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 the Real Deal

Yes, its only preseason and take from it what you will, but if the first look at Julio Jones is any indication, the Falcons have added a serious playmaker on offense. Notice that you didn’t even see Roddy White or Tony Gonzalez get in on the mix. Jones had 3 catches for 55 yards and added 12 more on a reverse. Mike Mularkey and Matt Ryan were salivating about their new weapon, and he delivered. Its WAY early and the Dolphins aren’t the Steelers or Packers defense, but it finally appears that teams can’t simply double Roddy White and bracket Tony Gonzalez to shut down the Birds offense.

2) 1st Team D Looked Sharp

1st Team Looked Tough (C.Compton/AJC)

Yes, its only preseason and they squared off against Chad Henne and a Dolphins team without Brandon Marshall or newly acquired running back Reggie Bush, but the Falcons defense, minus Ray Edwards, did exactly what they were supposed to do. Three possessions and the Falcons D nabbed two interceptions, forced a punt, and held them to net five yards. Again, its only preseason, but the 1st defense looked pretty good.

3) Dominique Franks @ Nickel Back and………….

The second year man out of Oklahoma had some dazzling punt returns and looked pretty good at nickel back, which you would have to say that he is leading the race to win the nickel back job, simply by default and Chris Owens just not looking up to par. If the Dimitroff decides to go with Franks or Owens, you’d have to think that Franks gets the nod. It’s looking more and more like Owens good starts as a rookie was the anomaly and the late season torch job was the standard.

4) Not Sure What they See in Antone Smith and Gartrell Johnson

Surely not trying to degrade anyone here, but it’s just really hard to figure out what they see in Antone Smith and Gartrell Johnson. It’s all great in wanting a feel-good, former practice squad to make the jump (Eric Weems), but they just don’t seem to have it. After a preseason, a regular season, and the start to another preseason, they offer nothing in terms of actual results on the field. It’s all good and well to have that sacred “potential,” but if you never show it, than it remains just that. Even though the “grass is always greener,” fans may think they let the wrong running back go in Dmitri Nance. Either that, or they should just roll with 6 wide receivers and only 4 running backs to keep Brandyn Harvey on the 53 man roster. It’s only the 5th RB spot, but still, they offer little. Could they at least get a burner in that 5 hole?

5) Serious Issues with Secondary Depth

Yes, you’re talking about backups and mainly special teams players, but the Falcons backup secondary (including Chris Owens) looked atrocious against the Dolphins backups. Shann Schillinger, Rafael Priest, Chris Owens, and Rafael Bush among others looked downright awful. Perhaps it was just an issue of rust and missed assignments, but it’s looking more and more (hopefully) that TD will be getting on the phone when some of the cuts come down a la Brian Williams back in 2009. If not, we may be looking at more “Debacles in the Dome” courtesy of Manning, Vick, Brees (x 2), Freeman (x 2), Rodgers, Schaub, and Cutler.

6) If Healthy, WR Corps is Very Deep

Franks Looked Good (C.Compton/AJC)

Some fans are worried about letting Michael Jenkins go and what that would do to the wide receiver depth. If Friday night was any indication, assuming they stay healthy, this could turn out to be one of the best and most complementary receiving corps in recent memory. We know what Roddy can do and Julio blasted off in his debut, but the real strength was what the other receivers did. Harry Douglas, lined up on the outside looked like his old self with this TD catch and other receptions. Kerry Meier (1 for 18) and Eric Weems (3 for 26) both got involved in the offense as well. It was particularly nice to see HD, Weems, and Meier being used in the offense in hopefully what’s to come in the future. Perhaps Dominique Franks getting looks at punt returner means that Weems will be more featured in the offense.

Also, it was only two catches for 35 yards, but the Falcons have got to figure out a way to keep Brandyn Harvey on the 53 man roster. If they can get Harvey up to speed on special teams contributions, they must keep him over Antone Smith or Gartrell Johnson as the #5 back. Where Harvey has immense potential, speed, and size, Smith and Johnson haven’t proven either. The Packers wide receiving corps already had Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and then they went out and drafted Randall Cobb. The point is that they should do everything in their power to keep all 6, especially with HD and Meier’s injury history.

