theProf

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  1. Falcons - Eagles recap: The heart breaker that wasn’t The Falcons looked to be well on their way to another tough loss against the Eagles, but improbably if not impossibly, they pulled it off. By Dave Choate Sep 16, 2019, 8:00am EDT I don’t know what it is about the Falcons and Eagles in this current era of football that encourages slugfests that are low-scoring and brutal, but it’s a tradition unlike any other. Even the shaky defensive situations for both teams couldn’t change that, as this turned into exactly the kind of game you would have expected had you just watched highlights of the last two matchups. It also turned out exactly like those matchups, with the smallest twist: The Falcons won it. There was plenty to worry about—the Eagles were very banged up and the Falcons still made a ton of mistakes—but for a while there the Falcons actually played much better. If you’re looking at the team’s long-term outlook for hope, that’s at least a spot of it right there, as the Falcons took full advantage of Eagles injuries to turn in a strong defensive performance and gut out the kind of win they couldn’t get the last couple of times out. The gutsiness stands out. The Falcons absolutely made the physical plays they have not made in years past, whether it was Jake Matthews absolutely destroying a defender to spring Julio Jones, Isaiah Oliver making the tackle of his young career to preserve the win, or Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley fighting tooth and nail by a very good Eagles defensive line to make impactful plays. Those plays made the difference on a night where the offense was not at its best and the Eagles, despite their injuries, fought like ****. The problems were still myriad, though, and as always they doomed Atlanta until the very moment they didn’t. Matt Ryan threw multiple brutal picks, the Falcons were penalized frequently for the kinds of dumb things they are frequently penalized for, and they screwed up in exactly the wrong way at exactly the wrong time over and over again. A game that looked like it should have been a shootout on paper turned into a defensive struggle again, and as good as the Eagles are, Atlanta’s offense scuffling so badly here was a worrying sign once again. Thankfully, the defense was stellar. It got lost in last week’s game because the Vikings got such an early lead, but the defense has looked improved in both games, and they were a genuine nuisance in this one. It’s tough to get a read on just how good they are and can be, given the Eagles’ injuries and the Vikings barely having to pass, but there are glimmers of something promising here, with Isaiah Oliver’s excellent second game looming as perhaps the most encouraging sign. For one game, at least, they were certainly good enough. The end result was neither pretty nor totally satisfying for most fans, I’d suspect, but it got the Falcons into a tie for first place in the NFC South and showed that there is life and fire in this team yet. I’ll take that win with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, and hope that this is the start of something special, rather than a blip on the radar. The Good Watching Matt Bryant hit a 50 yarder with no drama is a reminder of what the Falcons almost lost. He can’t play forever, but I hope the Falcons are no longer thinking of replacing him until he‘s ready to hang ‘em up. Of course, other things happened, but he nailed all his extra pointers, too. In many ways, this was an ugly game for Matt Ryan, but Ryan never truly spirals for very long. He wound up making the throws he needed to despite the interceptions, including a beautiful read and a crisp pass on the game-winning ball to Julio Jones. He has much to iron out, but is still dealing when he needs to. Mohamed Sanu does the little things exceptionally well. That’s normally something you say in the case of a player who doesn’t do the big things well—and Sanu did fail to come down with one of Ryan’s ultimately picked passes—but Sanu’s a good player who also ahppens to care deeply about kicking *** elsewhere. His stellar effort on the Austin Hooper fumble in the third quarter saved the Falcons from big trouble after they allowed the Eagles to get within five points, and it’s the kind of play he makes because gets things done. Julio Jones has not been a god often here in the early going, but he was no mere mortal when the Falcons needed him most Sunday night. He caught the short pass in the fourth quarter and took it all the way to the house, thanks to one huge block and some of the hardest-charging legs in football. Jones has three touchdowns in just two games and hasn’t looked anywhere close to full strength to this point, which tells you good things ought to be ahead. For much of the game, though, Julio wasn’t the standout receiver. For the second week in a row, Calvin Ridley paced the group, reeling in eight catches for 105 yards (one less yard than Julio) and a touchdown. He’s not perfect, sure, but he’s been stellar in the early going and has room to grow yet. Jake Matthews threw an unbelievable pancake block on Julio Jones’ fourth quarter touchdown, the kind that will show up on highlight reels for weeks, months, and maybe even years to come. Without that block, it’s not clear Jones even gets the first down, but with it he was headed for paydirt. Another player who redeemed himself in a major way in this one. Jamon Brown did a nice job, I thought, as a fill-in at right guard. He blocked well throughout much of the game in a tough matchup against a strong Philadelphia defensive line. It’s one game, but it’s a nice sign. With Kaleb McGary coming back in (unbelievably) after getting hurt and Ty Sambrailo doing better than any of us had any right to expect, plus Matt Gono on his way back, the right side of this line may just not be a disaster after all. Grady Jarrett is an absolute monster. He got free of blocks over and over again to create pressure, make key run stops, and pick up a coverage sack in the second quarter. His deal is going to look like an absolute steal by the end of this season. Vic Beasley won’t get the credit he deserves, but he and Takk McKinley did good work in this one. Takk ate early and often and pressured Wentz, but Vic almost dropped Wentz for a game-sealing sack late and then actually brought him down for a sack on a key third down on that final Eagles drive of the game. Desmond Trufant looks all the way back. He was good last season and a little shaky in 2017, but through two games he’s been borderline stellar. He picked Carson Wentz twiceand was thriving in coverage, looking every bit like the elite player he was through the first few years of his career. Excited to see what this season looks like for him, and excited to see what happens when Takk starts closing out these pressures. Isaiah Oliver got hit with penalties, sure, but he looked much more confident and capable than he did in Week 1, both in run support and in coverage. His length and skill are going to be critically important if this defense is going to do anything in 2019, and he gave us a tantalizing glimpse of what he’s about with the big tackles and strong coverage against the Eagles. When