((All safeties ranked together: both strong safeties and free safeties))
Snaps – 1035
Overall Comprehensive Safety Ranking – 10th (+4.6 Rating)
Pass Rush – 6th (+1.8 Ranking)
Coverage – 44th (-1.1 Rating)
Run Defense – 7th (+4.9 Rating)
Sacks – Tied 1st (3 Sacks)
QB Hits – Tied 26th (1)
QB Pressures – Tied 37th (1)
Tackles – 24th (68)
Defensive Stops – Tied 42nd (14)
Opposing WR Catch % – 19th (48.6%)
Yards Given Up – 74th (339 yds)
Yards After Catch – 42nd (88 yds)
TDs Given Up – 66th (3)
Ints – Tied 15th (3)
Passes Defensed – Tied 24th (3)
Opposing QB Rating – 38th (74.4%)
Great Games – Carolina (1), New England, New Orleans (2), Buffalo
Bad Games – NY Giants, Tampa Bay (1)
While obviously DeCoud is very young (25), he needs to put in some serious work in his coverage ability to be considered elite. Pair #28’s weaker coverage ability with strong safety Erik Coleman and you have serious issues considering you play the best passing offense in New Orleans twice a year. Also think about Josh Freeman as an emerging young talent in Tampa Bay, Matt Moore’s good performance over the final stretch of last season, and that’s not even including Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, and Carson Palmer on the schedule. Fans will be thinking only about improving a leaky pass coverage and not about DeCoud’s Pro Bowl potential.
The Falcons coaching staff felt so strongly about Thomas DeCoud’s ability that they not only let Lawyer Milloy walk, but moved Erik Coleman to strong safety after spending most of his career as a free safety. In only his first year, DeCoud was one of the best QB rushing safeties (6th), tied for the most sacks in the NFL (3), ranked 15th in INTs, and even almost equaled the sack total of the entire linebacker corps (3 to LB’s 4). Many fans may have forgotten about DeCoud since he spent his entire rookie year learning behind both Lawyer Milloy and Erik Coleman. Dimitroff took a gamble when he replaced 5 starters on defense, but he obviously knew that DeCoud would be a huge part of that equation.
DeCoud definitely has to work on his coverage ability, but it was his first year as a full-time starter. It’s hard to argue that DeCoud got much help from his secondary mates when you look at their 2009 performances. Erik Coleman was terrible in coverage, Chris Houston was so bad that he’s now with the Detroit Lions, Brent Grimes had a poor first half, and Chris Owens suffered the typical rookie struggles. Also consider the linebacker corps and defensive line was anemic in pressure, and its surprising that DeCoud’s coverage wasn’t worse. With improvement and health at every level of the defense (Weatherspoon, Robinson, Jerry, Peters, Biermann), look for Thomas DeCoud to have a record breaking Pro Bowl worthy year. Just ask Drew Brees about #28.
-Which do you choose: Weak Coverage or Verge or Greatness? Why?
-Is Thomas DeCoud ready for a Pro Bowl year?
-Will DeCoud improve his coverage?
-How many picks and sacks will #28 get?
-Is #28 the leader of the defense?
-Will the Falcons pass coverage improve?