Archive for June, 2012

Atlanta Falcons: Time to Panic at Left Tackle?

Begins and Ends at Crucial Spot

Is Svitek Getting Overlooked? (AJC)

Optimism has reigned throughout Falcons fandom with the beginning of off-season, including OTA’s and mini-camp. A buzz has started to rumble with all the new additions, new schemes, new coaches, and all the players saying how good the Falcons look already and it’s only June. Roddy White has said that this is the best he’s seen the last four years. The confidence in players, coaches, and fans alike is very genuine and is getting the masses excited already. There lies one messy and bitter spoiler and everyone knows exactly what it can be: the catastrophic potential at left tackle.

Despite all the optimism and confidence it all begins, ends, and rests with the left tackles ability to protect Matt Ryan. Many believe that left tackle is the second most important position on a football team behind the QB and it’s hard to argue with so many teams drafting franchise left tackles in the top 5 of almost every …

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Atlanta Falcons: Are Birds Thin at Outside Linebacker?

What to Expect Outside of Spoon

Set w/ Spoon, but After? (AJC)

There’s a ton of questions surrounding the Falcons defense in 2012. They have 3 legit NFL starting cornerbacks they must try and keep happy. Mike Nolan is bringing a very new defense to Atlanta. It will be interesting seeing how the defensive end rotation shakes out and of course there’s the battle for middle linebacker after the sour grapes departing of Curtis Lofton. One area that may not be at the forefront for many fans is the issue of outside linebacker. Yes, their emerging leader of the defense and one of the best young talents is Sean Weatherspoon at OLB. Spoon looks to take his level to an even higher level under Nolan. However, some questions arise after Weatherspoon on the depth chart.

Awaiting Nicholas’ “Breakout”

Stephen Nicholas has been a big case of unrealized potential. Nicholas got his big chance when he earned the starting nod at outside linebacker in 2009 and had his best statistical …

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Atlanta Falcons: Your Biggest Questions

Your Off-season Questions

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Huge Coordinatior Difference? (AJC)

We’re at a transition thread getting ready to roll out a new post, but time is not on our side. So while the new post is getting finished up, time to post your biggest questions for the Falcons “dead zone” as we are finished with mini-camp and hit the long slog towards Falcons. Football, and August:

Bird Cage Take
1) Who’s getting the #4 and #5 WR spots?

 

2) How many DL will we keep: 10 or 11?

 

3) Who’s the breakout star waiting in the wings?

 

4) Will any of the UDFA’s make the active roster?

 

5) How truly dysfunctional were our coordinators and their respective gameplans / strategies?
 
GO FALCONS!!!

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Atlanta Falcons: What will the Running Back Split Look Like?

Touches to Be Divided

How Much Does Turner Have Left? (AJC)

Many around the NFL won’t consider the Atlanta Falcons backfield as one of the most lethal and, in fact, some think the Birds potential is pretty limited. Head Coach Mike Smith has relied on Michael Turner as much as any player since he’s been the Falcons coach, some even say entirely too much. Turner was one of the biggest reasons for the Birds success the last four years, finishing near the top in rushing yards in the NFL every year except his injury year and making two trips to the Pro Bowl.

Turner Slows

For all the talk of Turner slowing way down, he still eclipsed over 1,300 yards rushing the last two years. The Falcons workhorse also more than doubled his receiving yards total. However, anyone arguing that Turner hasn’t slowed down after hitting the 30 year old wall hasn’t been paying attention. He hits the hole much slower than he used to and goes down much easier than when he first came to …

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Atlanta Falcons: Who’s Your Top 5 on Offense?

Choose Your Own Criteria

Who Needs Yet Another Ryan Playoff Story? (AJC)

The expiration has come, so this is just a quick new topic to beat it before the longer, more in-depth post is finished. This one’s simple, but also could lead to some debate. Who’s the most important Falcons on offense for you?

You can make the list to fit whatever criteria you want. You can list the 5 best players that mean the most in 2012 or who are the most important to long-term success. You can list the top 5 who will lead to better passing offense or list the top 5 who can lead to a playoff win. Completely up to you and there are no rules or set criteria for your lists. So with that in mind, here goes The Cage’s take………..

1) Matt Ryan

An obvious no-brainer here. Perhaps the best thing to happen to ever happen to the Atlanta Falcons franchise. The consummate leader, hard worker, and captain of the team. The former 1st round pick has won rookie of the year, made the Pro Bowl, led the …

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