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 team to it’s best 4 year run in history, and seems destined for glory. However, he’s yet to win a playoff game (as almost every writer that covers the Falcons has written ad infinitum). Simply put, the Falcons will rise or fall with #2.

2) Julio Jones

Who is that? (AJC)

Many may disagree and this really is more about the long-term future, but Jones has the biggest potential to blow up the league as we all think he will with so many weapons currently around him. He’s made the majority of fans forget “the trade” with his superior ability, great work ethic, and outstanding attitude.

3) Justin Blalock

Again, many may disagree here, but Blalock is the most versatile and most proven linemen on the Falcons OL. He’s started as many games as any other linemen currently on the OL, has the most experience, and provides the biggest anchor for the Birds going forward. Peter Konz is a rookie, McClure is on the verge of retirement, Clabo has already hit the 30 age wall, and we know the deal at left tackle. Some were upset with Dahl being let go over Blalock, but he’s quietly been the best and most consistent Falcons lineman the last four years.

4) Roddy White

White has been the All-Pro the last 3-4 years. He’s been one of the best receivers in the league. There’s no questioning his ability and the fact that he’s reached the pinnacle of his career. He seems to have accepted a leadership role more with his recent comments. It’s impossible imagining what the Falcons would have been without Roddy the last 4 years. Problem is that he’s already over the 30 hump and his high drops have shown it. Still, if the Falcons will hoist the Lombardi, White has to be a part of it.

5) Tyson Clabo

It’s a crapshoot for the 5th spot. One could argue that the Falcons will go nowhere without Michael Turner barreling through the line, although powerball seems to have left town somewhat. Another argument could have Tony Gonzalez in the top 5, but in terms of 2013, he’s hanging it up. Some could even argue that guys like Peter Konz, Jacquizz Rodgers, or even Harry Douglas makes sense here.

Clabo & Blalock: Most Essential OL (AJC)

Tyson Clabo takes the spot. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2010 and was signed to a subsequent deal essentially making him a Falcon for life. He had a dip last year, but who wouldn’t with the human turnstile experiment at right guard. He is 30, but offensive lineman also have a longer lifespan than skill positions do, at least traditionally. He’s played guard and tackle and offers one of the best hopes of stabilizing a good-to-great OL the next 3-4 years.

Bird Cage Critics Turn

-Roll out your top 5 with arguments for each.

New, more in-depth post coming very soon….

156 comments Add your comment

JB FALCON

June 7th, 2012
9:03 pm

Unca' Bob

June 7th, 2012
9:10 pm

I’m better now. Thanks.

JB FALCON

June 7th, 2012
9:16 pm

Okay, number five is going to be the hardest and most argumentive/opionated. This ain’t offering much for conversation but I have to agree with what has been posted. We have so much fire power coming up that it’s hard to leave anybody out.

Ray

June 7th, 2012
9:29 pm

1-5: the O-line
For us to have success in the playoffs its all about the o-line. Have to win the battle at the line.

Big Ray

June 7th, 2012
9:55 pm

That Ryan fella is poised to enter the conversation of damn good QBs. I won’t use the “E” word here. It’s way too cliche, and also too early. However, you may want to reserve a bandwagon seat if you are currently riding in the sputtery “Ryan might be the problem” van….just sayin’…

Julio is going to make people glad we have him. Look for games like that one against Indy…on the regular…but this ain’t about Julio. It’s clear he’s going to be a star.

Blalock isn’t really the story here. We already know he’s solid. The question is who will be his running mate at Guard? It takes two to make a tandem. Again, Blalock is a lock to begin with, and maybe he gets to Pro Bowl level…but he doesn’t have to. Oddly enough, how well Blalock does is somewhat attached to how well another guy on the OL does…and that would be whomever starts/plays at LT….

And there it is. LT will be one of the biggest positions…or the biggest downfalls of the offense. The article D3 posted that analyzed the OL play against the Giants in the playoffs was very telling. Blalock was constantly helping the LT.

And so the next big position will be RG, as this will determine how well Clabo plays at RT. Notice Clabo was not very good last season, as opposed to the prior season, when he played next to Harvey Dahl.

