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Secondary Grows Stronger


hawkeye
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When Brian Williams was lost for the season with a knee injury in the Falcons Week 6 victory over the Bears Oct. 18, the floodgates of criticism opened on the team’s secondary.

Now without one of its starting cornerbacks, Falcons coaches needed to mix and match to find the right combination. In the process, Brent Grimes, Christopher Owens and Tye Hill worked their way into the rotation.

By the end of the season, Grimes — a two-year veteran — and the rookie Owens were starting (and succeeding) at cornerback. Grimes led the team with seven interceptions in 2009 and Owens had a key pick to secure the team’s Week 17 win in Tampa.

Atlanta’s defense ranked 28th in passing yards allowed per game.

Williams, a veteran of the game and the Mike Smith school of defense, could only watch as the team went through its growing pains.

“I talked to the young guys all the time (and said) we’re only as good everybody in the room,” Williams said Tuesday, leaving team headquarters after another morning of rehabilitation and conditioning. “Last year, with me going down, a lot of younger guys got a chance to play and get experience. Now they come in with confidence and that makes the whole room better.”

Not including two rookie additions, the Falcons return four cornerbacks from last year’s roster. The team also added prized free agent Dunta Robinson.

Williams is still the veteran leader of one of the deepest positions on the team.

He’s also one of the key members of the defense when it comes to career production and understanding the scheme, which he learned during three years in Jacksonville with then-defensive coordinator Smith.

Williams played on the outside and at the nickel — or third — cornerback spot last year, recording a pick and two fumble recoveries. In his career, the 30-year-old has 507 tackles, four sacks, 19 interceptions and 73 passes defensed.

“We have a lot of guys that can play,” he said, summing up what’s ahead at mini camp and Russell Falcons Training Camp. “That was shown last year. Now guys just need to take that next step and be confident… As a secondary, we’re stacked now.

“It’s going to create competition. We’re going to be a better secondary off that alone.”

http://jmike.blogs.atlantafalcons.com/2010/05/04/secondary-grows-stronger/

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Maybe I'm being a homer, but I really think our secondary has improved dramatically. I see our Week 1 starters being Dunta and Owens with Williams holding down the nickel. Toss in Decoud and a healthy Moore, and we're looking pretty good.

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Maybe I'm being a homer, but I really think our secondary has improved dramatically. I see our Week 1 starters being Dunta and Owens with Williams holding down the nickel. Toss in Decoud and a healthy Moore, and we're looking pretty good.

I actually see our starters being Robinson and Grimes with Owens at the Nickel and sometimes Grimes and Owens switching just in case we want more of a physical presence against a running team like the Panthers.

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I agree. I think the secondary is stronger, and like I said in a previous thread, I think it's addition by subtraction. Thank God for TD. So glad that he removed our worst corners on the team ASAP. In my opinion, if this was the Mora/McKay era Houston and Hill would have been here another two or three years.

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I actually see our starters being Robinson and Grimes with Owens at the Nickel and sometimes Grimes and Owens switching just in case we want more of a physical presence against a running team like the Panthers.

That's just what I'd expect. I can't see Williams getting on the field except in dime situations. Our younger guys have really stepped up.

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Maybe I'm being a homer, but I really think our secondary has improved dramatically. I see our Week 1 starters being Dunta and Owens with Williams holding down the nickel. Toss in Decoud and a healthy Moore, and we're looking pretty good.

Allow me to put your Homerism to rest.

Beyond any and all doubt, yours truly here went Thermo Nuclear Ballistic

over how totally SUK (referance my avatar) our CB's were last year.

So for the Record.

I Karst41 here by state that our DB's and Pass coverage Unit will

be a Highlight Reel in 2010.

There is a cautionary Advisory being that we will have to be a bit patient

and allow these guys some time to Gel.

Baring Injury.

Post Bye Week this Crew will become a Shut you down and in yo Face.

So there ya have it.

It may not be a Deion/Jordan pair of Corners,

but by gawd it will not be too far from that benchmark.

Any Questions? :angry:

I didnt think so.

Cheers

:lol:

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i really am liking how the cornerback situation is starting to pan out--lots of good, young corners with a couple of veterans to help show the way. i expect to see a definite improvement from last year; this will be partially due to more experience along the defensive line and the added depth there as well.

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I really love how we started last season with CB as likely the weakest point on our team (I'm looking at you Crisp...) but now, with the addition Dunta, emergence of Owens, Grimes finally turning it on, and potential of Franks being a playmaker, it is one of, if not THE deepest position on our team.

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I have thought all along that grimes would be better at the nickel, i think hes quick and faster than most and will be good at under cutting the wr. I think owens is a better run defender which will ultimately win him the job.

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I actually see our starters being Robinson and Grimes with Owens at the Nickel and sometimes Grimes and Owens switching just in case we want more of a physical presence against a running team like the Panthers.

Yeah, I would rather have Owens against the run also.

I'm really excited about the battle we are gonna have to decide the starters opposite Dunta.

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