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About Lowndesfalc

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  • Birthday 10/11/1959

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    Valdosta, GA

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  1. Pretty spot on. The folks over at the Falcoholic do a good job covering the Falcons.
  2. It is most certainly to be determined. All I'll say is that we weren't so far away with Poe that we couldn't of had him back if DQ really wanted him back. The D line has gotten better every year that he's been here. Believe I'll trust his judgement.
  3. I agree, with exception of DT, we are replacing depth pieces. May double dip in the draft and hopefully get the DT from Titans.
  4. Smith for depth?
  5. I personally think the Aint's defense was an aberration last season and they will come back to Earth and in last place where they belong.
  6. May God bless anyone dealing with this disease. I honestly don't know how folks have the strength to deal with a disease for years. They are certainly stronger than I.
  7. Personally I’d like Poe to stay. I think he will ball out in year two of being in Quinn’s defense.
  8. Sounds funny to say but Knapp may be our best offseason acquisition.
  9. Don’t remember exactly which game but Bob Lee was QB. Late 60’s, early 70’s.
  10. Want to see a picture of a “boiled” billionaire? Take a picture of Jim Irsay right now. I bet he is livid!
  11. For what it's worth, I looked up Goodell's response and he said that the NFL does not accept any ads with political messages. Also that the NFL had several other ways that they were honoring Veterans as part of the Super Bowl activities and in the game itself. I'm 58 and have been a fan since the late 60's but have never looked to the Falcons, NFL, NBA, MLB or any other sport for heros. I watch purely for entertainment. I'm also a Vet and I know the VAST majority of teams/players are in support of Vets so I'm not going to let what is surely less than 5%of the player base. For those who do kneel, it is totally within their right to do so.
  12. Bradly is a remnant of a business model that no longer works and trying to stir the pot for readers, clicks, whatever... Him, Schultz and Dled will all be unemployed within 5 years.
  13. Link A pretty spot on assessment I thought. Atlanta Falcons INSIDE SLANT Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire Offensive woes end Falcons season The Atlanta Falcons went 10-6 and were the only team from the NFC to return to the playoffs. However, for a team built around its offense, the season was a big disappointment as they became the latest losing Super Bowl team not to return to the big game since the early 1990s Buffalo Bills. Head coach Dan Quinn, who was in his third season, rallied the team from a slow 3-3 start and got it rolling down the stretch enough to earn the sixth and final NFC playoff season. After an upset of the Los Angeles Rams, the Falcons went to the top-seeded Eagles, who were playing with their backup quarterback. The problems were on the offensive side of the ball with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. The fourth-and-2 play on the Falcons' final possession, an incomplete pass to Julio Jones on a sprint-out, was unimaginative and was emblematic of how things went for the offense in 2017. It's questionable that Sarkisian was the best possible candidate to replace Kyle Shanahan. If the Falcons would have done a thorough national search of all viable candidates, it's unlikely they would have hired Sarkisian, who, like Quinn, comes from the Pete Carroll coaching tree. There had to be a better experienced scheme-fit coordinator available. Now, the Falcons are likely married to Sarkisian, but appear to at least be trying to get him some experienced NFL help. WHAT WENT RIGHT: Under first-year defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, the Falcons improved immensely on the defensive side of the ball in several key areas. The Falcons improved from 27th to eighth in points scored, 25th to ninth in overall yards allowed, from 17th to ninth in rushing yards allowed and 28th to 12th in passing yards. So, the defense, which was a liability in the bottom half of the league in all of those key areas made the leap in to the top half of the league (16th or higher). The key to the improvement was the continued development of linebackers Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell and strong safety Keanu Neal. The second-year players continue to make strides and Jones led the defense in tackles with 138. Neal continued to provide strong run support. Campbell was also strong in run support and did a nice job in coverage against tight ends, which was a main focal point of improvement for the defense. While the stats were improved, the unit did not register as many takeaways. They dropped from 22 to 16. WHAT WENT WRONG: The offense was not as potent and slipped into the middle of the pack of the league. The falloff was a testament to the play-calling of Shanahan, who left to take the head coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons only had to replace left guard Chris Chester and fullback Patrick DiMarco. The offense was marred by 30 dropped passes, which was tied with San Francisco for the most in the league. Also, the Falcons were hit with a rash in of injuries that affected the consistency of the offensive line. Right tackle Ryan Schraeder (concussion) and left guard Andy Levitre (torn triceps) missed starts with injury and Levitre was on injured reserve for the playoff loss. Center Alex Mack was also slowed with a right calf injury. Running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman missed games with concussions. First-year coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who hadn't coached in the NFL since 2005, didn't have his full complement of players and that explains, in part, the lack