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Five Thoughts: Atlanta Falcons


GATXBOI
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Shane Theodore SHANE THEODORE MAY 15, 2015

In the two years since going 13-3 and planting their flag atop the NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons have put together a collection of disappointing losses, resulting in the departure of head coach Mike Smith in the offseason. With new coach Dan Quinns experience running an elite defense in Seattle, the Falcons have a new emphasis on that side of the ball.

With an offense that was rarely the problem in Smiths final years, the Falcons head into 2015 with realistic expectations to knock the Carolina Panthers off the top of the division totem pole.

1. Can Coleman be the guy?

Theres no questioning the career that Tevin Coleman put together at Indiana, racking up an incredible 2,096 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall. Coleman was the Hoosiers only player of concern to Big 10 opponents, and he still only had one game in which he didnt rush for 100 yards.

In the NFL, Colemans size (511, 206 pounds) leaves something to be desired, but Atlanta showed their faith in the running back, picking him in the third round. Atlanta has moved on from Steven Jackson and Jazquizz Rodgers, so Coleman comes into the Peach City as the teams most notable back.

Whatever running game the Falcons tote will be secondary to their downfield passing attack, but Coleman will be relied on to produce from the get go.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Penn State at Indiana

2. Time for Hageman to step up

Dan Quinns proved over his time coaching high-level NFL talent that he can consistently put his defensive linemen in positions to succeed in getting pressure in the backfield. Enter the ultra-talented RaShede Hageman, who was drafted early in the second round last season.

Hageman came into the league too big and sluggish, and that resulted in only 220 snaps in his rookie campaign. Reports are that hes slimmed down to around 295 pounds, 15 lighter than his rookie season weight, and Hagemans strength that already rivaled that of the best at his position is now helped by his improved conditioning.

Atlanta took a chance on Hagemans potential, and while he seems to be progressing well in the offseason, he will have to make strides on the field to improve his stock as a cog in Quinns defense.

3. Which former afterthought TE becomes Ryans go-to?

Long gone are the days of seemingly-immortal Tony Gonzalez catching passes for Atlanta, and Matt Ryan suffered from it in 2014. The Falcons go into 2015 with a pair of tight ends that avid football fans know from their days and block-first players.

Tony Moeaki spent time in Kansas City, Buffalo and Seattle and has a whopping five touchdowns to show for it, while Jacob Tamme owes nine of of his 10 career touchdowns to the arm of Peyton Manning. But theyre the best Atlantas got, and Ryan will have to develop chemistry with at least one of them to be able to lead a balanced offense, especially when under pressure in the pocket.

4. Will Hardy retire Hester?

Every great player is eventually reduced to replacability, and while Devin Hester will go down as possibly the greatest returner in the history of the NFL, the new life he enjoyed last season in Atlanta cant be expected out of him again in 2015.

Enter Justin Hardy, the former speedster from Eastern Carolina, and the Falcons have who they believe can be the successor to Hester sooner rather than later. Hardys got vertical speed as well as crisp route-running ability, and while Hardy will play his rookie season in more of a third receiver role than he will at returner, his dynamic talents make the fifth-round pick an intriguing player to watch.

5. Alright Matty Ice, its crunch time

Matt Ryan has managed to avoid a lot of criticism over the past couple of years, as the brunt of fan frustration with the team fell on Smith and the Falcons struggling defense. But its only a matter of time until the franchise quarterback gets blamed for the failures of the franchise, and Ryans inability to even squeak out a .500 record in the porous NFC South is a realistic cause for concern.

Ryans been the golden boy in Atlanta since his arrival in 2008 and hes been great at the helm of the Falcons offense, but the pressure to lift his team back into the postseason will be evident from the beginning of training camp.

https://www.todayspigskin.com/nfc-today/nfc-south/5-thoughts-atlanta-falcons/

Edited by GATXBOI
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Enter Justin Hardy, the former speedster from Eastern Carolina, and the Falcons have who they believe can be the successor to Hester sooner rather than later. Hardys got vertical speed as well as crisp route-running ability

Lost credibility with these comments. Hardy's a good slot option but claiming he is a speedster proves he hasn't done his homework.

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Lost credibility with these comments. Hardy's a good slot option but claiming he is a speedster proves he hasn't done his homework.