Oliver made the game-saving tackle on fourth down with seconds left in the fourth quarter, he made it clear that his lousy first week was behind him, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. That said, did he get beat handily downfield, only for Agholor to drop the pass? Yes. Thank goodness that didn’t matter. A simply unbelievable play by Kendall Sheffield to force the fumble on a nice Corey Clement kick return to start the second half, and a heads up play by Sharrod Neasman to pick it up. That’s the value of quality special teams, and it swung the momentum coming out of the half sharply as the Falcons scored just three plays later. The Ugly The Falcons put together a pretty opening drive...that they ruined with poor execution and a poor play call on third down. Luke Stocker’s badly missed block and the team’s decision to throw to Calvin Ridley short and hope for excellent blocking was not, I would venture, the way things should have gone. It was a sign of too many things to come. Matt Ryan has not had the most inspiring start to the season, to say the least. He’s thrown pretty balls and escaped pressure well, but he’s also tossed a ton of picks, including one really ugly one in this one that he threw up in the vain hope that Julio Jones would get it. Ryan at his sharpest is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but Ryan at less than his best helps keep teams in the game. He did more than that in this one. The pick off Sanu’s hands wasn’t all that bad, but both the duck to Julio and the red zone pick he attempted into double coverage with Hooper were ghastly and costly the Falcons dearly. One of Ryan’s great successes in recent years was cutting down on the number of head-scratching throws we’d come to expect, so this is a most unwelcome return to an old form. If it involves winning and more downfield strikes, though? We’ll think about it. The offensive line was solid, especially considering the opponent, but the ground game still struggled to get going. Again, Devonta Freeman had a couple of nice runs and looked game but found few lanes, and was outplayed by Ito Smith. I don’t think there are going to be too many more weeks where Free scuffles behind the same line as Ito without the Falcons looking at a larger role for the latter, but I’m hopeful Free can break out a bit against Indy. With a fourth down and 14 yards to go on the final, pivotal Eagles drive of the game, the Falcons managed to let Nelson Agholor run by everyone and catch a 43 yard reception. It was quintessentially the most Falcons play of the evening, in that it was brutally bad, completely indefensible, and as poorly timed as it possibly could have been. I died more than a little bit inside when the Falcons allowed that play to happen, considering the stakes and considering how completely predictable it seemed the moment it happened. It’s beyond fortunate that it didn’t cost them the game. This team is still, despite the win, all too eager to give up leads. The Falcons should have salted this game against a banged-up Eagles squad away multiple times, but there was always a blown coverage or a Matt Ryan interception lurking to keep things close. I’ll never complain about the W, but we’re a long ways away from this team winning games comfortably and sparing us the medical bills. The officiating was (not stunningly) bad. The crew missed an obvious pass interference on Julio Jones in the first quarter and did not, unsurprisingly, elect to turn that call over on review. You can and should question the wisdom of Dan Quinn throwing the challenge flag there, given how infrequently those calls are overturned, but there’s little question they screwed that up. The Falcons got hit with a couple of other ticky-tack penalties but that happens in every game to every team, leaving me just a tad steamed at that first call. The Wrapup Game MVP I’d have a tough time giving this to one person, so let’s hand let Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Isaiah Oliver all put a hand on it for their efforts. Heck, give Jake Matthews one for that block alone. One Takeaway Atlanta suffered no ill effects from their sound beating at the hands of the Vikings, and they might just have a good defense, though it’s way too early to say more than just might. Next Week The Colts. The same Colts who have been tough defensively and have all the offensive firepower to make it difficult, and the same Colts who are at home. It’s gonna be another wild one. Check out Stampede Blue for more. Final Word Iamsorelieved. https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/9/16/20867307/falcons-eagles-recap-the-heartbreaker-that-wasnt-matt-ryan-julio-jones-isaiah-oliver-carson-wentz
  2. Falcons - Vikings recap: A dispiriting season opener raises too many familiar questions Atlanta lost because of bad mistakes, a lack of discipline, and questionable defense and blocking. Where have we heard that before? By Dave Choate Sep 9, 2019, 8:00am EDT The Falcons lost. The Falcons were embarrassingly bad. This team is incredibly talented on paper, and while they’re often less than stellar in Week 1s—recall their ugly loss to the Buccaneers in the 2016 opener—there’s far too much talent here for the Falcons to be utterly embarrassed by that. I imagine we’ll look back at this one later in the year and realize how good Minnesota is and how fluky some of this was for Atlanta, but I imagine that because all we have to go on at the moment is that single game, and it was abysmal. Every question mark had its day in the sun in this one. There was Dirk Koetter’s play calling, which too often needed time to wind up and too often targeted guys like Luke Stocker (IN THE END ZONE) against a defense you can’t fool around with. There was the actual execution, which featured some cringe-worthy pass protection and run blocking, and some unforgivably bad throws from Matt Ryan. The defense was often dealt a bad hand with field position and did nothing with it, getting eaten up by Dalvin Cook early on and getting hit with too many penalties throughout the game. They dug a deep hole from very early on, so it’s not like they were simply outclassed, though of course they were. They were also plagued by the kind of sloppy mistakes and close calls on turnovers that have too often marked this era of Falcons football, squandering red zone shots and chances and letting the Vikings walk on them. To belabor the point, it was an awful game for them. The question on everyone’s mind now is whether this is a harbinger of things to come or just an awful game from a rusty team that did a lot of stupid things against the Vikings. With a game against the Eagles looming, it’s going to be an 0-2 start and a lot of misery if it’s the former. It’s only a single game—I would still urge everyone here not to doom this team based on a single game—but they can scarcely afford for the problems with discipline and execution to persist. There’s also the small matter that if they’re going to make a postseason push—hardly something I feel like discussing at length—they’re going to need to be able to beat teams as good and as physical as the Vikings. That’s the thing I feel worst about today. On to the full recap. If you skip this one, I don’t blame you. The Good Justin Hardy weathered an offseason where many, including us at times, wondered if he’d be back and whether he’d have any kind of a real role if he was. In this one, he was a vital player, springing open multiple times when no one else could do it and coming down with tough catches in traffic. He had 3 catches for 31 yards in the first quarter alone, and had the Falcons been able to do literally anything else, would’ve likely keyed at least one scoring drive. As the game ground on, Austin Hooper was one of the few Falcons who was consistently getting open and making something of his targets. He finished this one with 77 yards on nine grabs, and it’ll help the Falcons immeasurably in Week 2 if he can munch up yardage like that again. Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones touchdowns, woo. They both started to get some separation later in the game, which we hope will continue into Week 2. I don’t want to make too much of this given that Stefon Diggs was a bit limited, but Desmond Trufant stuck to him like glue and kept him from being a major factor in this one. He wound up with just two receptions for 37 yards, and I think the flashes of excellence we saw from Tru in his preseason action were a sign of things to come. Ito Smith’s work made you sit up in your chair. He showed nice vision and good acceleration on several of his runs and had more success than Devonta Freeman Sunday. He’s not going to bully his way into a larger role in the early going, but it’s something to watch for the long-term as he gains confidence and the coaching staff pays attention to his good work. Grady Jarrett remains a stud. He had a huge tackle for loss in the first half and got a strip sack on Kirk Cousins to start the second half, though sadly the Falcons couldn’t capitalize. Out of the many, many moves the Falcons made this offseason, locking up Jarrett might have been the single most critical. The defense was...not abysmal, past a certain point. After that brutal first quarter, they held the Vikings to 7, 7, and 0 points over the coming quarters. They were too easily gashed on the ground for a rebuilt run defense and there were plenty of struggles, but the Vikings didn’t exactly run roughshod over their D, despite the final score. The Ugly That opening drive was...not ideal. Matt Ryan sacked on the very first play of the game, a run on 2nd and 18, and Ryan forced to scramble for like 10 yards. Then Matt Bosher’s punt was decisively blocked, giving the Vikings ideal field position. To say the line looked overmatched would have been an understatement, and all our happy hopes and dreams evaporated in instants. The problem, of course, was that things did not immediately get better from there. The Falcons swiftly surrendered a touchdown to Adam Thielen, who handily beat Isaiah Oliver, and then Matt Ryan threw a pick on the next drive. The Falcons didn’t look like a team that had been hearing an urgent drumbeat all offseason, as they had assured us they were. They looked amateurish and unprepared, and frankly that was the most disappointing start imaginable. Forget the start, the overall effort level was baffling. Matt Ryan missing Julio on one of the easiest throws he’ll have all year downfield when he had time in the pocket. Dirk Koetter trying, repeatedly, to get Devonta Freeman outside on slow-developing runs when the run blocking was very obviously not there. The defense coming in hot down the middle and the Vikings tossing the ball outside with obvious results. It was fair to suggest coming into this game that the Falcons would struggle, and I predicted the win knowing that they might let me down. I just never in my wildest dreams thought they’d look so completely overmatched, and it was one of the grimmest possible starts for a team that desperately needs this season to be better than the last. Matt Ryan had his moments, but he was uncharacteristically stinky in this one, throwing one bobbled pick, a few errant throws, and one absolute gimme rainbow that was intercepted in the end zone, with Luke Stocker’s questionable route running certainly playing a role. Those misses had massive consequences, as Ryan missed on an easy touchdown to Julio Jones, a sideline bomb to Calvin Ridley, and a handful of others that might have actually kept them in this game. He’s the one guy I fully expect to bounce back a week from now. Isaiah Oliver had a lot of trouble in this one. He was beaten soundly by Adam Thielen on the first drive of the game, got called for a critical defensive penalty in the second quarter, and generally scuffled in a tough matchup. Don’t think the Eagles won’t be watching that film with interest. Jake Matthews and the tackle group in general also had a ton of trouble in this one, with Matthews getting Ryan killed on multiple plays and the Ty Sambrailo/Kaleb McGary rotation did him no favors, with McGary in particular looking overmatched early on. With all the investments the Falcons made in this offensive line, those kinds of hiccups can’t continue for long or there’s going to be severe and justified angst in the fanbase. I don’t need to hear Dan Quinn and company talk about discipline any more, because the same kinds of penalties plague this team. I don’t need to hear them talk about the importance of turnovers when this team squanders their opportunities to get them, however luck-based they may be, on a regular basis. It’s going to be Dan Quinn and his coaching staff on the line if these things don’t get cleaned up, because they continue to cost the Falcons football games and even when we see progress in other areas, we rarely see it there. The Wrapup Game MVP Already giving this one to you, the viewer at home, who had to deal with this impossible nonsense for absolutely no reason. It’s not fair to you, sir/ma’am. One Takeaway The Falcons are either not as good or not as prepared as we would have liked to believe, hopefully the latter. They have to get this thing turned around with extreme quickness to avoid ending up in a big hole and having to claw their way out of the basement of the NFC South. Next Week The Falcons at least get to be home! They’ll face the Eagles on Sunday Night Football next week, and you should check out Bleeding Green Nation for more on what unfortunately looks like one of the best teams in the NFC despite some early shakiness against Washington. Final Word Pleasenomoreofthat. https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/9/9/20854978/falcons-vikings-recap-a-dispiriting-season-opener-raises-too-many-familiar-questions-matt-ryan
  3. From a UsaToday article: "Atlanta is still missing a strong run-contain edge defender The Falcons are still too light on the edge, and Vic Beasley hasn’t taken the next step to fill that hole. They need a player like Jadeveon Clowney or even Danielle Hunter. Takkarist McKinley flashed the ability to succeed in run contain, but also made a lot of poor reads. The front office may need to invest in a star run containing edge defender or prioritize one in the next draft if this keeps up." https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/08/falcons-vikings-takeaways-week-1-loss/6/
