Should Abraham Be at OTA’s?

Justified or Suspect?

One of the bigger issues that consumed some Falcons fans last off-season during the doldrums of summer was the continued absence of Defensive End John Abraham at any OTA’s (organized training activities). It might have simply been a product of the big void of summer and not having any other good tidbits to discuss. He was, in fact, coming off a record year with 16.5 sacks and most could certainly give him the benefit of the doubt if he chose not to show up for OTA’s, especially since they are not required and are purely voluntary. Abraham was still training and keeping in shape, just in his own routine and location. Head coach Mike Smith went out of his way to let media and fans alike know that he was in contact with Abraham and seemed fine with Abe’s decision, at least in public anyway. This year certainly presents a different set of circumstances with Abraham having a fairly sub-par year, at least in terms of sacks (5.5). At issue is not necessarily that Abraham is getting enough training, but as several of his teammates said about mini-camp, it’s a great time to be around your teammates, build chemistry, and show leadership to the younger players. What side do you fall on: not a big deal, or he should be there.

Abraham’s 2009 Campaign

John Abraham ranks according to ProFootballFocus.com, out of 73 defensive ends that play in the 4-3 defense

Comprehensive Ranking (Sacks x Hits x Pressures x Run Stop) – 4th (22.5 Rating)

Rushing the Passer – 7th (15.9 rating)

Stopping the Run – 8th (8.6 rating)

Sacks – Tied for 21st (5.5 sacks)

QB Hits – Tied for 14th (12 Hits)

QB Pressures – 2nd (39 Pressures)

Tackles – Tied for 20th (26 Tackles)

Even though Abraham didn’t have a ton of sacks, he ranked as one of the top 4-3 defensive ends in the NFL in terms of overall production, rushing the passer, stopping the run, and QB pressures.

No OTA’s, No Problem

Abraham had a record year only two years ago when he collared 16.5 sacks en route to the Falcons making the playoffs and finishing with an 11-5 record in 2008. The sacks didn’t come as much as he or fans would’ve liked, but he was right there many times and put pressure on opposing QB’s. The injury problems and inexperience from the defensive tackle position (Peria Jerry, Thomas Johnson, Vance Walker) led to Abraham not getting much help from the inside. Once again, the other defensive end position also saw very little production as well. Kroy Biermann showed progress, but didn’t take complete hold of the position and Jamaal Anderson gave very little help from the DE spot again. Coach Smith and the rest of the staff seem to be fine with Abraham doing his own personal workout regimen and missing OTA’s. They are, after all, voluntary workouts that are not required by the NFL. If the coaches don’t have a problem with it, why should we? Another good point is that Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury Jr. will get all the much needed extra snaps to see who will take over the other DE spot. Concerning leadership, Abraham has established himself as one of the core defensive leaders of this team and has been around longer than most anyone on that side of the ball.

Lack of Leadership?

Yes it is true that OTA’s are voluntary, but that misses the point. Abraham should want to be there. Tony Gonzalez is the best tight end to ever play the game and has a Hall of Fame bust waiting for him in Canton, Ohio and he’s there working on helping Matt Ryan, the younger players, and the team as a whole. Doesn’t it bother him when all of his other teammates and leaders of the team are there working together on priming for a deep playoff run? Abraham has always been a little suspect when it comes to locker room issues. This makes two years in a row that he has failed to show for OTA’s (at least so far this summer) and some fans have questioned his leadership in matters such as this.

In a recent interview with AJC Falcons Staff Writer D. Orlando Ledbetter, Abraham came off as somewhat flippant and didn’t necessarily answer questions as a true leader might. He mentioned several times about what other teammates were not doing and brought up the issue of inexperience often. It may be overly critical and hypersensitive, but most fans want to hear more of what “I am going to do” as opposed to possibly blaming your teammates. The point is not necessarily that he is missing these voluntary activities, but why he’s missing them. A great leader should always want to be around to help their team get better, particularly the younger players. The Falcons defense is filled with a ton of young players (Lofton, DeCoud, Owens, Weatherspoon, Biermann, Sidbury Jr., etc.) that could use a team leader guiding them and helping them.

Special thanks to ProFootballFocus.com for comprehensive statistics

Your Turn

-Was Abrahams “down” year overblown?