7) Cold Water on Wilson as #2 Talk

Looks like Chris Redman will be the #2 to Matt Ryan for a long, long while. After promising starts in preseason and showing good command in previous games, the talk of John Parker Wilson potentially moving up to take over the #2 QB spot behind Matt Ryan just took a major hit. His stats don’t bear out to be that terrible (12/19, 111, 1 Int), but he didn’t seem to have a really good grasp on the offense, throwing 1 interception and getting rocked for a fumble at the end of the half which led to a touchdown. Perhaps it was just rust, but he didn’t do much to make his case to replace Redman. At least he doesn’t have to worry about competition as the #3 the way rookie Adam Froman played.

8.) This May Be It for Sidbury

The question was posed before the game on whether Sidbury’s spot on the team would be in jeopardy and if the 1st preseason game is any sign, he’s in trouble. Sidbury was close to sacks many times, but he came away with no tackles and no sacks. Meanwhile, rookie Cliff Matthews collared 3 tackles and got his first NFL sack (albeit preseason). Practice squad stalwart Emmanuel Stephens also chipped in with 4 total tackles and a sack of his own. The Falcons could elect to dump Chauncey Davis and his 3+ million salary, in which Sidbury would be safe, but more than likely it appears that Sidbury’s time may be running out.

Your Turn

  1. Your overall thoughts on the 1st preseason game: good, fair, or me
  2. Julio real deal or just preseason
  3. Starting D look tough or weak offense opponent
  4. Are you comfortable with Franks @ nickel
  5. What’s the deal with Owens
  6. Worried about secondary depth
  7. Does TD need to get secondary depth help
  8. Are we missing something with A. Smith and Johnson
  9. Happy about WR depth
  10. Still worried about losing Jenkins
  11. Should Falcons carry 6 WR’s to keep Harvey
  12. Your thoughts on Wilson
  13. Is Sidbury done in Atlanta?

358 comments Add your comment


August 15th, 2011
10:07 pm


August 15th, 2011
10:09 pm

D3, thanks for getting a new post in considering your schedule, I’ll get more into your actual post later, but here’s something I posted during the last post, something again I will say I have been wondering about.

Since everyone probably is in bed now, I should probably be too, miss you Sarah, JJ, and Box, the former late night crew, but something I have been wondering:

For those unfamiliar with the cage, D3 is a fulltime teacher, husband, and father of two who finds the time to help entertain us fans of the Falcons, so he’s excluded, but to the wondering part a question:

Why is it that so far analyst from ESPN and the NFL network has given us more, as fans, to be excited about regarding the Falcons then our own so called sports writers? The Atlanta sports writers most likely get more exclusive access then any writers or analyst because the Falcons want us to be excited, who better to spread the word then your own local analyst and writers. The funny thing is that if you look over the history of these writers, they have questioned Atlanta fans in all sports for not turning out, our own city writers have called Atlanta a tough ticket when it comes to sports. They have all kind of reasons why, but never self analyzing to see that in the sports world, sure, winning brings out fans, but anticipation and belief drives fans, they give none of the above, we have to seek it elsewhere.

Sorry but talking about the loss of Vick, the reinvention of Vick, the Atlanta Spirit ownership group, the lack of the Hawks willing to spend money, Chippers continual ventures to the DL, lack of a Braves offense, and will or will not the thrashers be sold, doesn’t exactly bring about excitement. H@ll in Atlanta we have countdowns of who’s the worse team in Atlanta, every now and then they mix in who’s the best, but how about reporting on the positives, at least in sports, we get the negative from all of the other writers and analyst reports. Please refer to the APS scandal (Atlanta Public Schools) we know its F-ucked up by now, any breaking news on it is just water under the bridge at this point.

I apologize, late night rant

Call Me Crazy

August 15th, 2011
10:14 pm

Sorry this is off topic but….Regarding the Saints, who many believe will win the NFC South; they just released (Atlanta’s own) RT Jon Stinchcomb. They also lost their Center, Goodwin who was replaced by nearly retired Bears C, O. Kreutz. That should really hurt their continuity up front and who knows when, if they will gel as a cohesive unit. That should bode well for our entire D line. Brees can and does get rattled when under pressure. I hope, with a more aggressive Falcon D philosophy, and their quicker, healthier, and more experienced LB and DB group in particular, he gets that stressed ‘J. Delhomme look’ on his face ;-) > I’m thinking: 1.ATL, 2.TB, 3.NO. Sounds about right.


August 15th, 2011
10:42 pm

What in the h is that dude talking about


August 15th, 2011
10:46 pm

WR – Totally concur. AJC writers suck! D3 provides the only real news worth reading. Not being a sycophant, just moderately observant.

