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G-Dawg's Atlanta Falcons Offseason Moves - 2012 Version 1.0


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Abraham is overrated. He disappears in big games and then gets sacks in bunches against low quality teams and/or O-lines in disarray. I mean, c'mon, over 1/3 of his sacks this season came in one game against the Jags. It's time to go different paths and let Sidbury, who showed tremendous promise this season in limited action, take a larger role.

I disagree.

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Abraham is overrated. He disappears in big games and then gets sacks in bunches against low quality teams and/or O-lines in disarray. I mean, c'mon, over 1/3 of his sacks this season came in one game against the Jags. It's time to go different paths and let Sidbury, who showed tremendous promise this season in limited action, take a larger role.

Abe is easily the most underrated DE I've seen play. He gets double teams and sometimes chips on the same play, everyone knows no one else on our D-Line has any semblence of being a threat.

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Good thoughts dawg- agree with others that some of your numbers are optimistic. Think Lofton is getting paid- think they drafted Dent so they cushion that loss.

Doubt Nicks is signing for much less than Evans did- 57 over 7 years.

LTs are too valuable- think Gaithers gets a bigger contract than the one you have

Think that if you're getting 2 new pieces on the Oline, you have to keep McClure for another year- he'll look a lot better with Nicks playing beside him and gives the Oline more continuity.

thanks Falconaide.

Regarding Nicks vs. Evans. I actually have Nicks making more than Evans. Nicks would be averaging $9million/yr while Evans is averaging $8million/yr - the difference is the length of contract 5yrs for Nicks versus 7yrs for Evans.

again, it would be ridiculously lucky if Falcons did everything I suggested here (unless I'm Thomas Dimitroff disguised as G-Dawg ;)) - this is just a topic of conversation and appreciate all "constructive" criticisms and alternate theories.

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Abraham is overrated. He disappears in big games and then gets sacks in bunches against low quality teams and/or O-lines in disarray. I mean, c'mon, over 1/3 of his sacks this season came in one game against the Jags. It's time to go different paths and let Sidbury, who showed tremendous promise this season in limited action, take a larger role.

agreed.....I think its time to cut the cord with Abraham.

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thanks Falconaide.

Regarding Nicks vs. Evans. I actually have Nicks making more than Evans. Nicks would be averaging $9million/yr while Evans is averaging $8million/yr - the difference is the length of contract 5yrs for Nicks versus 7yrs for Evans.

again, it would be ridiculously lucky if Falcons did everything I suggested here (unless I'm Thomas Dimitroff disguised as G-Dawg wink.png) - this is just a topic of conversation and appreciate all "constructive" criticisms and alternate theories.

Why don't you save some of that money from Nicks and get Grubbs and Finnegan instead of Nicks and Porter? Porter is injury prone and not that good. Finnegan will give you 16 games and attitude, something the secondary lacks.

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thanks Falconaide.

Regarding Nicks vs. Evans. I actually have Nicks making more than Evans. Nicks would be averaging $9million/yr while Evans is averaging $8million/yr - the difference is the length of contract 5yrs for Nicks versus 7yrs for Evans.

again, it would be ridiculously lucky if Falcons did everything I suggested here (unless I'm Thomas Dimitroff disguised as G-Dawg wink.png) - this is just a topic of conversation and appreciate all "constructive" criticisms and alternate theories.

Another thing about getting Nicks and Gaither: With both of them the O-line would be absolutely massive and would have the talent to back up the bulk. Whoever plays center will bring this average down, but imagine being a defender going against a line that averages being 6'6" tall and 336 lbs but have more than enough technique to stop typical strategies to beat big O-linemen.

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Your off-season moves seem to be based on the fact that we will only be running a 3-4 defense which Nolan, Smitty, and TD have already stated we will run a combination of both. i don't see Porter for Grimes as an up grade. As you stated Porter is injury prone he also isn't a good DB. He excels in the zone with help over the top from Jenkins and Harper. If either safety is out of play Porter gets burnt easily. He's not a big hitter and has bad ball skills but is good at pass deflections and forcing receivers to a certain part of the field. I say keep Grimes unless Eagles drop DRC how was rumored to want to play here.

