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Mike Nolan Wants Jonathan Massaquoi To Show He Deserves Snaps


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Mike Nolan wants Jonathan Massaquoi to show he deserves snaps

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- One of the big topics following the Atlanta Falcons' 27-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday was the status of outside linebacker/defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, who was benched in the game just days after he complained about his snaps.

Falcons coach Mike Smith called the benching a "coach's decision." Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan followed up Tuesday by talking about his message to Massaquoi in this particular circumstance.

Massaquoi
"Just being frank with him, as I told Massaquoi just the other day -- and I'm not divulging anything that's secret between the two of us -- but he was playing well, he got hurt (against) Detroit, he came back injured, he hasn't played since, now all of sudden he's well again," Nolan explained. "That's fine, but now you have to practice that way so we can see that you're well, and get back on the field. And if it's the reps that you're concerned about, in practice, you know, there are scout-team reps to be taken all the time, so you can jump in on anything you want to say, 'Look, I'm well. And here's what I can do.'

"And I think Mass will do that. At least I'm hopeful he will. He's got something to offer. Last year, I thought he was one of our most improved defensive players. Matter of fact, he might have been the most improved defensive player. And last year, it showed late in the year. And we're obviously late in the year right now. So if he can do that, it would be great. But he didn't have the injury a year ago that he had this year that held him out for a month. ... Like I said, he's just got to show up."

Massaquoi injured his right foot during the Falcons' 22-21 loss to the Lions in London back in Week 8. He said his foot didn't really feel back to normal until before the Green Bay game in Week 14, but he played just seven snaps against the Packers. The lack of playing time led to him voicing his displeasure for the second time this season.

"As you see and I see and I know, if I get 40 snaps and I get into a groove and rhythm, I’m able to change the dynamics of the game," Massaquoi told ESPN.com last week.

It remains unclear whether Massaquoi's words led to his benching against the Steelers, and the coaching staff would never make that public.

Moving forward, it's fair to wonder if Massaquoi will be utilized in Sunday's crucial road game in New Orleans. A loss to the Saints would knock the 5-9 Falcons out of playoff contention.

Massaquoi, who has two sacks and six quarterback hits this season, played 26 of 75 defensive snaps when the Falcons beat the Saints 37-34 in the season opener.

Nolan was asked if Massaquoi can help the defense get after Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

"If he's playing at his top level, yeah," Nolan said. "But again, there's something to do before we just say, 'Hey, you look good. Go in.' You have to do some things in practice so we can see."

Im sorry.. This made me laugh... Ive never seen a guy play good... Get hurt... Comes back healthy and not be played... Ive never seen it... ill see if we had the Bills D-Line and they was performing top notch while you was gone... You cant mess up the units play but dude.... 20 teams has double the sacks that we have... DOUBLE

Listen im not here crying saying Mass is the answer... My thing is we must see is he part of the solution (A LDE or a rotational guy) or do we need all new guys.... The guy showed you something on a D-Line that has nothing ....

I just dont get it... See what he can do

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Nolan's quotes sound to me like Mass hasn't been practicing very hard. It sounds like he isn't proving in practice that he is healed and ready to play.

It also sounds like Nolan wants him to step up, but isn't willing to play him much if he isn't ready to ball out in practice.

I really want Mass to play, but it sounds like much more than just Nolan is a stubborn idiot, which is what some people think.

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What has Nolan showed us in the last 3 years?

THIS.

He's throwing Mass under the bus to hide this staff's ineptitude. It's laughable,transparent and classless. THIS is the kind of stuff players talk to each other about during free agency. What a freaking joke.

It'll all be over with in a few days anyway. HANG IN THERE MASSAQUOI! HANG IN THERE FREEMAN! HANG IN THERE STONE! GET BETTER ANTONE!

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Why is everybody here seemingly convinced that Mass is God's gift to the pass rush? I don't get it....I've seen flashes from the guy but that's about it. Geez though, I still see flashes of ability from Biermann on rare occasions. You guys here act like this guy is the second coming of Abe and/or Kearney. No one who is presently on this team is going to magically turn into a difference maker as far as the pass rush. This off season the team needs to pursue proven pass rush talent in the free agent market. Not over the hill talent either.

Edited by Falc_Fan_Since_Six
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Nolan's quotes sound to me like Mass hasn't been practicing very hard. It sounds like he isn't proving in practice that he is healed and ready to play.It also sounds like Nolan wants him to step up, but isn't willing to play him much if he isn't ready to ball out in practice.I really want Mass to play, but it sounds like much more than just Nolan is a stubborn idiot, which is what some people think.

Bullcrap. Sounds like Nolan is covering his behind. Who the heck cares if KB#71 is all world in practice?

Practice...we're talking about practice?

Wasn't Nolan falling in love with Starr on Hard Knocks because "of his hair?"

Get this clown out of here...

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Kroy must be a practice warrior

If you go by TC when Jake was owning him and Tice said "Dont get mad because the rookie has owned yo azz "

Kroy who was injured for a year and got his starting spot back

But Hey..... Im just as fan

This is not even a "Im against Kroy" type thing .. Play them both .... I just feel like we need to see what Mass can do man... Rather he has it or not

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What has Nolan showed us in the last 3 years?

2012? I'm ok with people complaining about 2014 and 2013 but c'mon 2012 was a freakin miracle from Nolan. He's gone its abundantly clear but please can we at least acknowledge when he had some decent calibre vet players (Abe, Spoon, asante) his defence was pretty stout - and very good on takeaways and red zone defence. Tbh I'm not sure any D coordinator could make us anything other than bottom 5 with this group. We lack a critical playmaking quick lb (spoon if not injured) and a pass rushing run stopping end (Houston, cole, graham etc). With these pieces we could be mid teens
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Bullcrap. Sounds like Nolan is covering his behind. Who the heck cares if KB#71 is all world in practice?

Practice...we're talking about practice?

Wasn't Nolan falling in love with Starr on Hard Knocks because "of his hair?"

Get this clown out of here...

Rewarding players with play time for half assing it in practice or calling out the coaches is not something a coach should do. That's how you lose a locker room. Belichick benched Moss, a superstar that broke the receiving TD record the prior year. I didn't see anybody calling him an idiot for not letting Moss get his way. And it's a culture that establishes a winning tradition. I have plenty to knock Nolan about. This is not one of thems

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