TheDirtyWordII

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TheDirtyWordII last won the day on February 6 2012

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  1. Remember though that many termed this years MVP race the closest and most contested in recent memory. And votes were not due until January 4. Also...AP hit a significant/basic milestone related to his candidacy (2,000 rushing yards) and quite frankly entered the season as the pre-eminent RB in the NFL coming off an ACL tear. His story was a 16 week journey and his PR preceded him. JJ Watt I don't think ever won the MVP award...he finished 2nd the year ARod won his 2nd MVP. No? I also think this...while 2016 performance is taken into account by the players to a large degree, pedigree and stature in the game do matter. Ultimately, if you asked 100 NFL players to rank QB's in terms of who they would want...I think Ryan comes in 3rd against Brady/ARod for two reasons. 1) His track record and legacy against those two QB's just isn't as significant and 2) he's doesn't seek the spotlight or have the magnetic personality of a Cam Newton.
  2. What will be interesting about Ryan's placement on this list is when did the actual surveys get conducted. What I remember was that Ryan's MVP candidacy was largely unsupported until the real late stages of the season. Consider that the Falcons kind of snuck into the #2 seed when Seattle lost unexpectedly to Arizona in Week 16 (12/24). I think if the Falcons wind up without a playoff bye which kind of anoints the Top 4 teams heading into the playoffs, Ryan gets shafted. It was that week between Week 16-17, where all of a sudden - Ryan garnered strong consideration and even then, I felt the press was looking for reasons to NOT give Ryan the MVP until they realized that they couldn't really maintain credibility if they didn't. As such, if this voting occurred prior to Christmas - g-dawg may be right.
  3. My ranking (in terms of how I think it'll shake out) based on who is left: 10. Odell Beckham 9. Von Miller 8. Ezekiel Elliott 7. Antonio Brown 6. Khalil Mack 5. Julio Jones 4. Le'Veon Bell 3. Matt Ryan 2. Aaron Rodgers 1. Tom Brady
  4. Saints: Drew Brees is still Drew Brees. And on any given week, the Saints are capable of beating anyone. I think adding Adrian Peterson was an extremely shrewd move because it really gives them the ability now to at least try and play slow-ball. But they've been hit by some key injuries already with Max Unger, Terron Armstead, Nick Fairley. While Unger is expected back by Week 1...the Saints have been notoriously slow starters out of the gates in recent years (1 September win the last 3 seasons) and they simply can't incur another one in a stacked division. So keeping an eye on their health situation in TC bears watching. Defensively, the Saints are certainly trying to get better on that side of the ball (12 Day 1 or 2 picks since 2013). And they showed signs of life last year. if there is any team in the NFCS that I think can align to give the Falcons a go of it - it's the Saints. But I also think they've underachieved of late and while Sean Payton is still in my mind one of the better HC's in the NFL...sometimes the message (and the messenger) grow stale and I wouldn't be surprised either if an early season slate of 3 road games through the first 4 weeks (@MIN, @CAR, @MIA) with the one home game against NE derailed them and put them behind the proverbial 8-ball. Panthers: When Cam Newton is on...this team hums like few others. And that team and city will follow him to the end of the earth and back. But of all the mobile QB's to come into the NFL the last 20-25 years - Cam was by far the most physical - both in terms of physically punishing and physically punished. His accuracy nosedived into Vick territory in 2016 and a March shoulder surgery means that tightening up mechanics and developing rhythm with his receivers will be crash coursed in TC. Christian McCaffrey should add spice and variety to this offense and take the load off Cam to a certain degree on the ground - he'll need to because Jonathan Stewart seems like he's in Michael Turner 2012ville. On defense - significant contributors at or over the age of 30 include; Thomas Davis (34), Julius Peppers (37), Charles Johnson (31), Mario Addison (30) not to mention their defensive heart and soul feels like he is one concussion away from never seeing the playing field again. It's not that the Panthers can't still be dangerous. But it also feels like their path to success is really narrow. Bucs: Lots of folks are jumping on this bandwagon. I get it - they could be this years version of the Raiders. But I'm also wary of whether Winston will truly be provided the freedom and the reigns to the offense necessary to take advantage of the talent infusion on that side of the ball. Yes - D-Jax and OJ Howard are great additions. But last year - Winston threw 8 INT's in the season first 4 games while averaging 44 attempts/game. After that - Koetter and the Bucs limited Winston to 32 attempts/game. Yes - they tried to balance the offense and not put so much on his plate. But I think the level of trust in Winston is still tenuous. Derek Carr who emerged as a legitimate star his 3rd season in the league posted an INT% of 2.1% his first two seasons. Winston was a 3%. And even insofar as Carr not showing a propensity to turn the ball over early in his career...he still averaged just 7.03 YPA. They let him throw the ball 19 times over a distance of 30 yards in 2016. Winston - 29 such passes in 2016 (with 5 INT's). For me - great QB play is the rising tide that raises all boats...and while the Bucs have added weaponry...I Winston yet at a stage to fully leverage it? On defense, the Bucs have a lot of very good pieces (McCoy, David, Hargreaves, Spence, Alexander amongst others) and I suspect they should be trending upward in terms of the NFL defensive standing. But playing in the NFC South means you face the best offenses in the NFL more often and I can't see the Bucs being able to put the brakes on the Falcons (or Saints).