I'd also offer Abe to choice to retire here as a backup or rotational player. Veteran leadership is something that you can't place value on. Abe is doing a good job mentoring Beirman and Matthews.

Also McClure is our center piece on the OL and our team locker room veteran. Yea he's old but the C-QB connection is the most IMPORTANT and underrated aspect of a football team. McClure is the reason Ryan isn't in a body cast

I agree with the rest of your moves expect for the draft we need help at DB not DE, Crick is a wasted pick if you plan one bringing in Langford then drafting Beqeutte. That leaves us with Crick, Matthews,Bierman,Sidbury,Edwards,and Abe(unless cut). Having 7-8 DE is a very bad idea. 3-4 of them will HAVE to play ST or they won't ever play and I don't see a DE consistently running down a kick returner or getting enough pressure on Punts, KickOffs, and FGs to be any real difference.

I would love to have LSU's CB Morris Claiborne or Bama's CB Dre' Kirkpatrick but those guys are both 1st rounders. The AFMB wants UGA's Brandon Boykin I'm leaning more towards UVA's CB Chase Minnifield 6'1" 200 lbs. runs a 4.4 and hits like a young Champ Bailey

You also cut DeCoud and Hayden and replaced them with worst players

Edited by B_Lo_Touchdowns
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Your off-season moves seem to be based on the fact that we will only be running a 3-4 defense which Nolan, Smitty, and TD have already stated we will run a combination of both. i don't see Porter for Grimes as an up grade. As you stated Porter is injury prone he also isn't a good DB. He excels in the zone with help over the top from Jenkins and Harper. If either safety is out of play Porter gets burnt easily. He's not a big hitter and has bad ball skills but is good at pass deflections and forcing receivers to a certain part of the field. I say keep Grimes unless Eagles drop DRC how was rumored to want to play here.

I'd also offer Abe to choice to retire here as a backup or rotational player. Veteran leadership is something that you can't place value on. Abe is doing a good job mentoring Beirman and Matthews.

Also McClure is our center piece on the OL and our team locker room veteran. Yea he's old but the C-QB connection is the most IMPORTANT and underrated aspect of a football team. McClure is the reason Ryan isn't in a body cast

I agree with the rest of your moves expect for the draft we need help at DB not DE, Crick is a wasted pick if you plan one bringing in Langford then drafting Beqeutte. That leaves us with Crick, Matthews,Bierman,Sidbury,Edwards,and Abe(unless cut). Having 7-8 DE is a very bad idea. 3-4 of them will HAVE to play ST or they won't ever play and I don't see a DE consistently running down a kick returner or getting enough pressure on Punts, KickOffs, and FGs to be any real difference.

I would love to have LSU's CB Morris Claiborne or Bama's CB Dre' Kirkpatrick but those guys are both 1st rounders. The AFMB wants UGA's Brandon Boykin I'm leaning more towards UVA's CB Chase Minnifield 6'1" 200 lbs. runs a 4.4 and hits like a young Champ Bailey

You also cut DeCoud and Hayden and replaced them with worst players

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I always enjoy this time of year because you do get some thoughtful looks into how people feel the off-season should shape up. I don’t want to comment too much on this because I’m obviously working on my own, but I’ll give my opinion in a couple of areas.

1) The money you have spent on FA’s, both ours and on the market is very low. To compare, we signed Babineaux to a 5 year, $25M deal 3 years ago. So to commit a shorter deal with the same average per year to a guy like Lofton…I think we’re going to have to go into the $9M/year range at a minimum. Jon Beason signed a 5 year extension with the Panthers at $10M/year. Just based on the dollars you have pegged, I think your moves will be significantly reduced just based on realistic cap space expectations. This goes almost double for Carl Nicks.

