Is Norwood Done in Atlanta?

Save ‘em or Send ‘em – Norwood Edition

Is Norwood Done in the ATL? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

One of the biggest and most lethal playmakers in recent Falcons history may be on the verge of moving on to another city and team in 2010. Jerious Norwood has been one of the fastest players in the NFL since he’s been in an Atlanta Falcons uniform. Every time #32 would touch the ball, fans and opponents alike knew he could take it to the house in an instant. His lightning quick speed, agility, and elusiveness has made him one of the biggest home run threats in the league. However, “threat” would be a good description as Norwood has also been a very large well of untapped potential. Since he was drafted in the third round in 2006, three different coaching staffs vowed to get him more involved and figure out ways to produce more touches, but his rushing yardage has significantly decreased every year (stats below) and he was never able to go over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving combined in his career.

Much of the reason Norwood never exploded could be attributed to lack of touches, schemes, and coaching. But one of the biggest reasons Norwood might not be back in the Georgia Dome is due to him being severely injury-prone this year. Norwood has missed some games throughout his career, but particularly this season. Again, this might not be his fault either, but if he’s not on the field he can’t be explosive. With the possibility of becoming a free agent this year, many thought Norwood would have his best year to date and perform a job interview to be someone’s feature back. Couple that with the emergence of Jason Snelling as a force in the backfield and it will be interesting to watch.

Norwood as a Falcon

Drafted out of Mississippi State after a stellar career there, Jerious Norwood started fast out of the gate rushing for 633 yards, 2 touchdowns, 102 yards receiving, and 320 yards returning. That was a great start for a rookie running back, particularly when he was only the number 2 back. His long run of 78 yards from scrimmage and stout 6.4 yards per rush average led many to believe his career would only skyrocket. When Bobby Prictrino was hired he promised to figure out ways to get Norwood the ball. In the sense of pure combined rush and receiving yards, it was his most successful finishing with over 2,000 all-purpose yards (1,317 return yards, 613 rush yards – 1 TD, 277 receiving yards).

The first year of the Coach Smith regime saw similar numbers and while his rushing yards took a dip to 489, he had an all-time high of 338 yards receiving. With a year full of weapons and high expectations in his potential free agent year, Norwood got hit hard by the injury bug, Missing 6 games entirely and getting pulled due to injury in many others. By far and away, Norwood had the worst season of his career finishing with only 252 rushing yards, 186 receiving yards, and 1 total touchdown. Norwood suffered several injuries throughout the year including knee, ankle, and a concussion. The injury opened a big hold for Jason Snelling to rise up and prove he could take over as the number 2 back if needed.

Save ‘em

Norwood still has the game-breaking ability he had when he first came in the league and given the right amount of touches, he can be a perfect complement to Turner (and even Snelling’s) hard charging, between the tackle running style. Michael Turner certainly can be very elusive and showed last year that he can carry the team, but this year saw a more fragile Turner that needs a solid number 2 back to be successful. The NFL has become a two, and even three, back league. With the amount of hits running backs take, teams need to be very deep in the backfield. Injuries mostly cannot be controlled and Norwood just had some bad luck in a year filled with injuries across the board. Like many others in the league, Jason Campbell comes to mind, Norwood has been the victim of having 3 different offensive coordinators and schemes in 4 years.

#32 didn’t get ANY help this year utilizing his speed in the passing game with screens and the like. Even though Snelling has proven himself to be a legit back in the NFL, he doesn’t possess the speed that truly complements Turner’s running style. He may be a free agent, but most likely it appears he will be restricted and the Falcons can afford to give him another year to prove the injury bug was a fluke and maybe Coaches Smith and Mularkey can provide him more chances to be successful. Norwood has combined for almost 6,000 all-purpose yards in four years as Atlanta Falcon as a backup and deserves one more year.

