Roster Analysis: Part VIII

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The first 2 phases of the falcons roster is now complete, it’s time to look at the all important 3rd phase….Special Teams

Part VIII-Special teams

by Dewey

Kickers

-Matt Bryant, Shayne Graham

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Still has it? Morten Andersen retired at age 48.

Matt Bryant-signed through the 2017 season, $2,870,000 cap charge

Cut pre 6/1-$666,667 dead money, $2,204,166 cap savings

Cut post 6/1-$333,333 dead money, $2,537,500 cap savings

Trade-same as pre 6/1

Matt finally had a down year for our Falcons, if you can call making 14 out of 18 a down year. And 3 of his misses hit the upright (if that doesn’t show accuracy, I don’t know what does). Maybe age (Matt will be 41 next season) is finally catching up to Matt as he suffered the dreaded quad injury this past season. Quads are particularly bad for kickers for 2 reasons, (1) if you have a bad quad, you obviously can’t kick, and (2) at Matt’s age, it’s showing your elasticity may be starting to falter. Matt hit all 26 of his XP’s, but didn’t even attempt a FG of more than 50 yards in 10 games. It may be the beginning of the end for Matt in Atlanta.

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Six points in fourth quarter to help beat Carolina.

Shayne Graham-contract expired, unrestricted free agent

We pulled the youngster (38 years old) off the street after week 10 and all Shayne did was make 11 out of 13 including all 3 past 50 yards. The only 2 Shayne missed were past 40 yards, but both were horrendous kicks, although 1 technically went down as a block, but that kick didn’t stand a chance anyway. Shayne made all 8 of his XP’s. He might not come back a Falcon, but he’ll be sure to get a call from someone. (Note: another example of our faltering offense late in the season, Bryant had more XP attempts than FG attempts, Graham had more FG attempts than XP attempts).

Punter

-Matt Bosher

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Good blocking helps, too.

Matt Bosher-signed through the 2019 season, $2,700,000 cap charge

Cut pre 6/1-$1,500,000 dead money, $1,200,000 cap savings

Cut post 6/1-$500,000 dead money, $2,200,000 cap savings

Trade-same as pre 6/1

Does it say more about the team or the player when the punter is generally considered one of the better players? Matt Bosher, 1 of only 2 survivors from drafts 2010-2012 (Julio Jones being the other), delivers everything you could ask from a punter. Besides punting duties, Bosher also handles kick-offs and is the holder on extra points and kickoffs. There’s not a lot of analysis here because there’s nothing to analyze. Bosher is one of the best in the business, and is going to be a Falcon for a long time to come.

Long Snapper

-Josh Harris

Josh Harris-under contract through the 2018 season, $860,000 cap charge

Cut pre 6/1-$300,000 dead money, $560,000 cap savings

Cut post 6/1-$100,000 dead money, $760,000 cap savings

Trade-same as cut pre 6/1

Honestly, how many of you could have told me our long snapper’s name before I just printed it? Anybody? I only knew it because of writing this piece last season. Snaps are good and I’ve even seen Harris make a tackle or two, which is much easier than it was in the good old days. Nowadays, you can’t line up over the longsnapper and can’t touch him until 2 Mississippi. I’m not taking anything away from Harris, I couldn’t do what he does. But remember when you didn’t use a roster space for the long snapper. A lot of times it was your 3rd string TE, or a backup linemen, even remember a linebacker doing it. Sometimes I miss the good old days. But, if I had a son, we would be out in the backyard practicing long snapping all day long. Almost $900,000/year for snapping a football and no one can touch you? Sign me up for that gig.

Kick Returner

-Devin Hester

Devin Hester-signed through 2016 season, $3,833,334 cap charge

Cut pre 6/1-$833,334 dead money, $3,000,000 cap savings

Cut post 6/1-same

Trade-same

Devin is one of the greatest returners of all times, period. However, injuries and age are catching up to him, and since I’ve already cut him in the WR section of the roster analysis, I see no point in continuing on here. He will be difficult, but cheaper to replace.

Analysis: Typically we just gloss over this area because things usually run so smoothly from year to year. However, this year there are reasons for concern. Matt Bryant started to show the “old kickers” disease and Devin was injured for almost the entire season, then didn’t do a whole lot upon his return.

My Conclusion: Matt Bosher is excellent and not going anywhere, neither is Harris. I’ve already dismissed Devin Hester from the receiving core, I’ll try and trade him first but doubt I get any takers, so he’s released as I’m not paying almost $4 million for a return only guy. Nick Williams and Justin hardy had varying degrees of success during pre-season last year so they will get a look. I’m sure we can find a lower tier FA who can return punts. Let’s face it, kickoff returns are slowly being phased out of the game, so as long as you have punts covered your good. My other option is the draft, and 1 player in particular…Cyrus Jones, CB from Alabama. Returned 4 punts for TD’s last season alone and isn’t a bad CB either. Could be the 4th or 5th CB and make a living returning kicks. Cyrus started off as a 7th rounder, but has now crept up into the 5th/6th round conversation, so obviously we would need to do something here as we have no 5th or 6th rounder. I don’t think we could wait and hope he lasted til the 7th. Lastly, what to do with Matt Bryant. I have gone on record a couple of occasions as saying I would give Matt a 2 year contract til his leg fell off then give him a 1 year extension. That’s how good Matt had been for us. I’m not worried that Matt missed 4 kicks (especially since given a half a foot on 3 of those then he’s suddenly 17 out of 18), but it’s that quad that has me worried. As some of you know, the older you get, you lose the elasticity in muscles and ligaments. Kickers are some of the most limber guys you’ll meet. They don’t even work out with weights for the most part, they just do a lot of stretching. So when a kicker pulls a muscle, and not a minor muscle you can’t really stretch, but a major one like the big one that runs down your thigh, it’s time to consider moving on. Since he’s under contract, I bring Bryant back, but I re-sign Graham or another FA kicker or perhaps even an UDFA and have a real kicking competition this camp rather than those token ones we’ve had around here for years. Maybe if we don’t have such a “sure thing” kicker, that will force us to be more creative/aggressive inside the red zone.

Prediction: I believe the Falcons move on from Hester, but Bosher, Bryant, Harris are all safe. We will bring in UDFA’s for camp bodies at all 3 positions, but I doubt very seriously that the FO gives any real consideration to replacing any of them.

Well, that’s a wrap on Dewey’s roster analysis of the Atlanta Falcons. But for those of you who have labored through all 8 parts of this epic odyssey, I have a special treat for you……

A SNEAK PEAK OF YOUR 2016 ATLANTA FALCONS IF DEWEY WERE GENERAL MANAGER

(please hold all applause until the end)

This will obviously change some in the coming months, but here’s what I’d like to see as of right now….

Offense

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Dewey, the Blue Falcon, takes on GM duties at the Branch.

