Falcons at Jaguars

A Rarity of Late: Victory for Atlanta.

Special Guest Writer: Roddy E. Nixon, Jr. AKA Seminole Warrior

Prelude:

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Best opening drive of the season.

Game time brought sixty-five (65) degrees with a nice easterly breeze blowing along the banks of the St. Johns River. As funny as it may seem, there was MORE IN COMMON between the two teams than there were differences. The Jags have been in the midst of reconstruction for a few years now, an effort lead by a former Seattle defensive mastermind in Gus Bradley.

The Falcons, who are STILL reluctant to admit they are rebuilding, are led by first year fellow Seattle “prodigy”, Dan Quinn. And with so many questions swirling around the team, Quinn was in need of a win at least to calm things for at least, a short term. Well, he got his wish today.

OFFENSIVE ANALYSIS:

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Julio breaks franchise record.

The Atlanta Falcons FINALLY got serious about offense today. There was a sincere effort on the part of the Falcons to establish some facet of a rushing attack. While the per carry average of 2.5 yards was nothing to get excited about, the VERY fact that the Falcons stayed with the approach was DELIGHTFUL to see as it (the rushing attack) is essential to the continuing evolution of this offense. It was also great to see a rushing TD scored in this contest; the first time that feat has been accomplished by the Atlanta club in the past seven or so weeks.

In one of his most complete efforts of the season, OC Kyle Shanahan displayed a mastery of balance in his offensive play calls today. I especially liked the way that the intermediate game was effectively to keep the chains moving and to keep the Jags defense honest. I would have liked to see more from our tight ends but they were busy re-enforcing a porous right side of the Falcons offensive line. With over 34 minutes of offensive possession, balanced with 33 rushing plays and 35 passing plays, KS gets a good grade for adaption to the flow of today’s contest. He gets my coaching staff member game ball.

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Run / pass balance.

However, the Tee Pee STILL thinks that this team wants rely too extensively on Julio Jones. And when they do, it translates into a “slowdown” of the overall offensive tempo. Let me once more be crystal clear. This offense remains a work in progress BUT will not reach its full potential until several issues are given a realistic examination post-season.

With the 2015 season now officially a lost cause as it relates to the playoffs, it was very nice to see more from rookie WR Justin Hardy today. I recall how effective this kid was at East Carolina and I see him becoming a force in this offense from the slot and in the intermediate game.

Once again, it’s sad that the offensive line blocking woes, especially on the right side of the line, are precluding Jacob Tamme from being used more but it is what it is.

Speaking of the offensive line, they only surrendered a single sack today. But my God, the right side of the line, from the center position over to right tackle, is just horrid to watch. I pray that Jon Asamoah returns to health next year because Chester is just not going to cut it. Additionally, today, I came to the conclusion that is it is time to move on from both Schrader and Person. Their collective effort is just poor in EVERY facet. But today, it was just enough.

DEFENSIVE ANALYSIS:

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Jags 0-8 on third downs.

Atlanta’s defense still is nothing to get excited about. Honestly, they are still as unprofessional as they were under Mike Nolan in my opinion. There is not a single defensive coach on the staff that I am personally impressed with.

Today, I watched first hand, two teams that feature the same basic tenets in terms of a defensive philosophy. Personally, I gave the edge to the mix of youth and experience on the Jacksonville team. The most impressive aspect of the Jags unit was the tenacity in which their front seven brought to the game.

I loved the mix in tempo that I saw from veterans like Posluszny, Odrick, and Clemons while watching the Jag’s promise for the future develop right in front of me in the form of Smith, Cyprien, House, and Branch. And remember, they get Dante Fowler back in the mix next year!! Kudos to Gus Bradley and David Caldwell for where they are heading on that side of the ball. I think that their patience is going to be rewarded sooner rather than later.

I wish I could say the same about the Atlanta defensive unit. Once again, I witnessed a bunch of free-lancing, undisciplined play on the part of the defense. The 4-2-5, when used is not effective and we do not have the talent to sustain it. And when in “cover three”, we have neither the defensive line presence nor the required discipline to be effective in that scheme as well.

