Jump to content

Football Outsiders


nativefalcon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Atlanta Falcons

Lost in the Supermarket

There s been one major arrival in Atlanta this off-season, and there s now one big departure.

Despite the fact that they have needs everywhere, a long-standing two-back system, one piece of the puzzle in place with Jerious Norwood, and a class of running back draft prospects as good as any in recent memory, the Falcons made their big free-agency splash (six years, $34.5 million, $15 million guaranteed) on former Chargers backup Michael Turner.

In relief of LaDainian Tomlinson1.gif over the last four years, Turner has been the star of Sample SizeTheater his 6.5 yards per carry average and six touchdowns in 228 career carries speaks to a great deal of potential. What we don t know is whether Turner can thrive as a feature back over a full season. The outlook is positive in theory, but concerns about Atlanta s offensive line and the possibility that Turner s success is due to what Marshall Faulk once called the breather effect a phenomenon that occurs when elite backs are taken out of a game and defenses relax for backups leave the move as less than a slam-dunk.

If the Turner deal displayed questionable financial acumen, the deal the Raiders made for ex-Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall borders on outright lunacy. Oakland will give the talented, but overrated and oft-disgruntled, Hall a seven-year, $70 million contract, and Atlanta will get Oakland s second-round pick this year and fifth-round pick next year for the privilege. The Falcons will find it somewhat difficult to match Hall s raw potential on their roster, but they won t miss a guy who s proven to be a pain in the butt when his team isn t on the upside.

Free Agency Recap

The five stages of grief (of any severe loss job, income, freedom), based on the Kubler-Ross model, are as follows: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

The Falcons have gone through an endless loop of these emotions since the Vick disaster melted into the Petrino Debacle, which merged into the Blank Embarrassments, which finally became Some Sort of New Beginning. What that New Beginning will become is still in doubt, but the most recent round of bargaining began on February 15, when new general manager Thomas Dimitroff started a roster purge by releasing seven players, including tight end Alge Crumpler, the team s most consistent offensive weapon over the last few seasons. Tackles went by the wayside on both offense (Wayne Gandy) and defense (Rod Coleman), as did quarterback Byron Leftwich and his sundial-timed release point.

Quarterbacks Joey Harrington and Chris Redman hung on, though many think they ll play backup sooner rather than later to whichever quarterback the Falcons take early in the draft. Don t be surprised, however, if Dimitroff follows the New England model and gets his lines in shape before anything else. Franchise cornerstone Warrick Dunn, who has rushed for more yards than any Falcon not named Gerald Riggs, was released as most suspected he would be, and returned to Tampa Bay.

Dimitroff and new head coach Mike Smith thus had a clean slate of sorts, and the financial wherewithal to move forward. And with grievous needs at so many positions, and a nearly complete rebuild still ahead, the Falcons 2008 draft is more crucial than most for future success.

Draft Needs

The Hall trade gives Atlanta a total of four draft picks in the first 48 selections, according to NFL.com. Gandy s release gives the team little to go on at left tackle, and though Atlanta s league-lowest ranking in Adjusted Line Yards had a lot to do with injuries and schematic misfits under Petrino, the rebuild probably starts here. Michigan s Jake Long would be the perfect pointman for the new power offense. If they don t pick the nasty drive-blocker, the Falcons could define the defensive line with one of two explosive defensive tackles, LSU s Glenn Dorsey or USC s Sedrick Ellis. Perhaps Chad Henne or Joe Flacco gets the nod at future franchise quarterback with that extra early second-round pick.

