Who Takes Open Cornerback Spot?

Who Starts in Empy Cornerback Position? 

Foxworth to the Free Agent Sunset
One of the more surprising moves of the off-season came with Thomas Dimitroff allowing Dominique Foxworth to walk into Free-Agency without as much as a hint of attempting to resign him. Foxworth came to the Falcons for very cheap, a trade with Denver for a 7th round pick, and quickly filled in to become an extremely consistent starting cornerback. He didn’t have extremely flashy stats (10 Games Started, 38 Tackles, 11 Pass Defenses, 1 Int), but developed into a cornerback that played opposing wide receivers close and tough. Many fans felt it was a big mistake letting a reliable cornerback go with seemingly no interest in bringing him back at all. As many NFL teams know all too well, good cornerbacks can be really hard to find. Of all the players Dimitroff let go, fans seemed the most upset that Foxworth wasn’t brought back, even though he only played in Red & Black for one year. Although many in Atlanta were upset that Foxworth was allowed to leave, the argument can be made that he was overpaid by the Ravens for having only one good year (4 years, $28 Million). The new contract made him one of the higher paid CB’s in the NFL, putting him above many of the best corners including Antoine Winfield, Nate Clements, and Al Harris according to base salary alone.

Grimes, Jackson, or Owens?
So the big question now becomes: who takes over the open cornerback spot? Assuming Houston retains his starting CB spot, it’s anyone’s guess who’s the leading candidate to replace Foxworth in 2009. There certainly will be a fierce competition among several players vying to grab a hold of the position. The fight to start is wide open among Brent Grimes, Chevis Jackson, Chris Owens, and possibly Von Hutchins, but many think that Hutchins will be too far behind due to his nagging injury. A quick look at each player’s bio and case to win the job:

Chevis Jackson – #22
Height – 5′11, Weight – 185, Drafted in 3rd round by last year by Falcons
Games – 16, Games Started – 1; 31 Tackles, 2 Ints (1 in regular season, 1 in playoffs), 1 TD
Bio – Came in and grabbed a hold of the starting Nickel position pretty much from day one. After Houston & Foxworth, Jackson was the next cornerback to come off the bench, playing in all 16 games. He had an extremely solid year as a rookie. Displayed a nose for the ball and making plays after getting his hands on it, taking an interception back 95 yards for a touchdown against the Saints. Tough, physical CB. Came out of LSU lacking in recovery speed and true man-to-man cover skills.

Chris Owens – #21
Height – 5′10, Weight – 195; Drafted in the 3rd round this year by the Falcons
Bio – Ranked 12th in the nation in 2007 with 6 interceptions. Good straight-line & recovery speed. “Known to be aggressive in run support. Displays quick, active hands to break up passes. Good leaping ability and times his leaps well. Possesses natural hands for the interception. Mentally tough. Loses a step in his transition and isn’t explosive out of his breaks. Allows separation and isn’t big or strong enough to get back around the receiver to knock away accurate passes.”**
** – Analysis from cbssports.com

Brent Grimes – #20
Height – 5′10, Weight – 185, Years Experience – 1
Games – 12; Games Started – 6; 34 Tackles, 1 Int
Bio – Was the starting CB when the Falcons broke training camp and played against the Lions in the home opener. Started 6 games until injury sidelined him, creating opportunity for Foxworth to take over. Grimes is known as one of the hardest workers and toughest players on the team. He has the reputation for being ferocious and possessing an extremely high motor. Generously listed as 5′10, more on the side of 5′9 & ½, Grimes has matchup problems against taller, bigger receivers.

Jackson Stuck at Nickel?

Can Jackson Jump from Nickel to CB?  (Compton/AJC)

Can Jackson Jump from Nickel to Starting CB? (Compton/AJC)

Von Hutchins might have a chance to get in the mix, but with his fairly severe injury that has taken almost an entire year to rehab, it looks like he may be fighting for a nickel spot, as will be discussed later. Using performance alone from last year it would seem that Jackson has a great shot after coming in and owning the nickel spot as a rookie. He showed a keen nose for the ball and proved to have better coverage skills than many thought along with his toughness in run support and physical play. He was an excellent model of reliability, starting all 4 years at CB at LSU in the SEC. Surprised many people in how fast he rose up the depth chart, being the 3rd overall cornerback as a true rookie. After several scrimmages, Jackson may serve in the nickel role again.

