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Rico: Part One: The Setback


Tim Mazetti
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19 minutes ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

I like your take’s on most things (Russell Wilson still takes too many sacks).

And I understand Rico isn’t the elite athlete that is ideal for Cover 3.  But for his price, you can’t really argue with the production.

There are two things in an offseason that always irk me about fans. One is when fans make automatic assumptions that the team can’t afford player x, the other is when fans are overly loyal to a player on the roster for the wrong reasons. 

Last year I made a thread about how the falcons should go get earl thomas. The majority of the responses I got were “we can’t afford him” or “Rico is DA MAN!!!!”

I like Rico too, and my issue has nothing to do with him, the team, or the organization whatsoever. It’s the fan base. I feel like our fans sometimes stay loyal to players because they are “warriors” or “hard workers” etc. 

lastly, I don’t disagree with anything you just said. 

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14 hours ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

 

Honestly, I have no personal issue with Rico. I like him. Nice story. And he has definitely been worth his draft stock. I just think our fan base overrates him. He’s a very ok player. But our fans treat him like he’s a star player. Just my 2 cents 

I know we cannot have 53 stars.  And, honestly, dream teams on paper never find great success.  You need a few stars that can take over a game, but you need solid, dependable, disciplined guys like Rico. 

I watched the old Falcons who always had a few stars and they were supported by players who could not stick on most rosters.  It was not a successful plan.  What Rico reminds me is that we no longer have that.  We no longer set the depth chart based on draft position or salary.  Guys have to earn the right to play on that field.  Rico shows everyone what it takes to earn that. 

You are right, he is not a star.  He is a good player who does everything right.  That makes him special to me.

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2 hours ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

I like your take’s on most things (Russell Wilson still takes too many sacks).

And I understand Rico isn’t the elite athlete that is ideal for Cover 3.  But for his price, you can’t really argue with the production.

Pretty much where I’ve been on Allen ever since day 1 when he was named the starting FS. He was young, inexpensive and competent. We had many other areas .....on defense especially .....that needed major addressing ahead of him. 

FS is such critical position in this D, eventually as Rico’s salary cap cost becomes an issue TD/DQ will attempt to upgrade there with more athleticism at that position so the D can take another step forward. And that will be internally through the draft, not free agency. But right now he’s a solid cornerstone for what Quinn wants there.

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1 hour ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

It’s absolutely shocking how true this statement is.  I mean, uncanny.

One of the few examples of this not being true is our 2017 Falcons.  I think we were 24th in TO differential yet still nearly beat the Eagles to return to the NFCCG.  Shows just how special 2017 could have been if we didn’t have such crappy luck on TO’s

Evidence is overwhelmingly so.

Our defense needs as many playmakers out there it can find who can create turnovers. Beasley did it in ‘16 (strip sacks) , Neal does a nice job in jarring ball loose from ballcarryers, and Kazee and Debo are our two guys who have shown a nose for Ints.

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9 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Pretty much where I’ve been on Allen ever since day 1 when he was named the starting FS. He was inexpensive and highly competent. We had many other areas that needed major addressing ahead of him. 

FS is such critical position in this D, eventually as Rico’s salary cap cost becomes an issue TD/DQ will attempt to upgrade there with more athleticism at that position so the D can take another step up. 

That's the thing. We all agree you can't have studs every where because of the cap, but when it's being done in practice with Rico, people get upset because we can upgrade him but fans don't agree with trying to do so. I agree with JD that ET would have been fun to have, but when you sober up and look at the cap, I'd rather pay Rico at under $8MM a year until he's 30 than pay ET over $15MM the next three years until he's 34. The return is marginal and the players we'd lose due to $15-16MM cap hits for ET would further hurt the team. That's space we need for guys like Campbell, Hooper, Neal, Takk, etc. Is this defense with ET and potentially no Campbell and Takk/Neal because we can't pay them actually better? Those are the hard questions with these deals coming up. 

Now... If we had no Julio and a rookie QB like Lamar Jackson, pump all of the high priced defenders in my veins like the Ravens are doing. 

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14 minutes ago, vel said:

That's the thing. We all agree you can't have studs every where because of the cap, but when it's being done in practice with Rico, people get upset because we can upgrade him but fans don't agree with trying to do so. I agree with JD that ET would have been fun to have, but when you sober up and look at the cap, I'd rather pay Rico at under $8MM a year until he's 30 than pay ET over $15MM the next three years until he's 34. The return is marginal and the players we'd lose due to $15-16MM cap hits for ET would further hurt the team. That's space we need for guys like Campbell, Hooper, Neal, Takk, etc. Is this defense with ET and potentially no Campbell and Takk/Neal because we can't pay them actually better? Those are the hard questions with these deals coming up. 

