What Changes are Needed on Atlanta Falcons Defense?

Give Your Plan on Defense

Defensive End

The lack of pass rush other than John Abraham has been beaten to a pulp by fans and critics alike for years and years, and rightly so. This defense has been downright pitiful in getting to the quarterback. Sure, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but the failure to develop ANY pass rush from the defensive ends spot, or any defensive end prospect for that matter over a 5 year period is just criminal. They tried to move Kroy Biermann to a full-time DE in the 4-3, even though he was unanimously projected as an OLB at the next level. They re-signed Chauncey Davis to a starter level contract and he did absolutely nothing. They signed Ray Edwards and we all know how that turned out. Lawrence Sidbury must have kicked Mike Smith’s dog, because he’s nowhere to be found, even though he earned 4 sacks in very limited chances in 2011. Cliff Matthews and Jonathan Massaquoi showed some potential, but they didn’t see the field until Ray Edwards got himself cut.

Time for these fellas to produce (AJC)

This position, like several others, needs a complete overhaul. Will they be able to go out and get an elite defensive end? No, and they shouldn’t even try. First of all, they’re going to have to make some very painful decisions to build this defense for the long haul, not even mentioning that they will have to clear cap space somehow. Abraham might be on the block to get cut since he’ll be 35 in May and has shown signs of slowing. As mentioned before, a move to the 3-4 seems to be the best way to go. The move would allow the Falcons to try Biermann, Massaquoi, Matthews, Sidbury (if they keep him), and maybe even Nicholas to a standup outside linebacker, for none of them seem ready to lift off at DE in the 4-3.

Even if Abraham is somehow kept, he could prolong his career by standing up as OLB, not having to take a beating every single play with his hand in the dirt. Given all the resources over a span of 5 years, it’s time to overhaul this position and it’s best described by Albert Einstein’s famous quote: “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” Assessment — Implosion

Defensive Tackle

Major Changes @ DT (AJC)

This position has been one of the most underperforming since Smith and Dimitroff took over. It’s not even out of the realm to say that the Falcons did better with the likes of Rod Coleman and big Grady Jackson. Jonathan Babineaux has been the only consistency at defensive tackle and, like Abraham, he hasn’t had much of any help on the other side. Corey Peters was a nice surprise, but his injury limited his production in 2012. Vance Walker is excellent as a rotation tackle. Who knows about Travian Robertson because he was placed firmly in Smith’s “Witness Protection Program.” Peria Jerry is without a doubt Dimitroff’s worst pick and really is not worth keeping around at this point, regardless of how little he costs towards the salary cap. Micanor Regis is on the practice squad and is extremely athletic for someone his size (6’3, 307) and could make the leap if he continues to progress.

It may not make any sense to clean house to an extent, but if you keep going back to the fact that what’s been done previously just has not worked in hardly any capacity, than it’s easier to remember that changes are needed. As mentioned before, Jerry’s time has come and gone and cutting him wouldn’t alter very much going forward and would even save $1 million towards the cap. If they move to a 3-4, Walker, Peters, and Robertson could move to a 5-technique defensive end, and Peters could backup at Nose Tackle in a pinch. That would clear two spots for the draft, where they could double dip at nose tackle, or take a nose tackle and a player for 5 technique. If they can figure out a way to keep Jonathan Babineaux, it will be fantastic. But the consummate Falcon is one of the few candidates that could save the Falcons major money towards the cap and wouldn’t create any dead money, almost $5 million. No fan wants to lose any player that’s been so productive and so loyal for so long, but it’s a business and it may be an unfortunate reality. Going back to the underlying point, the past hasn’t worked and it’s time for a change, especially at defensive tackle. Assessment — Implosion

Linebackers

Big Changes @ LB? (AJC)

Once a group with so much promise, the Atlanta Falcons LB corps wasn’t the strength many thought it may be in 2012. The position got off to a bad start when Lofa Tatupu was injured in the weight room during his comeback attempt before the season even started. He may not have won the starting job anyway, but at least he would have provided competition and may could have helped in coverage. Akeem Dent didn’t see the field much, but had major issues in the beginning, particularly in coverage, but did show some improvement towards the end of the season. His future as a long-time starter is still in doubt, though.