CMC – I think you’re right. I see a Saints decline. That team caught lighting in a bottle, but not built for the long term.


August 15th, 2011
10:47 pm

Let’s say this Sidbury flashed the most out of any DE especially more than Chauncey. If you don’t believe that look at where Sid is on the depth chart and where chauncey is. Second yes Owens was in the picture on one play but that was it. Stop ragging on the guy and give him more than that one bad game.


August 15th, 2011
10:48 pm

Finally watching second half now. Smith a couple good plays. Just saw first Quizz run. Nice.

Don't feed Aints trolls (It isn't 2009 anymore)

August 15th, 2011
10:49 pm

You make it sound like that was our second team guys out there. It really wasn’t. Stephens and Matthews took the majority of snaps at DE. They aren’t second team. JPW isn’t second team. Bear Woods isn’t second team and he led the team in tackles. Most of those guys out there weren’t backups. They were guys on the bubble of being released or maybe kept for the practice squad. Smith went a different way than most coaches who used this game as a tune up game. Smith decided to use this game to evaluate UDFAs. I am not worried about losing to Miami, because our coaches weren’t trying to win that game. They were trying to make personnel decisions.


August 15th, 2011
10:49 pm

Holy crap! Quizz in pass protection = scary!!!!!


August 15th, 2011
10:52 pm

Yikes. JPW looks like me wabling off the drop zone after a bad jump. He’s out for two games. Count on it.


August 15th, 2011
11:05 pm

Excellent analogy of what I saw the other night. I had the opportunity to see the Falcons under the lights a little over a week ago. I do not think I had a true appreciation of Julio’s size until I was walking past the field and got a got a good look at him warming up. I think he is the real deal. I think in his first couple of seasons he will be comparable to Brandon Marshall as far as his skill set. He is big, fast, physical, however will drop a ball here and there. I like Harvey, I was disappointed that he did not make the squad last year, and so far this year he looks even better. I think the starting D will be better than last year, however Miami may have one of the worst offensive squads in the NFL. The biggest concern I have right now is our secondary. I think Grimes is a big time athlete, however his weakness seems to be receivers that can break away and change direction quickly. Recievers like D Jackson, Macklin, Jennings, and P Garcon to name a few that he will be facing this year.I hope R Edwards lives up to the hype. A couple of years ago at this time I was really high on Owens. He looked like the prototypical nickle back that could cover, but was not afraid to come up and greet a running back at the line of scrimmage. I thought at the end of his first season he seemed to be developing into something special. I do not know why the regression, whether he lost his confidence after losing the starting role to Grimes. I know at receiver or d back you can not play well without confidence. One bright spot I did see in the secondary, given it was one game and he was going against someone that will probably not be on an NFL roster in a few weeks…but I thought D Walls showed some flashes of brilliance. I think Sidbury is definitely done. With Edwards coming in, Bierman now relegated to more special teams, and Matthews seeming to look solid so far there may not be any room for Sidbury. I do not see letting C Davis go. I think he is a great situational end that BVG and Smitty seem to love.Sidbury is going into his third year, and at this point should be less of a developmental player and more of a contributor.

WR.. I understand your point. If you look at it we have 3 winners here in Atlanta right now. We aren’t quite having the parties on Peachtree, but given the sports history of this town..where we were and where we are now…as a fan you have to be happy with what your seeing.Players want to come here and play now. Not like times when we found a Dale Murphy, D Wilkins, or Deion Sanders that they would eventually be traded away because they deserved to much money, or they would walk away for the opportunity to play for someone who was committed to winning. The media does there best to find the negatives, because unfortunately in todays society, good news does not sell.


August 15th, 2011
11:07 pm

One more thing…really concerned about P Jerry…it seemed to me he spent a lot of time on the ground even when the JV team was in.


August 15th, 2011
11:56 pm

Most of us here have been in agreement that the Falcons will be fielding one of their deepest teams ever this season. But, I must say, I am actually nervous regarding the CB situation. Should the Falcons face any injuries with any of the DB’s, it’d put us in a tough spot.

Think back to Dunta with the concussion last season. Brian Williams missed extended time, then got hurt again in the GB game.

