Atlanta Falcons: Your Biggest Questions

Your Off-season Questions

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/

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?



18 comments Add your comment


June 21st, 2012
8:40 pm

Enter your comments here


June 21st, 2012
8:44 pm

Meier for #4.


June 21st, 2012
9:16 pm

Yeah D3, its that dead zone time of year again, and again personally I’m as excited as ever for this year’s version of the Falcons, but I probably say that every year.

The difference, it appears or seems the Falcons get it, meaning, the front office in the coaching staff are on the same page. Turning around a perennial loser probably was hard enough, raising fan expectations was probably even harder, well, the Falcons and us fans are here now, so now what.

So on to the questions I have:

Is Konz the real deal, no matter where he plays, C or G, can he add the protection the Falcons have been lacking at either position.

What will the offense be like, sure, a new OC supposedly is more vertical friendly, and its said he will finally implement a very lacking screen game, but how far will he go, will he truly finally utilize all the weapons at the disposal of the offense.

Then defensively, the biggest acquisition to most probably is Nolan, will he really help improve the D, is the talent we believe is there, is it truly in place. As for FA’s, will there ever be an FA that just takes a position under this regime, sorry but this regime has often shown a lot of loyalty towards what they already have. Will the focus, or oversight change to where they just really want to put the best eleven guys on the field. There’s probably many more questions to ponder, but I’ve been away from the cage for so long, these just happen to be the questions I ask to get my feet wet all over again.


June 21st, 2012
9:58 pm

Has that distracting crap over there on the right always been there? Or did I just notice it? If you give some people a rubber hammer and a railroad iron, they will find a way to f’— something up!

Big Ray

June 21st, 2012
10:11 pm

JB Falcon ,

Some folks don’t even need that much to F’ something up.

Radio provides a perfect example…

Big Ray

June 21st, 2012
10:26 pm

This is what Radio should stick to: ask simple questions that the fans are asking, then let the Coaches do the talking. Please, no more videos, Radio. Please.

Q: How are the guys picking up the offense?

A: The guys are doing great. They study hard. We have an excellent coaching staff that does a great job in the meeting room of teaching these guys. These guys are really able to take it from the class room onto the field. Because coach [Mike] Nolan has been giving us a bunch of tough looks defensively — a lot of the problems that you’re going to face during the season our defense has been showing us those problems. That’s great when you see it in practice, so now you’re not seeing it for the first time live.

Clearly Nolan is our biggest offseason pickup. Clearly. The number of ways he is helping this team is just fantastic. And nobody’s even been in pads yet.

Q: Is there any concern about Mike Turner not hitting the hole fast enough in those short yardage situation?

A: Mike has been a very consistent player since he’s been here. [He’s had] back-to-back 1,300-yard seasons. We need to keep Mike healthy so that he’s as good at the end of the season as he is in the front of the season. The way this roster has been built, we have some other backs that are very capable. We have good competition in the backfield. I like our backfield situation. Mike Turner is at the head of the class. But, you know, we’re going to need all of those guys.

Coach speak? Yeah. But sometimes it’s good to hear. For instance, it’s nice to see Koetter dodge the question because…well, if you ask me…that means he knows it’s an issue, otherwise he’d say “no, Turner hits the hole just fine.” So he knows about if from watching film and that the use of other RBs to a significant degree is going to help the offense a lot. Not only that, but he’ll know by now that Turner up the middle or off tackle twice in a row before trying to heave a pass through a 9 inch window towards the sideline, is NOT the way to go.

Q: How much of a meeting of the minds was required between you and quarterback Matt Ryan?

A: Matt and I have spent a lot of time [together], when it became legal. We spent a lot of time watching tapes together. That is one of the good things I like most about Matt. Matt will look you in the eye and tell you how he sees it and how he thinks, and not B.S. you. By the same token, I can tell him what I think, what I see and what the coaching staff sees. He takes coaching well, but he also gives good feedback. You can’t ask for better than that. I feel like Matt and I are going to be on the same page, will be on the same page and are on the same page.

