5 players the Falcons can do without (Jerious included)

Here's another example of Michael Jenkins not making a catch. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Another example of Michael Jenkins not making a catch. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

It’s the arithmetic of the NFL: First you subtract, then you add. Tomorrow we’ll do the addition part. Today is about the minuses. And here, in alphabetical order, we go:

Jamaal Anderson, defensive something-or-other: Time to pull the plug on this Rich McKay misfire. Anderson has been tried at end and tackle to no great effect. What’s left? Long snapper? Drafted eighth overall in 2007, he has 2 1/2 sacks in three seasons. That spells “bust” in any man’s league.

Tyson Clabo, right tackle: The offensive line lost a heapin’ helpin’ of oomph this season, and Clabo has long been viewed as the weakest of the starting O-linemen. Conveniently enough, his contract is up. Conveniently enough, Thomas Dimitroff drafted Garrett Reynolds in Round 5 last season. He’ll get a long look at RT.

Michael Jenkins, wide receiver: Another of McKay’s greatest whiffs. Drafted in Round 1 in 2004, Jenkins has never caught more than 53 passes in a season. He scored one touchdown in 2009. With Roddy White on the other flank and Tony Gonzalez commanding two defenders over the middle, Michael J. Pollard could have done better than that. Jenkins isn’t really a possession receiver and isn’t really a deep threat. He’s just a guy. Time to find a better guy.

Stephen Nicholas, outside linebacker: His first season as a starter wasn’t terrible. Neither was it exceptional. (Three sacks, 80 tackles.) There will be free agents and draftees available who can do more.

Jerious Norwood, running back: Three different coaching staffs haven’t yet figured a way to exploit Norwood’s talent. He has scored 10 touchdowns in four seasons; he scored one in 2009. (Yes, he was hurt. Still.) He averaged 3.3 yards a carry this season, which is terrible for a speed back. His longest run from scrimmage was 21 yards. When you’ve just completed your fourth NFL season and people are still talking about untapped potential, something’s wrong.

335 comments Add your comment

Meanwhile...first?

January 5th, 2010
12:05 am

And might I ask Mark, if indeed first, isn’t it a good omen for 2010, Kirby Smart or no, that Georgia prevented A & M from notching victory 666?

Did I just use omen and 666 in the same sentence? Some people have no shame…

SD Dawg

January 5th, 2010
12:13 am

Mark-

Good list to start with. I hate to see Jerious go, but your right. He just doesn’t seem to have a lot of upside in the years to come. How are we looking in terms of cap for next year? With possibly of no cap next year, will Arthur go into the wallet a bit and bring in some veteran talent. I fear another year where we are trying to field rookies to plug the MANY holes we have. Other than QB where is there not a gaping hole?

Meanwhile...those better than Jenkins

January 5th, 2010
12:13 am

If Michael J. Pollard could do better than that, no doubt Fritz Pollard could as well. I dare say Fritz Mondale could as well, though he may have been limited to only running patterns to the left side of the field.

Not first

January 5th, 2010
12:13 am

I humbly accept 2nd.

Not first

January 5th, 2010
12:14 am

TCCB

January 5th, 2010
12:15 am

Mark, please add Matt Ryan to the list.

hmmmm......

January 5th, 2010
12:21 am

You can’t totally blame Jenkins he did have Vick as Qb. anderson was total bust he had one great college season(JPP South florida). If only we’d kept schaub and traded vick???

43 and counting...

January 5th, 2010
12:22 am

Clabo?

Hey Bradley — did you see how shaky the other side was with Sam Baker?

He got beat time after time, even in those few games where he claimed to be healthy!

hmmmm......

January 5th, 2010
12:22 am

Vick all time nfl leader in dogs killed!!!

Mark Bradley

January 5th, 2010
12:25 am

Fritz Pollard. Another good one, Meanwhile.

Mark Bradley

January 5th, 2010
12:26 am

Not to mention being first. Not for the first time, I believe.

