Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN prescribes Vitamin D for the Falcons

There’s no defense for the indefensible, or something like that

Apparently Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com saw the same game I did. Because he spent the entirety of his post on the Falcons’ victory over San Diego — was there ever a victory so misleading? — discussing the winning team’s defense. Or the abject lack of same. Wrote Yasinskas:

“The Falcons aren’t going to go out and blow up their defense at the end of the preseason. They’re going with what they’ve got and that’s a little scary. They could have gone out and grabbed some blue-chip defensive backs in the offseason. But they didn’t.

“They’re going with Brent Grimes and Chris Houston as their starting cornerbacks and Erik Coleman and Thomas DeCoud as their starting safeties, for better or worse. If the Falcons are going to make the best of this, they need to do some of the same things they do with their offensive line. They don’t have a tremendous amount of talent there, but they make the most of it because they hide their weaknesses.

“They need to do the same thing with the secondary. The best way to do that is with a pass rush. They’ve got an elite rusher in John Abraham, but they need more than that. They need third-year pro Jamaal Anderson to step up from the very start of the season. Anderson was a top 10 pick in 2007 and he’ll be on the bench if he doesn’t start quickly.

“The Falcons have Chauncey Davis, Lawrence Sidbury and Kroy Biermann as alternatives to Anderson. One, or some combination, of all those defensive ends will have to step up or the secondary really might be in trouble.”

I’d agree the Falcons aren’t apt to blow anything up at this late date. But I’m not sure they’re committed to going with what they have. As I mentioned yesterday, GM Thomas Dimitroff seemed to indicate after the game he could be doing some last-minute shopping among free agents and off the waiver wire.

I don’t believe Anderson is going to get cut, as many commenters on Saturday’s live chat suggested. Neither do I believe he’ll become anything more than a rotational player along the defensive line. A guy with two sacks in two seasons isn’t going to turn into Deacon Jones because Mike Smith wishes really hard.

No, if there’s a pass rusher to be found (other than Abraham) among this D-line crew, I’m thinking it’s Sidbury. And it should be noted that Smitty singled the Richmond rookie out for praise after the game, which is more than he did for any first-team defender save Curtis Lofton.

The Braves have no chance (even though they do)

Here’s one of those fun-with-numbers things that is neither terribly fun nor especially edifying. Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus, which leads the majors in numbers per column inch, breaks down the schedules of the National League wild card contenders for ESPN.com and determines that the Braves’ isn’t so tough. Wrote Jaffe in a post dated Friday (link requires registration):

“Aside from six games with the Phillies — against whom Atlanta is 8-4 this year — and seven with the Marlins, the only other contender the Braves face the rest of the way is the Cardinals.”

The Braves just finished a three-game series in Philadelphia, meaning only 13 of their remaining 32 games will be against teams with winning records. The Giants, by way of contrast, must still play more than half their games — 16 of 31 — against winning clubs. Yet San Francisco entered the weekend with a 12.2 percent chance of making the playoffs, while the Braves entered with “a less than 1-in-10 shot.”

Got that? Me, neither. But here’s something to consider: The Rockies, who fell into a tie with San Fran for the wild card lead 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves, play only nine of their 31 games — and three of the next 22 — against teams with winning records.

Help a Dawg out! Tweet with Jeff Owens!

Jeff Owens, the gifted and expressive Georgia defensive tackle, set a goal of breaking the magic 1,000-follower mark on Twitter over the weekend, and he made it. (Thanks to esteemed colleague Rudy Isaza for alerting me to this momentous development.)

If you care about the Bulldogs and haven’t yet followed Mr. Owens, you should. (He’s @jeffowens95.) Because you’ll discover things, such as how Mr. Owens spent his weekend:

  • Got a parking ticket for $100 on Friday;
  • Got an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game;
  • Went to Piggly Wiggly, where he bought meat, on Saturday,;
  • Played basketball and saw teammates Geno Atkins and Darryl Gamble lose to “a 14-year-old boy”;
  • Went to church on Sunday;
  • Ate lunch at the Holiday Inn;
  • Took a nap;
  • Played “NCAA 2010″;
  • Received the movie “Knowing” through Netflix;
  • Cooked chicken — with yellow rice, which is apparently harder to prepare than white rice — for dinner.

Not entirely sure what’s on tap for next weekend. Something about playing cowboy. Or maybe it has to do with playing the Cowboys.