  4. As a life-long Falcons fan, I completely understand what you are feeling and saying. However, game one did happen and the Falcons were totally unprepared for it. It's only one game, but I do believe it clearly puts Quinn on the proverbial hot-seat. From YahooSports Winners and Losers Week 1: "Dan Quinn: After last season, Quinn fired his offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators. After that happens, there’s only one more move to make if things don’t turn around. The most disappointing team in the NFL on Sunday was probably the Falcons. There’s not much shame in losing at Minnesota, but the Falcons were down 28-0 at one point. They looked terrible on both sides of the ball. It was a team that started 4-9 last season despite a very good season from Matt Ryan. If Sunday is a sign of things to come, Quinn might not last the season." https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl-winners-and-losers-about-that-criticism-lamar-jackson-cant-pass-well-enough-204410089.html
  5. 6 takeaways from the Falcons' Week 1 loss against the Vikings By: Cam Marino | September 8, 2019 6:00 pm The Falcons’ 28-12 loss to the Vikings today in the season opener was nothing short of horrible. It was truly embarrassing in all three phases of the game. Here are six things we learned from this dreadful defeat: Offensive line was atrocious Matt Ryan was pressured on what seemed like every single play. With two rookies on the right side of the offensive line, this was expected. However, Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Matthews allowing three sacks was not. Could Matthews be regressing? The Falcons had better hope not, because they would be in big trouble if so. Run defense was lackluster Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison had a field day running on Atlanta. Maybe Dan Quinn’s new 5-2-4 base defense has a gigantic weakness. Minnesota’s running backs weren’t being touched until they were three to four yards downfield, which is less than ideal. For a team that lacks interior bulk and favors linebacker speed, opposing running backs are often going to succeed, but this was unacceptable. Lack of chemistry was apparent For a team with three new offensive linemen and three new coordinators, the lack of chemistry was apparent. The connection between Ryan and Julio Jones didn’t show up until the fourth quarter, when it was already too late. Ryan and tight end Luke Stocker had a key miscommunication, and the game may have been lost on that interception. CB Isaiah Oliver struggled Adam Thielen is one of the league’s most underrated wide receivers, and he got the best of Oliver today. For a guy who was expected to have a breakout second year, this was a tough start. Oliver simply couldn’t handle Thielen one-on-one and needed a lot of safety help. Thielen will make a lot of cornerbacks look bad, but Oliver knows he needs to do better. Atlanta is still missing a strong run-contain edge defender The Falcons are still too light on the edge, and Vic Beasley hasn’t taken the next step to fill that hole. They need a player like Jadeveon Clowney or even Danielle Hunter. Takkarist McKinley flashed the ability to succeed in run contain, but also made a lot of poor reads. The front office may need to invest in a star run containing edge defender or prioritize one in the next draft if this keeps up. One loss does not ruin a season Remember, the Falcons also lost their first game against the Buccaneers in the 2016 season, when they went to the Super Bowl. That wasn’t the first time they turned around a bad debut, either. In both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the Falcons lost their first game; they went 13-3 in 2010 and 10-6 in 2011. As Aaron Rodgers once said: R-E-L-A-X. https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/08/falcons-vikings-takeaways-week-1-loss/6/
  6. Falcons Winners and Losers By: Scott Carasik | September 8, 2019 4:42 pm The Falcons lost 28-12 against the Vikings in what was an awful start to the season. They really need to clean up their mistakes moving forward, or this is going to be a very long year. Here’s our winners and losers for this week. Loser: Turnover differential Atlanta had four turnovers against the Vikings’ tough defense and special teams units. Between a blocked punt, a fumble and two interceptions, the Falcons shot themselves in the foot with stupid mistakes. Minnesota capitalized on all of them with touchdowns. Loser: Run Defense On the Vikings’ first seven carries of the game, they gained 70 yards and scored a touchdown and it didn’t get better from there. On 38 Minnesota runs, Atlanta allowed 172 yards and three touchdowns. Winner: TE Austin Hooper Hooper was out there looking like Tony Gonzalez in Dirk Koetter’s offense. He looks to be the underneath route specialist, gaining 77 yards on his nine catches. Considering he was only targeted nine times, that’s an exceptional day for him. He also did well as a blocker in the run game. Loser: RB Devonta Freeman Freeman was effectively shut down as a rusher and he also fumbled the ball around the 20-yard line. It’s OK to be shut down, but it’s never OK to fumble in the red zone. The Vikings turned that into seven points, essentially wiping out what would have been a comeback attempt in the process. Winner: DT Grady Jarrett The only real bright spot on defense was Grady Jarrett. He had a sack and a forced fumble, a tackle behind the line and a ton of penetration against the run, leading to some third down stops for the Falcons. Jarrett didn’t get much help from the rest of the defensive line, but he had a great game. Loser: QB Matt Ryan Despite throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, Ryan’s two interceptions were part of what sealed the loss. Both of his interceptions turned into touchdowns, resulting in 14-point swings. Without those picks, Atlanta would have had a much better chance to win this one. Ultimate Loser: Falcons offensive line The offensive line as a whole just couldn’t put it together. Losing Chris Lindstrom to a foot injury halfway through the game didn’t help. As a team, they were only able to gain 49 yards on their 15 designed runs. They were also terrible in pass protection, allowing four sacks and seven QB hits. https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/08/falcons-vs-vikings-winners-and-losers-from-week-1-matchup/ Falcons vs. Vikings: Winners and losers
  7. From YahooSports Winners and Losers Week 1: "Dan Quinn: After last season, Quinn fired his offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators. After that happens, there’s only one more move to make if things don’t turn around. The most disappointing team in the NFL on Sunday was probably the Falcons. There’s not much shame in losing at Minnesota, but the Falcons were down 28-0 at one point. They looked terrible on both sides of the ball. It was a team that started 4-9 last season despite a very good season from Matt Ryan. If Sunday is a sign of things to come, Quinn might not last the season." https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl-winners-and-losers-about-that-criticism-lamar-jackson-cant-pass-well-enough-204410089.html
  8. Thanks, but Sheffield is still not on the Depth Chart at the atlantafalcons.com website: https://www.atlantafalcons.com/team/depth-chart
