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NFC South Blog from ESPN about the Falcons


kdkane79
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http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcsouth

I'm going to continue my temporary hiatus from Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler questions. That's why the Atlanta Falcons are up on our continuing team-by-team mailbags.

Relax Tampa Bay fans. We'll have a Bucs mailbag with lots of Cutler talk up in a bit.

Mark in Houston writes: Hey Pat, love reading the blog. My brother and I are a little worried with the Falcons' lack of offseason moves. I, personally, am unsure of the Mike Peterson move, both because he is getting older and had issues with Jack Del Rio last season. But other than the Mike Peterson signing, I haven't heard of them talking to any FAs or any trade rumors including the Falcons. I trust that Thomas Dimitroff has a plan, but it's still a little concerning for me to not hear anything. Have you heard of them talking to any free agents, or talking with any teams about a trade? And am I silly for being worried, or do you think this could be a real issue?

Pat Yasinskas: No doubt the Falcons have been very quiet in free agency. But Thomas Dimitroff has said all along that was the plan. I think that's a smart approach because Dimitroff and Mike Smith are building for the long term and not looking for one player to "put them over the top" as so many teams do. The Falcons have a good, young core in place. Yes, there are still some holes to be filled, but free agency's not over yet. The Falcons will get more involved with some remaining free agents a bit later on. The Peterson move might not seem like a big deal and it's not going to solve every problem, but it at least gives Atlanta some options at linebacker.

Jon in Huntington writes: What direction do you think the the Falcons will take in this years draft? I know we could use an effective pass rusher outside of John Abraham but it seems like we have a lot of holes on defense.

Pat Yasinskas: Teams always like to talk about taking the best-available player in the draft. But let's be honest, teams usually draft for need and Atlanta's needs are on defense. The only thing they really need on offense is a tight end and they're not going to use an early pick on a tight end because that position's not that big a deal in their offense. Realistically, I think the Falcons have to focus on defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, safety and cornerback early in the draft. They can take the best-available player as long as it's at one of those positions.

Wes in Clearwater writes: Hey Pat, First off I want to say I think you've been doing a great job covering the NFC South, but I have to address something I've seen in a few of your columns lately regarding the Falcons and Dominique Foxworth. As a life-long Falcons fan, I was a little disappointed in Foxworth's departure. But from everything I had seen regarding the deal, Atlanta had offered a larger contract than the Ravens. The deciding factor was Foxworth's desire to be closer to family, so he took less money. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I got. Keep up the good work.

Pat Yasinskas: I could be wrong, too. But everything I've heard about the Domonique Foxworth situation is that the Falcons had a limit of how much they would pay to keep him and the Ravens greatly exceeded that. Whatever the case, there's no doubt Foxworth's roots in Maryland played some role in his decision.

Jonny in Qunicy writes: I'm a huge falcons fan...do you think that we will have any success with our young secondary, or what? do you think it would be chris houston and chevis jackson starting....because i think jackson could be a great corner and houston is going to get better...do you think our defense is going to be good???

Pat Yasinskas: The fact the Falcons haven't made any moves at cornerback (other than letting Foxworth go) makes me wonder if the coaching staff has a higher opinion of the corners than the rest of us. Chris Houston developed nicely last season and Chevis Jackson came on well at the end of his rookie year. I know the coaches are high on those two guys. The Falcons also have Brent Grimes and Von Hutchins, who each missed some significant time with injuries, coming back. Could the Falcons still add a corner in free agency or the draft? Sure, it's entirely possible. But I'm also starting to think it wouldn't be a total disaster if they stick with what they've got.

Atlanta Falcons, Mailbag, Jay Cutler, Julius Peppers, Mike Peterson, Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith, John Abraham, Domonique Foxworth, Chris Houston, Chevis Jackon, Brent Grimes, Von Hutchins

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Yea, Our CBs could surprise. I mean their young and they are only going to get better.

I like a lot of the stuff he said.

LMAO @ him naming basically every player on D as a need. I'm starting to think Safety is the the biggest need but LB is a big need too. I think our D-line can only improve but of course we'll draft there. Jamal can try out DT if he doesn't improve.

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Thanks kdkane.

"..they're not going to use an early pick on a tight end because that position's not that big a deal in their offense."

That's what I thought too.

We didn't use the TE that much not because of lack of talent, but due to the gameplan.

That's why I don't think a real upgrade at TE is a necessity.

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PY was the beat writer for the Car Panthers, some say he is a homer and to start last season i would agree, he did improve and did give us props toward the end of last season and came right out and said M Ryan was gonna be 1 of the best, but still, i wouldnt take too much stock it what he says if its not about the Panthers,,,,

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PY was the beat writer for the Car Panthers, some say he is a homer and to start last season i would agree, he did improve and did give us props toward the end of last season and came right out and said M Ryan was gonna be 1 of the best, but still, i wouldnt take too much stock it what he says if its not about the Panthers,,,,

To me compared to most other writers, he seems to be one of the knowledgeable writers about our team.

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Thinking about TD and Coach Smith, I believe that we don't have as many holes as we think we do. I believe that they know more about the talent level of our current roster and how far along each one is in their development, and have made moves (or not made moves) accordingly. I feel that anything they do from this point on is going to be for providing depth and increasing our talent pool, not so much having to fill holes where we are really needy.

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Yeah it is funny how he named all the positions on the defensive side of the ball as needs. I want a playmaker. Somebody that is going to fire up the defense witha big hit or a key play. And alot of big hits are going to come from a linebaker or a safety. I know DE makes big plays but I want someone running full speed at one of thier people running full speed and for our guy to kill them. So I hope we get a awesome LB first.

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Thanks kdkane.

"..they're not going to use an early pick on a tight end because that position's not that big a deal in their offense."

That's what I thought too.

We didn't use the TE that much not because of lack of talent, but due to the gameplan.

That's why I don't think a real upgrade at TE is a necessity.

yeah that was the game plan last year. We will still be a run first and then pass team and it will be our bread and butter if we ever get in a jam. However it will be tweaked as our team matures togetehr they will start doing more in the passing game. Norwood should get alot more touches this year now that they get into year two together. Our coaching staff shoulded us that we need to trust in them, they will prepare accordingly.

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so what i was trying to say is that we will get a pass catching te because its part of the plan, but maybe not just yet.maybe a late round pick up

Yeah, i can see that happening.

I just think we could do without one this year unless somebody falls into our laps.

i would first like to see if any these guys could produce as a step-up guy.

But you're right in that we need to be grooming somebody, I was thinking more about whether to bring in a free agent.

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