Falcons Awards Day

Who Gets Your Awards from the 2009 Campaign?

 

 As the Atlanta Falcons organization takes some time to reflect on the 2009 campaign and look at the positive and negative aspects of the year, this will also be a time for individual player assessment. Before they embark on the lengthy and all-important off-season, they will need to take a long hard look at who exceeded expectations and which players fell short in 2009. Of course, some of the categories may be locks across the board, but others may be somewhat difficult. Take your shot……

Offensive Player of the Year

TG or Roddy? (AP)

This one might be a lock across the board, but there are a couple of candidates that could take the trophy. Of course the future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez might be the favorite and getting robbed of the Pro Bowl. Gonzalez had 867 yards, 6 TDs, and averaged over 10 yards a catch. Roddy White is the likely next candidate that had 85 receptions, 1,153 yards receiving, and 11 touchdowns. Both players got a little robbed of the Pro Bowl and had big years.

Defensive Player of the Year

Several candidates could be mentioned. Curtis Lofton leads the way after cementing his role as the team’s defensive captain, collaring 133 tackles and forcing 2 fumbles. Lofton had a great year in his follow-up to his rookie campaign. Thomas DeCoud had a big year in his first one as a starter with 68 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 sacks. DeCoud showed a good ability of covering the field, as well as run support. Jonathan Babineaux is another candidate and had the hands-down best year of any defensive lineman this season. Babineaux had 47 tackles and 6 sacks, pretty high for defensive tackles. Add to that the fact that he didn’t get a ton of help from the other DT spot, and he’s definitely a candidate.

Rookie of the Year

Kind of hard to pick one of these since Dimitroff’s top two draft picks (Peria Jerry, William Moore) got injured and were put on reserve very early in the season. The choices are pretty thin here, but it boils down to Chris Owens, Lawrence Sidbury Jr., and Vance Walker. Chris Owens didn’t get his first action until late in the year, but when he cracked the starting lineup, the secondary improved pretty dramatically. He finished the year off with an interception in each of his last two games, the last one being one of the biggest plays of the season, seizing back momentum from Tampa Bay when things looked bleak in the fourth quarter. Lawrence Sidbury Jr. only saw spot play, but he made the most of it. He only had 5 tackles, but he did notch a sack (twice as many as JA#98), and even scored a defensive touchdown. Vance Walker was the pleasant surprise of the year, starting on the practice squad and working his way up starting defensive tackle at the end of the year. Walker only checked 13 tackles, but earned himself to figure prominently in the Falcons future.

Most Improved

Which player improved the most from game one until the last game? Not too many candidates here, but there are a few. The favorite likely is Brent Grimes. Perhaps no other player got criticized as much as Grimes due to his physical skill set. Grimes had his share of struggles early on, but came away with 6 picks on the year (tied for 5th most in the NFL) and that was only starting 8 games. Does Vance Walker get the nod, filling in extremely well after starting the year on the practice squad. As ridiculous as it sounds, does Matt Ryan get a mention where he finished the year on a pretty strong note after having a sub-par sophomore year? Does Jason Snelling earn it with his bruising running style and taking the mantle of stud running back when Turner and Norwood both went down with injuries?

Biggest Disappointment

Not as positive to look at the player who underperformed, but its something that must be done as the Falcons approach the off-season. Several candidates to choose from. John Abraham went from 16.5 sacks to 5.5 sacks. Does his disappearing act warrant the award? Is Matt Ryan’s sophomore slump a candidate for the award? Chris Houston was beleaguered from the preseason and things really only got worse. He showed an inability to play the ball throughout the year. How about Jamaal Anderson? Does his move to DT save him on this one, or was it already a forgone conclusion? Michael Jenkins dropped his fair share of big passes throughout the year, does he get it? Even though he was injured, does Norwood’s disappearance get some votes? Tyson Clabo or Sam Baker’s lack of run, and particularly pass support, merit a look at the award? Really tough call, but remember, you can only pick one.