104 comments Add your comment

dooley

August 31st, 2009
9:25 am

why havn’t we signed derrick brooks, or pacman, or chris mcallister, or someone.

Cuz

August 31st, 2009
9:26 am

That yellow rice is tougher than the Pokies offensive line.

Mark Bradley

August 31st, 2009
9:29 am

Patience, dooley. It’s only 9:29 on a Monday.

matt_t

August 31st, 2009
9:32 am

Don’t forget about Mike Moore, he’s on twitter too. http://www.twitter.com/mikemoore82

MatthewH

August 31st, 2009
9:41 am

You better not publicize the Twiiter accounts of SEC athletes. If the SEC doesn’t have a stake in it, they’re sure to change their media policy so that they can make money and stop the free-flow of information. What exactly is their stance regarding white vs yellow rice?

Poor McKay

August 31st, 2009
9:41 am

I obviously missed something in the past few weeks, what happened to Von Hutchins? And if Houston & Grimes stink, I assume that also means that Chevis and Owens stink, too. And those last two were drafted by Gel-Head.

Catfish

August 31st, 2009
9:44 am

Anyone want to give an over/under on the life expectancy of Twitter?

toccoadawg

August 31st, 2009
9:45 am

Is it too late to pull my Falcons to the super bowl prediction?

washedup

August 31st, 2009
9:52 am

The good news is, you were able to get your opponent in third-and-long on several occasions. The bad news is, you were not able to get off the field. Is that a function of the secondary, or the defensive line? I’m not about to offer an answer, because I don’t know. Just asking.

The General

August 31st, 2009
9:59 am

I like me some of that Mahatma, saffron-seasoned rice with chicken. Hoo-wee that’s good eatin’.

FALCONS SORRY

August 31st, 2009
10:01 am

ESPN! YOU IGNORANT BUNCH OF HATERS! THE D IS THE BEST PART OF THIS FALCONS TEAM! WITH TURNER BURNER BEING HAVING TO CARRY THE WHOLE ENTIRE OFFENCE BY HIS SELF THE DEFENCE IS THE CORNER STONE OF THIS TEAM! AUTHUR BLANK GOT RID OF HIS HIGH PRICED TALENT IN VICK AND WENT ON THE CHEAP WITH MATTY HOPELESS AND NO DECENT WIDE RECIEVERS! NOW THAT THE SORRY FALCONS GOT RID OF THAT SPEED BUMP JUMP ON THE PILE AFTER THE PLAY OVER KIETH BROOKINGS THERE IS NO WAY TO GOT BUT UP FOR THE D! KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO AND HELP OUT TURNER BURNER FALCONS D!

FALCONS SORRY

August 31st, 2009
10:08 am

SOMEBODEE TAKE MY COMPUTAH AWAY! I NEED TO LERN HOW 2 SPEL AND RITE! I ALSO LIKE TO RITE BIG LONG SENTUNSES THAT NEVER SEEM TO END!

[...] Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN advises the Falcons to take Vitamin D | Mark Bradley blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2009/08/31/bradleys-buzz-espn-prescribes-vitamin-d-for-the-falcons – view page – cached Mark Bradley of the AJC collects links regarding the Falcons, the Braves and Georgia DT Jeff Owens, who just crossed the 1,000-follower threshold on Twitter. — From the page [...]

Russ

August 31st, 2009
10:09 am

…and thus ends our daily brilliant analysis from Falcons Sorry.

charlotte_dawg

August 31st, 2009
10:13 am

Michael Booker could start for this crew.

GP

August 31st, 2009
10:33 am

I hear Tom Pridemore is available.

slick

August 31st, 2009
10:37 am

Where is Charles Dimry when we need him?

midnite

August 31st, 2009
10:44 am

The Falcons do need help on defense. I always take what most of the ESPN talking heads say about Atlanta teams with a grain of salt. Adam Shefter is credible but most of the rest are full of bull.

MrKnowGood

August 31st, 2009
10:47 am

Does anyone remember…Samcon Gato and Chris Wienke!!! We had all hoped the Falcons learned their lesson with Jim Mora. After going to the NFC Championship game, the following offseason, Jim Mora cut most of the veterans on the defense and we spent the next 2 years trying to rebuild (i.e. Ed Hartwell). We really need to find DE like Brady Smith and Patrick Kerney or we’ll all be watching 3rd string running backs and QB’s run and pass all over our 1st string defense. Can you imagine a re-focused Vick facing this defense (Dec. 6th)!!! Oh well…the thought of two consecutive winning seasons was good while it lasted; too bad Vick not here anymore to take the blame for what will be a VERY long season.

jeffrey d

August 31st, 2009
10:48 am

Michael Booker could start for this crew.

