Babineaux’s Time for Pro-Bowl? Who’s in at DT #4?

((((Updates))))

Training camp updates will be posted in the comments section as they become available later in the day.

Babs Time for Pro-Bowl? 

Jonathan Babineaux was drafted by Jimmy Mora Jr. in his 2nd year as head coach, obviously seeing an athlete with extreme quickness and agility, he felt worthy of drafting in the second round. Babineaux certainly saw his struggles in trying to crack a starting lineup filled with big bodies and established starters such as Grady Jackson, Rod Coleman, and Chad Lavalais. Babineaux fit a perfect description of a down defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme, but in an ever changing climate of the NFL, a move was being made towards big, weighty nose tackles as many teams were moving to a 3-4, and also giving a big versatility of moving inside to an up tackle in a 4-3 defense. The theory became one that any number of players could be moved inside to a down D-Tackle if they were under 300 lbs. In a sport that has been so much dictated by stopping the rushing attack, smaller defensive tackles were quickly becoming a thing of the past. The theory went that the more weight in the middle, the better. Babineaux followed up a couple of mediocre years in the starting lineup with a solid to great year playing in a perfect fit in Coach Smith and Brian Van Gorder’s defense. Grady Jackson took up at least 2 OL, allowing Babineaux to play his gaps and pin his ears back for quarterback and backfield pressures. His stats reflect a big year in his progression as a Defensive Tackle, regardless of size (284 Lbs). Babineaux was quickly resigned during the season, similar to the way Michael Jenkins was quickly picked up. From the outside, it seems like Babs is obviously in good favor with Dimitroff, Smith, & Co.

Defensive Leader?

On a very young and inexperienced defense, Babineaux surely will be one of the veterans on defense charged with helping a lot of young and talented players mold into a formidable unit. He will likely benefit from the attention paid to the other defensive tackle position through the draft, taking Peria Jerry in the 1st and local favorite Vance Walker from Georgia Tech in the seventh, whom many pundits called a steal. The brief questioning into Babineaux’s character seems to have subsided since there has been nothing but hard work and exemplary moral fiber exhibited since a small personal hiccup. While rushing the passer is a huge part of being a defensive tackles, the D-Line’s biggest area for improvement needs to come in stopping the run. Will Babineaux’s lighter frame be a liability in run defense to a team in desperate need of improvement in that area? Even though we may have given up a ton of occupying space in Big Grady, will Babineaux be able to have a Pro-Bowl worthy year with increased athleticism, ability, and youth at the other D-Tackle position in Jerry and Lewis?
A Good Progression?
2005 – 16 Games, 6 Games Started; 39 Total Tackles, 0.5 Sack, 1 Pass Defenses
2006 – 16 Games, 1 Game Started; 28 Total Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 Pass Defenses
2007 – 14 Games, 9 Games Started; 44 Total Tackles, 3 Sacks, 3 Pass Defenses
2008 – 16 Games, 16 Games Started; 39 Total Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 3 Pass Defenses
 

 

Who Takes Defensive Tackle Spot #4?

What a difference a year or two can make in the life of an NFL organization. Only a few years ago saw Falcons fans arguing who would be worthy of either of the two starting defensive tackle spots, and now an argument goes to who can make the roster by filling a backup spot through a hard, tough-fought competition. There is a small possibility that the Falcons carry 5 DT’s, but with all the competition across the entire team, it seems as though carrying a 5th Defensive Tackle seems unlikely due to their assumed lack of production on special teams. Simon Fraser initially made in on as a 5th defensive tackle, but was waived during the season. Also take into account that we will definitely be carrying a 5th defensive end with the drafting of Lawrence Sidbury. Taking a safe assumption that Babs, PJerry, and TLewis are healthy and locks for the top 3 DT spots, that leaves a rough and tumble fight for the 4th spot, which is key for likely playing time considering that Dimitroff and Smitty have no problem in starting or playing rookies significantly (see Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Curtis Lofton, Harry Douglas, Chevis Jackson, and Kroy Biermann). It looks to be a three-way fight for the 4th and final defensive tackles roster spot. A look at the candidates:

