What’s the Falcons Plan at Kicker?

An Important Decision

 As Falcons fans know all too well, the decision at kicker is one of the most important decisions that coaches and team officials can make. How many games were Falcons fans on pins and needles when the kicker came out for a chip shot field goal? It felt like college or even high school football, where it was maybe a 50/50 shot at best to make the 3 points. Not only did Jason Elam miss a ton of easy kicks, but most all of them were clutch kicks that could have definitely made a difference in the game. Even though it may have been a stretch to say the Birds would’ve made the playoffs with some of the made field goals, it sure would’ve been nice to find out.

Elam’s Fall

After a hall of fame career in Denver and having a very good first year with the hometown Falcons, Elam certainly didn’t go out the way he planned. The Falcons kicker probably set a pretty gloomy omen when he missed two field goals out of four and an extra point in the season opener against the Miami Dolphins in the Dome. Most hoped it was just a fluke and he would get it corrected. That certainly turned out not to be the case. After not being called on much in the next 5 games and going 2 for 2, the wheels fell off again in a critical game in New Orleans. Elam missed two critical field goals again that well could have been the difference against the undefeated Saints. Granted, there were many mistakes, least of which was Matt Ryan’s interception returned for a touchdown RIGHT BEFORE halftime. Elam went on to miss another field goal against the Panthers in which they easily could have, and quite frankly should have won that game. The biggest killer was probably when Elam missed a field goal that likely would have given the Falcons a big victory on the road in huge comeback against the New York Giants. The touchdown at the end of the game would have been a go-ahead, winning touchdown instead of sending it into overtime where they lost.

Who’s Next?

Being the upstanding guy that Coach Smith is, he gave Elam another shot to correct himself and Elam couldn’t do it when he missed another potentially catastrophic field goal against the lowly Buccaneers at home. His release came later that week. Elam did a great job to stabilize the kicker situation, at least for a year, and everyone will remember the miracle against the Bears in the Georgia Dome in 2008, but it was not the way Elam wanted to go out. The Falcons signed Matt Bryant and found a little bit better luck with him, but not too much. Bryant went on to miss 3 field goals out of 10 himself over the next 5 games. Add to that the fact that Bryant will be 35 years old when the Falcons tee it up, and you get the feeling that the Falcons finally will make a youth movement. The candidates……….

Matt Bryant – 35 Years Old – NFL Veteran

Bryant a Short-Term Solution? (ajc.com)

Even though Bryant was the model of consistency throughout his career (81.5% field goals made), Bryant has been showing signs of wearing down as he gets up in age. Bryant bounced around the NFL for a couple of years before finally catching on with Tampa Bay in 2005 where he was an excellent kicker for them for 4 seasons, kicking above 84% in every season except for one. In his final year with the Bucs, he made 32 out of 38 field goals but suffered a hamstring injury right before the season and the Bucs decided to go in a different direction. Bryant remained on the free agent market until the Falcons picked him up in December. He did come in and make a few key kicks, but also did miss his fair share (3) over a stretch that was so important to the franchise to break the curse of never having back-to-back winning seasons. Bryant might be the most reliable and battle tested, but he also may remind many of Jason Elam as well.

Steve Hauschka – 24 Years Old – Slight NFL Veteran

Hauschka is an interesting story and might be the sleeper in this year’s kicking competition. Only 24 years old and having actual NFL experience, where he has made 1 out of 2 field goals for the Ravens in 2008 and 9 out of 13 in 2009. Hauschka was released in November after missing a 36 yard field goal on Monday Night Football, which was his fourth miss of the year. The Falcons signed Hauschka as a free agent in 2009, possibly as insurance, but mainly for the upcoming kicker competition. The former Ravens kicker may have worked out the kinks after failing as a starter, but Hauschka also is a very unkown quantity and may get another shot at a starting position. Although he may take advantage of another big opportunity, the Falcons will likely be in the same position as the Ravens were where they expect to make a pretty deep run in the playoffs and that can’t happen with a field goal kicker who has to have growing pains again. A good model may have been set with the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, where they went with veteran John Carney to begin the season, but kept rookie Garrett Hartley on the practice squad. When Carney got hurt or started to deteriorate, Hartley was ready to step right in. If that’s the case, he will be in direct competition with rookie Garrett Lindholm for that spot.