QB’s

-Matt Ryan

-Brandon Weeden (Texans)

RB’s

-Devonta Freeman

-Terron Ward

-Tim Hightower (Saints)

FB’s

-Patrick DiMarco

-Collin Mooney

WR’s

-Julio Jones

-Brian Quick (Rams)

-Justin Hardy

-Darrius Heyward Bey (Steelers)

-Nick Williams

-Jordan Leslie

TE’s

-Jacob Tamme

-Tony Moeaki

-Bryce Williams (draft/ECU)

OT’s

-Jake Mathews

-Ryan Schraeder

-Eric Winston (Bengals)

-Bryce Harris

OG’s

-Andy Levitre

-Spencer Durango (draft/Baylor)

-Mike Person

-Tony Bergstrom (Raiders)

C’s

-Tim Barnes (Rams)

-Gino Gradkowski

Defense

DE’s

-Kendall Reyes (Chargers)

-Charles Tapper (draft/Oklahoma)

-Jordan Jenkins (draft/UGA)

-DeMarcus Dobbs (Seattle)

DT’s

-Terrance Knighton (Redskins)

-Grady Jarrett

-Ra’Shede Hageman

-Joey Mbu

-DJ Reader (draft/Clemson)

OLB’s

-Vic Beasley

-Brooks Reed

-Nate Stupar

-Kyler Fackrell (draft/Utah State)

MLB’s

-Paul Worrilow

-Tyler Matakevich (draft/Temple)

CB’s

-Desmond Trufant

-Robert Alford

-Jalen Collins

-Philip Adams

-Cyrus Jones (draft/ Alabama)

FS’s

-Ricardo Allen

-Jalen Mills (draft/LSU)

SS’s

-Sua’ Cravens (draft/USC)

-Kemal Ismael

K

-Ka’imi Fairbairn (draft/UCLA)

P

-Matt Bosher

LS

-Josh Harris

KR

-Cyrus Jones (draft/Alabama)

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Blank clears up front office confusion with Dewey hire.

I started to go into detail about how I arrived here, but holy crap, it went on for another 4 pages. So, ill just sum it up. Obviously you can see there were a lot of cuts, all before June 1st and could still make it under the cap. So no dead money attached in 2017. I also did this without using any “rollover” cap space from 2015, of which we have over $10million. As it is, I am just about $2 million under the cap for 2016, would be $12 million if I choose to use rollover. Don’t need to worry about 2017, besides expiring contracts, I have about $17 million in dead money that will come off the books, not to mention the $10 million in dead money that is currently on the books in real life, so that would be $27 million coming off besides expired contracts.

How did I go from 5 picks to 11? First I used the hope that many NFL teams will realize that there are no QB’s worth an early 1st round pick (actually, I don’t think any are worth a 1st round pick at all, but you know some will bite). I don’t think the first QB will go off the board until #13 Philadelphia. Then the panic will set in. I trade back to 28 with KC who realizes a good QB is what’s holding them back. Then I trade back again with Dallas, completely out of the first round to the 2nd round, pick #34(there is only 1 of the 4 projected 1st round QB’s left on the board at this time and Dallas needs one badly). These moves garned me extra picks and a future pick. I also traded away Tevin Coleman for a 3rd and a 6th. Lastly, the future pick I got was a 4th rounder, I traded it to either SF, Det, Oak, Philly or Houston who all have multiple 5th round picks, so I grabbed one there. Gave me 0-1st rounders, 2-2nd rounders, 3-3rd rounder, 3-4th rounders, 1-5th rounder, 1-6th rounder, 1-7th rounder.

The draft picks I made should all be available, but you never know how the draft unfolds so who knows. For instance, Kyler Fackrell is projected to go in the 2nd by CBS, 5th from Drafttek, or anywhere in between by other sites.

I learned a lot about salary caps doing research for this. For instance, in 2016, the minimum veteran’s salary for a player with 4-6 years experience is $760,000. But if you sign him to a 1 year deal, and don’t give him bonuses totaling over $65,000, that player’s cap charge will only be set at the 2 year service player minimum, $600,000. A 10 year vet’s minimum is $985,000, but as long as he doesn’t get more than the $65K in bonuses, he’ll only count the $600,000.

Also, anyone heard of the 51 rule? You’re allowed up to 90 players in camp, no way you can fit those all under the cap, so the NFL only looks at the top 51 cap charges to determine if you’re under the cap or not. This really comes into play when trying to figure how much cap space you need to sign draft picks. This figure is of course determined by the NFL. If by where you are slotted to pick and the number of picks you have, the NFL grants you a $7 million rookie pool. You would think you need $7 million to sign them. However, each player you sign knocks someone off the “top 51” Teams are usually littered with players going to camp that have signed for at or near the minimum for 1-2 years experience. So you would only be adding the difference between what you signed your draft pick for and what the salary was of the player who got knocked out of the “Top 51”. There’s a formula they use that changes a bit every year, and the numbers can fluctuate some depending on how many picks you have, but essentially you only need about 60% of what the NFL allocated you. So in the example of $7 million allocation for draft picks, you would really only need about $4.2 million in cap space to sign all your draft picks, even though they would be signed for the $7 million.

I could go on, but I’m really tired and I can see I’m boring you. Believe it or not this has been real fun. I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed it. Might be a while before I post again, but who knows, if I get an itch I just can’t scratch or if my knees keep me up all night, I just might find something to say.

Good Night Darrel Starks, wherever you are. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

D8_gm

Dewey and ‘Q’ jacked about clear vision.

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525 thoughts on “Roster Analysis: Part VIII

  1. Mike In Minnesota

    “Players are typically separated by curtains or partitions during postgame interviews.”…curtains and partitions would AT LEAST muffle the sounds…Granted I believe too that he is egotistical…and can’t stand the supermanbicepkissing antics…but you do that with Ndamukong Suh and someone might be assaulted…how would that make the NFL look…you can see Cam look over at Chris Harris…and I guess it bothered him ( like it would have bother me ) at least he didn’t say “shut the f*** up” ….Chris Harris said later “Damn that’s the NFL’s fault for putting us that close”…I’m just saying the same room the same times is not a good idea.

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      adults are supposed to have a modicum of self control. Cam is a blatant narcissistic – emotionally stunted human with an inferiority complex – that is NOT an NFL problem.

      Reply
  2. waynester

    Makes me think we’re targeting Sua Cravens or Cash from Duke. Quinn also seemed to like what he saw from Ragland.

    Reply
  3. medallion

    I guess the cuts of William Moore and Justin Durant meant no one was willing to make a trade of even a 7th rounder and assume risks associated with the currently non-guaranteed portions of their contracts.
    I am not surprised by the early release of William Moore. It frees up 3.2 million of cap space. There are some possibilities already on the roster for next year’s starting SS: Ishmael who does seem to have a nose for the football and King (even though my current opinion is he is better suited for FS, CB, or big nickel SS down the road), I suppose I should mention Therezie who does seem to have a nose for the football also, but he seems too light and too short for SS – especially for our division (back up at FS and emergency back up at SS seems ok for now with all the other problems). Godfrey (or someone similar) might also be signed as a relatively inexpensive SS. The draft class also has some possibilities for drafting a SS or conversion OLB to SS at some point in the late second (assuming some trade that results in a late second).
    The early release of Durant did surprise me because that leaves us with only Reed (hopefully getting healthier) and Starr (my candidate for medium weight LEO in place of Biermann if not resigned) and Beasley (if moved to LB for base defense) as our only signed LBs. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised because Durant’s play went down hill after he came back from his last injury. That release does free up another 2.3 million of cap space however. Nonetheless, I thought any decision to cut Durant would wait until after the draft to see what happened there. Color me surprised.
    With the release of Durant, it seems there will most likely be at least a second round tender to Worrilow and see whether anyone offers more and then consider matching. Maybe even a first round tender.
    I think, but cannot prove, Worrilow would do better than some more expensive FA LBs at either MLB or SSLB (or maybe even WSLB) with a team that has (like some other teams) a far better pass rush than we currently have.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      Agree Worrilow should play better on the outside should management decide to bring him back, but also represents our only inside backer at this point.