Vance Walker – #61 Height – 6′2, Weight – 304; 40 time – 5.32, Bench Reps x 225 – 29 Drafted in the Seventh Round in this year’s draft Bio – Dimitroff continued a trend of taking a late round chance on local products with the selection of Georgia Tech product in Vance Walker, after taking Thomas Brown from UGA in last year’s draft. Generally considered a potential steal of the draft. Walker was extremely productive at Georgia Tech getting 29 starts in college with 11.5 sacks and being named to the First Team All-ACC in years 2007 and 2008, and even getting Third Team All-American honors in 2007. Terrific speed and quickness and a burst, plays with a nasty demeanor. Average size and bulk, doesn’t use hands real well. Not a sack artist.*                     *Analysis from Draftcountdown.com

Thomas Johnson – #93 Height – 6′2, Weight – 305; NFL Experience – 2 years Bio – Signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2005 out of MTSU. Bounced around to several different teams rosters and practice squads including the Houston Texans, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons to a reserve/futures contract. Played 11 games for the Texans, starting 3 games, and collaring 19 total tackles and 1 pass defense. Johnson has drawn rave reviews from Coach Van Gorder for his solid work in the off-season. Will be in a good position to win a 5th defensive tackle spot if the Falcons keep 5. Will be tough for Johnson to beat out draft pick Walker for a 4th spot. Maybe a good non-active roster spot or practice squad.

Jason Jefferson – #99 Height – 6′1, Weight – 297; NFL Experience – 4 years Bio – Originally drafted in the sixth round by New Orleans in 2005. Waived by the Saints in 2005 and signed on to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad, and subsequently settling with the Buffalo Bills for many years. Jefferson played in 21 games over a 3 year span and totaling 13 tackles. Main backup defensive tackle for the Falcons, playing in 13 games and staring 1, achieving a career high 13 tackles. Although productive last year, faces an uphill battle with the influx of rookies Peria Jerry and Vance Walker, and the return of a healthy Trey Lewis.    

Tywain Myles – #91 Height – 6′2, Weight – 304; Bio – Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars out Tartleton State. As a senior at Tarleton State Myles totaled 47 tackles (20 solo), 10 tackles for a loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Signed to the Falcons practice squad in December of 2008. Not too much known on Miles as he looks to be facing a steep battle to earn a 4th or 5th spot.

 

Will Falcons Carry 5 DTs?

With so much talent and depth on the defensive line, the Falcons may very well decide to carry 5 D-Tackles, in which case Johnson, Jefferson, or Miles would have a better shot. In selecting Vance Walker in the seventh round, Dimitroff certainly continued a good tradition of taking a chance on homegrown talent in the late rounds from the two biggest universities (and rivals) in the state of Georgia (last year, Thomas Brown – UGA; 6th round). Hailed by many draft experts as a late round steal, Walker potentially has the biggest upside combining youth and ability. Jason Jefferson can be seen as having the closest inside track after making the 53-man protected last year and getting to know the system, coaches, and expectations as a backup player. The wildcard is Thomas Johnson, who has excellent size and ability to shock the world and come out of nowhere to make the squad. Tywain Myles looks to be somewhat of a long shot to make the team, but does know the coaches Smith, Hamilton, and Van Gorder from Jacksonville.

 

Who Earns the 4th Defensive Tackle Spot?

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84 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

August 3rd, 2009
11:46 pm

Gonzo is on NFL Network!

Sarah B

August 3rd, 2009
11:46 pm

HAHA noone can say ‘first’

Sarah B

August 3rd, 2009
11:47 pm

Sarah B

August 4th, 2009
12:05 am

D3 we can’t bring back ‘Big Grady’ he signed with Detroit.

Sarah B

August 4th, 2009
12:07 am

God he looks good in that Falcons cap!!!

DaddyDawg

August 4th, 2009
12:48 am

D3:

Not sure who will be the 4th DT to make the squad, but my guess is that experience may play a role as to who gets that position, with the rookie Vance Walker still having a chance to make the practice squad. With Trey Lewis coming back from knee surgery, we need to hold someone in reserve at DT in case Lewis has an up and down season or comes back more slowly than we would hope in light of his knee surgery. In any event, one thing that I think is overlooked is that we should get more of a push and more penetration at DT this year with the talent we have at that position, which should help both Abraham and Anderson/Davis to be more productive at DE!

[...] More: Babineaux's Time for Pro-Bowl? Who's in at DT #4? | The Bird Cage [...]