-Does OTA attendance really matter?

-Simply put, should Abraham be at OTA’s?

-Is #55 primed for a big bounce-back year?

-Lack of leadership with his no-shows?

-As long as he produces, does OTA attendance matter?

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88 comments Add your comment

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Sporkdevil

May 30th, 2010
10:52 pm

Give Abe the time off. Most successful vets don’t attend anyways. Give Abe some help on the secondary and lets see if that forces the QB to hold on to the ball that extra .25 seconds that could turn those 39 QB pressures into more sacks. I’d rather have him rest up and stay healthy. No sense in wearing him down early by wasting his time at OTA’s.

ATLJBO

May 30th, 2010
11:01 pm

Look at Favre…. I have no problem with Abe not being there right now… He was at the mini-camps … The guy will be at training camp… This is extra snaps for Sidbury and Kroy Biermann.. Those are the guys i’m focused on now.

I know Abe had a down year sack wise but i know what ima get from Abe…Not to worried about him.

Ed

May 30th, 2010
11:05 pm

Excellent work as usual D3. Without a doubt he should be at OTA’s…it’s a matter of a team coming together and forming the bond that will carry them through the season, What if everyone took Abe’s attitude and no one showed up? He was here before TD and Smitty were, and he isn’t their kind of player, but is too good to let go. His production last year was much better than most have given him credit for, but that still doesn’t excuse him from being a team player.

On another note, i think we will wind up wishing we had taken Dez Bryant. Nothing new from me, but just felt the urge to state it again.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 30th, 2010
11:16 pm

-Was Abrahams “down” year overblown?
Perhaps overblown in some circles, but certainly not insignificant either. I read once that in Nature, living things are growing, or dying. Can the same be said of a career in the NFL???

-Does OTA attendance really matter?
OTA attendance in and of itself, considered in a vacuum, then perhaps not for a vet that stays in shape and understands the system (same coaches, etc.).

Sadly, things rarely exist in a vacuum, however. The implied question here, to me, is regarding Abe’s attitude, his love, fire and passion for the game, and his ability to interact with the youngsters around him to maximize synergies.

-Simply put, should Abraham be at OTA’s?
Yep, even if just to help coach up the others, share in camaraderie. Next year could be a tragic one if a strike/lockout occurs. Enjoy it while it is here.

I won’t lose any sleep over it, though, this is tempest in a teapot territory, escalated because it is the BBOORRRING offseason (and I am as guilty as anyone!!!).

-Is #55 primed for a big bounce-back year?
We say this every year for players we are concerned about (Moore, Turner after the injury, Norwood, etc.). Hope springs eternal, but his performance will be linked to JA, Jerry, and Bierman’s performance. Team sport and all that. If they excel, Abe will excel.

-Lack of leadership with his no-shows?
Yes, no question here. Who IS the leader of the DL, the spirit, the soul, the brains?? I don’t know.

-As long as he produces, does OTA attendance matter?
As long as he produces, AND is not a distraction, AND the same scheme/position coaches are there, then OK. A great DE needs that fire in the belly, hope it is still there.

D3

May 30th, 2010
11:20 pm

Great Evening Cage! — Hope all of you are doing well as we ready ourselves for the start of summer. Stay tuned to The Bird Cage all summer long to get your Falcons fix.

Memorial Thanks to Our Vets — Want to send out a special thank you to all veterans on this Memorial Day. You all are the true heroes and on behalf of the The Bird Cage we want to show our true thanks and appreciation you’ve ever done for us. Major appreciation and thanks to all the veterans that are members on here. Unca’ Bob, Coop, jason, Seminole Warrior and please let me know anyone I’ve missed. Thank you for all you have done for us and our country.

Sporkdevil — Good point. After researching the stats, Abe actually had a very good year in most everything but sacks. Just like Roddy’s holdout, production quiets all ills.

ATLJBO — Spot on with him being at the mini-camps and getting Biermann and Sidbury Jr. more snaps. As long as he produces, most of this type stuff won’t matter.