Stephen Nicholas was thought to possibly blossom after getting a fairly large contract and being placed in Mike Nolan’s more aggressive scheme. He maybe didn’t have a “terrible” year, notching almost 100 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. But he looked particularly poor in the playoffs trying to cover in space. Some think that Nicholas could be on the dock to be cut, but his he’s owed $3 million in signing bonus money and it doesn’t make any sense. Mike Peterson has been a stalwart in the locker room for his leadership and toughness, but it’s time to move on. Robert James has had plenty of chances to make a move after 5 years, so it’s time to give someone else a chance. Pat Schiller is hanging around the practice squad and showed some major promise, so perhaps he could make the jump.

Is Dent a Full-Time Starter? (AJC)

After a very good start, even Sean Weatherspoon wasn’t the same after his injury. A move to the 3-4 would obviously change the complexion of the position, and Biermann should get consideration of a move to outside linebacker regardless of what scheme they run. They obviously won’t be looking to add any linebackers in free agency, mainly because they don’t have any money to do so, but also due to the fact that there’s not much there anyway. Linebacker should get a long look as an early pick in this year’s draft. Considering that both backup spots should be open and that Spoon is really the only true linebacker to build around, this needs a big change as well. Assessment – Dynamite, bordering on Implosion

Cornerbacks

One of the few bright spots for the Falcons on defense this year. Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson formed a good and solid duo, if not dominant. This is also considering that they planned on rolling with 3 starting caliber corners, choosing to give $10+ million on Brent Grimes and losing him in the first game of the season. Robert McClain was a nice surprise and played extremely well in the nickel role. The former practice squad player even played well on the outside when called upon. Chris Owens showed the form he had back as a rookie and he looks to be kept in free agency for depth and continued development. Dominique Franks appears to be on his way out again after only getting the nod after Brent Grimes was put on IR and offering absolutely nothing as a punt returner.

Should he stay or should he go? (AJC)

Some think that Dunta Robinson might be on the cap casualty block. But his contract seems to be that the Falcons would have to pay around $3 million just to cut him, which would create yet another hole to fill on an already weak defense. Others think that the Falcons will cut Robinson and keep Grimes. It’s surely a possibility, but a major risk with Grimes coming off a major Achilles heel injury. The secondary wasn’t the problem nearly as much as the front seven, and really played quite well considering the pitiful pass rush.

Robert McClain looks set solid as the nickel back after doing a fantastic job this past season. He will definitely be kept and could maybe even be groomed to take over full-time after Robinson or Samuel either retire or decline. Chris Owens is a free agent this season, but should also be kept. After a few years of seeming regression, he seemed to have somewhat of a small rebirth under Nolan and his new defense. Injuries plagued him late in the year, but overall he provides excellent depth as the #4 cornerback and has experience of starting as well. Dominique Franks is technically under contract for 2013, but looks to likely be on his way out. Franks either has regressed from his initial potential or just isn’t suited for Nolan’s defense. A few young cornerbacks in the draft might be a good spot for a #5 CB to groom and develop. Assessment — Firecrackers

Safeties

Stable @ Safety (AJC)

This is one of the few strengths of the defense and both safeties, Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, were promoted to the Pro Bowl when the 49ers duo went to the Super Bowl. They aren’t perfect and must work on their consistency from week to week, but at times they look like the best safety tandem in the league. DeCoud is mostly good on coverage skills, but the image of trying to arm tackle Vernon Davis in the NFC Championship Game will long linger. William Moore is set to become a free agent, but it’s hard to imagine Dimitroff not doing everything he can to keep Moore a Falcon. There was a recent report that Moore wants to test the free agent market, but it’s not the best year for him to do it. Superb safeties Jarius Byrd, Kenny Phillips, and Dashon Goldson are also set to become free agents and Moore missing extensive time due to injury doesn’t help his case either. Expect Dimitroff to keep one of his young stars in red and black, but if not, there are other free agent options available.