John Waynesworld

August 4th, 2009
8:10 am

D3, good stuff again. It is really hard to tell this group apart. No one with much experience. They all seem to be relatively the same size and are all equally unspectacular in their own way. This may be a position where one or two players start to shine in practice and in preseason, and one or two get injured, as D Tackles seem to do in camp and preseason. Injuries make alot of roster decisions for the coaches when it comes to the O and D Lines.

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
8:40 am

Lil'Dave

August 4th, 2009
8:42 am

D3 – Great article again! The AJC should give you some season tickets (if you dont already have them) for all the good detailed work you’ve done. Keep it up! I know I’m thankful for the good article’s. I know they were few and far between before the Bird Cage got established! Cheers! And Roddy If your reading this goto to camp! You’ve wasted more cash this week then I’ve made all year! Funny how he’s pissing away money to get more money…

JJ

August 4th, 2009
8:47 am

New video up on nfl.com of T>Gonzalez:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-training-camps/09000d5d811a2b62/Gonzalez-in-Atlanta

Unca’ Bob: thanks, hope your ok with the filter now, it really is needed.

THE TRUTH

August 4th, 2009
9:06 am

Why is it SO hard for people to call someone BY THEIR NAME.
Former Falcon coach JIM MORA…NOT “Jimmy Mora JR.- NOT JUNIOR in his name. He has a DIFFERENT MIDDLE NAME therefore he is NOT a “Jr.”
How do so many radio and TV folks not know this??? HELLO??!?!?!

CBrass

August 4th, 2009
9:17 am

D3,

Another great article. Very detailed and insightful.

Unca’ Bob

That does not look good for Roddy. Top 5 for DROPPED passes!!! For someone asking for a boat load of money this is not going to help his case.

Brian Hunt

August 4th, 2009
9:18 am

Good work D3. You are the best fan blogger the AJC has seen to date.

D3

August 4th, 2009
9:52 am

THE TRUTH – Well, it’s known as a subtle, or indirect if you will, way of degrading someone. Rather than coming right out and saying that he was young, in over his head, or a terrible coach, I used this subtle reference as a way of expressing this. I suppose you did not get that however, maybe you don’t get what they call sarcasm.

And by the way, in case you didn’t know, I am a fan and this is simply a hobby. I have a regular job just like you. So thanks for picking up that one word (as you think was a mistake, but really wasn’t) out of the roughly 1200 words in the article. Nice job. You must work for Roget’s Thesaurus.

topdawg70

August 4th, 2009
10:03 am

In your analysis, didn’t you leave out the fact that Jamal Anderson sometimes moves inside to be a D tackle. I only mention it because it would seem to make a 5th D tackle less likely.

kappellmeister

August 4th, 2009
10:40 am

Thanks for the update, D3, as well as for dumping on THE TRUTH. MIght as well point out to him, too, that “…NOT JUNIOR in his name” is not the proper syntax, either. I think your blog spot is safe.

Good point, topdawg70. I am thinking 4 DT’s as well. Vance seems the obvious fav.

jason

August 4th, 2009
11:36 am

D3, Good morning Sir. Good topic. One we have disected time and again. I will stand on ATL carrying 4 DTs. Babs, Jerry, Trey, and Walker. Competition between Walker and Jefferson. The thing I see is the VERSATILITY of the DL as a whole. We have JAnderson and Davis also both being crosstrained at DT as well as competing for starting DE oppisite Abe. That tells me we are going 4 DTs along with 5 DEs. With Walker making the roster, ATL can really rotate the DTs to stop the run. Then inpassing situations ATL can deploy the Nickel 4-2 or 3-3-5. They can rotate JAnderson or Davis for an extra pass rusher. In the 3-3-5, look at Abe, JAnderson, and Davis, or the 4-2-5, Abe, Babs, Davis, and Bierrman. That will be some new looks for OCs across the NFL.

chc4

August 4th, 2009
12:26 pm

Once thing’s for sure… we absolutely need Peria Jerry to step in immediately. Lewis hasn’t played in almost 2 years and the #4 DT will be a mjor step down. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us pick up a veteran that gets cut before the season.

