Atlanta Falcons: Roster Cut Edition

******EDITOR’S NOTE*********

This post came out right around the time of the actual cuts and roster. Apologies on the incorrect nature.

Put Your Prediction Hats On

It’s the time fellow Bird Cage brothers and sisters: time to predict what the Falcons final 53 man roster will look like. Most of the positions are already locked up, but there’s a few areas that could hold some shocks in store. Do your best to guess what players will don the red and black for another year, those that may be relegated to the Taxi Squad, as longtime Cage member Unca’ Bob has termed it, and who gets an outright pink slip. Bird Cage’s weak attempt:

Quarterbacks (2)

Matt Ryan

No description needed here. The franchise quarterback has looked as good as he ever has since coming to Atlanta as a rookie and winning rookie of the year. Not only does he look more confident as a quarterback, the new offensive system really seems catered to his skill sets. If the offensive line can get it together, the sky’s the limit for Ryan and the Falcons.

Dominique Davis

Perhaps the biggest star of preseason is the new backup quarterback. Originally, fans were just finally ready to have someone to develop behind Matt Ryan as a valuable backup to groom and maybe even have some trade bait if he turns out really well. Not only has Davis locked up the backup QB spot, but he may even have a future as the Falcons starter post-Matt Ryan if they can hang onto him that long. This guy has superb talent and potential and it’s very fitting that Davis is backing up Matt Ryan in Atlanta, just as he did at Boston College. Don’t buy the Luke McCown hype. If they wanted a McCown type backup, why go through the trouble of letting Chris Redman go?

Running Backs (5)

Michael Turner

Sure, we can debate all day long on whether should play so prominently in the offense and whether his touches should be limited, but it’s all for naught for 2012. Turner will not only be back, but evidently will be the feature back as well, regardless if that’s the way it should be.

Jacquizz Rodgers

Most fans favorite running back seems to just fit so much better in the Falcons new offense. He can do it all, including running, catching, and blocking. Fans fell that Quizz can take over for Turner sooner rather than later. The future is bright for Rodgers, but he’s got to get on the field, right?

Jason Snelling

Suffered an injury during preseason, so we haven’t see a lot of him in this new offense, which would seem to fit him pretty well. Snelling will get his touches when he gets healthy again and is a valuable part to the offense.

Antone Smith

The blazing speed merchant is making fans want to see him get more touches. Smith may not be the most polished running back in the NFL, but he adds a much needed element of pure speed to the running back mix and will be a key on special teams. There’s a very outside chance they elect to go with Nance instead of Smith, but don’t count on it.

Mike Cox

This is a complete toss-up after Ovie Mughelli was released (still the right move) and the best fullback in the draft Bradie Ewing was lost for the season with a major knee injury. Although Cox looked pretty good in relief last year, he hasn’t blown away the fullback competition this preseason, but he seems the safer pick. Hopefully, the fullback won’t play a major role in the new diversified offense.

Wide Receiver (5)

Roddy White

The All-Pro still leads this extremely talented receiving corps and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Julio may be the future, but Roddy is the still leader of this wide receiving unit and for good reason.

Julio Jones

The future of the Falcons receiving corps looks ready to set the NFL in fire. Enough said.

Harry Douglas

HD finally may be used as he’s supposed to and his skill set is taken advantage of in this new offense. One of the most angering things to fans is the failure of Mularkey to integrate Douglas into the gameplans along with White, Jones, and Tony Gonzalez.

Kerry Meier

There’s been some rumblings about Meier possibly being on the block with his inability to stay healthy, seemingly ever, but ultimately Meier deserves one final chance to show his potential that fans have been so excited about for so long. This appears to be his last big chance to get it done on the field instead of the infirmary.

Kevin Cone

This has been one of the biggest battles of any recent camp and could go any number of ways. Cone for several reasons. He had one of the best training camps of any player before the games started. He made the roster late last year. And even though the games he played weren’t spectacular, he simply has too much potential to not take a chance on. His strength, speed, and size were on display Thursday night against the Jags, where he caught a quick pass, made a move and easily took it the distance for touchdown. Tim Toone and Marcus Jackson made a late surge, but Cone is the guy.

Offensive Line (9)

Todd McClure

Even though he’s up there in age, McClure gets credit for looking up to the task in maybe his final year as an Atlanta Falcon and maybe the NFL. There was some readiness to start the youth movement on the offensive line, but McClure deserves the spot. Question is whether his body can take a 16 game season?

Tyson Clabo

He’s been one of the more stable elements to an offensive line in constant flux the last few years and the only Falcons OL to make the Pro Bowl in the Smith Era, but he looked pretty bad in the Falcons main preseason game against the Dolphins. Hopefully, it was just a bad night.

Justin Blalock

The ultimate unsung hero maybe on the entire team. He’s not the biggest name or the flashiest player, but he’s probably the most consistent player on the entire team, not to mention the offensive line.

Sam Baker

You got to give the guy some credit, he’s endured more criticism than any other Falcon the last four years. He’s taken it well and seems to be healthy and “so far” is looking better than he has in a long while. Lamar Holmes has looked pretty darn good in limited action, so this may be Baker’s last year in red and black. Here’s hoping it’s a good one.