Our defensive backs are still too often prone to poor coverage schemes. Pass interference calls are now a regular component of the ATL defensive backfield game-plan.

This is where I think that the front office failures are most visible. Both of these teams have spent big money on VETERAN defensive players. And while the Jags did not “shock” with their defensive effort today, I can clearly say that the Jags (David and Gus) are getting a GREATER return on their investment in terms of productivity, leadership, and cohesion than the Falcons (Dan and Thomas) are.

COACHING ANALYSIS:

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Ryan finds time in 4th quarter.

Sorry, but each week, I leave a game, live or on TV, with the same empty feeling.

Other than the aforementioned offensive effort, I saw nothing defensively that left me feeling energized about the direction we are heading. Can we consider releasing Richard Smith at the same time that we “release” Thomas Dimitroff? Has there EVER been a more invisible defensive coordinator? Geez!! And I was hard on Mike Nolan? Forgive me, coach.

And for as much chatter as there is about an offensive regression, can anyone tell me what has happened to our defensive backfield and its play? Oh, that’s right….it has been a shame for years now, right?

Just as has been the case over the course of the last two-plus months, I leave the stadium or my television set with the SAME DAMN questions week after week, game after game. I should just be prepared to put these questions into EVERY forum I author regarding this team from now until perhaps 2017 when we move into the new stadium.

Where are the adjustments? What is the fundamental philosophy of this defense? Once more, I was a first hand witness to yet another third quarter meltdown in which the Atlanta team looked lost and confused. And need I remind you, my friends, that we were only one play and by my estimate, only two yards away (overthrown pass) from losing this game?

Luck can only carry you so far, coach.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

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Hardy contributes on last drive.

The Falcons won a game today, a feat that many of us openly questioned whether they would do or not again this year. Simply, I will just take it for what it is, a win.

In the end, we here at the Tee Pee are not surprised. We anticipated a transitional year of 8-8. Right now, even that seems a long-shot to attain. Our two remaining games, in Atlanta against hated division rivals Kittens and ‘Aints, don’t give one much reason to anticipate a win in either case.

The Panthers just got a MAJOR wake-up call from the G-men and a solid post-game @$$ chewing from Ron Rivera so you better believe that they will be focused next week on going into the post season with a strong statement.

Actually, the greater interest will lie in just how far good ole uncle Arthur is going to go as far as facilitating “changes” come January/February.

In the mean time, enjoy Capital Bowl Mania if you have a team in it!! And the Tee Pee wishes Happy Holidays to all as well as your families and significant others.

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260 thoughts on “Falcons at Jaguars

    1. Arno

      You’ve been steadfast behind Devonta, and called it right. Looking forward to his career with the Falcons. Added a tribute photo of #24 at the close of your article above.

      Reply
  1. Seminole Warrior

    Yes!!! I feel like a proud papa.

    My little man is a FIRST TIME Pro Bowler. DeVonta Freeman. I NEVER doubted that he would do it!

    Reply
    1. SPS

      He reminds me a little bit of Warrick Dunn (including the size and school), and that’s good company . Dunn was a little better between the tackles. He could usually find a crack in what initially looked like a brick wall. But I think Freeman is more punishing in the open field because he lowers his head and throws a shoulder at the point of impact. Dunn, on the other hand, knew when he had his last yard on a given run, and knew when it was time to avoid a big hit and an injury. 12 years and over 10,000 rushing yards (and no major injuries) says he knew what he was doing. Let’s hope Freeman has similar success.

      Reply
  2. Greg Mendel

    Unless the Falcons can come up with a pass rush and an O-line for the first time since 2009 or so, we ain’t beating no Panthers. The pathetic Saints will whip us worse in our own house.