Later picks could find the team filling a huge need at middle linebacker they ve got to get Keith Brooking back outside with someone like Oklahoma tackling machine Curtis Lofton. Replacing Hall finds the Falcons in a bit of a numbers game. There isn t a cornerback in this draft worthy of the third overall selection, but there s a lot of depth in the second round and early second day. Indiana s Tracy Porter is a speedy, man-on-man corner with suspect tackling ability. USC s Terrell Thomas is a Marcus Trufant-esque player with a physical style, decent speed, and questionable short-area burst. You might see one of these names among those four early picks. At tight end, Tennessee s Brad Cottam recently impressed at his Pro Day, and he d be a nice target for whoever s throwing the ball in the ATL.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/2008/03/2...our-downs/6204/

;)

If you want to read the rest of our enemies, Bucs, Panthers and Saint click on the link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GIMME 5: Ellis brings strength and smarts

By Jeff D'Alessio

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/01/08

Southern Cal football coach Pete Carroll gives us five things NFL evaluators will like about former Trojans defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis (right), who's a lock to go in the first round of the draft:

1. Strength. He's one of USC's all-time leading lifters.

2. Quickness. He's deceptively fast for a nose tackle and has a motor that just doesn't stop.

3. Agility. It's remarkable, especially for a big guy.

4. Student of the game. He truly understands the game and how the schemes and systems work together.

5. Pass rushing. He's an exceptional run-stopper but often gets overlooked for his powerful pass-rushing abilities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The funny thing is that these commentators will use everything against a player, but not raise the same questions with a college player.

No college player has played a full 16 game season as the feature back against elite competition either.

Here are the benefits about signing a 5th year back with only 228 NFL carries on his legs:

[1] He's played in (2) different NFL level offenses

[2] He's experienced with NFL level defenses, blitz packages, personnel, preparation etc.

[3] Despite being a #2 to one of the greatest running backs in league history, ask the Colts what happens when Turner's in the game early.

So f that, Turner is going to be a solid production back in this league who will be spelled by 10-15 snaps by one of the most explosive big play backs in the NFL.

These types of writers are annoying deuchebags.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Later picks could find the team filling a huge need at middle linebacker they ve got to get Keith Brooking back outside with someone like Oklahoma tackling machine Curtis Lofton. Replacing Hall finds the Falcons in a bit of a numbers game. There isn t a cornerback in this draft worthy of the third overall selection, but there s a lot of depth in the second round and early second day. Indiana s Tracy Porter is a speedy, man-on-man corner with suspect tackling ability. USC s Terrell Thomas is a Marcus Trufant-esque player with a physical style, decent speed, and questionable short-area burst. You might see one of these names among those four early picks. At tight end, Tennessee s Brad Cottam recently impressed at his Pro Day, and he d be a nice target for whoever s throwing the ball in the ATL.

I would be highly estatic if we finally addressed the MLB position with a bonafide draft pick and not another UDFA or broken-down FA.

ILB Dan Connor from Penn State would be a good one to look at also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

their analysis is always wrong ... they should stick to playing with computer models while listening to REM and sticking Obama stickers on SUVs.

The acquisition of Michael Turner is brilliant.

Gives us the back Mularkey needed that can start right away.

Puts a for sale sign by the third pick.

And if no takers .... we just saved a third round or higher pick.

As if we would have Forte' or Choice start ahead of Norwood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Josh Affonso (4/1/2008)
Whoever does their articles really knows football, and usually they make good reads. Thanks for posting.

I started reading football ousiders articles a while back, their MAJOR Stat geeks, if you look at that system they use. their not always right, but alot of times they are. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Statick (4/1/2008)
Later picks could find the team filling a huge need at middle linebacker they ve got to get Keith Brooking back outside with someone like Oklahoma tackling machine Curtis Lofton. Replacing Hall finds the Falcons in a bit of a numbers game. There isn t a cornerback in this draft worthy of the third overall selection, but there s a lot of depth in the second round and early second day. Indiana s Tracy Porter is a speedy, man-on-man corner with suspect tackling ability. USC s Terrell Thomas is a Marcus Trufant-esque player with a physical style, decent speed, and questionable short-area burst. You might see one of these names among those four early picks. At tight end, Tennessee s Brad Cottam recently impressed at his Pro Day, and he d be a nice target for whoever s throwing the ball in the ATL.

I would be highly estatic if we finally addressed the MLB position with a bonafide draft pick and not another UDFA or broken-down FA.

ILB Dan Connor from Penn State would be a good one to look at also.

I agree we need a MLB BAD. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...