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  1. 22 likes
    Hah! Fun with numbers. Let's see if I can play that game...
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    Regardless of the heart wrenching ending to our season - it was an amazing season - and our arrow is pointing up with the leadership on this team - not only in the coaching staff, but the players as well!
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    Reading his mocks are a waste of time imo. He's doesn't understand a thing about us, nor does he wish to. Though, imo, most mocks aren't worth reading either. The only one I even really care about each year is Mayock's right before the draft.
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    An alcoholic and recovering addict in party-city New Orleans - what could go wrong?
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    If the Falcons moved, the entire league would be dead to me.
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    I thougnt from the title farve was trash talking him lol. Good stuff. Keep training Rocky.
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    The reason nobody started a post about it is everyone realizes we dont need him. Pretty self explanatory.
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    Yep. And I get ESPN the Magazine with it too. I got tired of not being able to read all the Insider stories I was interested in. I didn't realize the Mag came with it too. Just a bonus. Great reading material when in the bathroom. And not to mention, you get the benefit of it because I share it with everyone here.
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    Back to back MVP's and a Super Bowl champion have a nice ring to it....
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    yeah, he still has 4 peak years left and I want all of them!!! Falcons Baby!!!
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    Round 1 Haason Reddick - Linebacker - Temple - 6'1" 237lbs 4.52 40yd dash, 36.5 vert, 11'01" broad, 24 reps Round 2 Ryan Anderson - EDGE - Alabama - 6'2" 253lbs Round 3 Marcus Maye - FS - Florida - 6' 210lbs
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    Payton, Saints have interest in Johnny Manziel http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000794771/article/sean-payton-saints-have-interest-in-johnny-manziel
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    AHere’s my Mock 2.0; I usually do one more before the draft. I’m not going over our complete roster in this one (too lazy and too much for you all to read, but below is the reasoning for my choices: --You’ll note that I didn’t pick a true DT or NT. I think the Poe signing, Hage and Jarrett on roster made that less of a need. Also the DTs are not that good. Decent. And I’m sure we’ll get a few UDFAs in (or late round, as mocks are never perfect); but despite a deep DT prospect pool, it’s unexciting. I also think Garland may be in our future plans as well. --No OG early. I think Lamp could be a legit pick, but in a weak class he will go higher than our pick. Plus, based on the way we’ve approached FA, I’m wondering if the Falcons don’t just like Wes, who they protected all last year from waiver claims. Again, some UDFAs and even I got one in the seventh. Also, look at our visits: lots of UDFA OGs are what we’re seen scouting, beyond Lamp --No TE, WR or backup QB. On the TEs, we re-signed Toilio; have Hooper; Tamme is still out there and I like Perkins. Perkins also played under Sark. I could see us drafting one—but it’d have to be a great value pick. I believe Engram is the only one that we’re associated with. WR just isn’t a need, and many we are looking at are UDFA STs types. Plus, don’t forget about Devin Fuller. So approaching this draft, I saw the need to add a FS—could be competition only, unless the right prospect was there early. Great draft for DBs btw. Very deep. Wouldn’t be surprised to see us get 2 DBs (1 FS and 1 cb); We need a better 3rd rb. And at least one Edge player. Also, looking at the rotation, with Upshaw, Shelby and Clayborn on roster, you have to consider their limitations. Clayborn can’t stay healthy, Shelby is coming off of injury and Upshaw, while solid is far from spectacular. I do think that the Jack Crawford signing makes the “need” less; but adding an explosive DE/DT tweener makes sense if the right guy is there. LB competition and depth is critical. I love Campbell, but we are thin at that position; and realistically it makes sense to 1) have competition 2) have quality depth—we rotate a lot and 3) add athleticism and length to our rotation I think that a trade down is a possibility, but i think the Falcons would want a next years pick as well to do that. I trade up is possible if they are in love with a guy like Reddick or possibly Lamp--depending