 

Starting as a Rookie?

Chris Owens seems to be the wild-card coming in as a rookie that many draft experts thought was a bit of a reach in the 3rd round, particularly with guys like DJ Moore sitting there. It was a guy that many Falcons fans hadn’t even heard of when the 1st pick of the second day came in. The more you read and research about the guy, the more you like. He was the epitome of consistency coming out of San Jose State, starting his final 37 games at CB. He had a great year in 2007, ranking 12th in the entire nation with 6 interceptions. His senior year wasn’t nearly as productive, thus creating the slide down the draft. Many argue that he was such a lockdown CB, that teams refused to throw the ball to his side. As many drafts picks from last year can attest, this coaching staff is not afraid to start rookies.

Inside Track for Grimes?

The forgotten man in the equation is the player who started the first 6 games at CB last year from day 1. Grimes has been quoted by Coach Smith and others on the staff as being the most athletic player on the team, hardest worker, and pound-for-pound being the most tenacious player on the roster. Coming out of nowhere last year, Grimes had a solid year up until his injury using his high-motor and intensity to make plays he had no business making. He looks to have the chip on his shoulder once again as he enters the CB competition, being left out by most analysts in many circles. Even though its very early, Grimes is having a great camp so far and seems to have taken hold of the inside track to start. Grimes has become a relatively highly liked player from Falcons fans because of his through-the-roof intensity and effort. He was embarrassed by Muhsin Muhammed for 147 yds and 1 TD in Carolina, not finding any way to stop him. Delhomme picked on him all day to help fuel their win.

Continuing the theme of intense competition, this has the makings to be one of the best fights for a starting spot throughout the entire camp. Having 3 players, and possibly more, fighting tooth and nail to earn the rights of starting CB for the Atlanta Falcons looks to be one of the most fun to watch in August.

Discussion Framework:
1) Who will win the starting open CB spot?
2) Does Grimes intensity and effort help overcome his lack of height?
3) Is Jackson a shoe-in after starting nickel all of last year?
4) Can Owens come in as a rookie and earn the spot outright?

 
Daily Tailgate Recipe
If you celebrated a little too much the night before the Big Game, then try this easy breakfast tailgate from Shannon Longo of Virtual Pub – University of Iowa, Tailgate Breakfast Squares.

Next Post Preview: Falcons-Lions Preview, Position Matchups, and Players to Watch.

177 comments Add your comment

downsouthdirtybird

August 13th, 2009
12:15 am

downsouthdirtybird

August 13th, 2009
12:18 am

and grrrrr by the way i just read not big blogger but since no one is here thought i’d get my 1st cents in. Also love the cage and cagers d3 you are the man. the rest of yall the fire keep this thing burning great reads for me keep it comin

Ed

August 13th, 2009
12:57 am

Here’s Pete Prisco’s (CBS Sports) training camp video on the Falcons. Not a lot here but at least one good obsevation…great work as always D3.

http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/play/videos/Q84tWnqFgkuaNF0RGh_rKJcts8_gY68c

Ed

August 13th, 2009
1:18 am

This is an accompanying article by Prisco on the Falcons

Falcons: Five things to know
By Pete Prisco
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!

Falcons: Camp report | RapidReports | Camp tour | Questions | 1 Man/1 Fan

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Observations from Atlanta Falcons camp:

1. Don’t expect a sophomore slump from Matt Ryan. He’s working harder now than he has at any point. He has dropped four percent of his body fat and he said he’s in the best shape of his life. After a recent practice, the second of two that day, Ryan was out on the field running with Jeff Fish, Atlanta’s director of athletic performance. Ryan will simulate a drive, running 12 short bursts, with a little rest between each of them. He does that four times. Fish said it’s to make sure he’s good in the fourth quarter. “We don’t want our quarterback sucking wind late in a key drive,” Fish said. Ryan has a special nutrition program and has even put the some of the same equipment the team has in its weight room in the basement of his home. Fish is a big believer in strengthening the core area to help offset injuries. It seems to be playing out well for the Falcons. The players love his program. By the way, Ryan is throwing the heck out of the football. He has that special quality about him. He loves the game. You can see he will be a great one.

