Archive for August, 2011

Final Falcons Questions as Preseason Closes

Are the Birds Ready to Go?

Just Preseason, Right? (C.Compton/AJC)

Well, if you go by preseason records, then the Falcons are in serious trouble at 0-3 as they await their final exhibition game against the Ravens in the Georgia Dome. There have been some bright spots and the Birds have been in the lead in two of the games when Matt Ryan headed for the bench. On the flipside, there have been a few head-scratchers and causes for concern. A few final questions as the Falcons get ready to wrap up preseason.

1) Suddenly “Stout” Secondary?

Maybe it was always in Thomas Dimitroff’s grand scheme or maybe it was a reaction from the vapor trails left by Antonio Brown on Saturday night in Pittsburgh, but Falcons fans have to be feeling a whole lot better right now than they did Sunday morning. Dimitroff picked up one of his former players he scouted in New England in safety James Sanders on Tuesday and then added veteran cornerback Kelvin Hayden, formerly of the Colts, on Wednesday. …

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Falcons Ready for True Test @ Steelers

Six Searing Questions as Birds Head to Steel City

How Many Carries to Quizz? (C.Compton/AJC)

It’s very debatable on how much stock to put into the preseason. Some believe its simply a glorified training camp practice and it means little to nothing. Others think that preseason, at least pertaining to the starters, can preclude some areas of great strength, but more importantly, serious issues that can linger long into the regular season. Either way, it’s a well-established belief that the third preseason game is the best representation of preseason because teams put in a gameplan and play their starters for the longest amount of time in an attempt to get them game-ready. That being said, six searing questions as the Birds travel to visit the 2011 AFC Champs……

1) Too Critical?

Even though we may venture in to being too critical at times, most of us here in The Cage readily admit to viewing our Birds with a tint of rose-colored glasses, this author certainly included. However, …

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Final Film Review – Falcons Clunk to Jaguars

Some Bright Spots, Plenty of Bad

Yuck (AP)

First of all, let’s just repeat to ourselves several times: it’s only preseason, it’s only preseason, it’s only preseason. Right? It all depends on what you think of preseason games. Some believe it’s a good indicator of what’s to come, while others believe it’s just a glorified training camp practice. Perhaps its somewhere in the middle. Whatever your take, there were plenty of bright spots and just as many causes for concern. A look at some of both as the Falcons give a forgettable clunker to the Jaguars.

1) 3rd, Long, and Still Atrocious

There’s not much more to add on this one. This has been a major problem since Coach Smith and DC Van Gorder took over in 2008. There have been up-ticks at times, and a few pockets of success, but overall it’s just been downright awful. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers or Blaine Gabbert and Matt Moore, there is an unbelievable inability of this coaching staff to …

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Final Film Review – Falcons Fall to Dolphins

Starters Look Good, Reserves Not So Much

The Kid Can Play (C.Compton/AJC)

It’s only preseason and its hard to gauge exactly how much stock to put into it, but sometimes it does hold some truth to what the regular season holds. The coaches are trying to get the starters ready to go and shake off the rust, but really they’re trying to build depth, determine the open starting positions, and decide who will make the 53 man roster and 8 man practice squad.

The starters looked good. The offense looked pretty darn good after a weak 3 and out to open the game. The first team defense looked really good minus DE Ray Edwards after holding them to a net 5 yards in the first three series with 2 picks. They were playing the Dolphins minus Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush and with Chad Henne as the QB. Still, they did what they were asked and give good hope for the future. The reserves, however, left a lot to be desired. Some final film reviews from the 1st preseason game:

1) So Far, Julio’s …

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Atlanta Falcons Football is Back!

Six Searing Questions as Fins Enter the Dome

The Falcons hit the practice field on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, in Flowery Branch as they prepared for their Friday night exhibition against the Miami Dolphins. Receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones laugh in the end zone after scoring back-to-back touchdowns during one-on-one plays against the defense.

A Beautiful Sight (C.Compton/AJC)

It’s finally here Bird Cage Falcon Fanatics: Atlanta Falcon Football is here at last! Well, at least pre-season anyway. But hey, football’s football and our beloved Falcons are taking the field knowing that the real deal lies right around the corner. Six searing questions as the Birds ready for the Dolphins in the first pre-season battle:

1) Will the Offense FINALLY Open Up?

Like peering deep into the mysteries of the universe, will fans finally start to see a more aggressive, “explosive” offense from Coach Smith and OC Mularkey? This debate has been ongoing since Smith took over in 2008. The offense has never hurt for weapons, but the offense has been a conservative, methodical approach that has lacked big plays and rare aggressive throws down field. That gameplan has served them well in helping lead them to a 33-15 regular season record, but as the Debacle in the Dome taught us, when it doesn’t …

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Grade the Atlanta Falcons Off-Season

How Did GM Thomas Dimitroff Do?

Back in Camp (C.Compton/AJC)

It’s heaven again: Atlanta Falcons football has officially returned! Gone are the days of being on pins and needles on whether or not the NFL and Falcons would return or if any of the season would be missed. There will be plenty of time to jump headfirst into the Falcons training camp, position battles, and roster spots, but we would be remiss if we didn’t reflect on the insanely quick off-season that was. Give your grades for the Falcons off-season moves and the job that Thomas Dimitroff did.

The Cage’s Take

Ray Edwards – A+

The only Falcons true free agent signing was a master stroke by Thomas Dimitroff. Everyone who has ever made any comment about football in the history of the sport said that the Falcons HAD to address their pass rush and if they didn’t, they were in for an awful year. Well, even though the Falcons probably would’ve been ok without a defensive end signing, but TD probably made one of his best …

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