Charles Mitchell seems to have a future as not only a backup safety, but could eventually work himself into something more. The backup positions have essentially been turnstiles since Dimitroff took over, whether being low draft picks that eventually lose their job such as Shann Schillinger, undrafted free agents, or journeymen who never stick. Dimitroff usually reserves the other spot for a good veteran safety that can come in and perform well in case injuries are an issue, mainly William Moore. James Sanders filled that role last year and Chris Hope did a very good job this year. Assuming Hope doesn’t ask for the moon, it’s very reasonable to see him sticking around for another year. If the Falcons can keep Moore, this is the most stable of positions not only on defense, but also on the entire team. Assessment — Firecrackers.

Punt Returner

Someone, Anyone (AJC)

Nothing too much to elaborate here, but is there anything bigger than an implosion? Franks showed a tiny glimpse in preseason only to use fair catches the entire season. The punt return game literally added no threat or offensive help whatsoever. Harry Douglas got a late season chance at returner, but couldn’t get it together or find his groove either. The Falcons need to add a major infusion of talent and competition both at punt returner and relieve Jacquizz Rodgers on kick return. Assessment — Massive Implosion

Bird Cage Citizens Turn

1) Quick INT – How much work does defense need: minor, medium, or major repairs?

2) What should happen to the defensive end position?

3) Any free agents to look at DE or purely draft?

4) What should happen to the defensive tackle position?

5) Free agents, draft, or both at DT?

6) Who’s your 5 or 6 DTs on opening day?

7) Implode the linebacker corps if you must: what’s your plan?

8.) Who would be your 5-6 LBs on opening day?

9) What’s your plan @ cornerback?

10) What should Falcons do if William Moore maxes out somewhere else?

316 comments Add your comment

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
11:53 am

First…and this one is going to get interesting I promise you.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:04 pm

First thoughts

This defense is NOT of championship caliber. That should not surprise anyone. It have been in a state of reconstruction since the day that CFA Mike Smith arrived in ATL. Now, some FIVE DCs later, it is STILL a work in progress.

Yes, I said FIVE defensive coordinators. Two, BVG and Mike Nolan, have officially had the title. The others, Emmitt Thomas, Mike Smith, and Tim Lewis, all have had significant roles in the “developing” of various components of the defense. Their skills and knowledge “should” have been instrumental in the “evolution” of a defensive philosophy. The results have been mixed to poor.

My first thought is that there has been a poor process in place to develop the talent that has been acquired. TD has found gems in the second, third, and fourth rounds or later all his professional career. He did it well as a scout with New England and the talent was instrumental in winning division titles, conference titles, and a pair of Super Bowls. Could he have missed in ATL? Sure.
But do we really know when the vast majority of his picks have seen minimal to almost no extended time on the playing field?

BVG was criticized for operating a soft zone approach to the defense. Mike Nolan comes in, in the wake of massive public outcry and an embarassed owner, to “save” the day. His hiring was lauded as the key to finally gettting it all together. Sadly, we managed to force more turnovers and make a few spectacular plays but the defense disappeared too often when needed most. Coverages were STILL blown, tackling was HORRID at times, and pass rush, OMG..talk about disappearing acts!!

Yes, this defense NEEDS a major review and infusion of energy, talent, and personnel. If ATL is to win a Super Bowl soon, it will need to outscore its opponents rather than rely on a defense. For if this team is to win a title, this is NOT the defense to do it with.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:05 pm

D3, I think it got me. Will await your check before I re-type.

D3

February 14th, 2013
12:08 pm

SW — Out my man

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:11 pm

Thanks, bro.