Garrett Reynolds

Konz or Reynolds in at right guard? Many fans are ready for the Konz Era to jumpstart the youth movement on the OL, but it appears that Reynolds is the leading candidate to start the season. He does look better than last year, but he’s no long-term answer there regardless.

Peter Konz

Even though most want Konz to get the nod, it seems as though he is trailing Reynolds at the moment to start the season. He may be in line to take over for McClure at center after all in 2013. Hard to believe that one of the best OL in the 2012 draft will be on the bench for a pretty average Falcons offensive line.

Mike Johnson

Many hoped that Johnson would win the job at right guard and allow Konz to take over at center. He was excellent while at Alabama, but for whatever reason, that has not translated in the NFL. He’s definitely a keeper, but two straight years in failing to win a starting spot in open competitions is not a good sign. He’s very versatile and that will definitely make him a good backup.

Joe Hawley

The former UNLV Rebel may eventually take over for Todd McClure at center after all, but not this year. Hawley had his chance, perhaps, but the “open” competition never seemed to even give Hawley a chance. The same goes for right guard and, for that matter left tackle. Maybe it’s unfair, but the wide open competition has seemed to yield the exact same starting offensive line as last year. Go figure.

Lamar Holmes

If there was any worry about where he was drafted or the injury, Holmes has helped to ease some of those concerns. Holmes has done a pretty darn good job of protecting the quarterbacks when he’s been on the field. First of all, the guy is enormous and really agile for a guy that big. He’s definitely got some work to do, but if he continues to improve, it’s hard to think that Holmes won’t be starting at left tackle in 2013.

Tight Ends (3)

Tony Gonzalez

The greatest tight end to ever play the game. Enough said. Maybe he’ll come back for one more year in 2013, it sure would be nice.

Michael Palmer

Palmer has had a good preseason and, even though he may not make fans soon forget about Gonzalez when he hangs it up, he is proving to be an excellent #2 tight end and maybe more. He’s no Rob Gronkowski, but he’s a throwback tight end who is a good blocker first, but can get open and catch the ball.

Lamarck Brown

One of the biggest and most discussed battles heading into training camp was the #3 tight end spot with all the undrafted free agents, it was thought to be an excellent competition. That surely has not been the case. Lamarck Brown probably gets this one by default, but he certainly didn’t reach up and take it by the throat. Brown evidently has potential, but he hasn’t looked great in the games. He may just be holding it for a year, because this has to be at the top of the draft board in 2013.

Defensive Ends (5)

John Abraham

Fans were happy to see Abe come back and finish his career in Atlanta and will be headed for the Ring of Honor sooner rather than later. The plethora of talent at defensive end combined with Mike Nolan’s new defensive scheme could keep Abraham at the top of his game for a few more years.

Ray Edwards

Fans keep waiting to see the “real” Ray Edwards, but he was never an elite defensive end even in his heyday in Minnesota. Edwards has shown glimpses and is very stout against the run. The scheme should help Edwards bounce back closer to his 8 sack standard instead of his injury-riddled 3 sack campaign in 2011.

Kroy Biermann

Biermann appears to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Mike Nolan’s new scheme. He has been seen with both his hand in the dirt and standing up. He’s looked more productive than every other defensive end not named Abraham. He could be supplanting Edwards if he continues his excellence from preseason.

Lawrence Sidbury

Sidbury’s had an up and down preseason, but the talent is definitely there, at least for another year. If Nolan can’t get the best out of Sidbury, he may be spending his last year in Atlanta with Jonathan Massaquoi nipping at his heels. He definitely can rush the passer, but can he finally turn the corner to his long-awaited breakout? We’ll see in 2012 .

Jonathan Massaquoi

The rookie has shown glimpses this season of a burst and ability to rush the passer. He’s definitely making the roster and may even find some snaps in his first year. The question is whether or not he can have his break out, or linger on the roster without much production for several years. Cliff Matthews is tough to see go, but it’s doubtful they’ll keep 6 defensive ends on the active roster, and may even end up back on the practice squad if rules permit.

Defensive Tackles (5)

Jonathan Babineaux

He may be over 30, but he’s looked more like his old self this preseason. This position should be OK in 2012, but most of that depends on Babineaux’s ability to stay healthy. With Corey Peters being out for 6 games, Peria Jerry’s injury history, and Vance Walker getting dinged up in training camp, this is by far the most tenuous positions. As long as Babineaux can stay fit, defensive tackle should be OK.

Peria Jerry

Jerry’s on the verge of making the best comeback of any Falcon in recent history. He’s looked as good as any defensive linemen this year both against the run and getting into the backfield. It couldn’t come at a better time with all the injury issues at DT. Fans are crossing fingers that Jerry finally gets his due.

Vance Walker

Walker may be the most underrated player on defense. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has been invaluable in the DT rotation. With Peter’s injury, Walker slides up to the #3 defensive tackle position and should be considered a starter with Smith’s rotation philosophy. He’s always come through and he may even be due for a big year.

