Your 2013 Atlanta Falcons Mini-Camp Questions

Battles and Storylines Abound

Questions Abound for Mini-Camp (AJC)

Falcons fans are about to get a small reprieve from the dreaded dead zone of Falcons and Football with the approaching three day mini-camp this week. Unlike OTA’s, all players are required to attend unless they have been given permission off, such as the case with Tony Gonzalez. It works out a little better for fans this year as it comes a little later than in previous years and helps break up the long drought of no football until training camp.

Also, Happy Fathers Day to all you proud fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers out there!

#1) Is Trufant Behind in his Bid to Start?

The Cage is Ready for Mini-Camp (Arno)

It seems a little unfair to draft picks that do the right thing and receive their hard-earned diplomas with their graduating class, thus miss their team’s OTA’s, and possibly fall behind in a competition to either start or move up the depth chart. But that may be the case with 1st round draft pick Desmond Trufant. Trufant has missed all of the Falcons off-season training activities because he’s been finishing his college career to earn his diploma, something not all NFL players have. It may have been wrong to even assume that just because Trufant was a first round pick that he would automatically be in pole position to grab the open spot, especially with 2012 surprise Robert McClain surely wanting to move up to starter status. In the grand scheme of things, missing OTA’s probably won’t be the end of the world for Trufant, but it surely has opened the door for guys like McClain and 2nd round pick Robert Alford to make an early move.

#2) Can McClain or Alford Steal the CB Spot?

Can Alford or McClain Steal a Spot? (AJC)

This is really like a #1A question to the first one. Common knowledge says that 1st round draft picks usually get penciled into an vacant starting spot on the roster, especially one the Falcons traded a 3rd round pick to move up and get. However, with Trufant missing all of the OTA’s, McClain playing more snaps at nickel back in 2012 than the middle linebacker, and 2nd round pick Robert Alford reportedly impressing in off-season training activities, it can’t be ruled out. Ultimately, it’s up to Mike Nolan and Mike Smith on who gives them the best chance to win. Even though one still has think that Trufant is the man to beat, it shouldn’t be totally ruled out that either McClain or Alford can make the jump.

#3) What will the CB Pecking Order Be?

Since cornerback is the position most influx, the theme continues on the questions for mini-camp. What once was the biggest issue of the off-season now is a healthy and nice problem to have. After Asante Samuel has the first spot locked up, the race is on for the next two spots. Although the 4th cornerback will likely see some time on the field, the nickel spot is essentially a starting position in Mike Nolan’s defense. As mentioned above, McClain saw more snaps than MLB Akeem Dent did in 2012. Although their will be a battle for the 5th CB slot, the main competition will see three players (Trufant, Alford, McClain) fighting for two spots. Some believe that McClain is best suited for the same nickel back spot he did so well in last season. If that holds true, the battle would seem to be between Trufant and Alford for the starting spot. For once, the Falcons have a plethora of talent and only a few spots.

#4) Does DT have Enough Quality and Depth?

Does DT have Enough? (AJC)

With the recent news that potential talks with Richard Seymour are all but dead, the Falcons appear ready to roll with the players they have on the roster at defensive tackle. There’s certainly some quality in there, but it’s a very precarious situation. Pretty much everything needs to go right for the Falcons at DT as it currently stands. Jonathan Babineaux needs to keep up his production as he heads to the age of 32. Corey Peters must return to his pre-injury 2011 form. Peria Jerry at least must give decent production, for once in his career. Travian Robertson has been forced into action and someone on the roster must make up for the newly departed, and extremely reliable, Vance Walker. Micanor Regis is first in line to make the possible jump to the 53 man roster after spending a year on the practice squad. The two undrafted free agents who are longshots to make the roster or even the practice squad are Adam Replogle and Neal Hunyh. Finally, the wildcard is Cliff Matthews. The former Gamecock added 10-15 lbs, which would put him around 285 and more looks on the inside. It won’t be impossible to see great production from this group, but the margin for error is tiny as it currently stands.

