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Falcons Defense 2012 And Going Forward...


vel
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Having watched a good bit of the season of our defense from last year, I've come to a few conclusions and what to expect from our 2013 iteration:

Abe: Abe still has gas and still had it all season before the ankle injury. He wasn't the sack machine his stats showed (*cough* Cardinals game), but he was still good. We all know that. But I fully agree with letting him go. We needed to baby him just to keep him in condition to play. Abe was a pass rush specialist. A good one, but that's all he was. He was the closer that only closed a few games. For the price and amount of time we held him out of "harm's way", it was not longer worth it. Especially with the real possibility of him falling off with not many Cardinals type OLines on the schedule, well except the Cards. He didn't beat many good LTs. We needed a better closer and we got one.

DTs: I'm still struggling to find the evidence that Babs is not good and losing it. Yes, he isn't Geno Atkins, but he is still a good pass rushing DT. He played a good bit of LE after Ray was cut. He had 2.5 sacks in the first five games. That's pace for an 8 sack season. He was moved around because he is the most athletic DT we have and did a solid job there. Now that we have more than enough LEs, Babs will be back to the middle where he excels. I won't judge Peters much for this season due to his injury and being rushed back. But I will bring up the much maligned Peria Jerry. I have finally figured out his role in this defense. He's Mike Nolan's Justin Smith. When single blocked, he's still a load to handle for any guard or center. But his main job is to tie up blocks to free up the rest of the line and keep the LBs clean. It's not sexy and doesn't compile stats, evidenced by his 0 sacks, but it's an important role and why he hasn't been cut. If he does get cut, it means that Robertson is ready and more capable of that role, as that is what he normally came in the game to do as well. If we sign Seymour, I don't think that's the end of Jerry, just replacing the void Walker's absence creates. (Watch the Oakland game to see Jerry and Babs work).

LBs: This group is home to two of the new popular board scapegoats: Nicholas and Dent. I'll start with Spoon since he's a fan favorite. Spoon needs to stay healthy and wrap up better, but I think he will break out next year. His athleticism is starting to match his intensity and style of play at this level. Nolan's scheme helped bring that out, but before he was too wild. I'm looking forward to his progression and hopefully him staying healthy, especially since we have a coach who can develop talent now. As for Nic and Dent, I think both get way too much heat around here by posters who are not the most intelligent when it comes to football. Nic lead the team in tackles and would have been a close second if Spoon stayed healthy every game. The guy is good. One game doesn't erase that. Most are still focused on the playoff game because everybody else is, but nobody understands why every LB the Niners faced in the playoffs struggled. Nic is a good LB with decent coverage and blitzing ability. He's never going to be special, but he's worth his weight on the defense. Dent actually surprised me when I was watching. He's actually going to be a good LB. Not Willis or Bowman, but a Lofton type is not out of the question. Dent is faster and more instinctive, but Lofton had more football intelligence. That comes with experience. But later in the season, Dent was flowing to the ball with ease. The problem with our run defense was not Dent, it was running the nickel over half of the time. The problem was the game was still fast for him. It looked like it was slowing down for him later in the year though. One thing that will help is the growth of our DLine. A bigger DLine makes it harder for the OL to get to the second level, thus keeping your LBs clean and free to roam. A bigger DL makes our LBs better.

Secondary: I have to say, DRob was a good corner this year. He wasn't shut down and he suffered from the same fate here as Jerry has. We expected a Revis type corner and got a slightly better Chris Houston. Oh well. But this year, he was a lot closer to what we signed him for than what he had been the previous two years. His swagger was a big part of our defense and actually made me hesitate thinking Trufant could replace him with ease. Trufant's better in coverage, a decent tackler and about equal ball skills. Go watch the Redskins game and DRob deserves the game ball. It will surprise you big time how good he was and if he could have built on that with another year in Nolan's scheme with a significantly lower price tag. Another guy that impressed me was Owens. He really became a good corner finally and I'm kind of upset we let him walk instead of Franks. Owens can play. He was confident and knew he could cover. He fit our scheme better than Franks does. When he would make a play, it was no longer a surprise. The Browns got a solid player. No need to speak on McClain, Samuel, Moore or DeCoud. Studs are studs. Luckily, Alford has the potential to be a better player immediately.