Out of Nowhere Man
The Falcons used a first-round pick on defensive tackle Peria Jerry. He will be in the rotation as a rookie, but they’re also high on seventh-round defensive tackle Vance Walker . He didn’t show a lot during the team’s offseason work, but since the pads have come on he’s impressed. He is a smart 304-pound player who might get a chance to play some during the season if he continues at his current pace.
Kirk88 picks TE Aaron Kelly
He was the go to guy at Clemson. Seems to have a great work ethic and didn’t give up on plays. That’s how you become the all-time receptions leader in the ACC. Hated seeing Harry Douglas go down. Hope he makes a full recovery.
Who is your Out of Nowhere Man?
2. The Falcons want to cut down on Michael Turner’s carries this year, He carried it 376 times last season, which is way too many. With Tony Gonzalez in as the tight end, giving Ryan another weapon in the middle of the field, he should help take some pressure off the running game. Jerious Norwood, the backup running back, may also get more carries. In the days I watched him, Norwood was flying on the practice field. The Falcons would like to cut Turner back to about 330 carries on the season.

3. The Falcons defensive players are raving about the addition of veteran linebacker Mike Peterson. The Jacksonville Jaguars opted to let Peterson walk after his public squabble with coach Jack Del Rio. Falcons coach Mike Smith had Peterson when Smith was the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville, so he knows him well. Peterson is in perhaps the best shape of his career, getting leaner from taking part in Fish’s program. One thing that hasn’t change is Peterson’s mouth. He is loud on the field, but his teammates seem to respond. “He gets us going,” corner Chris Houston said.

4. Even with Roddy White back now after ending his holdout, the Falcons are thin at wideout after slot receiver Harry Douglas was lost for the season with a torn ACL. They made a good deal with White to get him in camp, which will make Ryan happy. They also brought in veterans Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson. Keep an eye on second-year player Eric Weems. He has been on the team’s practice squad the past two seasons before getting activated last year.

5. If you’re looking for a rookie who might make a contribution, keep an eye on fourth-round pick Lawrence Sidbury. He’s a speed rusher out of Richmond who has impressed early in camp. With former first-round pick Jamaal Anderson in the final year of his contract and doing little so far, Sidbury’s ability to rush the passer could be what the Falcons need opposite John Abraham. Players and coaches I talked with raved about Sidbury and his work ethic.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
5:07 am

D3,

The Food Network ran a Bio on Bobby Flay. They called it a Chefography. I don’t know if you have seen it but I do know you are a fan and may want to watch it.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
5:41 am

D3,

Back on subject. I like players with grit, and B Grimes has it in spades. In your Discussion Framework you posed “Does Grimes intensity and effort help overcome his lack of height?”. The thing that will help him overcome his lack of height is his 40″ Vertical Leap. On the roster I have, the tallest CB’s we have are 5′-11″. B Grimes, at 5′-9.5″ and his ability to sky adds up to a gifted player that will start at CB this year.

PS- A year in the weightroom with Coach Fish can’t hurt either.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
5:44 am

Stirg,

Don’t go there with “Gritty Grimes”(LOL).

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
6:03 am

Seminole Warrior,

This one’s for you.

The Steelers really like their first-round choice: Evander “Ziggy” Hood has already established himself in the rotation of defensive ends. If needed, he could grow into a nose tackle. Tomlin is using him as a backup at right and left defensive end. He’s 6-3, 300 pounds and the only thing he lacks is experience.

I like the way Hood can engage a tackle in a two-gap situation, throwing him aside to make the play. He’ll need some time to learn different ways of beating tackles. Veterans know the tricks of how to lock down a young end, but Hood shows that, once he get away from a blocker, he has enough speed to chase down runners.

The Steelers needed a young player on the line because they have five defensive linemen in their 30s. Hood is the first step in the youth movement.

BT

August 13th, 2009
7:04 am

D3- Good job as usual.

It looks like if the season started this weekend, Grimes would have to be penciled in as the starter.
Jackson apperas to be a good fit and lock as the defacto 12th starter in nickle situations.
Owens will likely work his way into the rotation more and more as the season wears on.
Hutchins appears to be sorta like a backup utility man, cross trained and ready to lend support in any spot in the secondary.
Versitility equals value with this club.
Jason mentioned, Middleton as a possibility on the practice squad.
That just might be the case, unless he really breaks out and shows some real skills in the preseason games.

