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Ajc/mark Bradley: The Falcons Need To Win The Race For Clowney


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The Falcons need to win the race for Clowney

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By Mark Bradley

It’s time now for the Atlanta Falcons to get serious – about losing. They need to lose ’em all from here on. (Given that they’ve lost five in a row and eight of nine, that mightn’t be so hard to do.) They need to do this because they’re smack in the middle of the race for Jadeveon Clowney.

As Chris Burke of SI.com notes, the Falcons are currently in line for the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft. (Houston is No. 1 and Jacksonville No. 2, though both are 2-9, just like the Falcons. Strength-of-schedule tiebreakers make the difference.) Burke projects that the Texans would take Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Jaguars would nab Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, which would leave Clowney to the Falcons.

Which would be, in a word, dandy. The Falcons don’t need a quarterback. The Falcons need linemen of every sort on both offense and defense, but they need a pass rusher in the worst way. Clowney has had a strange season at South Carolina – he has been sick or hurt or uninspired for much of it – but he’s still the biggest pass-rushing talent to come along since … who, Bubba Smith?

The nice thing about the Falcons having five consecutive winning seasons was, duh, that they had five consecutive winning seasons. The not-so-nice thing was that the only way they could land a top 10 draftee was by trading five other picks for him. This time their path to a difference-making draft pick is much straighter. They just have to keep losing, and they’ve gotten very good at that.

Trouble is, they still might win a game or two. They face 4-7 Buffalo on Sunday in Canada, and on Dec. 15 they play host to Washington, which is 3-7. The difference between finishing 4-12 and 2-14 could be the difference between Jadeveon Clowney and C.J. Mosley, the Alabama linebacker. Not that Mosley isn't a great player and a splendid prospect, but Clowney is the bigger name -- and if you're about to drop those Personal Seat Licenses for the new stadium, a little sizzle could go a long way -- and the better fit.

Time to stop -- apologies in advance -- clowning around. It should be Clowney or bust.

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I know people hate tanking. But were a top team in the NFL. We don't need to win for confidence. We should already have it.

What we need is a chance to add top flight playmakers. Tnaking is our best option whether people like it or not. I honestly think the team realizes it too. The way we're playing doesnt just happen.

You can't tell me winning out does anything to help this team. Get that number one pick and set us up for the next few years.

Down for the clown!

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I know people hate tanking. But were a top team in the NFL. We don't need to win for confidence. We should already have it.

What we need is a chance to add top flight playmakers. Tnaking is our best option whether people like it or not. I honestly think the team realizes it too. The way we're playing doesnt just happen.

You can't tell me winning out does anything to help this team. Get that number one pick and set us up for the next few years.

Down for the clown!

Falcons won't tank - but I think there is a reason that Arthur Blank came out so early giving "vote of confidence" to Dimitroff/Smith. It was a wink/nod thing which opened up Smitty's ability to play the young guys and back-ups from here on out - did you notice these two things somewhat coincided?

You will see more Zeke Motta, more Levine Toilolo, more Antone Smith, more back-ups......Will that lead to more losses? not necessarily....

Falcons won't try to lose - nor should they - but coaches know that their jobs are secure for one more year and that frees them up to make decisions with regards to playing time in that prism.

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Falcons won't tank - but I think there is a reason that Arthur Blank came out so early giving "vote of confidence" to Dimitroff/Smith. It was a wink/nod thing which opened up Smitty's ability to play the young guys and back-ups from here on out - did you notice these two things somewhat coincided?

You will see more Zeke Motta, more Levine Toilolo, more Antone Smith, more back-ups......Will that lead to more losses? not necessarily....

Falcons won't try to lose - nor should they - but coaches know that their jobs are secure for one more year and that frees them up to make decisions with regards to playing time in that prism.

I agree and I do not think that we should tank the rest of the season. I want the team to give it all they have on Sundays.

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Hmm...so, in other words, the Falcons need to lose to win? huh.png Um, okay. And, what happens if Clowney is a bust? The history of the NFL Draft is replete with hyped-up first-round picks who sucked. All I'm saying is beware the hype around Clowney.

Exactly!

Anybody can be a bust, anybody can be a superstar. None of us can't predict how well a certain player does in the nfl.

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Who will be the fall guy around here if we take Clowney and he is a bust? So many post about Clowney like he is a lock to come into the NFL and tear ish up. He's a dice roll just like any one else. We need line help no doubt, but DT is a more pressing area of need on the D-Line. Take Clowney, but with no DTs collapsing the pocket, he won't do much better than the DEs we already have..

