Archive for February, 2011

What Should Falcons Do @ LB?

Few Options Available

Green Bay Packers running back John Kuhn (30) gets hit by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton (50), but Kuhn still scored the touchdown during the Packers 48-21 win in the NFC divisional playoff game.

Bad Memories (J.Getz/AJC)

 

The linebacker corps has been one of the most transitional positions on the entire team since the Dimitroff/Smith era began, especially the outside linebackers. In 2007, the Falcons boasted Keith Brooking at MLB Michael Boley and Demorrio Williams at the outside linebacker spots. When Dimitroff took over as General Manager, he immediately snagged Curtis Lofton from Oklahoma in the second round to be the old-school tackling machine in the middle for some time to come. That’s about where the continuity stops. In an effort to get younger, 2008 saw Brooking’s last year in a Falcons uniform and evidently Michael Boley didn’t mesh well with the new coaching staff because he was allowed to walk into free agency after having a Pro Bowl worthy year in 2007.

They signed Mike Peterson in the 2009 off-season as a free agent linebacker from the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he played for then defensive coordinator Mike Smith for most …

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In Memoriam – Sarah Brainerd

Rest in Peace Sweet Angel Sarah B

We’re taking a break from Falcons and Football to discuss something more serious. If you haven’t been a frequent visitor to The Bird Cage or are a newcomer, you may want to return in a few days when a new post about our Beloved Birds is up. This blog started a few years ago on D. Orlando Ledbetter’s blog and many of us got to know one another and developed a great rapport with each other discussing all things Falcons, football, and sometimes whatever we desired. Thus The Bird Cage was later born of many collective efforts that involved respect, dignity, compassion, and humanity. The Atlanta Falcons of course was the center point, but it evolved into so much more, thinking of each other’s well-being and genuinely wishing the best for each other and being there for comfort when some of us had tough times, even though we’d never once met in person. You could call it a “Spirit of The Bird Cage,” if you will. No one represented this …

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Do Falcons Need Another #2 WR?

Time to Add Another Weapon?

One of Two Touchdowns (AP)

 There have been whispers the last few years regarding the Atlanta Falcons receiving corps. Thomas Dimitroff hasn’t added a new receiver through the draft or free agency since his very first days as General Manager when he added Harry Douglas in the third round and decided to re-up Michael Jenkins to a whopping 4 years deal worth $20 million dollars. Jenkins and Brian Finneran were holdovers from the previous regime and he recently drafted Kerry Meier in the 5th round only to see him go down with an ACL injury and be lost for the year. Eric Weems has solidified his spot on the team as an excellent special teams player and returner, but has had almost no impact in the passing game.

Roddy White doesn’t even merit mention in this conversation since he’s absolutely one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League, whose made the Pro Bowl two years in a row and just was named to his first All-Pro team. In …

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How Should Falcons Fix DE?

Long-Standing Issue Needs Resolving

What happened to "The Sidbury Hope?" (C.Compton/AJC)

Rich McKay trades for John Abraham from the New York Jets, giving up the 15th overall draft pick. Falcon fans are salivating at the opportunity of seeing two Pro Bowl defensive ends across from one another and quite possibly the best defensive end combination in the NFL with Patrick Kerney manning the other side. Abraham battled through injuries in his first year as a Falcon and the much ballyhooed chance of seeing them play together was sadly a missed opportunity for the most part. The Falcons let Kerney hit the free agent market and onto Seattle, where he made the Pro Bowl and became an All-Pro and that was the last time that the Birds had a legit pass rush on both sides of the defensive line. Since then, it’s been John Abraham producing the pressure all by himself and an assemble that have combined for not very much at all on the opposite side.

Severe Lack of Production

Abraham had a …

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What Should Falcons Do with the OL?

Big Decisions Await

Last Time Together? (AJC)

Some major decisions have been building for several years regarding the offensive line and what the future will look like for one of the most important aspects of any successful team. The story is well-documented for Bird fans since Head Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff came together to start the new, and most successful, regime in Atlanta Falcons history. One of Smith’s main hires was famed offensive line coach Paul Boudreau who would have his work cut out for him with not much in the way of talent and many veterans on the verge of retirement. The 2007 offensive line was made up of several older veterans picked high in the draft but claimed through free agency (Wayne Gandy – 36 – 1st round; Todd Weiner – 32 – 2nd round ), one recent and high draft pick (Justin Blalock – 2nd round), many late round draftees (Quinn Ojinnaka – 5th; Todd McClure – 7th, Kynan Forney – 7th), and one undrafted free …

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