D3

February 14th, 2013
12:19 pm

SW — Well said my brother. You’ve had this one pegged the whole time and you get major credit for it. The most basic thing that finally rung true with me is that “this defense is the same or even worse than it was in 2007 or even 2008.” That is simply inexcusable. I also agree that most of it is on Smitty. As you said, it was his decision to hire Van Gorder (never an NFL coordinator and only in the league a handful of years, not to mention his questionable and quick moves including wrecking Georgia Southern). The only explanation there is that he wanted someone he could control. There’s no other reason for it.

It was CFA Smith’s decision to go with a 4-3 that was EXACTLY the opposite of what brought him so much success. Big ol’ DT’s in the middle: Tony Siragusa in Baltimore and John Henderson / Marcus Stroud in Jax. And so we do the EXACT opposite in Atlanta? Honestly, I never bought the “quick and penetrating garbage.” That’s fine and well and good vs. mediocre OL’s, but when you run up against beef-eating OL like the Niners and Seahawks……forget it. The DE’s get all the blame, but the DT’s are the source of the problem, in my opinion.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:26 pm

Defensive end is, other than John Abraham, a major disappointment on this team. Players have either not developed, been undersized in their statue, or have not been effective as high priced free agents. IMHO, the front office has done one of two things; been too focused on offensive evolution OR totally blind to the defensive effort. Since we allowed Patrick Kearney to depart ATL, 50% of our defensive end starting rotation has been a revolving doors with minimal production.

A team with FIVE defensive coordinators on the staff at various times should have identified MUCH earlier that pass rush was an issue. After all, even little Jimmy Mora was smart enough to invest in enhancing the pass rush when ATL traded a first round pick to the Jets in 2006 for John Abraham.

The move would be the only effective one the Falcons would make in the next six years when it came to the defensive end position.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:31 pm

D3, small and penetrating can work IF you have the talent AND the coaching for it.

Recall the Rod Coleman, Chad Lavalais, and early Babs days? They were attacking undertackles that disrupted the interior of offensive fronts opposite the Greyhound Bus known as Grady Jackson.
Jimmy and Ed Donatell understood this….

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2013
12:35 pm

Is it my computer or did the first four pages of the blog disappear?

Birdman

February 14th, 2013
12:35 pm

Great Topic D3

No 1 Major Repair . Is what they are in need of Draft . With a great defense to limit teams to score will only help the high powered offence the Birds have and be a hard team to beat

2 First round pick to DE

3 Draft Draft Draft !!

4 ? not sure

5 Not sure ? I will liston to more input from out there

6 ?

7 draft

8 ?

9 let Grimes go and see who will be left standing in the 2nd round pick

10 Falcons need to Keep Moore if they can

The Falcons being so late in the Fist round Pick could be to there advantage as to see who may be left for round 2 and some deals may be made to move up

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:36 pm

“It was CFA Smith’s decision to go with a 4-3 that was EXACTLY the opposite of what brought him so much success. Big ol’ DT’s in the middle: Tony Siragusa in Baltimore and John Henderson / Marcus Stroud in Jax. And so we do the EXACT opposite in Atlanta? Honestly, I never bought the “quick and penetrating garbage.” That’s fine and well and good vs. mediocre OL’s, but when you run up against beef-eating OL like the Niners and Seahawks……forget it. The DE’s get all the blame, but the DT’s are the source of the problem, in my opinion.”

Amen, my brother. When we took Jerry for instance in 2009, the TeePee was high on three defensive tackles. Of course, I was big on Ziggy Hood as my undertackle with Ron Brace and Terrance Knighton as my biggies.

This could have allowed us to move Babs back outside to DE, a position he played in at time under the Mora/Donatell regime with solid results. Or we could have done what the Steelers did; move Hood to DE and keep Babs at DT.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:38 pm

Birdman, I think we can get that DT in this draft. I think that Jesse Williams or Kawann Short has a real shot at being available. The Combine will be telling.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:42 pm

Any free agents to look at DE or purely draft? No.

