Is Houston a Franchise Corner?

Is Chris Houston a Lockdown, Franchise Cornerback? 

A Number One CB? (atlantafalcons.com)

A Number One CB? (atlantafalcons.com)

Ups and Downs
Drafted alongside his Arkansas teammate Jamaal Anderson, Chris Houston decided to forgo his senior year in college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Little did he know that he would get picked with his teammate by the same team in the same year. Like Anderson, Houston has seen mixed results, thus creating a split about his abilities and performances as a Falcon. Supporters are quick to point out his solid progression and the fact that he’s played in every game in Red & Black (32 games in 2 seasons), and starting in all but 5 games in two years. His backers point out that he had an excellent 2nd year, doubling his pass defenses (16) and interceptions (2). They acknowledge that, besides quarterback, no other position is more difficult than Cornerback, drawing the top receivers in the game week in and week out. As a number one corner drawing the best receivers in the game, Houston may have given up yards, but helped contribute to the Falcons being ranked 11th in the NFL in points per game on defense.

Good Progression

Supporters will say that he has done exceptionally well learning to play one of the hardest positions in the game under two different coaching staffs. Many can assume that Smith, Van Gorder, and Dimitroff obviously feel that Houston must be in their long-term plans by allowing an extremely productive and consistent Foxworth walk into the Free-Agency sunset. A great argument for Houston is the obvious weakness in pass coverage by an aging Lawyer Milloy, which they subsequently allowed to walk.

 

 

Houston’s 2008 Campaign
Games Started – 16, Total Tackles – 61, Passes Defensed – 16, Ints – 2, Def TD – 1

Too Many Big Plays
As with Anderson, Houston also has detractors among the fan base that think he simply is not a lockdown corner and has serious issues in the secondary. These fans will always point out that Houston is getting torched at key times and that he isn’t physical enough to be effective in man-to-man coverage. This is especially true since he draws each team’s best receiver, getting two of the better ones in the NFL twice in a year in Steve Smith of the Panthers and Marques Colston of the Saints.

Many critics say that he is entirely too passive and won’t come up to make a big hit in the run game or is capable of shutting down top receivers on a consistent basis. All corners get torched from time to time, but it seemingly happens more often than it should for a number one corner. The fail-safe plays they consistently bring up are the 3rd and 17 last second torching by Rashied Davies against the Bears with seconds left and the 47 yard bomb to Brandon Marshall on 3rd and 7 against the trailing Broncos with seconds left in the game. Opponents of Houston use the fact that Dimitroff drafted two Cornerbacks in this years draft, Chris Owens and William Middleton, and one in last years draft, Chevis Jackson, to support their belief that the coaching staff doesn’t believe he is a franchise cornerback.

Chris Houston has created a pretty big split among Falcons fan (likely majority favoring him) regarding his performances and ability as a starting cornerback for the team over the last two years. Even though he may not have had years in the mold of recent cornerbacks taken in the draft, such as Leodis McKelvin or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he has shown progression in an ability to limit number one wide receivers, even if he hasn’t reached the capability of being a true shutdown corner. Excluding giving up some really big plays at truly bad times, Houston has seemed to solidify his status as the Falcons number one Cornerback. It might be a touch unnerving to see Dimitroff draft three corners in 2 years, taking 2 in one draft.

Discussion Framework:
1) Is Chris Houston a lockdown cornerback?
2) Will Houston have direct competition by Owens, Jackson, Grimes, or Hutchins?
3) Should he be concerned that Dimitroff drafted 3 CB’s in 2 years?
4) Does Houston’s penchant for giving up the big-play worry you?

Daily Tailgate Recipe
Perfect recipe for some of those cold-weather games in December, Scott’s Mountain-Thunder Football Chili, courtesy of Scott Shaffer & FoodNetwork.com

Next Topic Preview:  Who Locks Down Open CB Spot?

97 comments Add your comment

GT GRAD

August 11th, 2009
10:53 pm

I am a huge Falcons Fan and I want the birds to be successful each and every year!

