What Roles will Biermann and Sidbury Jr. Play?

How Much Will Kroy Biermann Play?

One of the biggest surprises from Dimitroff’s first draft was the emergence of 5th round draft pick Kroy Biermann. He was a seldom heard of defensive end out of a smaller school, Montana, and many people thought it might be a throw-away pick. Experts thought he would have an uphill battle to even make the roster. At the very minimum, experts judged that he would be a project at best that would take several years to develop with his smaller weight for a defensive end. Several draft experts even anticipated him moving to outside linebacker in the pros with his size and quickness that could translate to a linebacker position instead of having to go up against 300+ gargantuan tackles. Despite all the doubt surrounding him, Biermann came to camp ready to compete in Coach Smith’s new regime. He quickly showed his competitive fire and that he belonged in a role to backup John Abraham. Biermann shocked a lot of people in how much playing time he got in a very short amount of time, earning a chance to play in all 16 regular season games. He certainly made the most of the time he got on the field totaling 21 total tackles, but also registering 2 sacks, equaling the same number of sacks that starting DE Jamaal Anderson has collared in two years. A comparison to Patrick Kerney (5 sacks in first two years combined, and then exploding for 12 in his third) has even been bandied about when he came out of Virginia in terms of size, weight, and work ethic.

Kroy Biermann’s Rookie Campaign:
Games Played – 16, Total Tackles – 21, Sacks – 2

With the drafting of Lawrence Sidbury Jr. in the 4th round of this year’s draft, some assumed that Biermann would be a candidate to move back to linebacker to help out the lack of depth and allowing Sidbury to fill the role that Biermann assumed last year with his outstanding pass-rushing skills. The Falcons only carried 4 Defensive Ends on their 53-man protected roster: Abraham, Anderson, Biermann, & Davis. So does that put Biermann and Sidbury in a direct competition for playing time? Coming out of Richmond, Sidbury seemingly has faster and better skill sets (6′2, 266, 4.5 40-time) when in direct contrast to when Biermann came out (6′3, 241, 4.8 40-time). All indications are that the coaching staff plans to keep Biermann at DE, with him packing on almost 20 lbs in the off-season and thus lining up with the first team defense in mini-camp in the place of an absent John Abraham. Expectations are that Biermann will only get better in his second campaign after a year in the system and hitting the weight room.

Will Sidbury find a role in this year’s defensive rotation?

After drafting Peria Jerry in the first, William Moore in the second, and Chris Owens the third, Thomas Dimitroff continued his rebuilding effort on defense by selecting Lawrence Sidbury Jr. out of Richmond. The pick was roundly hailed as a steal pretty much across the board by draft experts and Falcons fans alike. Many pre-draft projections even had him going as high as the second round in some circles with his amazing production (56 Total Tackles, 20 Tackles for Loss, 11.5 Sacks), unbelievable skill set (4.5 40-time, 28 bench reps), and incredible pass-rushing skills.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Sidbury Jr’s absolute domination in the Division 1-AA National Championship Game, where he earned MVP.

The only problem he encounters is that the cupboard seems to be set for this year’s roster with Abraham and Anderson likely to start and Biermann and Davis looking to be their backups. Since competition at all positions is the key theme to this year’s camp, Sidbury certainly can work himself into some type of rotation. It likely will have to come at Biermann’s expense because Davis has been a rock solid backup the past 4 years, even earning a chance to displace Anderson at RDE. Reports from coaches on Sidbury at mini-camp suggested that his adjustment to the NFL might be a little slower than expected. Ultimately, its up to Sidbury Jr. because if he can prove that he deserves a chance to play in some form, you can bet that Coach Van Gorder and Coach Smith will find packages to implement so he can work himself in and use his high octane motor and serious pass-rushing skills. One thing is for certain, having a plethora of talent and a future replacement for John Abraham is a very good problem to have.

A Role This Season?  (Curtis Compton/AJC.com)

A Role This Season? (Curtis Compton/AJC.com)

Biermann and Sidbury Jr. might be the perfect candidates to use in 3-4 schemes that Coach Smith and Coach Van Gorder look to possibly implement in certain situations. Their size, speed, and pass-rushing skills can be ideal for outside linebackers/defensive ends in a 3-4 scheme.  With Mike Peterson and Curtis Lofton potentially playing ILB’s in the 3-4, Biermann, Sidbury Jr., Nicholas, and Wire give the defensive coaches a lot of options. The only issue with Biermann and Sidbury Jr. would be their liabilities in pass drops.