  9. CB Kendall Sheffield not listed on the Depth Chart??
  10. Its now official that TBJ has been signed to the Bucs Practice Squad. Monday, Sep 02, 2019 06:04 PM Bucs Claim RB T.J. Logan, Add Two to Practice Squad Scott Smith On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the first tweak to the 53-man roster they formed two days earlier, claiming third-year running back T.J. Logan off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. To make room for Logan on that roster, the Buccaneers waived outside linebacker Patrick O'Connor. Tampa Bay also filled two of the remaining three spots on their practice squad, signing running back Tony Brooks-James and tackle Brad Seaton. Brooks-James is a rookie who signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in May; Seaton is a first-year player who can count the Bucs as one of his four NFL stops so far. https://www.buccaneers.com/news/bucs-claim-rb-t-j-logan-add-two-to-practice-squad-roster-move
  11. Also take a look at OvertheCap's projected cap savings for 2020 for individual Falcons players under contract, if they are cut in 2020. (make sure that you click on the 2020 tab) I hope you see that cutting Freeman in 2020 will result in $3.5 million in cap savings according to OTC, which uses the same formula: Cap-Hit - Dead Money = Cap Savings (and NOT Base Salary - Dead Money, which appears to be the formula that you are advocating for calculating cap savings). https://overthecap.com/calculator/atlanta-falcons/
  12. Scheduled cap hit is not irrelevant when you are calculating cap savings, because it is part of the formula for calculating cap savings, ie, cap savings = cap-hit - dead money. Now the cap-hit would include the base salary + any prorated signing bonus for the year. Dead money would include the current year's prorated bonus + future years' prorated bonus. Let me try to explain it in words. At the beginning of the 2020 NFL year, Freeman will count $9.5 million against the salary cap, because that is his scheduled cap hit for 2020, ie $6.5 million base salary + $3 million prorated bonus for 2020. If Freeman gets cut, then the $9.5 million comes off the books and the cap-hit is reduced by that same amount. However, the remaining dead money of $6 million ( $3 million for 2020 + $3 million for 2021) comes into play and then this amount counts against the cap for 2020, rather than the $9.5 million. Now, tell me how much is saved against the cap, if $9.5 million is initially charged against the cap in 2020, but is subsequently changed downward to only $6 million?
  13. According to reddit.com, TBJ has been signed to the Bucs Practice Squad: news[Auman] Bucs have signed former Oregon and Falcons RB Tony Brooks-James to their practice squad. Undrafted rookie averaged 7.2 yards per carry in preseason for Atlanta with 2 TDs. With Ducks, 6.6-yard average, also had a 100-yard KO return. Originally from Gainesville.
  14. The formula for calculating Cap Savings = Scheduled Cap-Hit - Dead Money. An example of this formula from nfl.com: Guaranteed money, dead money and cap savings Example: Odell Beckham Jr. Contract (Total value: 5 years, $90.0 million) - Guaranteed Money: $65.0 million. - Fully Guaranteed Money: $40.959 million. - Signing Bonus: $20 million ($4.0 million in cap space for first five seasons). - 2018: $5.459M cap hit - $40.959M in dead money = -$35.0M in cap savings. - 2019: $21.0M cap hit - $35.5M in dead money = -$14.5M in cap savings. - 2020: $18.25M cap hit - $14.75M in dead money = +$3.5M in cap savings. - 2021: $19.75M cap hit - $8.0M in dead money = +$11.75M in cap savings. - 2022: $19.0M cap hit - $4.0M in dead money = +$15.0M in cap savings. - 2023: $15.0M cap hit - $0.0M in dead money = +$15.0M in cap savings. > Cap savings: pre-June 1 release. Odell Beckham Guarantees by Year - Signing Bonus: $20M - 2018: $1.459M base salary. - 2019: $16.75M base salary. - 2020: $2.75M of $14.0M base salary. Full Guarantee total: $40.959M. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001021617/article/2019-nfl-free-agency-glossary-all-the-terms-you-need-to-know
  15. G-Dawg, I'll have to disagree with your conclusion on cap-savings. Freeman's scheduled cap-hit for 2020 is $9.5 million, composed of $6.5 million base salary + $3 million prorated bonus. If Freeman were to be cut in 2020, then the cap-hit would be $6 million of total dead-money. $9.5 million scheduled cap-hit for 2020 - $6 million actual cap-hit in 2020, if cut = $3.5 million cap-savings in 2020. https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/devonta-freeman-14514/
  16. vaughn mcclure‏ @vxmcclure23 18m18 minutes ago More Falcons officially add WR Brandon Powell and also S Jamal Carter to practice squad
  17. Falcons sign FB Keith Smith No corresponding move yet, but it’s safe to assume he’ll be replacing Ricky Ortiz. By Dave Choate Sep 2, 2019, 10:04am EDT The Falcons signed...a fullback? Of course they did. This is actually not a stunner for many reasons. Ricky Ortiz was one of the big surprises of the 2019 roster, given that he had a solid but unspectacular 2018 season and was lightly utilized. The Falcons have talked a lot about running more effectively (which, ominously, may mean one of the game’s best passing offenses running more often), and they had interest in Keith Smith as recently as last offseason. They didn’t end up getting him—he went to Oakland instead—but when he became available in final cuts Dan Quinn’s eyes must have lit up. Smith has three carries and 13 receptions in five NFL seasons, but it’s his blocking that has earned him accolades throughout his career, and it’s the reason he’s likely coming to Atlanta. He’s a powerful, fearless blocker who will be counted upon to pave the way for Devonta Freeman, with Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham potentially spelling him in that role on obvious passing downs. I’m not a massive fan of using a roster spot on a pure fullback given the team’s other needs, but if they’re going to use one, it may as well be a blocker of Smith’s caliber. This isn’t official from the team just yet and there’s no corresponding move, but it’s safe to assume that Ricky Ortiz will be looking to latch on elsewhere shortly. His athleticism should get him a role, and we’ll hope Smith fits in well here.