I sincerely hope Houston develops into a solid corner. He has decent man-to-man coverage skills, but he has been a liability in zone coverage thus far in his career. He has a history playing the receiver and having absolutely no idea where the football is until the receiver makes an attempt to catch the ball. I am sick and tired of watching him cover a receiver with his back to the quarterback (trying to catch up with a receiver who has beat him deep). He has a LONG way to go before I consider him a “Lockdown Franchise Cornerback”. I hope he has improved on his ability to stay with receivers and play the football. I also really hope he has improved his zone coverage skills. I trust the coaching staff, but I am also afraid Houston is simply the best we have to offer at this juncture. I sincerely believe cornerback is the weakest position on the team…………if cornerback is not the weakest position on the team, I wonder what position other fans or Coach Smith would say is the weakest position this year?

Another legitimate question: Do we have a starting caliber corner for the other side of the defensive backfield?? Cornerbacks with “potential” get burned on a consistent basis in the NFL every year. We have several corners with potential, but no obvious proven starters.

Go Falcons and I hope Chris Houston plays his way into the Pro-Bowl this year!!

BT

August 11th, 2009
11:44 pm

Interesting question D3, great job of laying it out, as usual.

I like Houston OK but he is a long way off from being an elite ‘’shut down ” corner.
That said, I am not sure of the need to have one in our cover 2 scheme?
The deep cover responsibility relies on having good cover safeties and in the short seams good cover LB`s will benefit any corner.
IMO Houston has good hip turn and speed but is somewhat less aggressive than I would like.
He will have direct competition from Owens and Jackson (eventually) but you can take Von Hutchins out of the mix, Grimes continues to be an enigma and Hutch is getting reps at safety.
Seems to me, almost all of the Falcons secondary personnel are cut from sort of the same mold except for Jackson and Moore.
Those two have the size to match up against the bigger receivers that we are sure to get a big dose of playing in the NFCS.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
1:14 am

Checking in on the Cage after the nightbeat…another stimulating question by the CEO.

I’m really torn on this subject. Houston has flashed some potential but I am going to put him in the same class as I put Jamaal Anderson. They were quite smart to use their “one year wonder status” to cash in on the NFL draft. But I am still waiting for that “it” factor to emerge.

Houston has the skills to evolve into a very good corner. His hand placement is good, at times he jams receivers well off the line, and he displays quick feet. He appears to have the speed to run with receivers yet doesn’t attack the ball as aggressively and frequently as you might want. He does not do enough in run support either.

Given that he has been a starter at CB for three years, one in college and now two in the NFL, he is still evolving. I’m hopeful that this is the year he takes it to the next level. He would do well to look at the attitude and aggressive nature that both Owens and Grimes are bringing to the table. They are all similiar sized but the physical nature that Owens and Grimes are packing separates them at this time. Houston may need to be concerned. Grimes has shown he is not backing down and he is a lock to make this team. Owens is going to be an excellent nickel or he may challenge next season for a start; same with Jackson. Hutch is for depth, special teams, and nothing more.

I’m going to watch Houston closely. With more speed behind him at the SS position, I’m going to give him a shot at redemption this season. He will have no excuse with Coleman, Moore, DeCoud, and Fudge back there. It is now time to show me what you are working with Chris. The time is now.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
1:22 am

GT Grad, I’m going to agree with you that at the cornerback position, it does appear that we are limited. But personally, I like what I see in Brent Grimes. His tenacity impresses. He never gives up on a play and seems committed to working as hard as it takes to be the best. I’m giving the RCB position to him as a starter because I simply see no one else at CB with as much hussle, heart, and attitude to get better.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
1:27 am

GT Grad raises one more point…is there another weakness. I know this subject line is about Houston. But I have ask one question since GT is on a point here. Is there another area of weakness on the defense?

Here comes the heat..I feel it. I’m going to say I have questions at the DT position. Other than Babs, I’m not sure what we have. Jerry has not shown me much thus far; hoping the preseason changes my mind. The BIG question is if Walker is having such an incredible camp, why in the hell is he 4th on the depth chart and behind Lewis, Johnson, and Miles.
And are we to assume that Jamaal Anderson is REALLY improved enough to be ahead of Chauncey Davis still? I’ll stop there since this segment is about Houston but thank GT Grad for opening the door on these points.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
1:32 am

Going to get some zzzzzzzz’s in…I have a feeling this will be a good discussion once UnCa Bob, CB, JJ, and the rest of the day beat awake. Peace be yours Cage Family…see ya on the other side.

ONE NATION…FALCON NATION!!