Send ‘em

Norwood has been a major game-breaking threat since he came into the NFL, but he has remained a large well of untapped potential. It is true that he has had three different coaching regimes in four years, but Norwood proved this year not to be durable enough to count on. It is accurate that players can’t help themselves getting injured, but running backs are getting to be pretty expendable these days in the NFL. Teams are always looking to get younger and are willing to do it much quicker with the number of running backs coming out in the draft. The success of rookie running backs expedites the process even more. Knowshon Moreno, Shonn Greene, Ray Rice, and Chris Johnson, just to name a few, have all had excellent rookie and second year campaigns. The Falcons obviously won’t be looking to draft a running back in the first round (unless CJ Spiller miraculously drops to #19), but the Falcons would be in a very good position in being able to add a speed back to develop behind Michael Turner and Jason Snelling. Speaking of Snelling, Norwood has been replaced by #44 as the number 2 back in Atlanta. One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity and Snelling took full advantage of the chance he got.

 Even when healthy, Norwood has had trouble proving he can run between the tackles and too often times gets tripped up extremely easy in the backfield. Will the Falcons be willing to match an offer from another team if he is a restricted free agent? Moreover, will the Falcons be willing to spend some serious dough on Norwood when they can draft their own guy with a likely arsenal of 8 picks in the upcoming draft? Norwood had a big chance this year to prove that he can be an every down back and, injuries aside, the result was not good. Norwood has been a great player and individual since becoming an Atlanta Falcon and he will be missed, but the business side of the game says that Norwood’s time has come to an end in Atlanta. The following link from Pro Football Weekly reaffirms this point.

What’s your thoughts on Jerious Norwood’s future as an Atlanta Falcon and potential free agent: save ‘em or send ‘em?

Enjoy………….

113 comments Add your comment

bb

January 17th, 2010
9:43 pm

send him packing.im sure he will kick our butt as a opponent

falcon21

January 17th, 2010
9:48 pm

Hate to see him leave but we have to do what is best for the Birds. It is in TD’s and MS’s hands.

CBrass

January 17th, 2010
10:00 pm

D3, as always great post. I’ve made my position known on this topic many times and I will stand by it. I say we keep him and Mad Mike have to find a way to get him the ball in open space. To me he and Reggie Bush has similar playing styles(I may be totally wrong in saying that). The Saints do a great job of getting him the ball in open space to maximize on his speed. Just as BB stated above. As soon as he gets traded he’s going to shine with another team and will probably kick our butts once or twice.

waw

January 17th, 2010
10:06 pm

Smith’s preferred way is more game pounder than game breaker. If the emphasis is on improved O-line play, Snelling will get the nod with Turner. Wish we could keep all three, though.

D3

January 17th, 2010
10:07 pm

I hate to say it, but this might be JRocks last year in Atlanta. All of it really depends on how much Norwood’s agent might be seeking. With Jason Snelling also set to be a free agent, the Falcons surely will make Snelling their first priority and it would appear that they would be unwilling to re-sign two free agent running backs. All the while not getting any younger at the position. With 8 picks, there should be plenty of opportunities to take a chance on a speed back.

The issue becomes a little trickier with this whole collective bargaining deal. As of now, he will be a restricted free agent, meaning that the Falcons can match any offer and any signing by another team would include some compensation in the form of draft picks, something TD cherishes. Then again, what kind of market will be there for Norwood? There are teams that would probably be willing to take a chance on Norwood as a number 2 back, if not a feature back. JMHO.

ATLJBO

January 17th, 2010
10:13 pm

In one of Thomas Dimitroff press conference’s ..TD said contracts for Norwood and Snelling is nearly done.

D3

January 17th, 2010
10:20 pm

CBrass – Very accurate. The Saints have made it work this year with a combination of Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, and even Lynell Hamilton getting goal-line, short yardage looks. However, Thomas will be a restricted free agent this year and Mike Bell will be an unrestricted free agent. Its hard enough to keep together a two-back tandem, much less a three back tandem and with how quickly rookie RBs can come in and contribute, I would be surprised if they were able to keep Snelling and Norwood……or even want to.

bb – Could happen. But Brooking played virtually no part in the Cowboys defeat of us, Michael Boley got burnt by TG for the game-tying touchdown (even though we lost), Grady Jackson had minimal impact for the Lions, Foxworth had an up-and-down year and was burnt by rookie Austin Collie last night for a big TD, and Lawyer Milloy didn’t even catch on anywhere. TD’s releases to date have been pretty good, so he gets the benefit of the doubt in my book. Also remember Dunn, Crumpler, and DHall haven’t/didn’t do much either.

waw and falcon21 – I would be happy either way to be honest. Considering how deep the draft is, it would be nice to take a chance on a young speed back.