Meanwhile...speaking of 5 Guys

January 5th, 2010
12:26 am

I think we should consider bringing Grady Jackson back for a year to team up with Jerry. What we can’t offer in salary, I’m sure Arthur Blank could make up for with coupons to 5 Guys Burgers.

Meanwhile...first with an *

January 5th, 2010
12:31 am

Yes, it is yet another first. It’s all based on film study and presnap reads which allow me to anticipate the blog in advance. Or random luck.

Oops, gotta go. Bill Belichick wants his camera back. Something about a game this weekend. And his hoodie. D@mn it’s cold

Mark Bradley

January 5th, 2010
12:33 am

We might have to check the video ourselves and see if you’re offside, Meanwhile. With your mystical powers, you might have succeeded in anticipating my next move. If so, please tell me what I’ll be having tomorrow for lunch.

Whopper Dawg

January 5th, 2010
12:33 am

Anderson needs to go, The others are debatable. Not happy with Jenkins, but he just signed a big contract. Norwood get hurt too much but definitely has skills, we need to figure how to use him. Keep Clabo and I agree with the Baker comment by 43.

When you look at it over the past two years, I am beginning to think that our success relative to Falcons history is due much more to Smith and the coaches, then TD GM.

Look at it,
2008 Draft

Ryan – good to great pick
Baker – iffy
Lofton – great pick

2009 Draft

All iffy and or hurt

TD has been much more successful with adding FAs then the draft.
If he whiffs on 2010 like he did on 2009, we have lost much ground against the NFL field, regardless of how hard Smith and his staff run.
Others – iffy

No

January 5th, 2010
12:33 am

one of the few mistakes Dimitroff has mad was letting Grady Jackson go to Detroit last year.. even though we didn’t know Peria Jerry was going to get hurt, he still woulda been a HUGE help this year. It’s too late now, no need for him next season. I would sell my soul if we somehow wound up with Ndemekong Suh tho.. TRADE UP!! Offer Jenkins and Norwood together in a trade to St. Louis!

Meanwhile...seriously

January 5th, 2010
12:34 am

I have to admit I googled it. Jackson is with the Lions. I would think the Falcons would be more appealing than the Lions. Might it not be a good stop gap measure for one year, while Jerry gets his feet wet in the pros?

Meanwhile...seriously

January 5th, 2010
12:42 am

Mark I dare not divulge lunch, lest you fail to eat a nutritious, hearty breakfast. I can tell you, if you choose a sandwich, the sandwich was named after John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich.

I see we are getting some traction on the Grady Jackson comment.

Todd - Dacula

January 5th, 2010
12:45 am

5 that must go…

1. Head Coach
2. General Manager
3. Matt Ryan
4. All defensive Backs
5. Tony Gonzalez

Mark Bradley

January 5th, 2010
12:46 am

Yeah, let’s get rid of the coach, the GM and the quarterback who just posted the first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history. And that Gonzalez only won about three games by himself.

Jim

January 5th, 2010
12:47 am

Hey Mark, when is the AJC gonna correct the great whiff they made on you as a columnist?

Meanwhile...Todd, or Mary Todd

January 5th, 2010
12:47 am

5 that must go…

1. Head Coach
2. General Manager
3. Matt Ryan
4. All defensive Backs
5. Tony Gonzalez

Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Meanwhile...Todd, or Mary Todd?

January 5th, 2010
12:50 am

Not to talk down to the audience, but in case Todd-Dacula is offended by the feminine reference, Mary Todd doesn’t refer to him, but of course to Mary Todd Lincoln of the aforementioned “Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?” quote.

Larry

January 5th, 2010
12:55 am

Mark,

Spot on! And I’m proud of your courage to write what you believe and avoiding the safe and perhaps professionally risky or at least unpopular! You’re off my girly man list! :-)

Probably the one on your list that amazingly attract the most dissenters is Norwood. Not me! Aside for the fact that he couldn’t beat out the aging Warrick Dunn or keep the Falcons from emptying the bank for Turner is simply the clear and overwhelming evidence that this guy will not take a hit, is the easiest person to tackle on the team other than the quarterbacks, and can’t stay healthy, is he has neither power or lateral quickness, and at least one of the two–preferably both–are necessary to be an effective NFL tailback.