A sack of dirty laundry could start for this crew.

slow roller

August 31st, 2009
10:50 am

Falcons need a return specialist. Huge hole with Douglas going down!
Aaron Kelly was great in High School…..give him a shot!

truth-serum

August 31st, 2009
10:53 am

I prescribe that we go and get Michael Vick and terrorize Defensive co-ordinators, give the press something to ignite readership, give the georgia chapter of the southern bubba crew something to hate and let the people get excited about the righteousness of giving a soul a second chance. WELCOME BACK MICAEL VICK!

truth-serum

August 31st, 2009
10:54 am

MICHAEL VICK!

Navigator

August 31st, 2009
10:55 am

One poster asked why we haven’t signed Pacman? Are you kidding? Atlanta has made their priority to sign no player that has problems with the law. The problem with their corners is not coverage, it’s their height. Look around the NFL, and you’ll see this is a common problem when you run 6′5″ receivers up against 5′10″ defensive backs. Most colleges play the short fast guys at corner and the larger less fleet of foot defensive backs at safety. I’m sorry there isn’t a crop of 6′ 3″ corners available. You have to make up for this problem by rushing the quarterback, and that’s the real problem, Atlanta doesn’t have a good rush.

WR

August 31st, 2009
11:23 am

Hey Mark, not a bad post, not bad at all, some of what you said I agree with, some I don’t, but you expect that from any fan especially considering the state of the Falcons. One thing though, you made a comment that no guy with two sacks in two seasons is going to turn into Deacon Jones, chances are we won’t see another Deacon Jones, but to say a player can’t turn it around, and they will be situational players because of poor preformance in their first two seasons is a bit much. As a sports writer I’m sure you have heard of a guy named James Harrison, not a first round pick, not even a draft pick at all, cut by one team, an after thought on another, kind of wonder how he turned out.

Am I saying that Jamaal has a chance on turning into that kind of player, not really, but I am saying that the jury is still out, we want to see it now, we want to see it in a Falcons uniform, but the reality is that it might not happen here, or it might not happen period. If it does, five years from now if you are still at the AJC you will be writing about the doom and gloom of the Falcons and how they let yet another player get away, sounds like what ya’ll said about Favre once he turned into a future hall of famer. The truth is that we don’t know, we want it now, we can’t wait for perfection, we can’t wait for a player to grow, we want a team that wasn’t expected to win much last year to be a superbowl contender this year, rarely does it want this way, in fact Superbowl teams are built over time with some ups and downs, some hits misses, its a learning process for the players as well as the coaches and the front office. The best franchises realize this and the best writers try to get fans to realize the same thing. As might Smith in Dimitroff stated continously last year, its a process, great results one year won’t necessarily lead to great results the next year, which is not bad when you consider this regime is working on building high expectations for every year, when they know and have said it will take time.

If the Falcons, god forbid, go 6-10 this year there certainly will be an uproar, but the reality for fans is that this team is finally under good management and the commitment is there even when the wins are not. I could be wrong, but if the commitment of putting a good team, year in and year out is there, chances are this team will be good this year as well as into the futute, but just like with Jamaal Andersen, sometimes you have to exercise a little patience.

charlotte_dawg

August 31st, 2009
11:24 am

A sack of dirty laundry could start for this crew.
Except for the millions, there’s no difference between Michael Booker and a sack of dirty laundry.

Bad News

August 31st, 2009
11:30 am

How about those gift wrapped 3 PICK6 by the NOODLE ARM quarterback against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd units? What good is a solid defense if the leader of the team is giving up the ball?

You people are so biased (being nice because he know the reason) because if Vick or Shockley were the qb you would place all the blame on them, but if old “BLUEEYES” sucks, you blame everybody else.

I’m actually glad you are ignoring the offensive liability, so that it will be exposed even more during the regular season.

There is no way this team wins one game before the BYE week.

Like I have said all along, Art Blank did not look happy and Matty Ice will be demoted within 2 more seasons!