#5) The Offensive Line Battle Royale

Outside of cornerback, offensive line looks to have the most heated battles on the entire team. In fact, offensive line holds more competition than any other spot up and down the roster. A whopping 3 spots are up for grabs in one year, at least according to the coaching staff. The retirement of Todd McClure opened up the center spot that will see Peter Konz and Joe Hawley go head-to-head for the starting position. Although it’s being billed as an “open competition,” it seems like it’s Konz’s to lose. He did an admirable job at right guard as a rookie, but he was the best center in the 2012 draft and it seems to be the best fit. Matt Ryan was commenting a few days ago and was effusive in his praise for Konz and nary a word about Hawley.

Can Johnson Finally Snag a Spot? (AJC)

The most obvious and seemingly intense battle appears to be at right tackle to replace recently released Tyson Clabo. It pits two 3rd round draft picks against one another: 2010 third rounder Mike Johnson vs. 2012 third round pick Lamar Holmes. The natural thought would be that Johnson would be vying with Garrett Reynolds for the right guard spot since guard was the main position Johnson played at Alabama. Johnson has been an enigma of sorts and most thought he would break through for a starting spot after three years, but he’s only managed one total start. As with center, one player seems to have a bit more of a lead (Holmes) than the other, but you just never know.

The final competition resides at right guard and it may not even be that much of a competition after all is said and done. Despite facing competition for his spot two years in a row, Garrett Reynolds has won the job outright for two straight seasons. His first outing didn’t go so well as he was replaced around mid-season. The former UNC man came back strong, won the job again, and played very well before injury set him out for the year. The competition seems to be the least for Reynolds of the last three campaigns. Even though it’s possible that both Hawley and Johnson could slide over and challenge Reynolds, as it stands now, it seems that only practice squad players (Phillipkeith Manley, Jacques McClendon, Harland Gunn) and one undrafted free agent (Theo Goins). Manley was rumored to be the challenger with the most threat to steal the spot, but he reportedly came in overweight and those chances seemed to take a hit. As mentioned earlier, anything can surely happen, but right now it seems as though Konz, Reynolds, and Holmes are the favorites to start on the right side of the OL.

155 comments Add your comment

falcon21

June 16th, 2013
11:37 am

HAPPY FATHERS DAY CAGE!

Karla Wagner

June 16th, 2013
11:54 am

What happens if it rains? Is the camp rescheduled? What time will the gates actually open?

Ken Strickland

June 16th, 2013
11:59 am

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU BADD ASS CAGERS!

Ken Strickland

June 16th, 2013
12:08 pm

For those CAGERS who are worried about the OL, RB, DL, LB & CB, remember that every team has weaknesses, but some have more than others.

The more successful teams have had enough strengths to overcome or minimize their weaknesses. The Packers, sAINTS & Patriots have used prolific passing OFFs to overcome DEF issues.

The Giants & Ravens have used DEF to overcome their OFF issues. Our DEF has the potential to become better than the sAINTS, Patriots & Packer DEFs, and our OFF will definitely be better than the Giants & Ravens OFFs.

Matty Bicep

June 16th, 2013
12:22 pm

If it rains, they don’t indoors….sjax sounds a little like tony g, a pros pro. I would say me largest concern is on he oline. For all the criticism, they played ok, they did not win every battle, but they showed up in the playoffs….I’m a little concerned about the cohesiveness as a unit, which really was our strength.

Matty Bicep

June 16th, 2013
12:22 pm

The go indoors….spellcheck..

JJ

June 16th, 2013
3:29 pm

Battles and Storylines Abound for SarahB Cage FFL:

- Can LRD repeat his championship by picking MR in the first then let the computer auto draft the rest of his team while hes at magic city?

- Can JWW squeak into the championship game?

- Will Mrs. WR let hubby play this yr, in fear hes actually on the computer watching pornhub?

- Can SW continue his resurgence and make it to the dance again?

- Can D3 improve upon his disaster of a team last yr, finishing in 10th/12th, with a 4-9 record and the 2nd lowest scoring team in the league….which brings us to…

- Can Coop draft a team (THE LOWEST SCORING TEAM)

JJ

June 16th, 2013
3:32 pm

-cont-

without 3 qb’s on his bench? :)

- Will Unca Bob draft a K in rd 1 again?