on how we view Chester's spot; but that's hard to project. We just don't have a ton of holes--and that's a good thing. That said here’s the mock: Rd 1: Obi Melifonwu FS, UCONN, 6’4” 224 -4.4 forty, 44 inch vert and 141 inch broad jump are just incredible numbers for a long big FS that’s fluid. I’ve watched him over and over and he’s a lot better football player than he’s often given credit for. They lined him up at cb, even. Speaking of cb, I could easily see him dropping on the line against big wrs, like Mike Evans, to negate their size. Don’t worry Rico fans, he’ll get plenty of snaps This is my ultimate draft crush. I just can't stop thinking about Neal and him roaming the back field. I really like him in coverage as well. I think he'll do just fine for us. But on the flip side, if like Mayock thinks, he ends up being our "Brandon Browner," I would be just as happy. I love his length, speed and athleticism in a division full of big wrs and fast TEs Rd 2: Derek Rivers Youngstown State DE/OLB; 6’4” 248 --4.61 forty, 30 bench reps; 35 inch vert; 123 inch broad and 6.94 3 cone all scream Athlete with explosiveness. He may be a bit raw, but DQ can coach that up. He’s long and has a nice lean to his pass rush…Great pick on the Edge and even SLB for us. Could be a designated pass rusher, initially. And, that’s ok, too. I just love this kid. I can't explain it, but he is one of my favorite Edge guys. He kinda reminds me of Cliff Avril in a way. Roast me, I don't care Rd. 3: Tanoh Kpassagnon DE/DT, Villanova 6’7” 290 lbs -Just a great value pick based on length, athleticsm and strength. I don't think that he's a LEO type; he's more an athletic version of TJax in my mind. The more I study him, the more I can see him as an extremely athletic 300 pound guy who we use as DE on rushing downs and move inside. I know many fell in love with this guy, and I did to a point; but he could easily drop due to his “raw-ness,” lack of big time tape; and really what is his position? He’s tall, leanish even at 290; but he’s not really built like a DT. He’s a guy you have to be willing to be patient and creative with. A guy like DQ is a good one from him to learn from He’s a 3-5 sack guy who might develop into a 6-8 sack guy. Still valuable Rd 4: Alex Anzalone OLB, UF, 6’3” 241 lbs -Fast and fluid. Obviously, DQ knows him from his UF days. His injury history is a bit concerning; but wow what a talent! Great coverage ability and rangy. I see him as a WLB, who could play other spots if need be. He’s depth and competition for Campbell. You need quality depth at LB in our system. Having Debo, Campbell and Anzalone will ensure that we do. I just love this kid. He's tenacious Rd 5: Jamaal Williams RB, BYU; 6’0” 212 4.59 forty -He’s my draft crush. And, no I’m not saying cut Freeman. We need depth and a powerful back in our 3 headed monster. Just a bully who seeks punishment. Great frame to bulk up to 220+; but watching his tape you just see a guy—who similar to Freeman—just knows how to run the ball. He’s got great field awareness; and lowers that head seeking contact, while keeping his legs churning. He’s not a burner, but he has enough speed to get through the hole. Good hands. Like all rookies, he’ll need to get better at pass protection, but in the 5th round he’s great value. May steal touches; particularly when we want to grind the ball out a bit. Good prospect to develop. Interestingly enough, the way Sark uses his FBs at time, you could see Jamaal in that role. During Sark’s collegiate career he’s had that undersized FB who’s really an extra rb in at times. Rd 7: Cam Keizur OG/OC Portland State; 6’4” 322 (29 Bench and 35.5 vert) -Short armed scrapper. Who can play OC as well as OG. Good fit for a zbs. Could be an UDFA Realistically, I could see Obi as a starter. Rivers, Tanoh and Anzalone as major contributors. We rotate our DL and LBs a lot. It’s critical to get quality depth. Of the three that I mentioned I think Tanoh will be the most developmental guy that we draft in this scenario. But he could pay off in the future. Williams is an interesting guy. So physical as a rb. Will he steal carries? Could we see the Falcons moving on from either Teco or Free in near future if he ascends? This is a low-cost/high payout type pick. Plus injuries to backs occur. If Teco pulls a hammy, Jamaal and Free would be a good “thunder and lightning” tandem. Ditto if Free gets hurt. He brings a different dynamic to our rotation. Cam Keizur is just one of those developmental guys. Hard to find vids on him but I like the guy. I like his explosiveness and sometimes these guys become very good. I hope that you enjoyed the read. Fire away!
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    Meh seems like more a Smitty regime-type draft than Quinn. Players that can all be useful but don't really move the meter either way.