      Besides clearing cap space, I think Quinn is showing Moore and Durant some compassion. By releasing them now, they are free to sign with anyone once they clear waivers (24 hours I believe), without having to wait for FA to start. Both players are good enough to catch on elsewhere.

      Finally, maybe the FO has realized the pitfalls when you continually hitch your wagon to the chronically infirmed.

      Reply
    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Med – Getting a starting OLB in this draft at 17th and ready to play is iffy. Sounds like they have someone in mind that’s an UFA to me. As for SS, that’s our 2nd Rd pick most likely. Don’t see any great SS (as far as coverage) in this class but Miles Klllebrew or Jeremy Cash would be an upgrade.

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Another I had forgotten about is a Georgia native that went to Ohio State…. Vonn Bell (SS). According to McShay he’s got great coverage skills and he’s NFL ready. Probably 2nd Rdr.

        Reply
  4. Greg Mendel

    I almost passed on the game, but wound up watching most of it. Skipped the broadcast appetizers and desserts. Just kept noticing O & D lines during the game. Can’t stand Cam, but he has talent. OTOH, even an over-the-hill Manning is better than Cam will ever be.

    Reply
  5. Dewey

    Dewey’s FA targets: Defensive system fits
    1-Damon Harrison, NT, NYJets, 27 years old, 6’4″, 350lbs
    -probably the best player you’ve never heard of. Signed by the Jets as an UDFA out of William Penn in 2012 and signed to their practice squad. Was promoted to the 53 man roster the last 5 games but was used very sparingly, not recording a single tackle. Named a starter in 2013 and has started every game since. Damon is not just a big space eater, but he can really move for a big man. Tackle totals for his 3 years as a starter are 66, 55, 72, which is roughly twice as many as we get from Soliai. Doesn’t offer much against the pass with only 1.5 career sacks, but that’s not what he’s asked to do. I doubt the Jets and Todd Bowles let this one get away, probably franchise him if they can’t come to a long term deal. It would probably cost upwards of $7 million/season at least, which, if we signed him, would necessitate the release of Soliai. By the way, he went undrafted in 2012, how are all of our current 2012 draft choices doing?
    2-Kendall Reyes, DE, San Diego, 26 years old (27 when the season starts), 6’4″, 300lbs
    -drafted in the 2nd round (#49 overall) in the 2012 draft out of Connecticut. Has played in all 64 games since being drafted with 50 starts, including 46 of the last 48. # of tackles is usually in the 30’s and he does have 13.5 career sacks. A younger, stronger, more agile and all around better version of Tyson Jackson. Might cost $5 million/year to sign him and we would certainly need to cut Tyson Jackson.
    3-Nick Perry, OLB, Green Bay, 26 years old in April, 6’3″, 265lbs
    -former 1st round pick, 28th overall, out of USC. Played DE at USC and was viewed as a “tweener” coming out of college. Green Bay tried to make him an OLB with varying degrees of success. Perry has started just 16 games out of 46 dressed games. He does have 12.5 career sacks with 5FF. Perry has never truly grasped the nuances of OLB, which is why he could be a good fit for the LEO position. A “tweener” position needs a “tweener” ballplayer. This is one of those players that could have a huge swing in his contract. It might take $3-4 million/year if teams are still looking at his 1st round talent, or he could be as cheap as $1.5-2 million/year if teams view him as a 1st round bust. Green Bay declined his 5th year option, so there’s not much chance of him going back there.
    4-Zach Brown, MLB, Tennessee, 26 years old, 6’1″, 248lbs
    -drafted in the 2nd round (#52 overall) in 2012 out of UNC. Won the starting job his rookie season and started 27 out of 32 games his first 2 seasons. Was injured on the first series of the 2014 season and lost to injured reserve for the entire season. Came back in 2015, but lost his starting job, with only 5 starts in 16 games. Has 261 tackles in 3 full seasons with 10 sacks. Good in pass coverage also with 13 passes defensed and 6 career INT’s with a 79 yard TD return to his credit. Could probably be had for $2.5-3 million/year.

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      Flo – Ha, ha! Out on probation for good conduct, but man it’s cold having to wash those patrol cars in these temps for our Men in Blue. Will be sure to call you for bailing out next time!

      Dewey – I like the fact your targeted FAs at 26-27 should be in their veteran prime so long as they don’t break the cap bank.
      On the other hand, I don’t care if we sign a bunch more stud FAs and break Arthur’s piggy bank ONE time, but with all the GMs on his corporate dole, guess we’ll never see such commitment. (They never could reach a corp. consensus on what, if anything, to do!)

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Grits- The problem isn’t signing UFA’s it’s signing the wrong UFA’s. TD is real good at signing failures. The latest is Levitre for 4-5 years at a upper tier price range. We’ve got a whole lot of dead weight on this roster and future dead money. If you listen to what the management said they didn’t release Moore & Durant to just to clear cap space. Their injuries were the primary reason they were released and not traded. No one wants an expensive guy that stays in the infirmary more than on the field.

        Reply
        1. Dewey

          Levitre wasn’t a signing, he was traded for, out of desperation. Will fault the FO for not having a better oline in place, but won’t fault them for trying to do something about it. We didn’t sign Levitre to the contract, we just traded for it.

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            same difference: I’m pretty sure the Falcons and Levitre both signed the contract. Trade-UFA same results / big contract, long term for a below average player. The only difference was that in addition to the big contract the Falcons gave up their 6th Rd pick and a conditional pick in 2017.

            http://www.scout.com/nfl/falcons/story/1583126-falcons-trade-for-andy-levitre

            Not criticizing Falcons for “trying to do something” but am criticizing them for the results.

    2. medallion

      Nick Perry is the most interesting to me of the four to be a starting LEO. Going to now have to do some thinking/researching/and some drinking about him because your description about him is similar to descriptions about players like Bennett, Avril, and Clemons that Seattle picked up in FA for a reasonable cost (when originally signed). I once had Vinny Curry on my radar for that role, but Philly paid him a lot to keep him. Resigning Clayborn for at least another year and getting some other UFA for a medium weight LEO role (at a reasonable cost) and then drafting a DE in 1st or 2nd at the latest has been my Adams Family plan/hope for a while.
      Zach Brown is the next most interesting to me since we now have how many LBs signed for next year? However, losing a starting job for TN is not exactly real encouraging. Did his injury cause him to lose pass coverage skills? Would you rather have him or Worrilow?

      Reply
      1. Dewey

        med,

        Brown had a torn pectoral that required surgery, has not affected his coverage skills. Avery Williamson, then a rookie from Kentucky, filled in for Brown and played well. Brown wasn’t quite 100% heading into training camp so he never really had a shot to regain his starting job. He still played a lot in nickel and dime situations and managed 77 tackles and 2 INT’s. Not being able to start in Tennessee’s 3/4 defense shouldn’t be held against him. Their starting 4 LB’s were Derrick Morgan, Wesley Woodard, Avery Williamson, Brian Orakpo. I’d rather have Worrilow play better, but more than that, I’d like some actual competition and let the best man win. Worrilow was practically given the job last season because there wasn’t anybody around who could challenge him. I do believe Brown is the better all-around LB though.

        I’m very intrigued by Perry as well. He has shown the ability to get to the QB in a limited role. Maybe a different scheme will allow him the freedom to become the player he was at USC.