Meanwhile...Todd, or Mary Todd?

January 5th, 2010
12:55 am

And to be clear about not talking down to the audience, I REFUSE to provide context to the “Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?” in reference to Todd-Dacula’s 5. I simply refuse to pander to the lowest common denominator.

I will note however, it’s ironic that Grady Jackson and John Wilkes Booth both appeared at a venue named Ford.

Casey

January 5th, 2010
1:12 am

Meanwhile…Todd, or Mary Todd?

Ooooooh! That was so deep. Please, please! Teach us more about this Lincoln and Booth story.

My list:

1. Todd – Dacula
2. Meanwhile…Todd, or Mary Todd?
3. Mark Bradley
4. Jeff Schultz
5. Steve Hummer

Denver Bird

January 5th, 2010
1:14 am

No Way! What will I do with my EQT Norwood jersey? I owe you something anyway, Mark, so send over your address…

Daddyknowsbest

January 5th, 2010
1:18 am

I agree with your list, but I have questions about Matt Ryans ability to throw more than 1 interception a game. He appears to be a turnover waiting to happen. His arm strength is weak compared to other guys in the league and for someone to have so much hype he doesn’t appear to be that good without a good running game. Arthur goofed giving him that huge deal after 1 good season being carried by Michael Turner. Mark, I agree lets get rid of the only QB that carried us to our only consecutive winning season in franchise history. I don’t see this season as a winning season. 9-7 and missing the playoffs to me is not a winning season. You play the game to win a super bowl, will the Falcons have a chance the other playoffs teams have when the Playoffs start so how can that be considered a winning season? Now let me comment on the coaching staff or LACK there of. How many games did we lose because of horrible offensive play calling? I can recall one game against the Saints where Ryan threw a late interception to seal our fate. Well, if you were watching the same game I was watching you would have thought that the play call in that situation would have been a run on first down and ten after Turner was shredding the Saints defense apart. The Falcons are trying to treat Ryan like Peyton Manning when he needs to be treated like an early Mike Vick. At least Vick won a playoff game before getting his big deal.

Meanwhile...Mighty Casey struck out

January 5th, 2010
1:20 am

Perhaps a warm glass of milk will help with that irritable disposition Casey. It’s a little early to be waking up on the wrong side of the bed isn’t it?

gcs

January 5th, 2010
1:20 am

I am not going to pretend to know the salaries of these guys but if you want to dump them because of $ then great. But the lack of depth is what got the Falcons in trouble this year.

.

Mark Bradley

January 5th, 2010
1:21 am

It’s also noteworthy that Grady Jackson is bigger than a Ford Fairlane.

IlliniDawg

January 5th, 2010
1:24 am

What? No John Abraham? I mean, if we’re going to be bold and provocative (though there is absolutely nothing provocative about Jamal Anderson), why not include the player formerly known as John Abraham? By the way, what team did he play for this year, because he sure wasn’t on the field for the Falcons whenever I watched them.

Oh, and let’s go ahead and throw in Chris Houston, Ty Hill, and Chevis Jackson. These guys will be sorely missed by Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Donovan McNabb – but not by any Falcon fans.

Nique

January 5th, 2010
1:25 am

I think your list is spot on & Chris Houston as well as John Abraham are inches way from that list as well! I know we just signed Jenkins to that Big contract, why i don’t know, but he’s not the answer & he cost us 2 games this year! He’s got to go & so does Clabo. Moving him, will allow us to move Baker to RT where he should be & we can either got LT in the 1st or FA. Our 1st pick in my opinion has to be either a LT or a CB (unless Dunlap somehow falls this low because of his DUI) & then we go DE, OLB, C, & K.

DZ

January 5th, 2010
1:27 am

“Michael J. Pollard”?! That is too funny.