Finally, the center position is a question as well. Does McClure endure for one more year? Is Hawley the Branch’s heir apparent? Or is Konz the eventual successor?

The top 5 positions for this team’s offense this year is one thing. You have your pick of skill players. The top 5 most critical positions for this team is another story altogether, and they involve what was lacking from the previous year. So here they are, in my estimation –

1) Ryan – must improve the deep ball, but beyond that there really isn’t much he has to work on as an individual…outside of the effect that the play of others will have on him . If you don’t know what that means, there are explanations…

2) LT – protection of Ryan is paramount.

3) RG – stabilization of the right side of the line begins here, not with Clabo.

4) Center – the offensive line anchor of the future needs to be determined THIS year, not next year.

5) Take your pick – any one of several skill players could go here. The easy pick is Julio. But the true difference may indeed come at RB, where the way we approach the game has to change. The simple fact is that we need to be able to fool defenses, gash defenses (as opposed to pounding them ineffectively), and make them pay for blitzing.

So for that reason, my darkhorse pick for most critical skill position player is Jaquizz Rodgers.

Big Ray

June 7th, 2012
9:57 pm

BTW, Turner qualifies for none of the RB needs I stated in my #5 point. Not that most of us don’t already know that.

snacktastic

June 7th, 2012
9:58 pm

Hey guys, Matt Ryan hasn’t won a playoff game yet. Did you guys know that? I was wondering if you guys know that. No one ever mentions it.

Seriously, though…Pat Y thinks we have the best backup QB situation in the division, but that’s really not saying much. If we go anywhere, Ryan’s taking us there.

I totally agree about Jones being #2 (though if RW gets his drops under control, it could be him as well), but everyone after that? Who knows.

PoolerSpirit

June 7th, 2012
10:18 pm

I. Matt Ryan… besides the obvious, I’m looking at him busting into the Elite QB Club this year… Koetter’s vertical offense will pay off big for MR2…
2. JJ… Hoo Hoo Julio will light it up this year… read on one of Sir Links links that he’s been working with Matt on the timing… the thing that was missing for him last year was the offseason work… remember that he got the playbook last year, he just didn’t have the offseason work with MR… this year… watch him bust out… working overtime with Matt in the offseason + his skills + Koetter’s Vertical playbook plans for him… 2012 will be big for this guy…
3. Quizz… the big difference this year is going to be Koetter on offense, and the screen passes added to the playbook will be written in for Quizz… he’ll explode this year in a big way…
4. Harry Douglas… where can he go but up this year?!! I loved this guy on punt returns in 2008… now take what I saw in those punt returns and magnify that talent into the offense we’ll be running this year and this guy’s going to be the overlooked-by-opposing-defenses YAC superstar for us in 2012…
5. I know I’m cheating on this one but I’m gonna say the entire OL as my #5… after reading DOL’s column… I mean Radio’s column!!… I think Coach Hill’s work with our line… whichever 5 he plugs in… and we’ve all got our favorites here… these guys protecting MR… opening holes for Turner… and moving out in front of Quizz… they’ll click this year in a big way…

PoolerSpirit

June 7th, 2012
10:32 pm

Got to agree with what Big Ray said about our Center… our future here must be decided this year…

Big Ray

June 7th, 2012
10:47 pm

PoolerSpirit ,

Good point about Julio and his timing with Ryan…this will indeed make a huge difference, particularly where the deep ball is concerned.

panic fan

June 7th, 2012
10:57 pm

No more weight of the world aint life grand we are past the all time low because bears gone fish in now lets get the show on the road we are pick in up those pieces & better off no worry we have hope in a hopeless world as we climb to safety it makes since to me travlin light this is the city of dreams im not alone time is free you got yours you should be glad ARTHUR,MIKE,THOMAS,DIRK ,MIKE my 5

panic fan

June 7th, 2012
11:07 pm

The sun came out the other day
Through those dusty clouds
And in my mind I was a child
And it felt good!