In the eyes of the TeePee, the best available defensive ends will either be resigned with their teams or be tagged. Mike Johnson, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and Anthony Spencer will be more costly than the Falcons will be able to afford. Again, the cap come back to haunt us IMHO.

The rest of the available FA talent does nothing to excite me and IMHO offers nothing more than what we have or is injury prone (avoid at all costs).

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:45 pm

What should happen to the defensive tackle position?

INHO, we HAVE to draft a defensive tackle in the first two rounds of this draft. It is essential. Depth is minimal, salary/age/injuries are becoming a factor (Babs), and there is nothing proven in the reserve.

Birdman

February 14th, 2013
12:47 pm

SW

12.42 post Agreed

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:51 pm

Implode the linebacker corps if you must: what’s your plan?

IMHO, we HAVE to draft at least two linebackers in this draft. It, too, is essential. Depth is minimal, the reserves are just that, and we need significant upgrades in talent and capabilities.

Our linebacker corps has SERIOUS issues in pass coverage. And it is in need of enhanced blitzers and more efficient tacklers.

Bierman is a candidate to move into the LB corps. And I think he would be a significant upgrade at the SLB or MLB. Dent is a quality reserve in my opinon. I have seen nothing of him that make me think he is going to be a force long term. I, for one, MISS Curtis Lofton in the middle in run defense and I may be in the majority, but he offered more than Dent does in pass coverage. And that is not saying much…

Linebacker upgrades are needed. In this draft, I am favoring Chase Thomas and Khaseem Greene.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
12:54 pm

Going to pause for a few. I want to keep my points on target and not get off message.

The defense IS the element of the most pressing concern. We have to break this down this right way and have a constructive dialogue. For until it is dramatically improved, in content and quality, there will be no Peachtee parade.

Birdman

February 14th, 2013
12:58 pm

D3 & SW

Thanks for the reads and input !!

Ya’ll have a Blessed day !!!!!!!

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
1:11 pm

TD has found gems in the second, third, and fourth rounds or later all his professional career. He did it well as a scout with New England and the talent was instrumental in winning division titles, conference titles, and a pair of Super Bowls. Could he have missed in ATL? Sure.

Lets analyze:

In 5 years:

2nd Rounders: Lofton, Willy Mo, C Peters — 100% here, don’t see a problem.
3rd Rounders: Chevis Jackson, Chris Owens, Dent I would call this about 75%.
4th Rounders : Sidbury. back to him.

So, out of 7 players we have 4 starters, a nickle, a journeyman, and Sid. Other than the El Sid mystery, I don’t see an issue….

I would find it hard to believe we are much below average here.

I read where 30 of the 38 players drafted under TD are still on the Falcons, and 1 of the remaining 8 still play in the NFL. That is among the best in football over 5 years…..But I do agree that we are not playing championship defensive football, but we have not invested early in our defense, and we did appear to miss with Jerry …..but other than Jerry and Peters, we have not drafted a DT OR DE in 5 years….Very telling.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
1:22 pm

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2013/2/13/3987242/thomas-dimitroff-is-a-saavy-drafter

Funny, I see the same comments about people not getting on the field…If we were 4-12, found a new way to lose every weekend, or, you know, resembled the falcons we all know and love, I could see the point….but, we are a pretty good team. I do trust that these guys are being developed as 5th-7th rounds need to be, and if one of those guys steps up next year, we will be in pretty good shape.

Falcon 34

February 14th, 2013
1:34 pm

Bicep – how’s that defensive tackle, defensive end, and linebacker situation working out? Also, both starting CBs are free agents or through a trade. Nicholas was drafted under McKay. Gonzalez, through a trade. Clabo, McClure, Blalock….already here. Roddy, already here. Turner, free agent. Abraham and Babineaux, already here.

Nah man, we don’t have an issue with development at all.