Looking forward, I really think our defense will surprise people. We will have a bigger DLine, which I think will be what's most important. Our corners, in my opinion, will be better with Trufant and Alford replacing DRob and Owens. I think our LBs will continue to develop and get better. I think the playoff games have tainted a lot of this board's outlook and opinion of this team. Look at the whole season and you will be excited for the future of this defense. We have 4 real corners capable of shutting almost any passing attack down, we have a top 5 safety tandem and a promising front 7. As long as the offense doesn't take a step back and the defense improves modestly, we have another real shot at the Super Bowl.

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Good write up! But I bet you will be flamed for this on Jerry: "

He's Mike Nolan's Justin Smith"

I agree, Jerry and Peters played lot of 1 tech, which is doing the dirty work by taking double teams for guys like Walker and to some extent Babs to put up stats with single blockers. They should get Seyomour and let Jerry play 3 tech, where he can put up big numbers.

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Good write up! But I bet you will be flamed for this on Jerry: "

He's Mike Nolan's Justin Smith"

I agree, Jerry and Peters played lot of 1 tech, which is doing the dirty work by taking double teams for guys like Walker and to some extent Babs to put up stats with single blockers. They should get Seyomour and let Jerry play 3 tech, where he can put up big numbers.

I will. Some will think I'm saying he is as good or can be Justin Smith. I don't think he will ever put up big numbers, but he can tie up the interior pretty good.

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Very good post. The unfortunate thing a lot of posters won't get it. Not trying to take a shot, it's like you said some aren't football intelligent. Just watch games, look for the TDs, Sacks, Ints etc and thinks that makes you a good player. Some don't understand field position, as another poster said in a different thread M Ryan has had the worst field position in the playoffs. Adding a good returner is huge.

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I agree with most of it, but the front 7 is still a tad shaky IMO, and we have to wrap up and tackle better at all 3 levels to improve......thing is, I think Nolan will break the DaVinci code of the options and pistols, and start forcing these teams to play out of the pocket, the whole key to it is Moore, and locking up the outside IMO, I do understand this draft now,,,,,,

Beerman has got to break huge this year, and Trufant can't play like a rookie, if we got Seymour, a starting D line of RS, JB, OU, and Beer/Good/Mass/ maybe Maponga, whoever rises, this could be pretty decent...

Smith and Nolan has got to put a stop to the 2nd half meltdowns, the whole team should be ashamed of them, from Blank to the waterboy ....

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Vel.. I saw the same thing in Dent... Thats why i dont get the extreme hate... The guy struggled at fisrt but thru out the year he was solid against the run and ive seen him cover a RB good.... He is not a cover LB by no means but the guy can grow off the 2nd half of a solid season.

I hate us putting Babs at 4-3 DE... Leave the guy inside

I agree with most of your stuff tho

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im only going to touch on a couple things, nicholas looked slow at times and missed a few tackles. he was a weak link against mblie qbs, its not anything that cant be fixed but im always for a potential replacement to come in and make u work a little harder.

grimes injury hurt us bad in the playoffs,we run our nickel with drob covering the te i see differant results

hopefully nolan plugs our holes

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im only going to touch on a couple things, nicholas looked slow at times and missed a few tackles. he was a weak link against mblie qbs, its not anything that cant be fixed but im always for a potential replacement to come in and make u work a little harder.

grimes injury hurt us bad in the playoffs,we run our nickel with drob covering the te i see differant results

hopefully nolan plugs our holes

In no way is Rob a better cover guy then McClain.... We miss Grimes because he is a good CB tho

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In no way is Rob a better cover guy then McClain.... We miss Grimes because he is a good CB tho

idk, i dont think we were unning a nickel package with the tes picking us apart with the tes and before grimes was injured he nickel wit rob in the slot was sposed to be our base package

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Man FINALLY someone posting positive on our D! I agree with a lot of what was said. The main thing I think we need to work on is fundamentals of the game. I think we were so bad at tackling because we probably spent a lot of time running turnover drills, our guys were always going for the big play and wouldn't be able to just tackle the guy and bring him down. Just work on some fundamentals and we will be alright I am so excited about our team's potential.

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Man FINALLY someone posting positive on our D! I agree with a lot of what was said. The main thing I think we need to work on is fundamentals of the game. I think we were so bad at tackling because we probably spent a lot of time running turnover drills, our guys were always going for the big play and wouldn't be able to just tackle the guy and bring him down. Just work on some fundamentals and we will be alright I am so excited about our team's potential.