2) I think you are reading too much into the 4-3/3-4 thing. Will we incorporate more 3-4 looks…yeah, probably. Nolan has a history with the 3-4 obviously, but he’s also worked in the 4-3 scheme. And if you look at his experience, if I remember correctly – he even was an offensive coach for the Ravens one year (I think WR’s). Point being – he’s been around the block and I think he knows enough to look to make improvements rather than dramatic changes. I say this because you have dedicated a decent part of your FA strategy to getting 3-4 personnel…and I would not go in that direction.

3) Are you placing blame on the run game completely on the O-Line? No infusion of personnel at RB (in fact holding over Snelling) would seem to be a big gap in your plan. I know Dimitroff doesn’t try and fix everything in one off-season – he’ll focus on specific areas. But it’s not the productivity of run game that bothers me as much as the lack of versatility. I know Mularkey got a lot of heat for not really instituting much of a screen game. But I think it had to do as much with personnel, if not more, as it did scheme/coaching.

4) I think we agree in some areas of personnel moves…one big one though I would go to bat against vehemently. Which one do you think?

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Another thing about getting Nicks and Gaither: With both of them the O-line would be absolutely massive and would have the talent to back up the bulk. Whoever plays center will bring this average down, but imagine being a defender going against a line that averages being 6'6" tall and 336 lbs but have more than enough technique to stop typical strategies to beat big O-linemen.

exactly.....Falcons need some behmoths and Nicks/Gaither fit the bill and both are talented blockers.

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We need to keep Grimes, he is undersized but plays man coverage very well. I like the thought of moving Duante to FS or SS, he gets burnt way too much as a cover corner but seems to have a safety type mentality (strong hitter) if Walls can step up we would have a decent secondary to try and implement a more blitz type defense in which we could affors to lose Abraham (I hate the thought of him going but it is purely a business move)

It would be great to aggrressively go after Nicks, his addition would solidify the o-line with just that move. If we keep Baker (I hope we don't, he is not good) he should be moved to guard, he is a solid run blocker.

There is no way we would be able to sign all those FA. We do need to start planning for Turner's replacement he has lost his burst and may only have a year or two max left of servicability. I think we should look at a RB with our second round pick.

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I always enjoy this time of year because you do get some thoughtful looks into how people feel the off-season should shape up. I don’t want to comment too much on this because I’m obviously working on my own, but I’ll give my opinion in a couple of areas.

1) The money you have spent on FA’s, both ours and on the market is very low. To compare, we signed Babineaux to a 5 year, $25M deal 3 years ago. So to commit a shorter deal with the same average per year to a guy like Lofton…I think we’re going to have to go into the $9M/year range at a minimum. Jon Beason signed a 5 year extension with the Panthers at $10M/year. Just based on the dollars you have pegged, I think your moves will be significantly reduced just based on realistic cap space expectations. This goes almost double for Carl Nicks.

2) I think you are reading too much into the 4-3/3-4 thing. Will we incorporate more 3-4 looks…yeah, probably. Nolan has a history with the 3-4 obviously, but he’s also worked in the 4-3 scheme. And if you look at his experience, if I remember correctly – he even was an offensive coach for the Ravens one year (I think WR’s). Point being – he’s been around the block and I think he knows enough to look to make improvements rather than dramatic changes. I say this because you have dedicated a decent part of your FA strategy to getting 3-4 personnel…and I would not go in that direction.

3) Are you placing blame on the run game completely on the O-Line? No infusion of personnel at RB (in fact holding over Snelling) would seem to be a big gap in your plan. I know Dimitroff doesn’t try and fix everything in one off-season – he’ll focus on specific areas. But it’s not the productivity of run game that bothers me as much as the lack of versatility. I know Mularkey got a lot of heat for not really instituting much of a screen game. But I think it had to do as much with personnel, if not more, as it did scheme/coaching.

