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Do You Feel Better About the Falcons Today than a Year Ago?


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One Year Ago

Sarkisian is gone, Koetter coming in (Ryan familiar with his new OC)

Have drafted 2 new OL and signed 2 veteran FA OL to protect Ryan

Hooper, Sanu, Julio, Freeman, Ridley are all veteran weapons in our great offense

Deion Jones, Neal, and Allen are all returning to the defense from injury-riddled 2018 seasons

Trufant is to be joined by Oliver in the secondary along with Kazee at the nickel position

Campbell and Beasley are in their final contract years and expected to play their best

Tavecchio is to be our opening day kicker along with Bosher as our veteran punter

Quinn is to take over defensive playcalling similar to how he did in our Super Bowl season

 

Today

Koetter remains as our OC even though the offensive production declined last year

Lindstrom spent most of his rookie year on IR but is ready to start all of 2020

Hennessy might take the other guard spot but our 2 veteran FA signings remain after poor 2019's

Hooper had a great year but so good we could not afford to keep him

Hurts is a gift from Baltimore to possibly offset some of the Hooper loss but his true value is still TBD

Sanu was traded away early, Freeman was let go after a collapse to his career

The Rams let Gurley go and we signed him, but will his 2020 production still be an improvement for us?

Neal ended up on IR almost all of 2019 and his 2020 status is really questionable at the moment

Trufant is now in Detroit and our cornerbacks will all be very young-talent vs. experience?

Campbell and Beasley are gone with Oluokon assuming top tackler role and FA Fowler a possible upgrade for Beasley

Koo is our current kicker after 2019 disasters with Tavecchio and a Bryant rebirth

Bosher is not even thought of anymore while a 7th round pick is possibly his replacement

Quinn's playcalling was saved possibly by a Raheem Morris/Jeff Ulbrich combo

 

The major constants between now and last year are our QB, top 2 WR's, veteran C, veteran LT, and veteran DT.  However, this is only 6 positions out of 22 (24 if you include K & P) that have not changed or been uncertain either a year ago or now.

Do we feel better now going into 2020 or did we feel better going into 2019?

 

 

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No. If most are being honest, we had SB aspirations heading into Week 1 last year.  Quinn was taking over the D and we had an experienced OC.  The Kool-Aid was consumed  ...and then Week 1 h

I think my high aspirations at the beginning of last year have humbled me to "wait and see" mode.  I actually feel good about both lines going into the season, which really never has been the cas

Yes, much better actually.  I’m seeing the makings of better than average offensive and (finally) defensive lines.    Morris/Ulbrich in charge of defense and hiring of Whitt jr to coach the you

No.

If most are being honest, we had SB aspirations heading into Week 1 last year.  Quinn was taking over the D and we had an experienced OC.  The Kool-Aid was consumed 

...and then Week 1 happened.  Ryan sacked on 1st play and Bosher had his punt blocked 3 plays later

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I think my high aspirations at the beginning of last year have humbled me to "wait and see" mode. 

I actually feel good about both lines going into the season, which really never has been the case.

I actually feel pretty good about the offense in general.

Young corners really scare the crap out of me. Safety position as mediocre as it is, could completely collapse with another Neil injury. LB core outside of Debo I'm not very comfortable with.

Fingers crossed that Morris can rally this defense and if so, I think we can beat just about anyone. If not, pick 16 again next year and probably a new coach 

 

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Yes - the OL should be much improved. The running game will be better. We’ve added Fowler a pass rusher plus a dog named Marlon and I’m betting we add another edge. KK has to come back and perform at a high level and AJT will need to play to his high draft status and prove TD hit on this pick. The schedule is TUFF but to me winning 8-10 gms is possible and that’s more than the 7 we won last year. I think the offense will be better in DKs second year.  I’m being optimistic but I really believe if we stay relatively healthy yes we will be better.

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We kept the last year's additions and added talent on top of that. The ones we released were replaced with players who are more complete and have an aggressive style of playing.

Only downgrades in talent would be AJ replacing Tru and Walker replacing Campbell. Both will need time to develop. We also have money coming in after June that can be used to patch in some more depth

My only question is coaching. I trusted DQ last season and got burned hard for it. Morris will pick up our defense but DQ has to show that he can lead a team better.

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Actually, yeah. So much better. I hated last off-season. Abhorred it. Said we'd be trash, esp on defense. This off-season felt way more strategic. Hate certain things, but I feel a ton better overall. Still wish they'd get better safeties but that's the only area I'm annoyed with (maybe LB a bit) so I'm doing ok.

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I know the sentence "We need to see them play", but I love this off season better.

Reason: I have always loved the dog mentality in the trenches. I really believe that Fowler, Davidsom brings that edge that creates players around them to play better. Takk also has that dog in him. He just need to show his potential.

So I think our D line will be a lot nastier and mean. I love that.

I love that we closed the last gap on the o line. Hennessy will soon rather than later take over that LG spot. Then our line is top 10 worthy.

Terrell is a pressure CB, so I think we will like the attitude of our defense a lot better this year... Dog mentality on the D line, pressure DB's in the secondary and the run and chase mentality at linebacker..

 

LETS GET IT

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Maybe not before the the start of the 2019 season but definitely after the Minnesota game.  Lets face it, replacing Dan Quinn on defense with Raheeem Morris as DC to start this season has me more optimistic and Dirk in his second year with the offense has me more optimistic.  Having strong defensive and Offensive lines for a change has me more optimistic.

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The one thing that I think has finally happened is the organization turned the corner from trying to re-create the SB season.  I don't know if that will translate on the field but I think they've been operating under a black cloud trying to recpature sometinng that can't be grasped.

They built a team team that had the juice to win it all and it didn't happen.  I can see, logically, why the would try to hold on to that team, to what worked, but it's been pretty obvious the last two seasons that won't work.  With so many new faces, it's time to start a new chapter.  Personally I didn't want to see DQ back but he's here this season and I'll chose to hope he proves me wrong.

No expectations, just going along for the ride.

 

 

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I think last off-season, most of us attributed our poor/subpar 2018 to being hit by the injury bug.  DeBo, Keanu, Rico, Freeman all lost prior to October.  With 2016-2017 being successful seasons, 2018 felt more like a bump in the road...like ‘hey, sometimes these things happen’.  I remember De’Vondre tweeting something to the extent of ‘wow, people forget how good we are when we’re healthy’.  I felt the same.

Fast forward to this off-season, I think the mood - at least my mood is much different.  Probably the biggest delta in that is I’ve stopped waiting for this supposed collection of young defensive talent to turn into a formidable unit.  Offensively, we can still make hay...but ultimately, I can look at the NFC and feel we’re easily not Top 6.

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