I would like to add Chris Redman to the list. Matt Ryan getting injured in year 2 at age 24 is not a good sign. There has got to be a better solution at back-up QB.

IlliniDawg

January 5th, 2010
1:29 am

Nique – you and I must be channeling the same dolphin or calling Miss Cleo on the same line!

Meanwhile...Mighty Casey struck out

January 5th, 2010
1:30 am

Ford Fairlane…touche! Assuming Turner comes back strong, Ryan grows into the job, and the schedule is more favorable, can the defense be adequately reconstructed in one year?

yo mama

January 5th, 2010
1:31 am

falcons are gonna be fine. finneran will retire, revamping the reciever corps will be necessary. Ryan gets more mileage out of them than Vick did. Vick couldnt make throws in tight spots, Ryan did. threw more TD’s this year, too. no one prints that. harry douglas will be back, could get a wr early, draft a g, olb, cb, s. steven nicholas has an upside still.
free agency will be different. falcons are gonna be fine.

God I hate stupid people.

January 5th, 2010
1:36 am

Someone was critical of T.D.’S draft history? Chris Owens may end up being the steal of this draft come next season. He also drafted Decoud last year plus Bierman. Sidbury showed some promise. Lofton should be an all pro. Baker isn’t a bust but he might be a better guard. Harry Douglas was pretty good before he blew his knee. Jerry looked dominant before his knee blew. Oh yeah, and there was Matt Ryan who for all the crap he gets from people still had 22 TDs to 14 ints. He will continue to get better.These are all draft picks made the last two years. It is football and players get hurt but these two drafts were better than anything in recent Falcons history. Of course if most of you people had your way Brian Brohm would be the QB and we would have been stuck with a bust in Glenn Dorsey. Roddy White would have been released in 2006.

Halsey

January 5th, 2010
1:49 am

The Falcons have so many needs to address this offseason. Everyone knows about DE, OLB and CB, but needs like WR, RB and DT aren’t as talked about. Finneran is likely gone, douglas is coming of an injury, and there just isn’t enough talent at WR other than White. The Falcons need to either re-sign Norwood or find a different RB. Who knows if Turner will ever regain his 2008 form. At DT the Falcons have Jerry, but he is coming off an injury and has a history of durability issues. Babs is going to get suspended and the depth isn’t great. .

Casey

January 5th, 2010
2:04 am

How about this? Before we get rid of every member of the Falcons organization and start over from scratch, let’s get back everyone who has been hurt this year and bring in a new draft class and see where we are next year. I do agree with Mark about Jenkins(I have been screaming for them to dump this loser for 5 years), and Anderson. Enough is enough. These two will obviously never help this team win games. They are just taking up space. Jenkins actually hurts more than anything, because he somehow chooses the absolutely worst possible times to drop the ball. I can’t take him dropping anymore touchdown passes. He lost that playoff game for us last year by going out of bounds for no apparent reason. That should have been a touchdown. We should have won that game. He also caused an interception in this last game by sitting back and waiting for the ball instead going after it. He is NEVER going to be a decent receiver. There are so many good receivers that come out of college every year, and we must get better at that position.

I would also like to throw this name out there: John Abraham. 5.5 sacks, 35 tackles? What is the deal? Is he hurt or does he just not have it anymore?

Ross

January 5th, 2010
2:08 am

I don’t know about giving up on Jenkins – he just needs more toughness. He needs to battle for the ball more. He’s an OK 3 at WR and he knows the offense. He doesn’t get hurt.

Clabo – hard to say. He was fine last year and at the start of this one. But you could be right. It’s a labor headache we don’t need.

Norwood – too slow, no work ethic. No pop through the holes. It’s sad that being a good guy isn’t enough. He goes. He’ll be happier somewhere with a more run-oriented offense.

Nicholas – big disagreement here. He’s a fiery player and very tough. The defense really gelled at the end and I think we should keep the backers together. Let’s see how he does in what will really be his third year. No harm in adding help at LB but the secondary is where the real improvement is needed. Abraham’s year is hard to explain, but with just one monster to help him, his sack count will explode.