The Falcons simply can’t afford any of their DB’s missing time, let alone extended time, this season based on how little depth we currently have. I really do think this is an area that TD overlooked after landing Ray Edwards. I have no problem letting Owens and Franks battle it out for the nickel back spot, but, behind those two, you have nobody. I’m not really too confident in Rafael Bush simply because I don’t know much about the dude. Both Owens and Franks are both young guns, so IMO, it wouldn’t be the wisest move just sliding either one of those guys into one of the two starting DB slots should either Dunta or Grimes have to miss any time this season.

This issue’s probably already been discussed, and I’m sure will be beaten to death as we move through preseason and into the regular season. Just makes me wonder though. I like Owens and Franks. But do I like a Robinson/Owens or Robinson/Franks or Grimes/Owens or Grimes/Franks? Truthfully, it makes me a bit nervous. Not saying they couldn’t get out there and surprise me, but lets just hope it doesn’t come to that.


August 16th, 2011
12:00 am

Basically, I think both of those guys (Owens and Franks) are ideal for nickel back guys, particularly Dominique Franks. Again, I’m not a GM, so I’m not sure how wise I look here saying I like both of those guys at the nickel but then suggesting we might have wanted to go out and signed a nickel. It’s just I’d feel so much better if we had another DB on the roster who I’d be comfortable sliding into one of those 2 CB slots.


August 16th, 2011
12:01 am

Falcons are going to the superbowl

Brian Hunt

August 16th, 2011
12:42 am

I agree with D3 on everything except Rafael Bush. I thought that he played OK. Owens looks like he doesn’t have the confidence of his rookie year. He looks to be behind Franks, Bush, and Walls to me for a back up spot.

Sidbury is not progressing. He doesn’t use his hands well at all, and doesn’t have any counter moves. He’s purely a speed rusher, and when Tackles get their hands on him, he’s out of the play. I saw him pause on his pass rush and dance with the Tackle rather than lower a shoulder, engage his hands and attack. I’m pulling for him, but I don’t see him making it.

Neither Wilson or Froman showed any promise to my humble eyes. The Falcons need to invest a draft pick in a back up QB that can be developed.

Big Ray

August 16th, 2011
1:42 am

I still think JPW played alright. The Miami defense was all over him on more than half of the snaps he took, and he stood in there against the pressure and still completed more than 60% of his passes.

What more do you want from a guy when he’s playing behind a line that kept breaking down in pass protection? The hit that put him out of the game only emphasized that point….

I think Rafael Bush has some potential, maybe we hang onto him. Walls does as well, but how many CBs are the Falcons going to hang onto? Despite my bravado from earlier, I have to concede to my Cage Brethren that if Dunta or Grimey goes down, we’re in a spot of trouble.

Ok….last word on the secondary for the night – I like Franks to get the NCB job, and I think TD nets us a veteran CB at some point. Because, outside of Grimes and Robinson, we have no veteran secondary players AT ALL. Seriously, Decoud and Moore are still “young” in the League, and they’re our starting safties.

Rookie running backs all struggle with the same thing when they enter the NFL – pass protection. I ain’t worried about Quizz, he’ll get it. Warrick Dunn did….

Sid the Kid may be done. I’ve no love for Chauncey Davis’ contract but it is what it is. He doesn’t really get swallowed up by the run, and he’s a veteran out there on the edge. So Sidbury’s only shot at the team is being a part of a rotation as a pass rushing DE. Problem is, that rotation is shorter than ever.

Sid doesn’t look to be showing more promise than Cliff Matthews or Emmanuel Stephens at this point, and both guys haven’t had the opportunities that Sid’s had. We shall see. My guess is, Sid gets voted off the island, so to speak.

OH…and Julio? Don’t make me laugh. Teams will be scheming against him before long. And it won’t help. We have more weapons….

One thing about our defense….dammit wrap those tackles up, whether its a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, or a sack. WRAP UP!

Mike from London

August 16th, 2011
7:48 am

I said it last year “what happended to Brandyn Harvey” only to be told, when players suit up for games, they look very different to when they are on the practise field. Well how’s he looking now. I hope this young man gets some reps with the first team in the pre season games, he is a definite keeper, if he goes on the practise squad again, he will not be there for very long.

Ken Strickland

August 16th, 2011
7:49 am

I’d like to know what some of you will do or say if COwens has a good showing in he next preseason gm. Most of his dfetractors have conveniently forgotten how well he did as a starter his rookie yr, and written him off after only 2gms, one in preseason. None of you have seen him perform in practice or with the starters since the Packer gm.

