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more roster shakeups likely

with nine games left, falcons could be in flux

by steve wyche

the atlanta jounal-constitution

published on: 10/29/07

the release of veteran nose tackle grady jackson last week stirred emotions in the falcons' locker room, and it sent a message to anyone paying attention: things are changing.

some will take the emotionally charged warning shot as a sign that more turnover is forthcoming. others might translate coach bobby petrino's decision to mean that the falcons can't remain static after a 1-6 start. with nine games remaining a docket that could hardly be viewed as a murderers' row there could be a shift in philosophy and personnel turnover in an attempt to win games and form a nucleus for future seasons.

a position-by-position breakdown of what to expect as the rest of the season unfolds:

quarterback

unless joey harrington gets the team on a roll, byron leftwich will reassume the starting job when he returns from ankle surgery. though harrington has played fair, his compilation of losses through his career and this season and leftwich's history of winning will factor into player and coach confidence.

offensive line

the coaching staff could incorporate more zone blocking to generate something on the ground behind a reconfigured offensive line. if they are going to change personnel to fix what's wrong, changing strategy also could be part of the equation. rookie left guard justin blalock is showing signs of turning the corner after a tough start. his continued progression is needed.

running back

warrick dunn simply hasn't been able to make much happen, whereas jerious norwood (right) has made big plays. though the coaching staff has reluctantly held firm in keeping dunn as the top option, norwood eventually will be the main ball carrier.

receivers

tight end alge crumpler's left knee discomfort appears to be chronic, so his effectiveness could change from week to week. backup tight ends dwayne blakley and martrez milner could be targeted more because of crumpler's availability. wide receiver roddy white has stepped up, but he's going to start getting a lot more attention from defenses. rookie laurent robinson could become more of a downfield fixture, especially if/when byron leftwich returns.

linebackers

it will be interesting to see how having trey lewis in front could benefit or hurt keith brooking. brooking was the happiest player on the team when jackson was signed in 2006, and he wanted the team to find a resolution to a lawsuit jackson filed against the falcons to have him on the field in 2007. brooking has not had the impact in the middle that he's had in the past playing his natural weakside linebacker spot but he's entrenched.

rookie stephen nicholas is nearing a return from a high ankle sprain and he likely will be thrust back into a rotation with weakside starter demorrio williams. strongside linebacker michael boley is atlanta's best defender, if not overall player.

defensive line

jettisoning grady jackson is putting a lot on rookie trey lewis, who must remain disciplined and keep blockers off middle linebacker keith brooking. lewis still has a steep learning curve, but he's the player the falcons feel is best suited to clog the middle. first-round draft pick jamaal anderson hasn't done much more than chauncey davis did playing left end last season. anderson has had seven games to cut his teeth. he has to start doing some things to get noticed.

tackles rod coleman and jonathan babineaux are getting healthier (knee injuries) and if both can get close to full strength, their effectiveness as a rotational tandem could ease a lot of pressure on anderson and lewis. if one, or both, get hurt again, there could be big problems.

secondary

rookie chris houston is in as starting right cornerback and jimmy williams could soon be getting more time at free safety. williams has been in and out of the lineup but he could start to get more opportunities to show the coaching staff if he can play. starting free safety chris crocker is in the last year of his contract, and if the staff is trying to figure out who it wants around next year, williams might finally get the audition he wants.

though he has not made as many big plays as he did last season, veteran strong safety lawyer milloy has played to defensive coordinator mike zimmer's scheme and is viewed as a key piece. two players who could see a handful of snaps as the season progresses: rookie corner david irons and strong safety daren stone. the upstarts, especially irons, have made impressions on special teams and are on the coaching staff's radar.

coaching

bobby petrino is going to continue doing what he's done, regardless if players like him or think he's kicking them to the curb. opening better lines of communication could save him some of the grousing, according to some players, but that simply might not be his way. petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

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the best part of the article:

petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

i am glad to hear that it's petrino team not owner or gm...

time to groom more rookies:

rookie corner david irons and strong safety daren stone. the upstarts, especially irons, have made impressions on special teams and are on the coaching staff's radar.

did we ever see any rookie grooming under mora regime.. no no no...

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the best part of the article:

petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

i am glad to hear that it's petrino team not owner or gm...

time to groom more rookies:

rookie corner david irons and strong safety daren stone. the upstarts, especially irons, have made impressions on special teams and are on the coaching staff's radar.

did we ever see any rookie grooming under mora regime.. no no no...

i agree, and to all those wondering why we havent heard from mckay or blank that's why. this is petrino's team

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more roster shakeups likely

with nine games left, falcons could be in flux

by steve wyche

the atlanta jounal-constitution

published on: 10/29/07

the release of veteran nose tackle grady jackson last week stirred emotions in the falcons' locker room, and it sent a message to anyone paying attention: things are changing.

