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Falcons report: Jamaal Anderson's successful move tackle


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Falcons report: Jamaal Anderson's successful move tackle

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson has a new position, and he likes it.

A first-round draft pick in 2007, the eighth player selected overall, Anderson made his debut at defensive tackle last week and had two quarterback hits.

Over 34 starts, Anderson had two sacks as a defensive end. He will still play some at end, but he appears to be a better pass rusher from the interior.

In a conversation with the AJC, Anderson discusses the travails and triumphs of this time with the Falcons.

Q: So how has everything been going for you so far?

A: It's going pretty good. Playing a new role. I'm starting to enjoy it. I'm starting to get comfortable with the role. It's still a learning curve that I'm trying to get over.

Q: You're talking about your move to tackle?

A: Yes.

Q: How was that for you last week, that first start at tackle?

A: I think it gradually got better with each play. At first I didn't know how much I'd be there. I was able to get pressure on the quarterback from that position.

Q: What's the biggest difference between end and tackle?

A: The speed. Everything comes on you quicker. At the end you are used to having air on one side of you. Down there at tackle you don't have that. You've got people moving at you from both sides, so everything is a lot faster.

Q: You went back outside to end later in the game, so you're getting to play both positions?

A: Yeah, and I'm really enjoying that. I guess it's a Justin Tuck role that I'm playing. I enjoy it. My biggest concern was will I lose technique at the end position because I went down to tackle? Actually, I think I've gotten better out there because of going down in there.

Q: Did your position coach [Ray] Hamilton come and talk about it with you. Did he say, ‘hey let's give this a shot?'

A: Honestly, it feels like I was just thrown in there for an experiment. I did good with it, and we stuck with it. We started it around the bye week, and we've been sticking with it since.

Q: Going forward, is it a role you think you can develop into?

A: I think the success that I had at it last week, they feel like I can continue to play it. I've worked a lot more at it this week. I look to work on it more in the future.

Q: Everyone kept looking for you to get sacks at defensive end. How are you dealing with those expectations?

A: There is nothing that I can do but continue to work hard like I've been doing all this season and [before that] in the offseason. When my time comes, it will come.

I think at defensive end you have to learn to rush the passer, it's a craft. It's a skill. It's something you definitely have to learn coming into the league. I look at other players in this position that I was in, coming in, and some of them haven't had that success. That's what helped me realize that it isn't just me.

It's something that you learn with experience. Your body has to grow, and you have to learn to play that position.

Q: How's it going for you off the field? I know you're doing a lot of work in the community?

A: During the bye week I went out and gave out 65, $100 gift cards to people who lost their homes during the flooding. That's the last big thing that I've done. ... I don't have a foundation yet, but working in the community is something that I'm always going to do.

Q: How's the family doing?

A: They are fine. They came up to the first game. I saw my son [Tristan]. He should be here in a couple of weeks. My sister and my niece still live here.

Q: How old is Tristan?

A: He's three.

Q: Does he know what's going on?

A: He thinks he does. He gets into the football games. I think he likes basketball a little bit more, but I was the same way.

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I remember hearing (in the offseason) that the coaching staff thought his better position might be DT....... His move to DT also helps get Sidbury on the field more.

Agreed.

I think that while he hasn't been great at getting sacks, JA has been a solid player.

Most of his scrutiny isn't his fault, he didn't draft himself, McKay did.

The move to DT could be awesome for the team.

JA is a big guy, that's stronger than most think.

He may yet truly blossom at that position.

Here's the best of luck to JA B)

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Agreed.

I think that while he hasn't been great at getting sacks, JA has been a solid player.

Most of his scrutiny isn't his fault, he didn't draft himself, McKay did.

The move to DT could be awesome for the team.

JA is a big guy, that's stronger than most think.

He may yet truly blossom at that position.

Here's the best of luck to JA B)

+1, Good post!

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With Jerry's injury I like the idea of making him a run end/pass tackle, it adds depth to a very thin DT position

Now Abe, Biermann, Davis and Sidbury become the top 4 ends and Sidbury gets on the field more.