Son Of Bart

June 8th, 2012
2:05 am

I think Matt Ryan finally hit the weight room. His forearms look thicker and more muscular this year. That man was just plain skinny his first few years here — so maybe he is a “late bloomer” and will start coming into his own. Always been smart, and a hard worker, with great discipline and leadership — but that “noodle arm” couldn’t get the ball down field. Hopefully, we’ll see “cannon arm” this year and a Super Bowl!!!

Chop Buster

June 8th, 2012
6:26 am

Nice article on NFL.com by Bucky Brooks: How Dirk Koetter could make Falcons’ offense best in NFC

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d829a5ade/article/how-dirk-koetter-could-make-falcons-offense-best-in-nfc

Chop Buster

June 8th, 2012
6:35 am

I see the usual on offense having the most impact for obvious reasons: Ryan, Julio, Roddy, Jacquizz, and Konz taking that RG position and solidifying the line. I’m still weary of Baker due to how he’s performed against the better defenses in the NFL. I remember Trent Cole eating his lunch all day when we played Philly. From the article I posted above, I do look for us to get the ball to our receivers in space and let them make a play after the catch–this will open up things tremendously with the speed our receivers have. Oh, how can I forget Harry Douglas…he’s the sleeper this year that we will finally get the results we’ve been expecting from our slot receiver. He ate NOs up last year and we just stopped going to the well. That’s Mularkey for ya. Anyway, that’s old news and we go something to look forward to this year with our offense–finally!

Chop Buster

June 8th, 2012
6:52 am

Enter your comments hereI guess since you said top 5 then I’ll go with Ryan, White, Jones, HD and Konz

The Real Falcon

June 8th, 2012
6:53 am

It’s always the QB. We will not take the next step without his improvement. He has got to be better under duress.

The Real Falcon

June 8th, 2012
6:54 am

Konz, a non-factor

Chop Buster

June 8th, 2012
6:55 am

Stupid phone doesn’t remove the…Enter your comments here

The Real Falcon

June 8th, 2012
6:56 am

Clabo over Turner? Yeah, right!

Optimistic Falcon Fan

June 8th, 2012
8:36 am

Most Important? How about LT? Without LT, all those glitzy high paid Supermen become Clark Kents in dirty clothes, always worrying about what will hit them.

QB, RB, they NEED an effective OL to realize expectations. An effective OL,and LT in particular, can double Ryan’s effectiveness – or half it if they can’t get it done. Matt Ryan can’t be the most effective Falcon if he is running for his life, Burner Turner can’t get a head of steam if the Ol can’t punch a hole.

Or, am I inadvertently replying to the question not answered? What is the most INEFFECTIVE position?

If an effective LT can create synergies across the Offense, what does an INEFFECTIVE LT create? What is the opposite of synergy? Fear, stagnant offense, injuries to key personnel.

John Waynesworld

June 8th, 2012
10:11 am

#1 – Ryan
#2 – Left Tackle
#3 – Center
#4 – Right Guard
#5 – Turner

John Waynesworld

June 8th, 2012
10:35 am

#1 – Ryan because he will be running the offense as much now as ever.
#2 – The LT is in charge of Ryan’s blind side comfort factor. Without good play from him (whoever it is) Ryan will never get the hair on his neck to stand down.
#3 – The Center is the anchor of the line as always. McClure cannot degrade any more and Hawley must be more consistent.
#4 – The RG was a sore spot last year. With Manuwai in place and Konz learning, it is a win-win.
#5 – Turner’s value in the screen pass game cannot be undervalued and will keep him in the huddle on all 3 downs or he can be inserted as a package with another RB in the backfield.