Breakthrough Player of the Year

Jason Snelling seems to be the leading candidate here, basically carrying the team on his back for a stretch. #44 racked up over 600 yards rushing with 4 TDs, and chipped in another 250+ yards receiving with 1 TD. Snelling only started 2 games and almost came away with 1,000 all-purpose yards. Is it Kroy Biermann with his extremely solid year (49 tackles and 5 sacks) in limited time? Biermann played really good to see as little time as he did. Even though Chris Owens only saw action at the end of the year, does his future merit consideration? Thomas DeCoud didn’t play at all last year and came away with a really solid year as well.

Most of the choices might be locks, but give your opinions on who you think deserves the awards. Was anyone left off the list? Try to be more objective than the people who selected the players to the Pro-Bowl. Got a couple of more topics reviewing the 2009 season and will get ready to transition over to the 2010 off-season week after next.

Enjoy……….

52 comments Add your comment

Sportaree

January 12th, 2010
11:04 pm

FalconfanMike

January 12th, 2010
11:04 pm

Offensive and Defensive POY are locks- Tony Gonzalez and Curtis Lofton(both were snubbed from the pro bowl) I think ROY has to be Chris Owens for coming from a small school and making an impact, most improved is a tie between brent grimes and decoud because grimes was picked on but finished with 6 picks and decoud didnt even get any playing until this year and filled in nicely, Biggest disappointment has to be john abraham we were depending on him for all our pass rush and finished the season with 5.5 sacks and the first game had 2!, and last break through has to go to jason snelling for getting over 600 yards while only starting 2 games and more importantly filling in for michael turner

BT

January 12th, 2010
11:05 pm

Gonzo and Lofton as O and D players of the year.
Decloud as most improved.
Owens as the rookie of the year.
Abe was most disappointing.
Snelling certianly proved his worth.

Elaine

January 12th, 2010
11:09 pm

D3- Really enjoy the blog. Thanks for providing good topics and thoughtful commentary. Glad there is a respectful space for real conversation. My picks are:

OPY- both TG and RW had great years and game winners…toss up.

DPY- Lofton is a beast…can’t wait to see what another year will do for him.

MIP-Not sure anyone was consistent enough for this one.

Disappointment- Jason Elam…really, you have one job?

Breakthrough- Has to be Snelling but I like Walker here too. Not enough of Chris Owens but hope to see further evidence that this was not a wasted pick.

Best of luck to Coach Thomas.

Sarah B

January 12th, 2010
11:22 pm

D3 I have to agree with most of the awards, especially Snelling.

Resign or Resign?

January 13th, 2010
12:22 am

(Formerly Ed-Covington) Everyone above has excellent comments and I agree with all the points made. My choices would be Gonzales, Lofton, Owens, Decoud/Grimes, Abe/Elam and Snelling/Bierman.
On another point, just read where the Falcons did not renew Emmitt Thomas’ contract. Before anyone cries “race card”, I am white; and I have trusted TD and CMS’ judgement in the past. There just seems to be some way that the Birds’ organization could find a place for the loyal coach who has been with the team since Dan Reeves. He took over the HC responsibilities when Petrino left and that was enough to earn a lifetime contract!

Resign or Resign?

January 13th, 2010
12:24 am

As always, great post D3; and the usual informed, rational comments. Sorry I have been away. Moved to Milledgeville to care for my mother.

Singletary

January 13th, 2010
12:28 am

D3 — I’d be interested in folks’ top 3 FA they want to keep as well. Another topic for 2010? #1 for me is Harvey Dahl.

Awards: Tony G and Lofton. Abe was disappointing after his promo in the media book and throwbacks.

How many stringer RBs come in and do the job Snelling did? I’d still say he and Kroy Biermann should be almost locks for 2010.

It’s hard to believe that we so reflexively dis’d HOF Emmitt Thomas yet kept “adventures in kicking” Elam around so long. They both have a storied history.

Toby

January 13th, 2010
6:37 am

Gonzo, no doubt
Lofton got robbed should have made pro bowl
Owens. the difference he made was unbelieveable
Grimes, man that dude can jump
Houston, time for him to go
Bierman,love his energy

Jim K.

January 13th, 2010
7:19 am

“Biermann played really good to see as little time as he did.” Say what? How did that line get by the editors? On second thought, why should we expect more from the editors than we do from the writers?