Chris in VA

August 12th, 2009
1:42 am

I know this is supposed to be about Chris Houston-but wanted to say that these “blog starters” are simply fantastic. Not only are they in depth, but they start entertaining dialogue that fans can really sink their teeth into! Bravo from VA, please keep it up!

ATLJBO

August 12th, 2009
2:32 am

I feel like most are to hard on Chris Houston…If you re watch the Brandon Marshall play, you will see that Lawyer Milloy was suppose to have the inside of the WR but Milloy bit on an off look by Cutler… I agree that he has to keep improving because the guy is not a Lockdown CB right now but i do feel like he has the talent and ability to become that type CB……

Chris Houston has to learn how to read the ball better and also stay aggressive…Ive seen CH in position to get the int but since his head never turned the WR makes the play.. I feel like Chris Houston has to continue to improve but he is better then some give him credit ….

Today Roddy White said Chris Houston has improved from last…The guy has to continue to improve.

Combine Numbers

40 Yrd Dash: 4.32
20 Yrd Dash: 2.52
10 Yrd Dash: 1.50
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 27
Vertical Jump: 36
Broad Jump: 10′02″
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.12
3-Cone Drill: 6.94

JJ

August 12th, 2009
7:13 am

D3, great article buddy.

We had this discussion back in the spring and I was bashing CH and Coach Ken S. tore me a new one. Basically, with the lack of safety help and qb pressure, CH was a lonely man on an island. If that was the case, then I agree with SW, no excuses this yr. How many of us grew hoarse from screaming at CH last yr. In the chicago game, everyone Knew where Orton was going and sure enough, post-out – 6! CH got burned several times in that game, not just deep balls w/ no safety. He does not check up at the line of scrimmage. He has great potential but he’s far from a shut-down corner!

Besides corner, I’m also concerned about DT, mainly health issues. Can Lewis and Jerrys’ knees hold up for 16+ games? If Lewis has fluid buid-up in his reconstructed knee, is he even worth a roster spot. Is 2 yrs going to turn into 3 yrs? Hope I’m wrong, but he may be our Hampton!

Alex H.

August 12th, 2009
7:41 am

I think Chris Houston is a decent corner and will show steady improvement under VanGorder and Smith. I’ll be interested to see how Owens and Middleton play this preseason. Grimes definently gets my vote for 1st string defense. SeminoleWarrior brings up a great point about the DT position and I would enjoy hearing more opinions on the issue this preseason. I went to 3 training camp sessions and Peria Jerry was basically getting manhandled the entire time. Vance Walker practically imploded the OL each time he was on defense. I suppose draft rank plays a lot in the preseason depth chart, but Vance will hopefully be rated higher later during the preseason. I am also a bit concerned about Lewis’ knee. I hope he’s okay.

rainman

August 12th, 2009
7:42 am

Houston is our best CB – period…

JWW

August 12th, 2009
7:57 am

Good morning D3, good stuff AU. This is a tough one because Houston has really done a yoeman’s job with that position. Old Falcon’s fans like me who have lived through the likes of Charles Dimry (and DeAngelo Hall)have developed a natural “cringe” anytime the opposing quarterback rears back to throw the deep ball. In our collective minds we instantly imagine a wide open receiver downfield and an easy touchdown. I can still picture DeAngelo pointing at the nearest safety as if to say, “He was yours!” But with Chris we don’t see too much of that. He seems to keep most of the number one receivers in check and yes he will eventually bow at the alter of Larry Fitzgerald, but what NFL cornerback hasn’t? Houston does tend to watch the receivers hands more than the incoming ball, betting he can swat the ball out of the receiver’s hands quicker that his man can secure the ball away. But hey, it works! Most of the time anyway. Chris will only get better.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
8:23 am

LOL, JWW. True that. Where is Rolland Lawrence when you need him huh?

jason

August 12th, 2009
8:28 am

Sorry guys, late to the party. D3 has brought some interesting questions on this topic. Could it be the inability of a pass rush has cost Houston to get burned frequently. The longer in coverage, the higher percentage of a pass completion. Houst in not a “Shut down” CB. I don’t think he ever will be. But I think he can be a good consistent CB. I believe it was SW who brought up the help over the top. I think this also will play a role in Houston’s continued developement. What I noticed about Houston is him being scared to get beat deep, there fore not really covering the WR. With better and FASTER Safety play, he can concentrate on the play in front of him, and not past him. Football is a total team sport, a total team effort. You have to rely on the guy next to you. Houston and the other CBs now have Safeties to rely on. With the move of Coleman to take Milloy’s vacated spot, and the emergence of DeCoud and Moore…. Couple that with a better overall pass rush, Houston, Grimes, Jackson, and Hutchins all 3 should improve and become more consistent. Houston, however better be looking over his shoulder because Owens is coming, and he is coming fast.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
8:48 am

Good morning Cage.