Obviously our coaching staff, who’s watched him on film and during every practice, isn’t worried about his performance over the last 2gms, so why should we worry. As far as DE LSidbury is concerned, if we’re looking at potential and development, based on our 1st preseason gm and results, he appears to be out of here. Both Mathews and Stephens showed more potential and production against Miami than Sidbury.

I think our coaching staffs decision about our CB situation has and/or will be influenced by the projected improvement in our pass rush. A solid and consistent pass rush will make any DB better. Our DB’s have operated without the benefit of a solid and consistent pass rush for the last 3yrs.

And again, most of our DB’s are at their best when playing press or man to man. And as time goes by, it seems DC BVG prefers playing more and more zone, which is contrary to what most of our DB’s do best. I look at the AINTS DC and marvel at how he has them playing so aggressively and how he gets maximum results from a DEF that’s not very talented individually.

And here we are with DC VanGoder, who coaches conservatively, doesn’t play aggressively, nor does he get maximum results from the abundance of individual talent he has at his disposal. We can continue passing the buck and blaming individual players all we want, but our biggest problem on DEF so far is our inability to get VanGorder to coach up to the level of talent that he has.

Bottom line, he hasn’t placed his players and their individual talents in the best situation or system for them to perform at their best. You can’t blame the players for that.

Mike from London

August 16th, 2011
7:52 am

Someone made a good point that apart from Abraham, our players take the wrong angles in getting to the QB we had so many opportunties to record sacks last year only for us to see the QB’s escape, maybe its actually poor coaching technique’s thats holding out ends back, just a thought?

Mike from London

August 16th, 2011
7:58 am

Ken I agree on the Chris Owens point, when he was playing corner in his rookie year there was talk of him starting opposite Robinson instead of Grimes. Willams played Nickel last year so my point is he was quite comfortable playing corner but it will take him a while to learn the nickel position, which doesn’t make him a bad player, Franks just seems to have a bit more confidence this year which is showing in his play.

Ken Strickland

August 16th, 2011
8:11 am

The AINTS have lost 2 off their starting OL, with one being their OC. As usual, they’ve replaced him with a past his prime player that wasn’t resigned by a Bears team with OL issues. That move alone speaks volumes about their lack of quality depth. Otherwise, they would have replaced him with someone off their bench. That speaks volumes about their lack of OL depth.

When we lost starting RG HDahl, we had 3 backups(MJohnson, GReynolds & JValez)waiting in the wings to fight for the position. When OC TMcClure retires after this season, he’ll be replaced by a backup. With our OL depth, we don’t have to address our OFF or DEF weaknesses by signing inexpensive past their prime FA’s in hopes of them suddenly becoming their former selves.

That fluke of 09 won’t ever happen again in New Orleans.


August 16th, 2011
8:54 am

I normally don’t pay too much attention to pre -season NFL, but I checked on line and found some pretty good tickets and a nice room in a good hotel for a couple of nights, so I’ll be heading down to Jacksonville Friday morning for my first (after all these years) pre-season NFL game. I wonder if they have a Friday Matinee at the Dog Track.

joe white

August 16th, 2011
9:33 am

Keep harvey let johnson and smith go, i like sid but seems he is out matched at this level, he is gone. And please go out that get us a solid nickel, hayden is fa use to start with the colts but if we lose one of our cb’s we are in trouble for sure.Franks will get the nickel spot for sure


August 16th, 2011
9:37 am

Some players just light it up in practice, but stuggle to bring the same intensity to real game situations… Owens may fit that mode. There will always be players inculding (Chris Owens) that are at best 2nd team and relegated to situational play. Let us not forget, Owens also battled Grimes for the starting corner job opposite of Dunta last year… well we know how that ended. Owens may have all the physical traits it takes to perform at corner… but he may be running on empty when it comes to the fuel that drives those physical attributes, HEART!!!! Grimes beat him out last year with it, Franks will do the same.

I caution my fellow cagers and ATL fan base about jumping off the Sidbury bandwagon. IMO, Sidbury, Biermann, Cliff Mattews and the other young defensive ends will find it very hard to excel in this BVG defensive scheme, too many moving parts in this scheme, it doesn’t allow the ends to lay their years back and rush the passer on every down like most Teams. BVG’s scheme run ends in coverage and other unorthodoxed crap thats having them to think playing football, rather than playing. When Edwards came to camp he expressed he had to get a grasp of the complicated and bullsh!t defensive scheme, IMHO I think the lack of tackling the QB for sacks is attributed to this awful thing he calls a scheme, most players on this team have problems getting the QB to the ground, I just don’t think it’s a tackling issue, I think they are under coached in angle pursuit and the scheme is flawed.