Bad News

August 31st, 2009
11:36 am

“THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY”

GOOD – Reeves——Superbowl

BAD – McKay——-Championship Game

UGLY – Dimitroff—————1 & done (2008)….disaster (2009)

So Dimitroff is good management? You guys are idiots if you believe that, unless you just like losing playoff games.

Bad

DEF

August 31st, 2009
11:52 am

Anderson is not able to stay on his feet when trying to pass rush. The opposing offensive lineman is able to push him face down with little effort.
Will he all of the sudden be able stay on his feet and pressure a quarterback? Don’t think so.
Situational player at best.

No silly name here

August 31st, 2009
11:54 am

Bad News: You are so stuuuuuuuuupid. The defense will get better and the offense is there. Vick is already causing problems in Philly and DJ(interceptions galore)Schockley will be gone by next week. Mattie Ice will taking home the MVP in two years.

Bird Watcher

August 31st, 2009
11:59 am

What do you mean “Where’s Charles Dimry when you need him”? He’s wearing no. 23.

leland

August 31st, 2009
12:05 pm

Dear Mr. MB–it’s great to see the nonparell Falcons Sorry back on the blog and in his first incarnation to boot. You’ve noticed that in his absence, I used his soaring “vengence will be serve” a couple of times to keep the waters stirred. Your pal, Leland

midnite

August 31st, 2009
12:08 pm

Bad News-Neither Ryan or Redmon threw any interceptions Saturday. Almost just doesn’t count in the NFL. You are not only a racist hater, but ignorant also. Do you even have a team you support?

Greg

August 31st, 2009
12:09 pm

I know the Falcons have Biermann listed at DE, and everyone loves his motor and intensity, but surely he doesn’t have the body (he’s about 240 from the looks of him) to play that position except as a pure pass rusher relying on quickness. OTs dwarf him. Jamaal and Abraham are also on the light side for DE, though no one can argue with Abe’s pass rush. What I continue to see with the Falcons D-line, in addition to a lack of a four-man pass rush, is how easily they are getting blocked on the edges on run plays. So here I’m including Abe and Jamaal. This is not a good sign. I do think Peterson is an upgrade over Brooking, in that he’s both quicker and faster. But I’m not sold on Nicholas, especially if he’s going to be expected to cover tight ends or backs coming out of the backfield. He looks like a body builder, and seems to have great aggression, but is awkward backing up, moving in space. I’m not going to repeat what everyone can see about Houston and Grimes going against 6′5″ receivers. I’m worried like everyone else. TD better make some significant moves here on defense or it’s possibly going to be a long season.

sal governale

August 31st, 2009
12:16 pm

Bradley, you still haven’t answered my question. I find it curious your focus on Smoltz’s comback has suddenly shifted now that he’s pitching like a HOF’er again. Why? I can conclude only that your drivel is written purely out of spite, and is therefore absolutely worthless. You, sir, appear to be a vindictive hack. If I am wrong, defend yourself. If that’s even possible.

I repeat:

A 42-year-old HOF pitcher who makes an unprecedented return from major shoulder surgery sounds like a huge story. However, a 42-year-old pitcher who looks like he’s not going to make it back after major shoulder surgery doesn’t sound all that surprising. Why is it that you love the latter story, and ignore the former? Of course, I’m sure it has nothing to do with your personal bias against Smoltz.

Mark Bradley

August 31st, 2009
12:19 pm

There’s no chance the Falcons will pursue Pacman. Zero.

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

August 31st, 2009
12:24 pm

I agree with you on the Falcons — the most alarming thing about that preseason game was the (lack of) defense. We just happened to have a better offense that night. I’m going to turn my focus now to the Falcons, as I have finally admitted to myself that the Braves best chance for a playoff bid lies within the 2010 season.

Falcons blog looking for Facons

August 31st, 2009
12:24 pm

Mark Bradley – There more than enough stuff to talk about with the Falcons situation on D right now than to waste ONE SENTENCE on the (WHO CARES) Braves, Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets, Hawks or any other Atlanta sports team. THIS ISN’T THE ATLANTA SPORTS BLOG!!!! THIS IS THE FALCONS BLOG!!!! IF YOU CAN’T COME UP WITH ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT WITH THE FALCONS THEN GO TO WRITE FOR CREATIVE LOAFING!!!!!