    I hate to be pessimistic, but I am for the remainder of this season. I think 2016 will be more positive. Things will be humming in 2019, when we have a real O-line and a new QB. By 2021, we’ll have a pass rush and Smitty back as HC. I’ll be in a nursing home. So will Roddy White.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      No speaking for you but I’m not going to any “Crappy Acres” nursing home and you aren’t either. Falcons will get better with a new GM and DQ – hang on a little longer.

      Reply
  3. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Matt Stafford and the Lions airmailed the Aint’s a loss Monday night. Staffor went 22 for 25 and 3 TD’s passing on the Aint’s “D”. Congrats to Matt Stafford. Falcons gonna hand the Aint’s a loss in a couple of weeks and finish up 8-8.

    Reply
  4. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Breaking News: Drew Brees suffered a torn plantar fascia in his foot Monday night and may require surgery. According to ESPN he is likely out for the remainder of the season. Wow- looks like Falcons will have to face another dreaded backup QB. I had the Birds down for a win vs the Aint’s but now that’s in jeopardy!

    Being as Brees, age 36, is due a ridiculous $30 mill in 2016 could he be on the trading block?

    Reply
  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons sign OL Collin Rohrig, 6’2″ 285 lb. to the practice squad. Has played both guard and center in the NFL. He originally signed with Steelers as an undrafted FA. (atlantafalcons.com)

    Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Hate to see McClendon go more than Brown. He reeled in several big time recruits for the Dawgs. Brown was only there one year I think. Guess McClendon wasn’t asked to return.

        Reply
  6. waynesworldreview

    Josh Norman called Roddy “ATL’s 5th WR” and dogged him for only having ONE TD ALL YEAR (Norman has 2)…..

    Reply
  7. waynesworldreview

    Congrats to JJ and Freeman on making the Pro Bowl!!

    Congrats to the Colquitt Co Packers named #1 in the nation by High School Football America, #2 in other polls.
    http://highschoolsports.blog.ajc.com/2015/12/21/colquitt-county-wins-national-title-waits-on-a-second-snubbed-by-a-third/
    HC Rush Propst is, again this year, pushing for a HS Football 4-game playoff (like NCAA). He already tried to get a game going with two of the teams that finished in the top 4 but so far has been unsuccessful–the Nevada legislature refused permission for their state’s champ to play us. Rush is ultra-competitive and wants to be #1–period.
    What do you guys think? Is this too much for High Schools and their players? To win the Ga. title, they already have to play 15 games….

    Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      Seems to me that Norman has gotten into the head of both Falcon WRs. Thus far, Norman has “shut down” JJ11 in two consecutive years, allowing 14 catches for 150 yards and ZERO touchdowns.

      Regardless of whether it is man or zone coverage, it is a damned impressive feat; one that I am quite sure that the Falcon would love to have as a key component of our defense. And if I’m correct, I think that both the Panthers and the Falcons rely a lot on zone play in the secondary, correct?

      Personally, I see a lot of the same traits in Norman that have given rise to another former fifth round pick that is now considered among the league’s top performers. And as both young talents continue to grow in experience and leadership, I think that the best is yet to come for both.

      I think the vaunted Falcons WR corps should simply shut up and focus on integrating into the emergence/evolution of the current offensive scheme instead of worrying about the upside of a five round pick whose team, repeat team, is well on their way to possibly making history as a result of adhering to a plan and approach.

      Reply
  8. JB Falcon

    We need a modern day Richard Dent to take care of Cam and Norman. I don’t see why NFL puts up with their kind of crap. I’ve seen Dent knock someone on their azz and then help them up, back in the good old days.

    Reply
  9. F14

    There are rumors that AB considers an option to give TD and Co one more year. In this case FO+DQ will be out after the next season.

    Reply
  10. Arno

    Open letter to Arthur Blank from Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein.
    (WARNING: Do not read if you wish to stay in a nice holiday mood.)