some will take the emotionally charged warning shot as a sign that more turnover is forthcoming. others might translate coach bobby petrino's decision to mean that the falcons can't remain static after a 1-6 start. with nine games remaining a docket that could hardly be viewed as a murderers' row there could be a shift in philosophy and personnel turnover in an attempt to win games and form a nucleus for future seasons.

a position-by-position breakdown of what to expect as the rest of the season unfolds:

quarterback

unless joey harrington gets the team on a roll, byron leftwich will reassume the starting job when he returns from ankle surgery. though harrington has played fair, his compilation of losses through his career and this season and leftwich's history of winning will factor into player and coach confidence.

offensive line

the coaching staff could incorporate more zone blocking to generate something on the ground behind a reconfigured offensive line. if they are going to change personnel to fix what's wrong, changing strategy also could be part of the equation. rookie left guard justin blalock is showing signs of turning the corner after a tough start. his continued progression is needed.

running back

warrick dunn simply hasn't been able to make much happen, whereas jerious norwood (right) has made big plays. though the coaching staff has reluctantly held firm in keeping dunn as the top option, norwood eventually will be the main ball carrier.

receivers

tight end alge crumpler's left knee discomfort appears to be chronic, so his effectiveness could change from week to week. backup tight ends dwayne blakley and martrez milner could be targeted more because of crumpler's availability. wide receiver roddy white has stepped up, but he's going to start getting a lot more attention from defenses. rookie laurent robinson could become more of a downfield fixture, especially if/when byron leftwich returns.

linebackers

it will be interesting to see how having trey lewis in front could benefit or hurt keith brooking. brooking was the happiest player on the team when jackson was signed in 2006, and he wanted the team to find a resolution to a lawsuit jackson filed against the falcons to have him on the field in 2007. brooking has not had the impact in the middle that he's had in the past playing his natural weakside linebacker spot but he's entrenched.

rookie stephen nicholas is nearing a return from a high ankle sprain and he likely will be thrust back into a rotation with weakside starter demorrio williams. strongside linebacker michael boley is atlanta's best defender, if not overall player.

defensive line

jettisoning grady jackson is putting a lot on rookie trey lewis, who must remain disciplined and keep blockers off middle linebacker keith brooking. lewis still has a steep learning curve, but he's the player the falcons feel is best suited to clog the middle. first-round draft pick jamaal anderson hasn't done much more than chauncey davis did playing left end last season. anderson has had seven games to cut his teeth. he has to start doing some things to get noticed.

tackles rod coleman and jonathan babineaux are getting healthier (knee injuries) and if both can get close to full strength, their effectiveness as a rotational tandem could ease a lot of pressure on anderson and lewis. if one, or both, get hurt again, there could be big problems.

secondary

rookie chris houston is in as starting right cornerback and jimmy williams could soon be getting more time at free safety. williams has been in and out of the lineup but he could start to get more opportunities to show the coaching staff if he can play. starting free safety chris crocker is in the last year of his contract, and if the staff is trying to figure out who it wants around next year, williams might finally get the audition he wants.

though he has not made as many big plays as he did last season, veteran strong safety lawyer milloy has played to defensive coordinator mike zimmer's scheme and is viewed as a key piece. two players who could see a handful of snaps as the season progresses: rookie corner david irons and strong safety daren stone. the upstarts, especially irons, have made impressions on special teams and are on the coaching staff's radar.

coaching

bobby petrino is going to continue doing what he's done, regardless if players like him or think he's kicking them to the curb. opening better lines of communication could save him some of the grousing, according to some players, but that simply might not be his way. petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

im glad that we have a coach whos going to give this team some dicipline. we had the ra ra go get em coach and that obviously didnt work. he built the louiville program from the ground up, it took him a few years, but look where they were last year, and compair them to this year. maybe he knows what hes doing

atlanta fans give this guy some time, hes already making a change, unless you want the same old falcons (never having back to back winning seasons)

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that was the most ******** analysis i have ever read. has leftwich ever won a game for the falcons? i don't believe he has, and fat albert will never stay healthy enough to finish a game so get off the ******** idea that somehow he will regain his starting position. the only gain he will make is in weight.

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rookie stephen nicholas is nearing a return from a high ankle sprain and he likely will be thrust back into a rotation with weakside starter demorrio williams. strongside linebacker michael boley is atlanta's best defender, if not overall player.

coaching

bobby petrino is going to continue doing what he's done, regardless if players like him or think he's kicking them to the curb. opening better lines of communication could save him some of the grousing, according to some players, but that simply might not be his way. petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

that's righttt!!! coach p is running the show. to all those who wish him to fail ..... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

muwahahaha too bad, coach p isn't going anywhere!!!

that was the most ******** analysis i have ever read. has leftwich ever won a game for the falcons? i don't believe he has, and fat albert will never stay healthy enough to finish a game so get off the ******** idea that somehow he will regain his starting position. the only gain he will make is in weight.

hoey's going to have plenty of time, on the bench. next year, he'll be on a cfl team, if he's lucky.