SeminoleWarrior

January 13th, 2010
7:32 am

Good morning Cage Family. There’s the Emmys, the Oscars, and the GOlden Globes. There is the Butkus, the Thorpe, and yes, the Heisman. Madden used to have the Turkey Legs and Phil Sims has his irons. So in the interest of starting a new tradition, I reach out to Georgia’s favorite fruit, and introduce, in the spirit of our esteemed leader, the FIRST annual “Birds of Prey” Awards. Your host and hostess for this gala event: SeminoleWarrior and the guest presenter, First Lady Michelle Obama. (My first lady is out of town and could not be present so I had to have a credible stand-in). Sarah B and CBrass were not available due to commitments with Kearney and Biermann, respectively.

Offensive “Bird of Prey” Winner: RODDY WHITE. After finally getting a chance to work with a real QB, this young man is really becoming one of the league’s best. Matt Ryan really seems to have a groove with him, he seems to be growing more poised each year, and he is really grown under Coach Robiskie. 2500 yards and 18 TDs over the last two years is great. The passing game would have been a joke had he held out and the Falcons were VERY smart to get his deal done and secured. He and MR will hoist that Lombardi on Peachtree sooner rather than later.

Defensive “Bird of Prey” Co-Winners: First, you all know I love Patrick Willis. But I have to give Thomas Dimitroff five starts. If Mckay goofed in passing on Willis, TD hit a grand slam with Lofton. This kid is a beast, the soul of the defense, and will be one of the best for years to come. Second, Thomas DeCoud answered the call at safety. When all the “experts” questioned us for releasing Lawyer Milloy, TD and Smitty knew what they had. And DeCoud did not disappoint. Great work TD, both of you.

Rookie of the Year ” Bird of Prey” Award: Christopher Owens is going to be a force to deal with. Again, TD appears to have found solid value in a player. He may not be a shutdown but he is physical and he is hungry. And he is only going to get better. I like what I see in him going into 2010. One of those two CB jobs is his long term…cash that check now.

Station Break..

SeminoleWarrior

January 13th, 2010
7:51 am

Back with the First Annual “Birds of Prey” Awards. Doesn’t Mrs. Obama look simply marvelous in her evening gown? Ohhh, back to the awards.

Most Improved “Bird of Prey” Award: Easy. A champion in heart, in work ethic, and in his commitment to improve. He gave his all and Smitty believed in him when a lot of people did not. The Little Engine That Could has a version in Charlotte named Smith. We have one in ATL named Grimes. This kid is for real and it is time he gets some love. He WAS simply the best CB on the Falcons roster this season…bar none!!

Biggest Disappointment “Bird of Prey” Award: The Falcons Offensive Line. After keeping MR upright last season and opening holes for the league’s second best rushing attack, the line regressed this season. Imjuries were a small part but the focus seemed to be missing from that intensity shown last season. This must change in 2010 as we go back to our roots, running the rock and allowing MR to work the intermediate game.

Breakthrough Player “Bird of Prey” Award: Patience is a virtue. Jason Snelling waited patiently. Sarah B and I knew what we had. Jerry Jones knew what we had; thus his attempt to go after JS last season, forcing us to activate him from the practice squad. Soon, the rest of the fan base and the NFL would find out too. Pair this stud with the Burner and we will have one of the most lethal rushing attacks in the league next season. Do you hear me Mike Mularkey?

Recap of the first annual “Birds of Prey” Awards:

Offensive: Roddy White
Defensive Co-Winners: Curtis Lofton and Thomas DeCoud
Rookie: Chris Owens
Most Improved: Brent Grimes
Biggest Disappointment: Offensive Line
Breakthrough Player: Jason Snelling

The Process continues. Thanks for tuning in. I will now head off for a stroll in the park with Mrs. Obama. Hey, if Jimmy Swaggert can do it, why can’t I? Just kidding, Mr. President. Most importantly, if she is reading, just kidding Queen Kitten (but you know that…).

One Nation…Falcon Nation.