Chop Buster

February 14th, 2013
1:45 pm

Mike Smith Giving His Defensive Staff an Assignment

Later this month Falcons coach Mike Smith will gather the members of his defensive staff and hand them an assignment. He will remind them about the playoff games against Wilson and Kaepernick. The former threw against them at will. Maybe the latter could have, but the fear of Kaepernick’s arm and feet freed the Niners’ backs to run wild. Smith will tell his staff, Figure out how to stop these mobile guys who can throw. Diagnose the option read.

“I won’t be alone,” Smith says. “You can bet every defensive coach in the league will vet this offense. Every one of my coaches will be assigned a specific element. They’ll research it, they’ll present their findings, and we’ll add some strategy to our playbook for next season.”

So what do teams do to adjust? SI asked four defensive assistants who faced either San Francisco or Washington in 2012 to predict how the league would scheme to stop the pistol. They focused on three positions: corners who can cover without safety help, quick defensive ends who can shed blocks, and linebackers who can cover. Cornerbacks will have to go man-to-man more often because safeties will be needed to help in run support and in diagnosing the pistol. Defensive ends, instead of rushing upfield to sack the quarterback, will spy the passer instead and mirror his movements. And more than ever linebackers will keep one eye on runners waiting for a handoff that may get yanked back and the other eye on receivers trolling the middle.

“The defense,” says one veteran coordinator, “has to be a lot more disciplined against the pistol.” Teams will need more corners like Seattle’s Richard Sherman on islands, to take away good wideouts; more pass rushers like Cameron Wake to shed guards and tackles and keep mobile quarterbacks from breaking past the line of scrimmage; more linebackers like Patrick Willis to cover intermediate areas and make sure the backs who take pistol handoffs don’t break runs for big gains.

The DCs seem to think the way to defend these mobile QBs are the same things we’ve been saying…DL pressure, LBs that can cover and CBs that can play man.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
1:56 pm

In 5 years, we have never drafted a DE before round 5, and that Beirman.

We have drafted 4 LBs before round 5, 3 all of them start, one was a washout.

We drafted Jerry and Peters before round 5, Peters is OK, Jerry was a miss. The only CB we drafted before round 5 was Revis and Owen, our best, Grimes CB development, got hurt.

All the lack of “development” are generally guys drafted rounds 5-7, and they generally take a few years. Patience….We are just a good team, if one of two of those guys make it, we will be in better shape than we think.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
2:01 pm

Chop,

CFA Smith has to wait until now to give his staff an assignment that has been FIVE years in the making? Just provides more ammo to the b……t line we have heard the previous four offseason; than an effective evaluation is in progress and that changes are coming. Just my MHO.

The stock takes yet another hit.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
2:01 pm

We just went to the NFC championship game, we have a roster full of potentially very talented. late round picks in critical areas of need that have not even gotten onto the field yet. I am not ready to say we have a huge problem, on the contrary, of Massaqa, or Roberson, or holmes, or Johnson come in and contribute a lot next year, we are in pretty darn good shape.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
2:05 pm

“The DCs seem to think the way to defend these mobile QBs are the same things we’ve been saying…DL pressure, LBs that can cover and CBs that can play man.”

Amazing what a REAL evaluation can do for a coaching staff.

I will summarize it like this. For three of the last four years, the wife of the gentleman that sits next to me in section 209 has asked me the same question.

Why does the other team have such an easy time moving the ball?

Beautiful, smart lady. I wish I had an answer. Yet, she gets the same response from the left and the right…her husbadn and I just scream in frustration and anger.

Telling, huh.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
2:11 pm

But to stay on Topic, we need to draft for the front 7. If one of or two of the WPP guys make an inpact, great. If we have a roster full of Kerry Meiers, then we are screwed.

As far as CBs adn DEs, good ones are special, many teams are lucky to have one, let alone 2. It is not realistic to assume every 5th rounder we pick who play that position will be pro bowlers.

SeminoleWarrior

February 14th, 2013
2:13 pm

Breaking night. An early arrival at the forecast office followed by the swing set.