Travian Robertson

The beginning of camp saw Robertson possibly on the bubble to even make the roster. Roberston has not disappointed and has looked good in his rookie year to date. He’s a big and strong defensive tackle that can even add more weight to his frame. Even when Peters comes back, Robertson has not only cemented a roster spot, but likely will see some snaps in his first year.

Micanor Regis / Waiver Wire Pickup

This is one of the most unlikely of picks and probably won’t come to fruition, but the Falcons must include some type of emergency depth at defensive tackle. Regis hasn’t been the biggest star of preseason, but he’s shown upside and happens to be at a critically tenuous position. If they don’t feel Regis has much immediate impact potential as a rookie, they may decide to scan the waiver wire for a veteran cut from another team. Hard to believe the Falcons will go with only 4 defensive tackles where all 4 have either had injuries this preseason (Walker) or injuries in the past (Babineaux, Jerry, Robertson in college).

Linebackers (6)

Sean Weatherspoon

Spoon is the new and future leader of the defense and could be well on his way to the Pro Bowl sooner rather than later.

Stephen Nicholas

Fans were a little worried with linebacker depth while Nicholas has battled injury issues. He has soothed those concerns and looked pretty darn good this preseason. The former South Florida standout may be flying most under the radar for a big year under new DC Mike Nolan.

Akeem Dent

The former Dawg has had a mixed bag of success in his first preseason as the Falcons starting middle linebacker. The concussion may have set him back some, but Dent showed against the Jaguars that, while he may need work in pass coverage, he’s a thumper that can do the job of Curtis Lofton for about 90% less cost.

Mike Peterson

On pure production and capability, Peterson really should be on the bubble, especially with his performance against the Jaguars. There’s a reason they decided not to bring him back until they became somewhat desperate. He’s a great character guy and outstanding locker room leader, but his play is rapidly declining and going with talent over experience would make sense. However, it’s hard to believe Smith won’t roll with the experience and leadership.

Spencer Adkins

He started at linebacker in place of Stephen Nicholas in the playoffs and has shown potential. He didn’t wow in preseason, but he’s a good solid backup and special teams player that has made the team and contributed every single year since being drafted in the 6th round in 2009.

Robert James

Along with Jerry, James is looking to finish one of the better comeback stories in Falcons history. James has bounced on and off the roster, on and off the practice squad, been released, and rehired several times. He looked pretty good this preseason and someone driven to make the team. He wasn’t as stellar against the Jaguars, but preseason being a body of work finally gets him a long-awaited roster spot.

Cornerbacks (5)

Asante Samuel

Obvious lock. Numerous time Pro Bowler, All-Pro, and Super Bowl winner. Still has some gas left, just got to watch jumping those routes all the time.

Brent Grimes

Hopefully, this isn’t Grimes last year in Atlanta, but that’s a distinct possibility. Appears to have one corner slot locked down as Dunta Robinson has moved inside.

Dunta Robinson

There’s definitely a pep in DRob’s step after moving inside to the nickel and being used in a more aggressive manner by Nolan. May be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Nolan’s new scheme.

Dominique Franks

What has happened to Franks? Filled with so much talent and the possibility of one day being a starting cornerback for the Birds. Has had a dreadful preseason. Maybe he’s having a hard time with the new playbook. Regardless, Franks has too much talent to jump ship after a few bad games.

Chris Owens

Owens has been injured basically all of camp. It’s a safe assumption to think that Owens is still solid in the 5 cornerback rotation, but you never know. Like Franks, can’t cut bait after injury and not even being able to see him in Nolan’s new gameplan.

Safeties (5)

William Moore

The hard hitting safety is looking for his breakout year under Nolan and may just get it if he can stay healthy.

Thomas DeCoud

A good re-signing from the Falcons. DeCoud pulled in two interceptions and appears to be on the upside after a few down years.

Chris Hope

Age is definitely catching up with the Super Bowl champ, but he’s still a great veteran presence behind DeCoud and injury-prone Moore.

Charles Mitchell

The former SEC safety has looked pretty good in his first preseason and looks solid in the 4th safety position.

Shann Schillinger

Here’s where most will disagree and it’s likely incorrect anyway, but here goes. Schillinger is a better option to keep as a defensive back / safety than keeping any of the undrafted free agents just because you need numbers. Mike Nolan and his big nickel defense will make use of Schillinger until one of the CB’s prove they’re worthy of a spot.

Special Teams (3)

Matt Bryant

Automatic

Matt Bosher

How many are eating crow after panning the Hades out of this 6th round pick?

Joe Zelenka

Reliable as an old shoe long snapper.

162 comments Add your comment

JJ

August 31st, 2012
6:40 pm

Enter your comments here

Fired-up Falcon Fan in a Fall Football Frenzy (F6)

August 31st, 2012
6:41 pm

Coaching staff gets an overall A from me, bringing in Healthy players (with the possible exception of Snelling).

They had the guts to drop Franks for more effective CB’s, with no drop off in return ability with Toon. Franks was never the incumbant, Weems was.

They had the guts to cut Redman AND JPW, recognizing that there was no more upside there, and that Dominator Davis earned the shot ON THE FIELD.