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    Interesting article. Makes me wonder if Derek Rivers is a legit first round option for the Falcons. Sheds a different perspective on this years pass rushers. http://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2017/03/26/nfl-draft-2017-edge-rushers-by-the-numbers/ There are two types of NFL draft analysts; those that put a lot of stock in the athletic testing numbers and those who care very little about them. For transparency, I fall in the first category for positions on the defensive side of the ball. I think the tape and total college productivity are extremely important, but I firmly believe the things that can’t be coached (Size, Speed, Agility, and Explosiveness) are critical for a player’s ability to translate at the next level. There is a lot of work out there that examines specific athletic testing and its relationship to success (See Justis Mosqueda’s work on Force Players at playmakermentality.com). I truly appreciate this work, but I wanted to create something that takes the athletic testing and combines it with productivity over the course of a college career producing a baseline number that can be compared player to player. I’m calling this the Chipper score, meaning put a bunch of numbers in the hopper and see what comes out the other side. This scoring system is not meant to predict success at the next level, but more so to provide an understanding of what type of prospect you’re looking at as a whole. The Chipper score is created as follows: I take eight combine metrics (Height, Weight, Arm Length, 40, 3-cone, Vertical Jump, Broad Jump, and Bench Press) and use the percentiles for each according to the great work over at mockdraftable.com. Then I take an overall percentile average for all eight categories, take an athletic average (using the last five metrics), and add in the productivity score. The productivity score for Edge Rushers, and Defensive Tackles is created by taking (total Sacks x 2 + TFL x 2 + Total Tackles) divided by (Games Played). Then I take that number and multiply it by 10. So what you are left with is (average testing percentile + average athletic testing percentile + productivity score = Chipper Score). Here is an example: These are two of the highest testing guys I’ve charted and you can see how they compare. Beasley tested smaller in size, but when you take out the size metrics his percentile balloons due to his exceptional athletic testing. The correlation makes sense, as you would assume the smaller, lighter body type has more of a chance to excel in the speed and agility drills. Mack on the other hand, is pretty consistent in the metric testing across the board and posted insane production stats, which edges him over Beasley. I charted what are generally the consensus high end edge rushers and defensive tackles in the 2017 class, then went back and charted all the first round picks from 2011-2016 in the same positions. There are a few names off these lists due to lack of testing results (Dee Ford for example), but most of the names are here: The purpose of this exercise was to examine this year’s edge-rushers in comparison with previous first-round draft picks to get a high-level overview of their profiles. You can’t replace the tape and there are many things that can’t be measured by stats such as football intelligence, hand usage, scheme fit and whether a player is dealing with double/triple teams or benefiting from a better player drawing such attention. I have watched the tape on almost all of the prospects and have generated opinions absent of the testing, but not all competition is created equal. You cannot know how much impact solid coaching and being drafted into a good situation can make or break a player. Thus I understand the blanket eye rolls that come your way when you start talking about testing numbers. However, this information does give an idea of unteachable abilities, and how those traits translated to their college productivity. If we take those results and compare with the hits and misses of the past we can at least begin to have an idea of the player absent of the tape. For the Falcons, I wanted to take a look at a few names of edge-rushers that have already met with by the team along with a couple of other names that would fit the scheme and then give them by the numbers comparisons. The three notable names would be Derek Rivers, Tyus Bowser, and Tanoh Kpassagnon. I’m leaving Haason Reddick off this list, one because I think he’s ideally a Mike or Jack LB in a 3-4 defense and because I can’t see a scenario where he’s available at No 31. Derek Rivers might be the hottest name trending on Falcons draft twitter over the last couple of weeks. He’s a small school guy coming out of FCS Youngstown State who performed well during the Senior Bowl and surprised at the combine. Number Comp: Vic Beasley Both players have similar scores in total average, both being on the low end in size and arm length. Beasley tests higher athletically, but Rivers actually has the third highest athletic score I’ve charted. The college productivity is pretty similar as well and I think this sheds some light on why Dan Quinn has already met with Rivers. Tyus Bowser has moved his way into several first-round mock drafts after a strong showing at the combine. He projects as a bit of a raw prospect with the athletic ability to turn into an impact player. Number Comp: Bruce Irvin Bruce Irvin was thought to have been over-drafted by the Seahawks at the time, but he was a specific fit for what Seattle was looking for and turned into a very productive pass rusher. Bowser tests slightly higher athletically with a little less college productivity, but could be brought along slowly, as Irvin was, and become a solid player. Tonah Kpassagnon is a bit of a project player coming out of Villanova, but has the size and frame that very seldom comes along. Unlike the rest of these names, I don’t think he’s a day one pick, but the fact that Atlanta brought him in is a reason to keep him on the radar day two. Number Comp: Anthony Barr Tanoh is a tough comp as his size is a huge outlier, and his averages are impacted by sub-par athleticism. From a size and productivity perspective Barr is very similar, though Barr tested almost 10 points higher athletically. Takkarist McKinley is a name being talked about in the first or second round out of UCLA. The questions on him have been his lack of bend and ability to corner. Number Comp: Shaq Lawson These two compare pretty closely with Lawson edging out Mckinley athletically by 6 points. Shaq was a bigger guy, but Tak makes up for the height with exceptional arm length. Charles Harris is an interesting player. He has received day one hype, but tested as one of the poorest athletes I’ve charted. He did improve on some of these numbers at his pro day, but for the purposes of this metric I use the combine results. Number Comp: Jarvis Jones Both of these guys were very productive in the SEC making memorable disruptive plays, but they both tested out as terrible athletes compared to their pier group. Harris’ tape does show explosion at times, but his ability to corner and counter at the next level is greatly called into question with results like this. He would concern me in round one. Taco Charlton has been up and down the draft boards, but generally is considered to be a day one prospect. He has elite size and decent athleticism, but was rather average when it comes to production. Number Comp: Cameron Jordan Jordan tested very closely to what Charlton did both in athleticism and productivity. He was a late round one guy who has put together a solid career. I could see the same for Taco. These are not all perfect correlations, and I am by no means suggesting these players are the same based on numbers. However, I think it does provide some context as to what players with similar results in the past became. This is a tool to be used as part of the evaluation process, but certainly not predictor of future success.