Ed — Thanks as always. I’m a little torn on this one, but ultimately I agree with you. It’s not the technical part of him being there, because he obviously knows how to stay in shape and train, but the “why” he’s not there or doesn’t “want” to be there that bugs me. If there were a lot of other players that were absent I could understand, but they were all there including the leaders of the team: TG, Roddy, Ryan, Turner, Dunta Robison, etc. I think many of them really believe that they could have something special this year and they want to use every opportunity to gain an advantage. This would be the perfect spot for him to mentor Biermann, Sidbury Jr., Maurice Lucas, Peria Jerry, Corey Peters, and all the other defensive linemen. Even though he produces on the field, you make a good point about Abe really not being one of “their” type players. Seems a touch on the self-central side. Maybe we’re nitpicking, but its a little bothersome.

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Bangkapi Ajarn

May 30th, 2010
11:25 pm

ATLJBO;
Good point about the extra snaps for the future DE’s- silver linings are definitely here, but it would be nice for them to pick Abe’s brain while taking those snaps.

ATLJBO

May 30th, 2010
11:45 pm

Bangkapi Ajarn

I hope they have already been doing that… The will have Abe for the mini-camps and TC … As long as Abe produce…. Its all good to me

waynester

May 30th, 2010
11:45 pm

If TD/MS/AB don’t care, I guess I have no room to kvetch, if I were on the team, I might look at it differently, but the bottom line is won/loss and if Abe is contributing, fine….I’d still like to see him here, though….

waynester

May 30th, 2010
11:48 pm

Howdy to BA over in the mid-west and ALTJBO keeping up the TATF end on the Cage blog….

Reid Adair

May 30th, 2010
11:50 pm

Personally, I would like to see him at OTA’s. However, if Mike Smith doesn’t have an issue with it, I trust him.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 31st, 2010
1:49 am

This argument seems familiar. I said it last year and I will argue it again…Mrs. Abraham needs to pull his panties up and get out their on the field. He may be ready; he may even be prepared, in his own right. It is team cohesiveness that matters the most, though. If a player cannot cohere with the team, his position is irrelevant. Just like last season, Abe missed voluntary workouts and, considering his contribution (or the lack of), we could have played without him. Matter of fact, we probably would have done better without him, if you consider Biermann and Sidbury. Simply put, I say we dump Mrs. Abraham, now (out of respect, give him a chance to sign early with another team), or trade him for a greater need.

I’m baaaaacckkk!!!

falcon

May 31st, 2010
4:16 am

RobbE33

May 31st, 2010
8:12 am

Players are either leaders, followers or specialized assassins. John is the later and in my opinion, it isn’t in his DNA to be a vocal cheerleader. That in no way diminishes his importance on the team, but being one prone to injuries, I’m fine with his absence as long as he’s able to lead by example on the field when it counts. There are plenty of other veterans and coaches that like to hear themselves talk that can bring the rookies up to speed and develop chemistry. Let Abraham be the DE Ninja that he was hired to be and stir someone else’s pot for a while.

Picky Picky

May 31st, 2010
8:15 am

“…it’s a great time to be around your teammates, build chemistry, and show leadership to the younger players.”

You answered your question and ended any debate with the above comment.

It is always easy to decipher the follers and laggards in life on questions like this. Just look above and below my comments and those that reply “it’s no big deal,” “it doesn’t matter,” or “he’ll be more healthy without it” are clearly in this category. However, the true leaders and pace setters in all walks of life would all concur that, voluntary or not, last season was a dissapointment for all coming off a playoff run in 2008 and no one was any more responsible for this drop off than Abraham himself with a substandard performance.

He should be there to provide leadership and with his actions he would be saying “me and my team didn’t get it down in 2009 and starting right here and now we will all get it done in 2010!”

Abraham fails the leadership test!

D3

May 31st, 2010
8:41 am

waynester —- I kind of have the feeling that I’m being a little too overly critical on this, since it is in fact voluntary. I suppose if he weren’t the only one that was absent, then it wouldn’t be a big deal. Ultimately, if he produces on the field, than all will be forgotten.

Reid Adair — Good point. If it doesn’t bug the coaches, than it shouldn’t bug us. However, we know we’ll never get a true and honest answer out of Coach Smith. He always protects his players, which is a good thing I suppose, but this is the same guy who said he was “happy with JA#98’s progress”. Hah

BA — All very good points and that’s pretty much exactly the way I feel about it. The technical part of it (training, etc) isn’t a big deal at all, but on an emotional level, why would he not want to be there?