Jimbo

August 4th, 2009
12:27 pm

D3 – Well done. Your article was well thought out and researched. No surprise though, that’s what we’ve come to expect from you. I have to agree with TopDawg and Jason that we will carry 4 DTs and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we keep Thomas Johnson. Having said that, I have only a couple of TC sessions to go by so what do the other teams that have released him know that I don’t. I’m not convinced we will see Vance Walker on the 53 man roster but the three that I see as the most likely candidates are Walker, Johnson and Jefferson. So, D3, after all the research, who do you think it will be?

DownGoesFrazier

August 4th, 2009
12:30 pm

Seems the Falcons have a bevy of hybrid type DE’s. Anything cooking with a 3-4 flavor?

D3

August 4th, 2009
12:32 pm

Good Afternoon Bird Cagers! Hope everyone’s week is going well as we continue our drive towards the Friday Night Lights Scrimmage @ Brookwood.

Sarah B. – Sounds like you’ve found your new Patrick Kerney.

DaddyDawg – Good point on Walker and the possibility of the practice squad. Last year’s 7th round pick, Keith Zinger – TE, was relegated to practice squad. Coach Van Gorder spoke very highly of Thomas Johnson at DT over the summer, who has more experience.

JWW – Thanks and good point. They really are all very similar in terms of build and frame. That’s why I would think that given the choices you’d rather go young rookie (Walker) so you can develop him.

Unca’ Bob – How’s it going my friend? Did I clear that issue up for you last night?

Lil’ Dave – Great to hear from you. Thanks for the complements. Posts will likley becoming each weekday up until the first game. I guess you found a way through your work computer. Roddy’s already lost over $60 grand due to a holdout. Unbelievable.

CBrass – Thanks a bunch. Love that pic of you and David Pollack on FBk.

Brian Hunt – Thanks a lot for the props man, I really appreciate it.

topdawg70 – Good point on JA#98 training at DT. I just talked about the pure DT’s, since Anderson would likely be just a situational DT, at least for now.

kappellmeister – I think Walker is the favorite as well with his upside and youth. Seriously, two words out of 1200 and that’s the best you got? Thanks for the backing. If its a genuine mistake, I have no problem owning up; but that was on purpose. I meant to say Lil’ Jimmy Mora.

jason

August 4th, 2009
12:34 pm

DownGoesFrazier, There have been some rumblings about some 3-4 here and there in certain situations. I think we will see more 3-3-5 in passing situations. Sid and Bierrmann (the 2 Hybrids) are likely candidates for rush LB in either defense. Also, don’t forget Nicolas. His ability to rush the passer is why he has the leg up at the stonrside LB spot.

tdawg

August 4th, 2009
12:53 pm

Good post as usual D3.

Ryno

August 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

D3 – any sense of what the Falcons will want to do with their extra D-Tackle? Will he be a run stuffer/space eater or someone to get up-field?

Lil'Dave

August 4th, 2009
1:29 pm

Hey D3 I read a cool topic today on possible Falcon player’s on the Bubble to be cut…The article had 6. Redman, Grimes, Finnerian, Wire, and Snelling.. Thought this might be a good topic idea you could touch on if you start to run low on topic idea’s. But I’m sure you’ve already got the next two weeks up your sleeve.

Here is a link to that article: http://www.examiner.com/x-1778-Atlanta-Falcons-Examiner~y2009m7d31-cuts?#comments

CBrass

August 4th, 2009
1:49 pm

D3,

Glad you like. Ran into him when the Dawgs played the Bee’s at Turner field. He’s lost alot of weight.

SPS

August 4th, 2009
1:59 pm

LD, I think Snelling is safe, since he is also the backup FB. This coaching staff is big on versatility, and I believe they also extended his contract this past off season, so they must be high on him. I agree with the other bubble guys, though.

cutter

August 4th, 2009
4:08 pm

Jason Snelling has not received a contract extension, this is the final year of his contract and then he becomes a restricted free agent in 2010. While Jason is progressing as a professional football player and the Falcon organization appreciates versatility he will have to compete to maintain a spot on this roster.

cutter

August 4th, 2009
4:16 pm

At a point last year Vance Walker was projected as a 4th or 5th round pick then he had a rough senior year with injuries (concussion and ankle). Then pulled hamstring at combine so teams backed off and he fell to the later rounds.

BabyGoatEater

August 4th, 2009
4:23 pm

Don’t comment much anymore but……I like to throw out some love when it’s due.