LRD

January 17th, 2010
10:34 pm

I hate to say pack em, but if we keep him we have to get him out in the flats, use more screens to him, heck why not out him up as a slot rcvr? But I was in the complaining group when we ever used to him between the tackles. It just not his forte, so why force it? Granted, he could bust it open, but the odds were slim.

Box

January 17th, 2010
10:51 pm

What’s not to say that we do sign both JRock and Snelling to contracts as ATLJBO states, but JRock at a reduced rate due to injury. That could bring about possible trade possibilities for picks. Your opinions?

ATLJBO

January 17th, 2010
11:10 pm

Norwood is a impact player as a RB and KR… The guy was just injured this year… We will keep Norwood at a good price.

Ed

January 17th, 2010
11:21 pm

Excellent breakdown D3. I only see the Falcons re-signing Norwood if it’s at a level they are comfortable with. As you alluded to, letting him go and picking up a burner somewhere in the draft is a high probability. And yes, if as you say CJ Spiller is available by some miracle, run to the podium don’t walk. He’s going to be special…

Bully 11

January 18th, 2010
12:28 am

Norwood is a great person much less one heck of an athlete. The Falcons should keep The Mississippi State Alumni and give him the ball. Good luck Jerious and if the Falcons don’t want you please go to the Dolphins.

Sarah B

January 18th, 2010
6:02 am

If we have to let him go then wr have to let him go. But I don’t want to. If we keep him, we need to use him though. For years he was always misusued….

JJ

January 18th, 2010
6:40 am

CBrass, completely agree and saved me from typing.

f21, cannot beleuve it took cjoe so long to reply. Their were several posts that had me ROFL. As D3 said yesterday, karma’s a bitch.

JJ

January 18th, 2010
6:44 am

believe…need java!

JJ

January 18th, 2010
7:29 am

SW, I’m off the Hardy train. We cannot take another 1st rd. chance on injury prone players. Here’s an preview of east-west shrine game from Mcshay:

DE Greg Hardy, Ole Miss
Hardy’s roller coaster of a career at Ole Miss finished on a disappointing note considering he missed nearly five full games due to multiple injuries. It is also widely known in NFL scouting circles that Hardy comes with baggage, including a questionable attitude and poor work ethic. Hardy is healthy now and needs to show scouts that he is rounding back into form. A healthy, determined Hardy could dominate the competition in this game. He needs a strong week to help his plummeting draft stock.

The Real Falcon

January 18th, 2010
7:42 am

JJ

January 18th, 2010
7:56 am

D3, dont mean to take traffic away but you got to read Shultz new blog.

D3

January 18th, 2010
8:25 am

JJ – Good morning my friend. I did read his column and it appears he is turning into KB#51’s biggest fan boy. I saw Brooking make one good play when he snuffed out a screen (or pass to the flats one), but that was about it. Other than that it was a 10+ tackle downfield. The is more talk than play. It was probably running it up a little, but I seem to recall them running it up a few times themselves. Namely us and the Eagles. Karma’s a biooooootch. Don’t dish it, if you can’t take it. Finally, they kept going for it on 4th down on their own 20 yard line and not converting, what did you expect them to do?

Like your assessment of Hardy. I looked at him and Wootton from Northwestern and they both had serious injury histories. As much as I’m pulling for Hip Hip Peria, we don’t need another injury-prone DL from Ole Miss. I think I’m finally settling in to OLB or OT. Pretty shocked to see how far down Kindle and Weatherspoon are. BTW, McClain can play OLB as well, so its time to finally upgrade our OLB situation. Peterson played pretty well, but was no threat in the pass rush. Nicholas had a solid first year as starter, but not fantastic, so that’s a need area, IMHO. That or OT. Coop and BT finally convinced me on that one. Got your email….completely and whole-heartedly agree. Thought I was the only one thinking that way. Interesting because we’ve not seen that until recently.