I agree with you Jason on the pass rush issues. Outside of Abe, there was not pass rush. That has got to improve thus my points on the DT position. Houston will have a noticeable improvement behind him at S with Coleman and DeCoud. Another year with Coach Reynolds I hope is key in improving Houston’s still evolcving game.

Stirg d'Nahsif

August 12th, 2009
9:38 am

Questioning Houston’s ability to “shut-down” receivers is irrelevant, when our defensive system (Cover 2) does not require our DB’s to be shutdown corners. Houston may have been a “shutdown” corner in college but this scheme does not require those skills in our secondary. I think that this is the reason why Houston has struggled in his first two years at the position; he had to adjust. Consider this, if you’re the only child in your family, you spend 18 years of learning how to depend on numero-uno. You defend your space and you learn how to survive on “your island”. Then, at 18, you enlist into the military or you enroll in college. I would suspect that an adjustment is needed in order to adapt to your new surroundings. Some people adjust well and some people need a little more time. One example to this logic would be Chris Houston’s college and professional team-mate, Jamaal Anderson. Here’s a guy that played tight-end (one of the most difficult positions to learn, on the field). I would expect that it would take a little more time, than usual, to adjust to defensive end.

In defense to Houston’s shortcomings, our scheme is not dependant on “shut-down” corners. Besides, I thought “shut-down” corners don’t exist anymore. I thought Neon Deion “Primetime” Sanders (the greatest athlete in NFL history) was the last of the “shutdown” corners? You can even catch a pass on Champ Bailey, these days. More and more, defensive schemes are helping their corners defend high-powered passing attacks.

To answer the question, Houston will start and prosper into the adjustment of our scheme. Grimes, Owens, Middleton (albeit, they are very athletic) are all perfect for our scheme. Take those same names and put them on an island in Pittsburgh or Baltimore (defenses that require more traditional man-coverage) and I bet they struggle. In essence, it was an easy decision to let Foxworth walk because his skills are more “shutdown-like” and is a better fit for defenses that blitz heavy and keep eight men in the box.

This theory may also be the deciding factor on who plays opposite Chris Houston. I really, really like Chevis Jackson. I think he is an exceptional cornerback; but his skill is more “shutdown-like” than defending a zone. Thus, he plays the nickel position, that requires a corner to simply shadow that third receiver. The nickel position, actually, is perfect for Jackson’s skill set. Houston, Jackson and Grimes in a cover-two scheme with DeCoud and Coleman/Moore lurking is a corp that I’ll go to battle with every Sunday. Houston was burned, several times, because of the slow adjustment coming from his help (i.e., Lawyer Milloy); not because he’s slower or less skilled than his opponents. Put a pro-bowl safety behind him and Chris Houston enters the pro-bowl as well.

Falcon Devil

August 12th, 2009
10:16 am

Wow all the things I wanted to say about Chris Houston were fantastically articulated by previous posters. Hail to the Birdcage!

dacha

August 12th, 2009
10:21 am

Excellent topic, D3. I think that Stirg really put things in perspective (as usual). While it was great to have Foxworth, he was not the kind of player to fit into our defensive scheme. We just don’t need “shutdown” corners. We need guys like Grimes and Owens, who can cover below a receiver while the safety covers the top. Notice how they are all smaller in size, yet have quick feet. This is why we have kept Houston. He fits into the mold perfectly. Nevertheless, he does need to work on his ball skills, but this will come. I personally think that Houston should play the #2 spot like he has been and Grimes should win #1. This leaves Chevis Jackson so be the nickel back, because, just like Stirg said, he is better equipped to handle a receiver without the over-the-top help. We should notice a big difference in Houston’s play this year with DeCoud and Moore playing above him.