Can Evans or Lucas Shock the Critics?
Two lesser known defensive ends are also in camp trying to make a successful bid at earning a roster spot. A look at the underdog candidates looking to either make a spot on the 53 man roster or practice squad:

Willie Evans – #96

Height – 6′1, Weight – 267; NFL Experience – 1 year
Bio – Signed as a undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Giants out of Mississippi State in 2006. Bounced around the NFL between the New Orleans Saints, NFL Europe, and the Carolina Panthers. Signed as free agent by the Falcons to practice squad in January of 2008. May have inside track to make practice squad again. Addition of Sidbury makes it extremely tough to make a spot on 53-man protected roster.

 

 Maurice Lucas – #64
Height – 6′4, Weight – 260; 40 time – 4.88, Bench Reps x 225 – 20
Bio – Signed as undrafted rookie free agent out of Colorado. Started all 13 games at left defensive tackle last season and contributed with 43 tackles (36 solo) six tackles for loss and one quarterback sack . In his career, Lucas totaled 107 total tackles, four sacks, three fumble recoveries and two passes defensed. Looks to be in direct competition with Evans for practice squad roster spot

 

 

Which is the Most Likely to Happen?

View Results

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Discussion Framework:
1) Will Biermann follow up his impressive rookie year with a successful second campaign?
2) Should Biermann be concerned about the drafting of Sidbury?
3) What role will Sidbury play in this year’s defense?
4) Any chance of Lucas or Evans making active roster?

Next Post Preview: Training Camp Special Edition

52 comments Add your comment

BT

July 29th, 2009
8:02 am

I like Biermann.
It is unlikely that he cracks the starting lineup but should see plenty of reps in the DE rotation.

With El Sid, it is hard to project his role at this point.

Interesting possibility of Biermann and/or Sidbury used as edge rushers in an occasional 3/4.

It`s my bet (right now) Sidbury will see most of his playing time on special teams.

It will be tough for Evans or Lucas to make the roster.
However, stranger things have happened.

The Real Fan

July 29th, 2009
8:31 am

How any of Bierman’s tackles were special teams vs. scrimmage?

John Waynesworld

July 29th, 2009
8:35 am

I have no idea how this will pan out. That’s why I love this time of the year. Kroy’s got the motor and some experience and Sid’s got the speed and a little bit of a legend from his last collegiate game (championship game, 4 sacks). The other two guys are wild cards and it depends on how quickly they catch the coach’s eye.

Unca' Bob

July 29th, 2009
8:41 am

D3,

As much as it pains me, I agree with BT top to bottom. Concerning the odds on Evans and Lucas, stranger things have happened. Jesse Tuggle anyone?

rainman

July 29th, 2009
8:44 am

We need to keep all five DE’s. Between special teams, some 3-4 sets, and Jamaal playing at DT on occasion — the Falcons may find a way to justify keeping five. Pass rushing is at such a premium in the NFL that I would be suprised if one of these guys were cut.

long time falcon

July 29th, 2009
8:59 am

First of all I would like to say that this was a very well written piece.kudos. These are the type of imformative articles that I would like to see more of. I don’t think the DE rotation will change much from last season unless Jamal Anderson is supplanted. Sidbury is in a good situation because he can sit and learn from one of the best in john abraham. And the falcons are also looking much better at DE since we seem to be building some quality depth.

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
9:00 am

D3,

Again great post. Some one described Biermann as a high motor guy and I agree. He may have come in with a chip on this shoulder with everyone suggesting that he was not big or fast enough to play the DE position. These are the type of guys that I like. Can’t wait to see him play again this season. As for Sid judging by the video from the championship game this guy is going to be a beast!! When he get a grasp of things those other teams better watch out!!!

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
9:34 am

Guys and gals I know this is not Falcons related but I felt that my fellow Dawg fans here might enjoy this. Just read it and let me know what you think. I honestly can’t stop laughing.

http://newsok.com/whats-in-store-for-oklahoma-state-this-season/article/3388192?custom_click=rss

JJ

July 29th, 2009
9:48 am

D3, Excellent article, your on a roll. I have to agree with Unca’Bob and butt nuggets.

Unca' Bob

July 29th, 2009
9:51 am

JJ,

Hurts, don’t it?

JJ

July 29th, 2009
9:54 am

APB – Stirg? Stirg? Stirg?

I guess allot of people are on vacation before school starts because I thought this place would be exploding with training camp here.