  5. Falcons: It's simply not just Freeman and Coleman's production that make them the best RB duo, not just in the NFC South, but the entire NFL...it's their complimentary yet diverse style/talents that set them apart. Bucs: I'm going to chalk 2016 to being a bad year. But Doug Martin was All-Pro in 2015 and Charles Sims was a nice complimentary piece particularly in the passing game. With Jacquizz Rodgers also in the fold, I think this group bounces back. Panthers: I'll caveat this by saying that I'm including Cam in this equation due to how prominent a role he plays in their run game. Stewart is mostly spent IMO and while McCaffrey has a very nice pedigree coming out of school, I can't rank them ahead of the Bucs until we see what he can do at the NFL level. Room to move up here though. Saints: AP might be able to make a difference here. I don't want to count him out. But both him and Ingram feel like they have a lot of miles on them and also, that we've seen the best they have to offer. Plus, Drew Brees hasn't had a season with fewer than 625 pass attempts since 2009. So a balanced offense this is not.
  6. Ryan - Elevated his game to elite Brady/Manning prime years level. Was it a career year or is that who is now is? We'll see. But he was epic and deserves the #1 slot Brees - He's still as dangerous as ever. Who feels comfortable having him on the Saints? I don't. Newton - He's hated here on this board, but when he's on, there are few if any better. His issue is being/staying on. Positive/negative emotional momentum weigh on his ability. Winston - Young gun - lot of promise, but far from a finished product. Wouldn't be 4th in any other division but the names above say it all - NFC South is QB Central.
  7. I think Ryan is going to be surprisingly low. In some of the in-show 'promos', they actually show some of the ballots and in freezing on them, Ryan actually didn't appear in many Top 10's. He was #1 on one ballot, but in many he was left out. That said, some of the players I saw written on some of those ballots were ridiculous. Thomas Davis at # 9, Jordan Reed at #4, AJ Green at #1 (twice). Julio gets a lot of respect from the players though.
  8. You'd think the ball was photoshopped in to make him look bad...
  9. Joe Hawley?
  10. To me, Takk has the chance to be Terrell Suggs 2.0...only faster. I think given his medical situation though, in 2017 his job will be 'go get the QB' in obvious passing downs and the rounding out of his game will follow in 2018 and beyond.
  11. Fair enough on the what you think the Falcons will do v what you think they will/should. Andre Roberts since 2012 - 57 games 104 receptions, 1247 yards 5 TD's. My hopes aren't too high Devin Fuller - 7th round draft choice. Has never played an NFL snaps (reg. season) Justin Hardy has a career 5.6 Yards/Target mark. ...and while I like what Gabriel brought to the Falcons last year, he was a guy we got a bead on specifically because of Shanahan. So can a new OC who meets him for the first time during OTA's, make the same use out of a guy who is a very situational and specialized player? Not to mention - with $20M already committed to the position - can we afford to invest more big $$ at that position.
  12. I've not understood the notion of a TE upgrade... Hooper - 2nd year guy, room to grow. 3rd round investment in 2016 Toilolo - just signed a 3 year deal @ $4M/year ...so we have both of these guys (if we want) thru 2019. Not to mention a guy in Josh Perkins the Falcons seem to like at least from a developmental standpoint. So we'd be drafting on Day 2 a 3rd/4th TE? Yet you throw up all over WR investment when beyond Julio/Sanu and 2017 - there is a lot of uncertainty?