Primetime is retired,

August 12th, 2009
10:23 am

Deion was the last truly shutdown corner and lets face it , He spoiled us. There are not too many shutdown corners especially with the rules that are in place. Lets play ball. Tired of waiting. Go Birds.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
10:30 am

Stirg, what’s happening my brother. It appears we share several views on Houston, his evolution, and the issues at safety. Jackson is perfect for the zone and thus the advent of my beloved cover two. Why do I like the cover two. It is all about personnel and speed.

The ATL defense, as Stirg pointed out, and as myself and others have been advocating for months is moving towards the cover two concept. And it will succeed as long as we allow the Process to continue. There will still be some “bend” but given the upgrades in the deep secondary as well as at the LB positions, I see fewer breaks this season. Houston, Grimes, Owens, Coleman, Moore, DeCoud; I’m with you Stirg, I see Pro Bowls in the future for them all and a very good seconday SOONER rather than later.

If only we had taken Ziggy Hood?

Falcon Devil

August 12th, 2009
10:41 am

SW, no disrepect but I think expecting pro-bowls for every member of our young and yet to be viewed secondary may be a little overly oppimistic and premature. Not trying to burst bubbles but there is much to be seen. I do like the attitude tho!

Stirg d'Nahsif

August 12th, 2009
10:42 am

lol…Seminole, I see you are still stuck on Ziggy, huh? I’m with you, I think he’ll be a very disruptive tackle, for years to come; however, I’m very sold on Hip-Hip Peria. I just think, like Hood, he needs professional coaching and a little time. I also think that Ziggy fits Philly’s scheme more so than he fits our scheme. Take me back to draft day, I’ll still take Peria.

You developed another valid point. The pass rush is essential for the secondary to succeed. Here, lies another reason why Houston, and most of our secondary, struggled last season. I don’t care who your corner is (Deion, Champ, Houston, anybody), if you give a quarterback four seconds or better, he will connect with a receiver. Good point.

Thanks for the props, dacha.

BIRDMAN

August 12th, 2009
10:45 am

OH BOY . You guy’s give me so much knowledge on the game and team . I’m glad I found ya’ll .I m so much lookin forword to seein the outcome of all this.

Reading these blogs is like a drug adict gitin there fix……..Thanks D3 and cager’s

tdawg

August 12th, 2009
10:59 am

The Falcon’s Coaching Staff is one of the best in the league, so it would seem. If Houston can’t produce in this environment and prove his worth, then perhaps he is not our lock down cornerback. I think he absolutely should be worried with the competition that has been drafted by the Falcons in the last two years. And if you are a true football fan, then anytime one of your number one players gives up big plays, you should be concerned. In this business, either produce or be replaced. Good post D3.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
11:06 am

F Devil, I’m sorry you misunderstood me. I’m simply saying, as they evolve over time, and the PROCESS continues, there is solid POTENTIAL for a PB selection at some time for each of them. I think they are that good.

I’ll be more complete in my thoughts in the future. Thanks for keeping me eral though, bro.

Stirg, I’m a sore loser..LOL. I’ll be watching him closely on Saturday night. And I will be checking Ziggy out tomorrow on ESPN as the Cards and Steelers go at it.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
11:14 am

Like I stated yesterday, strap in Birdman and enjoy the ride. The best is yet to come. I have said it before and I will say it again.

The Cage, under the tutelage of our esteemed CEO aka D3, and the gracious nature of our brother DO Led, IS destined to be the PREMIER destination for all things Falcon!!

Stirg d'Nahsif

August 12th, 2009
11:19 am

Seminole, while you’re watching him on Saturday, let me remind the cagers of our competition this weekend (I don’t mean to change the D3).

Remember that you seen me say it first. Daunte Culpepper will have a considerable amount of votes into the Pro Bowl this year. This guy shedded some weight and is playing like he just got laid off at the GM plant. The man is a beast. Daunte resembles the ‘98 Daunte; and guess what? He has a Calvin Johnson to toss it too. I’m not pumping him up because I’m here (there’s not an NFL player I like better than a current Falcon, period). I just give credit where its due. The only thing that’ll stop Daunte from putting up Pro Bowl numbers, is their offensive line. Other than that, be aware, my Falcon buddies, be very aware of Daunte’s arm this weekend.

Unca' Bob

August 12th, 2009
11:23 am

The Falcons concluded 11-on-11s with QB D.J. Shockley throwing a deep touchdown pass to WR Eric Weems.