Stirg — Great to have you back OGBC (Original Bird Cager)! Pull up a seat and stay awhile. I knew I’d get you back with this one, since I had you in mind when I wrote this. Its easy to get the sense that the guy doesn’t exude a great leadership role. Maybe he’s great in the locker room and on the field, but I would say that Curtis Lofton is the leader of the defense….not Abe and that’s saying something.

RobE33 — Very valid point. Production cures all. Look no further than Roddy White’s holdout. Guy had a great season, and all is forgotten.

Picky — You nailed it. That’s the reason I decided to do this post, since its a fairly divided issue. The training isn’t the problem, its the REASON he’s not there. If Tony Gonzalez can come, than Abraham sure as the hell can. Very well put.

theriddler

May 31st, 2010
8:42 am

He’s a me player. Most aren’t winners. Too bad.

Ken Strickland

May 31st, 2010
9:18 am

Let’s not get too involved in the should he or shouldn’t he attend OT’s issue, and let’s not try to use last yrs low sack total(for him)as an excuse. Remember, he didn’t attend OTA’s the yr he registered 16.5 sacks either. Like D3 said, if it doesn’t bother TD or Smitty, why should it bother us.

OTA or no OTA, the man commands a double/triple team on every pass play, which gives the player(s) playing next to and/or behind him an advantage. The problem was only DT JBabineaux seemed to have been able to take advantage of it. Ask yourself, would you rather have an issue with your DE missing OTA’s, or have to deal with your QB grand standing every off season and missing virtually everything but the regular season?

I’m more concerned with whether he shows up for the regular season than I am OTA’s. His output over the last 2seasons proves his absence from OTA’s has no impact on his performance. I also think the play for him is to reduce his snaps and use him more as a pass rushing specialist, especially if KBiermann and LSidbury progress as expected.

Remember, his absence will benefit KBiermann’s, LSidbury’s and JAnderson’s progress, and he certainly hasn’t suffered any serious injuries since he starting missing OTA’s and using his own regimen.

NO HARM, NO FOUL, RIGHT.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 31st, 2010
9:48 am

D3, I respectfully beg to differ. My “inside sources” have indicated that Abraham is not the leader in the locker room, as we would expect. I hear that he’s rather standoffish. His play and work ethic, like I explained last year, comes off as kind of selfish.

Yes, buddy, I’m back; and will be in the cage for a while, Is it fantasy time.

FalconsFan284

May 31st, 2010
9:56 am

Any way you slice it, this is probably Abe’s last year with the birds. He is over 30 years old, not a top leader on the team and we have young guys that should be ready to step in, next year. Abe is destined to go the same route as Brooking, Milloy and Jackson; playing for some other team because they got a little too old.

Chris T

May 31st, 2010
10:23 am

First let me say we all knew what we were getting when we got Abe. Yes TG is there and he is an older vet but TG doesn’t have the durability issue’s that Abe does. No team has every player together for tea & crumpets all the time. TG has some prodigy’s to teach in Peek & Palmer. We have no new DE’s. Biermann & Sid will benefit more from snaps than Abe saying do it this way guys. Simply put there is training camp & preseason to gel together. Afterall, we’d much rather be blogging about “Should Abe be there” than “Will Abe’s torn groin be ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers”

D3

May 31st, 2010
10:29 am

John Abraham Contract Details
Abraham signed a 6 years deal worth $45 million dollars in 2007. Included $12.5 million signing bonus. Due to get $6.5 million in 2010 and $8 million in 2011. Abraham actually has two more years left on his deal and is already 32. If he plays out his entire deal here in Atlanta, he would be 34 when he signs a new deal to play with a new team. Is he a candidate for release after this year, helping him get a new team and allowing the Falcons to get younger? Or does he play out his final year and take what’s available on the free agent market? Also consider that the waters will be getting muddied with a possible lockout as well. Big decisions………

CBrass

May 31st, 2010
10:35 am

D3,

Great job as always. I really wasn’t expecting a new post this holiday weekend but with your dedication I’m really not surprised.

