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birdz4i

Falcons CB Oliver ready for leadership role in secondary

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PAUL NEWBERRY

,Associated Press

May 21, 2020

 

ATLANTA (AP) — Whenever some sense of normalcy returns to the NFL, Isaiah Oliver knows there will be a new role waiting for him as a leader in the Atlanta Falcons’ secondary.

A second-round draft pick out of Colorado in 2018, Oliver is suddenly one of the most experienced cornerbacks on the roster after the team cut longtime stalwart Desmond Trufant in a salary cap move.

Oliver looked like a bust until a turnaround over the second half of last season, when he finally started playing with a level of confidence the Falcons expected.

He’s still got work to do, especially when it comes to pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage. But the team is counting on him to become a lock-down cornerback and positive influence on the younger players around him, especially first-rounder A.J. Terrell from Clemson.

“With Tru leaving, I definitely have to step into more of a leadership role,” the 23-year-old Oliver said this week during a video call with Atlanta media. “There’s a lot of young guys in the room, but I’m capable and ready to do that. I understand the defense really well. I understand what the coaches want. It’s just a matter of going out there and doing it every week.”

While Oliver graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in the league a year ago, his improvement over the second half of the schedule was a big part of the turnaround after coach Dan Quinn turned over the defensive coordinator’s role to Raheem Morris. Bouncing back from a 1-7 start, the Falcons won six of the final eight games to save Quinn’s job and provide a bit of hope heading into the 2020 season.

 

 

Morris simplified the scheme and encouraged each player to focus on his individual strengths.

“Whether it was playing a certain technique or playing a certain receiver a certain way, he wanted us to be comfortable with what we were doing and really work on that one thing,” Oliver said. “He didn’t want everyone trying to do the same things. We’re all different types of players.”

Starting all 16 games and playing nearly 90 percent of the defensive snaps, Oliver had 62 tackles and broke up 11 passes. But he failed to make an interception, which will surely be a point of emphasis for new secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr., and surrendered far too many completions.

Oliver looks forward to working with Whitt, who is particularly known for his work in Green Bay with defensive backs such as Charles Woodson and Sam Shields.

“He knows the game really well,” Oliver said. “He’s coached a lot of great DBs, including some guys who were not supposed to be good DBs but ended up being good DBs.”

Whitt will have his work cut out for him in Atlanta, where the top four cornerbacks all have two years or less of experience; especially playing in the NFC South, which means a pair of games against two of the greatest quarterbacks ever, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady and Drew Brees of New Orleans.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’ve talked about it a little bit as a group,” Oliver said. “This is an opportunity to show just how good we really are.”

Oliver and Terrell figure to be the starting cornerbacks, backed up by a pair of 2019 draft picks, Kendall Sheffield and Jordan Miller.

 

 

While the coronavirus pandemic has forced teams to conduct virtual offseason programs, Oliver has worked out a few times at local parks with some of the other Atlanta-based receivers and defensive backs. They’ve done some individual work, as well as one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills — presumably while complying with social distancing and other safety guidelines.

“We’ve been able to do some things we would’ve done if we were at the facility,” Oliver said. “The competitive juices come out. We’re all there to compete. We expect to win every rep we do. We’re definitely still staying safe and staying healthy. We’re not going to hurt each other. But it’s been some good work.”

Oliver expects big things from the secondary, even if some view it as one of the team’s most glaring question marks.

“It is a young group, but a really smart group,” he said. “The guys are already at a level of understanding the defense really well even if they’ve only been in the system for one year. Obviously, losing a guy like Tru ... changes some things. But I definitely like the group we have.”

 

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/falcons-cb-oliver-ready-leadership-200758550.html

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12 minutes ago, birdz4i said:
Morris simplified the scheme and encouraged each player to focus on his individual strengths.

“Whether it was playing a certain technique or playing a certain receiver a certain way, he wanted us to be comfortable with what we were doing and really work on that one thing,” Oliver said. “He didn’t want everyone trying to do the same things. We’re all different types of players.”

Oof. That says a lot.

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3 minutes ago, Hurry_Up_And_Buy said:

Until the Falcons figure out that they need a true nose tackle who can collapse the pocket with Grady this young secondary as per usual is gonna have a tough time developing due to us fixing one area of the D while another one breaks down.

Very few guys like that left playing in the league it’s why they’ve got Davison there and have penetrating DTs who fit the scheme.

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Ohhh boy here we go again 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️, he doesnt need any more responsibility as he has a hard enough time as it already

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Y’all really sleep on Oliver.  Once they started letting him play to his strengths his confidence and play skyrocketed.  Sure he had mistakes every now and then but he was practically a rookie.  He made great strides and began to show that playmaking ability he showed in college.