Falcons CB Chevis Jackson stole a catch away from TE Tony Gonzalez, snagging it just as the ball was arriving.

Falcons S Erik Coleman on the offense: “I don’t see how the offense could get any better, on paper.”

chzbykr

August 12th, 2009
11:25 am

This is by far the best and most informative Falcons blog around. Keep it coming guys; I’m lovin it.

Unca' Bob

August 12th, 2009
11:28 am

Houston…….I have a problem! God put your head on a swivel, use it!!

Whew. Sorry ’bout that. I needed to vent. The very few games I saw last year had the same theme, over and over. When the sidelines and your teammates start yelling, Ball, Look!

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
11:34 am

Stirg, I’m with you. To quote that classic Dylan Thomas poem, “Don’t go gently into that good night..” Daunte is not going away down without a fight. He knows this is an audition for the future. And he is going to make the best of it. Add to it the fact that he has continuity at the OC position again as he is re-united with Scott Linehan. I certainly hope that the reunion, as Peach and Herb gave us, does not feel good on Saturday night.

In bringing up this point, you highlight again what I feel is the most crucial point going into the preseason. I want to see that pressure!! Our cover two NEEDS pressure!!

I want to see several sacks on Saturday. Give me a pair from the DT position; I’m predicting Walker will get me one – his motor from the reports UnCa Bob and others are providing suggests he is on a tear. Hip-Hip Perry needs to show up as does Trey Lewis.

I want to see the other DE players (anyone other than Abe) get at least two. This is a critical test, in my opinion, for the DL.

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
11:43 am

UnCa Bob, Semper Fi my bro. Between Alvin Reynolds, BVG, Smitty, and 71, 500+ screams in the Dome, I damned sure hope he gets that message.

The Weems catch will make his little fan in Albany, GA (my niece) very happy. She will be sure to see your post this evening and remind me that he (in her humble opinion) is a lock to make the team. 11 years old and in love with the guy. See what happens when a little girl gets an autograph. LOL. Win or lose, the good uncle will pay off the bet. Ice cream and cake for all…

Sarah B

August 12th, 2009
11:50 am

Well, you guys have covered pretty much everything already. All I can think of to add is that with all the rules that have been implemented have pretty much eliminated true shut down corners. You can just ask yourself which will get me more heat from the coach??? A Pass Interference call giving an automatic 1st down or geting toasted every once in a while. I think I already know the answer and so do you.

CBrass

August 12th, 2009
11:57 am

Unca’ Bob

“Houston…….I have a problem! God put your head on a swivel, use it!!” I love it!!!

Ken Strickland

August 12th, 2009
12:04 pm

I don’t think this is a fair question to ask, especially when you consider the extenuating circumstances in which Houston’s had to perform. He was actually drafted by HC JMora, along with DE JAnderson. That means that in his 1st 3yrs, he’s had to adjust to 3 different coaching staffs and DEF coordinators, while having to play the position 3 different ways, according to his DEF coordinator’s preference.

Also, I did some checking, and you don’t need a shutdown CB to have an excellent pass DEF. Last yrs 5 top DEF teams were the Steelers, Ravens, Eagles, Redskins and Giants. Out of that group, only the Eagles had a CB make the Probowl. Can anyone name a CB on any of the other top 5 teams that’s considered a shutdown CB? With more and more teams adopting the Cover 2 zone DEF, the emphasis is now on quicker, faster more athletic and versatile safeties rather than CB’s.

A lot of our fans felt we let a shutdown CB get away when we didn’t resign DFoxworth. Yet, even with him we finished near the bottom of the NFL in pass DEF. It’s been the lack of an effective, consistent and balanced pass rush that’s caused our pass DEF problems. If we get a solid inside and outside pass rush from someone other than DE JAbraham, it won’t matter whether CHouston or any of our CB’s has shutdown ability.

Remember, the Falcons had Dion Sanders, quite possibly the greatest shutdown CB of all time. Yet, he was also one of the worst CB’s in NFL history, when it came to providing run support. He was notorious for chasing ballcarriers down from behind, but wouldn’t callenge them head on. A stonger 1st line of DEF(DL)against the run, and an aggressive, consistent and balanced pass rush, will cure all of our DEF ills.

BIRDMAN

August 12th, 2009
12:09 pm

ESPN REPORTS..Grimes lookin real good .