  13. Why would anyone be worried about the schedule? We're the NFC Champs.
  14. Feedback on some of the common commentary provided: 1. DE/Edge - I feel like where we are picking, we'll be missing out on 'the run' at the position. Have we been interviewing 'tons' of guys - yes. But in Round 1 I think the players who could come in and make an impact are gone (Barnett, McKinley, Harris). Even when you get to Round 2 and the next tier...I sense the same dynamic (Willis, Rivers, K-Pass). And when I look at our depth chart - while I don't see a pure pass rusher beside Beasley, I do see a lot of pro's pros. Clayborn, Reed, Crawford...if Shelby can come back healthy (an 'if' I grant you) I think that's a deceptively more difficult rotation to crack than folks are giving credit for. It's not to say a pick shouldn't be expended, but I think it levels the playing field - position need wise. When it relates to pass rush, I think it's interesting the guidance provided to Poe...get down to 330. For his size, he can be very quick and early in his career he showed pass rush chops. Upfield penetration by both him and Jarrett can really keep the pocket deep. Also, consider that it took Beasley - a top 10 pick, a year to adjust to the NFL as a speed rusher and I simply wonder if anyone we draft on a Day 2 does anything in 2017? I don't dispute that at some point in time we want to grab a here...but patience can work to the Falcons advantage here. I'd rather not reach and I think we would be on Day 2 for any of the candidates being tossed about. 2. Henderson - Whether I'm looking to far into the future or not, even if you think Andre Roberts can give the Falcons good snaps offensively, and even on ST (I don't)...he's a one year guy. Through 2 seasons, Justin Hardy has averaged a dismal 5.8 yards/target. To be fair, he's still a young player who could have the light come on in Year 3. But he actually played 47 fewer snaps in 2016 v 2015 (337-to-290) despite playing in 10 more games (including playoffs). To @RandomFan - I don't think it's a question of his hands. I think it's a question of 1) his ability to get open downfield (his YPT shows that's an issue) and 2) the trust the coaching staff and Ryan have in him...and in Year 2, 2 guys who came in off the street (including 1 who had 1 reception since the 2013 season) usurped Hardy on the depth chart. Again, I thought Gabriel was a tremendous addition for the Falcons. But at 5'8 165...he can't be on the field 500-600 snaps in a season and be expected to hold up physically. With $20M being spent at this position already...are we really going to give Gabriel a long-term deal? Especially since as a #3 WR at best, he doesn't provide any value on Special Teams? Henderson isn't just a slot guy...he's 5'11 200 pounds. He can beat you deep and has great YAC ability, plus, can be a ST contributor. All in all - I'm not as comfortable with the depth we have at this position as most of you are. I think we cobbled together a solution that worked last year in large part because Matt Ryan was the best player in the NFL. But behind Julio/Sanu...I think that's a point of exposure. 3. Salary cap - It's a position the Falcons have not been in for some time...but they have ALOT of young talent they'll need to be locking up over the next 2-4 years. In addition, you're likely going to see Ryan up his ACV from the $20M range to the $25M+ range. So spending $4.5M on a back-up means you'll be committing ALOT of money to the QB position. Proven veteran back-ups are still getting paid quite well and if you're going to try and groom a kid...looking now so you feel comfortable in 2018 and beyond is an option I think the Falcons have to take seriously. We watched Trufant get his big deal and Freeman is likely to follow. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Matthews, Beasley, Jarrett will all pull in $10-15M/year and then you've got the 2016 draft class. While it's a long way off, planning in advance to get a $4-5M (minimum) back up QB salary off the books isn't a bad use of a 5th rounder.