- How will the new rookie BR do in his 1st yr?

Ken Strickland

June 16th, 2013
6:57 pm

Let’s not forget the unresolved issues CB ASamuel had last yr with his shoulder. If Alford continues to excel in camp, and Trufant excels as well, we might see both rookies start on the outside with Samuel moving inside inside, placing McClain.

Maybe one of the main reasons we drafted 2 CBs is the knowledge we intended to cut DRobinson, let COwwens walk, & the possibility of losing ASamuel during the season due to the same shoulder issues that hurt us defensively at the end of the season & in the playoffs.

Despite all of our OFF & DEF issues last yr, and despite alledgedly having an easy schedule, we still went 14-4 & missed a trip to the SB by 10yds and/or 4pts. We’ve since upgraded our OL, RBs, passing & rushing OFF, secondary, especially at CB, & DL, especially at DE.

Based on our OFF upgrades alone, the 49ers & Seahawks are in trouble based on last yrs results. With no rushing OFF to speak of, we put 24pts on Frisco’s DEF in 1 half, and it was one of the NFLs top rated DEFs. The Seahawks DEF, which was also very highly rated, got abused even worse by our OFF.

Our OFF upgrades mean we’ll be able to sustain more drives, eat up more clock & score more pts, due to better short, 3rd & 4th down, and red zone effeciency. Opposing OFFs & DEFs are going to catch hell trying to prepare for this yrs version of the Atlanta Falcons.

[...] News here – Atlanta Falcons: The Cage ← Lake Lanier boat fire under [...]

John Waynesworld

June 16th, 2013
7:20 pm

Regardless of who ends up at any of the secondary positions, there will be rookies in the mix, so I would think Nolan already has plans to protect them when they are in the game (at least at first).

There are too many veteran receivers in the NFL who know exactly how to confuse or fake rookie defenders with a look or a move at the right moment in a game, so Nolan will have to work hard to not put these new CBs into those situations, all the while still trying to generate a pass rush.

JB Falcon

June 16th, 2013
9:09 pm

JWW, we all have concerns but I have to agree with Ken’s assement as follows;

“For those CAGERS who are worried about the OL, RB, DL, LB & CB, remember that every team has weaknesses, but some have more than others. The more successful teams have had enough strengths to overcome or minimize their weaknesses.” KS

I don’t believe Nolan will perform miracles but I’m he knows what he’s up against and you have to know that he had a very strong say in the draft this year. He had to play last year with players who did not know, or could adapt to, his system. He knows what, and who, he has this year, rookies and all, so we’ll just have to wait and see if we have “enough strength to overcome or minimize our weaknesses.”

JB Falcon

June 16th, 2013
9:13 pm

Left out the word “sure” in my last post, you will figure it out.

falcon21

June 16th, 2013
9:54 pm

I now realize why I don’t get Into the FFL, thanks JJ.

JB Falcon

June 16th, 2013
10:02 pm

Arno

June 16th, 2013
10:14 pm

21, JB, ditto ditto.

D3

June 16th, 2013
10:32 pm

Late Sunday Greetings Cage! — Been awhile since I’ve had a chance to get in here and rap with you guys and gals, but am happy to have a few weeks of great convos before we head off on another trip to see my wife’s family in Tennessee. A nice time to have our minicamp in being able to break up the dead zone a little better. This one’s a work in progress since I just got back today, but I’ve updated it a couple of times. Here’s what I’ve gotten up so far…………

#1) Is Trufant Behind in his Bid to Start?

#2) Can McClain or Alford Steal the CB Spot?

#3) What will the CB Pecking Order Be?

#4) Is there Enough Quality and Depth at DT?