        Reply
        1. medallion

          Dewey:
          Nick Perry is now officially on my very unofficial FA prospect list. He seems to have been miscast as an OLB and part time rusher in Green Bay. He had some very impressive combine results in comparison to lots of other DEs (which is what he was in college) and nothing below average. He also played at least some when Carroll was head coach at USC in a LEO type role. New question: if the budget only allows us to sign Perry or Clayborn from the ranks of the UFAs to play a LEO type role, what’s your preference? I like Clayborn and think he was misused last year, but I wonder whether Clayborn can be effective pass rushing from the left side since his good sack numbers for Tampa Bay were all from the right side and, in theory, a LEO lines up (assuming only one LEO type) on whichever side of the offense starts out as the weak side of the offense. I have no clue whether Perry pass rushes a lot better from one side or the other either.
          The Zach Brown band has now made it on to the same list. Those are some pretty statistics for playing only 46.6 % of the defensive snaps for TN last year.

          Reply
          1. Dewey

            Glad to have you aboard med. I personally think we’ve seen the best of what we could hope for from Clayborn, but we’ll see. I would rather go with Perry or another player, some “fresh meat” as it were.

            I was toying with this idea earlier, there are a lot of “ifs”, but follow along

            “If” we sign Nick Perry from Green Bay, put him at LDE (Leo) and
            “If” we sign Zach Brown from Tennessee, put him at MLB and
            “If” we move Vic Beasley to SLB, (RDE) on passing downs then
            “If” we drafted Myles Jack from UCLA in the first round and put him at WLB and
            “If” we drafted Sua’ Cravens from USC in the second round and put him at SS then
            1-our defense should have no drop off against the run, and could possibly be better
            2-our pass rush would be better
            3-our underneath pass defense would be a ton better than its been in years
            4-our “in the box” players (front 7 plus SS when applicable) would be much faster, quicker, surer tackling

            Believe those moves would put us in a top 10 defense.

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW- That’s why I keep drafting Andrew Billings,(DT/NT), Baylor, age 20, 6’2″ 310 lb. in 1st Rd. The most disruptive pass rush & run stopper of all is up the middle and this guy may be the most disruptive DL in this draft. In 2015 Billings led the team in TFL with 15 and in had 5.5 SACKS showing his athleticism and aggressive nature. He was listed on several All-American teams.

      nfl.com says: “Billings won’t turn 21 until March of 2016, but he has the overwhelming strength of a full-grown NFL defensive tackle. With elite power and unusual closing speed for a big man, Billings has a chance to be something we rarely see – a playmaking nose tackle with the ability to dominate at the point of attack. He’s got all-pro potential.”

      Does this sound like what you want? I would take him over most of the DE’s in this draft. He is versatile & can play DT or NT. If they draft a DT/NT then it will get very crowded at DT. Someone will get cut.

      Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        Absolutely, Flo. Billings by all accounts is an earth mover that will require double teams. What a nice replacement piece for when Soliai retires (or is retired) next year. Billings can spend a year learning from one of the best and become wrecking crew pals with Grady Jarrett.

        Still, there are several enticing Defensive Ends that could be left dangling at #17. Passing over any lauded pass rusher to pick a DT may give Falcons fans flashbacks of the #22 pick Peria Jerry (see 2016 news story: 2009 #24 pick Clay Matthews goes to his 6th Pro Bowl).

        Dim (mumbling to self because nobody wants to hear him): “If only Clay was a better person, I would have been swayed.”

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          JWW – Beware the mumbling Dimwitroff.

          That’s what I’m thinking. Andrew Billings (DT/NT) in – Tyson Jackson out & Soliai gone in ’17. Billings is a much more versatile and different player than Soliai. A bit more compact and powerful than Soliai and a monster of a run-stopper with the quicks to get through the OL and pressure the QB. His motor’s always full throttle unlike many big guys.You could even put Billings at DT & Soliai at NT. Now that’s a frightening interior DL.

          Reply
        2. Paddy O

          I thought DT was wrong considering our relative position strengths, but it may be a decent idea – provided we sign LB’s and O line men in FA

          Reply
    2. Chop Buster

      JW, we haven’t had a disruptive defensive lineman in the middle since Rod Coleman. I’d prefer finding someone who could collapse the middle, with pressure coming off the edges, and allowing our LBs to flow to the ball.

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        Chop – Sadly, unless Sheed “wakes up” to become the beast we hoped he’d be, you are so right!
        Rod Coleman, when he wanted to, was a true dominator and agree we haven’t had anything remotely close at DT since!!!
        If DQ can’t or won’t get the 2 DEs we still need and he doesn’t trade down, then I’d have no problem with drafting a true force at DT at #17.

        Reply
  6. Flo-Ri-Duh

    2/5/16 Players signed:
    Jordan Leslie (WR) – 2015 rookie Brigham Young – no stats
    Gus Johnson (RB) – 2015 preseason with Cowboys
    C.J. Goodwin (WR) – 2015 preseason with Steelers
    Collin Rahrig (C) – undrafted in 2015 and described as extremely undersized but technically sound (nfl.com)
    Matt Sims (QB) – with Buffalo in 2015

    * don’t know if this has been reported here? Camp fodder perhaps? Maybe Sims has a chance at roster – doubt it.

    Reply
  7. Flo-Ri-Duh

    JWW – You could say base DE [larger run-stopper/pass-rusher 3 down DE: Michael Bennett skill set] is a more immediate need than DT/NT and I understand that but, like you said, we don’t need to “reach” for another Jamaal Anderson just because we need a DE. DQ will have options available at 17th pick. DE,DT,LB being most likely. I think it could come down to Shaq Lawson (DE), Andrew Billings (DT/NT) or Reggie Ragland (ILB). Only way I see Falcons going OL in 1st is if they if they can’t get together with Schraeder for whatever reason. Don’t see that happening but Schraeder’s agent may ask for to much. In that case: Taylor Decker (OT) or Jack Conklin (OT) could be the pick.

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      Flo – Very insightful analysis! Man, you must be “on” special meds lately! You’re bringing the heavy artillery.

      Reply
      1. Chop Buster

        Flo, I just hope they spend wisely this time. Our front office’s track record has not been good signing FAs that have produced on the field.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Chop – You are being to kind to TD & Co. “not good” track record on FA’s. Rating the GM’s I would bring TD in at somewhere around 32nd. 2015: Levitre & Brooks Reed – why is TD still here? DQ got some slack in 2015 because of his late arrival but no more Mr. Nice Guy here. If the 2016 draft/UFA fails it’s on him.

          Reply
  8. John Waynesworld

    Yes, Chop, let’s hope that our historically failed front office does the right thing. heh heh

    Quinn’s measured portion of influence is all we as fans have to pin our hopes.

    The World Media: “Mr. Blank, is it because of your HC that you gave your failure of a GM another chance?”
    Arthur Blank: “My HC and GM hit it off right from the start, so I didn’t want to break that connection.”
    Cage Reporter: “Have you noticed, Mr. Blank, that your HC has such a good personality that he can connect instantly with just about anybody on planet Earth?”
    Arthur Blank: “Yes, well, I don’t get in on the minutiae.” (which means “next question!”)

    Reply
  9. Flo-Ri-Duh

    I see Falcons signed Bernard Reedy (WR) & Cliff Matthews (DE) to a reserve/future contract on 2/5/16. Tony Carter (DB) signs a UFA contract with Aint’s on 2/8/16. (nfl.com)

    Reply
  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    William Moore’s agent says he has already had inquiries with teams interested in obtaining William Moore’s services. Since the Falcons released Moore out right other teams won’t have to concern themselves with paying any of Moore’s former contract.

    Reply
  11. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Breaking News: Arthur blank says he has prostate cancer. Says it’s a treatable form and he already decided to attack it aggressively with surgery and other options.

    Blank is scheduled to be married in June.