If we cut Sidbury, we will be sorry. He will shine as a pass rusher with his next team… I guarantee it!!!


August 16th, 2011
9:57 am

Somebody – You may have nailed our D. Good post @ 9:37. I’m a Dawg and love BVG, but this is his last chance in my book. If the scheme is too complicate or simply wrong, that’s a coaching issue. I’ll tell you this, the play of the secondary was mostly scheme and coaching. You don’t get toasted like that if oyu’re coached and schemed into the right positions and reads.


August 16th, 2011
9:58 am

I got caught up a little in my post without giving thanks to D3 for the excellent stuff he puts together so we can have a place to get up on our soap boxes and express our opinions and sometimes facts, about our beloved FALCONS!

Thank you.


August 16th, 2011
10:06 am

Thanks Coop… Just my opinions, but if I had all day to post comments here, I could build a case and lay some factual evidence down to prove some of them.


August 16th, 2011
10:17 am

Somebody – I’ve been hoping that the D would start to click. For the last 3 years and now starting the 4th, it’s been “we need players, we need to get younger, we need to be more explosive”. Frankly, I’ve believed that (our whole team needed a makeover 3 years ago). But, at what point do we look at the coaches and TD and say, “OK, it’s been 3 years… how much more time do you need?” At a certain point, you have to wonder if Sid’s development is him or BVG. And don’t get this next comment wrong, cause I’m very excited about JJ being on the team, but you can’t make that trade and then say we’re still a couple players away on D. So to me, that trade signaled that BVG had everyone (except Edwards) that he needed. OK, so let’s see a top 10 (or better D). If we smoke by NO, GB, IND, PHI, or anyone else this year, I’ll have to lay that at BVG AND Smitty’s feet. I think, by now, you should have the talent, so it must be coaching and schemes. If it is players not getting it done, then I lean toward TD taking the wrap.

Hopefully, this discussion is moot. Hopefuly, our D matures and this is the year they start to put it all together. I must say, until I see it, I’m nervous.

As for Sid, I’m with you. I’m not ready to keep Davis and let Sid go. To me, he seems very close. Agree that Matthews and Stephens look good, but they were playing 2nd/3rd stringers. Sid was playing 1st/2nd and I thought doing as well as them. The Kid has potential. Maybe it’s not all on him that the coaches haven’t taught him to realize it fully.

Not sure, but I want to see him succeed in Atlanta.


August 16th, 2011
10:42 am

You are dead on Coop… Good stuff.

When I did my 9:37 post, I forgot to include something that may be very thought provoking for some of you. Mike Smith when asked about putting pressure on QB’s and getting sacks, he always plays down the importance of sacking the quarterback… he use the terminology, ie… “getting them off their spots, disrupting the quarterback”. I am sorry coach Smith that outdated thinking would of worked 30 years ago when the QB’s weren’t as mobile and atheletic compared to modern day, these NFL QB’s can hurt you if you miss a sack opportunity, or just decide to “disrupt” them. They can make plays with their legs and complete passes with great accuracy on the run, ala the saints QB, packers QB and many more across the league.

I don’t think I’ve heard one other coach in the league down play sacking the QB. If the Head Coach and Defensive Coord. do not show the sense of urgency, the players aren’t either.


August 16th, 2011
10:53 am

Coop, yeah rodgers pass blocking consisted of being hit, going backwards with both feet off of the turf. but if he can “block” then roll out for short pass and nice yds after catch,,,,,,

BVG needs to be placed on hot seat. Cage discussed this last year with more folks wanting mularkeys head,,, but BVG needs to be more aggressive as stated he has the tools


August 16th, 2011
12:13 pm

John Stinchcomb available with the recent departure of Harvey Dahl why not bring a veteran O linemen who has Super Bowl experience also need to look at DT depth with Peters out .


August 16th, 2011
12:19 pm

I agree we need to address the tackling problem we let the QB have to many chances to brake away from the rush and new QB’s like Cam Newton and Josh Freeman in our division Van Gorder needs do something about tackling problem .

Big Ray

August 16th, 2011
12:31 pm

This is precisely why I said I had more faith in seeing the OC do his thing with the people he now has, versus the DC doing his thing with his people.