I less LB (2 less if you count Mike Pete as mainly an onfield coach with eroded skills), but 6DE’s says that other teams should be ready to face a 3-4 with NO notice.

They had the guts to shelve Schillinger if he wasn’t ready to go to war today. Same Meier.

I see 10 OL and think that they STILL aren’t thrilled with who they have to go to war with, and kept an extra for whatever reason.

Fired-up Falcon Fan in a Fall Football Frenzy (F6)

August 31st, 2012
6:43 pm

As far as Franks goes, I feel bad for the young man – for that matter for all the young men who came here to entertain us, putting their health on the line every week for our entertainment and now find themselves unemployed.

However, his abilities as an NFL CB never improved to the point where he can be considered an improving asset (seemed to regress this preseason), his return skills are easily taken by others on the roster with better position skills/value, and his effort seemed sub par (don’t know if he was slowed by injuries).

Looking at the mediocre effort displayed last night on a blitz, for example, he looked like someone that had already given up – or someone resting on his complacency. The INT was a fluke ball that bounced out of the (open) receivers hands and hit him.

Fired-up Falcon Fan in a Fall Football Frenzy (F6)

August 31st, 2012
6:52 pm

Re posted/ resorted from the last blog – new 53 man roster as of the moment:

Active

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College

14 Davis, Dominique QB 6-2 198 23 1 East Carolina
4 McCown, Luke QB 6-4 217 31 9 Louisiana Tech
2 Ryan, Matt QB 6-4 220 27 5 Boston College

63 Blalock, Justin G 6-4 329 28 6 Texas
66 Konz, Peter G 6-5 314 23 1 Wisconsin
68 Manley, Phillipkeith G 6-5 309 1 Toledo
61 Hawley, Joe OG 6-3 297 23 1 Nevada-Las Vegas
79 Johnson, Mike OG 6-5 312 25 3 Alabama

72 Baker, Sam T 6-5 307 27 5 USC
77 Clabo, Tyson T 6-6 331 30 9 Wake Forest
75 Reynolds, Garrett T 6-7 317 25 4 North Carolina
76 Holmes, Lamar OT 6-6 323 23 1 Southern Miss

62 McClure, Todd C 6-1 296 35 14 LSU

87 Gallarda, Tommy TE 6-5 259 24 2 Boise State
88 Gonzalez, Tony TE 6-5 243 36 16 California
81 Palmer, Michael TE 6-5 260 24 3 Clemson

12 Cone, Kevin WR 6-2 216 24 2 Georgia Tech
83 Douglas, Harry WR 6-0 182 27 5 Louisville
11 Jones, Julio WR 6-3 220 23 2 Alabama
17 Toone, Tim WR 5-10 185 27 3 Weber State
84 White, Roddy WR 6-0 212 30 8 Alabama-Birmingham

45 Polite, Lousaka RB 6-0 245 30 7 Pittsburgh
32 Rodgers, Jacquizz RB 5-6 196 22 2 Oregon State
35 Smith, Antone RB 5-9 190 26 4 Florida State
44 Snelling, Jason RB 5-11 223 28 6 Virginia
33 Turner, Michael RB 5-10 244 30 9 Northern Illinois

Defense
==========================
20 Grimes, Brent CB 5-10 181 29 6 Shippensburg
21 Owens, Chris CB 5-9 179 25 4 San Jose State
23 Robinson, Dunta CB 5-10 182 30 9 South Carolina
22 Samuel, Asante CB 5-10 185 31 10 Central Florida
27 McClain, Robert DB 5-9 195 24 3 Connecticut

55 Abraham, John DE 6-4 263 34 13 South Carolina
71 Biermann, Kroy DE 6-3 260 26 5 Montana
93 Edwards, Ray DE 6-5 268 27 7 Purdue
96 Massaquoi, Jonathan DE 6-2 270 24 1 Troy
98 Matthews, Cliff DE 6-4 268 23 2 South Carolina
90 Sidbury, Lawrence DE 6-3 265 26 4 Richmond

95 Babineaux, Jonathan DT 6-2 296 30 8 Iowa
94 Jerry, Peria DT 6-2 294 28 4 Mississippi
99 Walker, Vance DT 6-2 307 25 4 Georgia Tech
92 Robertson, Travian NT 6-4 303 23 1 South Carolina

50 James, Robert OLB 5-11 220 28 4 Arizona State
54 Nicholas, Stephen OLB 6-3 230 29 6 South Florida
53 Peterson, Mike OLB 6-1 233 36 14 Florida
56 Weatherspoon, Sean OLB 6-1 239 24 3 Missouri
52 Dent, Akeem LB 6-1 239 24 2 Georgia

36 Hope, Chris S 6-0 204 31 11 Florida State
26 Mitchell, Charles SS 5-11 205 22 1 Mississippi State
25 Moore, William SS 6-0 218 27 4 Missouri
28 DeCoud, Thomas FS 6-0 193 27 5 California

5 Bosher, Matt P 6-0 208 24 2 Miami (Fla.)
3 Bryant, Matt K 5-9 200 37 11 Baylor
47 Harris, Josh LS 6-1 225 23 1 Auburn

Injured Reserve
# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College
34 Ewing, Bradie RB 6-0 245 22 1 Wisconsin
86 Nissley, Adam TE 6-5 264 24 1 Central Florida
39 Schillinger, Shann DB 6-0 202 26 3 Montana
74 Svitek, Will OT 6-6 309 30 8 Stanford

Reserve/Non Football Injury
# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College
91 Peters, Corey DT 6-3 295 24 3 Kentucky

Unca' Bob

August 31st, 2012
7:04 pm

JJ,

Thanx for pickin’ up my slack.

snacktastic

August 31st, 2012
7:09 pm

I’m glad we kept Snelling, even though we didn’t see much (any?) of him during the preseason.