Now... If we had no Julio and a rookie QB like Lamar Jackson, pump all of the high priced defenders in my veins like the Ravens are doing. 

Yes sir, like it or not we’re not built with a D 1st mentality like Ravens were....at least not yet, in 2019.

Julio/Matt/Matthews-Mack/Freeman et al leave not much for D except thru draft. And I’m fine with that, it’s clear we’re getting there.

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50 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

There are two things in an offseason that always irk me about fans. One is when fans make automatic assumptions that the team can’t afford player x, the other is when fans are overly loyal to a player on the roster for the wrong reasons. 

Last year I made a thread about how the falcons should go get earl thomas. The majority of the responses I got were “we can’t afford him” or “Rico is DA MAN!!!!”

I like Rico too, and my issue has nothing to do with him, the team, or the organization whatsoever. It’s the fan base. I feel like our fans sometimes stay loyal to players because they are “warriors” or “hard workers” etc. 

lastly, I don’t disagree with anything you just said. 

To be fair,Rico is a warrior, fan favorite while also being the captain and producing at a very high level for just 5 million.

Would ET have been a significant upgrade?  Yep.  But we already have too many top end contracts.  You know that.  How could we stash another 15 million

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33 minutes ago, vel said:

That's the thing. We all agree you can't have studs every where because of the cap, but when it's being done in practice with Rico, people get upset because we can upgrade him but fans don't agree with trying to do so. I agree with JD that ET would have been fun to have, but when you sober up and look at the cap, I'd rather pay Rico at under $8MM a year until he's 30 than pay ET over $15MM the next three years until he's 34. The return is marginal and the players we'd lose due to $15-16MM cap hits for ET would further hurt the team. That's space we need for guys like Campbell, Hooper, Neal, Takk, etc. Is this defense with ET and potentially no Campbell and Takk/Neal because we can't pay them actually better? Those are the hard questions with these deals coming up. 

Now... If we had no Julio and a rookie QB like Lamar Jackson, pump all of the high priced defenders in my veins like the Ravens are doing. 

Facts

ET = No Grady

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29 minutes ago, vel said:

That's the thing. We all agree you can't have studs every where because of the cap, but when it's being done in practice with Rico, people get upset because we can upgrade him but fans don't agree with trying to do so. I agree with JD that ET would have been fun to have, but when you sober up and look at the cap, I'd rather pay Rico at under $8MM a year until he's 30 than pay ET over $15MM the next three years until he's 34. The return is marginal and the players we'd lose due to $15-16MM cap hits for ET would further hurt the team. That's space we need for guys like Campbell, Hooper, Neal, Takk, etc. Is this defense with ET and potentially no Campbell and Takk/Neal because we can't pay them actually better? Those are the hard questions with these deals coming up. 

Now... If we had no Julio and a rookie QB like Lamar Jackson, pump all of the high priced defenders in my veins like the Ravens are doing. 

Earl Thomas wasn't Earl Thomas until he was! Lots of fans seem to want to bring in someone else's established stars and they don't remember how those guys got to be stars in the first place. Some team developed them! Just like the Falcons developed Rico.

It's a nice problem to have when other teams want to bring your guys onto their team, that's a sign that you're doing something right. Managing that cap situation to stay relevant without having to go through the rebuild periods is the tightrope that has to be walked though, Do you keep the line moving and develop the next Rico (Kazee maybe) and let Rico walk in a year or two or do you ride with your guys until the team gets old and overpaid? GM's have the hardest job on an NFL team these days......along with cornerbacks.

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12 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

But he is as valuable as them. If you didn’t see how confused the defense was when he went down then you’re severely undermining his value to the defense. You saw a difference to each layer of the defense without Grady on the line, Debo in the middle, and Rico centerfield.  The secondary was lost once he went down. Tru had his worst season. And Alf. Kazee brought some excitement but he didn’t cover the chess part. 

It was really bad. That is the moment I lost all hope. They were so lost.

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

Evidence is overwhelmingly so.

Our defense needs as many playmakers out there it can find who can create turnovers. Beasley did it in ‘16 (strip sacks) , Neal does a nice job in jarring ball loose from ballcarryers, and Kazee and Debo are our two guys who have shown a nose for Ints.

Last year's defense was the most frustrating defense since the days of the Ed Donatel, bend or break but don't blitz, defense. I like what I see so far even in vanilla preseason operation particularly from the LB's. They're mugging the line more and moving around some. Giving the QB a difficult read and not just squatting 5 yds. behind the LOS until the snap. Turnovers will come from offensive mistakes caused by defensive chaos more than individual athletic performance so we might get back to seeing some more takeaways this year.