Garrett Lindholm – 21 Years Old – Undrafted Rookie

Lindholm is the great unknown and in the class of other undrafted free agent rookies, where they will have a long, uphill battle to make the team. Lindholm’s best shot will likely be to get on the practice squad and make a run at the regular kicking position at some point. Its highly doubtful that the Falcons will go with a brand new rookie who wasn’t even drafted after last year’s struggles with Jason Elam. Lindholm might be in the best position of any of the kickers to take a stab at the position on a long-term basis. Not many rookies ever claim the kicking job outright, but if the Falcons follow the Saints plan, he seems to be in an excellent position. “Lindholm, 5-9, 190 pounds, converted 15 of 18 field goals and 43 PATs for a total of 88 points last season at Tarleton State. He hit a 64-yard field goal as time expired (third longest in NCAA history) to send his team to overtime in the first round of the FCS playoffs against Texas A&M Kingsville” (AtlantaFalcons.com).

Tough decisions lie ahead at the kicker position. Do the Falcons go with the proven vet like Bryant while developing Lindholm on the practice squad? Or do they go with someone with potential and has actually kicked in the NFL and has immense upside? Whatever decision they make, it better be a good one because it could mean the difference in a really good year and playoff run or sitting at home in January.

Your Turn

-What Should the Falcons Do @ Kicker?

-Will Matt Bryant Get His Mojo Back or Be the Next Elam?

-Does Hauschka Represent Huge Upside or Retread?

-Could Lindholm Be Our Future Kicker?

-Are you Confident or Worried about Kicker this Year?

Come Follow The Bird Cage on Twitter (D3_Falcons) and Facebook

104 comments Add your comment

CBrass

May 26th, 2010
2:45 pm

Could it be?!?!?!

ATLJBO

May 26th, 2010
2:55 pm

Matt Bryant has to be the leader right now… Bryant was good late last year…..

I also like the young big leg kicker Garrett Lindholm…. The guy made 3 of 4 kicks from 60 yards at his Pro Day… Last year Lindholm made 15 of 18 field goals attempts… He was 100% at the 40 and within the 40…. GL has potential …. A young kicker would be HUGE.

The thing that scares me about Matt Bryant is what happen to Elam…. A old kicker can lose it at any time…. Look at Elam.. dude was gold in 08 but had nothing in 09…

We will see what happens

Garrett Lindholm 64 yard kick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teIjagZEaQ0

Maxx

May 26th, 2010
2:58 pm

Lindholm! The kid has a monster leg and is accurate, and is good when the pressure’s on!

Infamous

May 26th, 2010
3:00 pm

I like the idea of going with the veteran kicker and keeping one of the other two on the PS. But then again that is taking one of our 8 spots available. That is a tough decision for an extremely critical part of the game. My hope is that we won’t be putting up too many 3s on the board, only1s after we score our TOUCHDOWNS!!

D3…Is someone missing? I thought the falcons had 4 kickers competing for the lone roster spot. Idk?

Craig

May 26th, 2010
3:02 pm

What happened to Brandon Coutu? Bring him in that kid could kick it a mile.

D3

May 26th, 2010
3:07 pm

Greetings Cage — The longest week of the year has to be the ENTIRE last week of school before kids get out. The time literally has grinded to a halt. Is it Friday yet? Better yet, is it even Thursday yet?

Falcons Kicker —
Have to think that we will probably follow the Saints route this year: have a proven vet like Bryant start the year and possibly finish the year if he gets his stability and consistency back. There is a difference between 40 years old (Elam) and 35 years old (Bryant). He did do pretty well down the stretch last year, but he still missed 3 field goals, even though one of them was a 51 yarder.

The guy that looks to be on the out is probably Hauschka. Perhaps he was pulled too quick by the Ravens and has corrected his mistakes, but you would have to think that he’ll either win the job outright or give a quicker solution than Lindholm. In other words, its going to be really tough rationalizing keeping Hauschka over Lindholm on the practice squad when Lindholm has such a strong leg, especially from distance.

Mj

May 26th, 2010
3:18 pm

I think you’ll see Matt Bryant out and Hauschka will be the starter with Lindholm on the practice Squad.

torgo

May 26th, 2010
3:42 pm

Any of the three kickers could take it.

Bryant has the accuracy but no range – from inside 40 he’s automatic, but he hasn’t been good from 40+ since 2005. (He was 5 of 11 from 40+ in 2008 and 1 for 4 with us last season.) That’s why Tampa chose to let him go.

Hauschka had mechanical problems that cost him his spot with the Ravens. If he worked out the kinks, he’s a strong contender. If not, he has no chance of sticking here.

