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Falcons DC Manuel: Ricardo Allen someone to be reckoned with


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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falconsdefensive coordinator Marquand Manuel sees a different level of respect these days for free safety Ricardo Allen.

When the Falcons are in their Cover 3 scheme, with Allen responsible for the deep middle, Manuel doesn't see opposing quarterbacks testing Allen too often, if at all.

"They tried earlier when he first started," Manuel said, referring to Allen's initial transition from cornerback to free safety. "They see now that he's where he's supposed to be when he's supposed to be there. And he's understanding how to get there. So it's been very, very, very [good] on his part, the hours that he's put in understanding quarterbacks, understanding tendencies and things of that nature. I think they understand that it's not even worth trying him because this guy is on it."

Allen's reliability at his position is part of the reason the Falcons have made defensive strides going into Sunday's matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons rank seventh in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 200.8 passing yards per game. They've allowed 21 completions of 20-plus yards, which is among the top-five best in the league.

It helps the pass defense when a guy such as defensive end Adrian Clayborn has a franchise-record six-sack outing, as he did against Dallas. And one-time Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant, who had an interception at Seattle last week, always is capable of shutting down one side of the field when he's on top of his game. But Manuel said don't discount Allen's impact in that "eraser" role, preventing those explosive plays.

"He might not be that big, he might not be that fast, but he does the job and he gets it done," Manuel said of the 5-foot-9, 186-pound Allen. "A lot of people think about it in terms of just the pass game. We're better on defense that he's only had two missed tackles -- knock on wood -- all year. Not a lot of free safeties can say that, maybe that being Earl [Thomas]. That's one of the guys you talk about that stature being at that position.

"We're very proud of Rico. He still has a long way to go, but we're proud that he puts the hours in and you see it on the field."

Allen will need to back Manuel's high praise once again this week against the Buccaneers. Although Tampa Bay will be without quarterback Jameis Winston(shoulder), fill-in Ryan Fitzpatrick has a variety of weapons at his disposal in speedy DeSean Jackson, 6-foot-5 receiver Mike Evans and the tight end combo of rookie O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Trufant is sure to have his battles with Evans, while Robert Alford needs to use his speed when matched up with Jackson. The Falcons drafted linebacker De'Vondre Campbell to contend with tight ends, and he'll have to hold his own against Howard and Brate.

As for Allen, he has to provide the same leadership he has all season as the last line of defense and be prepared in case Fitzpatrick does try to test him down the deep middle. Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor hit a couple of 30-plus-yard throws back in Week 4, when Allen was sidelined by a concussion and replaced by rookie Damontae Kazee. Last week, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin for a late 29-yard score down the middle, but Allen wasn't playing the middle on that particular play, with some Falcons confused about their man assignments.

Manuel did note that teams typically avoid throwing the ball down the middle of the field. Regardless, certain quarterbacks will try to take advantage if they feel the safety playing back there is vulnerable.

"In games where quarterbacks have come in throwing the ball -- even Tom [Brady] -- they didn't try Rico that way, down the middle of the field," Manuel said of Allen. "And the cool part about it is he puts in all the work on each quarterback that he plays. I take my hat off to him.

"I remember the first day that I got this job, he was determined. And I haven't seen him slip up, not once. He is something to be reckoned with."

http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/30549/falcons-dc-manuel-ricardo-allen-someone-to-be-reckoned-with

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6 minutes ago, KCartledge85 said:

Don’t see it. Hopefully they don’t overpay this Guy this offseason.

The fact that you don’t “see it” is the biggest compliment Rico, or any FS in THIS scheme can have.

With all the complaints Tru and Alford get on here regularly, someone other than Keanu has to be contributing to our impressive 200 ypg allowed.

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Rico doesn't make many plays on the ball, but that's because QBs aren't putting many up to be made. Rico had a potential pick six vs DAL if Debo hadn't knocked it down. He's not had many opportunities to jump routes because QBs aren't putting them out there. 

Yall don't appreciate Rico and it's sad. But everyone has their opinion. 