Coop

January 18th, 2010
8:45 am

I am really on the fence with Norwood. D3’s correct… tons of potential. I would like to see him stay and get used properly. But if the Falcons aren’t going to do that, then let him go. Maybe he doesn’t practice well, maybe he’s injury prone, maybe it’s schemes, but he does nto give us the lightning threat often enough. It often seems like it’s 72 yrds for 6 or TFL.

A couple of points. If you don’t resign him, you need to draft a replacement. I’m OK with that. But that shouldn’t come before the 4th. We need to beef up the O Line so the feature back and franchise QB are taken care of. Don’t get stuck on getting CJ Spiller in the first couple of rounds. That would be a colossal failure in terms of upgrading the TEAM. Second, whoever we draft to replace the Rock, you still have to use him correctly. If you get an identical set of skills that you still won’t get out in space, then just sign the Rock and save the draft pick.

The more I’ve slept on this, the more I think we should spend our 1st on O line. Especially if Buluga is available. I also like a OC in the 3rd. There is one from BC that layed with Ryan.

Coop

January 18th, 2010
8:48 am

Crap, PLAYED with Ryan

JJ

January 18th, 2010
8:57 am

D3, I think the safest pk will be LT in 1st rd. I think we really need a pass rushing DE,but after Morgan, the rest of them projected in 1st rd are questionable. If we cant trade back into the 2nd, 19/20 is too early for spoon IMHO. So LT for now, lol. Move baker to right and resign the evil twins. Breaking right…springtime for a day or two!
ps- grab Morgan or Spiller if they fall that far.

Coop

January 18th, 2010
9:02 am

JJ – Like the OT. I don’t like Morgan or Spiller at 19 even if they fall that far. Nice picks,but we strengthen deep areas IMHO. We are much weaker on the OL to justify drafting a backup RB in round 1.

Unca' Bob

January 18th, 2010
9:32 am

Dallas kicked a fieldgoal with 2:21 left in the game against Atlanta this year. It made the final score 37-21. Where was the indignation then??

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Good morning Cage… We pause to reflect on this the holiday honoring one of the greatest Americans ever, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this warrior and his family for sure, the Dream shall never die.

The time has come to close the door on the Norwood experience. IMHO, the Falcons are a much better team with bigger, more physical backs like Turner and Snelling. It is a documented fact; when we run the ball and effectively use the intermediate passing game, we are a MUCH better football team. True, Norwood is lightning in a bottle but the dude can not give me a full season; hell, sometimes, he can’t give me a full game or quarter. What is it with those fellows from the Magnolia State and their injury proneness? Anyways, I would love to go bigger and more punishing at the RB position. That is the way to punch your ticket to the playoffs consistently.

Darn JJ; I was looking forward to winning the bet. But I completely see why you would change your mind. Hardy has always been suspect in my view. The injuries are an issue for sure, but the questionable motor and work ethic are much bigger. In TD I trust and I am confident that he will not move in that direction. Could it be that TD also saw that this would be, outside of Morgan, a relatively weak DE draft class? When I say weak, I mean between injuries and woprk ethic/off field issues, what is there really to get excited about at the DE position this draft? I say continue to develop Biermann and Sidbury.

The defensive tackle situation is still more of an issue to me than the DE situation. Just my opinion.

Back shortly for take two…

Coop

January 18th, 2010
9:54 am

Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
Height: 6-6. Weight: 312.
Projected 40 Time: 5.02.
Projected Round (2010): Top 25 Pick.
1/7/10: Bryan Bulaga declared for the 2010 NFL Draft. This was a good move; Bulaga saw teammate Dace Richardson’s career ruined because of a nasty knee injury. Bulaga is a projected first-round pick, so he was wise to leave school early.