Refresh and head to the top…………

Birdman

June 16th, 2013
10:57 pm

Thanks D3

I think Trufant will start never the less ! Still a lot of camp plus pre season left yet I see McClain and Trufant in a swap about spot and Alford being used a lot this year in punt returns and maybe in the 5 cent spot

Ken Strickland

June 17th, 2013
12:30 am

Regardless of who wins the battles at OC, RG & RT, our OL will be just fine. I believe the only real wide open battle for a stating position will be at DE. DE will be wide open with Goodman, Massaquoi & Mathews doing most of the battling.

NiNjA

June 17th, 2013
4:12 am

If one is to evaluate our rookie CBs, keep in mind, they are practicing against the best WRs in the league, I’m sure Roddy. Julio, and Tony are teaching them, just as ASamuel made Ryan a better QB last season, these receivers will make our corners play better, along with the coaches teaching them the gimmicks veteran receivers use.

All will work itself out, THIS IS OUR YEAR!!!

Ken Strickland

June 17th, 2013
9:35 am

NINJA-Excellent observation, excellent. Who knows, regularly defending Roddy, JJ & Gonzalez in practice & during training camp, and having a vet CB like ASamuel mentoring him, might be the reason McClain excelled.

Of course, being moved from playing outside CB to inside, plus Nolans DEF schemes, might have had a lot to do with it as well. Regardless of whether Alford & Trufant are rookie CBs or not. We all know doggone well that both are quicker, faster, and more athleticism & recovery skills, as well as much better man cover skills, than DRobinson.

There will be an upgrade at CB no matter which rookie starts. It will be the same at OC with Hawley or Konz over McClure. Even though Konz improved noticable down the stretch, I believe Reynolds outperformed him overall before suffering his season ending injury. He’ll be an upgrae at RG.

MJohnson & LHolmes are totally different. Each brings something different to RT, and it’s possible that each difference might give us an advantage over TClabo. Johnson gives less size, and maybe strength, but he doees give us more speed, quickness, mobility and range, which is a definite advantage in the ZBSs.

Holmes gives us more speed, quickness, mobility, athleticism, and size over Clabo, and at least as much strength. These attributes make him more capable of functioning effectively than Clabo or Johnson in both the ZBS & PBS.

LRD

June 17th, 2013
12:58 pm

D3….. went to espn.. and what do I see.. a link from Pat to the BIRD CAGE!!!! wooo hoo!!!!

JJ: Best picks ever. Had ryan for 2 years… came in second and then last year won it.. can the streak continue again for 3 yrs? Or will someone snag my (our) QB from me.. seeing that I have the last pick!

Taking my eldest son to mini camp tomorrow.. CANNOT WAIT!!! I wanna see Stephen Jackson… gotta feeling the true size of him wont hit you until you actually see him up close

[...] surprise here, as some of the biggest offseason questions surrounding the Falcons involve the defensive side of the [...]

WR

June 17th, 2013
2:36 pm

Nice way to get things started JJ, haven’t missed a year up to this point, won’t start missing one this year either. My squad is usually like the Falcons, hopefully this will be the year we finally break through.

Speaking of the Falcons, I know currently their just going into minicamp, but it feels good knowing training camp is drawing ever so close. Almost time to start getting those grilling recipes ready.

JJ

June 17th, 2013
5:11 pm

falcon21
June 16th, 2013
9:54 pm

“I now realize why I don’t get Into the FFL, thanks JJ.”

f21, What, is it something I said? lmao
Its called smack talk and its all in good humor my friend.
I felt the same way about ffl until I first started with the cages new league 5 yrs ago.
Its the NFL on nitro, dont knock it until u try it. You have no idea how much it increases your NFL experience and enjoyment.

D3 may have an announcement later this week about our SarahB league and poss openings.

Arno

June 17th, 2013
5:23 pm

During a stadium committee meeting Monday of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the stadium’s architect revealed it preferred a concept of a geometric roof design in which a series of panels would open directly above the football field.–AJC

Is it safe to assume this design was already in the concept stage before the firm was selected by Atlanta? Maybe it is a good fit for Atlanta. Not my taste, though.

http://www.ajc.com/news/business/falcons-stadium-concept-moves-forward/nYM5p/

Ken Strickland

June 17th, 2013
5:56 pm

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2013/6/17/4438902/why-trufant-will-start-over-alford-at-db

CAGERS-Here’s an interesting take on the Alford/Trufant CB situation.

