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Falcons CB Isaiah Oliver is showing increasing confidence and competence

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Falcons CB Isaiah Oliver is showing increasing confidence and competence

The success of this defense will be impacted by how quickly this second year player can mature.

By David J Walker@FalcoholicDW  Sep 20, 2019, 6:00pm EDT

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta FalconsJason Get-USTODAYSports

When the Falcons cut veteran corner Robert Alford this offseason, it was with the implied understanding that Isaiah Oliver would step up to take his role as a starter on the outside. After being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL DraftOliverdidn’t see much time on the field as a rookie. In his second year, though, all eyes are on him as he is now the starter opposite Desmond Trufant

A rough Week 1 outing had many fans questioning if Oliver was ready, but his confidence didn’t waver. The veteran leadership in the locker room guided him through it and he moved on to prepare for the Sunday night game against the Eagles. While he didn’t have a perfect game, it was clear that Oliver was playing aggressive and with the confidence and competency fans wanted to see. He repeatedly showed his ability to tackle — something Dan Quinn has praised during his pressers this week — and no tackle stood out more than his takedown of Zach Ertz that sealed the win for the Falcons.

When media spoke to Oliver after the game, it was clear that he relished the idea of the defense getting the opportunity to close out the game at the end. For a unit that was lambasted throughout 2018, closing out a hard-fought game would be a confidence booster and something they’d look to build on. It also showed that the players are seeing the fruits of what Dan Quinn has been preaching all along.

While the season is still very young, Oliver is already showing improvement. He’s also showing a knack for big plays, stopping several players short of the sticks on Sunday night, including the game winning tackle at the end of the fourth quarter. 

His confidence is clearly growing and if he can build on the early results we’ve seen, he could be a critical component of a defense that finally fulfills the vision Dan Quinn has had for it since coming to Atlanta.

 

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This is what impressed me about Oliver; he had a rough outing in firs5 game and it didn’t shake his confidence. 

He got blamed by many fans in game 2 for getting beat and almost giving up an easy TD against Eagles, but that was a zone coverage and Oliver CLEARLY let the receiver go and it was Neal who was late to the party.

So Oliver didn’t let his confidence get shaken and then, to give it a tremendous boost, made that game saving tackle against a TE that was 40lbs (40 NFL pounds!) heavier than him. It is almost impossible to stop a TE 40 pounds heavier and a lot stronger, from turning and getting 1 yard. 

Many of us have been saying Oliver is a much better fit in this defense than Alford was. Oliver is more physical, allows our defense to play more aggressively and no way Alford makes that game saving tackle on Ertz before he turns and gets a yard.

 

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He looked soft in preseason and in Minny. He looked almost to shy away from tackles and not fight. He definitely showed out on Sunday. I’m happy for him and would love to see him build off of this. 

I loved the celebration afterwards.

 

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Just now, NWFALCON said:

He looked soft in preseason and in Minny. He looked almost to shy away from tackles and not fight. He definitely showed out on Sunday. I’m happy for him and would love to see him build off of this. 

I loved the celebration afterwards.

 

Ya think? Oliver had (and still has) his issues, but I feel like being soft has never been one of them

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17 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

He is a bum let’s trade first round pick for CB.

It is way to early to make that kind of judgement on him

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I can see the talent, it’s obvious. You only learn by baptism by fire though. 

So many different types of receivers, with different sizes and skill sets, all with crafty little things the use to get open......for a green behind the ears CB brimming with raw athleticism, the ones who get really good are the ones with confidence and bounce right back after a bad play or a bad game. 

We played a lot of man coverage against the Eagles, and that puts a lot of weight on a CB, but he stepped up after a rough game 1 and played better, which is a really good sign to me. I feel much better about him today than I did when we let Alford go.

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53 minutes ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Ya think? Oliver had (and still has) his issues, but I feel like being soft has never been one of them

Let’s go with reluctance to get physical. Soft was a poor choice. 

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1 hour ago, NWFALCON said:

Let’s go with reluctance to get physical. Soft was a poor choice. 

I agree if you're talking about run support in his college days. I guess I just haven't seen that in his time in Atlanta. Small sample size, admittedly.

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10 hours ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Ya think? Oliver had (and still has) his issues, but I feel like being soft has never been one of them

I think some of the posters here are soft  (cue Zeke with a 'that's what she said' :ninja:)

 

mostly between their ears, no firm place in there for any logic. 

 

I was told a few weeks ago, 'don't say something here you wouldn't say in real life'  (at least that's how I deciphered it through the bad spelling and grammar).....so keeping true to the theme, I want to see these posters who call our players report back AFTER they ride up to the branch and tell these players to their face IRL that they're soft (the player, not the poster)  ;)

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11 hours ago, gazoo said:

This is what impressed me about Oliver; he had a rough outing in firs5 game and it didn’t shake his confidence. 

He got blamed by many fans in game 2 for getting beat and almost giving up an easy TD against Eagles, but that was a zone coverage and Oliver CLEARLY let the receiver go and it was Neal who was late to the party.

So Oliver didn’t let his confidence get shaken and then, to give it a tremendous boost, made that game saving tackle against a TE that was 40lbs (40 NFL pounds!) heavier than him. It is almost impossible to stop a TE 40 pounds heavier and a lot stronger, from turning and getting 1 yard. 