It’s refreshing to hear this right away. Not only are they having the relationship that all QBs and OCs should have, but Ryan is stepping up and telling the OC precisely what he thinks…and the OC is actually listening instead of having this “yeah, but I know better so let’s just do what I want to do” attitude. Now all we need is for Smitty to stay the F out of the way of this, and let it flow.

Big Ray

June 21st, 2012
10:33 pm

Want a reason why you should NOT defend Michael Turner blindly? Can’t say it much plainer than this, while giving him credit for what/who he is, and what he does:

P Phil

June 22nd, 2012
5:29 am

Biggest question is when the Falcons will cut or trade Sam Baker. Worst OL last year by far. He should never step foot on the field again in a Falcons uniform period.


June 22nd, 2012
7:01 am

Big Ray – “So he knows about if from watching film and that the use of other RBs to a significant degree is going to help the offense a lot. Not only that, but he’ll know by now that Turner up the middle or off tackle twice in a row before trying to heave a pass through a 9 inch window towards the sideline, is NOT the way to go. ”

The KEY to a prolific Falcons offense in 2012.

John Waynesworld

June 22nd, 2012
8:31 am

Thanks D3. You keep us going feeding the Cage heading into the last break…

1) Who’s getting the #4 and #5 WR spots? Probably Kerry Meier and Kevin Cone. Michael Calvin has a good chance, as well as Quizz’ brother and the speedy underdog Cody Pearcy, but I think because last year Koetter only had 2 WRs on his roster under 6 feet tall he will use size and height as a factor (or as a tie-breaker). I’m personally rooting for Pearcy because he reminds me of Tim Dwight. I hope they give him enough reps to compete for a spot and don’t just remand him to the PS because of his potential.

2) How many DLs will we keep: 10 or 11? Eleven, but probably one spot will be taken from the linebackers as most of our DEs will have to play both DE & OLB positions.

3) Who’s the breakout star waiting in the wings? Well if they have been “waiting in the wings” that means they have already been here, so the rookies are out of this discussion. Kerry Meier is an easy guess, but I’ll go defense and say Lawrence Sidbury.

4) Will any of the UDFA’s make the active roster? I am hoping Pearcy makes the team as a wildcard (KR/PR/WR) and if James Rodgers is all that I’ve heard he would be a fine add. I would lean toward TE Aron White, but I wasn’t entirely impressed with him at Georgia (maybe not his fault, it could have been the “Bobo factor”). On defense Max Gruder and Chad Faulcon are my dark horses and I love their names. Nolan’s reference of not having depth at Safety might be a warning to slower Schillinger, so speedsters Faulcon and even Tuimaunei may have a chance to crack the roster.

5) How truly dysfunctional were our coordinators and their respective game plans / strategies? To put it simply, Mularkey was a stubborn, arrogant and unimaginative dinosaur in the passing game, and Van Gorder was frankly over his head in the NFL. As is the case with many molders of men (and not coordinators of professional men), Brian is a fine coach who was made for the college game.


June 22nd, 2012
9:04 am

Falcons offense will be better all around but the defense will be up there amongs the lead leaders


June 22nd, 2012
9:45 am

JW summed it up rather nicely, in regards to Meier. Took the words away from me.
I would say our Coordinators were dysfunctional as they were so predictable.
More than anything from Koetter is I want that unpredictability of our offense.
I was talking to 2 other fans yesterday and both brought up the fact if Koetter relies on turner burning , we are in a heap of trouble.

Cannot wait for the July camps!!

Die Hard Falcon

June 22nd, 2012
10:40 am

Good questions D3. I’ll try my hand at them:

1)I think Kerry Meier & James Rodgers will get the 4 & 5 spots at WR. I think Meier has just had a string of bad luck to start his career, he’s primed. James Rodgers is a gadget guy, I think his versatility will be the reason he’ll make the cut, in the return game, special teams and I could see him playing some RB or reverses, I could really envision him being an all around value player, somebody the patriots would love if we didn’t, like a Danny Woodhead or something.