JB FALCON

August 31st, 2012
7:13 pm

D3, that was some darn good procastrinating. My biggest worry was picking between Massaquoi and Matthews and didn’t even have to.

DHunt

August 31st, 2012
7:26 pm

I like the decisions pretty much across the board. I too think there may be some place holders on the 53 man, and it will be interesting to see who clears waivers, who makes it to the PS. I think the extra QB, OL, and TE may be there holding spots for potential waiver wire acquisitions. Do we really need McCown? We could leave him on the street and he would be there if the need arose. Dom Davis can run scout team for any QB in the league, and really I want him getting every rep that MR2 doesn’t need. Not saying which offensive lineman might still be on the bubble, but today is the first time Manley’s name has stood out in any Falcons conversation that I was aware of. I thought Gallarda had a shot at PS so that’s mildly understandable.

We still need a safety and a LB at least to make the bench a little stouter. I called McClain’s number last night (my blind squirrel moment of the year). The kid has the energy and instincts, let’s hope he can be coached up. Thing is, he could easily be waived and picked back up for PS if a better option comes available in the next 24 hrs.

Is Snelling really that valuable that he gets a roster spot with no preseason action? We gave the entire league a shot at him last year, and nobody bit. Could he be another placeholder? I’m almost as comfortable with Polite as I would be with Ovie back, maybe moreso because he looks to have good hands and didn’t blow out his knee last year.

This is the battle group, for better or worse. All I want to see from here on out is better.

RISE UP!

DHunt

August 31st, 2012
7:31 pm

Falcons.com depth chart looks a bit off kilter though. Snelling still listed at #2? In what universe? No backups for Babs, Nicholas, or Decoud? Guess that tells us what TD is looking to pick up. OR in the case of Babs, that Nolan is going to give a lot of play to the ends and there may only be one tackle on the field in a lot of defensive sets.

Now I’m starting to be slightly concerned about stopping the inside run. We got gashed all pre-season up the middle. Here’s hoping they see what I saw and they have a plan that I just don’t understand right now.

DHunt

August 31st, 2012
7:36 pm

Oh’ I forgot Chris Owens. …
Damn I did it again… what have you done for me lately, is the best thing I can think of to say about Owens. He didn’t screw the pooch like Franks, but then again, he didn’t play a down either. Is the talent pool at cornerback in the NFL really that shallow? I got to check and see if my cousin stuck with KC, because he was balling down at FSU last year and he can play corner and safety.

Unca' Bob

August 31st, 2012
7:58 pm

Please do not place our current roster(as of today) in stone yet. C Peters and C Owens and Snelling need to be thought of at some point in time. How it plays out is anyones guess…Just a thought.

tyler

August 31st, 2012
8:01 pm

I’m not surprised by the Franks cut, the effort just was’nt there. I wrote last week that I thought he was gone, but the coaches really gave him a lot of oppurtunities last night to redeem himself and again he was complacent on some plays and you just cant do that when your on the bubble. I feel a liitle sorry for him as well, but maybe someone else will give him a chance.

I am very surprised we kept Peterson, but obviously the coaches know more than me. He looked awful last night, and does not seem ready to contribute productively at all. The kid Schiller played tough, he looked like he got a little tired though near the end, maybe that did him in. I am worried about the LB position, I thought Dent was ok, but he seemed to commit too early a lot of times, which is great if you read the play right, but a complete loss if you dont. That was something I thought Schiller showed last night, was a knack for getting into the backfield untouched. Maybe he will make the PS. Adkins made a great ST tackle, but I guess Nolan felt he was not going to get better for us. I trust in Nolan, but I think we will be drafting a LB pretty early next year if we get Grimes signed long term.

Holmes gave up his first sack last night and looked pretty bad doing it, but I still see an arrow up for him. Did you guys see Baker’s block on the first touchdown? He used his leverage great and just threw his guy to the side with one arm. I think Baker has looked the best he’s ever had, so I have no doubt he’s the starter this season and I think rightfully so. Konz was unable to get to his block on the linebacker a couple times, same as last week, but I still think he looks like a good draft pick, and I think he will be playing a lot this year.

Perai Jerry, my favorite player this preseason. I have been very hard on Dimitroff about this pick, and happily eat my crow if he continues to play like he has, at times dominately. He has looked great against the run, really disrupting the play if not making the tackle in the backfield, and he’s been consistently double teamed on passing downs, and maintained his assignment well last night and made a great play when Gabbert tried to run up the middle last night after failing to find an open receiver, something we all know has been effective on the Falcons this preseason.