BT

August 13th, 2009
7:41 am

Cagers, Pats verses Eagles tonight on the NFL Network.
That should be worth watching, at least for a half.

Unca Bob and S.W.
I liked Ziggy going into the draft and thought he would become a Falcon.
However, when the Buc`s drafted Freeman.
The Falcons brass almost threw a party in the war room knowing that Jerry had fell into their laps.
Ziggy has a heck of a motor and should be a great player but Jerry has a more explosive first step and I believe somewhat stronger.
We have the right young DT for our scheme.

Now, back to normal programing.

Rod

August 13th, 2009
7:57 am

I like Grimes, but everytime they throw at him, I get scared

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
8:02 am

Good Morning Cage family…

UnCa Bob (Semper Fi my brother) and BT, thanks for the Ziggy updates. As I told Stirg yesterday, I’m a sore loser sometimes but I will be pulling for Hip Hip Peria (Stirg’s creation…it’s good too). Will check Ziggy out tonight on ESPN though.

I must pay homage to the continuing sharp nature of our brother and CEO, D3. Good memory my brother, reminds me that before I drove the Ziggy Express during the buildup to the draft, I was driving Cab Chung. LOL…what fun we had then as the Cage was establishing its roots as the PREMIER destination for facts Falcon.

Okay, as BT said, back to regular programming.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
8:21 am

BT,

I was always big on Jerry. My post was a wink and a nudge at my Warrior.

SW

Weems’ name is being mentioned an awful lot. Are you fixin’ to get a little lighter in the billfold? Ice cream and cake.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
8:48 am

Brent Grimes will win this job. Follow me here.

First, D3, forgive me as I get long winded on this topic but I hope to share some insight and focus with a touch of history that parallels the Process our Falcons are attempting to build.

Flash back to 1996. Location – Tampa, FL. Two men were hired to bring an attitude to a franchise that had been down for a while. First hire was a man named Tony Dungy. The second hire was Monte Kiffin. Together, over the next six years, they would identify players that would form the heart of one of the league’s premier defenses over the next decade plus. I want to focus on one of those players.

Fat forward to 1997 and the third round of the NFL draft. Dungy and Kiffin took stock of a small CB out of Virgina. At 5′,9.5″, this guy was called small even though he represented well in the ACC. In his first season, he did not start and was used sparingly. In season two, he arrived at camp and stole the show with his aggression, attitude, and tenacity. These are not my words…they came from Coach Dungy himself. Dungy and Kiffin decided, against popular opinion, to start this young man at RCB. 81 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 INTs later, in that season, the young man rewarded their faith. Over the next decade plus, this “little man filled with tenacity and focus”, again Dungy’s words, would go to five Pro Bowls and share in a Super Bowl win. This young man…Ronde Barber.

I’ve been watching this team for a long time. I’ve seen first hand a lot of Ronde Barber. There is a lot of similiar traits in Barber and Grimes. Rip me up if you wish but I’m simply calling it like I see it. This kid has talent. And he is going to win the open job at LCB. Owens has a similiar skill set; that is why he was taken in this draft. And in a twist of fate, like Barber, he was taken in the third.

That “desire to be one in the number” factor is not to be overlooked. From an undrafted player from Shippensburg, a couple of camps, then NFL Europe, and finally, a NFL shot says a lot about a person. Kurt Warner did it. And now, here is Brent Grimes.

Will Grimes enjoy the successes of Barber and Warner? I honestly can not answer that question. But I can say this. As long as Smitty, BVG, and Alvin Reynolds work with him, believe in him, and give him that chance, I think he will be a good football player for a long time. And who knows, in two more years, like the path taken by Ronde, he may make the Pro Bowl. And if the PROCESS continues, then the Falcons, like the Bucs built by Dungy and Kiffin, will have that long desired parade.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
8:53 am

UnCa Bob, It seems that way. If she wins, I have to buy ice cream and cake for my niece and her cheerleading squad, a team of twelve.