Coop

June 8th, 2012
10:45 am

D3 – Thanks for the article. Very thought provoking. To me the top 5 positions on a football team’s offense are:

1. QB
2. LT
3. WR1
4. OC
5. TE/Slot (one of these has to be that middle of the field outlet)

So, let’s compare that to the Falcons:

1. QB – Matt Ryan… Check. Franchise QB and potential Elite QB
2. LT – Baker/Svitek/Holmes… Oh dear. 2nd most important position on theoffense and we are in year 5 of patwork experiments…
3. WR1 – White (Jones to emerge as WR1 year after this)… Check. Elite WR with a potential mega star in the wings.
4. OC – Mclure/Hawley/Konz… TBD. McClure was solid but never spectacular. Perhaps Konz will be. Again, one of the top 5 positions and we’re all not sure we invested in the right solution.
5. TE/Slot – TG/Douglas… Check. TG is a Hall of Famer who can steal catch the ball ober the middle and move the chains. We don’t have his replacement at TE, but we do have HD in the slot who I believe has immense potential if used correctly.

So out of the top 5 that I believe any team needs, you have the skill positions covered well. The weakness is in the two OL. You must protect the blindside first, then build from the inside out. So LT then OC are the most importnat. You want probowl caliber at these positions.

I love Blalock, but LG, RG, and RT can be solid guys (not spectacular) if you have the rest in order.

Finally, who are the Falcosn best 5 players currently on O:

1. Ryan
2. White
3. Jones
4. Blalock
5. Turner

Notice anything? You have an OL guy, but you’re missing the two most important OL. Failure to address LT and OC sooner have put us in the position of questioning Matt Ryan at year 5. Plenty of skill positions, not enough pocket.

snacktastic

June 8th, 2012
11:27 am

On second thought, regardless of if #2 is Jones or White, #3, #4, and #5 should be “pick any three offensive linemen”. I was just looking over last season’s stats again, and noticed that Ryan’s highest passing games were against the Saints. In the first game, Ryan had 351 passing yards and HD had 133 receiving yards (remember how he and Ryan were carving up the Saints D at the end of regulation?), and in the second game, Ryan had 373 yards and Jones had 128 yards.

Impressive stats…if we had WON, but they only served to remind me that even though we could put up a ton of passing yards in a game, as well as win the turnover battle on a regular basis, all too often we didn’t turn that effort into points. And think of all the times we only needed a few inches, not yards, to get closer to a score.

Ryan and Jones/White/HD are going to give us a ton of yards, win or lose, but the OL is what will make sure we get points in the end.

David

June 8th, 2012
11:28 am

Top 5 on Offense

1. Matt Ryan
2. Falcons’ O-Line
3. Michael Turner
4. Julio Jones
5. Roddy White

The offensive line should probably be number one. If that line doesn’t work, then none of the other positions even have a prayer of working.

snacktastic

June 8th, 2012
11:51 am

@Chop Buster: Great article. Nice to see someone actually paying attention to how this team works instead of just focusing on the QB.

D3

June 8th, 2012
12:10 pm

Great Friday Cage Fam! — Just a little nibble of a topic to beat the stupid @ss expiration deadline from yesterday. Continuing to work on traditional, more in-depth post as we speak. I’ll try to mix it up going forward between the traditional posts and smaller ones like these to keep it fresh.

My thoughts……..

(+) – As I mentioned above, there’s a ton of different ways to interpret these rankings. One of my biggest themes on mine is that that have to have some impact going forward, instead of just this year only. That’s why you don’t see guys like Tony Gonzalez or Michael Turner on here, because they’re really just limited to this year. A list geared towards “just 2012″ may look more like this:

1) Matt Ryan
2) Sam Baker / Will Svitek
3) Roddy White
4) Michael Turner
5) Tony Gonzalez

(+) — That brings up another point while I’m thinking about it. One of TD’s biggest strengths has been him not being afraid to “make up” for his draft mistakes at various positions either through free agency or draft.

Several examples: 1) – Drafting Corey Peters the very next year after realizing he drafted an injury bust in Peria Jerry; 2) – Drafting Spoon after letting Boley go; 3) – Signing both Ray Edwards and Dunta Robinson at areas of severe weakness (true, it hasn’t panned out so far. But you can’t say he didn’t at least try). 4) – Going away from drafting injury-prone players after Sam Baker, Peria Jerry among many others.