With the exception of NCB (and I may be wrong there as well), we look damn solid at all spots, provided we stay healthy.

BVG has to produce. I’m all but dead certain that Mularkey will….he’s got toys. Running a reverse with your rookie speedster WR and trying to go deep in the first three plays of your first preseason game does not indicate a conservative mindset, if you ask me.

Ken Strickland

August 16th, 2011
12:31 pm

COOP/SOMEBODY-I been saying VanGorder has been the biggest reason for our lack of an effective pass rush and pass DEF. For the past 3 seasons we’ve had one of the NFL’s premier pass rushing DE’s(JAbraham)and DT’s(JBabineaux). Yet, we still can’t generate a consistent and effective pass rush.

CB’s BGrimes, DRobinson, COwens and DFranks are solid at an to man coverage, but VanGorder insists on playing a lot of zone. Against Miami, DE JAbraham’s INT was do you him dropping into zone coverage. Why in the hell is VanGorder using one of the NFL’s most prolific pass rushers as a defender in the secondary?

His insistence on forcing our DEF to play so much zone negates the speed, quickness, athleticism and aggressiveness of our CB’s and safeties. He’s trying to fit what we have into a preconceived scheme that he wants to play, rather than designing a scheme that can be fit around the talent of the players. It’s the old square peg into the round hole approach.

With 2 safeties like DBush and WMoore, both of whom have excellent range and cover skills, we can afford to play more man to man than zone. We need to turn DRobinson and BGrimes loose and let them get in the face of WR’s and disrupt their routes, rather than playing back in zone coverage and not taking advantage of the 5yd contact rule.

VanGorder simply doesn’t have the guts to play the type of aggressive, man to man DEF that our talent dictates. TD has done a masterful job of loading our DEF with some of the quickest, fastest, and most athletic players at their respective positions. The end result is VanGorder has become zone obsessed and refuses to take advantage of those attributes.

Big O

August 16th, 2011
1:03 pm

Keep Harvey on the 53 man squad or he will be snapped up by another team just like Nance was.

JPW played alright. He looked good on roll outs. And this was Froman’s first rookie game for crying out loud! Give the guy a break.

If the D-line and LB’s do their job better this year on pass rush, the secondary will be fine.


August 16th, 2011
1:22 pm

Yea our offense is not the problem its on defense and being able rush the QB is the problem that is were hopefully Ray Edwards can get the job done the other guys need to step up to .


August 16th, 2011
1:43 pm

OK, based on 1 game, reading the blogs, praying to Yoda, and drinking some green tea, here is my 53 man roster and PS…

Offense (25):

QB (3) – Ryan, Redman, Wilson
RB (4) – Turner, Snelling, Rodgers, Mughelli
TE (3) – Gonzales, Palmer, Peele
LT (2) – Baker, Svitek
LG (1) – Blalock
OC (2) – McClure, Hawley
RG (2) – Johnson, Jackson
RT (2) – Clabo, Reynolds
WR (6) – White, Jones, Douglass, Weems, Meier, Harvey

Defense (25):

LE (2) – Edwards, Bierman,
DT (5) – Babs, Jerry, Peters, Walker, Lewis
RE (3) – Abraham, Sidbury, Matthews
SLB (2) – Nicholas, Peterson
MLB (2) – Lofton, Dent
WLB (2) – Spoon, Adkins
CB (5) – Robinson, Grimes, Franks, Owens, Walls
SS (2) – Moore, Schillinger
FS (2) – Decoud, Bush

Special Teams (3):

K (1) – Bryant
P (1) – Bosher
LS (1) – Zelenka

Practice Squad (8):

RB – Smith
WR – Strickland
TE – Winterswyk
DE – Stephens
DB – McIlwain
OL – Valdez
S – Priest
DT – Tripp

Couple of surprises:

1. 6 WRs (Harvey) which means you have to roll with either 9 OL or 9 DL. I chose to go with 9 OL figuring that Jackson AND Reynolds could backup Blalock and Johnson.
2. Yes, I think Johnson wins the RG spot and Reynolds backs up him and Clabo.
3. Sidbury makes the team and Davis gets cut
4. Tripp nearly beats out Lewis who comes back from injury and Tripp is placed on PS until week 3 when Walker or Lewis placed on IR.
5. Adkins finally rises to the occassion and unfortunately makes Coy Wire expendable.
6. Walls continues ot shine and secures the 5th CB spot… Lord help us.
7. PS positions are total guesses. I know there are rules about eligibility and I have no idea what they are and what players are or are not eligible. These are the positions I’d like. RB because I only put 4 on the roster, TE to develop Winterswyk, DE to continue developing Stephens, DB to develop McIlwain and Priest for ST, DT to develop Tripp, and OL to hang on to Valdez. WR cause…, well hell, I don’t know.