  18. Gage was also on the 53-man roster all last year, along with Gono.
  19. One final Falcons 53 man roster prediction with cuts looming today Who is in and who is out in the very first 53 man roster for 2019? By Dave Choate Aug 31, 2019, 9:00am EDT Rosters evolve. A year ago, the Falcons surprisingly kept Richard Jarvis as one of their final players, but he didn’t get much of a chance to stick around. So it will go this year as well, but the first 53 man roster still have that glossy sheen because it comes after the team has determined at least the rough contours of its plan for 2019. Let’s get one more in before the rest of the cuts come crashing down on us. If you’re looking for Kevin Knight’s, given that he’s been our projector-in-chief this summer, he rounded them up in a tweet thread here. OFFENSE - 25 QB - 2 Matt Ryan Matt Schaub Easy. RB - 5 Devonta Freeman Ito Smith Brian Hill Qadree Ollison Kenjon Barner It’s a bit surprising to see the team keep five running backs in a league where it’s no longer the most valued position going. The Falcons view Free as their guy, and if he’s healthy he and Ito Smith figure to soak up most of the carries and targets in this offense. Hill and Ollison figure to mix in on special teams and potentially at fullback at time, with Hill likely taking on the scraps that Free and Smith leave behind and Ollison largely just developing unless injury strikes. Barner is here for the very ocasional carry and to serve as the team’s kickoff returner, if not kickoff and punt returner. TE - 3 Austin Hooper Luke Stocker Jaeden Graham Cheated a bit on this one, given that Paulse and Duarte are already gone, but this is what I would have projected based on the Falcons making it incredibly obvious. Hooper is the unquestioned starter and one of the 10-12 best tight ends in the NFL today, with Stocker serving as a versatile blocker with some fullback experience, and Graham the interesting young tight end with the athleticism to play a role as a receiver and the upside to mix in as a blocker and fullback himself. The Falcons will likely wind up rolling out 3-4 guys to serve as a nominal fullback this year, and Graham has a strong chance to push for the #2 tight end job next year. WR - 6 Julio Jones Calvin Ridley Mohamed Sanu Russell Gage Justin Hardy Olamide Zaccheaus The first five spots here are easy. There’s a slim possibility the Falcons could elect to move on from Hardy, but his value as a sticky-handed third down and red zone option and his superior blocking should keep him around. That leaves one open spot, and that competition truly has looked open this year. I know Christian Blake has earned all the buzz and Marcus Green was the draft pick, but I’m going with Olamide Zaccheaus in the end. He looked good on Thursday against the Jaguars, as he has most of the preseason, and he looms as a potential option at returner if Barner falters or goes down. He may be an inactive to start the year, but Zaccheaus should develop into someone the Falcons want to keep around. OL - 9 LT Jake Matthews LG Jamon Brown C Alex Mack RG Chris Lindstrom OT Kaleb McGary G James Carpenter C/G Wes Schweitzer OT Ty Sambrailo OT Matt Gono The only potential surprise here would be another lineman being kept, but that would require a surprise cut elsewhere. The reality is that this group has separated itself from everyone else consistently wit hthe exception of Sambrailo, who the team still likes and figures to keep around. Carpenter or Brown will back up left guard, Schweitzer will back up right guard and center, and Gono has done enough to at least back up one of the tackle spots. It’s a good, athletic group of guys. DEFENSE - 25 DE - 6 Vic Beasley Takkarist McKinley Adrian Clayborn Allen Bailey John Cominsky Austin Larkin Beasley and McKinley are locked in as the de facto starters. Clayborn will play a valuable reserve role, while Bailey should get plenty of snaps on early downs and figures to be one of the team’s moer effective defensive linemen when it comes to stopping the run. Cominsky is the hyper-athletic developmental option who figures to get time both inside and outside and Larkin pushed his way onto this roster with consistently terrific play this summer. This gives the Falcons real depth. DT - 4 Grady Jarrett Jack Crawford Tyeler Davison Deadrin Senat Clayborn, Allen and Cominsky will mix in here, giving the team better depth than this grouping would suggest. Jarrett is a stud, Crawford is a very useful pass rusher, Davison is a consistently stout run stopper, and Senat could still develop into something special. This defensive line genuinely looks stronger than it has in a while, whether or not the Falcons actually do keep Larkin. LB - 5 Deion Jones De’Vondre Campbell Foyesade Oluokun Jermaine Grace Duke Riley Many have been putting Bruce Carter here all summer, but as much as I like Carter, I don’t think he’s a lock to make it, much less a strong bet to beat out Grace and Riley. Both of those players are young, athletic, and have real special teams value, and this feels like a good group of linebackers who fit Dan Quinn’s preferred set of traits. Oluokun is the obvious third linebacker after a strong 2018, but Grace and Riley should find their way onto the field. CB - 5 Desmond Trufant Isaiah Oliver Damontae Kazee Kendall Sheffield Jordan Miller They should keep Blidi Wreh-Wilson, but I have a sneaking feeling they’ll prioritize adding a guy like Larkin who can be useful this year and step into a larger role next year when a lot of contracts are expiring. If they don’t keep BWW, Sheffield and Miller still provide intriguing young depth, and Chris Cooper at safety can play nickel in a pinch, giving them some flexibility. S - 5 SS Keanu Neal FS Ricardo Allen S Sharrod Neasman S Kemal Ishmael S/CB Chris Cooper This doesn’t feel difficult on paper. Neasman was good in starting action last year and plays teams, Ishmael is a force against the run and is perhaps the team’s most important non-specialist special teamer, and Cooper had a solid summer at safety and cornerback, making him a good de facto tenth defensive back. The Falcons could use three safeties with Neal and Allen coming off of injuries, too. SPECIAL TEAMS - 3 K Matt Bryant P Matt Bosher LS Josh Harris Tavecchio got his shot and unfortunately couldn’t make the most of it. The Falcons got itchy and appear set to go with their legendary kicker since 2009 again in 2019, with the team negotiating a contract by all indications as I write this. Any other result would be an upset. PRACTICE SQUAD - 10 QB Danny Etling RB Tony Brooks-James WR Christian Blake TE Alex Gray C Chandler Miller DE Durrant Miles DT Justin Zimmer LB Del’Shawn Phillips CB Jayson Stanley K Matthew Wright Etling did enough in that last preseason game to stick around, Brooks-James was legitimately impressive at times, Blake is a coaching staff favorite who did enough to earn another year to develop, and Gray is turning into a quality blocker and is a necessary hold with the Falcons only keeping three tight ends. Miller did enough to earn a look as a developmental center. Zimmer has shown flashes of real promise as a pass rusher and should push harder for a role next year, Phillips was good-to-great all summer, and Stanley has intriguing tools and potentially a lot of special teams value. Wright is a kicker with a good leg and pretty good results in Pittsburgh, and the Falcons’ skittishness about Matt Bryant’s injury potential makes a practice squad kicker a fairly strong bet. It just may not be Wright. As is custom, the Falcons may pull an outside player or two into the mix that I haven’t accounted for yet, but this feels like a strong projection based on what we’ve seen in August. https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/31/20841997/one-final-falcons-53-man-roster-prediction-with-cuts-looming-today-olamide-zaccheaus-matt-bryant