Brown getting cut may have had to do with the dropped balls. If all he is offering is receiving ability, I guess that’s got to be perfect. Maybe he will make the PS.

The DE’s look deep and I am glad we kept all of them so far. Massaqoui has a different gear than the rest, outside of Abraham, so I like his future. Sidbury has looked really good against the run, and has shown he has the tenacity to get to the QB. I am not a huge Beirman fan, I dont feel he will ever be a starter in this league, but he adds depth. I would really rather see Sid or Matthews at this point over Beirman, but again, I trust the coaching staff.

The speed Smith showed at RB made him indispensable last night. I am glad we kept him. I think he is the change of pace back on this roster and will be surprised if he does’nt get some touches every game. Nance has talent and he will probably play for someone else this year.

All that said, I am ready for the Chiefs game, and I know you guys are to. Go Falcons.

Paddy O

August 31st, 2012
8:31 pm

Well, fairly glad my 6 DE’s got kept. Surprised on Zelenka and Schiller. I thought Schiller offered a lot. I still see us leaning 3-4. Disappointed with Franks – thought he had some talent. Adkins played fairly well last year.

Paddy O

August 31st, 2012
8:32 pm

Meier was a shock; except it was not surprising. I dont’ think we every really tried to integrate him into the team. Hopefully, he’ll catch on somewhere else.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
8:33 pm

I can actually say I’m not too terribly surprised about Franks or Adkins.

I had hopes for Franks but did not see him separating himself from the pack of hopefuls. In fact, he looked like one of the hopeful pack.

Adkins…didn’t see enough, but I’m thinking he didn’t have all that strong of a camp.

Folks, the bottom line is that what we’re seeing here is the influence of our new Coordinators, more specifically Mr. Nolan. How else do you explain Robert McClain? I like the guy. Thought he was all over the ball when he played and tackled decently as well. He was with a lot more plays than Franks was. But I figured he wouldn’t have a chance against a guy like Franks because of the more traditional way of thinking. But such was not the case.

I love this, because I think that we are finally getting past the status quo thinking.

This is exactly what Dimitroff wanted, and I think Smitty knows he needed it as well. This is the “fresh set of eyes” effect.

As far as Chris Owens and Shann Schillinger…I’m not surprised they were kept. These guys are very much core special teams players. Owens has saved our bacon more than once on KR and PR that could have gone the distance.

No surprise cuts on offense, if you ask me.

Paddy O

August 31st, 2012
8:35 pm

who the heck is our kick returner?

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
8:42 pm

Tyler ,

I still think Peria Jerry wasn’t a great pick. The fact that he is now playing nearly as well as we needed him to since his rookie year is good because Peters will not be here for 6 games. But beyond that….well, let’s consider that Jerry has yet to play a full season, much less as an effective player.

Also, you are dead on accurate about Lamark Brown. Dude is strictly a pass-catching offensive threat, a guy who could be a game changer….but in order to do that, you have to be a “sure” threat. In other words, a guy who could take it to the house every time you touch the ball. But you can’t be that guy if you can’t catch the damn ball, and Brown has dropped quite a number of catchable balls.

John Waynesworld

August 31st, 2012
8:42 pm

It would be nice to get Ovie back, however he may not be ready to compete post-injury. Remember how long it took Harry to get up to speed. It would be great if they would pick up the always solid local product Shaun Chapas, however there is a theory out there that Koetter doesn’t use fullbacks. At least now when the press asks why he doesn’t use them in his offense, he can truthfully say he “doesn’t have the personnel for it”.

just "little ole" me

August 31st, 2012
8:51 pm

I haven’t seen the Jacksonville game, but OG Manley looked lost during his playing time the first three games. Anyone have any insight to why he made the roster?

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
8:55 pm

I have to say that there was more “anti-status quo” on offense than I thought as well.

Many of us, myself included, have been pulling for Kerry Meier to get his shot. Some say he never really got a shot to become a part of our offense. Well, you can’t if you remain injured all the time. Meier has yet to make it to the regular season fully healthy. Sorry to see that he never really made it.

That said, I am GLAD to see Tim Toone and Kevin Cone on the squad. I think both guys can contribute if given the chance…and I’m talking about offense. Both WILL contribute on special teams.

DePlane

August 31st, 2012
8:57 pm

Agree…no real surprises on offense…except that they kept 10 OL-men. I didn’t see the Manley thing coming. I’m not surprised about Franks really. Glad they kept Toone…plays with heart and has got some skills too. I love our WR corps and like the Meier move…we are now officially loaded. We’ve got two healthy, strong receivers in Cone and Toone that should be able to contribute.

Will be interested to see how Mitchell fits. I saw Hope get run over a few times trying to make a tackle. I think Travian Robertson is gonna be a beast and shows some real upside. Glad we kept Massaquoi…he’s got some moves and potential to develop nicely.

DePlane

August 31st, 2012
8:59 pm

I liked what I saw of Gallarda; he’s pretty stout in the blocking department and he doesn’t have stone hands either.

