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What could change for the Atlanta Falcons after the bye -Falcoholic


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What could change for the Atlanta Falcons after the bye

Let’s take a look at what might be ahead for these birds.

By Dave Choate Oct 20, 2018, 12:00pm EDT
 
1052140692.jpg.0.jpgPhoto by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Falcons have a game tomorrow night, and then they effectively have almost two weeks until their next game. The bye week is an ideal opportunity for the team to make changes they haven’t wanted to make to this point, both because they have seven games to study and have the time to make a serious change.

Health

The biggest change will be either getting players healthy or getting them closer to healthy. Deion Jones is the arrival we’re all waiting for, of course, but the Falcons have a number of injuries that will benefit from further rest.

Those include Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, who are both dealing with injuries, as well as Matt “Strained Hamstring” Bryant. Both Grady Jarrett and Derrick Shelby certainly could benefit from the time to heal up, as well. If you’re counting at home, that’s four starters and a potentially valuable reserve who could all be a lot closer to 100% when the Falcons suit up for Week 9. That’s a big deal.

Changes to the defense

The Falcons have already begun to do this, with the creeping promise of Foye Oluokun stepping into the lineup for Duke Riley, But the extra breathing room will give Atlanta the chance to take a hard look at the defense and see where they might be able to make other key changes to better the unit.

One of the first priorities should be making the call on Jordan Richards at strong safety. The Falcons acquired Richards to be a key special teamer and emergency fourth safety, essentially, but injuries quickly moved him into the lineup in a way the team couldn’t have foreseen. Unfortunately for them, Richards has been somewhere between slightly useful and a huge liability during his snaps at strong safety, and the Falcons need to seriously consider getting him off the field in favor of Keith Tandy or even Sharrod Neasman. He’ll have put a few weeks of game tape out there now, so there’s no excuse not to really spend the time looking at that possibility.

The team will also want to consider making real changes to their snap distribution up front. Terrell McClain has been a net zero for this team, in my honest (if harsh) opinion, and so he should lose snaps to Jack Crawford and Deadrin Senat whenever possible, and perhaps even Mike Bennett. Crawford has been one of the team’s most productive pass rushers and Senat is solid and growing, while McClain likely won’t be here a year from now.

Defensive end is a similar issue, with Vic Beasley just not adding much as a pass rusher yet soaking up huge snaps. It’s an especially tough call for a former first rounder, but the team may want to consider letting Brooks Reed and Steven Means take bigger bites out of his snaps to try to get some slight improvement out of the pass rush. Reed, at least, has been far more productive in that regard than Beasley to this point.

Tevin Coleman’s usage

This one feels like something that should have happened already, but maybe Steve Sarkisian would benefit from a glass of red wine and a multi-day film session at Flowery Branch. Coleman has not fared particularly well as a runner this year, with a handful of very notable exceptions, and is a notoriously dangerous weapon in the passing game. Particularly with Ridley and Sanu banged up, I’m hopeful the team will get him more involved as a receiver and let Ito Smith carry more of the load on the ground.

To date, Coleman’s averaging 2.2 receptions per game, which is only down slightly from the 2.4 he averaged during 2016 with Kyle Shanahan. The problem is that he’s averaging only 17.5 yards per game as a receiver, compared to nearly 33 under Shanny. I’ve been encouraged by many of the changes Sark made heading into this season, but his usage of Coleman remains an unnecessary trouble spot.

What else are you hoping will change?

Edited by lostnmexico
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If there is a time to make major changes, its now.  I would also like to see more of Bruce Carter and tighten up the secondary as SS is a real concern.  It is very interesting that no changes to the Offensive line are mentioned despite the early struggles of that unit. 

Edited by lostnmexico
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1 hour ago, lostnmexico said:

This one feels like something that should have happened already, but maybe Steve Sarkisian would benefit from a glass of red wine and a multi-day film session at Flowery Branch.

Really, man?

That's either an absolutely unforgivable lack of awareness... or just a straight up lack of class on the part of the author.

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10 minutes ago, k-train said:

Really, man?

That's either an absolutely unforgivable lack of awareness... or just a straight up lack of class on the part of the author.

Agreed...but those were Choates comments posted from the article and in no way do I support taking classless shots at substance abuse survivors trying to get on with their lives..

Sark has been better this year and I think that is a byproduct of bringing in a more experienced support structure in the form of Greg Knapp.  These guys are all big Boys and I agree that there are still things to correct of offense but pass protection and run blocking are bigger priorities than Tevon Colemans YPR right now.

Edited by lostnmexico
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3 minutes ago, lostnmexico said:

Agreed...but those were Choates comments posted from the article and in no way do I support taking classless shots at substance abuse survivors trying to get on with their lives..

As much as you annoy me and I disagree with most of your opinions, respect you to man.

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1 minute ago, Yo_Lover said:

I ain't gonna lie you make me think another way and sometimes change my view.

I am changing my opinión of Sark a Little bit more every day.  The fact that he endured the criticism and kept his head speks well of his maturity as a person.  I respect that.

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15 minutes ago, lostnmexico said:

Agreed...but those were Choates comments posted from the article and in no way do I support taking classless shots at substance abuse survivors trying to get on with their lives..

Sark has been better this year and I think that is a byproduct of bringing in a more experienced support structure in the form of Greg Knapp.  These guys are all big Boys and I agree that there are still things to correct of offense but pass protection and run blocking are bigger priorities than Tevon Colemans YPR right now.

Yeah, I know that wasn't coming from you... hence my saying "the author" & not the OP.

On a side note, I agree that the o-line struggles have to get fixed before we'll see any difference in production by the backs.

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5 minutes ago, k-train said:

Yeah, I know that wasn't coming from you... hence my saying "the author" & not the OP.

On a side note, I agree that the o-line struggles have to get fixed before we'll see any difference in production by the backs.

The offensive line and protection scheme is my single biggest concern for our 2018 Season.  After Philly, Atlanta started employing the Tight End More.

Thank God those empty backfield and run and shoot formations are almost gone because this Line cannot protect the QB without help from either the Tights or the Backs.

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Bring in Navarro Bowman you add an experienced guy who can help and teach our young guys.

Bring in Dwight Feeney as a player/coach maybe you help Vic to be an ALL STAR again

Bring back 261 pounds FB L. Fowler he helps out OL with blocking and in the Red Zone.

Bring back 360 -6:6 Hageman he can bull rush, can block FG'S and PAT'S this could help win a close game and helps Grady and Senat with his push.

Scan teams PR'S there has to be a SS out there better then Richards.

These little low cost moves with some of the injured coming back can help us get over the hump and is doable.

Do it TD!

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17 hours ago, lostnmexico said:

If there is a time to make major changes, its now.  I would also like to see more of Bruce Carter and tighten up the secondary as SS is a real concern.  It is very interesting that no changes to the Offensive line are mentioned despite the early struggles of that unit. 

Hopefully Navarro Bowman will be in a Falcons uni if Deion is not back and TyVon Branch in for a workout..... THANK GOD WE HAD KAZEE......I'm ready for more Oliver and less Poole.

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