  20. He had a strained oblique. However, Oluokun did play some in the last preseason game.
  21. Falcons - Jaguars recap: And so we come to the end of preseason Atlanta wins, and now we brace for the roster cuts to come. By Dave Choate Aug 30, 2019, 8:00am EDT The final preseason game, against all odds, was the most fun preseason game we’ve yet endured. The Falcons came out swinging, played pretty well with their reserves on both offense and defense, and won their first preseason game in many, many moons. It was the kind of game that got you in the right frame of mind for the regular season, even if few of the players are likely to be the same. It was a terrific night for Danny Etling, by and large, and he’s probably headed for a practice squad spot. Qadree Ollison could not have done more to convince the Falcons to carry him andBrian Hill. Kaleb McGary pushed hard for a starting job. Defensively, Jayson Stanley was stellar and Deadrin Senat and John Cominsky both pushed hard for roles, and frankly the entire defense held up well against a shaky group of Jaguars backups. If you were looking for signs that this team’s depth will be better in 2019, you got a glimpse. Much has already been decided. The Falcons had staff parked back at Flowery Branch during this game in preparation for the roster cuts to come, as they always do, and there were only a small handful of spots truly up for grabs. But it was worthwhile to see the team’s depth playing well and playing hard for a role on the roster, and we’ll hope that whatever configuration emerges in the days to come is as strong as humanly possible. This team, one prays, is going places in 2019. For what it’s worth, here’s our recap, with our customary players worth calling out. The Good Kaleb McGary looked very, very comfortable in his first game action, throwing dudes around and providing a huge block on Qadree Ollison’s first quarter touchdown run and getting Tony Brooks-James free on the team’s second TD. There’s no guarantee he’ll start Week 1, but if the Falcons think he’s ready he appears on track to do so and thrive. Danny Etling heated up in a major way after starting the game looking uncertain and timid. He started to scramble—something he does extremely well—and found a rhythm in the passing game, completing some pretty balls to the likes of Christian Blake and Olamide Zaccheaus. He has no real competition for a practice squad QB spot, but he earned it anyways with last night’s performance. Speaking of Ollison, he threw a nice block as a fullback and ran for a nine yard touchdown on the same drive, and throughout the first half he was running hard, picking up chunk yardage, and blocking when he wasn’t. It’s not hard to see why the Falcons like a back who values blocking and offers a nice combination of size and speed. The only question is whether he’s done enough to push past Brian Hill, and the answer to that (given that Hill didn’t play) is probably no. The Falcons are loaded with backs already, but what to do with Tony Brooks-James? He’s done nothing but play well this summer, and this game against the Jaguars was a tour de force that saw him rip off huge gain after huge gain, culminating in a 52 yard touchdown scamper where he looked like human electricity. If he can’t stick as a member of this practice squad, there are teams starved for depth that ought to be looking hard at him. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner with a sack in this one, and it’s unfortunate that the defensive line is so crowded because he’s looked much better than a year ago after spending 2018 on the practice squad. Perhaps one more year will give him his chance to crack the rotation. I don’t know who the final guy on the defensive line will be, but if you’re arguing purely on who performed the best throughout the summer, it has to be Austin Larkin. He made multiple key stops in this one and has had few bad plays along the way, and the Falcons could probably use another capable defensive end. I’m hoping he lands a spot. Jermaine Grace should have had a roster spot sewn up, but just in case there was any doubt, he picked off Gardner Minshew and returned it for a touchdown in this one. I count it even if it was called back. He simply has been one of the team’s best reserve defenders all summer long and is easily one of the five best linebackers this team can trot out there on Sunday. He’s in. Jayson Stanley is a converted wide receiver with the requisite size and speed to be interesting for Dan Quinn, and this week served as the kind of strong performance that will allow DQ to feel good about stashing him on the practice squad. Don’t be surprised if he’s there come Sunday afternoon. The Ugly Jordan Miller has had his moments this summer and is a roster lock, but he did not enjoy his best drive against the Jaguars to open things up, committing a pass interference penalty and getting beat soundly by a Jags’ receiver who thankfully dropped the ball. He’s not going to get a ton of playing time this year if all goes well, but he’s got a ton of promise, so this is more of a minor knock on him than something I’m seriously concerned about. The kicking performances last night likely didn’t matter at all, because Matt Bryant is on his way back. But Giorgio Tavecchio missing a third kick in three games wide left, even if it was a 53 yarder, certainly sealed his fate. Bryant is coming back and taking this job, and the only intrigue left concerns whether the Falcons will carry a guy on the practice squad as insurance. We’ll hope Italian Ice lands on his feet elsewhere. Blair Walsh, meanwhile, drilled his first opportunity but had his second one blocked after John Wetzel and Adam Gettis got absolutely sown into the earth itself. Walsh would be an option for nominal second kicker if he had any practice squad eligibility, but because he does not he’ll be hoping to latch on elsewhere. Penalties are just part of the fabric of this football team. It’d almost be better if Dan Quinn stopped addressing them, because we know they’re not miraculously going to get better with the way things are proceeding now. The positive note is that it’s only preseason, but the number of penalties has been ungodly. As always, I like to end this by noting that there’s not much to celebrate here besides some better-than-expected football. By Saturday afternoon, 37 insanely hard-working men will be out of jobs, and not all of them or even a majority of them will latch on with another football team. They’ll be left to navigate that reality in the weeks, months, and years to come, and it won’t necessarily be easy for any of them to stop doing the thing they’ve been best at since they were quite young. I sincerely wish every current Falcon who doesn’t make the roster well, especially in a year where almost no one played abysmally. The Wrapup Game MVP Qadree Ollison, who did a lot and had fun doing it, and on a night where Brian Hill was parked and thus Ollison was clearly fighting for his job. Respect. One Takeaway The Falcons are loaded up with running backs to the extent that had they not made the Qadree Ollison pick, they could still justify keeping five guys. Now Tony Brooks-James will be headed to the practice squad or another team, but this Falcons team looks like it’ll have much stronger depth at RB and a handful of other key positions, at the very least. Next Week Real, honest-to-goodness regular season football. The Falcons start the season with a difficult matchup against a Vikings team with a ton of talent but the usual questions at kicker. Visit Daily Norseman for a lot more. Final Word Finallytheseasonisuponus https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/30/20838870/falcons-jaguars-recap-and-so-we-come-to-the-end-of-preseason-tony-brooks-james-jermaine-grace