of consistency. The Falcons ranked only 23rd in the NFL in red-zone touchdown percentage (50 percent) in the regular season. In their final four games (two regular season, two playoffs), they went 5-for-16 in the red zone. They played nine games against playoff teams. They scored 17, 7, 17, 9, 20, 13, 22, 26 and 10 points. They lost six of the nine. They managed 11 touchdowns over those nine games, kicking 19 field goals. MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: Tight end Austin Hooper, who was selected in the third round (81st overall) of the 2016 draft, caught 49-of-65 targets for 526 yards and three touchdowns. He had several key drops and the team just stopped throwing to him late in the season as they clearly lost confidence in the Stanford product. MOST SURPRISING PLAYER: Tevin Coleman took over when Freeman was out with the injury and the offense flowed much better with him as the primary ball-carrier. He finished with 628 yards and five touchdowns and should be considered the main back in the future with Freeman as a third-down pass-catching back. ASSISTANT COACH ON THE RISE: Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel's arrow is definitely pointing upward. He might be on the short list of head-coaching candidates the next time around. Notes, Quotes After the divisional round of the playoffs, the order for the 2018 NFL draft is set through the first 28 positions. The Falcons are slotted at the 26th position, the same place they traded up to last season to select defensive end Takkarist McKinley. The draft is set to be held April 26-28 in Dallas. Last season, the Falcons were slated to pick 31st overall, but traded with Seattle to move up five spots. The Falcons gave up their 31st overall pick, a third-rounder (95) and a seventh-rounder (249) to move up. Seattle traded the 31st pick to San Francisco, who selected Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Seattle selected Michigan safety Delano Hill with the 95th pick and Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson with the 249th pick. McKinley played in all 18 games this past season and finished with eight sacks, two forced fumbles and 30 tackles. He played 401 of the defensive snaps (38 percent). The Falcons currently have six picks in the upcoming draft. They traded away their fifth-round pick to Denver for tackle Ty Sambrailo on Sept. 1, 2017. Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal thought he should have had a key interception right before halftime against the Eagles in the NFC divisional playoff game. On second-and-8 from Philadelphia's 30-yard line, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles sailed a pass through the wind that Neal had a chance to intercept. However, the ball hit his knee and bounced back to wide receiver Torrey Smith, who turned it into a 20-yard gain with 12 seconds remaining. The Eagles connected on a 15-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery with a second remaining and ended the half with a 53-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. The Falcons' lead was cut to 10-9 at halftime. "I just didn't feel it hit my hands and it bounced off of my knee," Neal said. Overall, the defensive unit played well, but the result was a 15-10 Eagles victory that eliminated the Falcons. "We did well," Neal said. "We just left some plays out there including the one that I missed, the opportunity that I had. That's part of it. When your plays come, you've got to make them." The Falcons' opponents for the 2018 seasons were set when they were locked into the third place in the NFC South. In addition to Carolina and New Orleans (twice), the Falcons will play only two other playoff teams in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Falcons will face the third-place teams from the NFC West (Arizona) and NFC North (Green Bay). The Falcons also will face opponents from the NFC East (Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington and New York Giants) and AFC North (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati). In addition to road games against New Orleans, Carolina and Tampa Bay, the Falcons will play potentially cold-weather road games at Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Green Bay and Washington. In addition to home games against New Orleans, Carolina and Tampa Bay, the home games will include Cincinnati, Arizona, Dallas, the Giants and Baltimore. Strategy & Personnel UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS: QUARTERBACKS (C): Starter - Matt Ryan. Backup - Matt Schaub. Ryan's play dipped from the level that helped him earn the league's MVP award. He completed 342-of-529 passes (64.7 percent) for 4,095 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Ryan threw 18 fewer touchdown passes and five interceptions more than in 2016. His 20 touchdown passes were his lowest since he tossed 16 as a rookie in 2008. His increase in interceptions was directly attributed to seven dropped or tipped passes. With shaky play from guards Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland, Ryan rarely had a firm pocket from which to work from. RUNNING BACKS (C): Starters - Devonta Freeman, FB Derrick Coleman. Backups Tevin Coleman, Terron Ward. Freeman was slowed by a concussion and a knee injury. He missed three games and did not rush for more than 1,000 yards after two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He also continued to struggle in blitz pickup. He came back and ran hard after both concussions. Tevin Coleman ran much stronger. He had 156 carries for 628 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Ward was a steady backup. Derrick Coleman was not a viable lead blocker and didn't help the short-yardage attack. TIGHT ENDS (D): Starter - Austin Hooper. Backups - Levine Toilolo, Eric Saubert. Hooper started off with a 100-yard game in the opener and then preceded to lose the confidence of the team and his