    Dear Arthur,
    Bring Thomas Dimitroff back next year.
    The 5-0 start was a fluke. Six straight losses was a fluke.
    They are a .500 team and nearly everyone at the beginning of the year thought so. ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight.com, one of the most respected number crunching sites around, predicted you’d win 7 or 8 games and your point differential would be -9. You will do exactly that, but they are way off on their point differential. Currently you are -10.
    We are in the 16th week of the NFL season and your team still has a chance at making the playoffs. Now, I know the chances are as good as you asking me to tee it up next year at Augusta National, but there is a chance, right?
    Thomas does not make unilateral decisions and I know you are well aware many of your picks and signings were wanted by previous coaches who had different schemes and philosophies.
    Mike Smith and Mike Nolan wanted a 3-4 defense and were adamant about getting Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson.
    Nolan loved Soliai when he was the DC with the Dolphins and at 6-4, 345-pounds, thought he’d be a perfect plug in a 3-4 defense.
    Tyson Jackson was the 3rd overall pick by the Chiefs back in 2009 when they ran a 3-4 “D” and like Soliai, he is there to close holes. Neither are 10-sack guys, neither have speed, but that is now what Q and his DC Richard Smith want. Everything this coaching believes in is based on speed, not size.
    If Georgia Tech were to switch from the triple-option to a spread offense in one summer, do they have the players to run that type of system? No, it would take time.
    General Managers are like quarterbacks. They get all the credit or all the blame and I know people want to rip Thomas for the fact the entire 2010 draft class is off the roster and the 2012 class is entirely out of the NFL. I get it, but how quickly those same people forget Thomas also:
    *Found the NFL’s touchdown rushing leader (Devonta) in the 4th round – (He’s 82-yards out of the top-4 rushers in the league those 4 were drafted in the 1st, 1st, 1st and 1st)
    *Signed a potential Pro Bowl fullback in Patrick DiMarco for a $75,000 signing bonus
    *Gave undrafted linebacker Paul Worrilow a chance in 2013 and all he’s done since then is rank 4th in the NFL in total tackles.
    *Use a 6th round pick for one of the top-2 punters in the game in Bosher.
    *Moved up to get arguably the most dangerous wide receiver in the game in Julio. With 26 catches over the final two games of the season, he’ll set a NFL record for most receptions in a single season. He’s 26 years old.
    Does this team have holes? Of course, but they also have a solid base and players to work with.
    Jake Mathews is healthy and able to practice. Desmond Trufant is turning into a top-5 cornerback.
    Matt Ryan is about to have his 5th straight, 4,000-yard passing season. He’ll do it again next year and tie some guy you’ve heard of, Peyton Manning, for the second most 4,000-yard consecutive seasons in NFL history.
    We’ve spoken about Freeman and Julio and let’s not forget Vic Beasley has played his entire rookie season with one arm.
    You made a great hire with Dan Quinn and everyone I talk to says he and TD work very, very well together. Let them work together for another year and bring in players who will fit in Q’s system.
    If you wanted to get rid of TD, you would have done it last year when you let Smitty go.
    Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy/healthy 2016.
    Best,
    Zach
    PS: My calendar is free in April if you need a 4th at Augusta.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      Arno, I know that you, like myself, are an optimistic fan and a lot of folks are on the “dump TD” wagon but, you have to admit, Zach makes some good points. Just trying to be a little flexible here. It is Christmas ya’ know.
      And, by the way, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope Santa brings you everything you want. And 21, no, an entire O Line won’t fit in his bag.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        Flexible is the best course, given we’ve no say in what AB decides. But if Klein defends TD based on the switch to Quinn’s system, shouldn’t we look at how well TD managed the team in Mike Smith’s system? The stopgaps of Jackson and Soliai were efforts to remedy his poor drafts. So what suggests he’ll do any better now? My optimism was starting to glow at the thought of a new GM. It’ll be a little tougher, but not impossible, if we’re looking at more of TD.

        Reply
    2. JB Falcon

      Since Jackson and Soliai were supposedly drafted at the insistence of Nolan maybe TD will gladly let DQ have the controls to the draft. Really, TD doesn’t have a choice. I too believe a new GM would be the perfect solution, especially if he knew a football from a basketball, but AB kept TD for an unknown reason and it is, after all, up to him.
      I’d like to hear Klein try to defend Shamehecan’t. Unfortunately, I think we’re going to be stuck with him.