  22. Who is your Punt Returner, Hardy?
  23. 2 hot takes from Falcons - Jaguars in the final week of preseason The Falcons won, and more importantly, we have takes. Only two this week, though. By Dave Choate Aug 30, 2019, 9:00am EDT Hot takes are easier to dispense in preseason when the consequences aren’t so weighty for this football team, so let’s get to dispensing them. Here’s what I came away with in my addled brain after four quarters of (blissfully, final) preseason action in Week 4. You’ll note that there are only two this week, with an explanation at the end. Jermaine Grace has sewn up not just a roster spot, but a role You cannot talk me out of this. Grace didn’t make this Falcons roster before, but on his return he’s taken his already acknowledged special teams skills and paired them with striking growth on defense. His pick six of Gardner Minshew that wasn’t didn’t count in the box score, but it was another athletic, heady play in a summer full of them. Grace has done nothing but elbow other guys out of the way, pushing his way past promising rookies Yurik Bethune and Tre’ Crawford, holding his own against the also very impressive Del’Shawn Phillips, outplaying veterans like Bruce Carterand to a lesser extent Duke Riley, and making the most of every single chance he’s gotten. He’s on this roster, and the athleticism and skill he’s shown this summer should ensure that he actually gets onto the field for this football team, be it Dan Quinn or Ben Kotwica. The Falcons are going to keep five backs This one has been percolating for a while, and I was a little reluctant to accept it given that RB is no longer one of the most coveted positions on the field. But with Devonta Freeman, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill seemingly locked in to spots based on the fact that none of them played Thursday night, Qadree Ollison’s big day was meaningful. Had he just showed that he can run well it would’ve been intriguing but not necessarily impactful, but Ollison also threw some nice blocks. With the team potentially foregoing the traditional fullback position altogether, Ollison’s ability to play there a little bit alongside Luke Stocker and maybe Jaeden Graham should earn him a spot. With Marcus Green wilting mightily this summer—though I still like his long-term potential—it seems at least one of the returner gigs will be going to Kenjon Barner. Tony Brooks-James made his case Thursday night not by returning the ball—which he didn’t get much of a chance to do—but by running it exceptionally well. If the Falcons think he can be a useful returner, it’s always possible they dump Barner for him, but it remains a longshot. Barner not getting time Thursday indicates he’s already locked in. All told, that’s five backs, and the Falcons don’t seem like they’ll be particularly inclined to just cut Ollison and hope they can get him on the practice squad. We’ll see if they can do anything interesting with that many guys, or if they buck expectations and trade one away. So why just two takes? The truth is that there are few surprises left. Giorgio Tavecchio and Blair Walsh must give way to Matt Bryant, the competitors are pretty much every key position have been whittled down, and whoever wins the DE and WR jobs that are left will be a deserving candidate. Let’s be thankful there aren’t more shocking truths to be revealed about this roster before the season begins. https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/30/20840102/2-hot-takes-from-falcons-jaguars-in-the-final-week-of-preseason
  24. I like your 53-man final roster. I think that LB Del'Shawn Phillips, whom you omitted, will definitely make the Practice Squad.
  25. 4 takeaways from the Falcons' preseason win over Jaguars By: Matt Urben | August 29, 2019 11:20 pm The Falcons may not have suited up 35 of their players, but that didn’t stop the scrappy bunch head coach Dan Quinn put out there from pulling off a 31-12 road win over the Jaguars to close out the preseason. Here are four takeaways from Atlanta’s final on-field action before the start of the 2019 regular season. The streak is over The Falcons had lost twelve consecutive preseason games coming into this one, which is almost impressive when you consider most teams don’t really care about the outcomes. Still, the team needed a win to feel good as they enter the season with a positive vibe. You can’t take away too much from the fourth week of the preseason, but Atlanta had to show a sense of urgency and they finally did that against Jacksonville tonight. Rookie RBs shine Tony Brooks-James and Qadree Ollison helped the Falcons get out to an early lead. Ollison put Atlanta on the board with a nine-yard touchdown. Then minutes later, Brooks-James powered through the Jags defense for a 15-yard touchdown. He wouldn’t stop there however, rushing for an impressive 137 yards and two scores on just 15 carries. The Falcons are fortunate to have Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith as their top two running backs, and if anything this game proved how deep they are at this position. Kickers struggle again Matt Bryant cannot get here soon enough after Atlanta’s two kickers did little tonight to earn the team’s confidence to be the starting kicker. Giorgio Tavecchio went 0-1 on field goal attempts, but was 3-for-3 on extra points. Blair Walsh wasn’t any better, going 1-for-2 on his field goal tries and hitting his one extra point opportunity. The Falcons will host and probably sign Bryant tomorrow. There couldn’t possibly be a better time for the 44-year-old to prove he should’ve never been released. Backup QB Danny Etling was solid Former Patriots quarterback/wide receiver Danny Etling continued to showcase his dual-threat ability in Atlanta’s win. Etling was 15-of-25 for 174 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 94.4. He also added 67 yards on the ground. With Matt Schaub locked in as Matt Ryan’s backup, Etling was really auditioning for all 32 teams tonight. He made the most of his opportunity and hopefully will land somewhere. https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/08/29/falcons-jaguars-preseason-week-4-takeaways/