D3

June 17th, 2013
7:16 pm

Monday Night Greetings Cage! — Even though it seems like it’s just me and a few other Cagers getting ready for minicamp, I decided to continue updating the post. Talk about dead zone……

#5) The Offensive Line Battle Royale
Outside of cornerback, offensive line looks to have the most heated battles on the entire team. In fact, offensive line holds more competition than any other spot up and down the roster. A whopping 3 spots are up for grabs in one year, at least according to the coaching staff. The retirement of Todd McClure opened up the center spot that will see Peter Konz and Joe Hawley go head-to-head for the starting position. Although it’s being billed as an “open competition,” it seems like it’s Konz’s to lose. He did an admirable job at right guard as a rookie, but he was the best center in the 2012 draft and it seems to be the best fit. Matt Ryan was commenting a few days ago and was effusive in his praise for Konz and nary a word about Hawley.

Can Johnson Finally Snag a Spot? (AJC)

The most obvious and seemingly intense battle appears to be at right tackle to replace recently released Tyson Clabo. It pits two 3rd round draft picks against one another: 2010 third rounder Mike Johnson vs. 2012 third round pick Lamar Holmes. The natural thought would be that Johnson would be vying with Garrett Reynolds for the right guard spot since guard was the main position Johnson played at Alabama. Johnson has been an enigma of sorts and most thought he would break through for a starting spot after three years, but he’s only managed one total start. As with center, one player seems to have a bit more of a lead (Holmes) than the other, but you just never know.

The final competition resides at right guard and it may not even be that much of a competition after all is said and done. Despite facing competition for his spot two years in a row, Garrett Reynolds has won the job outright for two straight seasons. His first outing didn’t go so well as he was replaced around mid-season. The former UNC man came back strong, won the job again, and played very well before injury set him out for the year. The competition seems to be the least for Reynolds of the last three campaigns. Even though it’s possible that both Hawley and Johnson could slide over and challenge Reynolds, as it stands now, it seems that only practice squad players (Phillipkeith Manley, Jacques McClendon, Harland Gunn) and one undrafted free agent (Theo Goins). Manley was rumored to be the challenger with the most threat to steal the spot, but he reportedly came in overweight and those chances seemed to take a hit. As mentioned earlier, anything can surely happen, but right now it seems as though Konz, Reynolds, and Holmes are the favorites to start on the right side of the OL.

D3

June 17th, 2013
7:25 pm

Arno — I had that feeling as soon as I saw it for the first time. I like ingenuity of it and the fact that it’s never been done before. I think it’s a pretty cool concept, but I principally hate the fact that Atlanta’s awesome skyline wouldn’t be visible. One of the main things I think may affect it is Blank, the World Congress Center, and the City of Atlanta’s desire for it to be extremely versatile and hold almost any event known to man. It reminds me of the international soccer stadiums that are being built for the World Cups. It looks preeminently cool, but not necessarily like a football stadium. Blank has talked about wanting to bring an MLS franchise to Atlanta and maybe it’s a part of it, but as someone who follows soccer intently, MLS are not bringing any new franchises to any stadiums that aren’t exactly “soccer specific.” Just spitballing to be honest.

D3

June 17th, 2013
7:27 pm

If a tree falls in the forest…………………………………………….

JB Falcon

June 17th, 2013
7:42 pm

D3, wait until tomorrow. We will start getting some feedback/activity from the branch and have something to talk adout and discuss. Practice begins at 3:30, umm. since you’re kinda on vacation we could use some first hand news? hint hint.

John Waynesworld

June 17th, 2013
7:58 pm

I don’t know Ken, that article is the epitome of braindead, high schoolish even. It could be from acute football stagnation but the author is sucking oxygen in paragraph form on this one. At least that’s how I felt after reading it.

John Waynesworld

June 17th, 2013
8:07 pm

D3, it is going to be a battle and good for us I think. Alot of these guys on the O line have played together for at least two years now so the cohesion should not be a problem when rotating. I see it all coming down to the dreaded “I” word as every team suffers attrition heading up to Week One.