      Reply
      1. Seminole Warrior

        KS will be back for another season in Atlanta. After all, we were told that he was hand chosen by DQ. And if DQ fires him after only one year, it would be admitting to a major mistake. Terminating him so abruptly will not sit well.

        I would like to think that DQ is a smart man. I would hope that he knows that there is substantial work to be done here. Therefore, given the limited draft picks available at this time and the need to flush a roster that is filled with waste, I think it is critical for whomever is going to be working with DQ as it relates to personnel going forward to be someone that is fresh, skilled, and disciplined.

        The Falcons need to be of the mind set that I see emerging in Jacksonville, where it appears that Khan is being patient with Bradley and Caldwell as they build the core of that team on BOTH sides of the ball. Time will tell if my view is correct.

        In the meantime, as it relates to the GM search, The Tee Pee continues to think the first choices are Trent Kirchner and/or Dan Morgan. BUT, we also are seeing an emerging sleeper in this potential GM search. Keep an eye on current Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley.

        Reply
    3. Chop Buster

      I don’t know why this guy is defending TD’s performance. Personally, if you fire Smitty for underperforming then why keep is partner in crime Dimitroff? They are still making bad decisions bringing in players (Person, trading for Levitre, etc.). Sure TD doesn’t make decisions in a vacuum, but I view it more as covering your ads; so fingers aren’t pointed solely at him. There comes a time when a true leader has to make the tough decision and do what’s best for the growth of the team–TD hasn’t done that. He continues to let coaches tell him who to bring in (I.e., Shanacant’s former players). Hey it’s Arthur’s team and he can continue down the same road or make a decision to try and finally place people with the experience building a football team in place.

      Reply
    4. Dewey

      Open letter to Zach Klein from Dewey in “The Cage”

      1-you make a very compelling argument for King Arthur to keep TD around and see what he can do building a team hand and hand with DQ. I can see you did a lot of research to support your point of view.

      2-you’re an idiot

      Merry Christmas Cage

      Reply
  11. Seminole Warrior

    Chop / Arno / JB F

    Despite most of my writings reflecting the opposite, I remain extremely hopeful that the Falcons can get this turned around. But when I took a second, third, and fourth read of ZK’s piece, I could not help but come away from it with the belief that TD is officially a part of the problem and no longer capable of remedying an effective solution. It is time for him to go.

    I am curious as to why the Atlanta media wants to think that this guy deserves a pass. Since his “dramatic” move to bring in Julio Jones, this team has been in a constant state of free fall. He is the man that, supposedly, had the final call as it related to EVERY move made. So the buck has to stop with him.

    Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      SW – “He is the man that, supposedly, had the final call as it related to EVERY move made. So the buck has to stop with him.”

      Exactly. Whether you attempt to make decisions a group effort, TD’s ultimately responsible; since it’s his job to staff the team with the players to be successful.

      Reply
  12. Dewey

    Let’s not give Dimwitt too much credit for undrafted free agent signings……

    1-had he “hit” on more of his draft picks, the UDFA’s wouldn’t have gotten as many chances.
    2-every year, there are more UDFA’s making their NFL debut than there are 1st round picks making their debut. It’s nothing great Dimwitt is doing, it’s a league wide phenomenon.

    Reply
  13. Arno

    Seminole: If I’m not mistaken, you were at the Jags game, right? Did it look to you that Matt Ryan had more freedom? On TV, it appeared he could call for a huddle or audible as it suited him.

    Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      Arno, I was at the game as anytime I get a chance to enjoy the Sunshine State, I take full advantage.

      In total honesty, I really did not notice a significant difference in the way that MR2 played the game. Perhaps I have always been of the mindset that he always had the option. What I really wanted to see was what certainly was evident to all; the commitment to a more balance offensive approach.