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that's righttt!!! coach p is running the show. to all those who wish him to fail ..... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

muwahahaha too bad, coach p isn't going anywhere!!!

hoey's going to have plenty of time, on the bench. next year, he'll be on a cfl team, if he's lucky.

coach p, better start winning some ball games or there won't be much of a show to run....

he can cut everybody on the team but if we dont start winning, we are going to see an empty statium, no national exposure, and tv black outs very soon.

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coach p, better start winning some ball games or there won't be much of a show to run....

he can cut everybody on the team but if we dont start winning, we are going to see an empty statium, no national exposure, and tv black outs very soon.

well, considering 2/3 of those most likely won't happen, i'd say he'll be here for the long haul.

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coach p, better start winning some ball games or there won't be much of a show to run....

he can cut everybody on the team but if we dont start winning, we are going to see an empty statium, no national exposure, and tv black outs very soon.

what, like all this stuff is new to the falcons?

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coaching

bobby petrino is going to continue doing what he's done, regardless if players like him or think he's kicking them to the curb. opening better lines of communication could save him some of the grousing, according to some players, but that simply might not be his way. petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

my god this was good to read.

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the best part of the article:

petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

i am glad to hear that it's petrino team not owner or gm...

time to groom more rookies:

rookie corner david irons and strong safety daren stone. the upstarts, especially irons, have made impressions on special teams and are on the coaching staff's radar.

did we ever see any rookie grooming under mora regime.. no no no...

how do you account for lavalais, demo, and schaub all being groomed in 2004?

how about shrop, davis, and boley all receiving significant snaps or starting in 2005?

adam jennings playing mas special teams in 2006, and norwood seeing snaps since week 1?

mora groomed just as much.

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opening better lines of communication could save him some of the grousing, according to some players, but that simply might not be his way

that is something that bothers me, if that " is not his way" then i would say "his way" will not make it in the nfl, in the nfl you have to adapt and change. you can not, not communicate with your players, if anyone has ever coached you know communication is one of if not the biggest factor in that relationship you have to build.

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how do you account for lavalais, demo, and schaub all being groomed in 2004?

how about shrop, davis, and boley all receiving significant snaps or starting in 2005?

adam jennings playing mas special teams in 2006, and norwood seeing snaps since week 1?

mora groomed just as much.

yea,

we played a lot of young players under moras time here, sometimes too many imo.

in 2005 i think it was the falcons had the youngest starting 22 in the nfl.

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opening better lines of communication could save him some of the grousing, according to some players, but that simply might not be his way

that is something that bothers me, if that " is not his way" then i would say "his way" will not make it in the nfl, in the nfl you have to adapt and change. you can not, not communicate with your players, if anyone has ever coached you know communication is one of if not the biggest factor in that relationship you have to build.

i agree. i don't think he has gotten a fair shot with the players he has been provided, but he has to learn how to adapt. he should talk to his friend tom coughlin about what happens when you're a jerk with your players.

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yea,

we played a lot of young players under moras time here, sometimes too many imo.

in 2005 i think it was the falcons had the youngest starting 22 in the nfl.

we were the youngest team in 2005.

mora cut a huge number of veterans before the 2005 season and we never recovered.

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the best part of the article:

petrino has been given tremendous power to shape and influence the roster, and he and his staff are going to play whom they feel like playing, regardless if part of the intent is to groom players for the future.

i am glad to hear that it's petrino team not owner or gm...

time to groom more rookies:

rookie corner david irons and strong safety daren stone. the upstarts, especially irons, have made impressions on special teams and are on the coaching staff's radar.

did we ever see any rookie grooming under mora regime.. no no no...

typically that happens from the bench on good teams. only when you suck can you afford to "play the young guys" in the middle of the season. not once during mora's time as hc were we ever out of the race until week 16 or later. there was never a game that didn't matter and as a result, never time to arbitrarily put rookies in to audition them.

if petrino was 3-4 games over .500, as we have been in previous seasons at this time...you can bet your bottom dollar there'd be no auditions going on.

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typically that happens from the bench on good teams. only when you suck can you afford to "play the young guys" in the middle of the season. not once during mora's time as hc were we ever out of the race until week 16 or later. there was never a game that didn't matter and as a result, never time to arbitrarily put rookies in to audition them.

if petrino was 3-4 games over .500, as we have been in previous seasons at this time...you can bet your bottom dollar there'd be no auditions going on.

im sorry but we fell apart after week 8 all 3 seasons. we started like 6-2 the last 2 seasons and still didnt make the playoffs. i guess thats why they call it a 16 game season??

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im sorry but we fell apart after week 8 all 3 seasons. we started like 6-2 the last 2 seasons and still didnt make the playoffs. i guess thats why they call it a 16 game season??

true, we did have the packers game in 05 and the lions game last year and never recovered from them but at least going into the end of the year we still had every opportunity to go. not counting this season, i believe it'll be at least two years before this team even sniffs a playoff race again.

the difference is that there was hope. everyone that was being reasonable knew this team didn't stand a chance this season..or next, or probably the season after that even.

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