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What Are Your Honest Gut Feelings About The Progression Of This Team In The Next Two Years?


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Hello, Tatf

Im Hairy Arab Falcon Fan, you can call me haff. This is my first thread on the boards though I have been lurking for a longgg time.

The purpose of Message Boards is the diffusion and exchange of information. What I feel like many posters have forgotten is that this is a FAN board, meaning that the information we exchange is mostly if not all opinion based. Many posters create threads with the intentions of forcing their "god given" opinions about the falcons on to others.

I will try to avoid that trap and instead offer a thread intended to gauge our emotions as a fan base instead of sway them.

So tell us what your gut has been telling you after witnessing our team under a new coaching scheme for the past 6 weeks.

Do you feel like we have yet to realize our potential as a team?

Do you think that the philosophy of our drafts will be different to accommodate the new coaching schemes?

Do you see a drop off if and when John Abraham and Tony Gonzo retire?

Personally, I feel that the future of our falcons is sustained relevance even beyond the next two years. I think the paradigm we have been functioning through ever since the arrival of TD we'll keep us a winning team for a very long time. However I am not a blind flag waver and I do think that we will have some short comings do to the sheer competitiveness of the league. I don't think those will outweigh the overall achievements of the team though. I believe the falcons win NFC South 4 out of the 5 next years. Hopefully I'm not a bumbling bafoon.

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I'd like to think this is the first year of a dynasty yet to come. Although the past couple of years have been where the Falcons have paid the price and laid the foundation for this year and the years yet to come. So long as everyone on the O and the remaining D-backs remain healthy, and we suffer no off the field pitfalls like DUI's and such, there is no telling how far these Falcons can fly. I'm hoping for nothing less than a Super Bowl victory. Anything short of that will be a dissapointment for me. Having been a Falcons fan since 1977, it's been a very long time since we've been to a Super Bowl, and we've never won it. Tough circumstances having a GF that is a Steelers fan.

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Guest Negatorris

I think the Falcons will own the NFC South for another two years at minimum. I also think our defense will jump to elite status next year if/when Nolan stays.

I feel like Nolan is gonna meet up with TD and get himself some real impact players from next years draft class.

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I think there's a chance we win the Super Bowl this year - if we don't, it's most likely due to lackluster play in the trenches, which will be shored up over the course of the next offseason, possibly two. We've got Roddy for another 5-6 years or so and Matt and Julio for 10+. Our OL of the Future is about one guard short of exceptional, unless Reynolds or Clabo decide they want to be an all-pro RG, with Baker-Blalock-Konz-(?)-Holmes, possibly with Baker and Holmes switching places down the line depending on performance. That leaves three positions to be desired: TE, FB and HB. Ewing may or may not be our answer at FB, but we could very easily draft a starting caliber one in a late round.

I think TE is a premiere position, but there are so many freakishly athletic TEs coming out of the draft that it honestly won't be difficult to find a great one. On top of that, the league is seemingly full of them as well. There will NEVER be another Tony Gonzalez as far as production goes, but for the last 15 years, colleges have been slowly but surely adapting their programs to basically become Tony Gonzalez replica producing factories. Look at the TEs drafted within the last 5 years, in the 6'5" pass-catching mold of Tony G: Jermichael Finley, Brandon Pettigrew, Jared Cook, Jermaine Gresham, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, now all of a sudden Kyle Rudolph looks like a stud for Minnesota and Coby Fleener is a legitimate #2 option for Luck behind the legendary Reggie Wayne. The TE position has become the new "it" skill position in the NFL, and we need to replace Gonzo with the best player we possibly can. A free agent would work, but I wouldn't be against using our first round draft pick in 2013 on an elite pass-catching TE who isn't afraid to get down and dirty, although Gonzo hasn't been a very good run blocker since he's gotten here, so that isn't really even a necessity. The best college TEs coming out are Tyler Eifert and Dion Sims, both fitting the Gonzo mold of 6'5+ 250+ pound pass catching fiends.

As far as RB goes, I honestly think drafting a RB first round is a huge waste. Look at the top RBs in the NFL right now: Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. Peterson is the fourth best of them and the only first round pick of the group. McCoy and Rice were both second rounders and Foster, arguably the best of the group, went undrafted. Look at the best rookie out of this year's draft class: Alfred Morris. 5th rounder. It all comes down to value, and no RB is worth spending 1st round money on, if for no other reason, because the dropoff from that 1st rounder to the 2nd rounder is far less significant than the cap space you save.

If our draft strategy is TE in the 1st and RB in the 2nd, the only RB worth taking in the 2nd round is Le'Veon Bell, and I HIGHLY doubt he'll still be around at our pick in the 2nd round. He might even see a rise into the first, hopefully just not because of us. I don't think this is the best strategy, though, because there are plenty of FA RBs that we'd probably be better off with than an unproven rookie. Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush both come to mind, as the ideal RB in our scheme is one who can split out wide just as well as he runs up the middle.

Defensively, we might have the best nickel secondary in the league. Dunta and Asante are both great corners. DeCoud and Moore are Falcons-for-life type players who just make plays, especially in Nolan's scheme where they're allowed more freedom. Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon make up for arguably the best Nickel LB duo in the NFL, which is the defensive formation that we SHOULD be in for the majority of our games, and DEFINITELY the defensive formation that we would WANT to be in on every snap of every game, because it means we're protecting a lead.

Our #1 problem on defense is our inability to generate pressure from the defensive line. John Abraham is a stud; there's no denying that. The problem is that he won't be around in a few years, and he's the ONLY pass rushing stud we have. Could you imagine if we had a Bruce Irvin or Jason Pierre-Paul lined up on the same DL as Abe? Could you imagine if Corey Peters shows up and combined with the much-improved play of Vance Walker, we actually managed to generate an inside push? We'd be a very, VERY scary defense to go against, especially taking the ball hawks in our secondary and our LBs' coverage abilities into account.

Needs in order of priority

1. Athletic freak TE with gigantic hands to replace Gonzo

2. Pass-Catching HB

3. Pass rusher (Abe's prodigy)

4. Interior pocket collapser (if the DT situation doesn't get better with Peters)

5. RG (if nobody steps up)

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With regards to a fresh RB and TE I see us becoming a defensive juggernaut to match the offense in the next few years. We have built such a good offense its time to focus on the defense.

The defense RELIES on the offense. We need our offense to be a well-oiled machine.

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Needs in order of priority

1. Athletic freak TE with gigantic hands to replace Gonzo

2. Pass-Catching HB

3. Pass rusher (Abe's prodigy)

4. Interior pocket collapser (if the DT situation doesn't get better with Peters)

5. RG (if nobody steps up)

Are you saying Dimi hasn't adequately addressed these positions with his acquisitions of Palmer, Gallarda, Quizz, Antone, Massaquoi, Matthews, Sidbury, Biermann, RayRay, Jelly, Peters, Travian, Vance, Reynolds, Konz, Johnson, Jackson and Hawley? With the exception of Vance I'd say you're right. Keep that man out of the war room.
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