      Reply
    2. falcon21

      Arno that is true, I saw where Matt had much more freedom than he did in past games. All the talk the week before said it was coming and yes, it was highly noticeable.

      Reply
  14. dawsondevitt Post author

    Just catching up on that ridiculous Zach Klein article. Maybe he was the third wheel on Dimwit’s amazing bike race with one of the biggest cheaters in sports history.

    Reply
  15. Dewey

    Got one for your scouts SW.

    If MR’s problems this season are all system related, then we don’t have to worry about securing his successor for another year or two.
    But if, as some have suggested (me), MR is indeed starting to lose his talent AND the system/play calling have been the main culprits, then I may have stumbled upon an eventual replacement that can sit back and learn for a couple of years, and one that we shouldn’t have to worry about using one of our top 4 picks on……

    Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky, 6’3″, 220lbs.
    Should be available in round 6/7.
    12 win season including Bowl win over USF.
    9 wins last season.
    incredible accomplishment at little Western Kentucky.
    this season….
    388/540(71.9%), 5055 yards, 48 TD’s, 9 INT’s
    last season……
    375/552 (67.9%), 4830 yards, 49 TD’s, 10 INT’s

    in 2 years that’s 9885 yards and 97 TD’s against only 19 INT’S

    1st player in division 1 to have 4000+ yards and 40+ TD’s in consecutive years.

    Downside?
    It’s partially the system for these gaudy numbers. Western Kentucky is where Bobby Petrino landed before heading back to Louisville. When he left, Jeff Brohm (one of Petrino’s former QB’s and offensive coordinator at the time), took over as HC and kept the system.

    System QB’s rarely make it in the NFL. None of Petrino’s made a big splash, neither did Spurrier’s when he was at Florida, June Jones in Hawaii, the list goes on. But I think there’s more to this guy, especially if he can sit and learn for 2 years.

    Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      Dewey, I saw his bowl game as well as two others that bowl game as well as a few others that Western Kentucky played this season. I totally agree with you. There are some very solid intangibles there that can serve as a foundation to build upon. And it would be a VERY wise move for Atlanta to consider.

      Reply
  16. Seminole Warrior

    My Dear Cage Family and Friends

    There is a reason for the season. We all know the Christmas story. Some call it a miracle. At times, in my life, I have questioned if there ever were such things as miracles.

    But today, courtesy of ESPN and the lovely Lisa Salters, my faith has been forever restored. This piece TRULY moved my soul and made me cry in ways that most men would be ashamed to admit.

    This video is a little longer than most we would post here. But this is a football story that is about MUCH MORE than football. This is about a tenacity, a faith, a determination of epic heights. Today, courtesy of ESPN and Lisa, I have a new hero.

    God bless you, Devon Berry. Your strength, courage, and maturity to me, this Christmas, are the greatest of gifts!!

    Reply
  17. ajarnbangkapi

    Merry Christmas to all the cage family no matter where they are in the world, this is the season to focus on positives – on blessings received regardless of blessings to come.

    This simple little blog is the glue to bind shared passions that supersedes the simple physics of geography, age, etc.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good — roster rebuild!!

    Reply
  18. Flo-Ri-Duh

    According to http://www.draftek.com if the Falcons were drafting today they would be at position #20 out of 32. There are only 11 teams with a winning record. There are 18 teams with a losing record. The Falcons are one of three teams at 7-7 and due to strength of schedule they would be the 2nd 7-7 team to draft

    Reply
  19. Seminole Warrior

    Merry Christmas to the Entire Cage Family…

    C’Mon, Flo. Even Cocoa Mel takes the day off Christmas. LOL. Enjoy the day, my brother.

    Reply
  20. JB Falcon

    Santa is gone, the gifts opened; the roof has been cleaned of reindeer poop; and there’s not even a high school football game on to watch; and I am a very lucky guy.
    Time to go out and spread some Christmas Cheer! It’s always worse for someone else so that’s my target.