SeminoleWarrior

January 13th, 2010
8:03 am

On the Coach Thomas release, I am somewhat saddened by it. Loyalty is a rare commodity now a days and I can’t think of a more loyal soul than Emmitt Thomas. At 67, he has earned his right to take it easy, spend time with his sweet wife Jacqui, who is a hoot if you ever met her, and reflect on a great run in the AFL/NFL. Thanks for the autograph Coach, thanks for righting our ship when the Pig Farmer had totally screwed it up, and thanks for being the ultimate example of class. You ARE a true Hall of Famer in my book. I look forward to seeing your bust when I go to Canton later this summer. Enjoy the time with Jacqui.

SeminoleWarrior

January 13th, 2010
8:10 am

PS…regarding the fruit reference in the awards show, I was eating a peach at the time and was going to all the awards, the Golden Peach. But that sounded a little, well you know. So I parlayed the CEO’s Bird Cage title and thus, the Birds of Prey Awards.

One Nation..Falcon Nation.

D3

January 13th, 2010
8:35 am

Jim K. – When you more than double your sack total from your rookie year (2 Sacks) to your second year (5 sacks), after being drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft, I would say that merits some consideration. 2 starts would be the “limited time” part. Simple math, really. Also, sorry my personal McGraw-Hill Publishing editors didn’t see that one. They must have been on vacation. Otherwise, great commentary on your part. Very insightful

Singletary – Great idea for next week.

Elaine – Welcome aboard. This is a great place for all things Falcons Football, without all the distractions.

Tbone

January 13th, 2010
8:59 am

I went to every season home b/c I am a season ticket holder I drive from Augusta to Atlanta for all the home games my opinion for Offensive Player Of The Year Roddy White, Defensive Player Of The Year Thomas Decoud, Rookie Of The Year Chris Owens, Most Improved even though he had struggles at times with his size Brent Grimes, Big Disappointment was Chris Houston he was playing the player not the ball getting played twice in 1 game with 2 pass interferences call deep in our territory, Breakthrough Player is Jason Snellings for sure he is definitely worth keeping for a backup to Michael Turner, looking forward to the Falcons improving to a better record at least 11-5 like we did the previous year and hopefully all of our players can stay healthy for the whole year. See you at the DOME!!!

LRD

January 13th, 2010
9:08 am

BT I think nailed it , cept I would insert Jenkins as disappointing. It seems he even thought he was disappointing too. Curious how he comes back this next season..maybe competition of a new draft and competition from Douglas, and who knows a free agent, might get Jenkins back on track.

Oh, and when Grimes jumped like 8ft up for that interception ( saints I believe) was one of the most athletic plays of the year. Remember screaming on that one and waking up the little man upstairs…

JJ

January 13th, 2010
9:09 am

From ESPN – PAT Y:

Updating Peria Jerry’s recovery
January, 12, 2010 Jan 122:33PM ETComment Email Print Share By Pat Yasinskas

Loyal reader Steve from Rochester, N.Y. sent a note to the mailbag the other day, asking about particulars on the knee injury that sidelined Atlanta defensive tackle Peria Jerry for almost his entire rookie season.

Steve was looking for details about the injury because it was reported as a “torn-up knee’’ for the most part and also wanted to know how Jerry’s recovery is coming.

I got on the phone to the Falcons. Jerry has suffered torn ligaments, but did not tear the ACL, and that’s significant. The team wouldn’t specify what other ligaments were involved. The outlook is that Jerry should make a full recovery, but the Falcons aren’t making any timetable public.

They say Jerry is taking part in a rigorous rehab routine at their facility virtually every day. He’s mostly working on strength and flexibility. He is not running yet, but that appears to be the next step.

The Real Falcon

January 13th, 2010
9:09 am

Easy: 88, Walker, Lofton (now playing all 3 downs), Houston and Snelling.

LRD

January 13th, 2010
9:12 am

Oh, and Snelling was simply The Man going into the end of the season. I dont know if you can say most improved as we never saw him used that extensively, but he really took the load on his shoulders. Turner has to be a bit concerned this off season.

one more if I may Best Spec Teams: Weems, from returns,to downfield tackling on kicks/punts. He seemed to be the spark on the sideline jumping up and down, pumping up teammates, and just fired up the entire game. Always good to have someone like that on the team

JeanE

January 13th, 2010
10:31 am

Offensive player of the year: Roddy White. He has finally taken it to the highest level, he is our playmaker on offense.
Defensive player of the year: Thomas DeCoud
Biggest disappointment: John Abraham. Where did you disappear to?
Most improved: Brent “Grimey” Grimes. Little man, big heart, tough as nails player.
Rookie of the year: Christopher Owens.

