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David Deas

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  1. One thing to think about might be the fact that the Pats have not shown any real answers for players like JA55 in recent history.

    Matt Light struggles even with mildly athletic defensive ends, and he has no ability to block against any prototypical 4-3 Tampa2 ends. He usually gets eaten alive by athletic ends and gives up way too many QB pressures. The Patriots struggles on the offensive line could make this turn out to be an even better game than folks are already hoping it to be.

  2. We have had absolutley no air time whatsoever this week from ESPN. It gets really old hearing the same stuff over and over. We need our own network, he he

    The Patriots drive the league and break viewership records. If we want to get talked about then we can at least start by having back to back winning seasons. Otherwise, know that nobody covers us because the casual fan is not interested in the Falcons.

  3. Sporting News magazine recently had an article which stated among the things which a team needs to win a championship, a franchise quarterback, running back, which we have, and a pass rush, which to this point is markedly absent. It listed the top 5 teams which consistently has these traits: The New York Giants, The New England Patriots, The Pittsburgh Steelers, The Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. Three of these teams cited have won the last 5 Super Bowls. This being said, if you examine the game tapes (albeit as an amateur armchair GM) You will see that the pass rush is anemic at best. It could get better however even the starters have failed to generate much of a rush, oftentimes against second string offenses. Brian VanGorder has even tried exotic corner blitzes overloaded to the weakside and it has had mixed results. Last season John Abraham had more than half of the teams sack total (16.5 of 32) and Jamaal Anderson is once again manning the strongside, he of the whopping 2 career sacks. This should raise a caution flag to anyone who feels that simply adding defensive backs is the sole solution.

    If you examine the tapes and remove Chris Houstons tepid play, you will find that Brent Grimes is in the frame on virtually every pass thrown in his direction. Conversely, another aspect of the defense is glaring; that Mike Peterson, as an alleged upgrade over Keith Brooking, has made no significant play to this point to merit the tag of "upgrade". If Brooking was making plays downfield as many suggest, then Peterson is being flat-out pushed out of the play by fullbacks and guards blocking down on him. Again, these are preseason tapes but the tapes are not lying: Unless someone either steps up, gets traded for or signed to provide a pass rush opposite Abraham and a playmaker at linebacker (Derrick Brooks?) don't expect a dramatic turnaround by the defense simply by signing free agent cornerbacks.

    Your magazine is wrong.

    You don't need a franchise QB or RB.  Several teams have won without respectable players at either position.

    The only thing you need is a defense.  Not having one will prevent you from winning a championship.  

    That's exactly what happened to the 2007 Patriots; they couldn't stop anybody all year long and it finally caught up with them at the worst possible moment.  Their offense could no longer hide their defensive woes.  

    Even this year there are legitimate doubts about whether they have the horses on defense to win the Super Bowl this year. And this is all despite their record setting offense.

  4. This is getting ridiculous.

    It's no secret that I've been incredibly disappointed with the guy, but right now Anderson is the *least* of our defensive woes. Anybody who has watched these preseason games knows that opposing QB's are getting rid of the ball far too quickly to be vunerable to a pass rush. Our problems right now center around the secondary and that's not worth ignoring in favor of creating turmoil on the defensive line roster.

    You could plug Julius Peppers opposite Abe and it's still going to be the same story it's been all preseason long; a three step drop for a 40 yard gain.

  5. We read earlier how P. Schrager attributed the majority the Falcons' success last year to luck.

    And he continues with some doublespeak below ... however falling out of favor with the National Sports media is an absolute must if we are to have success this season.

    Everyone's darlings, the 2009 Atlanta Falcons, will not make the playoffs.


    With my apologies to "Steak" Shapiro and the rest of the 790-AM "Mayhem in the AM" crew down in Atlanta, I just don't see the Falcons qualifying for the postseason in '09.

    I know what you're thinking: "An 11-5 team from a year ago brings everyone back, adds a Hall of Fame tight end and a bunch of stud rookies on defense — and you're down on them?"

    Well, that's not entirely the case. I think the Falcons are a solid enough team. I just don't see them cracking the NFC's top six. Whereas Atlanta faced a very manageable schedule last year, here comes the gauntlet. The NFC South has never been better and non-conference bouts against the always-difficult NFC and AFC East divisions do not exactly help the cause.