    Reply
  21. SG

    To my Cage friends and their families, may you enjoy the peace, love & joy that this most wonderful of seasons continues to inspire.
    And I wish that those feelings will guide you through the coming years.

    Reply
  22. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Mock Draft XX: 2016

    Trade: [Falcons #14 (1st Rd)] to [Rams for #40 (2nd Rd) & #43 (2nd Rd)]
    Rams Draft: Paxton Lynch (QB) with Falcon’s Trade Pick #14

    #2 Jayron Kearse (SS), Clemson, 6’4″ 220 lb {Rams’ Trade #40}
    #2 Hunter Henry (TE), Arkanasas, 6’5″ 255 lb {Rams’ Trade #43}
    #2 Joshua Perry (OLB), Ohio State, 6’4″ 254 lb
    #3 Max Tuerk (C), Southern Cal, 6’5″ 285 lb
    #4 Sebastian Tretola (G), Arkansas, 6’5″ 335 lb
    #7 Rees Odhiambo (G), Boise State, 6’4″ 305 lb
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Contracts Expiring ’16: 5 re-signed, 1 RFA, 11 not re-signed
    *Adrian Clayborn (DE) – re-signed 1 yr
    Chris Chester (G) – gone
    Gino Gradowski (C) – gone
    Kroy Biermann (DE) – gone
    O’Brien Schofield (OLB) – gone
    Jake Long (OT) – gone
    *Ryan Schraeder (OT) – RFA
    *Paul Worrilow (ILB) – re-signed 1 yr
    Shayne Graham (K) – gone
    *Ricardo Allen (FS) – re-signed 3 yrs
    Charles Godfrey (SS) – gone
    Phillip Wheeler (OLB) – gone
    Tony Moeaki (TE) – gone
    Phillip Adams (CB) – gone
    *Bryce Harris (OT) – re-signed 1 yr
    *Nathan Stupar (OLB) – re-signed 1 yr
    Ben Garland (G) – gone
    ______________________________________________________________
    Released (cut) : 2
    William Moore (SS) – Injury Settlement – retired
    Tyson Jackson (DE) – released
    ______________________________________________________________
    Free Agent Vets Signed: 4
    Danny Trevathan (ILB), Broncos, age 25
    Bruce Irvin (OLB), Seahawks, age 28
    Muhammad Wilkerson (DE), Jets, age 26
    Russel Okung (OT), Seahawks, age 28
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      If Falcons were drafting today from position #20 1st Rd emphasis would still be pass rush:
      \\\\\\\\TOP FIRST ROUND POSSIBILITIES///////
      #1 Shilique Calhoun (DE), Michigan State, 6’4″ 250 lb
      #2 Shaq Lawson (DE), Clemson, 6’3′ 275 lb
      #3 DeForest Buckner (DE), Oregon, 6’7″ 290 lb.
      #4 A’Shawn Robinson (DT), Alabama, 6’4″ 320 lb.
      #5 Adolphus Washington (DT), Ohio State, 6’4″ 290 lb
      #6 Reggie Ragland (MLB), Alabama, 6’2″ 252 lb.
      #7 Jayron Kearse (SS), Clemson, 6’4″ 205 lb.
      #8 Taylor Decker, (OT), Ohio State, 6’7″ 315 lb.

      Reply
  23. Grits Blitz

    Blessed Upcoming New Year to all Cage Brethren!

    Desired new year’s resolutions by King Arthur?
    1. Quality G.M. hired with full empowerment. (T.D. totally barred from front office or having any player selection input. Keep bro-mance on the side.)
    2. Demand your present coaching staff begin showing clearly consistent signs of flexibility in game-planning & within each game per opponent.
    3. HC clearly defines benchmarks for player improvement and… the expected consequences that should follow if not achieved.
    4. HC being less concerned with player friendships and more with consistent player performance; HC to reevaluate performances by assistants, too!
    5. Expand/revamp the scouting dept.; develop a proven “plan” for steady acquisition of quality players within projected cap limits (see #1).
    6. Utilize player TRADES – coming or going – with light on trading away draft choices if at all possible (also, refer back to #1). Hard to build for depth when starters are not even adequate!
    7. Lastly, Arthur, no more “company” rhetoric of “staying the course” – please! In the future, try becoming “results only” – oriented.
    Hire real “football” people who then hire…real “football” people…and then, back off. Easy enough? (Seems a good start would be #1 – PLEASE.)