JJ

July 29th, 2009
9:56 am

Unca’Bob, yes sir, it seams we’ve lost steam but we know it will explode again!

Unca' Bob

July 29th, 2009
10:00 am

JJ,

SW said he had some plans, so his not being here is to be expected. As far as Strig goes, he is lurking and will strike when someone pushes the right button.

John Waynesworld

July 29th, 2009
10:20 am

It seemed to me that Biermann was a little undersized comparable to the way he plays, and since he is quick but not as fast around the edge as Abe, Kroy has had to rely on technique and strength. If he can bulk up to, say 250+, I think he can be even more productive. That would also help his ability to eat blocks and stop the run better and therefore keep him in the game on more of a variety of down and distance situations.

D3, I don’t think Biermann is concerned at all about L Sid being on board. Kroy has his own developmental plan and he did play well for a rookie last year, so he should know he is in a good place. After all, in a ideal situation both of these guys will be playing together for many years to come after Abe eventually retires.

I see L Sid as a situational pass rusher, an extra outside linebacker at times, and of course he will be on special teams. He could represent a real spark for us in the second half of games with his bursts of speed off the edge.

JackofHearts

July 29th, 2009
10:22 am

I like the talents of both Biermann and Sidbury, better than Anderson. It wouldnt break my heart if Anderson didnt even make the team or atleast is a backup at DT or DE. He just hasnt shown me anything in two seasons… I dont think Evans or the other dude will make the team. Training Camp is right around the corner and i am Stoked…..

long time falcon

July 29th, 2009
12:09 pm

I don’t think D3 wrote this article. I could be wrong but this seems way to informative for a D3 piece.

Sarah B

July 29th, 2009
12:29 pm

D3 a most excellent writer. I think you are the best one the AJC Sports page has ever had. Bradley most like hate and vitrol as his blog is at it again. But see we get none of that here. It’s such a relief! I really liked Biermann a lot last when he was on the field and if he can keep Abe healthy again this year by rotating in and out by all means they should do it.

D3

July 29th, 2009
3:23 pm

Good Mid-Week Day Bird Cagers! Hope everyone’s doing well as we are 3 days and counting until Training Camp. Falcons Football is oh so close once again.

BT – Good points as usual my man. It certainly was a shrewd move on TD’s part by picking Sidbury after resigning Chauncey. That just helped to add to the already mounting pressure on JA#98. Is there anyway El Sid could convert to a LB, maybe in the mold of Terrell Suggs?

JohnWaynesWorld – Biermann and El Sid likely aren’t in direct competition, but all 5 DE’s are locked up through at least 2011, so it doesn’t appear to be a grooming process for one of them to take over. Very interesting.

Unca’ Bob – Coach Ken brought the name of Willie Evans to me first a couple of weeks ago and he seemed to be pretty high on him. Speaking of, where is the Coach? He hasn’t joined us yet.

rainman – Completely agree with you. Keeping all DE’s is a huge insurance policy and mechanism for great competition, especially with JA#98 being able to move inside to DT in a pinch.

long time falcon – Thanks for the complement, and thanks for joining us here in the Bird Cage. Just a lot of enthusiasm for our hometown ‘Birds as we approach a new era of Falcons Football.

CBrass – Thanks a bunch. Wow, what a piece of bulletin board material that dude just made out in Oklahoma. One of their players said UGA should be “scared”. OK, keep running your mouth chumps.

JJ – Thanks a ton. Where’s our Bird Cage faithful? Seems like it was on fire up until we started the official Bird Cage. I’m sure the steam will pick back up.

JWW(2) – Yeah, I meant to go back and change that about Biermann being in competition with Sidbury. More than anything El Sid will be in competition with himself to prove he can play right off the bat.

JackofHearts – You certainly share the sentiments of a lot of Falcons fans. Its time for JA#98 to produce, and the fact is he has to, because several guys want his job.

Sarah B. – Just trying to get the Bird Cage up and running. We need to get our faithful back in the fold and we’ll be rockin’ strong.

JJB

July 29th, 2009
3:34 pm

It is still not habit to get to this blog yet. also, you have been posting at a fast clip and people may not be up to speed on your most recent posts. Good columns though. The regulars will show up. No drama, just vacation

Unca' Bob

July 29th, 2009
3:39 pm

D3,

I’ve missed him, too. I’ll look around.

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
4:01 pm

D3,

Thought you would like that. I mistakenly send that to some of the players via facebook…ROFL

Unca' Bob

July 29th, 2009
4:12 pm

D3,

Last post was7-27-09. He was fussin’ at some hater. CBrass left a note before that post about The Bird Cage but, no way to know if he saw it. JJ left one later. Could be busy with his new house.