    (ajc.com Leadbelly)

    Would like to extend my best wishes to A.B. and he will be in my prayers.

    Reply
  12. waynesworldreview

    Amen, FLO. No wonder he’s scaled back so much on the business side–to take care of family matters.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      That would be a fine 1,2. I’m not as big on Billings as some folks, and Scooby scares me for some reason. One thing I liked about Quinn’s approach last off season was we had a full roster heading into the draft, so we weren’t stuck looking for a certain position, unlike in past years (of course he didn’t have a firm grasp on what a train wreck the oline was).

      Reply
  13. John Waynesworld

    From Greg Gabriel / National Football Post:

    Charles Tapper – DT – Oklahoma
    Size –
    6026v – 276v – 4.90 (Est.)
    Strong Points –
    Productive. Good inside Pass rusher (10 sacks the last 2 years). Has very good instincts, is quick to find the ball. Plays bigger than measures because of his strength and use of hands. Can play in a 2-gap or single gap defense. Good range, very consistent tackler. Long arms (34 1/8).
    Weak Points –
    Marginal size, doubt he can get much bigger than 290.
    Summation –
    Fourth year senior and a three year starter. Is undersized at 6026 but he has long arms and good strength and explosion. Plays bigger than he measures. He is tough and competitive and plays hard every down. Quick off the ball and knows how to use his hands and play with leverage. Shows he can two gap. Plays the run and pass equally well and will chase the ball in pursuit. Will be best as a 3-technique in a 4 man form but can play in a 3 man front if he gets a little bigger. Should play as a rotational player as a rookie and will become a starter.

    He could be taken in the 3rd-4th rounds.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      I think Tapper might be better suited for DE. Though he doesn’t have the ideal height, like the article says, those long arms allow him to play taller. Believe he could be groomed to take Tyson’s spot if we chose to draft him.

      Reply
  14. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Tyson Jackson is not really a fit for DQ’s defense. They “inherited” him. What they are looking for is a B gtase DE that can stop the ru n like Jackson but can also put pressure on the QB. Ideally 6’5″ 275 lb. or there abouts: Joey Bosa, Shaq Lawson, etc.

    Reply
      1. medallion

        While Tyson Jackson is not a perfect fit, I wouldn’t go so far as to say “not really a fit”.
        After Carroll became HC in Seattle, they managed to somehow field a top 10 defense using a much larger and slower DE (that would be a NT type Red Bryant). So, IMO, someone like Tyson Jackson can be a fit even if not a perfect fit.
        The “4/3 under” and “4/3 over” base defenses from Carroll utilize some 3/4 base defense personnel concepts for the DL. Specifically, a two gapping NT type and a two gapping DE on the strong side of the offense’s initial formation. So, that’s a 3/4 type concept. The theory from there is that you can frequently isolate one DT in a 1 on 1 situation with an OG and utilize a primary pass rusher at a wider LEO position in most base defenses from there. The theory continues with – run the ball towards strong side of defense and the big 2 gapping guys (plus strong side LB) hold that up until some help comes – run the ball to the weak side of the defense and we swarm with lots of fast players. Depending on the other team’s OL, can shift to where the NT type is lined up away from the strong side DE to change where the 1 on 1 match up is for a penetrating DT.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Just saying a Tyson Jackson replacement is not what they’re looking for. They want a guy that can get some pressure on the QB in addition to stopping the run. T.J.ain’t no sack master.

          Reply
          1. medallion

            I agree completely that it would be nice to eventually upgrade to someone who has more pass rush ability. For example, as you probably recall since you responded on this topic to me, I suggested Lawson and possibly Nkemdiche (with a thought he might lose some weight and be more of a pass rusher than he has shown in college) a while back as potential draftees in the first round if they fell to 17th. Part of my thinking was (1) Jackson stays on roster for 2016, but with fewer snaps on intermediate down & distance situations with one of them getting some of those reduced snaps, (2) they could learn some behind Tyson Jackson about run defense, (3) one of them could start improving our pass rush as a rookie on obvious passing downs by moving inside to a DT type position, and (4) maybe one of them becomes ready for a much bigger role in 2017.
            Side notes: (1) based on some of your reply comments and then further research and thinking, I have removed Nkemdiche from my “possibly at 17” list in accordance with your opinion and (2) I have actually moved Lawson to my “possibly at 17” list primarily because there are currently bigger holes to fill at this time than drafting a potential upgrade over Jackson with the hope that the draftee might help a good bit in 2016 and be ready for a great big role in 2017 and beyond.

        2. Paddy O

          our run D was good. Problem was LB’s and lack of QB pressure – fairly easy to fix, perhaps simultaneously (would be nice to have S blitzes too). I’m really looking for at least 2 O line upgrades. Would be nice to get a better TE. O line (2 – 3 upgrades) LB – at least 2 upgrades, S, TE, WR would be my priority list. WR is not key.

          Reply
  15. John Waynesworld

    Speaking of player descriptions and rankings, I am officially ignoring Draftek until they wake the hell up and fix their rankings. They are so computer driven, when I emailed them about a mistake (they had the Falcons picking in the 5th round) and their guy emailed me back that all their picks are automated. Note: the email reply from Draftek started with the word “Yup”.

    I should have sensed their laziness. Last year they had RB David Johnson almost into the 300 section until about two weeks before the draft, when they pushed him up to around 180. Their computer refused to move a small school RB up in the national rankings despite readily available positive reports from national scouts. Even I had Johnson mocked in the 4th round after reading those same reports. Johnson was selected 86th overall (3rd round).

    The only reason I have accessed Draftek lately is to quickly verify a prospect’s position, like SS vs FS, 3-4 DE vs 4-3 DE, etc. Nothing more.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      Yea, they pretty much suck. User friendly for finding draft eligible players as long as they’re in drafttek’s top 400. They just started doing player evaluations this season and only currently have about 15 or so.

      Reply
    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – drafttek.com no longer has Falcons getting a pick in 5th Rd. Wishful thinking I suppose. They have actually gotten more picks right than most. It’s free so I can’t complain.

      Reply
  16. Grits Blitz

    Okay Cagers, I’ll be the first to admit I have held Arthur fully accountable for his past hirings and continued dubious decision-making, albeit by his corporate consensus rather than genuine individual leadership. I’ve believed all along the Falcons have been/are just his “toy”/diversion.

    I don’t, however, wish him ill will as a fellow human. It is regrettable he has prostate cancer and I do wish him recovery and full health. Perhaps he will reassess his ownership “responsibilities” and determine it is time to transfer ownership as a result. If so, so be it.
    Hope he regains his health first and foremost and resolves all issues regarding his mortality…in advance.
    Best to you in this regard, Arthur.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      Thanks to modern medicine, cancer is not a death sentence like it used to be. My brother went through it and you would never have guessed he had it prior to the diagnosis and, after treatment, would never guess that he ever had it. Jimmy Carter pulled through and it can be done.

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        All depends on #1) what kind of cancer someone has and #2) what stage it is in. There are still many types of cancer that are an eventual “death sentence”. There is more than one type of prostate cancer and AB said his type was “treatable”. That could mean that the cancer could just be slowed down or it could mean it is cureable. A B is having surgery which is an aggressive treatment and also will likely have either radiation or chemotherapy.