D3 — definitely best falcons blogging on this site in a while. Hope they can keep you around, although you might be getting some better offers since the AJC has a “Blogging IQ” cap below your current level.

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
4:34 pm

JJ,

Tony G sounds ready. Seems to like M Ryan, too.

Lil’Dave,

Good to have you back on board. I like Daniel Cox also. He puts out some very nice articles. Have you had a chance to attend Training Camp yet?

Falcon Devil

August 4th, 2009
4:37 pm

Whoa! When did the AJC give you the keys to the car D3?! Great article! I don’t know if it’s great that there is such a well written blogger or pathetic that the AJC’s best Falcon’s journalist isn’t even a real staff member, maybe both. Anywho I’m giddy for the upcoming season. The depth we have a D-Line is amazing and surely our defense will be much improved as the D and O lines make everything else possible. My real interest is on who gets that second starting CB spot. I have no faith in Grimes, no matter how many good things I hear about him all I can see in my head is him getting man-handled by Carolina last year. I hope either Chris Owens or Chevis Jackson step up in training camp.

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
4:41 pm

cutter,

I see them keeping both Brown & Snelling. Brown will stick for his ST’s play as will Snelling. Snelling led ST’s in tackles last year.

JJ

August 4th, 2009
4:43 pm

Unca’ Bob – good to see you my friend, getting a little biotch slap from coach k right now on d-leds…byt we can agree to disagree…he thinks anyone that puts up stats on RW (negative) is ignorant/hater…unbeleivable! I’ll be back…

Unca' Bob

August 4th, 2009
4:48 pm

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
5:37 pm

I’mmmmmmmm back baby! Back with my Cage brothers and sisters and it feels so good. Was out of the loop dealing with both personal and professional issues. Camp is going strong, the Cage is kicking and the CEO aka D3 is still doing one hell of a great job!!

Going to try and catch up so bare with me. First, Jamal Anderson as a boom or bust? I’m really on the fence here. Anderson has only been a defensive end for three years. He had the “breakout” season at Arkansas which led to his first round selection. The Falcons had greater needs at the time but I will not go there at this time. He displayed some improvement last season under the Sugar Bear and I would like to see more but I do think that he will lose the starting DE job to my man Chauncey Davis. Davis is hungry and I think primed to have a breakout season opposite Abe this year. I’m predicting 10 sacks for Davis. JA will be retained for depth and versatility reasons but my gut tells me that the sand is passing through his hourglass.

Second, John Abraham will not have 16 sacks this season. The defensive line will see an infusion of youth this season. Abe will be the leader of that pack but Coach Smith and staff will not risk having their All Pro defensive star not ready for the stretch run in November/December. Biermann and Sidbury will see a lot of playing time as will Anderson. Speaking of Bierman, this is the year he gets even more activity at both the DE and OLB positions. He is being groomed to replace Abraham given Abe’s history of injury and his upcoming contract negotiations. Sidbury will continuwe to provide depth.

Babs and Jerry are two of the same when it comes to the defensive tackle position. Both of these DTs are penetrating, disruptive forces. They can tackle but are not the “stuffers” needed to consistently stop the run. That person will have to be Trey Lewis and one of the other guys, Walker, Jefferson, or, Jamaal Anderson as a DT.

I have stated on several occasions that Roddy White is worthy of a deal similiar to that signed by Reggie Wayne a few years ago. Anything more than $7.5 to 8 million a season is not smart. TD must hold his ground here and not be bullied into rushing the deal through. Though we would love a vital component in terms of RW’s speed if he was to hold out, we can work around it with the genius that is Mad Mike Murlakey as the OC. Douglas, Jenkins, Fin, Gonzo, and Norwood would have to pick it up in the passing game; a task they can handle with ease.

I’m catching up and will definately be revising some of these comments in the coming hours and days. But it’s good to be back home with m Cage family!!

ONE NATION!! FALCON NATION!!!

Dawson Devitt (D3)

August 4th, 2009
5:41 pm

Good Tuesday Afternoon Fellow Bird Cagers! Hope everyone’s doing well as our Falcons have gone through four days of camp. Sounds like its going well so far.

jason – Great points as usual. I’m sure Coach Van Gorder is drooling to get some new looks out of this defense. He spoke highly of Thomas Johnson, so he would be a sleeper to keep an eye on.

chc4 – Absolutely need Peria Jerry to come in and be ready to play. But from the sounds of it, Trey Lewis is getting a lot of looks at starting DT so far, even though its early.