D3

June 17th, 2013
8:10 pm

JWW / Ken — Yeah, that was a pretty bad one. Dang……………….

Arno

June 17th, 2013
8:25 pm

It reminds me of the international soccer stadiums that are being built for the World Cups. It looks preeminently cool, but not necessarily like a football stadium.–D3

That’s exactly why I’m not into it. So many venues, notably in soccer, strive to be cool, that coolness becomes tiresome. Football still retains some traditions of tough, no nonsense looks (despite Nike’s silly attempts to modernize college unis), and I was really hoping for something more down to earth. I’m guessing that Blank wants to do some sort of NFL equivalent to IMAX theaters. They will probably hand out special gamma ray glasses to go with the vibrating seats.

DHunt

June 17th, 2013
9:20 pm

D3 you are not crying out in the wilderness. I’ve relocated to Cali and the time difference usually has me looking into the cage after most of you have prudently retired for the evening. And I’m usually too tired to type so I don’t chime in as much. But I will wither away if I am deprived of this one remaining real Falcons fan lifeline.

Ken, that article was quite possibly true, but weak writing none the less. Now this one from CBS sports via Bleacher report was one of the most interesting reads I’ve ever had as a Falcons fan. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/22449285/after-further-review-ryan-rewinds-tape-on-final-drive-of-nfc-title-game

My appreciation and respect for Matt Ryan has grown by leaps and bounds after reading this article. This Falcons offense is going to really click this year, and it will be unstoppable.

BE back in a bit with a two cents on the training camp battles. Teaser alert. WR is the spot that matters most but the question is, will there even be a training camp battle?

falcon21

June 17th, 2013
9:31 pm

Many people thought the Ga Dome was ugly when it was built. I went inside of it and found a football field. Looked pretty good to me.

Arno

June 17th, 2013
10:06 pm

DHunt– best post season read, period. Thanks!

Ken Strickland

June 17th, 2013
10:31 pm

I read an article about the lack of progress with the RSeymour negotiations. What was so surprising about the article was the mention or our potential front 4 if we signed him. It listed
LDE-JBabineaux
LDT-CPeters
RDT-RSeymour
RDE-OSI
The article said that would be a very formitable DEF front.

DHunt

June 18th, 2013
12:58 am

Read that same thing Ken. And I thought to myself, Why can’t the line be formidable with Babs or Robertson on the inside, and one of the four DE’s already on the roster stepping up to hold down the end opposite Osi? It’s not like we are getting Richard Seymour from even two years ago, much less the guy who was a terror as a Patriot, although I’ll stipulate he still has something to contribute. He’s not even really carrying around that Grady Jackson size anymore. I’ve heard the talking heads comment that the Falcons have improved the back end of the defense, but nobody’s really considered how much of an effect that can have on the performance of the front 7.

A.Brown

June 18th, 2013
9:10 am

I think that the most important weakness on the whole team will be the Oline. We have a lot of bodies that should produce but haven’t yet. Konz seems like a sure bet to start at Center with Justin Blalock and Sam Baker at on the left side. But right guard and tackle our scary thoughts. We Hawley has been a decent starter at times but isn’t good enough to unseat Konz at Center or Reynolds at guard. So Hawley will be a backup. Reynolds has been good when he plays but he gets hurt a lot. I expect him to when the starting job at right guard but injuries may hold him back from playing 16 full games. At right tackle its Mike Johnson or Lamar Holmes. Johnson has had 3 seasons to prove something and i haven’t been impressed. But Johnson might get lucky cause Holmes hasn’t started a game and might not be ready to when the season starts. I see Johnson winning the job but he wont keep it. Holmes will get the starting job probably 4 or 5 games into the season if not earlier.

Corner back will be fun to watch but i don’t see any hard competition. McClain will win the Nickel and Trufant will start opposite of Samuels. Alford will be the starting Kick and.or punt returner. If any of the first 3 corners gets hurt Alford will get time. But CB should be very fun to watch in training camp.