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
5:57 pm

Where is everybody?!?! I thought things would be on and poppin’ with training camp right round the corner!!! :-(

Dean 21

July 29th, 2009
6:06 pm

CBrass, speaking of Training Camp, do you plan to attend with some of us for a meet & greet? I think most are trying to locate where the bird cage has flown off to….I must admit, it was better today finding it.

D3, sounds like a broken record huh, but you are still the man!!!
You are truly keeping us busy in the cage, well for those who have found the needle….and key to the new blog spot.

Unca’ Bob, I’m trying to remember are you local..I think you are, if so, do you plan to attend training camp?

Dean 21

July 29th, 2009
6:10 pm

Biermann will be a great support player to both sides this year. Who knows what the future holds, but this kid has a strong motor and will get after it 100 percent. With Chancey & El Sid…we should be rolling with the sacks!

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
6:31 pm

Dean21,

I’m really thinking about it. Not really sure just yet. Will there be a certain section that’s reserved for the Cagers?

JJ

July 29th, 2009
6:34 pm

Dean 21, I think Unca’Bob lives in the carolina’s, not sure which one.

JJ

July 29th, 2009
6:37 pm

CBrass, taco-mac after the morning practice is what I’ve read. I’m sure lil dave, D3, or Sarah B will provide the fine print.

Nookah

July 29th, 2009
6:45 pm

D3, great blog as usual. Greetings all Falcon Nation!!

Biermann will be just fine. He is one of those players who are moving up the learning curve and showed flashes of brilliance last season. He will be fine and will be very effective this season. I think we will see even more from him this year because Sidbury will push him in practice and the competition will auger well for the Falcons. The advantage he has is that he has already been in the system and this is Sid’s first year. However, Sid is an outstanding athelete and should definately not be taken for granted and in fact I have a feeling he could be the steal of this draft.

We should also consider that Smitty cross trains his players and both guys will play multiple roles this year. So it cannot hurt to have excellent athletes like these 2 guys.

As far as Evans and Lucas are concerned, unless we have some serious injury problems (God forbid), I don’t see them making the 53 man roster but may be members of the practice squad. However, I would not be surprised if one of them rose to the occasion and give us a pleasnat surprise. After all TD would not sign them if they did not see some potential in them.

Oh by the way, there is something we Falcon fans have started to take for greanted because it is rarely talked about. Do you realise how TD has been able to sign all draft picks in time so as not to adversely affect preseason preparations? Sam Baker was the “biggest” challenge we faced and we got it done before the season started. I have no doubt PJerry will be signed before Saturday. However, we need to give TD the props for being efficient in that regard and he obviously has a good rapport with the agents.

Go Falcons!!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!!!

tdawg

July 29th, 2009
6:55 pm

Long time falcon fan, I know for a fact D3 did write this article. He’s a genius when it comes to his sports facts. Don’t hate on the writer.

Nookah

July 29th, 2009
7:19 pm

‘tdawg’, there are some posts you need not respond to. Take the high road my brother and you’ll see that you will eliminate the “noise”.

Go Falcons!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!

BT

July 29th, 2009
7:48 pm

D3, your doing a great job, as always.
I finally had made the time to watch several of those videos on Sidbury.
That guy has huge upside, he is very quick, has a nice rip and spin move already.
I am quite sure he can be developed into some kind of player.

JJ

July 29th, 2009
7:54 pm

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Bad News

July 29th, 2009
8:04 pm

When it rains it pours:

Abraham………….holdout

Roddy…………….holdout

Jerry…………….holdout

Blank…………….selling stock

4th toughest schedule…………..ouch

Road games……………4 straight

Teams off bye week…………4

Man this is not good at all!

Krebs

July 29th, 2009
8:17 pm

Enter your comments here

Krebs

July 29th, 2009
8:20 pm

New to this blog. Be a fan of the Falcons since the 70’s. Not as hard core as most of you guys. Looking forward to the season. I think this is the year we put two seasons together for the first time in a long time. This team and coach are all about substance and not just about ’style’.

D3, nice job on the blog. Keep it coming.

D3

July 29th, 2009
8:25 pm

Great Evening Bird Cage Ladies and Gents! We want to encourage any of you out there to jump in the Bird Cage and join the discussion. Whether a casual observer or first time poster, this is one of the best, most respectful groups of people you’ll ever talk to.