        As for Jimmy Carter and his “brain cancer”. From what I read he hinted he had chemotherapy. Most forms of chemotherapy cannot be used on the brain either because they are to powerful or because their molecules are to large to pass through the brain barrier. Brain cancer is usually treated by what is known as a cyberknife…… a machine that can be programmed to use an extremely high dose of radiation on an area as small as the head of a pin; thus detroying the cancer cells without harming the non cancerous cells in other areas. Before the cyberknife was invented the skull had to be opened and the tumor removed by a surgeon… a delicate and very dangerous undertaking for sure.

        Reply
        1. Paddy O

          liver, lung, pancreas, lymph nodes. colon seems tough to overcome. they should eventually have genetically targeted cancer bullets that kill just those cells. My experience in cats is cancer becomes very aggressive once exposed to oxygen, you would think carbon monoxide would have the opposite affect.

          Reply
          1. Grits Blitz

            Paddy O – VERY good point about exposure to oxygen! Seems that is exactly the case. Nice observation.

        2. JB Falcon

          “All depends on #1) what kind of cancer someone has and #2) what stage it is in.” That is an assumed fact that I omitted. I was referring to the cancer being discussed, prostate.
          There is a law being proposed at this time to allow the public access to the drug that cured Jimmy Carter. The drug used on him was not named but evidently it is very new.

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            J B Falcon – Prostate cancer is for the most part treatable – I agree. I have heard of types that are very aggressive however. Not aware of a new drug for cancer in the brain. If it is true it would be wonderful. Cancer is an evil thing. “Brain Cancer” could be a cancer that originated in the brain but often it metastized (migrated/moved) to the brain from elsewhere. My 1st wife had ovarian cancer that metastized to the brain – it was in the brain but was ovarian cancer. Very rare for that type to go to the brain 1%-2% but when it happens there is no chemo that is effective that can be used in the brain without destroying it. So, I’m wondering what type of cancer cells were actually in Jammy’s brain? Strangely very little details and strangely he was “cured” in almost no time. Makes me wonder.

          2. JB Falcon

            I read the article earlier this week in the AJC. Yesterday was garbage day so it’s gone now but you might find it at ajc.com.

    2. Paddy O

      I wish him no harm either, but he needs to pull his head out of his ass – which may actually be causing the discomfort he is feeling down there – regarding TD.

      Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      JW, I know nothing about the draft and all future expectations relating to it but your link gave me an idea. Since AB has a bizillion dollars, why doesn’t he go to the owner of each team that drafts before him and pay them off so as they draft someone we don’t want. That way we could just go down the list and pick the first number one rated or two that we need at each position?

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        JB – Sounds plausible enough as an outside the box technique since his “tried and true” previous method has always been to just give his $ to T.D. to merely flush…

        Reply
    1. medallion

      I worry about whether the high opinions of Trevathan (with actually some fairly middling stats) are merely because of playing behind/beside Denver’s DL/OL group (just like I do about Reggie Ragland from Alabama as a potential draft pick at 17) and people being influenced by many talking heads including PFF’s frequently stupid ratings/rankings (e.g., PFF had us as having the number one OL for quite a while last year).

      Reply
      1. Dewey

        med, we are of like minds on this one. Trevathan is good, there’s no doubt about that, but how good would he be without an all-star dline in front of him. We’ll never know that answer til it happens. I also have a fear of any RB, OL, or front 7 defensively from Alabama. They just all work so well together at Bama, you don’t know how they’ll do out of their element.

        Reply
      2. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Not saying Trevathan is the best ILB/OLB in the NFL but he’s defintely among the best. Would be a huge upgrade at OLB or ILB and he’s a leader. I don’t go by PFF ratings to decide who I want but it sometimes draws my attention to research a player I haven’t considered before. Realize it’s extremely unlikely to sign both Trevathan and Tavir Whitehead with the competition out there for their services. First of all do they want to play in Atlanta? Trevathan is from Georgia and says he LOVES Atlanta. Whitehead would probably cost less. Would be very happy with either. One LB in the draft and one in UFA is a good formula for filling those holes. The same with the OL- one UFA & one in the draft.

        Reply
  17. Flo-Ri-Duh

    UGA Bulldog’s Keith Marshall (RB) invited to the combine. One of my favorite Dawgs, Keith Marshall ran a 4.3 40 in high school. A devistating knee injury has hampered him since the 2014 season though he has recovered enought to get some playing time in 2015.

    Another Dawg RB great, Terrell Davis, is on the ballot to enter the NFL Hall of Fame in 2017. He is the all time leader in yards and TD’s for the Broncos. He was on a team that won two Super Bowls in the ’90’s. He was the MVP of Super bowl XXXII, was named league MVP in 1998 and was twice named the offensive player of the year. (www.247sports.com)

    Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Paddy 0 – It isn’t all about “longevity” but Terrell Davis played 8 years in the NFL and retired due to injury. For a starting RB that’s plenty long. Voted Most Valuable Player on Super Bowl winner and Most Valuable Player in the NFL another year. All time yardage and TD record for Broncos. Not a flash in the pan. Gale Sayers (one of my favorites) played 7 years and he’s in the Hall of Fame.

        Reply
  18. John Waynesworld

    JB, maybe Arthur can offer all 16 teams PSLs for life (subject to annual increases of course).

    Nice of them folks to televise the games for us, by the way. No charges………yet.

    Flo, I wonder how much more Trevathan will cost with that ring on his finger.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – Brandon Marshall is a RFA, Trevathan is a UFA, and both played ILB in 2015 season-splitting time. As good as Trevathan is, Broncos are expected to go with Marshall since he is a RFA [2nd-ter tender $2.5 mill] rather than a UFA. Broncos have a ton of costly signings the last couple of years on the defensive side and several more coming up this year. Their cap will be tight. Perfect time for the Falcons to “swoop” in and take their new ILB. Oh, and not to mention the Broncos still have to sign Von Miller to keep him off the market. spottrac.com has speculated that it will take $6 mill per year for 4 to 6 years to sign Trevathan. He is 26 years of age. Trevathan is ranked 12th on the PFF list of top UFA’s and has a rating of 87.6 – meaning he’s a Pro-Bowl caliber player. Tevathan ranks 5th in run-stopping & 6th among all ILB’s in pass coverage. Trevathan is versatile in that he has played well in the past at OLB and ILB. (www.bigbluereview.com by Ed Valentine)

      Now compare that $6 mill per year to the contract Levitre was given: 2016 -$5.375 mill, 2017- $6.625 mill, 2018- $8.375 mill (www.overthecap.com)
      Who would you rather have?

      Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        All sounds good, Flo, except that Trevathan’s path to us has built-in obstacles. Besides his Super Bowl team trying to retain him, first he has two favorites we must wait on for their offers, Chicago (HC Fox drafted him in Denver) and Oakland (Del Rio was his first DC in Denver). He has already expressed his gratitude to both for drafting him. Players seem to have serious ties to whoever picked them in the draft or first taught them the NFL way. Very similar to Sean Weatherspoon, when he brought up the idea of returning to Atlanta. Don’t you know he has that pride factor cooking inside him. He knows he washed out here through no fault of ours and probably wants to make amends (and a little money). Dim (Sean’s draft tie) could take advantage and sign him to a incentive-riddled contract.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          JWW – Weatherspoon’s ship has sailed; I hope. He could have re-signed with Falcons but went after the $$$$. Can’t blame him for that. I expect Trevathan to do the same. Money talks & there isn’t much loyalty in the NFL any more. A career is short and agents go for the $$$$.

          Reply
          1. Dewey

            All depends what’s most important to him. He’ll get a bankroll no matter where he ends up. Does he like winning vs more money. I think he stays in Denver. Marshall too.

          2. Dewey

            Broncos currently $12 million under cap. If Peyton retires, they jump to over $30 million. And that’s not counting any dead weight they may jettison.