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3 minutes ago, vel said:

Rico doesn't make many plays on the ball, but that's because QBs aren't putting many up to be made. Rico had a potential pick six vs DAL if Debo hadn't knocked it down. He's not had many opportunities to jump routes because QBs aren't putting them out there. 

Yall don't appreciate Rico and it's sad. But everyone has their opinion. 

People are so quick to forget the days of Thomas Decoud avoiding contact and playing part in giving up those 3rd and forevers. Never happens with Rico. 

Been two years since we've been beat deep and that was a blowout game against CAR where the team just didn't show up. 2 YEARS. How soon they forget.

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Just now, stizz said:

People are so quick to forget the days of Thomas Decoud avoiding contact and playing part in giving up those 3rd and forevers. Never happens with Rico. 

Been two years since we've been beat deep and that was a blowout game against CAR where the team just didn't show up. 2 YEARS. How soon they forget.

They want a ballhawk, which is understandable. But I'm not going to knock Rico for consistently doing his job and closing the middle of the field. Rico is toward the bottom of my list of complaints. 

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Just now, vel said:

They want a ballhawk, which is understandable. But I'm not going to knock Rico for consistently doing his job and closing the middle of the field. Rico is toward the bottom of my list of complaints. 

When he was tested he was a ballhawk in the playoffs last year.

The downside to Rico, is his physical limitations, the last play of the Super Bowl standing out. Had White at the 2 yard line and should have been a stop. 

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2 hours ago, vel said:

Rico doesn't make many plays on the ball, but that's because QBs aren't putting many up to be made. Rico had a potential pick six vs DAL if Debo hadn't knocked it down. He's not had many opportunities to jump routes because QBs aren't putting them out there. 

Yall don't appreciate Rico and it's sad. But everyone has their opinion. 

Bro I’ve said all this numerous times before Manuel even said it. I’ve tried to tell the crowd that said he doesn’t make plays  that qb’s don’t try him. Meh, but what do I know other than what I see? And now Manuel has said it. I said the only game we constantly got tried deep was buffalo. The game he was out. Ppl are waiting for him to get picks but it’s hard to do that when qb’s avoid you. In cover 3 they’ve tried Tru more than Allen and that’s because it GIVES the underneath do they’ll throw short to Tru. 

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1 hour ago, NeonDeion said:

INTs come from taking risks. Peters has tons of ints but gets burned all the time. If you don’t hear the OL name he’s probably doing an awesome job. Same thing with FS. 

I just said this about risk takers in another thread about most under appreciated defensive player. 

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2 hours ago, falcons007 said:

Earl Thomas made a poor choice on Toilolos TD. Seattle is over paying him, Earl Thomas had no impact on the game..

Earl Thomas made a poor choice on the Roddy TD in the playoffs. Everybody thought it was Sherman’s fault but in cover 3 the Seam is on the FS. Earl jumped on something else. You like that he’s a risk taker but at the same time when he chooses wrong it could cost big. 

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2 hours ago, stizz said:

When he was tested he was a ballhawk in the playoffs last year.

The downside to Rico, is his physical limitations, the last play of the Super Bowl standing out. Had White at the 2 yard line and should have been a stop. 

I don’t think he got in. But at the same time Earl Thomas ain’t making that stop either. The SS is your hitter. The FS is your chess player. It’s rare you see a big FS in todays NFL. I can’t think of any big FS’s today. Especially any that run our system in Cover 3. 

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1 minute ago, TheFatboi said:

I don’t think he got in. But at the same time Earl Thomas ain’t making that stop either. The SS is your hitter. The FS is your chess player. It’s rare you see a big FS in todays NFL. I can’t think of any big FS’s today. Especially any that run our system in Cover 3. 

I think Eric Berry (interchangeable at FS) and Earl Thomas make that stop. I know they are the outliers, but that's the point the anti Rico crowd is making -- for an upgrade.

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1 minute ago, stizz said:

I think Eric Berry (interchangeable at FS) and Earl Thomas make that stop. I know they are the outliers, but that's the point the anti Rico crowd is making -- for an upgrade.

