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Falcons' rookie Keanu Neal learns hard lesson in loss


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Falcons' rookie Keanu Neal learns hard lesson in loss

Vaughn McClure

ATLANTA -- Keanu Neal didn't have his best game. There was no getting around it.

The Atlanta Falcons strong safety and rookie first-round draft pick took a step back in Sunday's 29-28 loss to Kansas City, and he knows it.

"There were opportunities that I had that I didn't make," Neal said. "I was lined up on the tight end a lot, Travis Kelce. He got me a few times. He got the best of me."

Late in the game, when the Falcons needed a defensive stop, Neal gave up a key first-down reception to Kelce on second-and-10 from the Chiefs' 8-yard line.

Neal was also in coverage on a 35-yard pass play from Alex Smith to Kelce on the Chiefs' initial drive. Kelce made a quick stutter move as if he was about to cut off his route, then simply outran Neal down the left sideline. The play set up a touchdown.

Neal also had a noticeable missed tackle on Kelce in the second quarter, allowing Kelce to pick up 27 yards and set up another touchdown. And Neal was blocked to the ground by Kelce on an end-around play that went for 23 yards.

"There's always a lesson in the struggle," Neal said. "It's just going to make me a better player in the end, but it sucks to experience this stuff. I do know it's going to help me in the long run. I just can't let that stuff happen."

Neal was asked which play irritated him the most.

"There's no specific play," he said. "It's just the opportunities that I had, I didn't make. That's it."

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was asked what he saw in the noticeable mistakes made by his rookie draft picks: Neal, middle linebacker Deion Jones, and weakside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell.

"I do know some missed tackles, usually that comes down to leverage, and I know those are correctable and fixable," Quinn said. "No need for us to go further than that until I look at the tape with them and get those issues corrected.

"Tackling still comes down to leverage and owning that leverage and making your hits. When we have those, it usually looks pretty good. And when we lose that leverage, oftentimes that’s not. I know those issues if that’s what you're speaking of specifically. We’ll get that addressed."

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Neal definitely had a poor showing but I have faith he will bounce back.  Campbell on the other hand continues to trend downward, in my opinion.  i dont get the love for him on this board.  I know he is young, but other than a few TFL, he really hasnt impressed me much this entire season.  Im growing very tired of seeing him out of position or blatantly missing tackles.

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11 minutes ago, jidady said:

I'm glad to read the quotes that he knows he got whupped. Having said that, he HAS to learn to wrap up better rather than going for killshots. He's the least consistent player on an inconsistent defense. The good news is that he's a month behind all the other rookies.

Campbell takes least consistent player 

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Lesson:

Never, ever draft a SS in the 1st round!

It's like drafting a kicker at all!

Even if you recruited him, don't do it!

Even if he runs a 4.4/40!

 

Better to draft a TE like T.J Howard in the mid-to-lower 1st round because they usally are the bes tof thier class, and will produce! 

Falcons O-Line is tired! They needed a OG at that pick at least.

 

Maybe, he would've been better as a Steeler, but they maybe have a better scheme, and teach SSs better.

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51 minutes ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

Campbell takes least consistent player 

My instant retort was that Campbell was our best defensive player last week, but then I decided that might prove your point since he was so shaky yesterday. :D

Still, Campbell's looked like a terrific value pick thus far. Neal's looked like the reach everyone said he was. I actively dislike how reckless he is. It might just come down to personal preference. Some folks want an intimidator. I'm a big believer that the job title describes the position. He's there as the safety, the last line of defense. Neal wants to play upfield, and that's how modest plays turn into huge gains.

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45 minutes ago, Rise said:

Lesson:

Never, ever draft a SS in the 1st round!

It's like drafting a kicker at all!

Even if you recruited him, don't do it!

Even if he runs a 4.4/40!

 

Better to draft a TE like T.J Howard in the mid-to-lower 1st round because they usally are the bes tof thier class, and will produce! 

Falcons O-Line is tired! They needed a OG at that pick at least.

 

Maybe, he would've been better as a Steeler, but they maybe have a better scheme, and teach SSs better.

Lol your an idiot.

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35 minutes ago, ParanoidAndroid said:

The loss of Spoon is bigger than anyone could've expected.  Campbell has no idea what he's going out there most of the time.  The entire D needs to take a Ryan-esque training session this offseason.  There is so much room for improvement. 

Campbell is taking his lumps much like Neal did yesterday this is all ths is our rookies learning there trade.If there still making the same errors next year that's when you worry about it.

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51 minutes ago, Rise said:

Lesson:

Never, ever draft a SS in the 1st round!

It's like drafting a kicker at all!

Even if you recruited him, don't do it!

Even if he runs a 4.4/40!

 

Better to draft a TE like T.J Howard in the mid-to-lower 1st round because they usally are the bes tof thier class, and will produce! 

Falcons O-Line is tired! They needed a OG at that pick at least.

 

Maybe, he would've been better as a Steeler, but they maybe have a better scheme, and teach SSs better.

He's a 21 yr old rookie ya twat. He will be a game changer and has already made great plays this yr. stop with this draft a TE nonsense that was not a top priority after cutting WAR. 

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18 minutes ago, jidady said:

My instant retort was that Campbell was our best defensive player last week, but then I decided that might prove your point since he was so shaky yesterday. :D

Still, Campbell's looked like a terrific value pick thus far. Neal's looked like the reach everyone said he was. I actively dislike how reckless he is. It might just come down to personal preference. Some folks want an intimidator. I'm a big believer that the job title describes the position. He's there as the safety, the last line of defense. Neal wants to play upfield, and that's how modest plays turn into huge gains.

No doubt about it these two draft classes will be rock solid corner stones for years to come

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44 minutes ago, ParanoidAndroid said:

The loss of Spoon is bigger than anyone could've expected.  Campbell has no idea what he's going out there most of the time.  The entire D needs to take a Ryan-esque training session this offseason.  There is so much room for improvement. 

Having spoon help call the defense was huge asset. I hate that his career may be over 

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13 minutes ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

Having spoon help call the defense was huge asset. I hate that his career may be over 

Yep I mentioned this during the off season.We needed to start experience and bring our rookies along slowly but unfortunately it's the NFL injuries happen and our young guys are in the fire now learning the hard way.

Im not sure why fans are ragging our rookies and the coaches so hard the first mentioned are still acclimating and the coaches are doing there best to get them up to speed.I think we just have to patient with what's going on here.

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Atleast he takes onus on his mistakes....unlike some veteran players and coaching staff who have caved in after dismal loss.

I thought loss of Philly game and bye week was suppose to fix some of these "tackling" & "mental" errors.

I fail to fathom the fact that there were only 2 playmakers on offense which we had to contain mainly Kelce & Hill..all week we prepared for it. We knew Alex Smith or any other NFL QB was going to keep throwing vs our defense....why didnt we go aggressive with press man coverage??

Bottom line, the onus should go on Matt Ryan & Dan Quinn their erratic decisions in pivotal games have landed up 3 HOME losses which we had no business to lose.

The room for error is minimal to none.....NOW is time for them to give up on this lame lip talk we hear every week and WIN out vs sub par teams.

In my opinion, even if get in to playoffs at 10-6. I just dont see us getting a round further.

Riseup!!

 

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