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
12:11 pm

K Strick…well stated my brother!! Hi Sarah and CB. Missed ya!!

Sarah B

August 12th, 2009
12:17 pm

SW – Been covered up at work. I guess the economy IS turning around after all.

CBrass

August 12th, 2009
12:25 pm

Hey guys and gals. Here’s a video of ESPN Pat Yasinskas table about our beloved Falcons.

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

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
12:27 pm

Feeling you Sarah; need that turnaround for our retirement funds. How else will we be able to pay for our seats in the Cage’s luxury box at our new stadium? LOL.

CBrass

August 12th, 2009
12:29 pm

*that should read…”talking about our beloved Falcons”

Ken Strickland,

Very insightful post.

SW,

Hope that you and the family is doing well.

Sarah B,

Hate that you’re buried under so much work of late!!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 12th, 2009
12:36 pm

Birdman, Grimes will win the starting job at LCB opposite Houston. The cover two (Tampa 2 as I call it) is alive and well in ATL.

CBrass

August 12th, 2009
12:56 pm

SW,

I agree. I fell in love with Grimes after I seen him at the Roam the Dome event last Saturday. I think he has a chip on his shoulder. I wants to prove to everyone that he belongs.

JWW

August 12th, 2009
1:03 pm

I have to disagree, Stirg. While I must admit I don’t recall seeing Daunte playing in 1998, I know for a fact that the overriding reason for his dropoff in QB play in 2005 was the loss of Randy Moss after the 2004 season. Hands down. Sure you can talk about his suddenly “bum leg” he developed shortly after finding out that he just can’t heave the ball heaven-ward and have his pass cradled every time by not arguably the best wide receiver of ALL TIME. It is not a head scratcher as to why Randy’s stats didn’t suffer with his new 2005 team and Daunte’s stats went directly south. It must have been nice to pad stats for years by simply putting as much air on a football and KNOWING it will be caught.

I don’t think our young guys will have any problems with Daunte.

Blue Fender

August 12th, 2009
1:10 pm

Ken Strickland

Mora didn’t draft JA or CH, Petrino did.

Stirg d'Nahsif

August 12th, 2009
1:23 pm

I never said we’d have problems with Daunte, JWW. I simply stated that he will be considered, highly, for a shot in the Pro Bowl this season. I also stated that he must have the protection up front to be successful. Granted, Randy’s stats maintained and Culpepper’s stats descended when Moss departed; but if I recall correctly, the core of Viking’s offensive line bolted after Randy did, also. That will make your comparison questionable. Matt Ryan would not have been as successful as a rookie if he didn’t have The Firewall (credit Unca’ Bob) and the rushing attack from our two-headed monster. Also, when throwing the ball in the air to see who comes down with it, I would sure love for my receiver to be Calvin Johnson when I toss it up. Johnson would even make me look good as a QB, short of twenty yards. The key is, like a stated earlier, is the protection. Without it, Daunte might as well retire. I’m not trying to jump on Daunte or the Lion’s bandwagon (matter of fact, lets stop the discussion so I can take the taste of enemy out my mouth). I just wanted to add some color to the contest this weekend. I still say we’ll beat the Lions like a terrorist in Abu Gharid but you just cannot deny talent when its due; and Daunte has an undeniable game face this season.

JWW

August 12th, 2009
1:35 pm

I am totally with you on Calvin, Stirg. And I must have missed Unca’ Bob’s nickname…The Firewall. Good one!

CBrass

August 12th, 2009
1:49 pm

The Firewall…I love it!!! Nice one Unca’ Bob, very nice!!!

Southside Falcon

August 12th, 2009
2:10 pm

Seminole Warrior Gt Grad: You guys have made some great points and im truly impressed with your knowledge, but I STRONGLY disagree about Brent Grimes. Hustle tenacity and heart only get you so far when you are constantly caught out of position , and being DRAGGED by Mushin Muhammed into the enzone(check Carolina Game week 3). All the positives you guys listed it one thing you cant teach and that is SIZE. He’s too small to line up against the monster wideouts in the NFC and he laks strength to jam him I know ive seen them straight up toss him aside, so fellas/ladies no offense i dont know your genders, HELL NAW to Brent grimes the carrer back up – Respectfully Southside Falcon

Southside Falcon

August 12th, 2009
2:17 pm

Typo central: He LACKS the strength to jam Them