10/24/09: Missed three games with an illness, but is still in the mix to be the second or third tackle to be taken off the board.

2/9/09: A very athletic left tackle from a program known for producing stud offensive linemen, Bryan Bulaga was an All-Big Ten second-teamer as a sophomore. Bulaga started as a true freshman.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
9:57 am

Take Two:

As far as the OL issues, IMHO, it would be much more wise to keep the best of what we have now in terms of the young studs we have on our current roster. This group is underrated in major ways. Two years ago, there was not enough praise for them after the disaster of the Petrino experience. This year, with a few more injuries and a hint of depth issues, we want to overhaul the whole darn thing.

Personally, I am much more concerned about the inconsistency of the DL than I am anything (expect depth) on the OL.

Coop

January 18th, 2010
10:00 am

Matt Tennant, Boston College
Height: 6-4. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 4.93.
Projected Round (2010): 2-3.
1/17/10: Matt Tennant has 40 consecutive starts. He was an All-ACC second-teamer.

2/11/09: An honorable mention on the All-ACC Team.

7/28/08: Matt Tennant started every game for Boston College in 2007, as he was a very reliable center for Matt Ryan.

Coop

January 18th, 2010
10:08 am

SW – I kinda agree. I like getting a DT, but If you could bring in the two guys I just posted in the 1st and 3rd (big ifs, they might be gone) you could move Baker to RT (so Garrett backs him up) and groom the OC to replace McClure next year when he retires. You keep Blalock, Dahl, Svitek, and Ojinaka. You only lose Clabo and later McClure (who you lose anyway). Or keep Clabo to backup RT and Garrett to backup LT. I think this would improve the OL, stay young, and improve our depth.

I am totally against a DE in round 1. Your arguement that one bad year shouldn’t mean we revamp the OL can be used for the DEs. Abe had a bad year. But if Jerry comes in and does what we hope and Sid and Beer Money continue to improve, Abe should resurge. If not, Sid might be able to take his place. I’ll support a space eater at DT. That has been my first pick for months. But if the thought is don’t spend back to back #1’s on DT, then I want OLine help.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
10:12 am

Take two, part two: What do all of these QBs have in common?

Brees, Favre, Rivers, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Romo, McNabb, and Schaub.

They ALL were sacked more than Matt Ryan.

And, for a OL that was in a state of flux all season, we STILL managed to finish in the TOP half of the league in BOTH passing and rushing offense.

Not too bad for a group that is three years removed from being the laughing stock of the league.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
10:14 am

Coop, I have no issue with adding depth at any position. But I am not seeing a LT in this draft worth taking other than the guy from Iowa.

I love the Tennant move. He and MR already have chemistry together and he would be a wise pick. And you can’t go wrong with a BC lineman; we have seen that proven over time.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
10:24 am

Sleeper alert: Third or fourth round.

DE C. J Wilson of East Carolina. Saw this kid in the Liberty Bowl and a couple of times on ESPN. He could be a middle round steal in the way that most think Sidbury was last year.

http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?Prospect_ID=2186

WR

January 18th, 2010
10:55 am

Morning cage, Seminole, right on, the OL is not as bad off as some suggest. We tend to forget that not only was Ryan entering into his second year, but the LT drafted to protect him was entering his second year, and thats with missing a games due to injury in his first rookie season. We all rant and rave about the out break of Snelling, even had him listed as one of the breakout players of the year. News flash, that wouldn’t be possible without strong OL play. We can talk about Baker’s injuries all we want, but he was there for the majority of the year, to say he needs to be moved in only his second year, is to return to the old way of the Falcons competing.