CBrass

January 13th, 2010
10:34 am

D3,

As always great work.

SW,

Sorry I wasn’t able to make it. I apologize for canceling on such short notice. Let’s just say Kory was in need of my attention and who am I do deny him. However I did TIVO the show and just finished watching. As for the awards that were handed out I can’t argue with any of them. If there was a “Not Surprised Award”(in a bad way) both Houston and his hog friend Anderson would be co-winners. At the beginning of the season I bashed them pretty good in hopes that they would make me eat my words but that didn’t happen. The “Not Suprised Award” (in a good way) would have to go to my hubby Biermann and Sid. Not surprised by their level of play. Just imagine what type of numbers they could put up if they got more playing time.

Super Bowl or bust

January 13th, 2010
12:24 pm

I give props to Gonzales and Snelling on offense. Matt Ryan needs to cut out the INT’s.
The most improved by far is Grimes. It’s great that we have an abundance of players who are young and improving each game… Owens at CB, Lofton, DeCoud, Sidbury. Biggest disappointment to me was Abraham. Jamaal Anderson was expected after this many years of ZERO production from him.
But Abraham went from pancaking Jake Long in the first game against MIA to becoming MIA the rest of the season. I’m not sure why, but even when he wasn’t double teamed Abraham didn’t seem to get to the QB and when he did he whiffed most of the time on the sack and allowed the QB to escape him or ran past the QB. However this is the last year of his contract. I look forward to him
rebounding next season…or he will retire. If he has 2 down seasons in a row, he will not be signed by anyone to a significant contract and he will retire.

falcon21

January 13th, 2010
5:55 pm

I agree with BT, he was on target. I won’t single out a player but the o-line was a huge disappointment.

Ken Strickland

January 13th, 2010
5:59 pm

OFF most valuable player-WR RWHITE(a model of consistency.

DEF most valuable player-MLB CLofton( our DEF anchor),

Most improved player-CB BGrimes(performed at a Probowl level the 2nd half of the season).

Most disappointing player- DE JAbraham(had the biggest overall drop in production of any other player).

Rookie of the yr-CB COwens(once he became a starter, he helped turn a position of weakness into a position of strength).

Breakthrough player of the yr-RB JSnelling(Without his stellar performance after replacing RB MTurner, we’d still be hoping to breaking the curse of never having consecutive winning seasons).

SEMINOLE WARRIOR-I agree, our OL needs an upgrade. We definitely need to improve our pass blocking, especially on the edges, and we can start with replacing RT TClabo. He’s definitely been a weak link as a pass blocker. We have to take a long look at OT’s GReynolds, as well as WStivek, who replaced him both he and SBaker when they were injured. LT SBaker simply has to find a way to stay healthy, and do a better job of holding off speed rushers. If OT OJinnaka, who replaced RG HDahl when he was injured, can build upon the outstanding job he did of clearing the way for RB JSnelling down the stretch, he could end up being his replacement.

JJ

January 13th, 2010
6:11 pm

I’ve seen this guys name on several mocks for us. It’s interesting but I thought Haden was the only CB worthy of 1st rd.

2010 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan

Donovan Warren came to Michigan with a lot of hype, and has finally started playing up to his ability. He was a solid performer during his first two seasons with the Wolverines, tallying 104 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 9 passes broken up, and 2 forced fumbles in 24 games. Those are good stats for most players, but Warren stepped his game up to the next level as a junior, registering 66 tackles, 11 passes broken up in coverage, and 4 interceptions (one of which he returned for a touchdown). Warren isn’t going to be the fastest corner at the combine, but he has solid speed for the position. What’s going to impress scouts is when Warren takes place in position drills. He has very fluid hips, and breaks well on the ball while it’s in the air. Warren has a similar skill set to a young Darelle Revi and like Revis is great in press coverage. Warren has become a feared college defender, a guy who can take half the field away from an opposing quarterback. If Donovan Warren decides to declare for the draft in 2010, he is likely to be a first round pick

Origional Fan

January 13th, 2010
6:13 pm

With the possibility of an “uncapped” year, does anyone realize that Miles Austin is an UFA this year? Ultimate compliment to RW.