    Reply
    1. SG

      Grits
      In 100% on your point #1

      On points #2 thru #4:
      For now, I believe DQ managed what he was left with, or accumulated during his year #1 stop-gaps, on a much different level than he will in year #2 and going forward. In other words, anticipating another 30% churn, minimum, we will see his “real” style, along w/ the team’s culture, emerge more clearly.

      On points #5 thru #7
      Yes. Yes. Double yes.

      Reply
  24. Arno

    The Panthers are so dang steady at scoring, that once they get up on you, it’s near impossible to overtake them and win the game. Out of 56 quarters played this year, they’ve scored in all but five of them, and never gone scoreless for more than one quarter a game.

    Falcons have gone scoreless in 18 of 56 quarters this year, and in four games have gone scoreless in multiple quarters.

    You simply can’t play from behind against the Panthers. We might want to see our O take the field first, given the opportunity. If we do fall behind like the last game, rather than try to ‘catch up,’ I’d like to see the Falcons try to maintain some O balance and discipline.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      See no need for Panthers to play the entire way with the 1st team. The goal is still winning the Super Bowl for the Panthers. Winning 16 in a row won’t mean so much if Panthers lose key players to injuries. Expect liberal substitutions in the 2nd half of this game. Should be closer than the 38-0 disaster but still a two score loss for the Birds.

      Reply
  25. JB Falcon

    It would be interesting if a research expert would add up the Pro Bowl players (that went to other teams) the Falcons could have drafted since TD has been here. Has TD drafted any besides JJ?

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      Tried to take your challenge.
      Best I can do for you is….
      MR, Julio, Devonta have been voted in since Dimwitt came into office.

      William Moore and Thomas DeCoud made the team as alternates under Dimwitt.

      Anyone else who made pro bowl for Falcons since 2008 either originated from another team or was here prior to Dimwitt.

      Reply
    2. Dewey

      2008

      Drafted MR with the #3 pick, he has been to 3 pro bowls. So I’m not counting players drafted between Ryan and our next pick because Ryan has been to the pro bowl. Make sense?

      Drafted Sam Baker #21-no pro bowls
      Chris Johnson, RB-3 pro bowls
      Mike Jenkins, DB-1 pro bowl
      Duane Brown, OT-3 pro bowls
      Brandon Flowers, DB-1 pro bowl
      Jordy Nelson, WR-1 pro bowl

      Drafted Curtis Lofton #37-no pro bowls
      Matt Forte, RB-2 pro bowls
      DeSean Jackson, WR-3 pro bowls
      Calais Campbell, DE-1 pro bowl
      Ray Rice, RB-3 pro bowls
      Martellus Bennett, TE-1 pro bowl

      Drafted Chevis Jackson #68-no pro bowls
      Jamaal Charles, RB-4 pro bowls

      Drafted Harry Douglas #84
      No one drafted before our next pick made pro bowl

      Drafted Thomas DeCoud #98-1 pro bowl
      Not counting anyone here since DeCoud made a pro bowl

      Drafted Robert James#138-no pro bowls
      Jerome Felton, FB-1 pro bowl
      Matt Slater, WR-4 pro bowls (special teams)

      Drafted Kroy Bierman #154
      Carl Nicks, OT-2 pro bowls

      Drafted Thomas Brown#172-no pro bowls
      No pro bowlers

      Drafted Wilrey Fontenot #21-no pro bowls
      No pro bowlers

      Drafted Keith Zinger#232-no pro bowls
      Justin Forsett, DB-1 pro bowl

      Hope this helps, got my curiosity up, so I may work on the other years as time permits.

      Reply

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