Archive for February, 2010

Falcons Free Agent WR Targets and Mock Mania 1.0

Any Chance the Falcons Look at a Free Agent Receiver?

The Atlanta Falcons wide receiving corps is in somewhat of a transitional phase as it looks to the 2010 Off-Season. Once a great source of strength, the wide receivers have been depleted by injuries, age, and failure to find young players that could take advantage of opportunities. Roddy White is the obvious playmaker of the position, making two consecutive Pro Bowls and going over 1,000 yards receiving and almost 25 touchdowns in 3 years. White continues to beat coverages and double-teams to make plays on the field. Even without a legitimate threat on the other side or the slot (at least last year), White maintains the ability to stretch the field, make big catches, and get in the endzone.

Although Michael Jenkins only dropped 5 passes last year, he still only came away with a 57.5 catching percentage while being a big target a 6’4. The drops weren’t that prevalent by comparison, but they came at some of the most …

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Falcons Free Agent DE Targets

Should the Falcons Make a DE Move?

A short while ago, then general manager Rich McKay pulled a deal for John Abraham from the New York Jets in a three way trade with the Denver Broncos. The trade was a bold move that looked to form one of the deadliest defensive end combos in the NFL with Patrick Kerney manning the other side. Although Kerney was in the last year of his deal contract with the Falcons, there looked to be at least one year of two of the best defensive ends on the same team and a complete nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as planned. Abraham went down with an injury and only started 7 games with 4 sacks and Patrick Kerney battled injuries as well, only starting 9 games himself. It was very rare to even see Abraham and Kerney on the field at the same time. The defensive end positions, at least one of them anyway, have been a major point of low production on the field and contention among fans.

Kerney left for Seattle as soon …

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Falcons Free Agent CB Targets

Are the Falcons in the Market for a Free Agent Cornerback?

Thomas Dimitroff made a couple of splashes in his first year at the helm in free agency, inking Michael Turner and Erik Coleman. He followed up his first season as GM with an extremely quiet venture into free agency last year, playing the free agent market very slow and measured. Dimitroff only made one big signing in Mike Peterson and a few deals for lower tier guys like Brett Romberg, Will Svitek, and Jeremy Newberry (who later retired). Many thought that tight end LJ Smith would be a Falcon, but evidently something went awry after he came in to meet and interview. Good call on that one. With the labor deal making many desirable free agents restricted, the market looks to be thin in general, and Dimitroff surely won’t engage in a bidding war for the few amount of unrestricted free agents out there. He will certainly not part with draft picks to gain restricted free agents. Picking up one big free agent may …

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Ready Your Needs-Based Draft Boards

Get Those Boards Together…………….

Although the NFL Draft is still a good little piece in the future (63 Days-19 Hours, but no one’s counting), General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Company are hard at work organizing their draft boards getting ready for the NFL Scouting Combine next week. Before TD & Co. started worrying about free agents and college players, they surely spent a long while assessing what the biggest needs are for the team as a whole with Coach Mike Smith and the rest of the assistants. As we move into the Scouting Combine, Free Agency, and the Draft, sculpting your draft boards based on which positions are the biggest needs will help to get your free agency targets and your multiple mock drafts rolling towards April. Some great debates and discussions have already taken place in the Cage, and they only look to heat up as we move closer to the big day in April. Use your arguments, stats, available free agents, and upcoming draft class to assist in your …

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Do the Falcons Need to Add Offense?

Should Fans Expect Many Offensive Moves?

Is Jenkins a Legit #2 WR? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

While the Atlanta Falcons defense received much of the criticism in 2009, the offense shouldn’t have escaped the malignment either. A beacon of bright hope in 2008, the Falcons offense included the 2nd leading rushing offense, Pro Bowler running back Michael Turner, Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White, and Offensive Rookie of the Year Matt Ryan. Adding arguably the best tight end to ever play the game assumed that the offense would be among the most thrilling to watch in 2009. A huge number of injuries throughout the season coupled with a sophomore QB decrease led to the Falcons dropping to the middle of the pack in the NFL in terms of offense.

The offensive players weren’t the only ones to take a step back in the ‘09 campaign. Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey had a rough year as well. At times, the offense looked completely out of sync and if the running game couldn’t get on …

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What is the Falcons Biggest Defensive Need?

Let the Debate Rage……..

Is Sidbury Jr. an Answer at D-End? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

As the Falcons ready for the NFL Draft in April, one of the most hotly debated topics among fans is what the Bird need most. The opinions are wide-ranging and rarely are in complete agreement on which direction Dimitroff and Co. should go first, particularly with the Falcons not owning a second round draft pick, barring a move by TD to get a 2nd rounder back for Tony Gonzalez last year. It can be argued that the Falcons can move on any number of paths and fill needs, as opposed to depth. The Birds obviously have several needs on offense, defense, and special teams, but the idea is to decide which areas need addressed the most. An argument for each position and which needs are biggest and most pressing as the Draft approaches (listed in alphabetical order):

Special thanks to ProFootballFocus.com, the definitive football stats website, and Unca’ Bob for turning us on to it…..

Cornerback

This one …

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Can the Falcons Learn from the Super Bowl Champs?

Football’s Officially Over…………for Now

 The dark clouds have taken their place once again, and the collective groan you heard around 10 pm Sunday night was the realization that football is no more for a while. For many of us football junkies, this can be a time to become melancholy and even despondent for some: no more high school football, no more college football Saturdays, no more NFL, and not even any more fantasy football. It’s in the books for another year, and won’t re-emerge until September (215 days to be exact, but hey, no one’s counting). Even though the clouds of No Football have hovered in, it is also a time of renewal on a new season. After the parade on Bourbon Street passes and the ticker tape is swept up, all 32 teams are officially back in the hunt once more. Don’t fret football addicts, the Scouting Combine is only 2 weeks away, Free Agency soon follows, and the Draft is a mere 2 months in the future.

Congrats to the Super Bowl Champion …

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Can Finneran Come Back Again?

Pay ‘em or Pack ‘em – BFinn Edition

Brian Finneran has long been a fan favorite for many Falcon fans throughout the years for his gritty play, excellent hustle, and usually good hands. A special teams ace, Finneran proved not only be a big and tall reliable receiver, but also willing to return punts or be the first one down on kickoff coverage. Finneran has fought back several times from seemingly devastating injuries to rejoin the Falcons roster each time, but therein lies the problem: his injury history and susceptibility to hitting the training table. Finneran has been a Falcon for the last nine years and has earned the Ironman award for continually battling back against knee injuries thought to be the final straw in a solid career as a Falcon. This one will likely be a tough one as fans will have to argue their hearts, with BFinn being a fan favorite, against their heads, #86 is 34 coming off several knee injuries. The question is: can the Falcons continue to bring …

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Peppers and Gonzo

Mid-Week Questions

The off-season is in limbo of sorts as fans wait for the grand finale of the NFL season this Sunday and most of the 2010 talk won’t hit full stride for the other 30 teams until after the Super Bowl has been played. There are some rumblings about potential free agents, trades, the collective bargaining issue, and of course the draft. But in general, the pace won’t accelerate to at least a week after the Super Bowl Champion has been crowned. There are a few items to ponder on our Falcons as the week rolls on……

Julius Peppers in Red and Black – Good or Bad Idea?

Continuing on a question that has picked up some steam after ESPN reported Julius Peppers likely will not return to Carolina, and Jeff Schultz wrote an article proclaiming the Falcons need to pull the trigger on signing Peppers, the question is worth pondering. Julius Peppers was franchised by the Carolina Panthers for the 2009 season and signed his tender for whopping $16.7 million a year. …

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