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Hmm...so, in other words, the Falcons need to lose to win? huh.png Um, okay. And, what happens if Clowney is a bust? The history of the NFL Draft is replete with hyped-up first-round picks who sucked. All I'm saying is beware the hype around Clowney.

Exactly!

What hype?! We have two things going on with Clowney: People who watch ESPN all day saying he's going to bust because he hasn't been lighting up the stat sheet this year so he must be lazy and selfish (instead of playing with bone spurs and strained ligaments in his feet and bruised ribs, what kind of lazy, selfish player plays with those lingering injuries?) and people on the other side (lets call them the anti-ESPN circlejerk) who think he'll bust because ESPN wouldn't stop playing that one clip where he blew up that Michigan player so he must be a one play flash in the pan player.

It's ******* stupid.

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Who will be the fall guy around here if we take Clowney and he is a bust? So many post about Clowney like he is a lock to come into the NFL and tear ish up. He's a dice roll just like any one else. We need line help no doubt, but DT is a more pressing area of need on the D-Line. Take Clowney, but with no DTs collapsing the pocket, he won't do much better than the DEs we already have..

so tell me what D-Ends are going to be terrors when we get a decent DT?

Bierrman?

Osi?

Massaquoi?

Matthews?

Goodman?

do tell....

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Falcons won't tank - but I think there is a reason that Arthur Blank came out so early giving "vote of confidence" to Dimitroff/Smith. It was a wink/nod thing which opened up Smitty's ability to play the young guys and back-ups from here on out - did you notice these two things somewhat coincided?

You will see more Zeke Motta, more Levine Toilolo, more Antone Smith, more back-ups......Will that lead to more losses? not necessarily....

Falcons won't try to lose - nor should they - but coaches know that their jobs are secure for one more year and that frees them up to make decisions with regards to playing time in that prism.

Exactly. That vote of confidence this early really only means one thing to me. See what we've got. Leave us a shot at a top pick. And dont worry if we happen to lose in the process.

It was really just Blanks way of saying do whatever you want and need to get us more talent and evaluate what we have.

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Who will be the fall guy around here if we take Clowney and he is a bust? So many post about Clowney like he is a lock to come into the NFL and tear ish up. He's a dice roll just like any one else. We need line help no doubt, but DT is a more pressing area of need on the D-Line. Take Clowney, but with no DTs collapsing the pocket, he won't do much better than the DEs we already have..

Why can't we do both? Re-sign Peters and move him to 3-tech DT where he's much better suited, get Soliai in free agency to replace Peters at 1-tech NT, draft Clowney to be the LEO DE/OLB, and then draft DaQuan Jones a bit later to be our two down 5-tech DE with a rotation with Goodman on passing downs.

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I hate this analogy - its weak

1) Aundray Bruce was a linebacker.

2) That was a crappy year's draft and there was no obvious #1 pick.

3) The regime that drafted Bruce did not draft hardly any good players.

Yeah.

For people that follow UGA... we've known about Clowney since his freshman year.... not a one year wonder like Jamaal Anderson was,

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Who will be the fall guy around here if we take Clowney and he is a bust? So many post about Clowney like he is a lock to come into the NFL and tear ish up. He's a dice roll just like any one else. We need line help no doubt, but DT is a more pressing area of need on the D-Line. Take Clowney, but with no DTs collapsing the pocket, he won't do much better than the DEs we already have..

Flip side is, Clowney is going to make DTs look better. Think the 2 major FA signings should be a solid DT and a solid OT to compete with/back up Holmes & Baker. Then, draft Clowney and use the second pick on a stud RG and this team is worlds better.

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I have seen the comparison to Bruce multiple times yet I see no similarities outside of they played the same position, or at least one of the positions Bruce played. So, someone please explain to me what similarities they have.

Not much. People want to link two players together to justify their beliefs. Its a dumb thing to do.

I'm not saying Clowney definitely wont bust, but bruce has no bearing on him.

One player doesnt have any impact in another. Two different players. Two different skillsets. Two different time periods.

I hate when people link things together. The universe reivents itself every second. Every situation is a new phenomenon.

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Flip side is, Clowney is going to make DTs look better. Think the 2 major FA signings should be a solid DT and a solid OT to compete with/back up Holmes & Baker. Then, draft Clowney and use the second pick on a stud RG and this team is worlds better.

Yup. Soliai and Asomoah or Oher.

Then draft gabe jackson or James hurst. Depending on if you fill og or RT in FA

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