Last issue is Defensive Tackle. Its pretty if they all play how they should. If Peters or Jerry suffer an injury or Babinueax drops off his play cause of age it will be the weakness of the team. I think you have to sign Richard Seymour to atleast give the DT a very good starter and backup plan if somebody gets hurt. The rotation will be alot better if you have Seymour, Babinueax, Peters and Jerry.

Screen Pass

June 18th, 2013
10:01 am

“If a tree falls in the forest…………………………………………….” – D3

Therein lies the answer to the riddle. I’ve been out of action, got hosed real good by the tornadocaines that blew thru. Nothing better than being without power a few days lol.

Screen Pass

June 18th, 2013
10:08 am

“Now this one from CBS sports via Bleacher report was one of the most interesting reads I’ve ever had as a Falcons fan. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/22449285/after-further-review-ryan-rewinds-tape-on-final-drive-of-nfc-title-game” – DHunt

Saw that and loved it. Telling about the Tony G. presnap read that the Ryan trolls have never quit whining about. I thought the “get there” comment about the RB wheel route was very telling too. Jackson and Quizz will be fun to watch this year but make no mistake getting a first rate pass catching threat for the backfield in the future should be a priorty. If Jackson can stay 2 years that would be great and we could hold off a year but I hope the FO understands how big a deal it is to this type of offense.

Screen Pass

June 18th, 2013
10:11 am

“I think that the most important weakness on the whole team will be the Oline.” – A. Brown

Welcome to the Cage, but careful with such blasphemy. Other than a certain a-hole that wanted a guard that was a damn guard in the draft, we have been reassured that the O-line is much improved :) .

Ken Strickland

June 18th, 2013
12:15 pm

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-falcons/2013/jun/17/falcons-could-make-more-legitimate-move-seymour-af/

CAGERS-He’s the article that I got the front 4 lineup of Babs, Seymour, Peters & OSI. I know all of you are aware of the gms being played by Seymour & his agent. In the end, he’ll either sign with the Falcons for what they offer or he’ll have to retire with no contract.

At this point, if he signs with another team, it will still be for much less than he wants. He’d better realize he’ll be doing good to get half of the 15K annual salary he got with the Raiders the last 2yrs, which still wouldn’t be bad at all.

The fact that he & his agent were in extended negotiations with the Falcons, knowing we wouldn’t have the money to offer anything close to a $10-15M salary, proves he’s willing to accept something in the $6-8M range.

Considering he’s from the Atlanta area, went to school at UGA, has very close family here, & this will likely be his last NFL contract & last chance at another SB ring, I believe he’ll eventually sign. However, the stumbling block to him signing a contract might be based more on the length of the contract more than the annual salary.

The Falcons could be willing to meet his salary demands, but only on a 1yr contract. On the other hand, he might be holding out for a multi yr contract, since this will likely be his last yr to cash in big. Regardless, I believe we’ll get a deal done before training camp and/or after we work out MRyans extension.

By finishing at least half the season on IR last yr, Seymour & his agent made certain he’d be 100% healthy & ready for this yrs FA. I’m pretty sure it was BIG RAY who made this point when the rumors of his signing with the Falcons 1st surfaced. I also believe both he & OSI have chips on their shoulders & will have very good seasons.

Let’s face it, Seymour definitely wasn’t 100% committed to playing in or for Oakland last yr, and he still got 3 sacks in 8gms. With the talent & support he’ll have with the Falcons, and in Nolans attacking multifaceted DEF, we could potentially see 6-8 sacks from him.

Add the potential of 7-10 sacks from OSI & our pass rush could something special. Our dominant & potentially well balanced OFF won’t be a surprise to anyone. But I believe our DEF will end up being a big surprise to everyone. I think this yrs DEF will mirrow the sAINTS DEF during their SB run.

Their DEF wasn’t great statisticaly at stopping the run or the pass, but it was great at creating turnovers, especially at crucial and/or opportunistic times. Nolan has constructed this yrs DEF, through FA & the draft, to be just that type of DEF.