Now, the reason I brought this up is something Coop mentioned earlier, which is the fact that Dimitroff has allowed us to be in this very precarious position at LT in year 5. That is just unacceptable. Centers, Guards, and even Right Tackles come and go and can be replaced pretty easily. Left Tackle is arguably the most important position behind QB on a football team. He finally drafted a guy who can possibly be legit in the future in Holmes, but any idea of him starting as a true rookie are completely gone now, IMO. In other words, he wasn’t scared of correcting draft mistakes elsewhere, but he 3 years of Sam Baker to know he wasn’t a long-term answer. How hard would it have been for him to take an LT project in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Why not take a guy like that (even long-term LT project) instead of anyone of these: Chris Owens, Chevis Jackson, William Middleton, Robert James, Garrett Reynolds, etc. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and unfair, but having this problem at one of the most important positions on a team in year 5 is unacceptable and definitely his biggest black eye as Falcons GM (that and the terrible Jerry pick). Not to hate on it too much because I still defend the DRob and Edwards signings, but why not take all that combined money and spend it on a FA LT in the past? Hindsight nitpicking a little.

Ken Strickland

June 8th, 2012
1:23 pm

I know this isn’t the proper answer to the question asked, but I believe OC Koetter will be the most important element in our OFF. After all, it’s his blocking scheme, vertical passing OFF, play calling, and overall OFF approach, that will be behind everything our players do. He’s also the person that will decide who starts at LT, OC and RG.

After all, aren’t we basically talking about the same players that started last yr? And isn’t it Koetter’s blocking scheme, vertical passing attack, screen gm, play calling, and overall OFF approach, that’s going to put those players in a position to maximize their talents, abilities, and production? Just like Mularkey kept our OFF running in mud, Koetter will have us running on smooth dry asphalt.

JB FALCON

June 8th, 2012
3:14 pm

Ken, I agree 100% on the Koetter post, not to mention Nolan. It seems there is a lot of optimism going around and most of the articles I’ve read are based on the improvement in the CS. Every team has it’s weak links play wise but, if not coached properly, even a team of Pro Bowlers could be losers. We don’t have a team of Pro Bowlers but we have our fair amount and the team, overall, can, and hopefully will, be coached to win.

Birdman

June 8th, 2012
3:36 pm

Also Guys we have to see how things will work out in this Screen . With Ryan not using it much in the past he may also have to get used to using it more . Great reads Cage . Thanks and as always God Bless

IceFan

June 8th, 2012
3:46 pm

1. LT
2. Matt Ryan
3. Julio
4. RG?
5. Tony G – best 80-catch decoy in the league

Screen Pass

June 8th, 2012
3:47 pm

1. Mike Mularkey. MM being on permanent vacation in Jax will have more effect on our offense than anything.
2. MM. See above
3. MM. See above
4. MM. See above
5. Chad Ochocinco. Wait, wuht? That’s right, Ochocinco NOT being on this team, despite the large number of moronic cries for his aquisition by the “special” portion of our fanbase, easily takes the number 5 spot. Ochocinco NOT being here means we don’t have to hear from the “special” helmet wearing portion of our fanbase and media hooligans for long and we the other portion of the fanbase can enjoy our team kicking the snot out of other teams on the field.
Note that racist soccer hooligans slid into the 6th spot as if they get too rowdy and interesting it will definitely be a major distraction and no one might even play or watch football for a bit lol.

JJ

June 8th, 2012
5:38 pm

SP, lol, winner winner chicken dinner! You 2 hairy lizard lovers are great for the cage. We have deacon sir links allot giving us the daily sermons and BR/SP to lighten the mood. Great stuff all 3!!!

Ken Strickland

June 8th, 2012
7:06 pm

JB FALCON-You’re right, there has been more optimism going around. Even my friend SCREEN PASS has been more optimistic. The fact that he hasn’t said anything negative, or jumped down my throat, is his way of being optimistic. For the past 4yrs, we ran a power oriented OFF with only 5 players, LG JBlalock, RT TClabo, RB MTurner, and OGs JValdez, and MJohnson, that were geared to playing in that scheme.

