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Not Bad Off Season...so Far


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I have to admit that I was hyped about making a huge splash at many positions, but be honest. Even when that old truck is still running well, the new one with all the buttons can start you to acting a little nuts. I know, I sold cars for a decade.

How does that make any sense? I'll tell you. The idea of something new is always exciting and can actually overshadow the reality. So you bought the new big truck and all is exciting...until you get that first payment...OR if you bought in cash, you see that huge gash in your account for the first time.

TD may have spent some money on some old guys, but he is building something the Falcons have rarely had in the past. Solidarity, structure, and stability. You have any idea how many folks will be looking to be a Falcon after seeing how Abe and TG were treated? Not to mention Snelling.

I forgot all of this in my "microwave mentality" hype for dominance. People will sometimes cut their prices for stability. True Story.

I'm glad to see Abraham back as well as everyone else we could have lost. Snelling is the wild card though. He opens up a new question as to what we are doing for or backfield. You think about it this could go either way. Turner could be somewhere else, or Ovie. Not saying he is as good or better than either. You know I'm a Turner fan, but it could actually happen that we move away from him or even Ovie. I like Ovie a lot to so it actually pains me to write that.

TD played it smart in that he could do ANYTHING in the draft and not really go wrong. Everyone no matter how good would still be depth to some degree. I'm interested in seeing what Grimes does and although I am not a fan of his, I'd love to see something happen there with him in Nolan's defense.

So far its been a pretty decent off season, but it still leaves a lot to speculation. I will specualte in order.

QB - Even though we have retained Redman, what does that say for JP Wilson? (Bama fan here) Not much either way and a true back-up or leverage could be taken in this draft. This draft is pretty good on players who could be career back-ups and surprise starters. Even trade bait for the future. I'd be hard pressed to think there is a low chance we would either look late in the draft or in the UDFA. The back-up position is Redman's to lose and I'm starting to think something may just happen here.

RB/FB - I have heavy doubts that we are going to go full RBBC as this type of game is more out of necessity than as a scheme. I think we we let Turner go we will be drafting a RB and if we let Ovie go, Snelling may play FB.

WR - My honest opinion here is that we will go as we are unless White is traded and I have seen nothing to indicate that. HD is better than advertised and I would say he is probably as good if not better than White. How would we know? He's never been given a chance. If We did lose White somehow we would lose nothing as TG is a possession guy himself and I'm under the belief that so is HD. Don't forget Meier and Cone back there. Yeah, what have they done? But Who was the OC as well. I think Koetter would love to see what they can do spread out.

TE - The jury is still out on whether or not we make a move here. Winterswyk and Palmer (Swyke may be a little better) are both blockers, but Swyk can catch a little better than we all think...PLUS I hear that he is a great athlete.

OL - Yeah, I bunched them all up because an OL works best as ONE unit and not several at the same time. I won't make a strong statement about any one player, but Pat Hill has me intrigued. He loves offense and loves OL. I keep hearing about his hard nosed smash mouth style. I expect to see them go old school and start using the upper body strength and leg power that so many of these guys are known for and get the job done.

DE - Go look at the roster and then look them up. We have the talent and leadership here just not the execution. I don't like the Edwards pick-up but maybe in Nolan's scheme he will only have to play clean-up.A rotation with Abraham, Biermann, Sidbury, and hopefully Matthews will be a welcome thing, but as we were all looking for pass rush we may have all been looking at the wrong position.

DT - This is where we need to get stouter. We don't actually need constant penetration, just stoutness. We need our guys to penetrate when the opportunity is there, but mostly to hold the line and push the line backwards. The way I have always understood it, that's how you pass rush at DT. Push the line back, shed the blocks, make an impact.

LB - This is still kinda up in the air. I feel the most comfortable at whatever position Weatherspoon plays. I like Tatupu and his skill in coverage, hope he still has it. I have to say though, I'm interested to see what else is done here. I doubt very seriously we are done here.

CB - Call me crazy but I'm comfortable. Nolan plays to player strengths. If you are not playing to your strengths then weaknesses are easier to exploit. I like Grimes and Robinson with a defense other than BBDB. Its a good defense, but you have to get players for the scheme. With Nolan you scheme around the players. I want to see more from Franks and Walls as well as Owens (not at Nickel).

Safety - Well Decoud did get some INT's and maybe he'll learn to stay in coverage and not bite on the playaction as easy. Moore is a beast on defense. So I just look to getting a good back-up at each position and moving forward.

KR/PR - This is interesting. A good deal of our players can do this, but I'm in the group who are ready to see some REAL big plays and not just good plays. I hope we draft or look in UDFA for this.

K/P - I hate that we spent a draft pick on a punter, but Bosher turned out to be pretty good. I all but forgot about Koenen with Bosher playing so well late in the season. Bryant hopefully stays good. Hate to see him go the way of Elam.