  15. Getting over the SB – I was in Dominican Republic last week. Brought my golf clubs…I have a Falcons golf bag and was playing a pretty nice course where you get a caddie. While the caddie didn’t speak much English, he looked at my golf bag, shook his head and in his broken English said ‘that was rough’. Point of the story: The Falcons collapse and it’s spectre is omnipresent now with regard to the franchises identity. Quite frankly, how they react moving forward will be watched closely because this really is unprecedented. How can a team that had essentially won the SB…and then lost it, respond? The volume of this chatter will only increase. You’re sick of it now? Wait. DL Veteran Talent Infusion - In the context of Johnathan Hankins 3 year $30M deal he just signed with the Colts, getting Dontari Poe on a 1 year $8M deal feels like a bargain. Jack Crawford seems like a decent albeit unexciting rotational piece. With Jackson/Babineaux and likely Freeney gone….that’s about 1400 defensive snaps the Falcons needed to replace. I had thought the Falcons would have to dip into the FA talent pool for DT. Getting two pieces even better. So the DL rotation looks like this: Clayborn Beasley (DE/LB) Jarrett Poe Hageman Crawford Shelby Upshaw Reed (DE/LB) Question I have is this: While a highly drafted rookie always has a chance/path to start…this unit feels deep albeit not stacked with top tier talent (aside from Beasley) on the edge. Could this be an overrated focus for the Falcons on draft day 1 or 2? OG? – So right now, we have the combination of Hugh Thornton, Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland. Thornton is an interesting guy for me. Yes, he’s hardly established himself at the NFL level. But he was regarded highly enough to be a Day 2 pick in 2013. If you remember how we acquired Levitre, while he had experience NFL success (unlike Thornton), he was seen as a washed up player coming off a spate of injuries and the Falcons were dumb to relinquish Day 3 picks for him. Thornton has had a year to get his body right. He played on terribly talented units in IND. Maybe being just a piece to a good OL is the type of situation he needs to finally elevate his game. This POV certainly doesn’t preclude the Falcons making a rather high investment in OG – protecting Matt Ryan is still the priority here and you want to leave as little to chance her as possible. But I’d like to see if Thornton can find a home here. Matt Ryan – If you had to guess, how many players on the Falcons roster are older than Ryan? I’ll break the suspense for you. It’s 2. Tough to believe. Only Schaub and Matt Bryant are older. But last year, from my POV, in addition to his otherworldly production – he elevated his stature and leadership of the Falcons finally to a level where he became its true inspirational and motivational epicenter. So obviously, given what transpired on 2/5…all eyes will be on the 2016 MVP. His national profile is really going to explode due to him raising his game to a rare level in addition to the circumstance he and the Falcons find themselves. This is where I think the Falcons really stand to benefit from his business as usual approach. I mean – I haven’t watched the phuking game yet (and won’t)…and he watched it 3 times within 72 hours of it happening!!!??? As the leader of this franchise, he can set the tone and likely did this week in FL. There’s work to do and the Falcons have an incredibly talented team that’s very much capable of finding their way to Minnesota come February. Keeping the Falcons on point and focused will be a tougher task than you’ll think once the season starts. A 2-game losing streak will bring forth chatter about the Falcons collapsing again because of the hyper-reactional mode NFL seasons take once they get going. It took the Panthers one opening Thursday night game to lose their focus and get off track 2016. But IMO, Ryan’s even keel could be one of the Falcons greatest assets in coming back strong and putting the SB loss behind them. Mock Draft 2.0 It’s amazing how quickly the Falcons went from having a roster bereft of talent (supposedly) to having one of the best and deepest rosters in the league. Quite frankly, I think even a 1st rounder could struggle to secure a starting role with the exception of OG. So IMO, this draft is more about 2018-2020. As the Falcons start to have to make tough calls on who stays/who goes…they’ll need to make sure that the talent funnel is prepping them to have guys take over that have been in the system for 1-2 years, instead of relying on rookies/draft to fill roles when players depart. With that said, here’s my Take Two. 1:31 – Budda Baker – FS; Washington Ultimately, I think Baker is the best value at a position where the Falcons could secure an immediate contribution from. While I like Rico Allen, he’s a player on an EFRA contract so he can still be seen as a value depth piece to the Falcons if he loses out to Baker from a TC competition standpoint. I wouldn’t count him out retaining that starters role into the season. But Baker can slide down to nickel corner allowing the Falcons to play around with different alignments in the secondary with Poole/Baker and disguising coverage. Baker profiles as a ballhawk type of player and if he fulfills his talent, could give the Falcons the best (and deepest) secondary in the NFL. 2:63 – Carlos Henderson – WR; Louisiana Tech I expect this to be the pick to be met with quite a bit of derision. Hear me out. Question: Do you expect Taylor Gabriel to be a Falcon in 2018? Me? I don’t. I think he either plays well enough to earn a long term deal which I would not prefer the Falcons not match (or get into a bidding war)considering