Now we’ll employ a scheme that will fit the talents and abilities of the majority of our OFF and DEF players. Every DB we have is far more capable of playing one on one press coverage than zone. And everyone but former DC BVanGorder seemed to have figured that out.

In Nolan’s DEF, QBs will have to read our DBs, their WRs, and the blitz, rather than just sitting in the pocket reading the zone. QBs will also have to hit moving targets, rather than stationary targets sitting in holes in the zone. VanGorder was so incompetent, and his DEF was so weak, predictable and easy to attack, that he couldn’t confuse or contain rookie QBs, or even 2nd and 3rd string backups.

There won’t be anything easy or predictable about Nolan’s DEF schemes and approach. Were VanGorder went all out to defend the run, even at the expense of our pass DEF, Nolan will concentrate more on stopping the pass. If our OFF lives up to expectations, most teams will be passing rather than running on our DEF because they’ll be in catchup mode most of the time.

Can you imagine a DC being stupid enough to concentrate all of his efforts on stopping the run in the NFLs most prolific passing division? .

Firsttimer

June 8th, 2012
7:11 pm

I would have to select: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Michael Turner, and Jacquizz Rodgers. I base my selections on the players who will give us the best chance to win it all. There are some other players who I feel will play significant roles; such as, Harry Douglas, who will be instrumental in the slot and underneath routes with high YAC. But, these five players are the core, the engine that will make it go. JR because we will need a change of pace back and explosive player coming out of the backfield on screens and passes in the flat.

Ken Strickland

June 8th, 2012
9:06 pm

Ken Strickland

June 8th, 2012
9:10 pm

Paddy O

June 8th, 2012
9:59 pm

Now this should be fun. My top 5 guys on Offense: MR2, Tony G, Roddy W, JJ & Turner – with Snelling & HD pretty much tied up there.

Paddy O

June 8th, 2012
10:04 pm

MR2 ’s position in the NFL: Obviously better: Brees, Eli, Rogers, Big Ben. That is about it. However, based on history, I also think Payton would get an auto higher rating. Rivers? No. Until last year, I thought Ryan had better skills than Eli – but, Eli rises to the occasion. Romo? LOL. Flacco? Don’t see the field vision. The dog killer? Not for anybody other than the narcissistic Eagles. So, MR2 would be #6.

Paddy O

June 8th, 2012
10:09 pm

D3 – the LT chronic problems might cost HC MS his job. Obviously he is telling TD that Baker can do the job if healthy. I seriously doubt this at this point. If Baker wins the job in preseason & starts, and gets bombed/hammered again, I think TD will seriously consider dumping Smitty Ball.

snacktastic

June 8th, 2012
10:14 pm

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8025181/matt-ryan-knows-next-step

So the one of the most ridiculed QBs gets vouched for by one of the most ridiculed ESPN.com writers. Ironic, sort of.

Ken Strickland

June 8th, 2012
10:38 pm

Listening to Falcon players talk about different blocking schemes for screen passes is just unbelievable. Mularkey had only one blocking scheme for his regular OFF, so there couldn’t have been a blocking scheme for screens. No wonder we were so awful at successfully running screens. His idea of running a screen was to just swing the ball to the RB and hope he’d have enough room to make a play.

I read an article that said we could see multiple screens on one drive, which would come pretty close to exceeding how often Mularkey used it in an entire gm. Don’t you think our rushing OFF will be much more consistent, effective and productive with DEFs having to spread out to protect against
outside runs and screen passes?

Do you think DEFs will be able to blitz MRyan as often, or use as many blitzers with JJones, RWhite, and HDouglas attacking their CBs and safeties on the outside and TGonzalez attacking them up the middle? Let’s face it, our passing OFF under Mularkey only attacked the middle of the secondary, and our rushing OFF only attacked the middle of the DL. DEFs will now have to defend sideline to sideline, and from the line of scrimmage to their goal line on every play, which definitely wasn’t the case under Mularkey. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Birdman

June 9th, 2012
7:50 am

Anderson

June 9th, 2012
1:05 pm

Thanks,Birdman,for that link.

