. Abe had 39 QB pressures (2nd only to Freeney). Obviously if he had an extra second he would have been back in double digit sacks. When a QB knows he can just throw the ball up in Houston’s direction and is confident he won’t turn around to defend/intercept it, then the DE is robbed of 1 sec easily.

SeminoleWarrior

July 29th, 2010
9:47 am

Zone, that is my point. We can not evaluate Biermann’s complete game if he is stuck behind a situational player. He is better than he is given credit for. And his attacking nature is clearly superior, as is his speed, to that of JA98.

SeminoleWarrior

July 29th, 2010
9:50 am

If Abe had that many pressures coming from the opposite side, you would think that the DE on the other side could have had at least HALF that. Again, it’s just not in the card with this kid. Hind sight is twenty-twenty but I would have someone else in the first round (Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, Brandon Meriweather, Darrelle Revis) and used the first of two second round picks on the man that in my opinion was the best DE in the 2007 class, Lamaar Woodley.

SirReal

July 29th, 2010
10:01 am

My man SW! Hope you and the family are well. Well said and we’re on the same page with everything you posted here. I hope that Smitty realizes that this rotation thing is a joke. Call a competition between Biermann, Sidbury, and Davis for that spot. Whoever wins flat out gets the job. Jamaal is a talented athlete who is STILL very young but we arent using him correctly. His size and length are great for the middle and he could bat down a lot of passes from that spot. He seems to be more comfortable inside. I say put him there instead and put guys at the end who actually have the chance to get to the QB.

terrell

July 29th, 2010
11:10 am

Jamaal Anderson = or < Marvin Williams

Zone4FalcFan

July 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

Terrell I think you officially win this thread! LMAO that made me LOL for real!

But SW even if you look back we only took JA98 because Kerney left and took the pass rush with him. We didn’t need a LB/DB. But Biermann hasn’t shown the ability to constantly stop the run as consistently as JA98 and that is the LE’s main job. Take the best DE combo in the league in Mathis and Freeney. Mathis has more tackles (37 to 24) while Freeney has more sacks (13.5 to 9.5). Biermann I think can match/beat Abe in sacks but isn’t stout against the run. I think he will get it this year with the added weight but you can’t just peg him there if he hasn’t shown full ability yet. Just like JA98 can’t be pegged as a DT yet just because he is 293lbs (even though we all know where both will end up)

Dert E. Byrd

July 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

GET HIM OUT OF HERE!!!! WE DON”T OWE HIM ANY MONEY, WE CAN CUT OUR TRAGIC LOSSES AND FOCUS ON BIERMAN AND SIDBURY ON THE WEAKSIDE!!!! WHAT IS THAT LUDACRIS LOOKING BUM DOING IN PRACTICE THAT EARNS HIM A STARTING POSITION???????? WE GOT RID OF CHRIS HOUSTON, NOW LETS SHOW ANDERSON THE DOOR AND NEVER DRAFT ANYONE FROM ARKANSAS AGAIN!!!!

ps. @ Terrel
< Marvin because he contributes to the team ON DEFENSE!!!!!!!!!! lol

Kane337

July 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

I think JA98 can be a better pass rusher if he would just take of the ankle weights.

SirReal

July 29th, 2010
2:28 pm

@Zone4FalcFan
You make some interesting points there sir.
@terell
HILARIOUS! Pure gold!

[...] Mike Smith actually said on the record to good ol’ D. Orlando Ledbetter that Jamaal Anderson is going to continue to play left defensive end in the team’s basic [...]

[...] Jamaal Anderson is the one Falcon player that fans love to hate. But Anderson does have value, and Mike Smith isn’t crazy for saying so. [...]