Jimbo – Thanks for the high complements. With the injury history of Lewis and Jerry I won’t be shocked if they find a way to keep 5 DT’s. Maybe one they can rotate on and off the active roster (45 active gameday roster, 53 protected roster, meaning 8 guys are inactive for each game, but are protected from other teams). If they do keep 5 DT’s they will seriously have to cut elsewhere. Snelling or Brown, a 6th WR, or a 5th safety might get the axe. If I had to guess right now, I’d say its between Walker and Thomas Johnson.

tdawg – Thanks a ton my Dawg friend.

Ryno – Great question. As was mentioned earlier by JohnWaynesWorld, all five of the candidates basically have the same weight and frame. So it would probably be a combo of both if I were to guess. Probably look at Johnson and Walker since they have a few more pounds on the others, but not much.

Lil’ Dave – Excellent suggestion. I have a little friendly competition planned for the Bird Cage in a couple of weeks where everyone tries to predict the final roster, and the winner gets bragging rights (wish we had tix or something to give away, but unfortunately not). Definitely agree with Snelling and Redman, but Grimes has been working pretty exclusively with the first team DEF and had a really good camp. Redman because of this enormous salary as a backup. And not Wire up until they signed Winborn, but Wire is such a workhorse and striker that I would bet he’s probably safe.

cutter – Nice analysis and thanks for the Snelling contract info. Hadn’t heard much from Snelling, but Thomas Brown has had an excellent camp to date. But its SO early.

BabyGoat – Very interesting handle-name my friend. Thanks for the compliments, but I am deeply grateful for the opportunity that the AJC has given me, and the Bird Cage got its start from DO.Ledbetters strong work. Come join in anytime.

FalconDevil – Great to have you back in the “new” Bird Cage my friend. Been a little while. Thanks for the compliment, but I owe much of the success from you guys who help start the original Cage in DOL’s blog. Agree on Grimes game against Muhsin Muhammed. That was really bad, plain and simple. But they are raving about him and he looks to have the inside track so far for the starting spot. We’ll see.

JJ – Tell Coach K to visit us in Bird Cage again soon. We miss his spot-on analysis.

Unca’ Bob – Thanks for the update and link. Yet another WR to add to the fierce competition. You would think there’s an open spot with all the players in the cupboard.

Updates to come a little later………

JJ

August 4th, 2009
5:43 pm

SW – It’s about time bitch! Did you bring our co-host with you, little girl named WR? She’s been MIA the same time as you? conspiracy theory? j/k great to have you back brother, we’ve had Sarah B. filing in for weather reports!!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
5:50 pm

This season, the Falcons will make due with only one “large” tackle and that will be Trey Lewis. When I say “large”, I’m meaning bigger than 315 pounds.

I am reminded of a statement made by the Sugar Bear last year as the Falcons completed mini camp. SB Hamilton stated then that his defensive lines could be effective with smaller DTs if they were aggressive, disruptive, and could make quality use of their hands and feet. He has that in Babs and Jerry. Walker and one of the others could provide depth at the “quick” tackle. But here is one to ponder. TD is a draft guru as well as an excellent evaluator of talent. I’m going to throw a name out there from his draft board of a few years back; DT Vince Wilfork. TD could make Vince his major FA pickup of 2010. That would give up another biggie at the DT position and allow for even more flex in scheme if my brothers D3 and Jason are correct about BVG.

cutter

August 4th, 2009
5:50 pm

Unca’Bob-Semper Fi, who will make the roster or not is something I try to stay away from. Many of us just don’t have all of the intel needed to make any claims on who will make the roster. Kinda like people blogging about who will win a game in week 7. Pointless IMO. My point was that only so many players are “safe” on this team, Jason will compete to maintain his position just like the rest. I doubt very seriously if Jason is 100% sure he has made the 53 man roster for 09 so how could we be.

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
5:57 pm

LOL..JJ, sorry I left you and the Cage hanging but had to handle the matters at hand. All is well in the land of the TeePee; we are blessed and I’m glad as hell to be back in the Cage with my Falcon fam.