Their (bleacherreport) statistical analysis is close to what I imagine Ryan’s 2012 stats to be. Of course,this is on the assumption that MR is healthy….I project 4400 passing yards,32 passing TDs,13 INTs,63% completion percentage,and 2 rushing TDs.

As for Julio Jones,I project 74 receptions,1400 receiving yards,19 yards per catch,and 12 TD receptions IF he is healthy.

I see 88 receptions,1100 rec yard,and 8 TDs for Roddy White.

66 catches for 606 yards and 6 TDs for Tony Gonzalez.

Michael Turner,Harry Douglass,and Jacquizz Rodgers 2012 stats are hard projections for me. How big will their roles be?

JB FALCON

June 9th, 2012
5:54 pm

Looks like the cage has been relatively quiet today. Mow, edge, whack, blos, wash, etc. and come win to take a short nap. Flipped the TV on NFL and what was on? The 1981 Falcon Cowboy playoff game. Staubach to Drew Pearson pissed me off then and I still don’t like either of them. I do love football and losing sucks. I am just hoping and praying to see the birds deep into the mix this year.
After watching that game I figured out why the Falcons keep on losing. The Cowboys were behind 24-10 and they made up their mind to rufuse to lose. If DK & Nolan can bring that attitude to the Falcons???? I have confidence in the players but coaching and attitude, imo, is what wins the big game.
So, we will hurry up and wait.

Unca' Bob

June 9th, 2012
7:39 pm

JB FALCON,

Attitude. A very good choice of a word. It’s been my observation over the years that attitude accounts for 95% of anything we do in life. What it counts as a means to hire someone is paramount. I do enjoy the direction our FO has taken over the years employing those that have excellent attitudes and leadership skills as well. At some point in time, I see this as a progress that will come home to roost in the ATL. And like you, hurry up.

marko

June 10th, 2012
7:44 am

I’m a little surprised to see Turner omitted from D3’s top five. The running game has been and will continue to a major part of our offense. The Burner isn’t the terror he once was, but he’s still among the top producers at his position. I see Turner in much the same way I see Abraham. Abraham greatly benefits from being a rotational player. It helps him keep from getting ground down over a long season. Turner, on the other hand, is a good horse that we tend to over use. One unsolved mystery from last year , was what happened to Rogers. In The little guy we had the perfect change of pace back, If we used him more, Our Burner wouldn’t burn out by seasons end. This year we got to get more out of Rodgers. Our new fullback looks less one dimensional than Ovie was. I checked the rule book, and discovered that fullbacks are allowed to run the football. Not only that, I made the shocking discovery that they’re allowed to catch passes as well. At any rate, I think Turner ‘s a major asset, and that by using him less we’ll get more in return.

Ken Strickland

June 10th, 2012
9:21 am

What’s up CAGERS? Here’s another link that should get the juices flowing. It asks an interesting question at the end of the article. Last season we had 3 people with 4 sacks(DeCoud & Sidbury) and 1 person with more than 4 sacks(Abraham-9.5). Personally, I believe we’ll get 3 or more sacks from at least 8-9 people this season, which includes Abraham, Sidbury, Weatherspoon, Edwards, Babineaux, Peters, Biermann and Williams and/or DeCoud.

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2012/6/10/3075635/where-the-falcons-pass-rush-will-come-from

Ken Strickland

June 10th, 2012
9:34 am

I also believe we’ll get 4 or more sacks from Abraham, Weatherspoon, Sidbury, Edwards and either Babineaux or Peters. At this point, it appears that Sidbury has surpassed Biermann on the depth chart, especially as a pass rusher. I didn’t include Massaquoi because I haven’t seen him play and just don’t know enough about what he can do at this level. We should all know more about him by the end of training camp, assuming the AJC will bother to report training camp activities.

With DEs, Sidbury, Abraham, Edwards, Biermann, Massaquoi, and Mathews, along with LBs Weatherspoon, Nicholas, Dent, Tatupu, and maybe James and/or Adkins, Nolan will certainly have more than enough quick, fast, and athletic players to mount a consistently aggressive and effective pass rush.