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Posted (edited)

I believe Blidi Wreh today is more of a leader in the in the CB room than Oliver. Been in the league since 2013 and with the Falcons since 2016. He not only has the game experience, but he also understands the expectations of the scheme and staff well. He is well respected around the building, been in many battles with us including both the last 2 playoff runs we had.


Oliver will have the leg up on him as far as playtime will go, so if that's what makes a leader then go with that. But the true "vet" in the room is Wreh-Wilson. Even Josh Hawkins has been around the league a lot longer too, and seems to have a mature, professional makeup.

 I dont see Oliver as a true "Alpha" to the point you assume he can or will flip a switch and take over the reigns. He is too inconsistent on film for him to carry much weight in the meeting room.

If I had to guess, Sheffield will likely be the first of this young CB crop to emerge vocally,  as soon as year 3. 

None of this is contingent upon depth chart-hierarchy or playtime. Many other factors effect those outcomes. This is about who is the presence in the meeting room and on the sideline that can best guide his teammates. Right now my money is on #33

Heck Id even put Rico ahead of Oliver, he is more likely to check the CB group even at the safety position

 

Edited by LightningDawg58

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I think that we need to decipher the difference between seniority and leadership. Leadership is not something that is inherited because you know the defense, have been there for more years, or even if you are a star. Leadership is an attribute that only 5% of the population possesses. Maybe he has it, I don't know. I do hope that he continues getting better everyday 

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On 5/22/2020 at 11:27 AM, Knight of God said:

Make some plays. Lead by example 

 

On 5/22/2020 at 12:00 PM, Mister pudding said:

I think that we need to decipher the difference between seniority and leadership. Leadership is not something that is inherited because you know the defense, have been there for more years, or even if you are a star. Leadership is an attribute that only 5% of the population possesses. Maybe he has it, I don't know. I do hope that he continues getting better everyday 

Good points.

Out team has plenty of players/coaches who like to talk about leadership in the media. Talk is cheap. True leadership is on the field and in the locker room.

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Last year I stated that Quinn was making things to complex....and asking players to do too much...and were confusing them....

People here said no....that's not it...

Now everywhere I look...there's a report saying the same thing....

I'm not always right...but when I am right....I'm always right...

😉😉🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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17 hours ago, KRUNKuno said:

Y’all really sleep on Oliver.  Once they started letting him play to his strengths his confidence and play skyrocketed.  Sure he had mistakes every now and then but he was practically a rookie.  He made great strides and began to show that playmaking ability he showed in college.

For real. He was a completely different player second half. People only remember the bad you do. 

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Seniority plays a much bigger role when there isn't an alpha in the room. Dynamics are important. There is definitely a balance, and wisdom via experience plays a huge role in leadership. Being battle tested allows you to nip certain things in the bud early. You know not just the "what", but the "how and why". Doesnt mean guys are going to follow you, but your input carries weight and it cant be ignored.

I think Oliver is well spoken but his football IQ doesnt come across extremely high and he is still maturing. Doesnt mean he isnt a hard worker or a lead by example type. Just that he has been extremely raw since he got here and is still learning proper technique heading in to year 3. He seems to be the player that most needs a vet mentor in his ear at all times.

Terrell will be the best player in the room over everyone,  but he has a very cool quiet demeanor that I think will take longer for him to open up vocally. (Talk is cheap, but communication is everything). I can see him leap frog Oliver as a leader easily once he gets past all the rookie hazing and BS.

Sheffield is further along than Oliver and seems very dedicated to his craft. His play style is confident and aggressive. He is low key like Terrell, but I think he has an "it" factor about him that will make him a good pro for a long time. He would be the guy I'd look to the most out that younger group.

Oliver by default may be the "leader", but he has to prove he can be consistent over an entire season otherwise that title won't last very long.

 

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22 hours ago, birdz4i said:

While Oliver graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in the league a year ago, his improvement over the second half of the schedule was a big part of the turnaround after coach Dan Quinn turned over the defensive coordinator’s role to Raheem Morris. Bouncing back from a 1-7 start, the Falcons won six of the final eight games to save Quinn’s job and provide a bit of hope heading into the 2020 season.

"He was one of the suckiest in the league.....but sucked a little less when the Defensive genius head coach got the **** out of the way and let a D-Coordinator work with the kid...this ultimately saved the Head Coach's job....

 

Leadership.