DePlane

August 31st, 2012
9:00 pm

Big Ray…once again…great minds think alike…lol! This time you beat me by two minutes…

Fired-up Falcon Fan in a Fall Football Frenzy (F6)

August 31st, 2012
9:01 pm

I see where on DOL’s blog he told someone that HD was returning kicks.

I respectfully disagree.

I think Toon making the roster as a legit WR made Franks expendable where a more legit CB could be take his roster spot

I suggest Toon/Quizz are primary returners, they are the guys that practiced.

According to http://www.nfl.com/teams/statistics?team=ATL

“Punt Return Statistics
Player Returns FC Yds/Ret Long TD
Dominique Franks 6 4 11.7 45 0
Tim Toone 6 2 8.0 13 0

That’s it, the two that auditioned for Weems PR slot.

Now, KR was the Rogers Brother (most of these are touchbacks anyway).

Kick Return Statistics
Player Returns Yds Yds/Ret Long TD
James Rodgers 6 134 22.3 32 0
Jacquizz Rodgers 5 127 25.4 40 0
TOTAL 11 261 23.7 40 0
OPPONENTS TOTAL 11 260 23.6 32 0

Why on Earth would DOL assume someone that did NOT field punts during the preseason would do it, and the Rookie WR (lower on the depth chart) that was doing it during the preseason wouldn’t??

JB FALCON

August 31st, 2012
9:02 pm

BR, the “only” time I saw Meier look good was in his rookie year in training camp (when he first got hurt) and he made some tremendous catches. Did he ever make one catch during a game? I too would have liked to seen him play but if the race car won’t start it might as well be a VW.

Fired-up Falcon Fan in a Fall Football Frenzy (F6)

August 31st, 2012
9:03 pm

Formatting trashed when I submitted, sorry

just "little ole" me

August 31st, 2012
9:05 pm

I thought Marcus Jackson played better than Cone, but I have yet to watch the Jacksonville game. Maybe Jackson gets signed to the PS.

If we are going to keep a 3rd QB I would liek to see us sign Zac Robinson or Case Keenum, I think both of them have more upside in the future than McCown.

LRD

August 31st, 2012
9:09 pm

Training camp over, schedule set, team is set.. NFL scrub refs.. its FOOTBALL TIME.
Guess its time for predictions to come in… I am still on the 11-5 and NFC Championship game…

Man I cannot wait for the KC game. Watch Gonzo go back to ye ole stomping grounds to catch a TD on our first O drive of the year… now that would be the way to start the year.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
9:13 pm

I haven’t seen the Jacksonville game, but OG Manley looked lost during his playing time the first three games. Anyone have any insight to why he made the roster? ,

Something to consider…..offensive line players have to play as a unit, each knowing their assignments, each knowing their line mates’ tendencies, weaknesses, etc. They have to know when their line mates will need help and who is to provide that help…and how to do that.

Manley clearly has to be developed, but he may have the necessary strength, instincts, and “hand violence” abilities that NFL OL players must possess to be successful. However, playing with other 2nd and 3rd string hopefuls rarely helps a player to learn the above-mentioned nuances. They can only show that they know how to block guys one-on-one…basically handle themselves.

Manley must have shown enough in camp and on the field. We can never really know how much is evaluated in camp vs. the preseason. Coaches are looking for things we can never see.

I find it interesting that a guy like Manley makes it, while “bigger names” such as Bryce Harris and Andrew Jackson have not…and those were supposed to be guys with a leg up because they played for Pat Hill in college.

Heh…guess not. And so I’m happy that a fresh set of eyes is here. Sucks because I had hopes for the Prez, but in the end guess what? I want this team to have the best guys on their squad that we can have from our “pick of the litter”, and in years past we have all seen how that has gone.

Truth is, we have held onto guys we “liked” despite their shortcomings or inability to get healthy.

falcon21

August 31st, 2012
9:15 pm

LRD, I would like to see Gonzo catch the first and last TD pass in a 35-10 rout!

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
9:21 pm

DePlane ,

LOL…I hear ya. Good stuff, my man.

F6 ,

I agree. I say give Toone all the chances you can on STs. When that guy caught the TD while running all flat out….reminded me of Tim Dwight a little bit. He could take it to the house any time. Kevin Cone gave that impression as well. Good pickups if you ask me. And you never know when you might need them. Let them return the kicks.

I actually don’t have a problem with Quizz returning kicks except for this – I want him to have plenty of carries within the offense. He may very well be either our feature RB next season or one half of our tandem…which won’t involve Turner next season (one hopes).

Screen Pass

August 31st, 2012
9:26 pm

“I thought Marcus Jackson played better than Cone, but I have yet to watch the Jacksonville game. Maybe Jackson gets signed to the PS.” – “little ole”

This (http://www.nfl.com/videos/atlanta-falcons/0ap2000000056819/Davis-hits-up-Cone-for-49-yard-TD ) might help you a little then. I think Jackson outplayed Toone but the former Mr. Irrelevant can return kicks.
JJ – 6′3 220 4.3
K. Cone – 6′2 216 4.3

Cone is as close to a JJ clone as one get so we can overload teams with size/speed or have a decent back-up in case JJ gets hammies again. Cone needs some polish no doubt but when he drops passes in practice maybe they can put lug-wrentches in the jugs machine to motivate him a lil better. Cone ended up with both JPW and DD’s longest plays from scrimage so he can be developed into a very possible impact type player.

just "little ole" me

August 31st, 2012
9:28 pm

BR – point well taken. I know alot of us had high hopes for the Prez, but he didn’t look very good either during his time on the field this preseason.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
9:29 pm

A note on health, particularly on our DL.