Lindholm is another Hauschka – a kid with big buzz coming out of college and a strong leg, but still unproven. Yes, he made that insane clutch kick in the playoffs, but in truth he really isn’t as consistent as you’d like for an NFL kicker and has never dealt with a large-crowd environment.

Another clip on him… his kicks during Zauner’s specialists combine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FCkatz2_fg&NR=1

I don’t expect to see the Falcons use one of their eight practice squad spots on a project place kicker. More than likely, Lindholm is in the same boat as Hauschka – it’s all or nothing.

John Waynesworld

May 26th, 2010
3:47 pm

I’ve seen all I need to see with Lindholm. I am sold. I watched ATLJBO’s video and I saw, besides the big leg, one play where one of his own players came on the field late (distraction) and another play where the timing of the snap was WAY off (major distraction for a kicker). This young man calmly made both kicks. He even did a stutter step on the ill-timed snap and popped it right through.

Lindholm is a keeper. Put him in competition right away.

waynester

May 26th, 2010
4:04 pm

Dimitroff and Smith hand-picked Lindholm, on the phone literally moments after the draft officially ended (and they were allowed to do so) offering a FA deal. They obviously never intended to spend a draft pick on a K, but had one they were praying fell past the 7th and had Lindholm on speed-dial. I’ll be shocked if he isn’t the guy since TD/MS have been studying him for a while and reportedly called him before any other FA following the draft to beat out multiple other teams looking at Lindholm. Am I remembering this story wrong? Even so, I think he’s the young guy we want to groom and if we put him on the PSquad somebody will poach him fairly quick-like….

Moose

May 26th, 2010
4:17 pm

Last year Lindholm had 64 kickoffs for 4,023 yards, and average of 62.9 yards per kickoff… Had 25 touchbacks, far more than anyone else in the LSC… Thats a stong kicker with a ton of upside……..

CBrass

May 26th, 2010
4:47 pm

This is a tough one to call. It hurt last season to watch Elam struggle. He was always a class act about it and shouldered all the blame when on some of those kicks he didn’t have the ball placed when he thought it should have been which completely thew off his timing. The commentator during the Giants game(I think) even pointed that out. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Moose

May 26th, 2010
5:15 pm

Lindholm looks to me to be the pick. He is young but has shown he is a cluch kicker.
Here’s his stats for those who are interested.

#49 Garrett Lindholm
Position: K
Height: 5-10
Weight: 190
Class: Senior
Hometown: Pflugerville
Previous School: Pflugerville HS

2008: Named Frist Team All-LSC South Division… Was a South Division Player of the Week twice… Named to Don Hansen’s Football Magazine All-Super Region Four Third Team… Was 42 of 43 in point-after-attempts… Hit 12 of 19 field goal attempts, includng a career-long 46, twice – vs. Southeastern Oklahoma (8/28/08) and vs. Northeastern State (9/6/08)… Made his first 25 PATs… Had 64 kickoffs for 4,023 yards, and average of 62.9 yards per kickoff… Had 25 touchbacks, far more than anyone else in the LSC…

2007: Kicked off all 77 times for a total of 4,684 yards… Averaged 60.8 yards per kick… Recorded 18 touchbacks with only two out of bounds… Made five of seven field goals attempted including three against Southwestern Oklahoma… Also connected on nine of 11 extra points…

2006: Kicked off 57 times last season for 3,377 yards… Averaged 59.2 yards per kick with only six out of bounds… Recorded 22 touchbacks… Helped Tarleton have the highest net kickoff coverage in the Lone Star Conference…

Terrance X

May 26th, 2010
6:41 pm

has Matt Barr retired ?

John Waynesworld

May 26th, 2010
7:47 pm

Unca' Bob

May 26th, 2010
8:07 pm

With the vidio Torgo brought on board, I’m not so sure I’m all that high on Lindholm. He seemed to have missed a lot of kicks, that as a fan only, I wonder why he missed.

WR

May 26th, 2010
9:25 pm

Kind of a late night and late check in with the cage family but more so of letting the family no I’m still around. D3, your recent post have been excellent, still trying to figure out why the AJC is with holding your check. Its been rather crazy at the office lately but things will settle down soon,hopefully and I’ll be back amongst the family.

Quick note: JJ noticed on an earlier post that you said it is never to early for FFL, I must agree, I can’t wait for the new season, since everybody was new last year I didn’t even go with a strategy (no accuses) but this year I know I’m associated with some talented indiviiduals when it comes to football,it should be a blast..