WR

January 13th, 2010
7:02 pm

D3, great read, I definitely like the picks and to add my two cents:

O-MVP-Big toss up between White and Gonzo, Gonzo is so easy to pick, the guy’s a definite for the Hall, and his addition paid dividends from the start, but I go with White here, the Falcons have no other true WR threats, but somehow White just keeps getting it done. If he is not considered elite yet, he’s on his way.

D-MVP, no brainer to me, Lofton, finally someone to make long time Falcons fans let go of the days of Jesse Tuggle, matter of fact Lofton reminds me of the player Tuggle was as the heart of the Falcons for years, its Lofton’s role now and he’s fit for the positon.

ROY-Owens, good finish to the season, future looks brights, crossing my fingers here, see Chevis Jackson.

Most improved-Although Vance Walker improved as the season went along, he was a rookie so its hard to put him in this category this year. I believe Snelling just needed more opportunities, most of us saw good potential in him, same goes for Biermann, so I’m going with Grimes here. Mighty mouse gets picked on constantly and keeps coming back for more, but he seemed much more comfortable playing the boundary corner, right side corner, and the Falcons may have found a home for one of their hardest working players.

Biggest disappointment, without question for me, Jamaal Andersen, while most were screaming bust, I believed the light would turn on, finally came to the realization that the light bulb was never screwed in, and it appears it never will be, hope is one thing, miracles is another.

Breakthrough player of the year-Toss up here for me also, as good as Lofton was this year, he was only a 2 down LB last year, he wanted to be an every down LB this year, he worked on his game, and the Falcons are a better defense because of it. But the award goes to Decoud, no one saw this one coming, didn’t even think he would beat out William Moore in training camp. Not only did he beat out Moore but he went on to provide strong free safety play, and as the season progressed he grew and got even better.

Actually Decoud leads me to a thought toward one of the Falcons weaknesses, someone suggested he could be moved to corner, but I thought about a really good safey from UGA that is now an outstanding WLB for the Carolina Panthers, and I wonder could Moore bulk up just a bit more, he’s a playmaker if he can stay healthy so the Falcons will have to find a way to get him on the field. Probably will be hard to beat out Spencer Adkins who is getting rave reviews from coach Smitty. As much as a no-name as Adkins is, his size and speed makes him a freak, he was a project when the birds drafted him, now he is catching the coach’s eye.

Mike

January 13th, 2010
9:54 pm

I understand why Gonzo did not make the pro bowl. Many NFC tight ends had big seasons. Honestly I am not sure how Witten made it over Celek, and Finley. I am not sure how Roddy did not get in. Sidney Rice and Miles Austin both had break out years.Jackson was a huge big play guy. Fitz as great as he is, did not have a stellar year, and Roddy did not have the benefit of having two other really good receivers. I still however think off player of the year is a toss up and would have to give Roddy the edge. D player of the year I think is Lofton hands down. De Coud had an ok year, but Lofton was the one constant on our Def. Rookie of the year I have to say is Owens even with the little playing time he received. I was actually suprised it took him as long as it did to work his way into the line up. He shined in training camp and in early scrimmages. I think he is going to be a good physical corner. It is hard to say who is most improved. Babineaux I think has to be a candidate. He was a force in the middle that we have been lacking. With the injuries at D-Tackle this year he really stepped up. No doubt Abe was the mnost disappointing this year.I think if his production had lived up to what we have come to expect, we could be talking about next weekl rather than next year. D-End seems to be a glaring need now, when I thought with Abe, Davis, and Bierman coming along we would be ok there.

wAw

January 13th, 2010
10:02 pm

So all those injuries had a bright side: Owens, Snelling, Grimes had an opportunity to step up – and they did.

falcon21

January 13th, 2010
10:21 pm

If Bierman can build a little more size to go along with his heart he could be a bad man. We need him to be a feared man but as of now he has to depend on his speed. Add a little more strenght and he could be dominant.

