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2011 Falcons Preview

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Atlanta Falcons

Front Office

Owner: Arthur Blank

GM: Thomas Dimitrof

A: Most franchises would have been down for a while after the Michael Vick fiasco. QB in jail and the Head Coach just quits on his team. Ownership quickly brought in Thomas Dimitrof, from the Patriots, andMikeSmith, from the Jaguars, and the Falcons draft Matt Ryan. This three headed monster has cleared the disdainful past and given the Falcons a bright future. The Super Bowl seems within their grasps.

Coaching Staff

HC: MikeSmith

OC: MikeMularkey

DC: Brian Van Gorder

B+: MikeSmith has a steady hand. It shows on his team. His belief in a balanced offense with an aggressive defense will be their ideology. MikeMularkey was the perfect OC to complementMikeSmith. Brian Van Gorder has had mixed results on defense. This will be a big year for him.

QB: A-

Matt Ryan is borderline elite. He is a perfect team leader, is improving every year, and has an accurate and strong arm. Ryan is just inches from being elite. Will he get there??? I think so. Chris Redman is a very good backup and lets HCMikeSmith sleep better at night in case Ryan went down with injury.

RB: B+

Michael Turner was an amazing FA pickup. Problem is, all the workload is wearing him down. He needs some rest. I love the backups of: Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rogers. This team is stocked at this position…though none are the talent Turner is.


Roddy White might be the best WR in the NFL. Falcons did not want him to burden the entire passing attack so were aggressive in acquiring Julio Jones. Falcons also have Tony Gonzalez for one more season. After that the Falcons do not have much else. Injuries would devastate this team. In the next few drafts it would be wise to remedy this problem.


Falcons were able to resign Pro Bowl talent Tyson Clabo at RT and keep solid LG Justin Blaylock. The Falcons were not as lucky with RG Harvey Dahl. The problem with being a good football team is other teams want your players. It was impossible to keep all three. At RG Joe Hawley andMikeJohnson will battle it out. Falcons would prefer Johnson win that position since Hawley is being groomed for their future center position. Center Todd McClure is winding down. Sam Baker had a down year and it is imperative he becomes more consistent.

DL: B+

John Abraham has a few seasons left. Their young DE’s has not stepped up like many thought they would. Their lack of production led the Falcons to sign solid LDE Ray Edwards. While not elite he is rock solid in all phases of the game. At DT Corey Peters and Jonathon Babineux form a strong pair. Falcons would love if Peria Jerry could stay healthy and give them more depth and competition at DT.

LB: B+

If they stay healthy Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon are Pro Bowl talents. At SLB their will be a battle in agingMikePeterson and recently resigned Keith Nichols. Akeem Dent can back up all three positions. This is a young and up and coming unit.

DB: B-

Dunta Robinson was not a wise purchase. A CB who does not get a ton of interceptions and is injury prone should not receive a huge contract. Brett Grimmes is solid and signed a one year tender. Man the Falcons did well keeping most of their impact Free Agents. The young safety pair of Thomas DeCloud and William Moore need to grasp their potential and become dominate.

Last Draft

Julio Jones is a great addition…but trading 5 picks for him is way too steep. WR are just not that important. Ignoring TE, DL, and CB might come back to bite them. Akeem Dent was a reach but he will be solid. I loved the acquisition of Jacquizz Rogers who is like a Ray Rice light RB. C+

Offensive/Defensive Sleepers

Jacquizz Rogers was drafted for RB depth and he will be more than able to allow the Falcons to rest Michael Turner from time to time. While not a blazing track runner he has great game speed and agility. His size also helps him since no one can see him in the backfield. I think he is capable of 400-450 yards and 2-3 TD’s. I also envision him gaining 20-30 receptions.

William Moore showed glimpses of what he is capable of last season. With another healthy year I see him dominating the run game and getting 4-5 interceptions. He has Pro Bowl talent.

Predictions for the Season 12-4

FA dictated that this team stays elite. Managing to keep Clabo, Blaylock, Nichols, and Grimmes while also adding Ray Edwards was huge. Dimitrof is a stud. I expect that this team will make a Super Bowl run and actually win some playoff games. Coming off FA this team will be the Packers main competition.

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Clearly he went off the top of his head but he knows the team, whoever it is that wrote this article. Keith Nichols? Grimmes? Hawley battling for RG spot?

I think this is a very fair assessment of the team. Individually, not much eye popping talent on defense, but together they should become a very strong unit.

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