I got a chance to post briefly after the draft but I didn’t get the chance to say congrats to SW and Unca’Bob, good call on Spoon and I think most of us are happy with the selection.

D3, keep up with the good work, even without some of the staple and original members of the cage the blog has continued to grow and thats a reflection on the leadership.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ashleigh Smith, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: AJC's fan blog: What’s the Plan at Kicker? http://bit.ly/a3Hosw [...]

North GA Nole

May 26th, 2010
10:24 pm

Whatever happened to Graham Gano? Didn’t he win some awards in college and kick under pressure really well?

Sarah B

May 26th, 2010
10:32 pm

Damn ATLJBO nice video! Put the kid in! Thanks!

JJ

May 26th, 2010
10:40 pm

WR, damn glad to see ya buddy!

Terrible Truth

May 26th, 2010
10:49 pm

Where is Nick Mike-Mayer when you need him?

Chris T

May 26th, 2010
11:42 pm

Those #’s posted on GL don’t look to good. 2 misses on 11-pats & all. I would much rather have a guy almost be automatic from 40 & under and near perfect on pat’s, maybe 2 misses out of 40 not 11. If it’s over 45yds i’d like to see us go for it on 4th down more if it’s a manageable distance. The times we’d make it would more than make up for the 20yds gained on a punt or the 20-25% of 45yd attempts we seem to be averaging as of late. If it comes down to a 64yd FG to win SB it’s 50/50 with anyone, why not Koenen. Koenen is one of the best in P’s & KO’s. Afterall he holds the NFL record for fewest PR yds for a season [49] and didn’t even make probowl…….what a ripoff.

Chris T

May 27th, 2010
12:03 am

Not sure on how kicking drills are ran at camp but i’d line them up on the 45yd line every day and whoever comes out with the most consistency wins the job. Generally at K & LS I prefer the vets, experience usually proves to be the best bet at those positions. Too bad Morton Anderson is older than Stone Mtn., you could set your watch by that man.

Chris T

May 27th, 2010
12:31 am

As for the questions on the last blog, 0 chance Shockley makes the team. I’d take Peek over Palmer simply because of scheme fit and potential. Harvey over Wolfe because Kerry can provide what Wolfe can and Harvey’s ceiling is out of sight. Harvey does play alot like Plexico yet has Brandon Marshall size. Smith & Nance is a toss up.

Ed

May 27th, 2010
3:10 am

Great job as always D3. I’d go with the kid Lindholm, TD & Smitty obviously think highly of him, and must think he has a real shot at wining the job. It’s easy to say that 45 yards and in is good enough for your kicker’s range, but there are too many circumstances of crucial kicks from 45 – 50 yards.

Crabkilla

May 27th, 2010
8:07 am

Look into my eyes…..SURPRISE!!! I’m a Falcon!!!

Joe

May 27th, 2010
9:03 am

What ever happened to Billy Bennett? He set college records for kicking at UGA, and I never even saw him in the NFL.

CBrass

May 27th, 2010
9:10 am

CBrass

May 27th, 2010
9:23 am

Read the last question and answer. Also click on the articles that are provided within the question.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/10286/nfc-south-weekend-mailbag

j-man

May 27th, 2010
9:32 am

Brandon Catou

D3

May 27th, 2010
10:00 am

Great Start of the Weekend Thursday! — Hope all is well as we approach summer and the doldrums of No-Falcons-Football. Yes, there will now be pools, parties, grilling, vacation, and BBQ, but no Falcons Football. Oh well, we still got The Cage to get us through.

Moose, North Georgia Nole, torgo, Maxx, mj — Good to have you guys in The Cage. Great comments and insights.

Chris T. & Infamous — Looks like you’re about to reach official “member” status here in The Cage. Love adding new members like yourself who know some serious Falcons and Football.

ATLJBO — You are the man with vids. You’ll have to give me a lesson one day.

Craig — Coutu got a tryout, but I guess he didn’impress enough because they went with Hauschka over Coutu on the practice squad.

WR — Been too long my friend. Glad you’re doing well. Was just thinking about you the other day. You know how it goes, people get busy and don’t have the time. You’ve got to get back in here and give JJ some grief. He’s gloating big time on FF.

CBrass, Ed, Sarah B., JWW, JJ, waynester, UB — Mad props as always from our OGBC’s (Original Bird Cagers), just gave ya’ll a nickname.