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    Only support GA teams. When the hockey teams left they died the next day for me.
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    If T.J Watt is on the board I want em. Seems like the perfect fit personality wise to join the brotherhood. May never be as good as his brother but I can see him putting up Patrick Kerney type numbers opposite of Vic.
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    That may not seem like a big deal, but not a lot of guys are able to identify the problem and work on it. Willis is a hard worker and has tremendous character from what I’ve seen from various amounts of articles on the internet. This to me is important because that means Jordan Willis has a higher ceiling than I initially had anticipated and if he is truly a hard worker, knows the problem and has the level of athleticism that he displayed at the combine, then Willis could be among the top overall edge defenders in this entire class.
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    I just put pix of 8 superstars on our team and left off a few more and another almost dozen who are very good. Falcons roster is LOADED!!! w/ hopefully more to come in draft #noexcuses
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    Happy birthday to the man, the myth, the legend.... @Hive sop dap You don't even post here anymore but we'll never forget you.
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    The Panthers won 6 games. Maybe less tweets and more wins would be better.
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    I commend DQ for graciously answering these SB questions over and over again
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    I'm sick of people talking bad about Brooks Reed. the man can play 3 positions, special teams and when given meaningful playing time always does better than expected. if they cut him, they cut him, but it definitely won't be because of effort or ability..
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    I'll remember the fear I felt he's breakout for a TD on nearly every snap he had. Good home run threat, and solid back.
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    The team is going to be even hungrier this year. They've tasted the biggest stage AND the biggest defeat. While I fully understand all the variables and luck involved, I'd honestly be pretty surprised if we do not make it back to a Super Bowl within 3 years.
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    At the end of the day it's pretty petty considering the larger issues at hand but it's just another example of Trump saying one thing and doing another.
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    would you be happy w/ 1-31) Derek Rivers, OLB/DE - Youngstown State 2-63) Dorian Johnson, OG - Pitt ???? I think I would be happy with that. Rivers starts out as a situational passrusher and Dorian Johnson competes for starting RG spot. Eventually Johnson would be a starter if not his first year.
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    Alford after getting extended has become more focused and better overall. That is rare in today's NFL. I like where he is heading.
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    Excellent players in your mock. Just not sure that many of them will still be available when the Falcons pick. Obi will probably still be available when the Falcons pick in Round 1, but I'm not so sure that Rivers, Kpassagnon, Anzalone, and Williams will still be there at the end of your projected rounds. Although they might get drafted in the rounds you indicated, I think that they will probably go earlier in those particular rounds.
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    is awesome. He has the right attitude. So glad he is our our team! Dan Quinn Isn’t Holding Back The Falcons coach suffered greater loss last season than just an epic Super Bowl defeat (his second). And he’s used that to help him move on by Greg Bishop Super Bowl LI in two minutes Take a quick look back at Super Bowl LI in this time-lapse of the big game. Super Bowl LI in two minutes Take a quick look back at Super Bowl LI in this time-lapse of the big game. Silence greets Dan Quinn in the coaches’ wing at Falcons headquarters late on the night after Super Bowl LI. He knows what he must do, and he knows it will hurt. Yet he marches into his office on Feb. 6, closes the door, draws the blinds, cues up the footage, hits play and . . . begins to grieve. Again. On his office television the Patriots’ comeback unfolds in all its improbable detail. Watching this horror movie reminds Quinn of the photograph stuffed in the pocket of his khakis, the one he carried throughout Atlanta’s postseason run. Few people know about the snapshot or its significance, drawn from the other loss that defined Quinn’s second season as the Falcons’ coach. The photo is of his father, James, who died last June at 83. The obituary that ran in the Daily Record of Morris County, N.J., told of his long career as a business executive, his love for his six children, and how he played golf and traveled in retirement. What it didn’t say is that Dan Quinn owes his career to his father, who dropped young Dan off at Giants training camp on numerous summer mornings, the boy’s attention lingering not on the players but on their coach. Bill Parcells captivated Quinn with his precision, his presence and the respect he commanded. That’s partly why Quinn went into coaching, and as he ascended the ranks—from William & Mary to VMI to Hofstra, all the way to the Super Bowl sidelines—his father attended as many games as his work schedule allowed. • DAN QUINN: From William & Mary to the Super Bowl “This season, yeah, it was different,” Quinn says. “My dad has been through a lot of football with me over the years. That’s why I had the picture, to make sure he was in my pocket at the Super Bowl, watching down.” As the game unfolds in his office Quinn is flooded with pleasant memories and unpleasant ones. In the weeks that follow, he will watch his team’s epic collapse 10 times. The 25-point advantage always dwindles. His defense always tires. New England wideout Julian Edelman always grabs that ball between three defenders and myriad limbs, inches off the ground. The Patriots always win 34–28 to complete the greatest comeback in NFL championship history, almost exactly two years after they topped the Seahawks in similar fashion, erasing a double-digit deficit to win in the final seconds. Seattle’s defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLIX? The same Dan Quinn. Despite the similarities, that first loss didn’t exactly prepare Quinn for the second, and here in his office he needs a moment after his initial review to process what he watched. This one hurts more than anything he could have expected, like something from Mortal Kombat, his heart ripped out from his chest. (Finish him! Fatality!) He needs that. He needs to hate-watch the failure from start to finish and face his feelings so that on ensuing viewings he can take a more clinical approach and examine what went wrong. He’s working toward an important distinction, getting past the defeat, not over it. He will never get over it. “The aftermath, you have to own it,” he says. Shortly thereafter, Quinn, 46, will decide to replace his defensive coordinator, Richard Smith. When his offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, takes the 49ers’ head coach job, Quinn will hire Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian. Quinn will call Sarkisian’s former boss, Nick Saban, and they will discuss how to overcome a devastating loss—like the Crimson Tide’s blown 14-point lead against Clemson in the 2017 national championship game—by looking back, but not for long. Quinn will also phone Steve Kerr, whose Warriors fumbled a 3–1 series lead against the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. Kerr will tell him to hold onto the pain, to find motivation within anguish. Quinn takes a vacation to Hawaii with his wife, Stacey. On the beach he doesn’t consider his career narrative, how a handful of plays in two title games mark the difference between his wearing three rings (he won one in with the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII) and his suffering two of the most crushing NFL defeats ever. Instead, he looks out across the water and thinks about two things: his dad and next season. * * * Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP Quinn’s tenure with Atlanta began barely 24 hours after he suffered his first mortifying Super Bowl loss. On Feb. 2, 2015, the day after he watched the Patriots hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Glendale, Ariz., Quinn flew to Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s Atlanta mansion, where execs had gathered for dinner. Before his arrival they implored one another to take it easy on their guest, whose team had just thrown away a championship on a last-minute interception. Still, even before the appetizers arrived, someone asked Quinn what every football fan was wondering: Why had Seattle thrown the ball on the goal line, down 28-24 with 26 seconds remaining? Without pause the coach calmly explained the thinking: three downs left, a play they liked . . . The body language, the eye contact, the honesty—immediately the Falcons knew they had their coach. “If that had been me, I would have been in bed with the blankets over my head,” says Atlanta’s CEO, Rich McKay, who was at the dinner. “Our business is set up for those that can handle failure more than those who can handle success. His answer caught us all off guard.” The dinner lasted for hours, allowing Quinn to showcase his personality. Here was the guy who sauntered onto the practice fields blasting Tupac and wearing cleats, ready to participate in drills; screamed “GATA!” (for “get after their *****”) at his defenses; who taught his players they were brothers and treated them like sons. When Tyree Allison, a defensive tackle at Hofstra in the late ’90s, suffered kidney failure during his senior year, Quinn urged him to ignore the doctors who said he might not suit up again. Allison eventually became the first of Quinn’s college players to make an NFL roster. When Allison had a son, he named him Quinn. Thinking back to the dinner, Blank says, “There wasn’t anything I didn’t like.” A former defensive linemen himself at Salisbury (Md.) State, Quinn had learned under Steve Mariucci (with the 49ers), Saban (Dolphins) and Pete Carroll (Sea-hawks). In Atlanta he immediately set out to mesh his philosophies with those of general manager Thomas Dimitroff. It was Spurs GM R.C. Buford, a friend of Dimitroff’s, who recommended that the Falcons hire Mike Forde, a high-performance consultant who previously worked with San Antonio and who was formerly the director of football operations at Chelsea, of the English Premier League. Forde ran Quinn and Dimitroff through a 150-variable evaluation that held a microscope to each department in the franchise, scrutinizing everything from what type of people they wanted to hire (driven, high-energy) to their actual football personnel needs (more speed on defense) to the makeup of those players (hyper-competitive). That assessment led to their formal “Corporate Knowledge Capture” (or shared vision), an approach that more closely resembled something you’d find at Google than