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  1. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn will spend the next few months evaluating their roster. Change will happen as it does each year, but this offseason could be a little different from previous years. The Falcons will be looking to add more difference-makers or, more specifically, game-wreckers to the roster in addition to expectations for several players to take the next step. "We feel we have game-wreckers [but] we feel we want to increase our amount of game-wreckers no question," Dimitroff said at the Senior Bowl. "Our playmakers, our game-wreckers, we feel we have a good group of those guys. They need to continue to step up as we do within all the organization to make sure we're providing our coaches with game wreckers. We're expecting big things out of the players we believe are that." After back-to-back seasons without a trip to the postseason and Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank saying a 7-9 record will not be acceptable moving forward, Dimitroff acknowledged the importance of continuing to acquire players who can make a difference on the field. "This is a big season for us to continue to acquire those guys," Dimitroff said. "We'll have to make some difficult moves to create cap space. So, we will be unfortunately losing some players so we're going to have to be ready to replace." Dimitroff has stressed that regardless of several players being on significant long-term deals, the Falcons will not be handicapped by their cap space situation moving forward. The roster is expected to be built with the players who give the Falcons the best chance to be a contender in 2020 and Dimitroff is confident he can find creative ways to ensure that is the case. "I'm not concerned about it being a situation where we are going to be in what has been perceived out there as cap ****," Dimitroff said. "It's not the case at all. We will accomplish what we need to accomplish to continue to bring the right players in here to be a contender. As for players who Dimitroff believes are game-wreckers for the Falcons, it starts with wide receiver Julio Jones on offense. Matt Ryan also continues to play at a high level and the emergence of Calvin Ridley over the last two years is encouraging. After an offseason dedicated to rebuilding the offensive line in 2019, Dimitroff is encouraged by the play of first-year players Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom. Alex Mack and Jake Matthews have continued to be consistent at center and left tackle over the last few years. Left guard, however, looks to certainly be a position the Falcons will explore via free agency or the draft. The defensive side of the ball is where Dimitroff expects a number of players to take the next step, starting with former first-round pick Takk McKinley. "I would love to see Takk McKinley take it to another level," Dimtiroff said. "He has so much ability and upside for us. His fire and passion are what we're looking for. I can't wait for him to get into this season and get healed up after his surgery, that's going to be an important thing for us." Dimitroff is high on the potential of a few of his younger players in the secondary including free safety Damontae Kazee and cornerbacks Kendall Sheffield and Isaiah Oliver. "Continue to watch guys like Kazee and our evolving corners coming in with Sheffield and Isaiah Oliver," Dimitroff said. "They need to continue to wreck games and make big plays, bat balls down, pick off balls." Linebacker Deion Jones is someone the Falcons have invested in as he was signed to a four-year contract extension ahead of the 2019 season. Jones plays a significant role in Atlanta's defense and is someone Dimitroff wants to see him consistently make an impact. "Same kind of thing; get Debo in there," Dimitroff said. "Let's roll, man it's time. He can shut down players for sure, [we] want him to keep flying around the field and turning games upside down because he has the ability to do that. There aren't many people who can run with some of the receivers and running backs underneath that we expect him to do. Can't wait to see that more consistently because he has the ability to do that." And to cap it off, Dimitroff continues to have high expectations for Pro Bowl defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who was Atlanta's best player on defense in 2019. "We have massive expectations for [Grady] and what he can do," Dimitroff said. "Not only is he always getting a sack, but he's always disrupting, and he is such a motivator for our defense." The Falcons have the No. 16 overall pick in April's draft and have two picks in the second round after they traded Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots during the season. Whether it's through free agency or the draft, Dimitroff will be active in ensuring he gets Atlanta's roster in the best place possible. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/falcons-gm-we-want-more-game-wreckers-on-roster
  2. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/dirk-koetter-falcons-offense-played-its-worst-game No **** Sherlock! The Falcons’ offense appeared to be hitting their stride heading into the Week 7 matchup with the Rams. That changed on Sunday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Wade Phillips and the Rams’ defense gave Atlanta all they could handle. “We didn’t play well in any areas of the game on offense,” offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said on Monday. “We played our worst game of the year. We didn’t execute well across the board.” The Falcons were averaging 22.5 points per game through six weeks. Atlanta mustered just 10 points against the Rams, the second time they’ve done that all season. Atlanta’s offensive line struggled to protect Matt Ryan as he was sacked five times and pressured nine times. The Falcons also couldn’t get the run game going, finishing the day with 38 yards on the ground. Defensive end Dante Fowler had three of the Rams’ five sacks. “We got beat on the edge,” Koetter said. The Falcons were 3-of-12 on third down, an area they had worked to improve over the past few weeks to improve. Across the board, it wasn’t a performance you’d expect to see from the Falcons’ offense led by Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. The only touchdown of the game came from Matt Schaub in the final minutes of the fourth quarter after Ryan left the game with an ankle injury. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said they don’t know how much time Ryan will miss and they won’t put him back out on the field until he’s fully ready.
  3. Dan Quinn names six Falcons players who have stood out so far FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Prior to the start of the Falcons’ offseason program, Dan Quinn named the five players he was hoping to see step up. On offense, it was Jake Matthews and Calvin Ridley. On defense, it was Takk McKinely, Vic Beasley and Isaiah Oliver. Four out of five of those players were present for the entire offseason program. Beasley opted to not attend any of the voluntary workouts but was present for mandatory minicamp. Quinn and his coaching staff spent the last two months working with the players on and off the field, teaching the new wrinkles that will be added to their schemes. This time is also important for the players acquired in free agency and the draft to begin working with their new teammates. It’s worth noting the restrictions of the offseason workout program. No live contact is permitted and the coaching staff is only allotted a certain amount of time with the players. Overall, Quinn was happy with what he saw from his team during organized team activities (OTA) and minicamp. There were six players who especially caught Quinn’s attention and here’s what the Falcons coach had to say about each one of the players. On offense, it was running back Devonta Freeman and receiver Mohamed Sanu. On Freeman: “He was another one who had so much to prove and to get back out on the field and to recapture his energy and style so quickly. I was very happy to see that. He looks so much like himself. For him coming back off an injury, it takes a lot of physical toughness and it takes a lot of mental toughness. He’s shown a lot of mental toughness during this rehab process. On Sanu: “He came in so fit, so ready. I think his game got sharper. He was already at a good level so when you’re already performing at a good level, it can get more challenging to get to the next level and I thought he clearly showed he was ready to get to the next level. I think [with] the things he can bring to the team, he looks as quick and as fit as he ever has.” Switching over to the defensive side of the ball, Quinn was impressed with a pair of defensive linemen, Tyeler Davison and McKinley. On McKinley: “I think he’s lighter, his speed and versatility seem ramped up. For him to go through his first offseason, as you know he missed with his left shoulder, his second year with his right shoulder. To see him lighter, faster and more explosive, that to me was someone who jumped out. On Davison: “He was somebody who I thought was better than advertised and really consistent and really showed what he was capable of.” Quinn also said cornerback Desmond Trufant and linebacker Foye Oluokun stood out as well. “Those were the few who stood out to me as leaders amongst a group that really did a nice job,” Quinn said. The next time Quinn and the Falcons will be back on the field together will be for the start of training camp on July 22. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/dan-quinn-names-six-falcons-players-who-have-stood-out-so-far
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