Coop

May 27th, 2010
10:46 am

I know couto got a tryout. Can’t understand how he didn’t impress. He was very good at UGA. Regardless, if he didn’t cut it, he didn’t cut it. As for this year, I’ll be on pins and needles no matter who we go with . It’s either the breaking down Vet or the unproven guy (H or L). My hope is that one of the young guys claims the job and is solid for years to come. We’ve needed some consistency in the K game for nearly a decade now. Way too many games lost because of poor K.

blord

May 27th, 2010
11:03 am

I think Bryant gets the job. He is solid and just had some family issues that derailed his career a bit. I agree that Lindholm will likely make the practice squad. He has a cannon of a leg. Hauschka sounds like a tractor or lawnmower company.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 27th, 2010
11:48 am

CBrass,great links, thanks!

Regarding K, I know that TD was quite high on getting Lindholm into camp based on the interviews post signing (Waynester, your excellent memory is dead on -, I posted that link just after the draft), but I was disturbed by watching the link Torgo thoughtfully provided. Lots of strong legs coming out of college that don’t make it in the NFL, Coutu just one that was noted here by J-man and Coop.

Many rookie K’s seem to wilt for some reason in the glare of the pressure on such a grand stage – compared to Tarleton State, the Dome must be truly intimidating. Having said that, Lindholm will get his shot based on TD’s zeal to get him into the fold. Hauschka seems to fit the mold for success (been in the war, still young and strong), he may be kicking when the season starts, with Lindholm either on the practice squad or on TD’s speed dial if Hauschka slips.

Bryant slipped a bit last year if my memory isn’t failing me, BUT aging kickers seem to find a way to stick around well past any assumed expiration date. If the Falcons replace him he may well turn up back in the league somewhere before the season is half over as a replacement for a young K that implodes.

Lots of hyperbole just to say I have no idea who will be kicking for the Falcons when the season starts, but fair to say the Falcon staff doesn’t know either. Tee it up and let them go for it. Sanuk!

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 27th, 2010
11:53 am

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 27th, 2010
11:56 am

Ravens fans showing Steve Hauschka some love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Ewqg5reFs

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Special props to ATLJBO for the vids. Outstanding talent, thanks for bringing it here!

John Waynesworld

May 27th, 2010
12:55 pm

I remember what happened with the Falcons and Matt Prater in 2007. We sent Billy Cundiff packing because the new kid looked really good in preseason competition. Lessons learned. The last I saw of Cundiff he was kicking the game winning field goal for the Ravens last December against Pittburgh.

CBrass

May 27th, 2010
1:30 pm

BA,

In your first link in your 12:04 post that guy really had a bad night…LOL His Bears really beat up on the Falcons that night.

CBrass

May 27th, 2010
2:09 pm

D3

May 27th, 2010
2:42 pm

Falcons Kicker —
Our Cagers have all made some very good points about our kicking situation. I think one of the best descriptions was made by Coop, where by many of us will be on pins and needles whichever way it goes. With Bryant, we will be worried that at any moment he could turn into Elam and completely collapse. He may be automatic from inside the 40, but just like Elam and Morten Anderson a couple years ago, if its outside the 40 than we’ll be in the same boat as last year. How many times do games come down to 40+ field goals? Anyone remember the Saints-Vikings NFC Championship? It will be a lock to see Lindholm or Hauschka on the Practice Squad if Bryant wins the job.

Those of us who believe that Lindholm might actually claim the kicking job outright might not be that far off base. If we look at the way New England went about replacing Adam Vinatieri in 2006. They brought in Martin Gramatica to compete with rookie Stephen Gostkowski for the job. Gostkowski beat Gramatica and was given the job and the rest is history, with him becoming one of the more accurate kickers in the league. Here’s the big caveat, however, Gostkowski was drafted in the 4th round, not Undrafted like Lindholm. Can’t draw extreme conclusions since their two totally different franchises and situations, but if Lindholm really wows, than the job might be his.

John Waynesworld

May 27th, 2010
3:04 pm

Yea, CBrass, I just finished reading what TG was saying:

“…I’ve got big plans for Matt this year and I think he’s going to have a great year.”

I like the way Tony says HE has big plans for Matt, as in “I am going to get myself so open, so often that he WIll throw it to me, I WILL score, and we WILL win!”

Confidence is contagious.

Big Ray

May 27th, 2010
3:11 pm

Let Lindholm and Hauschka (or whatever his name is) kick it out. Put either one of them behind Bryant, who should be able to start the season as long as he looks decent during OTAs and camp. Following the Saints model doesn’t look too risky, but be prepared to make a move early in the season if necessary.

