Falcons Corners

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by Dewey

Triangle? Square? Pentagon? Octagon? How many corners will the Falcons defense have? (Wait for laughter to die down and….), but seriously, the Falcons find themselves with an embarrassment of riches at the all important cornerback position heading into the 2017 summer workouts. With the NFL becoming more and more a passing league, and teams becoming more and more reliant on sub-packages, I guess you can never have too many cover men. But how many will the Falcons keep on the final 53 and how many will be among the 46 dressed on Sundays? We currently have a first rounder, 2 second rounders, 1 undrafted rookie and 3 castoffs, all of whom have seen significant playing time, and all who have played pretty well under some pressure filled situations. Now we add to the mix a 5th round rookie who by all rights should battle for significant playing time. Who will be the last few standing come September?

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DESMOND TRUFANTxxxxxI had been pretty vocal on my displeasure with the Falcons rolling over and presenting Desmond with a big check without even testing the waters to see what type of deals might be available. Desmond is a good corner, but the defense actually played better (or 02put up better numbers at least) after Desmond was lost with an injury mid-2016. But with a new monster contract, Desmond will be a Falcon for quite some time. So let’s pencil him in at our #1 CB and hope he produces what his contract implies.

ROBERT ALFORDxxxxxThe player every Falcon fan loves to hate. Personally, I’ve always liked Alford. I could do with a few less penalties, which he did, in fact, clean-up in the back half of 2016. Alford has been our #2 CB since arriving via the 2013 draft with Desmond, and like Desmond, has a shiny new contract that will make him a Falcon for the foreseeable future. I like the way he takes chances for turnovers, something his06 counterpart doesn’t seem to do as often. I’ve seen where folks would like to see him tried out at FS, but since there have been no rumblings from the branch about this, we’ll go ahead and slide Alford into CB #2 spot.

JALEN COLLINSxxxxxBoy, I really didn’t like this pick in the 2nd round of 2015. Troubled past, not a lot of starting time at LSU, and didn’t put up impressive numbers when he did play. Really slow to pick up even the fundamentals when he got to “big boy school”, it looked as if this was a dud pick. 2016 didn’t start off any better for Jalen, as he was suspended the 1st four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Then coming off suspension, he was inactive for a few games and it looked like we might have to admit our folly in drafting Jalen. Then came the Trufant injury and Collins was forced to play. To everyone’s surprise, amazement and awe, Jalen actually played steady 04(further fueling my desire to at least shop Desmond). Jalen can be a solid #3 CB, but not a nickel. Ultimately, when we go to 3 corners, Jalen plays the outside and Alford would assume slot duties. One has to wonder though, has the Falcons FO had its collective fill of Jalen? Only 1 slip-up with the league so far, but is that, coupled with his past, and the fact that he was so slow to grasp the process, enough to make the Falcons look in another direction? More on that later.

BRIAN POOLExxxxxPoole burst onto the Atlanta scene as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2016. He impressed enough that he was the 3rd CB in the first 4 games while Jalen was serving his suspension, then continued in that role after Jalen returned and subsequently after Trufant was injured. Coach Dan Quinn intimated this past off season that Poole would get some work at safety. Obviously, some people ran with that and said Poole was being moved to safety. I don’t believe that to be the case. I believe Poole will get some work07 there to be familiar with the position in case of injury and to have more roster flexibility with the final 53 and the dressed 46. Right now, I believe Poole has the inside track on the 4th CB slot in dime situations.

DEJI OLATOYExxxxxAs 2016 wore on, the Falcons made a couple of minor roster moves to their practice squad with a couple of free agent CB’s. One, that we will get to in a moment, was more the “headliner” of the signings. The other, Olatoye, was barely even noticed. But down the stretch run to the playoffs and on into the playoffs and Super Bowl, it was Olatoye that proved to be the better signing, as he played steady, within himself, when called upon.

BLIDI WREH-WILSONxxxxxBlidi is the aforementioned “headliner” signing the Falcons made when filling out their practice squad. More heralded than Olatoye, Wilson did an admirable job when called 08upon, but it was clear that he was behind Olatoye in the pecking order. Good size and speed that Quinn likes, Wreh-Wilson may be fighting an uphill battle to earn a roster spot.

C.J.GOODWINxxxxxTalk about size, speed and athleticism! C.J. has it all except experience. A college WR along with playing WR his first couple of years in the league, C.J. made the switch to the defensive side of the ball in 2016 and showed some really good ability. Mostly a special teamer in 2016, CJ did find his way on defense a few times and was relied on even more during the post-season. There were also rumors of C.J. getting some looks at safety.