Yes, you and Stirg have been on the Hip Hip Peria wagon all the time. I’ll admit that I shifted from Cab Chung to Limo Laurinaitis to finally the Ziggy Express. LOL…that’s a lot of driving huh.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
8:55 am

BT and Cage, Steelers and Cardinals on ESPN tonight as well. They can cut off my blog access at the office but I have ESPN…yes!!! LOL.

BIRDMAN

August 13th, 2009
9:21 am

Good mornin Birds of tha cage ! Looks like rain today.Hope so we need it .Thanks D3 for the show once again .

Couple of things stands out in what Smith said,HARDEST WORKER and MOST ATHLETIC .Out of all these guys out there,thats a heck of a praise.So it would be no suprize to me to see Grimes in the spot.

Grimes seems to be the MAN.A hard worker with grit .

Ed thanks for sharin what Pete P had to say.Like what he say’s about MR .Can’t wate to watch this team play .Now the coffie’s ready .THANKS GUY’S

KEEP..IT…COMEIN
KEEP..IT..COMEIN

GO……BIRDS ….GO….GET ….ER….DONE….!!!!

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
9:22 am

Seminole Warrior,

A good comparison between R Barber and B Grimes. B Grimes did have some under par games last year, but this year he will become more comfortable with the system. I look for him to do well.

Deborah

August 13th, 2009
9:27 am

I will start out with the first question, the best man will be starter. #2, height has nothing to do with it, D Green was only 5′ 9″. #3 & 4 is answered by #1. I am ready for some football.

CBrass

August 13th, 2009
9:29 am

D3,

Once again great job. The way you break things down and ask question is simply outstanding. I do have one question on the part of Jackson. I see that you said that he lack recovery speed. Do you think that it’s easier for a DB that’s not as fast and can’t jump as high, to start out at the Nickel before moving out to corner? I hope you understood that. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Again great job!!!

Flappin Falcon

August 13th, 2009
9:32 am

I root for Grimes mostly because I’m short as well and always include a fraction when asked my height. But his story is so great. Small college. Worked his way up the NFL ladder by playing in Europe. Short. Tenacious. He’s the kind of player for which everyone roots. The bottom line though is it doesn’t matter who starts because the Falcons are going to rotate their secondary more than last year to keep guys fresh. We now have interchangeable personnel in the secondary.

long time falcon

August 13th, 2009
9:35 am

First of all, I don’t see any reason why Jackson won’t be the nickel. He was fabulous in that role last season. He seems to have a nose for the football. And going into the season I think Grimes will definently be the man at that starting corner position, but if he falters, Owens or hutchins will be waiting in the wings. Ultimately, one of these starting corner spots will be chris owens. I don’t know if it happens this year but he will certainly retain one of these spots by next season. Does anyone remember what Dimitroff said about chris Owens on draft day? He said that chris owens had been on his radar for three years! This not some guy Dimitroff stumbled across at the last minute while doing his draft preparations and took a flier on. Dimitroff believes in this kid and drafted him to be a starting corner. That’s the main reason that I believe houston will eventually be out of here when he becomes a free agent. I just believe that dimitroff will have his own guys that he drafted playing the corner positions.

CBrass

August 13th, 2009
9:38 am

I personally think that Grimes will be fine. After seeing him play (even thought it was just in helmet and shorts) on last Saturday I was sold. He’s plays with a lot of heart and that’s something that you can’t teach. As I stated in the previous blog and as D3 stated in the above article Grimes is going to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. And I’ll tell you from experience when a player is playing with a chip on his/her shoulder…watch out. They can be the most dangerous one on the field.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
9:45 am

LTF, a very good point my man. TD is EXTREMELY high on Owens. One year in the system and he will push for a starting position next season. If Houston does not improve on his swivel (UnCa Bob), he may get a shot sooner rather than later.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
9:55 am

Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson is having a good practice early, highlighted by blowing past LT Sam Baker in OL/DL drills.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
9:58 am

One more key point. The secondary is sure to show improvement with a year in the system and more speed. But again, it is a moot point if we do not sustain disruption and pressure up front. Grimes, Houston, Owens, and Jackson are the CB corps of the Falcons for years to come. The competition will be intense each year for that is what these guys are all about. But that is what type of player it takes to execute the Tampa 2.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
10:05 am

UnCa Bob, that’s good to hear. Team Smitty continue to bring along the young guys. The Sugar Bear must be impressed with the work Anderson and Walker are putting in. Hope to see them both get extensive time on Sat night.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
10:09 am

Falcons play of the morning: WR Eric Weems jumped over S Eric Brock for an acrobatic catch on the left sideline. Weems is three inches shorter.