JJB – Good point on our regulars. Last full week to break before school and the only season that matters gets underway. Less than 3 days ’til Falcons camp.

Unca’ Bob – Hopefully all our boys will roll back in soon.

Dean21 – Thanks my brother, you know I gotta represent our ‘Cage well. Alright, so I’m definitely in for the meetup. I assume me, you, JJ, Sarah B. and who else? Is Seminole and WR coming? Hate to, but I can’t make TMac afterwards. Gotta get home to watch my little wide receiver. What would be the best place to meet?

CBrass – C’mon and meet up with the Bird Cage @ Flowery Branch.

JJ – What’s up my man? Don’t be hatin’ with the Z’s. Well, our regular customers took a rather interesting time to take a hiatus from the ‘Cage, since we finally got our own blog. As JJB said, build it and they will return.

Nookah – Appreciate the ‘props my man. You taking a flight down from up north to join us at camp? Just kiddin’; one of these days you’ll have to come down for a game. Excellent analysis on Biermann and El Sid cross-training. Sidbury should could add some much needed depth to the OLB corps, but I don’t see that coming. Agreed on Lucas and Evans. Coach Ken turned me onto Evans a couple of weeks ago, so maybe practice squad for him.

tdawg – Thanks for comin’ in the ‘Cage. Looks like you might be another Dawg fan, you’re in good company. Thanks for the props.

Join in, Debate, and Discuss here in the Bird Cage.

Unca' Bob

July 29th, 2009
8:38 pm

dean21,

JJ is correct. I live in South Carolina. At present, I have no plans to attend.

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
8:47 pm

D3,

Is there a certain area that everyone will be meeting up at camp?

Paddy

July 29th, 2009
8:48 pm

Bad News…. One man’s sh_t is anothers man’s ice cream.

Sarah B

July 29th, 2009
9:05 pm

Evening fellow Cager’s! Yes I will be there Saturday & at Taco Mac for some lunch and a beer. The weather should be perfect. Isolated T-Storms in the PM, high 82. Not typical for August 1.

Dean 21

July 29th, 2009
9:13 pm

JJ – Thanks

Unca’ Bob, okay, understood.

CBrass, I was waiting to hear from a person inside the Falcons camp to somehow have a table set up for the bird cage crew, no such luck yet.
I assume Sarah B, D3 and the rest of us will finalize our meeting area before Friday.

D3, I hear ya. I am looking forward to training camp!

Sarah B, I too am looking forward to TC & Tmac!

JJ

July 29th, 2009
9:20 pm

Bad news is VS2!

CBrass

July 29th, 2009
9:37 pm

Well I’m heading out I’ll catch up to you guys tomorrow. Have a good one.

God Bless!

Sarah B

July 29th, 2009
9:59 pm

I’m out too.

falcon21

July 29th, 2009
10:24 pm

Bad News, all teams in the NFL will face some sort of disadvantage but the good teams will overcome them. The Birds are heading in a new direction, something we have never seen before. With TD leading the way the future looks bright.

falcon21

July 29th, 2009
10:37 pm

Good Night Bird Cage!!!

D3

July 29th, 2009
10:41 pm

Krebs – Thanks for the complement. We welcome you to join us on a regular basis.

Paddy – Maybe he likes that flavor. Nice.

falcon21 – C’mon brother. No taking the bait from hate-fishers in here. Any chance of you making it up to the ‘Branch? Its a little ways for you though. H, its even a ways for me and I live in Dekalb. Did you get CBrass link from earlier? Okie St. is predicting to beat UGA by 21 points. WOW. Bulleting board material much?

(((Small Change))) Training Camp Special Edition will be coming Friday and we got DT analysis coming tomorrow.

Have a good night all, see you on the flip side, and on that note………..

2 DAYS, 14 HOURS, & 16 MINS UNTIL ATLANTA FALCONS TRAINING CAMP!!!

falcon21

July 29th, 2009
10:55 pm

D3, you caught me as I was about to sign off. I will not respond to it again but had to say that. I’m gonna try to make it, I’ve been to Suwanee several times. It’s not that much difference if I take the back roads. Vacation was great, just too short.

Nookah

July 29th, 2009
10:59 pm

D3, I wish I could make that trip. However, don’t be surprised if one day during the season I call you and tell you I’m heading your way. I have some family living off I20.

All I ask of you guys is to drink a Red Stripe for me!!! Don’t forget to keep me posted on all the action for next week. Sure hope I could be there.

Go Falcons!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!!