DownGoesFrazier

August 31st, 2009
12:25 pm

Bad News: I’ll have a cheese burger and fries, with a large cola. Falcons Sorry: Clean the toilets before you leave.

Mark Bradley

August 31st, 2009
12:31 pm

I wouldn’t give up on the Braves just yet, Mrs. CB. You know how they say, “Stranger things have happened”? Well, stranger things have happened.

DownGoesFrazier

August 31st, 2009
12:32 pm

I’m with the other bloggers who point out the front 4 as the weak link. And Van Gord Head, you can’t blitz all the time, you gotta put pressure up front. We might as well play a 3-4 if this is all we got. And it would be nice to see our CB’s jam a little off the line and redirect WR’s.

Gwalk

August 31st, 2009
12:32 pm

Is “Neon Deion” available??

slow roller

August 31st, 2009
12:36 pm

Re: Falcons blog looking for Facons?

Geez, what an artist.

Write whatever you want Mark, any sportstalk is relevant here!

Beautiful Monte

August 31st, 2009
12:38 pm

Hey, Bad News, don’t you have a liquor store to rob?

Mark Bradley

August 31st, 2009
12:38 pm

Why, thanks, Slow Roller. I think I’ll heed your advice.

wxwax

August 31st, 2009
12:46 pm

Wow!

One preseason game and suddenly Thomas Dimitroff has a camp-follower coterie of haters. I’m trying to figure out what it says about these people, that they’re so ready to crucify him?

What have you done for me lately, indeed!

jam

August 31st, 2009
12:47 pm

Matt Ryan had almost 3 pick in the game one with no WR near the ball. But everyone is overlooking this. He had problems facing this D. Our O needs work too.

Bad News

August 31st, 2009
12:50 pm

What’s wrong with Matty Ice? I could write a complete thesis, but instead, in this segment, I’ll just post on the obvious:

“READING THE DEFENSE” – Those 3 gift wrapped PICK6 had to be the most “UNINTELLIGENT” reads I have ever seen! Joey Harrington could have performed better.

“ARM STRENGTH” – Any high school qb can zip a pass 15-20 yards. In the 1st quarter when “Matty Ice version of deep ball”, he had to arch his back and heave with all his might, and the ball went high into the air and was vastly under thrown and was nearly picked off.

“REDZONE” – This is the area where NOODLE ARMED quarterbacks have to have “REAL” NFL arms – gimmicking lobs, screens and quick slants don’t fool good defenses. He missed both Roddy and Gonzalez in the cluth – why? Because he has a NOODLE ARM!

“HAVING A PAIR” – He obviously doesn’t or they are so small, he could be confused with a pigeon! His performance in the big game against the Cardinals was evidence of that, 2-picks, a safety and a qb rating around 50 – P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!!!!!!!

“TOUGHNESS” – Hit this sucker one time and he looks like he has been in a train wreck. Remember last season against Minnesota when he got his clock rung, he got up and looked like he had suffered a concussion.

I could go on and on but I think “YOU” people get the message.

Take Joe Flacco on the other hand – what does he do?

FIRST ROOKIE TO EVER WIN 1ST 2 PLAYOFF GAMES IN ROOKIE SEASON

Yeah Dimitroff is a genuis alright – picked the wrong FOOL. This team will be lucky to match the 2007 record at best.

mick vick is the man

August 31st, 2009
12:57 pm

This is what happens when you THRO-ROCKS WHEN YOU LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE.
PHIL EAGLES WILL GO TO THE PAYOFFS AND THE BIG GAME AND COULD WIN IT ALLLLLLL….AUTHUR BLANK I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU. YOU LET THE ATHENS,GAINESVILLE,AND SOME INTER CITY REDNECKS….. TAKE WHAT YOU HAD A TEAM… DOWN….. SHOW THEM WHAT THEY LOST VICK.. AND THE REST OF THE PLAYERS THIS CRAZY MANAGEMENT CUT..
I HAD SEASON TICKETS BUT NOT ANYMORE. I’M GOING TO PHILI…TO SURPORT MICKAEL VICK..I’M NOW WEARING THE NEW #7….

GO MICHAEL VICK

FALCONS SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bad News

August 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

“Beautiful Monte” that was hilarius :)

I’ll put it on to-do-list :)

But that doesn’t change the fact that Matty Ice…….

S-U-C-K-S !!!!!!!!!!!!!