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3 hot takes from Atlanta-Washington


Tim Mazetti
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Few things went right, but the takes...the takes are flowing.

By Dave Choate  Aug 23, 2019, 9:00am EDT
 

Hot takes are the order of the day after messy preseason football, and despite the lack of things to celebrate (I’m glaring at you, Giorgio Tavecchio, I trusted you) we still have a few items to key on. Let’s get to them.

Ito Smith is the #2 back, period

This was never in all that much doubt, but Brian Hill’s stellar early summer and Qadree Ollison’s hype at least raised the possibility that Ito might be challenged for the backup job.

He’s slammed the door shut the last two weeks, though, with Washington serving as a particularly potent test case. He was a crisp 5 for 23 and a touchdown on the ground, caught a nine yard pass, and generally looked as shifty and difficult to tackle as he did in his very best games in 2018. Given his well-rounded game and penchant for punishing defenders, he should have no trouble picking up 10-15 touches per game when Devonta Freeman tires of running guys over.

That leaves the Falcons with a tough decision between Hill and Ollison for the third spot—I assume the team is keeping four backs at most, and Kenjon Barner will be one of them if they do—but it frees Ito up to rest and get ready for the regular season.

The defensive line is good

It would be a complete overreaction to suggest that limited snaps for Tyeler Davison, Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley, and Grady Jarrett suggest they’ll be an imposing starting foursome. It would be borderline irresponsible to say that Jack Crawford, Deadrin Senat, and John Cominsky have all shone brilliantly at times this offseason. This is the Falcons’ defensive line we’re talking about.

And yet they have. Honestly, the defense has looked better this preseason than they have in some time, and the line in particular has looked borderline nasty at times. That’s come against a motley collection of inferior offenses and backups, but that’s promising after multiple years of mostly lousy play up front where it really counts. The team has put together an imposing collection of talent on paper, and seeing them translate that into game action is enough to stir the heart of even the most dedicated Falcons curmudgeon. It might be their best group in years.

The linebacker corps is better

Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell alone give you a good group. What happens when you add a more experienced Foye Oluokun, an improved Duke Riley, and an engulfed-in-flames-of-excellence Jermaine Grace?

Really good things.

Honestly, I don’t know how you can watch Grace play this summer and not come away wit hteh conclusion that he not only belongs on this team, but improves it. He’s fast and (I’m sorry) graceful in a way few linebackers are, and he’s made so many plays you can’t really ignore them. And then there’s Riley, who in his critical third year came out after what was essentially a multi-week layoff and absolutely played his butt off, making critical stops and looking better than he has at any point in the last two years. Sure, you can only take so much from preseason, but those guys look great, and we already know that Debo, Campbell, and Oluokun is one of the league’s more promising trios.

They might just mess around and put a quality defense on the field this year.

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/23/20827518/3-hot-takes-from-atlanta-washington-ito-smith-jermaine-grace-falcons

 
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I still don't see it with Devondre Campbell. He is simply okay in my book with his size to speed ratio being the biggest benefit. In terms of development tho he's looked the same from year 1/2 til now, solid yet unspectacular. He'll make a game changing play every blue moon but the one thing I see hasn't changed is how much he lets plays come to him rather than him going towards making a play. He is a solid pass rush threat tho. But rarely is he consistently designated towards blitz assignments. He's gets his props on here but to me he's suspect and highly replaceable.

Edited by Hurry_Up_And_Buy
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And this is what helps our cap management also.

If we continue to develop and find guys like Graham Gono Grace & a much maligned guy like Duke and 6th rounders like Foye continually develop hello.

So many cried and moaned over the off season about how much our core are getting paid all it does is move the point of emphasis to the above mentioned and the draft.

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4 minutes ago, Hurry_Up_And_Buy said:

I still don't see it with Devondre Campbell. He is simply okay in my book with his size to speed ratio being the biggest benefit. In terms of development tho he's looked the same from year 1/2 til now, solid yet unspectacular. He'll make a game changing play every blue moon but the one thing I see hasn't changed is how much he lets plays come to him rather than him going towards making a play. He is a solid pass rush threat tho. But rarely is he consistently designated towards blitz assignments. He's gets his props on here but to me he's suspect and highly replaceable.

You just described every player that isn't elite but does their job, or, the majority of nfl players. You need these to fill out a roster

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4 minutes ago, FalconKick said:

You just described every player that isn't elite but does their job, or, the majority of nfl players. You need these to fill out a roster

I almost get this feeling that some want an all pro in every position instead of what you describe in every phase 7-8 that do there jobs and 3-4 that do a bit more.

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2 hours ago, Tim Mazetti said:

That leaves the Falcons with a tough decision between Hill and Ollison for the third spot—I assume the team is keeping four backs at most, and Kenjon Barner will be one of them if they do—but it frees Ito up to rest and get ready for the regular season.

I am a little worried about this though. Nothing against Hill, but I believe Ollision is the better option of the 2 in my opinion unless we're taking 5 RB's somehow.

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3 minutes ago, BoomGoesTheDynamite said:

I am a little worried about this though. Nothing against Hill, but I believe Ollision is the better option of the 2 in my opinion unless we're taking 5 RB's somehow.

Hill production has gone down as the competition has gotten stiffer. I’d like to Ollison get early touches against a starting defense 

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5 minutes ago, Tim Mazetti said:

Wealth of riches. That fumble by Ollie cost. May be Hill as a 53 man and try to keep Ollie on PS? I dunno. Nice RBs tho, right?

And no five RBs.

Willing to bet Olli gets poached if DQ puts him on the PS. I hope he does make the 53 because he's a bruiser that we haven't had in a LONG time.

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37 minutes ago, Yo_Lover said:

His golden mullet covered the screen man. If him and Grace can take their preseason game into the regular season... man LB corps is mean...

Vel convinced me in offseason it was better than I was thinking it was. I thought we needed to draft a LB, but I’m jacked up about the potential of our linebacker corp and the depth.  And when Deion is 

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Just now, BoomGoesTheDynamite said:

Willing to bet Olli gets poached if DQ puts him on the PS. I hope he does make the 53 because he's a bruiser that we haven't had in a LONG time.

Yea, but Hill? Gotta Keep Barner it seems, as a return man/RB. So that is five RBs.

I would poach him If I were the Lions GM.

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