in, say, Green Bay. “They both had an openness to marry their vision,” Forde says. “Most teams carry on with business as usual; most have blind spots.” • ALBERT BREER: The Shared Vision That Saved the Atlanta Falcons The Falcons peeled out to a 6–1 start in 2015, their season unfolding as if drawn up in their CKC. But then came the second-half collapse, seven losses in the final nine games, landing them outside the playoffs. After that season’s final team meeting, Quinn noticed two players exchanging cell phone numbers. It struck him that after five months together, they still needed to swap digits. That off-season Quinn read a book, Legacy, about the sustained success of New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks. He wanted to transform the culture of his franchise, and he marked up the margins with notes, drawing ideas on leadership. The book inspired Quinn to enact immediate change. He re-arranged the locker room, eliminating an inner row of lockers that divided the space, and mixed up position groups. He added a Ping-Pong table and a basketball hoop to foster interaction. He put his players through team-building exercises with Acumen, an outfit of former Navy SEALs. Quinn also asked Matt Ryan, the franchise QB drafted with the No. 3 pick in 2008, to help bring his teammates closer. Ryan organized dinners and workouts and checked in with the cornerbacks as often as he did his receivers. He became, basically, more like Quinn. “We connected on a different level,” Ryan says, “and that showed.” By training camp the coach could feel the difference from his new approaches. Borrowing a line from Martin Luther King Jr., Quinn told the Falcons he wanted to turn a neighborhood into a brotherhood. And they believed him, regardless of whether they found his latest slogan—THE HOOD, splashed across hats, for example—cheesy or profound. “I knew that part of our [makeup] needed attention,” Quinn says. “You had to force it a little bit.” The Falcons lost their 2016 opener, against the Buccaneers, then rattled off four wins. Their defense was faster, their roster was tougher and Ryan was on his way to being named MVP. The “soft souls” Dimitroff wanted excised from the roster were gone, replaced by players selected in Quinn’s image and graded weekly on his CT scale for their combination of competitiveness and toughness. Again Atlanta stumbled; after another strong start they took three losses in their next five games. Quinn made another change, taking over the defensive play-calling in Week 11, and after the switch (despite starting three rookies: free safety Keanu Neal, middle linebacker Deion Jones and nickelback Brian Poole) the unit went from 28th to 16th in yards allowed, from 29th to seventh in points. Atlanta captured the NFC’s No. 2 seed and won two home playoff games. In the conference championship, the Falcons’ young defense shut down the Packers’ habanero-hot offense. Quinn had never heard the Georgia Dome that loud. Afterward, on the field, he told Allison that he wanted one more win, for his dad, as he patted the picture in his pocket. When the team bus departed for the airport, headed to the Super Bowl in Houston, some 20,000 supporters lined the streets. Dimitroff sat in the front seat on the right side, with Quinn to his left, their beliefs optimized, their team transformed. Goosebumps dotted their arms. Fans had tears in their eyes. Almost two years after his dinner interview, Quinn could appreciate the symmetry. Same game. Same opponent. Same stakes. He vowed this time would be different. * * * Photo: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images Julian Edelman’s improbable, acrobatic catch in Super Bowl 51. Quinn’s performance consultant, Forde, sent the coach a text message before Super Bowl LI: “Leave it all out there, man.” “We will,” Quinn typed back. “Not holding s--- back.” The next four hours remain a blur, the particulars only crystallizing for Quinn with each review. After the cathartic first look in his office, he’s focusing on specific plays and schemes. At first he wonders if he perhaps played too much zone defense in the second half, but he’s fine with 30 snaps of man compared with 27 snaps of zone. He consumes Edelman’s catch from every angle, the acrobatics growing more incredible each time. He pays particular attention to one sequence with 3:56 remaining in the fourth quarter when the Falcons, leading 28–20, drove to the Patriots’ 23-yard-line and elected to throw on second down. Ryan took a sack, and a subsequent holding call pushed Atlanta out of field goal range. It’s been widely argued that the Falcons blew the Super Bowl right there, and Quinn was torched on social media, but the coach says he heard the second-down play call going in and he had no issue with it. He wanted to remain aggressive, not holding s--- back. “Throwing a pass to our best player [Julio Jones], from the league MVP,” he says, “that usually works out pretty good for us.” • EDELMAN’S CATCH: Gravity-Defying, Jaw-Dropping, History-Making Hindsight provides a painful lesson in clock management. “We still had an eight-point lead,” Quinn says. “We could have stopped them on defense. They didn’t have to get the two-point conversion.” He sighs. “The game was not won or lost on that [sequence]. That’s important to note.” When he met with his team the day after the game, Quinn peddled positives. He told his assistants that their best season, “the job of a lifetime,” was ahead of them. He scribbled the names of all his second-, third- and fourth-year players on a white board, highlighting the team’s youth and promise. He praised Ryan for his off-field growth and asked his younger players to connect with their teammates this off-season the way their quarterback