Earl got ran over by Quizz. He ain’t making that stop lol. Berry maybe but even that depends on the angle you attack Berry at. 

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12 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

Bro I’ve said all this numerous times before Manuel even said it. I’ve tried to tell the crowd that said he doesn’t make plays  that qb’s don’t try him. Meh, but what do I know other than what I see? And now Manuel has said it. I said the only game we constantly got tried deep was buffalo. The game he was out. Ppl are waiting for him to get picks but it’s hard to do that when qb’s avoid you. In cover 3 they’ve tried Tru more than Allen and that’s because it GIVES the underneath do they’ll throw short to Tru. 

Picks are the highlights. What makes you a Pro Bowler. That's why people thought Marcus Peters was so great, he got turnovers. They ignored he gave up almost as many TDs as he got INTs. I'd rather a Trufant, who gives up few TDs but has few INTs because he's not being tried. Same with Rico. You don't realize you're not giving up deep shots until you starting giving up deep shots. It's boring.

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1 minute ago, TheFatboi said:

Earl got ran over by Quizz. He ain’t making that stop lol. Berry maybe but even that depends on the angle you attack Berry at. 

Come on dude, you know I'm pro Rico. He's probably my favorite Falcon currently. But to act as if other FS in the league don't make that play...

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2 minutes ago, vel said:

Picks are the highlights. What makes you a Pro Bowler. That's why people thought Marcus Peters was so great, he got turnovers. They ignored he gave up almost as many TDs as he got INTs. I'd rather a Trufant, who gives up few TDs but has few INTs because he's not being tried. Same with Rico. You don't realize you're not giving up deep shots until you starting giving up deep shots. It's boring.

Absolutely. There’s really nowhere to throw on us. Tru doesn’t get tried much. Allen doesn’t get tried in the deep middle, and you can take a chance on Alf if you want to but it might go the other way for 6. And we’re still getting better. Alf and Tru are the OG’s of this young defense. That’s a trip lol. Campbell and Debo are only in their second years. It’s allens 3rd year in the system. 

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15 minutes ago, stizz said:

Come on dude, you know I'm pro Rico. He's probably my favorite Falcon currently. But to act as if other FS in the league don't make that play...

I didn’t say they wouldn’t but if it were me running it I’d def go hard at a FS. They’re not big bro. Most SS’s are making that stop. That’s what they do. Kam, Neal etc...FS’s aren’t big hitters bro. Facts. Especially when it comes to stopping RB’s with low centers of gravity. Earl nor Allen is stopping Free from getting in the end zone there. And all he did was break the plain. Ain’t like he bulldozed all the way in. He broke the plain. Earl ain’t stopping a RB with a full steam ahead from breaking the plain. A heavier SS or linebacker maybe but a RB that’s running faster and harder than a smaller FS?? I’m giving that to the RB every time. This ain’t an Allen thing bro. This is an I’ve played the position and you wasn’t stopping  me from getting UNLESS you outweighed me by 30 pounds. And even THEN I had so much power with a low center of gravity that was gonna be hard. White has a low center of gravity. Earl wasn’t making that stop bro. And I LIKE Earl Thomas. It’s a leverage thing bro. White had the leverage. Hard to stop leverage. Just like Quizz had leverage when he ran earl over. And I know the leverage game very well because that’s how I ran over bigger guys than me. LEVERAGE. White had leverage. 

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3 hours ago, stizz said:

People are so quick to forget the days of Thomas Decoud avoiding contact and playing part in giving up those 3rd and forevers. Never happens with Rico. 

Been two years since we've been beat deep and that was a blowout game against CAR where the team just didn't show up. 2 YEARS. How soon they forget.

Watched Rico run side by side with Cam against the Panthers. That’s where he lost me.

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Too people are looking for the next Ed Reed, Eric Berry or Earl Thomas  so they are unable to appreciate what Allen does for the Falcons and that's sad. I sure would like to observe some of you guys while you work at whatever job you do. I'm sure I would be in awe of your perfection and please don't give me that "But I don't get paid that much" excuse.

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