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Man WTH is up with Thomas Dimitrioff and these second round picks? Deion Jones has been that man's only saving grace when it comes to his ability to pinpoint high value guys in the second round. It's like he gimps the roster a little bit with every second round flop smh

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On 5/21/2020 at 1:51 PM, birdz4i said:
PAUL NEWBERRY

,Associated Press

May 21, 2020

 

ATLANTA (AP) — Whenever some sense of normalcy returns to the NFL, Isaiah Oliver knows there will be a new role waiting for him as a leader in the Atlanta Falcons’ secondary.

A second-round draft pick out of Colorado in 2018, Oliver is suddenly one of the most experienced cornerbacks on the roster after the team cut longtime stalwart Desmond Trufant in a salary cap move.

Oliver looked like a bust until a turnaround over the second half of last season, when he finally started playing with a level of confidence the Falcons expected.

He’s still got work to do, especially when it comes to pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage. But the team is counting on him to become a lock-down cornerback and positive influence on the younger players around him, especially first-rounder A.J. Terrell from Clemson.

“With Tru leaving, I definitely have to step into more of a leadership role,” the 23-year-old Oliver said this week during a video call with Atlanta media. “There’s a lot of young guys in the room, but I’m capable and ready to do that. I understand the defense really well. I understand what the coaches want. It’s just a matter of going out there and doing it every week.”

While Oliver graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in the league a year ago, his improvement over the second half of the schedule was a big part of the turnaround after coach Dan Quinn turned over the defensive coordinator’s role to Raheem Morris. Bouncing back from a 1-7 start, the Falcons won six of the final eight games to save Quinn’s job and provide a bit of hope heading into the 2020 season.

 

 

Morris simplified the scheme and encouraged each player to focus on his individual strengths.

“Whether it was playing a certain technique or playing a certain receiver a certain way, he wanted us to be comfortable with what we were doing and really work on that one thing,” Oliver said. “He didn’t want everyone trying to do the same things. We’re all different types of players.”

Starting all 16 games and playing nearly 90 percent of the defensive snaps, Oliver had 62 tackles and broke up 11 passes. But he failed to make an interception, which will surely be a point of emphasis for new secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr., and surrendered far too many completions.

Oliver looks forward to working with Whitt, who is particularly known for his work in Green Bay with defensive backs such as Charles Woodson and Sam Shields.

“He knows the game really well,” Oliver said. “He’s coached a lot of great DBs, including some guys who were not supposed to be good DBs but ended up being good DBs.”

Whitt will have his work cut out for him in Atlanta, where the top four cornerbacks all have two years or less of experience; especially playing in the NFC South, which means a pair of games against two of the greatest quarterbacks ever, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady and Drew Brees of New Orleans.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’ve talked about it a little bit as a group,” Oliver said. “This is an opportunity to show just how good we really are.”

Oliver and Terrell figure to be the starting cornerbacks, backed up by a pair of 2019 draft picks, Kendall Sheffield and Jordan Miller.

 

 

While the coronavirus pandemic has forced teams to conduct virtual offseason programs, Oliver has worked out a few times at local parks with some of the other Atlanta-based receivers and defensive backs. They’ve done some individual work, as well as one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills — presumably while complying with social distancing and other safety guidelines.

“We’ve been able to do some things we would’ve done if we were at the facility,” Oliver said. “The competitive juices come out. We’re all there to compete. We expect to win every rep we do. We’re definitely still staying safe and staying healthy. We’re not going to hurt each other. But it’s been some good work.”

Oliver expects big things from the secondary, even if some view it as one of the team’s most glaring question marks.

“It is a young group, but a really smart group,” he said. “The guys are already at a level of understanding the defense really well even if they’ve only been in the system for one year. Obviously, losing a guy like Tru ... changes some things. But I definitely like the group we have.”

 

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/falcons-cb-oliver-ready-leadership-200758550.html

I don't know. I'd prefer the secondary leadership continue to fall to KeKe and Coach Ricardo Allen. 

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3 hours ago, SoCalFalconFan said:

I don't know. I'd prefer the secondary leadership continue to fall to KeKe and Coach Ricardo Allen. 

It most definitely will honestly. I think the CB specific room is in question though. But secondary overall is the safety positions for sure. Even Kazee has more leadership chops in him than most the young CBs. 

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8 hours ago, Hurry_Up_And_Buy said:

Man WTH is up with Thomas Dimitrioff and these second round picks? Deion Jones has been that man's only saving grace when it comes to his ability to pinpoint high value guys in the second round. It's like he gimps the roster a little bit with every second round flop smh

Don't forget about William Moore.

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