they have $20M/year invested in Julio/Sanu…or he has an underwhelming year. I like Gabriel, but I also think that at his size, he’s not going to be able to have significant workloads. He’s a situational player – a really good one at 100%, but situational nonetheless. I pointed out earlier in the off-season that Aldrick Robinson actually played more snaps than Gabriel. If Julio/Sanu goes down, it's not Gabriel that takes on the additional workload (at least it wasn't last year). And Hardy has hardly distinguished himself in two seasons. So when I look at the WR position for the Falcons beyond 2017, I have concerns. Henderson has had a very good draft process and is the type of player who I think comes in – plays limited snaps of offense while he learns the NFL game while becoming a significant special teams contributor (think Tyreek Hill type player). And then in year 2, that’s when he starts to become a significant weapon for Ryan. BTW, if you look at the March 28 update for Henderson on Rotoworld, an NFC South scout was quoted as follows: “He plays with good route strength and speed and he has good hands," the scout said. "His return value should lock him into a team. I think he will come in as a fourth receiver, but he could have upped his draft value with another year at school.” With SF, NO, CAR hot on Henderson’s trail, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a Falcons scout and the Falcons are playing coy about their interest in Henderson. The situation profiled above is exactly how I think he’d fit in with the Falcons. 3:95 – Dalvin Tomlinson – DT; Alabama Again, playing the contract game for the Falcons, next off-season, the following players could become FA’s; Ra’Shede Hageman, Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw. In addition, the Falcons will have to start long term planning on the contract situation for Grady Jarrett, a player who I think has a chance to explode in 2017. Bottomline – while the Falcons were smart (and fortunate) to get Poe cheaply for 2017, there is a lot of uncertainty for the Falcons at DT beyond this season. Tomlinson is a lunchpail type of player who the Falcons have shown interest in. For 2017, he likely doesn’t see the field much but for ST. But the Falcons get a redshirt type season out of Tomlinson to truly see what kind of player he can be in 2018. 4:136 – Julie’n Davenport – OG; Bucknell As mentioned above regarding OG, the Falcons have a hodge-podge of players on the roster currently that I think they want to believe they have a solution to replacing Chris Chester with. And perhaps if they were drafting in a different slot, they’d have an opportunity to feel better about the options for filling that hole earlier in the draft. But ultimately, I think they go developmental here on a guy with some projected versatility to OT if need be. I don’t want to write off any of the options on the roster currently, but adding a mid-rounder to the mix seems prudent, although at the #136 spot in the draft, Davenport likely isn’t a candidate to start in 2017 meaning Garland/Thornton/Schweitzer are likely battling for 2 roster spots in this scenario, if not 1. 5:174 – C.J Beathard – QB; Iowa If ever there was a player coming out of college that looked like a career NFL back-up QB, it’s Beathard. He doesn’t have starter tools, but he’s tough, smart and will become a guy IMO who hangs around the NFL for a decade plus holding a clip board. So why would we go get him? Matt Schuab’s 2 year $9M contract. That’s why. Beathard played in a pro-style offense at Iowa, so he doesn’t need to ‘learn’ the position like some of the newer versions of QB’s coming out of college these days do. And if Beathard can compete for that back-up job in 2018 or maybe even show enough to allow the Falcons to cut bait on Schaub after the 2017 season, it will provide the Falcons a nice cap infusion as they start to lock-up their core young players when it comes time to re-sign them. 7:249 – Freddie Stevenson – FB; Florida State I didn’t expect to lose DiMarco, but I also wasn’t signing him for he signed for. Changes from Mock 1.0 Why did you change Round 1 from Tanoh Kpassagnon to Baker? Really came down to need and also available snaps. Prior to signing Crawford/Poe, I thought K-Pass might be in a position to contribute 300-400 snaps his rookie year. But Crawford (who actually feels like a clone of K-Pass physically although perhaps not as impressive) would likely gobble those up. If K-Pass made it #63, he’d definitely be in consideration for me. But I think he’s gone by then. You also made a strong case for RB in Mock 1.0…why the change? My feelings about WR changed in the last 4-6 weeks, namely how barren the long-term outlook was beyond Julio/Sanu. The Falcons have to have weapons for Ryan…they can’t allow the cupboard to go bare here. Julio is piling on the miles and while I don’t expect him to go all Megatron and retire early, his physicality likely will take its toll on Julio at some point in the not so distant future. While I do believe the Falcons should continue to watch out for RB value in the draft, the move to secure a WR in this draft meant that I had to throttle down expectations of drafting a RB in addition to WR. No edge rusher then? At the end of the day, you can't do EVERY thing you'd like to do or address every need...with a rejuvenated Poe and hopefully about to bust out Jarrett pushing the pocket while introducing another ballhawk to the Falcons secondary in Baker (I like Allen, but do OC's say - watch out for this guy...?), my hope is that the Falcons have the horses on the front 4 to get after the QB while the secondary forces a bit more doubt and indecision in the passing game.