The Second biggest issue that arises centers around DTs. Wrong again, the Falcons are young at DT, outside of the first round pick getting injured they have had strong DT play, just ask the Jets. As a means to proving my point while not changing the points of others, here was my thoughts as the season moved alone:

WR

January 18th, 2010
10:55 am

I was the biggest hater of BVG, nothing against UGA, its all about results, and specifically what was being shown on the field. Honestly as the season went along I came to a realization that I too, as many fans have, forgot what the Falcons said before they entered this season. They would be young, and take steps back before they moved forward, and thats exactly what they did. We try to take away from the Falcons last few games, claiming they were playing lesser opponents, but one of those lesser opponents is in the AFC championship game, and so far that team has shut down a good Bengals team, and put a great offensive team in SD to rest for this season. Why, as the young players learned the basics of the D, Smitty and BVG were able to open things up, the towards the last 6 or 7 weeks of the season, the Falcons showed an array of blitzes and a variety of looks, outside of the Philly game when they just weren’t ready to play, the last half of the season displayed a fast, aggressive, and complete defense, and thats without a true shutdown corner. Look before you leap is an old saying, that rings true for the Falcons, they learned to look first, and they started leaping as the season went along, and now we’re screaming for DTs, when a youth movement has been made and progressed, but we’re old at two keep positions of defense in DE and OLB. Plus we want to give up an OL that caught a rookie up right last year, took a couple of steps back this year, but ultimately allowed a second year QB to stay upright, and allowed a career backup RB to blossum, greed leads to one good season and then the dumps, sounds like a team I use to know, patience leads to building a powerhouse, which sounds like the team I’m observing now.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
11:08 am

WR, thanks for having my back on the OL. The DL, my brother, is still an issue that we need to work on. You are correct, it is young. But the production was not as strong and focused as we would like. They did grow as the season progressed and there is upside. We will just have to see what happens.

I will agree with you. The defense did start to show the speed and the aggressive nature that most of our UGA friends in here had told us that BVG would deliver in time. As a matter of fact, there were times when I saw flashes of the type of speed and intensity that the Eagle D has now come to be known for. If that is what we can become, I, like you, am content with the direction we are heading in.

All together now…SPOON, SPOON, SPOON.

WR

January 18th, 2010
11:30 am

Seminole, like Spoon if the Falcons can trade back, so far the Falcons between the 19th and 20th pick, might be a bit early to take Spoon. As for the DL, DT just doesn’t seem to be the spot for the fix, if you consider the schedule and the teams the birds faced, finishing top ten indicates strong DT play. Plus you have to consider with the Falcons secondary, specifically at CB, they didn’t play alot of eight man fronts, that says even more about the DT play. As good as the Jets, Steelers, Packers, and even the Boys were, they played alot of eight man fronts to get it done, like the Vikings the Falcons didn’t have to which bodes well for the future. Now this is where I say Spoon, Spoon, Spoon, if you can trade out of your first round slot into the early second round, take a Spoon, pick up maybe a early third to go with the early second you picked up, then you can take a quality WR, RB, OL, or DT, and it only improves your team.

No matter who the birds get, unless they do something crazy like take another QB or Safety, I like the direction the team is headed in, I think they are putting together a powerhouse for years to come.

CBrass

January 18th, 2010
11:42 am

*College football take here. SW hope you’re doing well today my friend.

D3/falcon21,

Looks like we have a secondary coach.

http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2010/01/18/georgia-hires-uconns-lakatos/?cxntfid=blogs_uga_sports_blog

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
11:44 am

WR, In TD I trust. And like you, I definately think we are on the road to sustaining long term success. We will be a force to deal with in 2010.

I keep using the model of the Eagles defense. They are small up front(DT Mike Patterson 6′1: 300 lbs; DT Broderick Bunkley 6′2″, 305 lbs) but very fast and aggressive. That allows Trent Cole and rush the passer and for the Eagle LBs and CBs to be very aggressive.

Call me a fool but I see a similiar foundation being laid in ATL by TD and Smitty. We just need to ensure the HEALTH and DEPTH of what we have. Therein lies the challenge.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
11:45 am

Good morning CB. Hope that all is well with you as well.

Coop

January 18th, 2010
11:59 am

WR and SW – I appreciate your oppinions, but I can’t disagree with your logic. Yes our OL was pretty good last year and not horrible this year, but I don’t think anyone has ever made the claim that our right side has the equivalent talent to elite teams. With a cneter getting ready to retire and 3 of 5 spots could use an upgrade. Even if you like Tyson and Clabo (which I do), if they were backups how strong is our O line?