Will continue to assess more for this topic. See you all on the other side. Stay safe.

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2013
2:14 pm

Chop Buster

February 14th, 2013
2:17 pm

SW, I’m a stickler for discipline, fundamentals and accountability–all of which our team seems to be lacking. Maybe Smitty is just too soft and buddy buddy with the team. He sure as heck doesn’t seem to hold these guys accountable by benching them when they consistently screw up.

Anyway, I blind man can see the issues that our defense has had for the past five years. The secondary did get a little better from Nolan letting them roam more, but our DL and LBs are still an issue. No consistent pressure on the QB and LBs cannot cover and doesn’t know how to get off blocks (swallowed up by Olinemen). Now part of this in my mind is we are too light in the *ss on the DL, LBs not enough speed, and part of it goes back to coaching.

As spectators we can dream about the ultimate offense or defense we’d put together from the comfort of our couch, but then reality comes along and pimp slaps us with the fact that we see the same old crap with this team. They have come light years from where they were before the Smitty years, but we keep teetering on the edge of becoming a consistently dominant team.

Chop Buster

February 14th, 2013
2:21 pm

When will we learn to truly beat a team down without mercy? When will we get some attitude and bring it (offensively & defensively) EVERY game? The team is soft because the CFA is soft.

Big Ray

February 14th, 2013
2:47 pm

Falcon 34 – Bingo…

Big Ray

February 14th, 2013
2:50 pm

Somebody Needs to tell the Truth ,

Per our conversation on the last blog, I appreciate the kudos but I can’t take credit for the suggestion of Roddy to the slot WR position. That innovative comment belongs to Seminole Warrior , I was just agreeing with it and explaining why I thought it might be a good move.

But you took that ball and ran pretty well with it, I must say.

Big Ray

February 14th, 2013
2:54 pm

JB ,

That article was very much on target. Nice link…

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

February 14th, 2013
2:57 pm

MIKE SMITH! You down wit WPP?!?! Mike Smith>YEAH YOU KNOW ME…

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

February 14th, 2013
3:02 pm

SW, My mistake. I had to go back and carefully read that post again…and Big Ray, you are indeed correct, my apologies SW.

SW, Mighty fine Suggestion about moving Roddy to slot, on the previous blog.

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2013
3:21 pm

Okay, Ya’ll can label me Dumb A** of the Day. I was wondering what happened to the first pages of the blog and was reading right along until, just now, I realized this is a whole new post!
Guess I should go read what we’ve been talking about. (I’ll be over here under this rug)

Dimitroff

February 14th, 2013
3:51 pm

1st Round Pick: Jesse Williams or John Jenkins
2nd Round Pick: Kasheem Greene or Brandon Jenkins
3rd Round Pick: Jon Bostic or Kevin Reddick

Esquire

February 14th, 2013
4:26 pm

“Stephen Nicholas could be on the dock to be cut, but he’s owed $3 million in signing bonus money and it doesn’t make any sense”

***************************************************

Oh, it makes sense. You don’t get a 15 yard unnecessary and give the opposition the ball on your own 20 some odd yard line. Not in the NFC Championship game. Coach Smith can’t afford to allow this guy to be around to make this mistake twice.

DJ Sniper

February 14th, 2013
4:33 pm

One other option to look at for a new DT: Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern. 6′2″, 341 lbs, notched 28.5 sacks during his 4 year career. I saw some footage of him, and he looks like an effective run stopper as well as a pretty good interior pass rusher. We could probably get him in one of the later rounds.