Going to have to disagree with the following statement:

“Kroy Biermann showed progress, but didn’t take complete hold of the position…”

That’s only because the coaching staff insisted on playing Mr. Bust even though he wasn’t and doesn’t seem capable of getting the job done. Just imagine what Biermann could have done with more snaps.

As for Abe. I’m really stuck in the middle on this one. As I said before he really doesn’t haven’t anything to prove but neither does Gonzo but he’s there working on his blocking and being a player-coach for the younger guys. With his injury history maybe Smitty is fine with him nothing having to take any extra pounding but he still could be there to answer any questions that Bier and Sid may have.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 31st, 2010
10:50 am

Waynester;
Thanks, and a shout out back at cha from HOT Illinois (90’s several days the last week). Went to bed after I posted, so I missed you time-wise.
D3-
It takes talent to stimulate Falcons convo’s over Memorial day weekend, good target. Teaching experience coming into play here (perfect attendance stars:-) )??? Is training camp here yet? Actually, since I am job hunting anyway, I am looking at maybe getting down to Ga. in the July/August timeframe to try and finish my book,m so I WILL be able to see the birds, at least on TV!!!!!!! Might try to get in some part time teaching, ESL, depending on what credentials are required.
Stirg;
You nailed one concern that popped me over the head while thinking about this – WHO is the leader on the DL? LB’s often call D coverage, but what about the heart and soul on the D-Line? Who has the fire, the smarts, the passion, the soul??
A)Abe that skips non-mandatory training (but if I was an aging millionaire that gets the snot beat out of himself every week during the season I just might appreciate the time off myself!). Does he have the passion, the fire in the belly, to want that ring THAT much?
B) Babs, who is in enough trouble with the law that his tenure with the Falcons may not be indefinate (as SW pointed out)? “Here guys, take a toke and firm up that mellowed out goal line stand!!”???
C) JA, who is a worker bee without any spectacular accomplishments despite his lofty draft status and physical tools? The dude “gets by”, from my remote view.
D) Bierman who has yet to crack the starting unit full time?
E) One of the rookies (Jerry, Peters)?
F) Someone else (Chauncey, Vince, Thomas, etc.)???

This is a question that I can not answer, but surely Smitty has a handle on it??

Big Ray

May 31st, 2010
10:51 am

Rather than opine differently, I’ll simply summarize what I said on the last blog:

Stirg was right last year about Abraham.

Big Ray

May 31st, 2010
10:54 am

Yes, I think he should be there, but at this point, I’m concentrating more on the Beer Man and Sid the Kid, plus the other youngsters that missed time last year. I’m probably projecting and just letting the early summe doldrums get to me, but something strange tells me that Abe won’t end his career here on a positive note. Hope he proves me wrong. Really do.

Meanwhile, I want to see my boy William Moore make some hellacious noise this year. Looking forward to a much tougher secondary overall.

Big Ray

May 31st, 2010
10:58 am

BA ,

Good points. I have no clue who the D-line leader is, though I would imagine that it is supposed to be Abraham. Heh….

Look for new voices to emerge, I reckon. Peterson is probably the most vocal from the defensive QB spot, Spoon will take over for him in a couple of years, adding his exuberance to that of Lofton’s. Looking forward to the growth of that tandem, and expect them to be THE leaders of the defense. Look to hear Dunta pipe up behind the LBs, saying “No need to turn your head, Mike Pete, we got this back here.”

Oh yeahhhhhh….Dirty Bird Defense on the rise….

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 31st, 2010
11:35 am

Chris T

May 31st, 2010
11:54 am

We wouldn’t be talking about this had he had double digit sacks last year. He will this year & so will Biermann. I predict a case of sacks between the 2 bookends and will be sorely disappointed if Kroy doesn’t start opposite Abe. JA should be a DT, maybe kick him outside on 1st or 2nd down depending on distance. Lofton is a leader yet has no spectacular plays, Peterson is a leader yet fell off badly, We have leaders that don’t back it up with plays. Maybe Abe wants to have the stats before he takes on the leader role again. He has always been the strong link on the line since he’s been here, regardless of what his interview answers were he knows he fell off some as we do. He’s just projecting strength as he always has had to do. He is aware of our concerns as they are 99% likely his aswell.

