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2014 Falcons Camp Preview: Safeties


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Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore headlines the safety position group, coached by Tim Lewis and Joe Danna. Each of the team’s seven safeties embraced an offseason of tireless work, absolutely committed to playing this season in a way that makes 2013 a distant memory.

RETURNING PLAYERS

William Moore:

Moore is the undisputed leader of the defense, embracing that role in 2014. Last season, he started all 16 games, totaling 86 tackles, two sacks, seven PBUs, three INTs, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The team is confident that he’ll produce numbers this year that reflect those of his Pro Bowl season in 2012.

Sean Bakericon-article-link.gif:

Baker was on the practice squad last season and could factor in for a depth spot in 2014. In four years at Ball State, Baker set a school record with 18 INTs, while adding 320 tackles (166 solo), 39 passes defensed, 19 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Kemal Ishmaelicon-article-link.gif:

Ishmael is one of two safeties drafted by the Falcons in 2013. During his rookie season, he played in four games and totaled one tackle and also earned time on special teams. In 53-career games at Central Florida, he recorded 368 tackles (213 solo) with 9.5 tackles for loss, six INTs, six forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and one sack.

Zeke Mottaicon-article-link.gif:

Motta’s rookie season in 2013 included flashes of brilliance and a disappointing neck injury, suffered against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14. He played in 10 games last season, recording 16 tackles and one pass defensed. The tough-nosed safety, who started 29 of 51-career games at Notre Dame, will do everything he can to return to the field as soon as possible.

VETERAN ADDITIONS

Dwight Lowery:

Lowery enters his seventh season in the league, his first with the Falcons. He’s played in 68-career games, including 41 starts, while totaling 217 tackles (154 solo) with 10 INTs, three sacks and 45 passes defensed. In 2013, he started three games and posted six tackles (four solo), with one fumble recovery, before being placed on injured reserve and later released. Lowery looks to be the starter in 2014, next to William Moore.

ROOKIES

Kimario McFadden:

McFadden joins the Falcons, following his senior season at South Carolina State, where he recorded 57 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one INT. He was a second-team All-MEAC selection in his lone season for the Bulldogs.

Dezmen Southwardicon-article-link.gif:

Southward was drafted by the Falcons in the third round (68th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft, following a four-year career at Wisconsin. In 2013, he started all 13 games and finished fifth on the team with 40 total tackles, including 3.5 TFLs.

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Yea Baker sounds interesting.

Seems to be more of a SS, guy was a beast in college team capt. and once was a National defender of the week award, a 3 pick game...only ran a 4.65 at pro day though.

Notes:

Also played baseball and basketball as an Ohio prep. Redshirted in 2007. Played in all 14 games in ’08, starting the final 10, and registered 94 tackles, 10 pass breakups and six interceptions with four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Was named the national defensive player of the week after posting 9-1-3 with a 33-yard fumble-return touchdown against Akron. In ’09, started 11 games and tallied 61-3-4 with 3 1/2 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Suffered a broken right hand against Army and missed the Auburn game. Became Ball State’s career interception leader in ’10 after posting 88-4-6 with seven tackles for loss, his first career sack, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. The team MVP returned a fumble 26 yards for a TD against Buffalo. Two-time team captain.

Career Notes: Set the Ball State career interceptions record at Buffalo in 2010 as a junior and had 18 in his career . . . 139 career interception yards to rank fifth on Ball State's all-time list . . . ranks second on Ball State's career chart with 59 fumble return yards . . . the first player in Ball State football history to return two fumbles for touchdowns in a career -- at Buffalo in 2010 and at Indiana in 2008 . . . four multiple interception games . . . was the active leader in career interceptions among all Football Bowl Subdivision players in 2011.

2011 (Sr.): Started the first five games and the last five of the season . . . ended a streak of 25 consecutive starts when he missed the Temple game with a shoulder injury . . . returned to action vs. Central Michigan . . . tallied his 17th career interception vs. Army and his 18th vs. Central Michigan . . . selected the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week for his performance vs. Army . . . led the Cardinals with a career high 18 tackles vs. Toledo in the season finale . . . also led Ball State with 11 tackles at South Florida . . . finished second on the team with 13 tackles at Western Michigan and ranked third on the team with eight tackles vs. Indiana . . . third on the team with six tackles vs. Buffalo . . . nine tackles at Eastern Michigan . . . tallied his first fumble recover of the season and the fourth of his career at Northern Illinois. Ranked 5th in the MAC for number of tackles.