CBrass

January 14th, 2010
9:03 am

JJ

January 14th, 2010
9:07 am

From Draft countdown: wishful thinking I know.

More than anything Atlanta needs a top-flight cornerback but it’s unlikely Florida’s Joe Haden will fall this far and there is a huge dropoff at the position after him. With that in mind Atlanta turns their attention to hometown product Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech. Despite the presence of sack artist John Abraham the Falcons have had trouble generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks and since former #8 overall pick Jamaal Anderson has been a major bust they will probably have to bring in another defensive end. There is a good chance Morgan will be gone by this point, possibly in the Top 10 overall, but if he is available the Falcons should write his name down on a card and run to the podium. Although not an elite edge rusher Morgan is a terrific all-around player with prototypical size who is effective against both the run and the pass. Similar in many ways to Derrick Harvey when he was coming out of Florida, Morgan may not offer star potential but he would represent a big upgrade for Atlanta and be a perfect compliment to Abraham. In addition to corner and defensive end the Falcons also have an issue at outside linebacker, where Mike Peterson is 33-years-old. One way or another look for the Falcons to go defense in round one and based on who’s available Morgan would be a total no-brainer.

JJ

January 14th, 2010
9:15 am

From Draft countdown: for my ’spoon lovin friends.

Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon would provide a considerable upgrade on the weakside. Weatherspoon really is the total package and in addition to his impressive measurables he is constantly around the action and just has a knack for making the big play.

Unca' Bob

January 14th, 2010
9:48 am

Weatherspoon will be joined with teammate D Alexander in the Senior Bowl this year. DA is 6′5″, 215lbs, caught 113 balls for 1781 yds and 14tds.

SeminoleWarrior

January 14th, 2010
9:50 am

Good morning, Cage. JJ hard at work on his draft board I see. I like that bro. Great awards narrative my ACC brother, WR.

Spoooon!! Spoooon!! Spooon!! Enough said.

Monitoring the Adkins deal though. The rugged Marine (UnCa Bob) may be on to something. Adkins is a gamer on special teams and we may keep him there as a leader on that unit. He and Coy Wire are BEASTS on special teams. TD and Smitty place a HIGH premium on quality ST play/players.

One quick additional note on CB play: We have a former first round pick on the roster that we acquired last season, Tye Hill. He definately has the skill set to be effective but must get over the injury bug that has shortened his role in the last two years. Going to be interesting to see where he comes into all the mix in 2010. He only has 4 years in the league, the last two in spot duty. Coach him up and let’s see what we have.

Use the crucial draft pick (we have five as of right now) elsewhere.

SeminoleWarrior

January 14th, 2010
9:51 am

UnCa Bob (Semper Fi), will be scouting that Senior Bowl big time. Several guys I want to watch there. Have you seen the invite list yet? It is late this year being posted to NFL.com? Is your man Norwood an invitee? I’m sure he is.

SeminoleWarrior

January 14th, 2010
9:54 am

Oops..UnCa Bob. Just checked. There is a partial roster on the Senior Bowl website. You, JJ, and those others Mel Kiper wanna-bes like us may want to check it out.

SeminoleWarrior

January 14th, 2010
9:55 am

Norwood and Spoon are both invitees.

CBrass

January 14th, 2010
10:14 am

JJ,

According to this mock draft they have Morgan falling to us.

http://www.nfldraftdog.com/Mock-Drafts/2010-Mock-Draft-Page-2.html

SW/Unca’ Bob,

Hope you guys are doing well.

CBrass

January 14th, 2010
10:17 am

The below link is where you can go to see others mock draft.

http://www.nfldraftdog.com/Mock-Drafts/mock-draft-database.html

Unca' Bob

January 14th, 2010
10:23 am

Good morning to all. The roster for this years Senior Bowl.

http://www.seniorbowl.com/rosters.asp

SeminoleWarrior

January 14th, 2010
11:27 am

From the TeePee Eyewitness News SportsDesk..