Totally agree. We gave up a lot of plays because we were going for turnovers (which our D excels at).... if we can learn to wrap up AND hold onto our turnover ability - we will be amazing on D.

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Starting Defense

This would be my starting defense. Im high on Dent, I think he'll come on a lot this year. Hope Osi, Biermann, Matthews, Massaquoi and Goodman can create a pass rush. Robertson should see rotational snaps at defensive tackle. McClain would be my nickel corner with Alford in for dime situations. Maybe using Motta the safety we drafted at LB to cover tightened could stop the problem which has been talked about as an option. I want Maponga to be used similarly to Biermann, when he is in the game; have him pass rushing, running free safety or spying the QB.

RDE: Osi

DT: Babineaux

NT: Peters (Seymour if he signs)

LDE: Biermann

LB: Nicholas

MLB: Dent

LB: Spooooon

CB: Trufant

FS: DeCoud

SS: Will Moe

CB: Asante Samuel

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No Falcon DE had more snaps than Abe in 2012. Osi didn't either.

RobbinUs was not as good as Houston over the last three seasons.

Jelly didn't get doubled any more than Babineaux or any other starting DT. Nolan's Justin Smith? OK.

The rest was pretty spot on.

Old guy, answer me this:

What does the number of snaps Abe played have to do with anything? Do you think that refutes the fact that he's only a pass rush specialist these days and would have been an expensive and risky one at 35? Nope.

Houston's years in Atlanta were not better than Robinson's in Atlanta. Sorry they weren't. Even this past year for DRob was better than anything Houston did in Atlanta. Houston went to Detroit in a better system for his talents. Can't compare what he did in different schemes. Like comparing Jason Babin in Houston to what he's doing now. Schemes have impacts old guy.

I knew this would fly over your head. What does Justin Smith do for the Niners? He holds up the OL for Aldon Smith to rack up the sacks. That's why when he got hurt, the sack well dried up for Aldon Smith. Did you watch the video I linked? Doubt it because you'd see exactly what I pointed out. He's doing the same thing. And can you provide the stats for the number of double teams Jerry drew compared to Babs?

im only going to touch on a couple things, nicholas looked slow at times and missed a few tackles. he was a weak link against mblie qbs, its not anything that cant be fixed but im always for a potential replacement to come in and make u work a little harder.

grimes injury hurt us bad in the playoffs,we run our nickel with drob covering the te i see differant results

hopefully nolan plugs our holes

How was Nic a weak link against mobile QBs more than any other LB? Don't point to the TE being wide open, because that's not on Nic. If it is, then it's on Spoon, Ray Lewis and Danell Ellerbe as well. I agree we can push him with some back ups, but he will be starting next year barring injury. I just don't understand how your leading tackler was the weak link.

Grimes' injury didn't hurt us bad. Again, the TE was a result of not knowing how to stop the RO. DRob can't guard Vernon Davis. I doubt Nolan would have put him there either. DRob would have been doing what McClain was assigned to do.

The TE being open has flabbergasted this board beyond belief. The TE being open was the fault of no one's. I'm not even going to bother explaining it because every time it's brought up, it's like a big flag for "I have no clue about football but I love talking like I do".

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When I watch highlights of our defense our safeties are often involved in big plays as is weatherspoon and Samuel. Robinson made a lot of good tackles coming up at the LOS which is something we lost. Trufant will be better downfield and not as good attacking the run. Robinson was good last year he was just a cap casualty. Abe showed up on the DL and to a lesser degree Biermann, Babinaux, and Peters. Nicholas is solid and Dent could be this year. They seem to show up defending run at the LOS. Osi needs to pick up where Abe left off and I think he will. Goodman is the wildcard. How much he plays and produces will go a long way in us having a better defense. Trufant and Alford will have big shoes to fill but are expected to. If Goodman is a stud vs the run and surprises with some pressure, our LDE will be solved and Biermann can be fresh to rush from either side or as an extra pass rusher.

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In no way is Rob a better cover guy then McClain.... We miss Grimes because he is a good CB tho

Ehh kinda hard to miss what you did not have.

Trufant was a great cover guy in college with good measurable,

If he can translate that to the nfl we will not miss grimes at all.

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Ehh kinda hard to miss what you did not have.

Trufant was a great cover guy in college with good measurable,

If he can translate that to the nfl we will not miss grimes at all.