Falcons WR Roddy White appeared visibly more winded than his teammates when the first-team came off the field during the hurry-up drill.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
10:13 am

SW,

You know I’m pulling for him. If JA breaks out, the Falcons will be better for it.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
10:14 am

Falcons QB D.J. Shockley is having problems wirh holding the ball too long in the pocket. He has taken three sacks in this hurry-up drill.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
10:24 am

UnCa Bob,

The little lady is sleeping with his autograph and picture under her pillow according to her mother. Thank God, there is still innocence in the world today..

Weems is killing me…LOL. Ice cream and cake for 13 little girls that are 10,11, and 12 years of age. They are cheerleaders so you know that they are full of energy and giggles..LOL. I think she got me good.

And I will catch it from the parents because of the sugar rush; I’m sending the bill (and the parents..LOL) to Weems if he makes it.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
10:42 am

SW

Should Weems make the roster don’t be surprized if you get a check in the mail.
Thank God, there is still innocence in the world today..Amen my brother.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
10:53 am

In 7-on-7s, the Falcons defense has done a great job at keeping everything short. All the QBs have repeatedly checked down to the short yardage option.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
10:57 am

UnCa, Shock is in the last year of his deal, right?

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
11:01 am

Tampa 2 execution to its finest. Keep it short, in front of you, and do noe surrender the big play. Sounds good.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
11:05 am

Falcons WR Eric Weems brings in another tough catch. This time in the front corner of the end zone in a 11-on-11 goal line drill.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan has not had a good morning throwing the football, including his most recent errant pass: A goal line interception LB Stephen Nicholas might have taken for a touchdown in a real game.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
11:06 am

SW,

I think both he and Redman.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
11:14 am

Thanks UnCa. I foresee no change in the QB depth chart. We will keep both Redman as the #2 and Shock will finish his time in ATL as the #3. JPW will be on the PS or outright released.

Matt just needs to take his time, focus, and not put as much pressure on himself as it seems he is doing. His intense study, flim work, etc.. take some time off Matt and let the game flow. You’re still young and have an incredibly bright future. It will come…it will come.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
11:31 am

SW,

Did Redman sign an extension in 08?

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
11:38 am

Falcons coach Mike Smith on the team’s attitude heading into Saturday’s game against Detroit: “When you have a couple of skirmishes in practice, like this week, you know the guys are ready to hit someone else with different helmets on.”

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
11:43 am

Redman signed a two year, 5 million dollar deal in May 2008. So he is a FA after this season. Re-signing him at a cap friendly price should not be hard: I don’t think there will be much interest out there for him given his limited work over the past two years. And TD knows the value of a quality backup QB.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

August 13th, 2009
11:48 am

Great Thursday Afternoon Cagers! So nice to see some new faces here in our awesome football forum. Pre-season games tonight, tomorrow, and of course the big one on saturday @ 4. Make sure to do your honey-do lists early, get some good food for the grill, and some excellent brew and park yourself in front of the TV……because ATLANTA FALCONS FOOTBALL IS BACK BABY!!!!!

downsouth – Great to have you here in the Bird Cage. Please feel free to come and discuss anything that’s on your mind. You won’t find a more knowledgable and respectful group of fans then right here. Thanks for the complements.

Ed – Thanks for the link.

Unca’ Bob – Thanks for that update on the Grill Messiah, Bobby Flay. I’ll search for that as soon as I get home. Nice points on Grimes and his height. We have no CB’s on the roster over 5′11 as you put. Many of us thought that Chevis Jackson was 6′0 or 6′2, but not the case.

BT – Yep, I agree completely. As much as I thought it may happen, Jackson seems destined for the Nickel for whatever reason, but that’s all good because he’ll be on the field A LOT.

Rod – Good point. Its time for Grimes to put our fears to rest, and erase that image of Muhammed manhandling him burned in my brain.

Seminole – Don’t ever apologize for being “long-winded”. It’s not long winded when you bring the heat and knowledge on every post such as yourself. You da’ man! How’s the First Lady and Teepee?