jason

May 31st, 2010
12:09 pm

Great Meormial Day, CAGE. Thanks for the shout out D3. Abe is Abe and we all know the deal. The so called down year was not because he didn’t show for OTAs. The sack drop off had alot to do with inexperience at the DT position and no production from the other DE spot to ease the constant double teams Abe was facing. In fact as mentioned by D3 and others, he had in fact a really good year, only a drop off in sacks. Also as mentioned it allows Kroy, Sid and JA more snaps.
Speaking of JA98′ is this year 4 for him? Year 3 is when we are susposed to see it all come together for the younger players. With JA98 it may take this season or next before we know once and for all what he will bring. Have to remember he was a 2 year starter at DE at ARK moving over from TE and he left school early. He never should have been drafted that high, but he was. He will never be the stud pass rusher, but is it a waste pick (bust) if he does become a dependable rotational player at the DE and DT spots?

jason

May 31st, 2010
12:12 pm

D3, what’s on the grill today?
ATL is looking great as far as building depth on the defensive side. 2 deep at every position. How is the DT position shaping up? What are we looking at with and without Babs? Is Walker ready to take on more of an important role at DT?

CBrass

May 31st, 2010
1:18 pm

BA,

Thanks for the link. Gotta love Smitty!!!

Moose

May 31st, 2010
3:43 pm

Hold the phone…….

Big John did not sit out last years OTAs…. The Falcons kept Abraham out of their 2008 OTAs and coach Smith stonewalled reporters when he was asked whether Abraham, who had been bothered by neck, nerve and shoulder injuries, had any surgeries during the offseason….

Undisclosed injury is most likly why he’s out again this year and lets just hope he makes a full recovery……..

He was pretty banged up last year……..

http://www.kffl.com/player/1322/NFL

Chris T

May 31st, 2010
4:05 pm

Sounds very likely Moose, Abe is by far my favorite player on the team. Just something about the DE position but I hope Weatherspoon and Lofton can sway me in their direction. Would kinda be nice to have the LB core of the old days. A nice group who stand up & say you might get 4yds but WONT get 5, we may bend but you will break! Thats the mentality we’ve been missing but it has to be a team mindset. Abe nor anyone else can solely bring it. Sack the butterflies & swarm like bee’s.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 31st, 2010
4:13 pm

CBrass;
No worries, glad you enjoyed it. For what it is worth, I am pulling for your Hubby to start, and to become a vocal leader of the d-line. Looks like he may have what it takes.

Moose;
Excellent point, undisclosed injury could explain a lot.

Ken Strickland

May 31st, 2010
4:59 pm

MOOSE-I’ve been saying that same thing for almost a yr. He has nothing to prove, and any rookies or new players that need his presence or encouragement at this point don’t need to be on the team anyway.

I’m a firm believer that in order for our pass rush to be effective, there has to be a coordinated effort. It has to be a combination of inside(DT’s) and outside(DE’s)pressure from our DL, plus solid coverage by our CB’s and LB’s. From all indications, DT CPeters seems to be a bigger, younger version of JBabineaux. In fact, DT PJerry also fits that mold. Once PJerry returns to full strength, and JBabineaux returns from his impending suspension, he, CPeters and JBabineaux just might form the NFL’s quickest, fastest and most athletic trio of DT’s.

Add the size and strength of TLewis, and you have one solid and versatile DT rotation. Now this is where DT/DE JAnderson comes in, because his versatility allows us to carry one fewer DT or DE. A number of the Saints players had to have career yrs, or near career yrs, in order for them to do what they did last yr. We’re so young, athletic, deep and talented, especially at all of the skill positions, that we can accomplish the same thing without any of our players having career yrs. I LIKE THIS TEAM!!!!

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 31st, 2010
5:44 pm

Simply put, if Mrs Abraham, or any player in the league, wants to be regarded as a leader, then they’re actions ought to dictate it. Tony Gonzalez is just as old and just as seasoned but he is full aware of the need to “get ready” for the upcoming season. He leads by example.

CBrass

May 31st, 2010
5:55 pm

BA,

Bier strikes me as more of the silent leader type. I can see him as the type who will pull someone aside to give them a pep talk or to calm them down. I could be wrong but that what I see. Before too long Spoon is going to be the vocal leader of the entire defense.