I don't get the "We will miss Grimes" talk. He didn't play last year as far as I'm concerned and he wouldn't have been the difference of that 10 yards or blown lead. Trufant just has to be better than what DRob gave us coverage wise and it's a win. I think he can immediately. That's why TD went and got him. We needed a guaranteed day one starter and Trufant was that more than any other corner in the draft. Milliner and Hayden may have higher ceilings, but I see them struggling due to their health concerns initially. Rhodes was not a fit here. (Some people are going to see him excelling in Minny and think he could do that here. Minny runs a cover 2 defense. It fits him perfectly.)

Our LBs will get better with time. That's why we didn't replace any of them. Only this board sees the need to replace any LB we have. And honestly, our DL was pretty good with Edwards because it let Babs play DT and kept Biermann fresher. Once we cut him, we had to adjust with players out of position. We need Goodman to replace just the little Edwards provided and, again, we will have an improvement. As a rookie, I think he can do that. He's just as stout on the left side, better pass rusher than Edwards and potential to impact from the inside. Add in a committee of Mass, Matthews and Maponga to get maybe 15 sacks (5 each), which I think is possible, and you have a potentially steadier DLine to utilize.

The defense's improvement hinges on player development. The good news: We have a DC who has shown repeatedly he is capable of such a thing.

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I don't get the "We will miss Grimes" talk. He didn't play last year as far as I'm concerned and he wouldn't have been the difference of that 10 yards or blown lead. Trufant just has to be better than what DRob gave us coverage wise and it's a win. I think he can immediately. That's why TD went and got him. We needed a guaranteed day one starter and Trufant was that more than any other corner in the draft. Milliner and Hayden may have higher ceilings, but I see them struggling due to their health concerns initially. Rhodes was not a fit here. (Some people are going to see him excelling in Minny and think he could do that here. Minny runs a cover 2 defense. It fits him perfectly.)

Our LBs will get better with time. That's why we didn't replace any of them. Only this board sees the need to replace any LB we have. And honestly, our DL was pretty good with Edwards because it let Babs play DT and kept Biermann fresher. Once we cut him, we had to adjust with players out of position. We need Goodman to replace just the little Edwards provided and, again, we will have an improvement. As a rookie, I think he can do that. He's just as stout on the left side, better pass rusher than Edwards and potential to impact from the inside. Add in a committee of Mass, Matthews and Maponga to get maybe 15 sacks (5 each), which I think is possible, and you have a potentially steadier DLine to utilize.

The defense's improvement hinges on player development. The good news: We have a DC who has shown repeatedly he is capable of such a thing.

I will take the second most interesting position battle on the board for 500 Alex!

How those 3 guys are worked in will be VERY interesting.

As I have mentioned those 3 guys are virtually the same guys with Beirman a lighter shade.

I think all 3 will be woven in and out of the Joker role giving us multiple looks.

With all 3 ability to drop back into space.

That is an interesting point you made about Edwards, Beirman DID look a lot better early in the year when he was able to move around more and be fresher.

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I will take the second most interesting position battle on the board for 500 Alex!

How those 3 guys are worked in will be VERY interesting.

As I have mentioned those 3 guys are virtually the same guys with Beirman a lighter shade.

I think all 3 will be woven in and out of the Joker role giving us multiple looks.

With all 3 ability to drop back into space.

That is an interesting point you made about Edwards, Beirman DID look a lot better early in the year when he was able to move around more and be fresher.

I think Mass and Maponga will be more of the hybrid DE/OLB guys for passing situations and Matthews and Goodman will be the stronger, natural LE types. Mass and Maponga are almost the same exact player. Goodman is longer and bigger than Matthews, but both are fairly bigger and can rush from outside and inside.

But yea, most people don't see how our defense dropped off a little after Edwards was cut.

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I think Mass and Maponga will be more of the hybrid DE/OLB guys for passing situations and Matthews and Goodman will be the stronger, natural LE types. Mass and Maponga are almost the same exact player. Goodman is longer and bigger than Matthews, but both are fairly bigger and can rush from outside and inside.

But yea, most people don't see how our defense dropped off a little after Edwards was cut.

MS said they asked Matthews to bulk up and he showed up 15 to 20 LBs heavier. Did you hear that interview?

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MS said they asked Matthews to bulk up and he showed up 15 to 20 LBs heavier. Did you hear that interview?

That's why I said he and Goodman were more of the same. He will play around 280 this year while Maponga and Mass will be about 255-260.

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