      2. medallion

        Flo – for whatever it is worth, I typed my concern about Trevathan earlier that included poking some fun at PFF before reading that post by you that used PFF as a support for your opinion. I have poked fun at and pointed out some methodology flaws with PFF for a long time. Had I read that post by you first, maybe – just maybe – I would have been gentler in my most recent post poking fun at PFF.
        Let me ask this about your opinion of PFF: Did you ever last year consider our OL as even a top 10 OL in the NFL?
        I wonder why you compared apples to oranges by bringing up LeVitre’s contract versus a potential contract for a LB and then not even mentioning there’s only a cost of $4,125,000 against this year’s cap and nothing against future years (per your citation to OTC) if LeVitre was cut today. So, that’s not very close to a guaranteed 6 million per year contract as you implied for LeVitre’s contract.
        What do you want to guarantee an apple or orange Trevathan? Anything above $4,125,000 is more than guaranteed to LeVitre at this moment.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          med- PFF is just a tool and I don’t base who I want on that. No problem with concerns about how they grade players. It’s strictly stats with them and that can be deceiving. The Falcons OT’s (combined) may be near top 10. The interior OL is around 25th. Overall maybe middle of the pack – 16th.

          I wasn’t trying to compare apples to oranges but Levitre’s cost for ’16 as compared to the estimated cost to sign Trevathan in ’16. Implying that for my money I would rather have Trevathan if the cost is any where near even. If I KEPT Levitre the cost would escalate each year with the final year’s cap being something like $8 mill +; even higher than the projected cost to sign Trevathan. If Levitre is worth it I don’t mind. So far he’s not. Not sure he will be cut in ’16 but I would give it serious thought if I could find an obvious, long term upgrade.

          Reply
          1. medallion

            Good to know you don’t rely heavily on PFF.
            With respect to the apples versus oranges analogy I used and your response thereto, I have several comments/opinions.
            I think higher priorities for the OL for this year are (1) new starting center to dramatically improve the center position and (2) someone to start at RG instead of the possibilities of maybe Person, Stone, Rahrig, whoever else on the roster making it work out. Replacing 3 starters on the OL seems too ambitious just like it did to me last year. So, if you cut apple LeVitre this year to sign orange Trevathon, you then have to replace LeVitre (on top of 2 other OL positions). One drafted rookie to be a starter and learn could work out o.k. because there are ways to mostly compensate for one weak link on any OL.
            I think you don’t understand some basic salary cap stuff yet. I know I didn’t understand lots about salary cap until I started reading about it last year and some of the details are still mysteries to me despite my reading so far. However, the key concept is “what amount of money is guaranteed” – not what a player might make under his current contract if still on the roster in some future year. The only money currently guaranteed to LeVitre is $4,125,000 per several sites. Signing any middle to upper level FA will almost certainly require more guaranteed money than that. So, that’s part of my apples to oranges analogy.
            The Saints now have huge salary cap problems (have to pay the piper some time) because they guaranteed lots of big money to lots of players while trying to minimize the effects for a while by signing them to long term contracts in order to lower the salary cap effect per year of the guaranteed money. The Saints’ piper is now being paid because, in part, some of those players make it all the way through the applicable contracts.

        2. Paddy O

          PFF may suffer the same data installation that WAR and other current fad baseball stats have. MLB networks the shredder has poor base data too, as it will rank a player at a position who has only played 37 games at that position.

          Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Them wuz the good ole days. Doubt Scam ever watched “Mayberry RFD” though Aubarn is pretty much the same place. Scam wuz raised on other philosophies like his daddy trying to shake down schools for Scam’s services with the asking price being $200,000 (alleged).

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        Pity poor Cam. Everybody’s picking on him.
        Now he’s gone and cemented himself as the National Poster Boy for Bad Losers everywhere for all to see what one look like and he’s even gone further to attach a soundtrack to himself to provide his “message” in stereo! SSSHHHEEESSSHHH.
        Grown men who can’t handle adversity and disappointment in their lives are neither “adult” nor “men”.

        Cam, news flash… this doesn’t bode well for you when the REAL problems in life present themselves as they surely have/are awaiting us all.
        Best get some help now before ultimately considering other extremes as options to cope with all this perceived unfairness… when life REALLY gets tough!
        Hope your journey into adult manhood is in your future as, right now, it has certainly not arrived yet. You’ve apparently have got miles to go.
        Take the first step – throw off delusional excuses and make sure to learn the difference between “potential” and “reality” cause, right now, YOU are the SUPREME bad loser…another mark of a truly weak man.

        Maybe changing your moniker from Superman to Weakman would more accurately fit your present condition.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Grits- Scam came the the realization that he’s Scam – not Superman. He’s not bulletproof. Think you’ve got something there. Scam has been living in a “reality show” world and the real world showed up. A lot to deal with on short notice.

          Reply
  19. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Combine Schedule: Feb 23-29 (ajc.com)
    Wed (24th) – Media interviews for RB’s, OL & Special teamers
    Thur (25th) – Miedia interviews for QB’s, WR’s & TE’s
    Fri (26th) – Media interviews for DL, LB>>> on the field workouts for RB’s, OL & Special Teamers
    Sat (27th) – Media interviews for DB’s>>> on the field workouts for QB’s, WR’s & TE’s
    Sun (28th) – On field workouts for DL & LB’s
    Mon (29th) – On field workouts for DB’s
    …………………………………………………………………..
    Draft: April 28-30 Chicago

    Reply
  20. Flo-Ri-Duh

    http://www.drafttek.com (computer generated needs)
    Falcons Offensive: Positions of Need (no certain order)
    WR – Kenny Lawler (WR), California 4th Rd Draft
    G – Jeff Allen (G) UFA Chiefs
    C – Ryan Kelly (C), Alabama 2nd Rd Draft
    TE – Beau Sandland (TE), Montana State 7th Rd Draft

    Falcons Defensive: Positions of Need (no certain order)
    DE 4/3 – Kevin Dodd (DE), Clemson 1st Rd
    OLB – Tavir Whitehead (OLB) UFA Lions
    ILB – Danny Trevathan (ILB) UFA Broncos
    SS – Miles Killebrew (SS), Southern Utah 3rd Rd

    Looks like we need more than the draft – right?

    Reply
  21. John Waynesworld

    Just reported…Paul McRoberts (WR-SE Missouri) didn’t receive a Combine invite. It would be nice to know why. He’s a real talent and he has no public red flags.

    The other side of the coin…It was also just reported that 14 Buckeyes have been invited to the Combine. Five more than Alabama (9).

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – McRoberts was very good in Senior Bowl. Me thinks that Ohio State kicks some $$$$ their way and combine lets their guys in. Looks good for Urban (The Crier) Meyers to recruits when he can say look how many we had at the combine. McRoberts got screwed ’cause he’s from a small school. He will definitely get draft mid-rounds.