WR is missing in action? We had better get Bill Clinton on that case as well!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
6:00 pm

Snelling is a versatile asset that we can not let get away. He adds depth at both the power RB position and behind Ovie as a FB. And he is a special teams beast. He will sign for a modest number and stay a Falcon.

CBrass

August 4th, 2009
6:11 pm

SeminoleWarrior,

Glad to have you back!!! WR has been MIA for a while but hopefully he’ll be back soon also.

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
6:12 pm

Lil Dave, Grimes has hustle and is a relentless player. He works very hard and seems determined not to surrender. It is going to be one heck of a battle over there between Grimes, Jackson, and Owens.

Alex H.

August 4th, 2009
6:13 pm

I’m rooting for Vance Walker. He’s been blowing up the offensive lien during training camp.

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
6:15 pm

CBrass, thanks. Did you decide to compete in the Cage football league?

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
6:21 pm

Alex, I think Walker will be a sleeper and will make significant noise in due time.

Remember all, while we have become accustomed to looking for the big tackles (i.e., the Williams duo in MN), the optimum size of an NFL DT is 6′3″, 305. That means that the Falcons are not as small as it would appear. I hate to sound like a broken record but there is serious merit in the words of the Sugar Bear. Note the following from last year:

“You can get the job done with smaller guys but you have to be a very disruptive defense in order to stop the run,” said Hamilton, who coached Pro Bowl defensive tackles John Henderson (325 pounds) and Marcus Stroud (306 pounds). “Offensive lineman are big, fat hogs that hold you — if you let them. That’s why it’s tough for defensive linemen to come into the league and be successful if they don’t have a good coach to teach them how to use their hands and keep offensive linemen from holding them.

JJ

August 4th, 2009
6:36 pm

A gift for the return of the mighty (80’s) great FSU – Seminole WARRIOR.
Little puppies have dominated ever since…and little bees to follow…

-posted by Atlanta Falcons Examiner:

” Rookie hazing:

An NFL team’s hazing of its rookies isn’t talked about much any more. Some say it hardly happens and certainly not like it once did, but others believe things still happen behind closed doors. The rites of passage most often associated with rookies and the NFL is the carrying of a veteran’s luggage on road trips. That service also extends to helmet and pads at training camp. Rookie defensive end Lawrence Sidbury was seen carrying his pads, but also those of fellow end and five-year veteran Chauncey Davis.

Coaching intensity

If you pay close enough attention you’ll witness coaching occurring everywhere at training camp. During defensive tackle and offensive lineman drills, Jonathan Babineaux spent face time with his fellow tackles, specifically face mask-to-face mask to make sure they got the message. First-round pick Peria Jerry didn’t ignore what Babineaux had to say.

However, the true intensity came from the coaches. The message they’re preaching is to play through the whistle and sometimes beyond it. Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder, unhappy with the effort of one of the members of his secondary, looked him square in the eyes as he let him know it didn’t go unnoticed.

But Van Gorder wasn’t all criticism. He gave an animated thumbs up late in the afternoon practice to his second-year safety Thomas DeCoud for his hustle. Incidentally, three days into camp the 2009 third-round pick is looking very impressive. He’s getting his hands on balls, showing good quickness, understanding his role, and in general seems comfortable on the field.

Special tandem in the making

When asked about the relationship of the 2008 rookie class, rookie cornerback Chris Owens laughed and said “I’ve heard those guys are really close.”

Watching them practice you realize it’s true. They are quick to congratulate each other and they all carry themselves with a confidence that can only be gained through knowing they were a part of last year’s success.

But the relationship that stands out the most is between Harry Douglas and Matt Ryan. There are a lot of reasons for it. Similar age. They play positions that are dependent on each other. Same rookie class.

As they were preparing to stretch in the afternoon, Douglas shared a high-five with Ryan that was more clownish than congratulatory. That mood was light and the two of them seemed to enjoy the others company.

Ryan also enjoys Douglas’ hands. Whether it’s because of holdout Roddy White’s absence or by design, Ryan looks to the former Louisville receiver often. He doesn’t let his quarterback down often. The play of Harry Douglas six practices into training camp has stood out considerably. On a practice-to-practice basis the 24-year-old wideout is doing something to light up the eyes of his teammates. ”

Welcome back SW!

SeminoleWarrior

August 4th, 2009
6:39 pm

The Peterson pickup looks great given this possible hammy issue with Lofton.