That was me speculating. How about you guys...

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I'm with you Knight, pretty much point-for-point. I'm listening hard for news about LT, and I still expect a move, but there's nothing solid to speculate on right now. I also wonder about the RB situation, but we all know how TD works in free agency. He slow plays every hand and generally makes a solid, if unspectacular move late in the game - I think Ray Edwards was a perfect example of this (more on RE in a moment).

The true wild cards are, as you noted, Koetter, Hill and Nolan (and of course, they have that spectacular young guy at offensive assistant). We'll see much less buttoned-down play this year on both sides, which is why Ray Edwards will have an improved season. We'll see offense and defense better tailored to the player skill-sets, especially, I think, in the defensive backfield.

And finally, a belated happy birthday!

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Alot of great points. . . I never thought about it in the aspect of team stability. Just wondered why we weren't making moves to get better but I like the idea of being great. . . Over the long haul!

Fb, I'm really excited to see what Mike Cox can do given a chance. . . I am a mughelli fan but if we move away I think Cox has a chance to make an impact. I was really hoping for McNeill @ LT and a new DT. Looks like the division (other than nola) and the afc west (our 2012 opponents) are making moves to improve on paper. That is what makes it hard to watch us sit idly by.

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Alot of great points. . . I never thought about it in the aspect of team stability. Just wondered why we weren't making moves to get better but I like the idea of being great. . . Over the long haul!

Fb, I'm really excited to see what Mike Cox can do given a chance. . . I am a mughelli fan but if we move away I think Cox has a chance to make an impact. I was really hoping for McNeill @ LT and a new DT. Looks like the division (other than nola) and the afc west (our 2012 opponents) are making moves to improve on paper. That is what makes it hard to watch us sit idly by.

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I look at it like this. The offseason could have been a lot worse. Many of our FA's including Abe could have went elsewhere, but we got them back and we got them with very reasonable contracts. I think we might even get Lofton back at a reasonable price.

It could be much worse. We could be the Texans or Steelers. They've lost multiple pro bowlers on their roster.

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I'm with you Knight, pretty much point-for-point. I'm listening hard for news about LT, and I still expect a move, but there's nothing solid to speculate on right now. I also wonder about the RB situation, but we all know how TD works in free agency. He slow plays every hand and generally makes a solid, if unspectacular move late in the game - I think Ray Edwards was a perfect example of this (more on RE in a moment).

The true wild cards are, as you noted, Koetter, Hill and Nolan (and of course, they have that spectacular young guy at offensive assistant). We'll see much less buttoned-down play this year on both sides, which is why Ray Edwards will have an improved season. We'll see offense and defense better tailored to the player skill-sets, especially, I think, in the defensive backfield.

And finally, a belated happy birthday!

Thanks brother!

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I just read that the Falcons have only $2.02M in cap space right now, which really hamstrings the possibility of any more moves, but things can improve. A roster cut or two is still likely, and a Ryan restructure needs to happen. I'm leaving out the possibility of a long-term Grimes deal because I'm not at all sure that will happen. The Falcons may want to assess his physical condition and team attitude before that happens - a new deal might be pushed out until mid-season 2012.

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I just read that the Falcons have only $2.02M in cap space right now, which really hamstrings the possibility of any more moves, but things can improve. A roster cut or two is still likely, and a Ryan restructure needs to happen. I'm leaving out the possibility of a long-term Grimes deal because I'm not at all sure that will happen. The Falcons may want to assess his physical condition and team attitude before that happens - a new deal might be pushed out until mid-season 2012.

That makes a lot of sense to me. Hopefully we don't knee jerk Turner out (LOL) but we make some type of good move to free up space. There are a couple who haven't been paying their dues and could use a removal. As for Ryan, do you REALLY think he gets extended or do you think the FO may be weighing their options here?

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If we get Lofton back TD would have pulled off what many didnt think was possible in keeping the core FA`s on D. Im happy with it. Cant expect miracles from new coaching, they need some chemistry. We got that and are bringing many of our guys back.

Im happy with whats happened. The FO has handled the money we have to work with good.

Edited by danight
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Excellent assessment, Knight. I agree with most of it. Edwards can still come around, imo. Either way, he's here to stay. Like you, I think Nolan can do a lot with a little.

I think our outside FA moves will be a lot of bargain-hunting for depth. Wait for the high-dollar guys to fly, then swoop in and try to snag a great deal here and there. It should make for an interesting camp.

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That makes a lot of sense to me. Hopefully we don't knee jerk Turner out (LOL) but we make some type of good move to free up space. There are a couple who haven't been paying their dues and could use a removal. As for Ryan, do you REALLY think he gets extended or do you think the FO may be weighing their options here?