DAMONTAE KAZEExxxxxOne of our 2017 5th round draft picks, Kazee is going to be the wild card on how the CB10 situation plays out this fall. Smallish and more quick than fast, Damontae has a penchant for turnovers, something this defense could use more of (2 ways to stifle the opposing offense, stop ‘em or just take the damn ball from them). If, if, if, if, if Kazee can come into camp and win the 3rd/4th CB spot, things could get a whole lot more interesting in our defensive backfield, personnel wise.

Trufant and Alford are the starters, period. At the end of last season, Jalen had proved himself capable of being the #3 CB, playing the outside in nickel and dime situations. But if Poole improves and provides solid depth at the safety position AND Kazee comes in and performs like everyone hopes, Jalen could find himself on the outside looking in come 2018 (where he 11could be traded/released to provide some much needed cap space).

MY PREDICTION:

The Falcons will break camp with 7 CB’s on the roster. My feeling is Trufant, Alford, Collins, Poole, Kazee, Olatoye and Goodwin all make the club. Poole and Goodwin will also be used for depth at the FS position. I believe we could see a defensive alignment were all 7 are on the field at once (I call this the Knee-Jerk-Reaction-to-Blowing-a-Huge-Lead-to-the-Patriots-in-the-Super Bowl defense). Or maybe we’ll just call it the “Heptagon Defense”.

(And Yes, I’m aware that a heptagon actually means 7 angles, but that also means there are 7 vertices, or “corners” to the layman….I went to elementary school too ya know.)

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635 thoughts on “Falcons Corners

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Many Native American groups do not find the Redskins name offensive and have said so. Those offended are in the minority. After all if you name your team after someone isn’t that a show of respect?

      Reply
  1. JB Falcon

    Okay, here;s a question (Arno or anyone). When I’m at another computer I can open the cage, read and answer posts but my Icon (Dog) does not show up nor do any replies I get. I can’t find a place that says “log in”.

    Reply
    1. Arno

      Try clicking on a ‘reply’ function on a comment. Several log in options appear, like facebook, wordpress, etc. Click on the one you used to open your account, fill in the requested info, then you should be up and running. If not, let me know and I’ll scratch my head a little more…

      Reply
      1. JB Falcon

        I’ll try that tomorrow at work. I’ve tried, as best I remember, right clicking on my dog’s picture, (Oh! I think it’s called an Avatar!) and it brings up a screen to change the photo but when I click my profile, it goes back to the reply. I’ll let you know. Thanks a lot!

        Reply
  2. Flo-Ri-Duh

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/falcons-freeman-super-bowl-would-have-stayed-the-game-would-have-got-mvp/RTiGkzGHP1bjjsm8LRC68J/
    *”If I (Devonta Freeman) would have (not missed a key block) Matt Ryan would not have lost a fumble AND we would have won the Super Bowl (maybe)”

    Devonta we didn’t need that. Like your confidence but not liking you blaming the loss (what this sounds like) on someone else. Share the blame – share the glory. This is a team game.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      c’mon – I can’t find a thing wrong with this link. Any way the jest of what Devanta Freeman says: I was supposed to be the MVP of the Super Bowl but I wasn’t in the game in the 4th quarter so we lost. I don’t know why “they” took me out of the game. I, I, I….. but no comment on the missed block that cost the Falcons’ momentum and possibly the game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Devanta Freeman but we don’t need this.

      Reply
      1. JB Falcon

        Comments are now over 100. Freeman could have dissed someone’s Mother and had a better effect on his image. I never expected to hear anything like those comments come out of his mouth.

        Reply
  3. Arno

    Devonta’s comments can be chalked up to the competitor that he is. I expect him to play good football, not to be a perfect orator. Of course the AJC is going to slant his comments toward controversy.

    Reply
    1. PoolerSpirit

      You’re right again Mr. B… Jarrett was dominant in the Super Bowl… And Julio with that incredible catch he made would’ve been an MVP contender as well… and Alford, perhaps…

      Reply
  4. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Cage Alert: Packers/Cowboys 2017 playoff game on nfl.com right now. Still early 1st quarter and Cowgirls up 3-0. This was one heck of a game folks – worth watching if you missed it.

    Reply
  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    That’s all I’m saying on Devonta Freeman – love this kid. He says what he honestly believes in his heart. Unfortunately it comes across like arrogance.