Ken Strickland

June 18th, 2013
12:23 pm

SCREEN PASS-You have a helluva sense of humor, but you’re still crazy. You so know that don’t you? But it’s all good because as longtime Falcon fans, we’ve all been considered crazy.

Ken Strickland

June 18th, 2013
12:37 pm

There’s been a lot of talk about battles along the OL, but I don’t see it that way. Unless their is an injury, I see PKonz as the starting OC, GReynolds at the starting RG, & LHolmes at the starting RT.

Like I’ve said before, we didn’t draft LHolmes with our 2nd pick & cut RT TClabo because of any progress & new found confidence in OT/OG MJohnson. RT is LHolmes to lose, RG is GReynolds to lose & OC is PKonz’s to lose.

Out of JMassaquoi, KBiermann, MGoodman, CMathews, and maybe even JBabineaux, nobody has any idea which one will start at LDE. At LB it will be a battle for backup positions. If there’s a serious battle at CB, it will be between Alford & McClain for the #3 CB position, which is McClain’s to lose.

All of the other positions are fixed, including DT, which would be Babineaux & Peters, unless we sign Seymour.

Jdiggitty

June 18th, 2013
1:13 pm

ABrown,

I agree with you about the cornerback situation, mostly. I think Alford will see significant playing time at CB even if he isn’t starting. Nolan is big on player rotations, and from a chart I saw of last season’s snap counts on the defensive side of the ball, it looks like barely anyone played much more than 80% of the snaps. That would leave Alford with possibly up to 50-60% of the snaps rotating among the 3 cb spots as a sub. I do think his biggest impact this year will be in the return game, and if he takes it to the house in the playoffs we will all forget about how dumbfounded we were on draft day when his name was called. As many here have stated many times over, if I were the GM I probably would’ve grabbed one of the quality linemen on either side of the ball, but that’s not the case, and Im in strangelove territory with that pick; I stopped worrying, and now I love the bomb.

Screen Pass

June 18th, 2013
1:59 pm

“SCREEN PASS-You have a helluva sense of humor, but you’re still crazy. ” – KS

I can’t deny the crazy part, I just hope yours and others confidence in the O-line is well placed. Any time a new person steps in they can be worse, similar, or an improvement. I think getting 3 “improvements” this year is a tall order but it could certainly happen. I hope so…Ryan gets the blame unfairly or not for certain things that a much improved line could cure. Anyone who saw him play in college knows if given time he is like a surgeon dissecting defenses. That coupled with our WR and improved RB attack would be hard for any team to defend. We will get a taste in preseason…hope TD and co put the right ingredients in the stew :) .

Ken Strickland

June 18th, 2013
2:44 pm

SCREEN PASS-At OG we’ll most likely have GReynolds, who’s won the starting job the last 2yrs & did very well up to his season ending injury. At OC we’ll most likely have PKonz, who progressed very well after replacing the injured Reynolds.

I think he was particularly impressive considering he was thrown into the fire during the season & at a new position. He had a successful stint as our starting RG and was considered the best OC in last yrs draft.

At RT we’ll most likely have LHolmes, who was drafted as LT SBakers possible replacement. But after being fully recovered from his foot surgery, he obviously progressed so well under OL coach PHill, our coaching staff was impressed & confident enough to cut Clabo.

The closest thing to an unknown that will end up starting on our OL is LHolmes, and he just might end up being the best of the 3. We must also consider how our coaching staff’s confidence in LHolmes likely influenced our decision not to even offer a tender to OT WSvitek.

At 2 OL positions, RT(Holmes) & OC(Konz), we’ll be younger, bigger, most likely stronger, quicker, faster, more athletic & more versatile, which improves our ability to zone & power block.

It’s OK to have concerns, but this isn’t the same situation we had in 08. In 08 LT SBaker was a rookie, LG JBlalock was entering his 2nd yr coming off a demotion, UDFA RG HDahl & RT TClabo were virtually unproven.

And look at how that turned out, and we now know our OLinemen have a much better OL coach to work with. So no, I don’t have any concerns about our current OL, except for injuries.