Edited by slider
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12 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

But he is as valuable as them. If you didn’t see how confused the defense was when he went down then you’re severely undermining his value to the defense. You saw a difference to each layer of the defense without Grady on the line, Debo in the middle, and Rico centerfield.  The secondary was lost once he went down. Tru had his worst season. And Alf. Kazee brought some excitement but he didn’t cover the chess part. 

When those guys went down I think the only hope would've been to throw caution to the wind and just try to create as much chaos as possible with the front 7. When they did just the opposite, it was game and season over. The secondary just got destroyed and I don't think a healthy Falcon secondary could stand up to a front 7 playing so vanilla the QB could read them from the huddle.

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29 minutes ago, slider said:

Last year's defense was the most frustrating defense since the days of the Ed Donatel, bend or break but don't blitz, defense. I like what I see so far even in vanilla preseason operation particularly from the LB's. They're mugging the line more and moving around some. Giving the QB a difficult read and not just squatting 5 yds. behind the LOS until the snap. Turnovers will come from offensive mistakes caused by defensive chaos more than individual athletic performance so we might get back to seeing some more takeaways this year.

Good post.

That’s the hope bro. 

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28 minutes ago, slider said:

When those guys went down I think the only hope would've been to throw caution to the wind and just try to create as much chaos as possible with the front 7. When they did just the opposite, it was game and season over. The secondary just got destroyed and I don't think a healthy Falcon secondary could stand up to a front 7 playing so vanilla the QB could read them from the huddle.

I hope our edge rushers do better this year with DQs aggressive play calling. 

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1 hour ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

To be fair,Rico is a warrior, fan favorite while also being the captain and producing at a very high level for just 5 million.

Would ET have been a significant upgrade?  Yep.  But we already have too many top end contracts.  You know that.  How could we stash another 15 million

I doubt at this point of career with injuries ET is an upgrade. What made ET great was his range, not sure if he can cover the field like he used to in the past.

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13 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

But he is as valuable as them. If you didn’t see how confused the defense was when he went down then you’re severely undermining his value to the defense. You saw a difference to each layer of the defense without Grady on the line, Debo in the middle, and Rico centerfield.  The secondary was lost once he went down. Tru had his worst season. And Alf. Kazee brought some excitement but he didn’t cover the chess part. 

I agree and this team missed Debo in the middle. The DL couldn’t line up correctly most of the season and looked like headless chicken at times.

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5 hours ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

Rico is Robert Horry on the Spurs & Lakers Championship teams.  Probably 4th most talented starter on team; however, they don’t win a few of those titles without him

I look at him closer to the guy that gives the last pass than a guy like Horry who used to stick the dagger in.

A key statement to me was DQ mentioned in his presser.When Rico got injured he said who in this room has been mentored or effected by Rico Allen.Apparently everyone in the room stood up if that’s not quietly being a star I don’t know what is.

What it does tell me is what a fan sees and what the reality of Allen is to the team are looked at completely different.STAR maybe not to n the sense that as casual onlookers see but behind the scenes I have zero doubt about him and his importance to this team.

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2 hours ago, falcons007 said:

Rico’s value was obvious last year. Falcons Defense went from allowing least explosive play to one of most. 

Yep and our outside corners got absolutely hammered and the seam was exposed.Thats no disrespect to Kazee either the guy balled.But inexperience killed us in the middle of the field last year and our outsides got exposed in coverage.Thats Debo & Allen’s strengths right there.

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27 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

I look at him closer to the guy that gives the last pass than a guy like Horry who used to stick the dagger in.

A key statement to me was DQ mentioned in his presser.When Rico got injured he said who in this room has been mentored or effected by Rico Allen.Apparently everyone in the room stood up if that’s not quietly being a star I don’t know what is.

What it does tell me is what a fan sees and what the reality of Allen is to the team are looked at completely different.STAR maybe not to n the sense that as casual onlookers see but behind the scenes I have zero doubt about him and his importance to this team.

Great post, Kiwi.  

Every single championship team has 1-2 Rico’s on their team.  They are not the best players, but often the best players look up to them for leadership.  For advice off the field.  They hold teams together when talent alone isn’t enough

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I love me some Rico and I’ve never had a problem telling anyone that. It still makes me a little uneasy that he was cut his rookie year. I wonder how many others would there have been.

On the other hand, what Rico has, the simple matter of fact, is the heart and fortitude to overcome any and all obstacles. To believe in himself more than anything one else, to have the self confidence and work habits to grind through a path that so many before him had given up. 

Yeah, I’m a Rico fan on and off the field. I respect the man, not just the player.

Edited by Emmitt
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