WR – your logic about youth being the reason we don’t need a DT is the exact reason we don’t need a DE. Abe had one down year and he is too old. OK, I’ll bite, but you won’t give Sid and Beer Money a chance to replace the DEs???? What are we doing if Babs gets jail time or suspended and Jerry doesn’t come back from injury? Start JA98 and Walker, Lewis, or Johnson at DT? Seriously, there isn’t a quality STARTING DT in that group. If you address the D line then it should be DT. If Jerry comes back strong, then you’ll have two studs to anchor that line for years while Sid and Beer Money rush the edges.

I have no issues with OLB to replace Pete, but not at 19. Trading back for spoon is fine with me, ut if Buluga is there at 19, you can’t pass that up. You could have two young OTs for a long time. Even if you think OLB is more need than OT, maybe we take the best player we need an improvement at.

If we draft DT or OT at 19, I wouldn’t complain. If we drafted DE or OLB, I’d cringe. Not horrible picks, but I’d rather trade back if those would be our first pick. If we pick CB, HB, WR, or TE I may lose my mind.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
12:08 pm

Coop, I agree that no one has ever stated that our line has the making of being a wing in its own right in Canton. But when healthy and coached up, the collection is pretty darn good. They are young and I think, as the PROCESS continues, can evolve into something very special.

Remember my friend, Dahl and Clabo were resting in Fred Sanford’s junkyard until the Falcons showed them some love. If the young men were smart, they would return the loyalty, eat a little crow, and stay with us while we move towards something special.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
12:13 pm

Trading back is a fine possibility but with whom would we trade and at what cost? I would rather take the best player available at the most critical need.

Giving up the first round pick is not as attractive as it once was due to the high cost associated with signing the pick.

Knew Money

January 18th, 2010
12:30 pm

Here’s what I see as the strengths, weaknesses and what positions needs depth of the Falcons going into the 2010 season

Here are the strenghts:
QB, RB’s (if you keep Norwood), Both Safeties, DT’s

Weaknesses:
CB, DE, OLB

Needs Depth:
OL, WR, TE

So going into this draft I think we should focus on these weaknesses & areas where we need depth. It makes no sense to me to not try to re-sign both Norwood and Snelling. We have too many areas where we need to focus our attention in this draft.

WR

January 18th, 2010
1:28 pm

Coop, between yourself, and Seminole, I believe we’re all on to something. We might disagee on the most critical need for the upcoming draft, but we all agree that, finally, the Falcons are a piece here and a piece there away, not from just contending in the upcoming season, but be a constant contender. It feels good for everyone to lay it all out, whether we agree or disagree it truly feels like everyone sees signs of a great team being built, if nothing else, you gotta love that.

Seminole, your right, its going to be hard to trade out of the position the Falcons are in, but there is always that one or two teams that believe their one player away, actually the Falcons are getting into that chatter, who would have thung it! You know me, I’m all for the best player to feel a need available, I might get dogged out for it but as I said earlier, if there’s not a first round worthy OLB, DE, or OT available, Spiller at RB and Bryant at WR look good to me.

We talk about the Patriot way, but do we really analyze the Patriot way, we can say the Pats didn’t or haven’t taken blah blah, at blah blah position, but they have always taken the best available at a position of need, whether that need is the biggest need or a need of the very near future. If you can get a Wilfork in FA, OLB or CB has to be your first round pick, if not, none of us will cry if you take a OT, matter of fact, I won’t cry if Spiller or Bryant is selected. Defense wins championships, but offensive firepower overcomes the best of defenses.

Unca' Bob

January 18th, 2010
1:33 pm

IMO, our defense needcs to be addressed first. Did anyone notice what the Vikings did yesterday to a very good Dallas O-Line? They blew them away. Their DT’s were in the backfield all day and allowed Allen and Edwards to cause havoc. I’m going to stay with another DT. Babs has some sanction problems next season. We will need an OLB and OC at some point in the draft, if B Romberg is not our answer to OC and S Atkins does not work out at OLB. You cannot have too many quality Linemen on either side of the ball.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
1:36 pm

Reference the 1:28 post by my ACC bro, I can’t add a single point. Well stated.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
1:48 pm

Semper Fi, UnCa Bob….