August 16th, 2011
2:07 pm

D3, why do these falcon fans continue to call the Saints the Aints when they have won the SUPERBOWL?

How many have the Dirty birds won? (Can hear a pen drop in the room.)


August 16th, 2011
2:19 pm

Pick Six – Cause it’s a RIVALRY…


Chop Buster

August 16th, 2011
2:51 pm

We definitely will need secondary depth and possible upgrades if the DL isn’t able to get a consistent pass rush this year. It’s still the preseason and there’s more time to evaluate what we have. Then there are always other pickups we can make after teams begin their cuts. Ken stop defending Owens…his potential hasn’t translated to the field.

John Waynesworld

August 16th, 2011
2:52 pm

Still Quite A Few Good Young Men…

The Atlanta Falcons roster (including invitees) is currently at 80. Of this number, 25 players have 4 or more years of NFL experience, there are 7 players with 3 years experience, 14 players with 2 years, and a whopping 44 players with one year of NFL experience or less. Compare that with the New Orleans Saints, who have 43 players with 4 or more years experience, 5 players with 3 years, 16 with 2 years, and only 29 players with a year or less. Take away an equal amount of UDFAs from both squads and the Falcons club has 15 more players than the Saints on their roster with only ONE YEAR of NFL experience under their belt and 19 fewer veterans with 4 or more years of NFL service. Even after 3 years under Smith, we are still a very young ball club.

I am not sure if any Falcons coaches are on the “hot seat” this year. We need a consistent pass rush. When you have pressure from only 4 on the QB on every play, the other 7 guys all of a sudden look very formidable, and of course the DC is a genius (see the rise Gregg Williams). FYI, last year the Saints were 8th in the league in total defense. The Falcons were only 3 spots behind in 11th place. Not exactly a firing offense.

Chop Buster

August 16th, 2011
3:04 pm

On top of that Owens really can’t play man either. Every time he does he gets turned around and shook outta his shoes. Don’t you (Ken) remember him running barefoot against Greenbay?


August 16th, 2011
3:42 pm

Wow, what happened to the Offseason Super Champs talk? I mean everyone jumped down my throat for not anointing this team the best assembly of talent ever seen in the NFL. The issues they did not address are surprisingly, still issues. Veterans looked good but we didn’t see our prize FA and draft picks were about 50/50. I guess the results are out on our new HOF punter.

Ken S., in the preseason all defenses play base, vanilla schemes so we won’t see what BVG is going to do in the next few weeks.


August 16th, 2011
3:49 pm

Lets see…yes this is the preseason and it will be like no other we have seen in a while. By now the coaches would have had a chance to go over the undrafted free agents and cut the ones that just don’t fit.Alot of that is done before training camp.Not this year they will have to judge them on the fly so to speak.They also have to get the starters ready for the real deal.I don’t think I can’t take much from this preseason at all there is just to much for them to do and very little time to do it. Again I trust the team to do the best with what they have to work with.As for what the network talking heads have to say about the team it’s in one ear and out the other.the game is played on the field not in the studio.


August 16th, 2011
3:53 pm

Guess who’s back former draft pick TE Reggie Kelly has signed with Falcons need a corner though wish we would at least look at Samuel .

darrell starks

August 16th, 2011
6:23 pm

The Falcons DE has much depth ABRAHAM, EDWARDS, SIDBURY, KROY, MATTHEWS, CHAUNCEY, looking at the chart there is no way CHAUNCEY IS KEPT ON THIS TEAM MAKE 4MILL, plus he is over payed for and AVG player at best.

darrell starks

August 16th, 2011
6:25 pm

Chauncey 4MILL could be use in another position like NCB.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

August 16th, 2011
6:35 pm

BIG O i cosign Harvey look real good, is it possible the Falcons carry 6 WR WHITE, JULIO, DOUGLAS, KERRY, WEEMS, HARVEY.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

August 16th, 2011
6:37 pm

I will go on the record and say JULIO will win rookie of the year.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!