Many of us have been saying Oliver is a much better fit in this defense than Alford was. Oliver is more physical, allows our defense to play more aggressively and no way Alford makes that game saving tackle on Ertz before he turns and gets a yard.

 

Buddy was my number one concern coming into the season. Still is. Got worked in game one. Made some great plays in game two but gave up just as many, with their top two WRs and second TE on the bench. I got my eye one him. He will either rise up or get worked by the QBs we'll face the next 17-18 games to get what we want. If I'm an NFL QB I'm definitely goin at him.

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The first thing he said he is really working after the Eagles is his eye discipline. Knowing what your weaknesses are and making those priorities is huge. I also thought he made several good physical plays/tackles in that game. 

I see a whole lot of upside with Oliver and I cant wait to see his improvement through this year

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1 hour ago, FalconFanSince1970 said:

Buddy was my number one concern coming into the season. Still is. Got worked in game one. Made some great plays in game two but gave up just as many, with their top two WRs and second TE on the bench. I got my eye one him. He will either rise up or get worked by the QBs we'll face the next 17-18 games to get what we want. If I'm an NFL QB I'm definitely goin at him.

Yep, and I expect him the take his lumps moving forward, but what I’m looking for is how he handles them. 

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12 hours ago, gazoo said:

I can see the talent, it’s obvious. You only learn by baptism by fire though. 

So many different types of receivers, with different sizes and skill sets, all with crafty little things the use to get open......for a green behind the ears CB brimming with raw athleticism, the ones who get really good are the ones with confidence and bounce right back after a bad play or a bad game. 

We played a lot of man coverage against the Eagles, and that puts a lot of weight on a CB, but he stepped up after a rough game 1 and played better, which is a really good sign to me. I feel much better about him today than I did when we let Alford go.

Great OP and great subsequent posts. Oliver got his trial by fire in Minnesota and didn't fold up and disappear into a hole. Cudos to his teammates to help him keep it together because every player has to go through the same brutal baptism. You have to crawl before you can walk, walk before you run, etc., etc. etc.

The way he came back and played with confidence and aggressiveness against the Eagles was proof he's got the heart and tenacity to be a great CB in this league. I'm behind him 100 percent and would never, ever want Alford back in his place. With Tru and Oliver, Quinn can man up with his D whenever he wants to, which I hope is often.

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Game saving tackle but im not sold on his ability to cover...… He needs to be better at jamming the receiver off the LOS and get that ahead around - Hes young I hope he balls out but nothing to this point has given me the feeling he will. Wait and See

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I don't know that I trust his coverage skills (consistency and penalties) any more than before but he made some really solid tackles and looked much more physical than I have seen him before.  Encouraged I am.

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19 hours ago, gazoo said:

This is what impressed me about Oliver; he had a rough outing in firs5 game and it didn’t shake his confidence. 

He got blamed by many fans in game 2 for getting beat and almost giving up an easy TD against Eagles, but that was a zone coverage and Oliver CLEARLY let the receiver go and it was Neal who was late to the party.

So Oliver didn’t let his confidence get shaken and then, to give it a tremendous boost, made that game saving tackle against a TE that was 40lbs (40 NFL pounds!) heavier than him. It is almost impossible to stop a TE 40 pounds heavier and a lot stronger, from turning and getting 1 yard. 

Many of us have been saying Oliver is a much better fit in this defense than Alford was. Oliver is more physical, allows our defense to play more aggressively and no way Alford makes that game saving tackle on Ertz before he turns and gets a yard.

 

Yep, but am I the only person that didn't think he had a bad game vs Minnesota? I thought for the most pay, he held his own. The refs were targeting him, and allowing Rhodes to grab Julio the entire game.

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7 hours ago, gazoo said:

Yep, and I expect him the take his lumps moving forward, but what I’m looking for is how he handles them. 

I'm concerned bro. His play recognition skills are brutal right now. Plus he's grab assin like Alf. He better tighten up. If I were Dimi I'd sign a vet just in case.

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52 minutes ago, FalconFanSince1970 said:

I'm concerned bro. His play recognition skills are brutal right now. Plus he's grab assin like Alf. He better tighten up. If I were Dimi I'd sign a vet just in case.

I am not sure I agree with that assessment, at least for the Eagles game. He seems to be in position most of the time, it’s just the smaller technique issues once ball is in air he seems to still be learning. 

In Eagles game, he made a nice tackle for a loss as he maintained his gap and closed in on ball carrier with perfect timing as he did on Ertz in lgame winning play. (Moved in on the tackle perfectly to prevent additional yardage) There was also a play with just 2 minutes left in first half where he recognized where ball was going before receiver broke, and he stopped, used his length to knock ball out of air. No way Alford can get to that ball, it took every bit of Oliver’s length to make that play.

 

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7 hours ago, PokerSteve said:

Great OP and great subsequent posts. Oliver got his trial by fire in Minnesota and didn't fold up and disappear into a hole. Cudos to his teammates to help him keep it together because every player has to go through the same brutal baptism. You have to crawl before you can walk, walk before you run, etc., etc. etc.

The way he came back and played with confidence and aggressiveness against the Eagles was proof he's got the heart and tenacity to be a great CB in this league. I'm behind him 100 percent and would never, ever want Alford back in his place. With Tru and Oliver, Quinn can man up with his D whenever he wants to, which I hope is often.

The way he rebounded after Vikings game spoke louder to me than anything. You are right, Oliver appears to have that inner makeup of steel a CB needs to make it big in this league. 

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