quarterback. He finished with 49 catches for 526 yards and three touchdowns. He didn't fight back to the ball against Miami and had too many drops. Toilolo, who is essentially a blocking tight end, caught 12 of his 14 targets for 122 yards and one touchdowns. He was originally drafted to be a red-zone threat with his size. While he dropped too many passes earlier in his career, the Falcons may want to revisit the notion because of their red-zone woes. WIDE RECEIVERS (C): Starters - Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu. Backups - Taylor Gabriel (UFA), Justin Hardy, Nick Williams (UFA), Marvin Hall, *Devin Fuller. Jones, who had offseason foot surgery and never looked close to his best self, had a 59.5 percent catch ratio (148 targets, 88 catches), which was the second-lowest since his rookie season when he had a 56.8 percent catch ratio. He finished with 1,444 yards and three touchdowns. Sanu had a 69.8 percent catch ratio as he hauled in 67-of-96 targets and had 703 yards and tied a career-high with five touchdowns. But Jones (seven) and Sanu (six) had too many dropped passes. Hardy and Gabriel were steady, but not spectacular. Look for the Falcons to attempt to upgrade the depth at this position. There was very little speed opposite of Jones to make defenses pay for doubling him. OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (C): Starters - LT Jake Matthews, LG *Andy Levitre, C Alex Mack, RG Wes Schweitzer, RT Ryan Schraeder. Backups - G Ben Garland (UFA), G Sean Harlow, T Ty Sambrailo, T Austin Pasztor (UFA). One of the key factors in the Falcons' Super Bowl season was the offensive line started all 19 games. They couldn't dodge the injury bug in 2017 and started four different combinations of linemen. Also, Wes Schweitzer, who's scrappy, was a liability against elite defensive tackles. Levitre, a candidate for a salary cut, was solid. Garland was not an adequate backup. The Falcons don't have a lot of money in free agency and can't go after a veteran to improve the line. Harlow was inactive for all 16 games, but could jump into the mix in 2018. DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (B): Starters - DE Brooks Reed, DT Grady Jarrett, DT Dontari Poe (UFA), DE Adrian Clayborn (UFA). Backups DE Derrick Shelby, DE Takkarist McKinley, DE *Martin Ifedi, DT Courtney Upshaw (UFA), DT *Jack Crawford, DT Ahtyba Rubin (UFA). With Poe and Jarrett clogging things in the middle, the Falcons improved drastically against the run and the pass. They also used a committee approach to register 39 sacks, which ranked 13th in the league. They finished with 34 in 2016, which was 16th in the league. Reed and Shelby were strong against the run and played key roles in the rotation. Poe played on an incentive-laden contract, which had a base salary of $8 million. He bet on himself and had a solid season. He played 868 defensive snaps, the second highest on the team behind Grady Jarrett's 870. He also played eight snaps on offense. LINEBACKERS (B-plus): Starters SLB Vic Beasley Jr., MLB Deion Jones, WLB De'Vondre Campbell. Backups - OLB Duke Riley, OLB Sean Weatherspoon (UFA), OLB *Jordan Tripp(UFA), OLB/S Kemal Ishmael (UFA), MLB LaRoy Reynolds. Jones continued to blossom into one of the top linebackers in the league. He was replaced Carolina's Luke Kuechly in the Pro Bowl. He led the team in tackles with 138 and had three interceptions. The experiment to start Riley at weak-side linebacker didn't last long as the rookie missed too many tackles. Campbell had to go back to the weak side. Beasley was moved to strong-side linebacker and his sacks dropped from 15.5 to five as he was required to drop more in coverage. DEFENSIVE BACKS (B): Starters - LCB Desmond Trufant, SS Keanu Neal, FS Ricardo Allen, RCB Robert Alford. Backups CB Brian Poole, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (UFA), CB Leon McFadden (UFA), S Damontae Kazee, S Sharrod Neasman, S *Quincy Mauger. Alford led the team with seven penalties. He had five holding calls and two pass interference penalties. He had 75 nullified yards in penalties. He got his hands on 20 passes, but had just one interception. Trufant showed signs of slippage late in the season as he got beat deep by New Orleans' Ted Ginn Jr., gave up big gainers to the Rams' Robert Woods and was worked on with slants by Philadelphia's Alshon Jeffery. He will need to have a bounce-back season. Poole continued to hold things down in the slot and showed some toughness as a blitzer. Neal continued to grow and provide the defense with a physical presence. Allen was also solid as he took better angles to the ball. He's a restricted free agent and should receive a decent tender. SPECIAL TEAMS (A): K Matt Bryant (UFA), P Matt Bosher, LS Josh Harris, KOR/PR Andre Roberts (UFA). Bryant will turn 43 on May 29, but showed no signs of slowing down. He was the Falcons' key offensive weapon and the reason they reached the playoffs. He made nine field goals in the two playoff games. Bryant was the 11th-highest paid kicker in the league last season at $1.45 million. The Panthers' Graham Gano and the Cowboys' Dan Bailey were the top-paid kickers at $3.2 million last season. Bryant is in line for a big raise. Bosher averaged 44.9 yards on 53 punts with a net average of 40.8. He placed 19 punts inside the 20-yard line. Roberts was a steady returner, but was felled by several special teams penalties. OVERALL GRADE (C-plus): The defense improved, while the offense regressed. The offensive line was leaky and that foiled the rushing attack and pass protection. *Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on reserve list.
  14. Only thing I’ll say is that we were an improving offense towards the end of Shanny’s first season. I haven’t seen that this season. Just being good in spurts. Upgraded guard play has to be priority one! However they do it. Wonder if old man Shanny wants to come back and call plays for an exciting offense???