did last spring. He planned another round of SEAL training, plus additional sessions of corporate optimization with Dimitroff. He even reread Legacy to scrutinize what he’d written in the margins. “To get to three [Super Bowls] in four years is crazy,” Mariucci says. “He may never get back there. You say you can, but you’re not guaranteed that. Ask Dan Marino. The next year, it starts over. [Quinn] knows that.” The Falcons return the MVP; the best athlete in pro football, Jones; and a young defense that shut down Tom Brady for three quarters. But it’s fair to wonder how Shanahan’s departure will impact the offense and what kind of Super Bowl hangover awaits. “Look at last year, with Cam Newton and the Panthers,” says Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner. “[Carolina] was the same kind of team, scoring ridiculously [in their 2015 Super Bowl run], then they reverted back to who they were before. Last season—is that who Matt Ryan is now? Or was he on some unbelievable hot streak?” Quinn, the optimist’s optimist, looked back in order to move forward. He doesn’t plan to watch the Super Bowl again. He says that Falcons fans approach him at the airport, or at dinner, and tell him that last season was the greatest year they ever had. “We’re with you,” they say. Now Quinn better understands what Carroll meant when he told his team after Super Bowl XLIX that they could be better off for losing—it all depended on how they responded. “Nothing prepares you for [the future] like what we went through,” Quinn says. “We’re going for it, man. We’re not backing off.” This, Quinn says, is what his father would have wanted: You stomach unfathomable pain and rise once more. He’s at the NFL scouting combine when he says this. Then he stands, walks into a room filled with team employees and asks the question that encompasses all that matters: “What’s next?” http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2017/03/29/nfl-dan-quinn-atlanta-falcons-super-bowl-51-collapse-not-holding-back
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    Didn't see it posted http://www.wsbtv.com/sports/falcons-julio-jones-pushing-project-to-add-jobs-in-gwinnett-county/506005301 GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones is pushing a project he says will add hundreds of jobs in Gwinnett County. Jones spoke to lawmakers Wednesday at the state capitol. The mixed-use development, near the Mall of Georgia, is expected to bring more than 300 jobs. Jones also told lawmakers the Falcons are working on bringing the city of Atlanta a Super Bowl win. We're working on getting the chemistry back as a team and get the ball rolling, and it starts in April,” Jones said. Governor Deal also tweeted a picture with Jones, who gave him a signed jersey. © 2017 Cox Media Group.
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    Let's be honest...if we won the coin toss and scored a td to win, we would love the current rule.
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    Hey guys! Back here with my 2nd mock of the season. My initial mock-draft I went in a different direction than most and gave us a TE in the first round (David Njoku) who may fall but is a great player and would likely be the BPA in our draft position. With this one I went a bit more conservative. I waited a bit on a pass rusher, arguably our biggest need, due to the fact that the drop off from the best pass rushers in the class and the middling guys is pretty wide. I feel we would be better served addressing a different need than reaching for a pass-rusher at 31 when we could get a decent one coming back around at pick 63 without much of a difference in ability. With the picks I chose I think we'll have contributors early and continue the trend of a young, fast, defensive unit and hopefully land right back in the position we were in last year! Thanks for having a look guys and please let me know what you think in the comments! This one is definitely a bit more reserved than the last but I'd be happy if the picks fell this way: 2017 NFL Draft: Round 1 (31): Obi Melifonwu, FS Connecticut 6'4 225lbs. Obi Melifonwu's draft stock sky rocketed post combine. To put it simply, he's an athletic freak. He posted a 4.40 40 yd dash, 44 inch vert, and 11'3 in the broad jump at 6'4 and almost 230lbs. Freakish numbers. Diving into Obi's tape, he seems very fluid in space. The speed shows up on film. He was used a lot in coverage at UConn and with his athletic ability some teams have even been working him out as a corner. He's a bit raw right now but the size/athleticism/coverage ability is there for him to be a FS in our scheme. He'd have to sit and learn behind Rico for awhile but I think his potential will be too much for Dan Quinn to pass on. Obi is like a mold-able piece of clay and with Dan Quinn's uncanny ability to develop young defensive talent, I think he can be really good and contribute quickly similarly to how another exceptional tester from UConn in Byron Jones is fairing in Dallas. Round 2 (63): Tyus Bowser, DE/OLB Houston 6'3 250lbs. Tyus Bowser is an incredible explosive, quick twitch athlete who saw a significant rise in his stock during senior bowl week where his movement skills in space were on full display, giving an extra dimension to his game that most scouts weren't aware of. He has very loose hips excelling with change of direction. He can play with his hand in the dirt or from a two point stance, his athletic testing was very exceptional in the combine, he tested in the percentile Dan Quinn looks for in his defensive athletes. Bowsers first two years on campus he split time between football and basketball but exploded his junior year with 50 tackles, 6.5 for a loss and 6 sacks. He was looking to continue upon is momentum for his senior season but an injury caused him to miss some time. He played in 8 games that year yet still managed 8.