Stirg,

Good to see you sweetie. Hope to see more of you.

Unca' Bob

May 31st, 2010
6:12 pm

Stirg,

What’s up? Great to see you on board. I knew full well where you would fall on this post(lol). Like Big Ray, I was OK with it last year but not so much this one. I felt he had some injury problems last year that needed to be adressed. Not so much this year. To me, it’s about Team and thus far he has shown me nothing. I think he should be there even if he doesn’t participate actively.

D3

May 31st, 2010
9:11 pm

Happy Memorial Day Cage! — Stirg, I believe I left you off the veterans thank you list. Thank you for your service to our country! Excellent convo’s going about our dear John Abraham.

Stirg — I kind of get that vibe too. Nothing concrete, but Abe doesn’t strike me as a huge leader. A mercenary of sorts. I guess if he delivers on the field, than its all good…..I suppose.

FalconsFan284 — It will be interesting to see what happens with Abraham next year. If he finishes out his contract, then he’ll be 34 years old when he signs a new deal. Hard to believe that a team will offer a ton of dough to a 34 year old D-End. If the Falcons cut him, then he probably could salvage a decent deal. If there’s a lockout, he’s screwed. Will you miss him if this is his last year?

Ken — Good points. He already had his snaps reduced down to barely over 700, which is why there’s still a role for someone like Chauncey Davis and Jamaal Anderson to make a contribution. Question is, at what point does that “role” player become Sidbury Jr.?

CBrass — Thanks as always. Saw on the Bleacher Report website that Mark Richt is on the hot seat this year, and the UGA job would be the most sought after if he were to go. Ranked ahead of LSU and Penn State. I sure hope we turn it around, because we’ve definitely been stuck in mediocrity for a long time now. I have a feeling that Richt will. Just think what maybe could have been different if Soft Willie hadn’t been the D-Coordinator for FIVE YEARS! Also, I totally agree with you on Biermann. I was just saying that, for whatever reason, he didn’t take it permanently, against the wishes of most fans. Even though they get credit for being straight and fair on “best man wins” the JA#98 example proves otherwise. Also got that feeling a little bit with Troy Bergeron not getting a shot and Houston starting for so long. I will sour if that happens again with some players (JA#98, Weems, etc).

D3

May 31st, 2010
9:23 pm

BA — Very well put. Abraham should be the DL leader, but does he really strike us that way? My answer would be no. It might in fact be Kroy Biermann over the next year or so.

Chris T — Abe has missed OTA’s in both circumstances: he missed last year after having a record breaking year and he’s missing this year after a somewhat lower year, at least in terms of sacks.

jason — Yeah, I keep going back to the feeling that I’m squibbling over peanuts because in the long run its not a mandatory event. He’s made all the mandatory stuff, so it really shouldn’t be a big deal. It is true that he didn’t get much of any help from anyone else and he was just being honest, which I appreciate, but in an ideal world you’d like to hear your “big leaders” say stuff like “it’s my reponsibility to make sure our defense and young guys improve”. It’s a fairly petty argument, but its the dead-zone of football so every tiny thing is examined I suppose. You back in GA now?

Moose — I understand what you’re saying, but its definitely not the training part that he’s missing, its more of the fact that he’s not there at all. If he’s injured, he surely didn’t have to participate, just like Brian Williams, Peria Jerry, and Harry Douglas, but they were all there to my knowledge. Again, I emphasize that I realize this is a pretty weak thing to be squabbling over, but its become a pattern from him.

CBrass

May 31st, 2010
9:31 pm

D3,

It is crazy to think that Richt is on the hot seat. I honestly do not understand it. Even when Willie was here Richt still managed to when at least 8 games each season!!! Oh BTW you can’t put to much faith in Bleacher Report articles. They are for pure entertainment purposes only.

Yea the Bust 98 experiment at DE has to be OVER!!! I guess since the 3rd year is the year that things click for players they gave him another shot. After last season we now officially know that he doesn’t have what it takes to play DE. Now with it being Bier’s 3rd season I’m looking for him to get majority of the snaps opposite Abe.