      Reply
  22. Flo-Ri-Duh

    http://www.scout.com has their 2016 NFL Free Agency Tracker up
    Lists the FA’s with #1rated Von Miller (OLB) at the top / also lists and rates by position with 5 stars being their best. Let’s you know if they are UFA or RFA, their yrs in league, their size, their former team, etc. Very useful info even if you don’t agree with their ratings.
    Rates Ben Jones as top UFA center ahead of Stefen Wisniewski. Hmmmm. Worrilow rated a 4 star hmmmm. Chester rated a 3 star hmmmm. Danny Trevathan listed as 5 star OLB, not at ILB. hmmmm. Several good UFA Safeties including three 5 star & eleven 4 star (some are RFA) hmmmm. Charles Godfrey a 2 star & W. Moore not listed yet. Philip Adms (CB) listed as 2 star. Shayne Graham (K) listed as 3 star. Kroy Biermann (OLB) 2 star. O’Brien Schofield (OLB) a 2 star. Nate Stupar (OLB) a 2 star. Philip Wheeler (OLB) a 2 star. Adrian Clayborn (DE) a 3 star. Gino Gradkowski (C) a 2 star. Ryan Schraeder (OT) a 3 star hmmmm – just a reminder that he’s not high level but slightly above average.. Jake Long (OT) a 3 star. Bryce Harris (OT) a 2 star. Tony Moeaki (TE) a 2 star.

    Reply
  23. Flo-Ri-Duh

    If you are not familiar with http://www.scout.com click on the 3 horizontal bars next to “scout NFL network”. Go down to NFL and across and click on “draft rankings” and you will see the list and grades of players in the 2016 draft pool. Look up above there and click on “NFL free agency” and you are there: UFA/RFA 2016 list.

    Reply
  24. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Patrick Kearney, former Falcon DE, studied Vic Beasley’s game tape all year and saw the progression of his improvement. Says the job of a DE is not to get sacks but to make the QB uncomfortable. Sees that Beasley has changed his technique and learned through out his rookie year under DQ. Kearney played in Seattle under DQ also and says he’s a great, very technical line coach. Kearney believes that adding on more weight for Beasley is not key to him getting better. It’s technique and experience under DQ that will get Beasley where he needs to go. He believes Beasley has what it takes as far as talent. He just needs to keep on pushing through.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      Bought the wife a Kearney jersey for Christmas one year, he left the following year. One heck of of player but it turns out he left about the same time the injuries started in.

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        JB – Understand. Kearney WAS the last real, decent LDE we’ve had and he’s been gone for years!
        Think we’ll ever have another LDE AND RDE in our lifetime? (Eons since Humphrey and Zook.)

        Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Even if I released RW in ’16 I wouldn’t draft any of these WR’s in 1st. I’m still expecting defense in 1st Rd : DE or LB. If they release Tyson Jackson or Soliai then drafting a DT would also be a possibilty. If they can’t reach agreement with Schraeder then another option is OT.

        Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            Paddy O – Yes at least one OL in UFA and one in draft. Unless they get Ben Jones (C), Texans, I would prefer the draft for center. There are several options at guard in UFA.

  25. John Waynesworld

    I think we need to pickup a free agent WR to help this team.

    – Ryan needs a veteran route runner to help him immediately instead of an inconsistent rookie that needs work.
    – Rookie WRs have been hit and miss for every NFL team in recent years. Some take a year, some more, some never.
    – Roddy is barely serviceable. We need a WR who gets off the LOS much better against these younger CBs.
    – Picking up a savvy talent like Marvin Jones or really any FA in their mid 20s who has better legs than Roddy solves alot. Ryan has about 4 years left and that would probably be the length of a veteran FA WR contract. All 4 years would be productive from the first snap in Week One.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – Marvin Jones (WR) would be a nice upgrade to a roster devoid of any real depth at WR (same can be said of most postions) so I like it. He’s no Leonard “IR” Hankerson and at age 26 or so, with over 100+ receptions & 4 TD’s in 2015 Cincy will be out to re-sign him. He won’t come cheap. (stats:scout.com)

      Reply
  26. waynesworldreview

    JWW
    Amen, buddy!
    We need to use our 1st on DEFENSE!
    Either the DT from Ala or Baylor or the LB from Ala or ND….or trade back. (My Opinion, of course) Not another WR. Not in this draft.
    My preference/hope
    1 LB Jaylon Smith
    2 OC Ryan Kelly
    3 OG Christian Westerman
    4 DT Sheldon Day
    7 K from FSU

    Reply
  27. Grits Blitz

    Top of the sports page today noted sale of PSLs have surpassed ALL expectations! Money to burn; must be nice. A.B.’s “boy”, Rich McKay, should take a bow.
    Just wish the same effort that is going into selling them was invested into developing players and acquiring REAL talent in the FO and on the playing field!

    Reply
  28. Dewey

    I don’t understand the thought process of drafting a DT in any round, let alone the 1st round, given our current set of circumstances. Granted, we haven’t even hit FA yet, so a lot can change between now and draft time, and quite honestly, a lot will need to change…….

    We currently have 5 DT’s under contract: Soliai, Jarrett, Hageman, Babineaux and Mbu.
    Jarrett is only going to get better.
    This is a make or break year for Hageman, time to see exactly what he is capable of.
    Mbu could be serviceable as a backup, he should be better this year also.
    Babs and Soliai are what they are.
    And 3 of these (Soliai, Jarrett, Hageman) are under contract after next season as well.

    We currently have 3 DE’s under contract: Jackson, Beasley and Goodman.
    Jackson is what he is.
    Goodman is entering his 4th season, what has he accomplished that makes anyone think greener pastures lie ahead.
    Beasley is undersized and his best bet for future stardom could be at another position, in my opinion.

    We currently have 2 LB’s under contract: Reed, Starr.
    Reed in one year for us has been positively underwhelming.
    Starr has played in a total of 1 game in 2 years.

    We currently have 5 OL under contract: Mathews, Stone, Person, Levitre, Rahrig.
    Mathews should have his best season so far.
    Do we really need to go over the other 4?

    There has been some talk in the Cage as well as local media that Jackson and/or Soliai could be released. If we are going strictly by production, and you only let go of one, which one is it? For me, there’s no question it’s Jackson. If that happens, we are down to 2 DE’s.

    A lot could/should happen between now and draft time, but given our current state, don’t we need to find some long term solutions for DE, OL and LB? Long term solutions are best found in the draft.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Dewey – Understanding that the Falcons are in a rebuilding mode (Year 2), DQ likes “playmakers” on defense. I already stated that if the Falcons draft A’Shawn Robinson (DT) or Andrew Billings (DT/NT) they will have to cut Tyson Jackson (DT) or Soliai (NT) and I expect it would be the former. Keep in mid Soliai is now age 32. Another option would be to let Babineaux go. Checking their production in 2015 season T.J. is the designated cut. Babineaux, in the final year of his contract, had a productive year in 2015 & he can play DE or DT. He’s a keeper for ’16. Also, I have stated that reality says a Base DE is a priority over DT – if a suitable one is on the BOARD. Improving the pass rush is a priority and bringing in a disruptive DT can do that. Obviously what they sign in UFA/Trade will effect who they get in the draft. This may be one of the best UFA groups in recent NFL history. Falcons should pick up a couple of starters in UFA. I’m guessing one OL and one LB – but it could be a DE. We don’t really know what they intend to do with Schraeder (OT) but think he will be extended. There is no depth at OT either.

      Reply
      1. Dewey

        Everything else being equal, I think we should target a DE, LB, OL in FA who have the potential to come in and be starters. Then turn around and do the exact same thing in the first 3 rounds of the draft.

        Reply
    2. JB Falcon

      Dewey, you should have submitted this to Arno as a whole new subject. There’s a lot yet to happen and each step will determine the direction of the next step. A good needs assessment, in my opinion, is the first step.
      We all know that our team has no depth and even the first string is weak. This was brought on by poor management, drafting, and, not so much, poor coaching. AB has attempted to address that problem, twice, but has still left the rotten tater in the bag. I believe it’s going to take a while but with a precise plan we will be able to see improvement.

      Reply

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