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss earning 2nd team all conference honors. He may need some time but I think he can quickly become an upgrade over someone like Brooks Reed at LEO. Round 3 (95): Bucky Hodges, TE Virginia Tech 6'7 260lbs. Bucky Hodges possesses a rare combination of size, strength, speed and athleticism. Originally a dual-threat QB who was converted to TE at V-Tech, he played all over the receiving line as a mismatch weapon both in the slot and out wide, he's pretty much an oversized receiver at this point. He's very raw and needs work as he's only been playing the position for 3 years but traits like his are going to be hard to pass up on. On the field, he plays with good speed. He's a natural glider and excels at getting over the top of defenders, tracking the ball and then hitting that second gear once the ball is in his hands. Pretty much non-existent as a blocker at this point which is a bit puzzling for someone who seems exceptionally strong and his hands get a bit iffy at times but he's got all the tools to be a Jordan-Reed style receiving threat with proper coaching. If he wasn't so raw he could have been a 1st or 2nd round pick but completeness isn't why Hodges will go in the first 3, its the rare traits and overall potential that could make him a potent weapon alongside Hooper in a double TE set. Round 4 (135) Avery Moss, DE Youngstown St. 6'3 265lbs. Youngstown St. has exploded onto the scene in the NFL draft thanks to the work of pass rush duo Derek Rivers and Avery Moss. While Derek Rivers gets most of the attention, Avery Moss has had a nice college career at Youngstown St. as well. His senior season he blew up with 59 tackles, 17.5 for loss, 10.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. Moss has long-limbs and uses them well with creating separation with offenisve lineman. He's an exceptional athlete displaying excellent bend and quickness around the edge. He was recruited out of high school for both football and basketball. His burst off the line instantly catches your eye when watching him on film but he may rely too much on his explosiveness and athleticism at times and his technique can get sloppy. He's a very good player but character concerns are going to be a real thing given he was removed from Nebraska's football team after an off the field incident. He's got talent, no question. He'd be a much higher draft pick if it wasn't for an off the field issue which landed him at Youngstown. He's a potential starter. Round 5 (175) Jessamen Dunker, OG Tennessee St. 6'4 306lbs. Jessamen Dunker is one of the only guards in the draft class that is a perfect fit in our ZBS on offense. Dunker is a great athlete for a guy his size, he does his best work in space where he can fully extend and get his long arms on guys. He's very good at tracking LBs and Safeties in the box and picking up twists and blitzes. I feel he needs to get a bit stronger to handle NFL lineman and he's extremely raw so it'll take awhile until he sees the field but if this guy is going to succeed anywhere in the NFL, its in Atlanta. We run the perfect scheme to highlight exactly what this guy is good at and he's too good of an athlete to not take a chance on. This is a pick that will pay off 2 seasons down the line. Round 7 (251): Krishawn Hogan, WR Marian University 6'4 220lbs. Krishawn Hogan of Marian University is an interesting one. The only draftee from the NAIA invited to the combine and it isn't too hard to see why with his size and production at the WR position regardless of the level of competition. During his run at Marian in Indianapolis he had 263 receptions, 4391 yards, 42 receiving touchdowns and 25 rushing touchdowns. I'm super interested to see how he performs at the combine and if he tests well he could very well see himself vaulted out of the late rounds and into discussion for rounds 3-5. I think a lot of people will like what they see regardless of the competition he has prototypical WR1 size. Let's see if he can run and take a shot on the guy. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Well, there you have it guys. My 2nd mock of this season. Thanks for having a look! I went a bit more conservative the 2nd time around instead of going with a way out in left field first round pick in David Njoku the first time around. FS may not be as pressing a need as DE is but Obi's athletic ability and potential is too much to pass up on if he's available at pick 31. Our first rounder is basically an early 2nd and I think we can find a good LEO later on in the draft instead of reaching on our first rounder for an inferior pass rusher simply because its a need. I think I'm getting a bit closer with this one, hopefully you guys like it. Please leave me some feedback and let me know what you guys think. Thanks again everyone!
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    3 years? Cmon BC! How about 10 months or so?!
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    Love this guy, so glad Matty Ice proved me right. My friends use to swear me down he was the reason for our sturggles. They ate crow all year and he's ready to serve the some more Rise Up!
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    Well I've lived in NY all my life, so their location isn't exactly the most important thing to me. Yeah I'd still be as rabid a fan as ever.
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    The content of this forum is now like 70% complaining about Trump, 20% defending Trump, 10% miscellaneous. And I would like a pass rusher or a free safety.