    In '08, Atlanta defied the odds and made the playoffs with a rookie head coach, first-year general manager, rookie quarterback, rookie offensive tackle and first-year starter at running back. They were fortunate that all of their major playmakers on offense stayed healthy from September to January. Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Roddy White were all injury-free, and the defense stayed relatively intact. In short, they were the complete opposite of the 2009 New York Mets. There's no guarantee the team can stay so healthy in '09.

    And that defense? The unit was 24th in the league last year. Though there were upgrades across the board, there are still several holes — specifically at cornerback and safety. The Falcons' starting defensive backfield consists of journeyman Brent Grimes, third-year man Chris Houston and safeties Thomas DeCoud and Eric Coleman. There's not much else on the bench. That look like a division winning defensive backfield to you?

    Hey, I like the Falcons. I do.

    I just don't see them playing football in January 2010.

    In the Falcons' 43 years of existence, the franchise has never had back-to-back winning seasons.

    The streak continues in '09.


    Smith should hang this in the locker. Belichick would if it were about the Partriots.

  6. I agree with everything Pat said. The one thing I know is our other players on the defensive line aren't going to all of a sudden turn into pass rushing juggernauts. Improvement from Jamaal over his previous seasons isn't too much of a high marker, considering he hasn't done jack. With our cornerbacks, it's not just size, Houston gets schooled over and over by decent route runners. One other thing, lets not act like the bulk of this isn't Coach Smith and the front offices doing, letting Foxworth go was an epic fail. I don't see how Smith and Dimitroff looked at Houston and Grimes on tape over and over and though letting Foxworth go was good idea, he was on the street long enough to fly to Baltimore to get signed, which should tell people something.

    Yeah. I had some questions about the front office myself. Last year our defense wasn't the best but they did play well enough to win without our offense having to hang 35 on somebody every week. We weren't that terrible. We could at least hold somebody to 20. Had Brooking not blown that last play we might all be having a different conversation.

  7. Abe is known for having 1 injury free season, followed by 1 injury plagued one, that much is true. I know that many people see Anderson as a concern and Im not gonna say that I havent been worried too, but unlike many others Im not afraid to admit improvement when I see it. Last nights game, Im gonna go on a limb here, Anderson > Abraham. Now I say this because it proves my point that people is putting too much emphasiz on one game. For the record, I dont think Anderson is better than Abraham overall, but I hope you get my point.

    I don't disagree with anything you just said.

    I would only add that improvement is *not* enough. My fear in fact is that Anderson will come out showing only *improvement* from last season when what the Falcons need to see is a man who has finally turned his ship around.

  8. Biermann and Sidbury. Both outperformed Abraham last night.

    There is a quote saying that your never better than the last game you played, if this is the case we need another DE opposite Jamaal Anderson. I dont think that should be the case, but its tragicomic how fast people are to point out the fact that Jamaal Anderson didnt have a breakout game, where as on the other side, its ok for Abraham to take it easy. Now what in gods name kind of bullcrap is that??

    Blatant bigatry if you ask me. But I guess we need to point the finger at someone..

    SIDENOTE: Its nice to see that Pat would see the game this time before writing about it.

    Abe is a known quantity.

    If we are overly generous and wipe his historical slate of nonproductivity clean, Anderson is an unknown quantity.

    This explains the lack of concern about Abe, but the huge concern about Anderson. What the heck is so hard to understand about that? Why does this even need to be explained to you?

  9. I'm more worried about the secondary.

    The reason is that its possible for us to timely address any linebacking corps problem we have. But its not possible for us to fully address the secondary between now and the start of the season. Say whatever you want about our linebacking corps, but the secondary *will* be our weakest link next year.

  10. Im not really worried. You look at some of the better linebackers in the league like Harrison or whoever... Before he became beastly nobody really gave him a lot of credit. Yeah things could be argued like he is a product of the system or a child of great coaching, but the fact of the matter is that you have to start somewhere.

    Whoever plays that ROLB position for the Steelers goes to the Pro-bowl.

  11. I would absolutely say Leroy Hill.

    The reason is because our linebacking corps is the closest unit to completion, being only one starter away from legitimate. The secondary probably has to wait until next season to be addressed considering the fact that it currently looks like we'd be in need of about three more starters in that area if we wanted to fill those positions with proven free agents.

    Also, because of the rules the value of a good defensive back is diminishing in today's NFL. I'd say a good linebacker can imporve your overall defense a lot more than a good db would be able to. Your primary pass defense is the pass rush anyhow, and one of the best ways to make your pass rush more effective (besides adding better linemen) is to add competent linebackers.

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