Ryan's a lock for at least an attempt at extension. Money is always the question, but they certainly like him at the current numbers.

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Solid analysis and I agree the thing that most people overlook is we have players that want to play for the Falcons. They have home town guys that probably could have made more in FA but if you look at the cap numbers;

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/cap-hit/ (thanks whoever posted this address about a week ago.)

I would say that most people are paid about right based on contribution and expectations, not that all players have lived up to expectation. Free Agency can upset and change the locker room when someone like Matt Forte deserves the money but they dont give it to him. Grimes sees the money Dunta got and is thinking Ive been putting in work the past 5 years why should I bust my *** for this team if they are just gonna go out and give someone else my money.

With the exception of Grimes now(which he is gonna get 10 mil) TD is great about giving players like like Roddy, HD,Bierman, Babs, Turner their fair deal. Probably will re up Willie Moe and Spoon depending on this year. But we have a very happy locker room other than Grimes now, we have the same guys back still going into their prime with a full off season and they should be hungry after the loss. Luckily TD looks into High Character guys who know how to bounce back from adversity.

Im glad they didnt fire smith either because all of these guys are smith's guys. You get a new coach in and he's trying to clear house and get his guys. We just need this team to take that next step into elite. Its hard to imagine until you see it but Green Bay came out of no where 2 years ago and have been elite since and got beat by the Giants also. Which our D held them to less points. No one expected Eli to be Elite and he came out of no where also. After his first 4 years they were questioning him.

I just hate how a lot of people over react to us not making big moves. We draft players and coach them to get better so unfortunately all we can do is wait.

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Find a LT to at least compete w/ Baker and Svitek and I'm happy with this offseason.

Disagree with the RBBC being necessity as opposed to scheme. Last year, Saints had a much more effective running game with their 4 RBs than the Falcons did w/ Turner & Co. Want Turner to share carries with Snelling, Rogers and maybe someone else.

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Great post KOG! You solidified yourself once again as a premier poster on these boards. I didn't recognize the dude that took sort of a negative slant on earlier posts regarding off-season moves, you suprised me a lil bit. Glad to have you back bro.

I think the Falcons FO is learning on the fly. They made some errors but they are learning from them. I believe had they realized that BVG and MM was not going to get this team to the next level earlier and concentrated on the OL/DL sooner, the Falcons would have gone to the superbowl by now.

The Falcons have to get better at drafting in the later rounds and UDFA. Outside of Grimes, they really have not found any hidden gems. I think the talent evaluation crew appears to be weak compared to other playoff teams. THIS HAS TO IMPROVE. The Giants and Patriots are outstanding in this category. We rely too much on rounds 1-3 and splash FA to get the best players. Based on the moves they are making this off-season they are suddenly relizing this, so so far I too beleive the off season is not bad.

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It is seldom that I would take ownership of a post but would gladly sign my name to this one as is!

I think it takes several weeks for reasonsible people to evaluate where we are vs where many thought we should be. A lot more depends on the effect of our new co-ordinators this year than usual. If the FO has decided to resign a large percentage of our FA then I say let's see what they can do with them. Changes can and probably will be made next year but to a large extent we need to know what new coaches and new scheme can do with what we have before we can know what we need in the new regime.

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Find a LT to at least compete w/ Baker and Svitek and I'm happy with this offseason.

Disagree with the RBBC being necessity as opposed to scheme. Last year, Saints had a much more effective running game with their 4 RBs than the Falcons did w/ Turner & Co. Want Turner to share carries with Snelling, Rogers and maybe someone else.

Its great if you can pull it off with enough talent. As much as I like Snelling and can see him taking a good number of snaps, I don't see Rodgers and Snelling being able to do what Thomas, Ivory, and Ingrams did.

Great post KOG! You solidified yourself once again as a premier poster on these boards. I didn't recognize the dude that took sort of a negative slant on earlier posts regarding off-season moves, you suprised me a lil bit. Glad to have you back bro.

I think the Falcons FO is learning on the fly. They made some errors but they are learning from them. I believe had they realized that BVG and MM was not going to get this team to the next level earlier and concentrated on the OL/DL sooner, the Falcons would have gone to the superbowl by now.

The Falcons have to get better at drafting in the later rounds and UDFA. Outside of Grimes, they really have not found any hidden gems. I think the talent evaluation crew appears to be weak compared to other playoff teams. THIS HAS TO IMPROVE. The Giants and Patriots are outstanding in this category. We rely too much on rounds 1-3 and splash FA to get the best players. Based on the moves they are making this off-season they are suddenly relizing this, so so far I too beleive the off season is not bad.

Well, I was worried about the DE position and saw only two players who I thought would be able to cut it. Williams and Abraham. The draft has players, but I never like the idea of relying on the draft without a back-up plan. Your picks may not be there.

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