Chris T

May 31st, 2010
9:47 pm

While I do believe Abe will have a great season this year I am on board with the get something for them while you can philosophy. This will be Abe’s last year in Atlanta. Two things that will solidify that will be Kroy’s off the wall season he’ll have & the amount of $ Abe’s owed in his last year. Kroy will take Abe’s spot in 2011 but we are still going to need someone to take Kroy’s. We’ll probably let Abe go for a 3rd rd pick and pick up another DE in next years draft.

GT GRAD

May 31st, 2010
10:35 pm

Yes……….he should be participating with his team during the OTA’s.

The fact that he is not in Flowery Branch says a lot about him as a person and as a football player.

Sly Ty

May 31st, 2010
10:44 pm

No one is more selfish than Brett Favre, he showed up for game 3 of the preseason last year. If a Vet skips out, that’s just more reps for inexperienced players at the OTAs. As long as Abe is healthy, which is why he does his own training schedule, Im fine with it. Abe is a DE pass rusher, not a WR, TE, QB, Safety, MLB, or running back with sophisticated assignments on the field.

Ken Strickland

June 1st, 2010
12:19 am

D3-I believe TD and Smitty knew when they drafted LSidbury that physically he had everything JAbraham has and maybe more. He just didn’t have anywhere near his skill level. I think they’re content with bringing him along a little slower because they want him to take over for JAbraham, and they want him to be completely prepared by his 3rd yr.

STIRG-Welcome back my friend. I think TGonzalez’s issues and JAbraham’s issues are different. The double teams TGonzalez goes up against are completely different than the ones JAbraham has to deal with. Gonzo only has to deal with LB’s and DB’s, who can’t touch him after 5yds. Abe has to deal with 300lb+ OLinemen, who are on him until the whistle blows, that out weigh him by 50-80lbs+.

As a young DE trying to make the team, I’d rather get the experience afforded me by getting additional snaps, due to Abraham’s absence, rather than watching him do his thing and taking up those snaps. A young player can always learn from him by watching film of him doing his thing.

Stirg d'Nahsif

June 1st, 2010
2:46 am

Well said, Ken, as all ways.

Hey e’erybody…CBrass, Unca’ Bob. What’s going on, Big Ray? I remember that heckling I did last year on Mrs. Abraham. Some cagers didn’t like; some had words with me about it. Still, the fact remains the same: Abraham is absent; and he is on his last leg. Do not be surprised if he is released prior to regular season.

D3, I really appreciate that. When I was sitting in the desert, some years ago, I often asked myself, “Self, what am I doing here…?”. When I come back to the world (USA), I experience good ole folk like you, that make me realize “what I was doing there.” Thank you, again. It was an honor to serve.

DePlane

June 1st, 2010
7:37 am

Stirg…release him prior to regular season? While I agree with you on some points…that is a unbelievable assertion. Backfill him with who?

Simply put, you don’t really have much of a choice but to keep him even if you wanted to release him. Now maybe I could see a trade, but c’mon, who out there to plug in his spot?

John Waynesworld

June 1st, 2010
8:43 am

I think all these practices either need to be mandatory or not at all if it is going to constantly revolve around the media’s intention of airing out players’ grievances on whether a certain player is attending or not, giving way to jealousy. Make it mandatory or let them have their time off. They ALL have full-blown, eye-dazzling work out rooms inside their own homes, as well as personal trainers to offset any detrimental human traits like laziness. Then when the REAL training camp take place, if the player comes in overweight, guess what? He is going to work harder in the Falcon’s gym than the other guys who did their due diligence before they let him set foot on the practice field. But if they are ready to play because of their off-season work ethic, then let them have their time off.

However since there are OTAs scheduled, I think everyone should show if for no other reason than to connect with the rookies. You are not going to impress a young player by not showing up, that’s for sure. Speaking of Abe:

After the 16.5 sack performance I was willing to look the other way, but not after last year. You are right D3 Abe’s interview were less than convincing that he has any leadership or accountability at all. I think he would actually prefer to be a third down pass rushing specialist for the remainder of his career, a la Fred Dean, and I’m quite convinced he really, REALLY doesn’t want to practice, a la Allen Iverson and any number of socially spoiled athletes that are use to having their way about things.

That being said, I think whatever they did last year it kept Abe HEALTHY. There’s something to be said in that and maybe because of his age we shouldn’t pick this fight when it concerns our number one pass rusher.