BIRDMAN – Can’t wait for some Falcons Football. How about you?

CBrass – Thanks for the high complements, I certainly appreciate it. Great question. Personally, I’m kind of surprised that Jackson is good at Nickel, because his strengths were always being physical at the line of scrimmage to make up for his coverage skills, but nickels usually are working on the slot and rarely can get a jam. So who knows. How ’bout Richard Samuel up in Athens? WOW.

falcon21 – Hadn’t seen you in a minute, but did you hear about that display that Richard Samuel put on? 3 TDs, 70+ TD reception and 60+ TD rush. I think your boy from Cass High will be #1. Sorry Caleb.

Flapping Falcon – Great points. We will be rotating so much that it may not matter who starts. Grimes, Houston, Jackson, and Owens will all play. Hadn’t heard much about Middleton.

long time falcon – You got it. He’s one of the big players I’m looking for on saturday. He’ll give Grimes all he wants, I bet.

Seminole & Unca’ Bob – If Shockley proves he can handle it, I will be shocked to see us keep paying Redman starting salary at $4.5 Million a click. If he restructures, than so be it; but he’s 33 and I’m not sure that if Redman or Shockley would be much different in terms of if they had to start. Shockley has TONS more upside than Redman, and has had a great camp. Trying to be as objective as possible, but he IS one of my favorite UGA players of all-time.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
11:52 am

Let’s hope that that the increased aggression, especially along the lines, carries over into the preseason as they attack some fresh meat.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
12:07 pm

D3, so Redman’s deal was $500,000 in ‘08 and 4.5 million this year?
If that is the case, then I am with you. That’s a large cap hit for a backup QB even with experience. Not really worried about the age thing since he has not had a lot of work and appears to be in good shape.

BIRDMAN

August 13th, 2009
12:11 pm

Man it feals like the weekend will never come! Look forword to the pre game this week .The time is almost here for the Birds to start there climb to the top.

Everybody get on ,its gona be one heck of a ride.

YA’LL KEEP…IT…COMEN

THANKS …BIG…D3

GOTA LOVE IT….GO….BIRDS
.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
12:20 pm

Falcons coach Mike Smith said all four QBs (Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, D.J. Shockley and John Parker Wilson) will play one quarter each against Detroit on Saturday.

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
12:53 pm

D3, thanks my brother. All is cool in the TeePee. Going to assume that Shock is nervous going into the weekend given the reports from UnCa Bob this morning. But then, all things considered, it sounds like the QBs were all a little shaky this morning.

Back to the CB question of the day…

When we talk about Grimes, a lot of folks keep bringing up the Panther game last season in Charlotte. Well, I was there. Grimes was not as bad as it seems. Sure, he was nickeled and dimed all day by Mushin. That is EXACTLY what is supposed to happen in the cover/Tampa 2; Bend but don’t break. The defensive line did not record a single sack in the game and pressure was at a minimum as “Old Man Jake” had time to have a snack back there. Then it happened..the big play. And if I recall, the BIG play (Grimes’ breakdown) did not happen until the 4th quarter. We had been torched earlier on an even bigger play when Steve Smith got behind Houston AND Milloy (I hope my memory is good). The entire secondary looked pathetic that day.

Ironically, it was Brent Grimes that finish the day leading the team in tackles. And for the next month, Grimes would play through, as best he could, a series of injuries to his knee and quad. Foxworth would take over at LCB in late October if I recalled.

The REAL reason we lost that game was our inability to convert in the red zone. Ryan was sacked only twice, we had NO turnovers, and played the veteran-led Panthers to a draw except for the two big plays to Smith and Mushin.

Just a little defense for Brent…your starting LCB this season.

BIRDMAN

August 13th, 2009
12:56 pm

How is JPW doin Unca ‘ B .Have’nt heard much about thisQB ?

SeminoleWarrior

August 13th, 2009
1:07 pm

UnCa Bob, I don’t like that format. I see no reason to have MR play a full quarter in the first preseason game. That is a VERY unnecessary risk. He can get a series in the first two and then more work in games three and four. Games one and two should be about Redman, Shock, and JPW establishing the QB depth chart.

Unca' Bob

August 13th, 2009
1:08 pm

BirdMan,

I haven’t heard much at all. What I have seen does not bode well, I’m afraid.