2010 (Jr.): Started all 12 games . . . earned third letter . . . team captain . . . intercepted two passes at Buffalo, marking his fifth and sixth interceptions of the season and the 15th and 16th of his career, making him Ball State's career interceptions leader. . . selected the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at Buffalo . . . intercepted his fourth pass of the season vs. Eastern Michigan. . . managed his third interception of the season and the 13th of his career at Purdue . . . blocked the first field goal of his career vs. Liberty . . . tallied two interceptions vs. Liberty and two at Buffalo, bringing his career total to four multiple interception games in his three seasons . . . led Ball State with a season high 12 tackles in the season opener vs. Southeast Missouri State . . . also credited with two tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble vs. SEMO . . . the sack vs. SEMO was the first of his career . . . managed eight tackles, one interception and one pass breakup at Purdue. . . forced the fifth fumber of his career and recovered his third career fumble at Buffalo . . . returned the recovered fumble 26 yards for a touchdown at Buffalo, marking the second time in his career he accomplished the feat . . . ranked second on the team in total tackles . . . tied for first in the MAC and tied for fifth in the nation in interceptions per game.

2009 (So.): Started 11 games to earn second letter . . . suffered a broken bone in his hand at Army and missed only the Auburn game . . . tallied his first interception of the season and the seventh of his career in the season opener vs. North Texas . . . managed his second interception of the year and eighth of his career vs. Ohio . . . tallied two interceptions in the season finale at Western Michigan to bring his career total to 10 and marking the second multiple interception game of his career . . . season high 11 tackles vs. North Texas . . . registered 10 tackles vs. Central Michigan . . . forced a fumble at Army . . . recovered his second career fumble at Army . . . fifth on the team in tackles and led the team in interceptions . . . managed one tackle for loss at Northern Illinois and 2.5 at Western Michigan.

2008 (Fr.): Played in all 14 games and started the final 10 to earn first letter . . . tied for 15th in the nation in interceptions per game with a 0.43 average . . . ranked second on the team in tackles and led the Cardinals in interceptions . . . scored two defensive touchdowns -- 40-yard interception return at Indiana and 33-yard fumble return at Akron . . . intercepted a pass with 1:04 left in the first half at Indiana and returned it 40 yards for a TD . . . picked up his sixth interception at Central Michigan with 27 seconds left in the game as CMU was driving for a game-tying score . . . managed three pass breakups at Miami . . . led the team in tackles with a season high 12 vs. Eastern Michigan . . . tallied the first forced fumble of his career at Western Kentucky . . . led the team with seven tackles at Toledo . . . named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week after recording three interceptions, tallying one pass breakup, leading the Cardinals with nine tackles while recovering a fumble and returning it 33 yards for a touchdown at Akron . . . also named the Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at Akron . . . his three interceptions at Akron tied a Ball State single-game record . . . named the co-recipient of Ball State’s John Hodge Award, which goes to the team’s most outstanding freshman.

2007: Redshirted.

High School: Earned three letters in football for Coach Mike Pavlansky plus lettered three seasons in basketball and one year in baseball . . . Football: Helped team to an 8-3 overall record as a senior and a 29-8 mark in his career . . . helped senior class to the most wins in school history . . . guided team to the state title game as a junior, the first appearance in school history . . . helped team to share of Metro Athletic Conference title as a senior . . . three-time all-conference . . . two-time All-Northeast Ohio . . . all-state as a junior and senior . . . Northeast Ohio and MAC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior . . . Canfield’s Offensive MVP as a senior . . . tallied 90 tackles and two interceptions as a senior . . . threw for five touchdowns, rushed for eight and caught three TD passes as a senior . . . managed 240 tackles and eight interceptions in his career . . . had 13 rushing TDs, 11 passing touchdowns and five receiving TDs in his career . . . set a school record with 383 passing yards in a single game.

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One of these guys has to play outside their skull if us fans want to even start dreaming about a Superbowl.

The O and D lines will have to play out of their minds for that to happen. Lowery becoming a pro-bowler will not help if the D-Line is less than average and if the O-line can't stop people from getting to Ryan.

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