We really need for Peria Jerry to remain healthy and effective. We also need for Travian Robertson to get out there and get ready.

Why? Because you can very likely forget about Corey Peters for the season. Just get used to the idea. Don’t believe me? Remember Jonathon Babineaux last season? How many games did he miss? How did he look when he came back?

Exactly. My point – Peters, when he returns, will not likely return to form (this season)…I could be wrong, but it’s better to not count on that.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
9:34 pm

just little ol’ me ,

Just a semi-educated guess my friend. I shared your hopes for the Prez, believe me.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
9:40 pm

Screen Pass ,

You’ve been making that point about Cone for a while. And you’re right. I’m hoping that’s why they kept him, and hoping he develops as well.

falcon21

August 31st, 2012
9:43 pm

Cone showed enough to be here, good call. Franks was no surprise, you could see it coming. McClain was a surprise to me but Nolan has an eye for talent so I will not gripe about it.

Screen Pass

August 31st, 2012
9:43 pm

Keeping an eye out for OT being cut. The Pats let go ( http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000056652/article/nfl-roster-cuts-tim-hightower-among-notable-releases?campaign=Twitter_news_cuts ) two UDFA guys I looked at before the draft. They would be long shot developmentals but that Waldron guy looked ok…better run-blocking then Holmes at least.

Coop

August 31st, 2012
9:46 pm

Some peculiar moves. Not earth shattering to me, but I harp on my earlier point. letting Meier and Jackson go adds to that list of recent draft picks that have yielded zilch. Understand they are low round picks, but if we can fill the 4th and 5th WR and the 9th and 10th OL from FA, then let’s use those late round picks differently. Trade them to move up a spot or two. Take flyers with them (QB, K, etc.).

I too would love to see Ovie back. However, I can only sirmise that he is not healthy if he was released.

Screen Pass

August 31st, 2012
9:54 pm

“Screen Pass ,

You’ve been making that point about Cone for a while. And you’re right. I’m hoping that’s why they kept him, and hoping he develops as well.” – BR

Just seemed like common sense to me to be honest. I still am holding out hope we can get that Calvin guy back to develop. Teams put alot of value on deep threat/ size type receivers so we either are well set or have good value trade bait.
I can only guess the people on other sites giving Cone grief or telling outright lies about him dropping passes in games he sat out with a concussion are related to him being from GT. It is a shame as some of those people I had come to like reading their stuff.

just "little ole" me

August 31st, 2012
9:58 pm

SP – thanks for the link. I DVR’d the game, but my 3y/o has been monopolizing the TV. About to go watch the game now.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
10:58 pm

I do feel it’s interesting that we kept 6 DEs, but I figure one goes when Corey Peters returns to the lineup. Would make sense, anyway. You have to consider the fact that Peters won’t be at full strength and Jerry isn’t a lock to stay healthy (though we hope for better).

That and I wonder if Nolan would prefer more guys who can play with a hand in the dirt OR standing up for rush purposes. I know some are probably sick of me saying it, but doing so this season will also give him some clues as to who can play LB in a 3-4 base, too…..future purposes of course.

;)

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
11:13 pm

Coop ,

Your point is well taken. Seems to me that Meier and Jackson both succumbed to injuries, but if I’m wrong then feel free to correct me. As for taking some flyers, I get you. I just have to laugh at that because we took a flyer on a punter and that got panned to no end….even though it saved us all kinds of money. How much is Tampa paying our former kickoff/punter?

Trading up in the draft never seems to go the way folks think it should.

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
11:16 pm

Not that I don’t think trading up and taking a flyer is a bad idea. But what will we be saying when we do that and it turns out badly? Then we’ll talk about how bad of an idea trading up was.

Then again, I do believe that’s how we got folks like JaQuizz Rodgers…

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Big Ray

August 31st, 2012
11:21 pm

Hell if I know the answer to that one.

I will say this, though…I’ll take an organization that is finally showing that it can move past its draft mistakes (enough of them so far anyway) than one that keeps holding on and holding on…which is what we’ve been doing.

Sam Baker being the most notable case. I’ll take solid play from him, but that was one guy that Smitty refused to budge on. I sure hope that Holmes becomes the guy to make him stop with that foolishness sooner rather than later.

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Paddy O

September 1st, 2012
1:23 am

I’m starting to think we ROYALLY screwed over Dom Franks – we had him returning punts/kicks, which is something he was probably concentrating on; did not play that well on defense, and then cut him. I’m not too sure that McClain is a better player. WE shall see.

Unca' Bob

September 1st, 2012
8:24 am

Big Ray

August 31st, 2012

I thought 6 DEs was a bit odd as well. I can see, as you do, a lot of 3-4 combos coming. 4 DTs and 5 LBs?