4) I think we agree in some areas of personnel moves…one big one though I would go to bat against vehemently. Which one do you think?

thanks for the thoughts TDWII - my comments back to you:

1) I'm cutting Lofton loose before I pay him anything "north" of $6 million/yr.....$9million/yr for a linebacker......I say step off to that - Lofton is not a huge playmaker and $9million/yr is PLAYMAKER money.

2) I think this point is the biggest criticism I'm getting now on this draft - that and Tracy Porter :). I just believe that Falcons can get almost to a 3-4 mostly in one offseason if it went the way I have lined up here. Obviously if Falcons are just going to use "token" 3-4 stuff, then sure it would not make sense. I just believe the "front 7" is sooooo very far away from being good as constituted - basically the only "PLUS" player we have is Sean Weatherspoon - so, sticking to a 4-3 just because that is what we are doing in 2011 seems silly. I believe the 3-4 is so much harder to attack and gives offenses fits. Mike Nolan is a master at the 3-4 and 3-4 defenses tend to make more aggressive/attacking type of plays - especially when the 4-3 defense does not have dominating defensive tackles/ends - and clearly the Falcons do not.

3) as far as the running game goes, "sure" there needs upgrades there as well but you cannot do it all in one offseason. Michael Turner is in last year of his contract and we might as well milk him for this one last year - while phasing him back and working Quizz more into it. Falcons can do just fine with combo of Turner/Quizz/Snelling for one more year before adding talent when Falcons have full complement of draft picks in 2013.

4) ????? don't know - do tell....

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I disagree.

KOG but we can't keep holding on with Abe forever for the last 2 seasons I think he's been holding on really tight and the injuries for me are the tell tale sign with regards to Abe.He may well be our best pass rusher but I think if we are seriously are thinking of progressing its to FA we go and try and get one of these young guys in here.

G-Dawg I love the post.I will address the O-line as this is my 2nd biggest fix this off season.With regards to G before spending all this $$$$ on a FA don't we have to find out what we really have in Mike Johnson and also could we not go G or RT in the draft and kick Clabo back inside while addressing LT like you mentioned with a guy like Gaither I just thought this would be another option and would leave us more FA $$$$ to attack other area's of concern ie FS also this FA period.

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After reading the whole presser with Nolan a few thoughts stand out, and I really appreciate the effort.

Q. Will you switch to 3-4 defense?

A.

It’s my philosophy that you build your scheme around the players and not the other way around. What has been built there is a very solid foundation on a 4-3 defense. In my 25 years in the NFL, 14 years as a coordinator, seven of them have been in a 4-3 and seven have been in a 3-4. I’m very familiar with both. When I’ve been in a 4-3 I’ve frequently used the 3-4 as part of it. It would appear to me that is what is best for that football team.

Q.Were you given the option of saying you wanted to coach 3-4 or were you told we are a 4-3 team?

A.

When Mike and I watched film, he really asked. He said this is what we’ve built to, this is what we are but he said ‘What do you see it looking like?’ I was curious. It was the first thing I said to Mike is ‘What is your vision for this group?’ Mike was very honest and said we’ve built of 4-3 and this is where we are, what we look like, but I want you to look at it as well. When we were watching film together, he said ‘I can see the wheels turning in your head right now.’ Which they are because when I’m watching it I’m trying to see. But he, at no time, said ‘If you want this, this is what we’ve got to do it on.’ Mike is open-minded about that. But I do believe that the vision for them and the target they’ve been hitting is one we want to stay consistent with it and go forward in that respect. If I felt like it could easily be tweaked to got to something else because I felt it could be better, I would obviously suggest it. But I think the track they’ve been on is a good one. 4-3 or 3-4 is very relevant as long as you are doing what your players allow you to do.

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Seems to me the 3-4 will be an after thought, it was brought up more than once and Nolan's answer was the same. I'm working on a Falcons off season moves post myself, and will share when I have time to put it together. Once again thanks for the post

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