So – backers are fine, questions are at O-line, WR, and DBs plus a legitimate monster D-liner.

Ross

January 5th, 2010
2:20 am

People should remember that the season changed dramatically for the worse when Brian Williams went down. He’ll be back – he’s a sharp veteran but still young enough to play and will add real strength and toughness in the defensive backfield. I think a lot of the lack of tackles seen from the LBs is because Coleman, DeCoud, and Grimes were making the tackles after the secondary got owned.

Tron5000

January 5th, 2010
3:11 am

Snelling’s a great complementary back, but I don’t wan him toting the rock 25 times a game when (if) Turner goes down.

Take Jonathan Dwyer. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

It will never happen, but I’ve seen every play by the guy since he entered college. He’s special; don’t pass that up if you have the chance.

Daddyknowsbest

January 5th, 2010
3:22 am

Tron5000 I was thinking the same thing, but that may cause Turner to complain about his carries. I’m hoping the Falcons find a young studd at RB who can come in and be a home run threat when Turner is tired or hurt. We also need to add 2 more decent receivers, drop Finneran and draft a guy who can compete with Jenkins for the #2 receiver. I believe the Falcons are close to having a good team, but what good is it when the offensive playcalling is suspect? If you have a horse like Turner running up the gut all year then mid year you find out wow he’s better on the edge why not use that more often. Not to make excuses for Norwood but if you look at the type of run plays he was given all was off tackle it appeared they gave the bigger back or misdirection and sweep type plays. Wouldn’t it make sense to use those plays with a faster guy?

tom

January 5th, 2010
3:23 am

I agree with the to go list except for Norwood. Mis-utilized. Running him between the tackles is a wasted down. Many times they run him or pass to him on the short side of the field. His strength is to side step the D and move on out. The short side of the field does not allow him any flexiblity. Talent wasted. Maybe he should go so he can further his career with an offfensive coordinator who knows how to utilize his skills.

Tron5000

January 5th, 2010
3:28 am

Daddy, I’m with you. Finn won’t be back, because he’s hurt and I’m pretty sure he’s just gonna call it quits. He’s rehabbed too much to deal with this crap again. As far as Turner losing carries, he had the ball a lot in 2008, first time ever. He tried and tried to get on the field this year, but each time he had to come off. If he shares carries with another guy, it’s not the end of the world. And teams are increasingly going to that 2-back rotation, which I think would be beneficial for the longevity of the careers of RBs and would also assist in keeping a defense off balance.

Douglas will compete for the outside WR position. Jenkins will become that #3 guy who runs the slants across the middle and catches the 7-yard pass on 3rd and 5. That’s where his money is. Forget this deep-route stuff. HD83 will handle that, along with Roddy, of course.

Jonathan Dwyer. Of course I’m a Tech fan, but that means I’ve seen him for the last 3 years. Dude is gonna be a stud, and I’d rather him do it for us than someone else. He’s a difference-maker, the dude who can not only burn you for the long TD but also plant you into the ground and run over you.

willie martinez

January 5th, 2010
3:36 am

Mark, the falcons could also do without BVG next season too. Mention my name to A M Blank please. Thanks, willie

willie martinez

January 5th, 2010
3:52 am

and for today’s column you can mention me as a guy to pick up for next year’s season.

best, willie

Reggie

January 5th, 2010
5:18 am

Norwood should stay and Tom you are right, if we lose him, maybe he’ll go to a offensive coordinator who knows how to utilize him. Great talent, not used enough. Finneran should have been the #2 receiver, at least should have been thrown to more often to see what he could do with more opportunities. Clabo should stay. No good reason to get rid of him. We should try to get Terrence Cody from Alabama. No RB gained 100 yards while he played this year.

Marcus

January 5th, 2010
5:30 am

I disagree w/Nicholas on this list. Everyone else seems reasonable, but then for Jenkins, we would have to eat a big contract plus draft a replacement. Everyone else seems to have a contract ending or be a RFA for 2010.