2)I see us keeping 11, 6 DE’s & 5 DT’s. To take a stab at who: DE’s: Abe, Kroy, El Sid, Ray Edwards, Massaquoi, and I’ll make a risky pick and say Nzegwu over Matthews as the 6th. DT’s: Babs, Peters, Jerry, Vance Walker, and Travian Robertson.

3)I think Harry Douglas will have the biggest boost in production, I think Julio will improve but I see the biggest or most improved (statistically) will be HD.

4)Yes, I see James Rodgers & Louis Nzegwu making the roster, although I could easily see Cliff Matthews instead of Nzegwu and then keeping him on the PS. (I know, I’m hedging). Otherwise, maybe Chad Faulcon as a darkhorse if Schillinger gets cut.

5)I think the offense really lacked a screen game to slow down the pass rush, that to me was the biggest weakness, that and not having enough underneath or inside passing designed to get YAC. Defensively, I’d say we are going to see a much improved and top 10 unit, especially on 3rd down! (God help us)!

Go Falcons!!!

John Waynesworld

June 22nd, 2012
12:03 pm

Two other UDFAs I forgot to mention…LaMark Brown and Dominique Davis. LaMark because of the buzz he has already caused with his good play, and Dominique because of multiple reports of John Parker Wilson regressing. Brown could dominate in ST, being a former running back, and adding Davis could open up some offensive possibilities not seen in this town for a while. Besides, as roster changes go, replacing a 3rd string QB would be like a tree falling in the woods.


June 22nd, 2012
12:04 pm

New Post Up Cage! — Sorry for the bait-and-switch on you, but got a new post up and it’s definitely something you can sink your teeth a little more into. I’ll bring all the comments over for our next post and the questions as well.

See you all over there………… :arrow: :arrow:

Ken Strickland

June 22nd, 2012
12:18 pm

QUESTION 1-I believe it will be KMeier and James Rogers. Rogers is versatile enough to play WR, RB, and return kicks and punts.
QUESTION 2-I believe Babineaux, Peters, Robertson, Jerry, and Walker will be our DTs. Abraham, Edwards, Biermann, Sidbury, Massaquai or Mathews will be our DEs. If James Rogers makes the active roster, we might be able to carry 11.
QUESTION 3-I believe DE REdwards will have the biggest impact and show the most improvement this season.
QUESTION 4-I believe WR/RB/K.P returner James Rogers, and OLB Hansen will make the active roster.
QUESTION 5-I think they were both extremely disfunctional. Over a 4 yr period they proved to be incapable of preparing a gm plan, or the team, that allowed the Falcons to be consistently competitive against NFL teams that weren’t weak defensively or offensively.

Teams that make the playoffs are usually good either offensively, defensively, or both. And against those teams both Mularkey and VanGorder were totally out of their element as coordinators. They offered no pregame adjustments or surprises, unless you consider selling out to stop the run against a pass happy Packers team an adjustment or surprise, or insisting on trying to establish the run when the Packer’s had one of the NFLs worst pass DEFs.


June 22nd, 2012
1:17 pm

If those are your 5 biggest questions you either a) don’t follow the team very closely, b) don’t know much about football, or c) aren’t a deep thinker. There is no way that the 4/5 WR battle or whether or not an UDFA makes the roster is more important or a bigger question than:

1. What does the OL look like, particularly at OT, RG, and OC? How does the addition of Konz impact the interior of the OL.
2. Who replaces Lofton in the middle of the defense and what impact does that have on our run defense?
3. How are we going to get off the field on 3rd down and where will the pass rush come from outside of Abraham(who is getting older and only really dominates bad competition)?
4. How do we replace Weems as a returner and gunner?

Those are the important questions. Not whether or not some UDFA makes the roster only to be inactive all season.


June 22nd, 2012
2:12 pm