We need Babs to step up as the captain of the D line interior against the run and the pass, Trey Lewis to show up at the NT position in the run game, and something from Johnson and Walker

Run Ends

Anderson, Davis, Abraham

Pass Ends

Abraham, Biermann, Davis, Sidbury

Run Tackles

Babineaux, Lewis, Johnson/Walker/Anderson

Pass Tackles

Babineaux, Anderson, Johnson/Lewis/Walker

So on 1st downs, short yardage, and goalline our D will prob look like

RE Davis/Abraham

UT Babineaux

NT Lewis

LE Anderson

On 3rd and long

RE Abraham/Davis/Sidbury

UT Babineaux

NT Anderson

LE Biermann/Davis/Sidbury

If we can force teams into third and long we should get a lot of pressure from the ends and inside too where Babs is a quick DT and Anderson is a big end

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As our talent develops Id like to see the staff bring a lot more pressure on D, Nicholas is a natural blitzer and we need to get Moore on the field, he was drafted in the 2nd round to be the starting SS. If Decoud is going to remain the FS and Coleman stays at SS we need to either come up with packages where he plays SS and Coleman plays FS so he can blitz or 3 safety packages, or experiment playing with him as the nickel CB where he can use his speed to make plays in the backfield against both the run and the pass.

Eg Moore comes into the game as nickel CB on the weakside and aligns against the slot receiver in press coverage.

Abraham is playing LE and Nicholas is showing blitz behind him and Coleman is also on the edge showing blitz. At the snap Nicholas and Coleman drop back into coverage while Moore slips inside instead of pressing his man and is running free from the blindside of the quarterback with no one to block him because the protection shifted to the weakside for Abe and the blitzing LB and SS

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I remember hearing (in the offseason) that the coaching staff thought his better position might be DT....... His move to DT also helps get Sidbury on the field more.

What I find funny is that from day one, after he was drafted, McKay (who drafted him) said on the radio that JA's future was probably inside at tackle.

Then this remark was mirrored in several interviews with both Dimitroff and Smith.

Now, the media is acting like this is some big revelation.

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As our talent develops Id like to see the staff bring a lot more pressure on D, Nicholas is a natural blitzer and we need to get Moore on the field, he was drafted in the 2nd round to be the starting SS. If Decoud is going to remain the FS and Coleman stays at SS we need to either come up with packages where he plays SS and Coleman plays FS so he can blitz or 3 safety packages, or experiment playing with him as the nickel CB where he can use his speed to make plays in the backfield against both the run and the pass.

Eg Moore comes into the game as nickel CB on the weakside and aligns against the slot receiver in press coverage.

Abraham is playing LE and Nicholas is showing blitz behind him and Coleman is also on the edge showing blitz. At the snap Nicholas and Coleman drop back into coverage while Moore slips inside instead of pressing his man and is running free from the blindside of the quarterback with no one to block him because the protection shifted to the weakside for Abe and the blitzing LB and SS

Sorry dude but it is not that serious in terms of getting MOore on the field. He is a rookie it is ok for him to learn this year, as opposed to being forced onto the field.

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Agreed.

I think that while he hasn't been great at getting sacks, JA has been a solid player.

Most of his scrutiny isn't his fault, he didn't draft himself, McKay did.

The move to DT could be awesome for the team.

JA is a big guy, that's stronger than most think.

He may yet truly blossom at that position.

Here's the best of luck to JA B)

He played better than i can remember for him,

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I like the cross training. He could develop into our version of Henderson. BTPM did have a point Moore is to talented for us not to find a way to get him on the field. My thoughts would be a cross train for him as well. He could play LB in the Nickel. He has size and speed. Granted it would not be his long term but he could help with a team that uses TE's well.

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JA98 is definately fast enough to play DT, he was decently fast as a DE but his technique blowed and his strength is there. It looks like the right fit, cause he can't sack the QB from the end position.

If he cuts the fat and puts on more muscle, he can defeinately be a factor for us.

Edited by osiruz
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So it's official right?

He was a total bust at DE.

The NFL's All Time Top 10 DE Bust. Geez.

Wow ... over 4300 posts and I would guess about 4000 of those are about your hatred for Anderson, and the other 300 are waxing nostalgic about Jerry Glanville. Who was almost as awful as a HC as you think Anderson is at DE.

PLEASE go buy a new record, cause the one you keep playing has gotten old and worn.

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I like the move and I hope he continues his success there. This move plus his success will really help us going into our next draft. I know its early to talk draft but I think if he has the success we need and want there we can focus our picks in other areas of the defense to improve. I like the direction the team is going in and I believe we will become an overall solid team.

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