Loved hearing that Brandyn Harvey got some attention in rookie camp. We could always use a good up-and-comer at WR.

I see John Abraham is once again not at OTAs. Last year I didn’t have a problem with it. This year, I do. I’m ready to see Sidbury and and the Beer Man get their game on big time. Because I get the feeling that Abraham is not going to “bounce back” into double figure sacks again. Am I speaking too soon? Maybe. But I no longer have the patience with the veteran DE that I had last year. Dude is 32 yrs old and this is exactly how he started last year off. And he sucked last year. Well, maybe sucked is too harsh a word, but he did not play as well as we needed, and I’m not going to put all the blame on the lack of push up the middle.

D3

May 27th, 2010
3:24 pm

Big Ray — Great points in general, but especially about Abe. He is not doing himself ANY favors with the fans and probably his teammates either. If he came in and had a great year, as you said, that would be one thing, but he had a very sub-par year at least in terms of sacks. Stirg and several others went off on Abe not showing up last year. If nothing else, he losing an excellent opportunity to help mentor Bier Truck, Sid the Kid, and even Maurice Lucas. Look at Tony Gonzalez for Godsake, everyone would understand if he wasn’t there because he’s a walking hall-of-famer, but he chooses to come to OTA’s and is ready to take the team to the next level. Abe is not doing himself ANY favors whatsoever on this one.

waynester

May 27th, 2010
4:07 pm

Maybe Elam could come back out of retirement….

ATLJBO

May 27th, 2010
5:09 pm

Big Ray

I agree with everything except the Abe thing..I dont think its a big deal… The guy was at the mini-camps and Abe has never came in out of shape.. I want him there but its not a big deal that he isnt…

Plus i want Sidbury to see more 1st team snaps right now (more snaps period) ….

Big Ray

May 27th, 2010
7:04 pm

Guys like Tony Gonzalez are throwbacks to the days of Jerry Rice and Marcus Allen, the kind of guys that worked like dogs ALL THE TIME, and showed up for everything sharp as knives and ready to play. The guys playing under them or behind them had wonderful examples to learn from.

I remember Stirg jumping all over Abraham’s case, and I argued the point against it. I concede the point to Stirg, unequivocally, he was right.

I was NOT impressed with Abraham’s answers in D. Ledbetter’s interview with him. Instead of talking about how hard he was going to work to get back on track, he basically said he played just fine last year. In fact, here’s the entire fruitless Q&A right here:

Q: How has your offseason been going for you?

A: It’s been good. I’ve been down working out in Pensacola for a month down at the Andrews Institute. I feel good. I came back and I feel like I’m in shape. I feel like I’ve got a little more juice in me.

Q: Have you looked back on last season? How did you evaluate your play?

A: We just have to get a little more experience out there. That’s all. I felt like I played well. I don’t feel like I fell off. People ask me ‘do you think you’re losing it?’ But I watched myself on tape and it still shows that I’m doing the same stuff I did before. I feel good. I’m out here (at minicamp) now and I feel good. I don’t feel like I’m slowing down.

Q: Would better coverage in the secondary have helped your sack numbers?

A: We just need more experience. If you watch, I had a lot of good pressures, but I just didn’t get them down like I wanted to. I think we’ve got a lot more experience. Bringing Dunta (Robinson) in here helps. Some of our younger guys are more experienced now. It should be good for me.

Q: Will getting Peria (Jerry) back help the pass rush, too?

A: Yeah, that should help us in the pass rush. Peria did a good job with the little bit of plays he had last year. Now, it’s time for him to stand up and really be a contributor.

What the heck is all of that?

How can he say that he was doing all the same things last year as the year before? If that’s the case, then how come he had about a third of the sack total?

And what does he mean “I got a lot of good hurries, I just didn’t get them down like I wanted to” ? Sounds to me that this is the difference between 5 sacks and 12 sacks, wouldn’t you say?

The other thing is he seems to be answering half of the questions with “the other guys need to get some experience” or something to that effect. What does this have to do with his own individual performance? Where is the voice of a leader, veteran, mentor in all of this?

Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this than I should. But I know this: another 4 or 5 sack season won’t cut it.

Big Ray

May 27th, 2010
7:06 pm

ATLJBO

I’m not saying you’re wrong. I had your exact same perspective and attitude on this last season. But then I watched Abraham have a not-so-great season. He can come into camp in shape, and that’s fine. But if he has another injury filled or ineffective season….