Early votes are in and it appears that Derrick Morgan, Eric Norwood, and Sean Weatherspoon are drawing a lot of attention from that astute group of analysts known as the Bird Cage.

When asked, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said, “This group has a great leadership in their D3, a strong core of passionate members, and an incredible desire to improve our team.” Blank continues, “They will be an asset to Thomas and Mike as the draft preparations continue….we share a common goal – making this team competitive for the long term and winning championships.”

Stay tuned to TeePee Eyewitness News Sports for the latest on this developing story.

SeminoleWarrior

January 14th, 2010
11:30 am

Oops…should read great leadership in their CEO, D3; darn upstart news network…LOL.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

January 14th, 2010
11:34 am

How goes it Cagers! Hope everyone is well as we finall roll into the weekend. Good convo’s going about our award day. New post coming tonight about Postion-by-Position Grades. See you all tonight!

WR

January 14th, 2010
11:45 am

Seminole, got a shocker for you, and probably the UGA fans, as a GT fan and observer, I believe Morgan will be a stud in the NFL, as a Falcons fan, I would rather have a WOLB or shutdown corner, nope, haven’t had a drink yet, I just feel that if theres 1st round worthy players at any of those two positions, you have to take them over Morgan.

WR

January 14th, 2010
12:27 pm

Quick history lessen, and affirmation of the process

2008 Defense 2009 Defense

Rushing yards allowed-127.9 Rushing yards allowed-106.9
Passing yards allowed-220.4 Passing yards allowed-241.9
Sacks-34 Sacks-28
Total yards allowed-348.2 Total yards allowed-348.9
Pts allowed-20.3 Pts allowed-20.3

In 09′ the Falcons were in the top three as for as difficult schedules, they faced 4 teams coming off of byes, they had either rookie or first time starters at DT, LB, CB, and S. They lost five veteran starters in Jackson, Brooking, Milloy, Boley, and Foxsworth, moved a free safety in Coleman over to strong safety, moved a middle linebacker who has aged and had alot of time off in Peterson, to WLB, started a first round pick at DT, he got injured and replaced by a journeyman and a 7th round pick, started multiple CBs including a rookie, but overall the defense actually improved. They lost 6 sacks from last years defense even though Abe’s total was down 11, their total yards allowed changed .7 yards. Believe what you will, the DT situation is going to be okay, but there is an obvious need a CB and getting a younger faster WLB should be a top priority.

Looking at the team statistically and overall, TD and Smitty told us the truth, and delievered what they said they would on the field, its a process, they wanted to get stronger and faster, there would be steps back before they would move forward and considering the schedule I think they accomplished these goals alot sooner then we imagined. Replace last year’s version of Elam with this year’s version, and the Falcons are in the playoffs, with around the same record, and thats also with a QB only in his second year, and the focal point of the offense in Turner hurt for a large number of games. Something special is brewing in Atlanta, and for once it doesn’t involve the sewage system.

Longshotsmith

January 14th, 2010
12:44 pm

Jason Elam for most dissapointing

WRB

January 14th, 2010
5:50 pm

Good day to the cage
I think R White ( like others ) has the award in the O . He should have been a pro bowler this year .Gonzo could probably take a split with him . And even tho MR threw some int this year . I like what I have seen just to be his second year and without his star RB a good portion of the year . He is just getting started in his carrier still and will only get better with age .

Snelling gets the Ace in the hole award . Look out 2010 with him and Turner we might just see a lot to smile about .

Grimes is in there for the D The man just plays with that fire you want in every player . Not to leave out Loften and Owens .

Elam gets the big egg. We might just be watching them play this week if not for him . Water under the bridge tho . Field goals win to many games in the NFL and its not good when your kicker misses like he did this year .

Coaching and Mng …..2 years 2 first years with a winning record . MVP.s

D3 for all your hard work and what you put in this blog site ,Hats off to you Sir …..MVP
Thanks Man from the old Birdman .

Keep it coming !!!! GO FALCONS !!!!!

falcon21

January 14th, 2010
7:11 pm

I think we should try and get another hoss on the o-line or cb through FA. if good talent is available at either position. O-line being first priority because if Brian Williams comes back healthy our secondary will be in pretty good shape.