Also he was a 4th not a 5th.

Coleman has decent size. Best speed to size ratio in his class. And tough. Tougher than Spiller, Norwood or McFadden.

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4. Will Hardy retire Hester?

Every great player is eventually reduced to replacability, and while Devin Hester will go down as possibly the greatest returner in the history of the NFL, the new life he enjoyed last season in Atlanta cant be expected out of him again in 2015.

Enter Justin Hardy, the former speedster from Eastern Carolina, and the Falcons have who they believe can be the successor to Hester sooner rather than later. Hardys got vertical speed as well as crisp route-running ability, and while Hardy will play his rookie season in more of a third receiver role than he will at returner, his dynamic talents make the fifth-round pick an intriguing player to watch.

https://www.todayspigskin.com/nfc-today/nfc-south/5-thoughts-atlanta-falcons/

4.56 is considered a speedster? blink.png

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4.56 is considered a speedster? blink.png

Hardy is fast enough to get separation and has great hands. Hardy is a rook and doesn't deserve yet to be compared to anyone but the guy who ripped my heart out many times was Jerry Rice, the best ever. He had poor combine 40 times also and in my book he was the best ever.

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Hardy is fast enough to get separation and has great hands. Hardy is a rook and doesn't deserve yet to be compared to anyone but the guy who ripped my heart out many times was Jerry Rice, the best ever. He had poor combine 40 times also and in my book he was the best ever.

He also used stick um. Ijs. Ijs
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1. How is 5'11 206 possibly considered undersized for a NFL RB? Sure it's on the light side, but 4 months in an NFL S&C and nutrition program, and he'll be 215-220 lbs and slightly stronger and maybe even slightly faster.

2. Hageman was already a 5.06 40 at 6'6 318 lbs. If he's down to 295, he's lost 23 lbs and is likely running below 5.00, which is crazy for his size. He's a freak of nature athlete that was raw and just needed coaching and discipline. And word is he's been at the Falcon's workout facilities all off-season, more than anyone else. He's going to play the Tony McDaniel 3-tech role in Quinn's defense and I think we're going to see him blossom into something special sooner than later.

3. If Tamme can be a possession receiver in the middle, Toilolo can concentrate on being that redzone threat he should be at his size. We don't need Toilolo to run, he just has to catch everything at its highest point in the endzone and he's golden. Moeaki I have no clue about since he's never had a healthy season. If he can contribute, then that's just gravy.

4. Hardy is not a straight line speedster (4.56). What he is, is the fastest 3-cone (6.63) of the combine, proving he's ridiculously quick and agile. What Hardy is, is a 5'10 guy with 32" arms and 10" hands, that runs exceptional routes and catches everything. He's got the arms and hands size of a guy who's 6'5, which is extraordinary for his height and is certainly a big contributor to his success so far. There's no reason this shouldn't translate to the NFL.

5. Dafuq is this idiot saying about Matty? You don't even have to be a Koolaid drinking homer to realize that Matt has still excelled with a terrible OL and no running game, and even when Roddy and JJ were hurt for chunks of seasons and he's making Harry Douglas into a thousand yard receiver. Just imaging what he could do with a decent OL, a good running game, healthy receivers, and more consistent catching receivers. Oh yeah, and imagine having a good defense that doesn't have you playing from behind every game and trying to win miraculous 4th quarter comebacks in the last minute 10 out of 16 games.

How do clowns like this get jobs as writers? Half of us here could have written a better piece than this guy.

Edited by Beef
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Hardy is fast enough to get separation and has great hands. Hardy is a rook and doesn't deserve yet to be compared to anyone but the guy who ripped my heart out many times was Jerry Rice, the best ever. He had poor combine 40 times also and in my book he was the best ever.

thats great, but not really the point. the writer said he speedster and has vertical speed, everything i have read about him says he is more quick than fast and uses crisp route running to create that seperation.

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His Q&A about Ryan was pretty fumb too. Ryan avoided criticism? Couldn't squeak out a .500 record? Did he even watch any of our games with our porous D and OL?

Hardy's speed and Ryan's lack of beating teams by himself (in essence what he's basically saying)? This article and its writer is a joke.
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