    Reply
    1. Mr. B

      I think Freeman is good, but I also think he is somewhat a product of the system and a beneficiary of the talent around him. If he went to Buffalo, or some other mediocre team, I don’t see him lifting them to a contender. He is a very nice puzzle piece that fits with our team, but he is very replaceable. I know the shelf life is short for a RB, and the earning power is geared to the 2nd contract for guys drafted after the first round, but I think he is overplaying his hand.

      Reply
    2. JB Falcon

      I believe Devonta is a good guy who is being plied by his clueless mentor and his brain dead girlfriend/wife as his agent. The statement he made was probably put into his head by them. Devonta is her agent’s only client and she is in it only for the money. Devonta cares about football only and his managers care about his money. I think thy’re called leeches who care nothing about his well being.

      Reply
  6. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons training camp begins July 26th (ajc.com – Leadbelly)
    Falcons 1st preseason game: Falcons @ Dolphins 7:00 p.m. August 10th – 1st preseason game

    Reply
  7. JB Falcon

    Anybody want to throw out a 2017 Super Bowl score? How about 31-3 Falcons over the Brady bunch? That includes the FG we never kicked.

    Reply
  8. Dewey

    Weighing in on Devonta…..
    Devonta is a good back that is custom made for the zone blocking scheme. In another offense, he wouldn’t be as productive (do not confuse this statement with, “he wouldn’t be productive”).
    Devonta is very much a team player.
    However, Devonta very much has a “look at me” attitude.
    You see it with his “feed me” antics after he makes a good run.
    You see it with his “first down” gestures.
    You really saw it with his dive into the end zone with no one around him on the 1st TD in the Super Bowl.
    And I’m sorry, I don’t believe he missed a block in the Super Bowl. I believe he was looking for a way to slip out of the backfield to possibly catch the ball rather than taking care of his #1 responsibility first (my opinion).
    Now it has been verbalized with “I would have been MVP of the Super Bowl”.
    It’s not a good look.
    Yes, many good players have had/do have the “look at me” attitude.
    I just don’t personally like it.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Devonta Freeman didn’t make the block he was supposed to make and that caused a turnover. That was obvious. Missed a block or didn’t make a block – what’s the difference? No one is perfect – not even Devonta Freeman.

      Reply
    2. Grits Blitz

      Dewey – My friend, sad sign of the times that the evolution of the game has really become a “de-evolution” – complete now with self-aggrandizement and self-promotion. It’s no longer enough (for many) to let their performances on the field speak volumes; it’s the overpromise and un-deliver age…all about me and the unlimited amount of money my (business) contract can acquire – that I believe I “deserve”. (And, agents no doubt love and promote this warped thinking! Another example – can you say…T.O.?)
      Some folks are blessed with a team player mentality; some are just in it for self. Period. (It’s obvious, but seems the principle of sowing and reaping is, thankfully, still intact and …inescapable over time. A “legacy”, if you will.)

      Reply
  9. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Michael Vick’s father, Michael Bodie, age 55, has been charged with heroin distribution and money laundering. (ajc.com)

    * anyone trafficking hard drugs in this country should be charged with murder as far as I’m concerned, because they are destroying lives and killing people – mostly young people.

    Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        I do agree with Freeman on one thing – the Falcons should have run the d-am ball at the end of the game rather than throw an ill advised pass.

        Reply
      2. JB Falcon

        Very good article Flo. I agree with it 100%. Freeman’s comment was way out of line and not very team oriented to say the least. I also agree with Dewey on the “look at me” attitude some players have. I also agree that no one is perfect but when you make a mistake (missed block) you should admit it and face the music.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          JB – Freeman may be listening to much to his entourage. Time for him to cut the field of clingers on and think for himself.

          Reply
          1. Mr. B

            I am not as kind as to blame it on his dingleberries. This is coming out of his mouth, and while I agree with him in some respects, it is not exactly living up to the brotherhood. What would Bill Belicheck do?

    1. Grits Blitz

      Flo – And, evidently having earned that status! “If” he’s truly healed now, he’s got to know this, indeed, is his “prove-it” year to regain his swerve. Otherwise, a big career disappointment.. going south and gone after this season. (Tea leaves likely show we’ll need to acquire another DT “stud” for 2018 season, too.)

      Reply
  10. JB Falcon

    Lordy, Lordy, the TV has been on a while and I have not heard one political commercial. I hope they’ve figured out that you can’t buy your way into office.
    Last night I asked the cage to post their 2017 SB predictions and the response has been overwhelming. I have thoroughly reviewed all of the many prognostications. You’re welcome to go back and count them if there’s any questions about my math. After a time consuming count it has been determined that it will be Falcons 33, NE 3. This recent election proved that polls are a wonderful thing.

    Reply

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