As you well my friend, I initiated the Wilfork discussion. IMHO, he is the ONLY FA DT worth going after aggressively. He is young, handles the interior with ease, and can be disruptive.

Babs is skating on thin ice at the present dependent on what the civil authorities and then, Judge Goddell, decided to do. He could miss a sizeable amount of time next season. I’m hopeful that Hip Hip Peria will be back. The draft offers a lot of question marks at the position after Suh is taken. So if DT is a point of interest, open the wallet and go get one that has the PROVEN ability to step in from day one and make a difference. That will have a cascading impact on the DL as a unit.

SeminoleWarrior

January 18th, 2010
1:50 pm

Dez Bryant and Roddy White, WR? Now, that would be a lethal WR corps.

Unca' Bob

January 18th, 2010
1:55 pm

SW,

i’m good with a FA DT. But we need one regardless. I feel the same as you and WR in that we are a few pieces away from being a very good foot ball team. Let’s shore up our D because our O is not a huge point of need.

D3

January 18th, 2010
1:59 pm

Wow, has the off-season talk cranked up or what? All good convo’s going on about what the Falcons should do in the draft in April. Remember, even by TD’s assessment, we should have 8 picks come draft day, so we should have plenty of opportunities to address our needs. And as we say this year with the emergence of Vance Walker, no round is too late to grab a steal in the draft.

Coop, Seminole, & WR – I think all of you gentleman have valid points, its just a matter of what TD will do come April. The intangible we just can’t know is the evaluations of each individual player and how that will affect the draft. Once free agency starts, we should have a pretty good idea of where we’re going in the draft with players like Norwood, Dahl, and Clabo.

ATLJBO – Could you steer me where I might could find his comments on Snelling and Norwood? I couldn’t find them anywhere, but trying to find a snippett out of an entire press conference is difficult for search engines.

Knew Money – Happy MLK Jr. day my man! Nice assessments. Agree on all points except for a couple. In my opinion, DE is in the same boat as DT where it could use some upgrading, but it did some good things enough to warrant a chance to improve much better next season. Assuming HD comes back to full strength, I think it “could” be a strength, but Jenkins is not a legit #2, HD coming back from serious knee injury, and Weems is a solid #5 WR but no more in my opinion. As much as I love BFinn, its time to add another young wide receiver to the mix to push Jenkins and compete for a spot. Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, and Johnny Knox were all drafted in the 4th round or after. Would love to get our hands on Demaryius Thomas from GT, but he’ll be long gone by the time we would want to pick one.

DT Quandary – I wouldn’t be opposed to taking another defensive tackle with the first pick, but I will be absoutely shocked if TD invests first round money in three DT’s (Jerry, Babs, 2010 pick). I think a great spot to add a big boy would be around the 4th or 5th (we should have two a piece in each round).

OLB’s Too Low – Obviously my objectivity may be getting clouded here, but I am shocked to see that some sites have Sergio Kindle, Rolando McClain, and Sean Weatherspoon as late first or second round talent. They are both listed as top 10 talent regardless of position from DraftCountdown.com (who was pretty d@mn accurate last year). These guys would add an immediate upgrade to our defense and set us at LB for years to come adding to Lofton and Nicholas. In Kindle or Ricky Sapp’s case, they could even drop down to a 3-point stance. Even though Nicholas and Peterson played the run well, they could be liabilities in pass coverage and certainly were no playmaking threat in terms of sacks. Compare that to what Brian Orakpo (11 sacks), Clay Matthews (10 sacks), and Brian Cushing (4 sacks, 4 ints) did; you get a sense that we’re missing a major playmaker at OLB. Larry English even had 2 sacks while only starting 2 games, double that of Peterson (1 sack).