Drake

February 14th, 2013
5:06 pm

1.) Atlanta Defense did pretty good to me there only problem was tackling. They tried to cause turnovers more than getting a tackle, Which isn’t bad but when a player breaks off for a big gain.
2.) John is getting old we need someone with his athleticism of the bench because hes a great role model to the defensive line
5.) i dont know who to pick for DT but we need someone who can come off the bench be explosive and ready to learn from the older guys
7.) linebackers i say be more explosive always send Spoon for blitz because he has great speed
9.) Atlanta has the best corner backs in my eyes last year when it was just grimes and dante i thought they needed alot of work but with Decoud and Moore stepping upthere doing pretty well plus grimes is coming back this year with him healthy we will be great
10.)If moore does leave which i hope he doesnt we still have decoud whos just as good but we shouldnt waste a pick on a FS

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
5:41 pm

TD Drafted Starters:

Cory Peters 2nd
Beirman 5th
Spoon 1st
Dent 3rd
Moore 2nd
Decoup 3rd
Owen Nickle 3rd

So really, we got Babs, Abe, and Nichalous, and our 2CBs….Had Grimes not gotten hurt, my guess is he would have been one more system developed starter.

Really, the only drafted players on the D side that I am “disappointed” with are Jerry and Sid, all the other D guys on our roster are 5th round and up guys who may or may not have be productive players for somebody one day….Sure I would love to see Robertson, or Massaqui contribute more than they did, but there was a reason they lasted as long as they did in the draft.

Big Ray

February 14th, 2013
5:55 pm

Redskins RB Alfred Morris lasted until the 7th round. Was there a reason for that? If so, it was a wrong reason.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
6:12 pm

Sure, there are always examples of late round draft choices who contribute early, but that is not the rule, tis the exception.

Point is, we have not invested high draft picks heavily on D, and it shows. If you think it is a sign in ineptness of our coaching staff to develop, I disagree. Also, our injury karma has been heavily on the D side of the ball….so then ya got that too.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
6:15 pm

Point is, someone said that our draft choice, rounds 2-4 have failed to develop. I listed every D player drafted in the past 5 years drafted 2-4, we have multiple starters, a few backups, one guy let the organization, and one 4th rounder who is a mystery. Hardly a system failure.

Matty Bicep

February 14th, 2013
6:18 pm

Excuse me, 2 guys left, forgot about Chevis.

Screen Pass

February 14th, 2013
6:32 pm

“The stock takes yet another hit.” – SW

Lol, nice analogy. The smart money left that station awhile back, the slow will continue to look at inflated indicators and rub themselves until the eventual crash. Funny how breakdowns on these offense’s were done on this board and many others but our CS is just now getting around to it?

WR

February 14th, 2013
8:55 pm

Nice to be able to check in with the cage and on such a great topic. Defense, Defense, Defense, wins championships. Sure that might not be true in today’s game, but you better at least have one that can get after a QB even if you have a high octane offense. What Mike Nolan brought to the Falcons was immeasurable in my opinion, basically the same bunch, with the same lack of pressure, but somehow finding an ability to generate pressure. Ultimately the lack of talent caught up to the Falcons defensively, sorry but for all the praise that Ryan got for the last minute comebacks, it usually was because the D was being shredded. Now the O is not without blame, that’s a later conversation, we’re focusing on the D right now. Outside of a very aging Abe, the DL is really not that good, good situational players, but not that good overall. Same if not more could be said of the LB unit, outside of Spoon, sure Nicholas had a pretty good season, but overall he’s not that good, and the unit is definitely not that good. As Eugene, you probably helped screw Atlanta out of a Super Bowl, Robinson would say, who would have thung it, the Falcons secondary probably is the strength of the team defensively.

That being said, all the debates of who the Falcons should pick center around replacing Gonzo. Sure those are huge shoes to fill, but a lack luster D with a defensive mined head coach, whom has had the same lack luster D during his entire term, no matter the record, is confusing. Could just be me, but the Falcons have lacked an identity since Smith took over. Who are the Atlanta Falcons, they could be the explosive offense that Koetter brought, looks pretty good, they could be the turnover creating D that Nolan brought, sounds good two, but ultimately they are what their head coach is, and what is that……………………………………………………yep, solving that issue will get this team to the SB.

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2013
9:33 pm

WR, you stated your opinion very well.