Tag Archives: mike nolan

The Current State of the 2-3 Atlanta Falcons

It's gut check time for the Falcons. (Seth Wenig)

It’s gut check time for the Falcons. (Seth Wenig)

We’re only entering Week 6 of the 2014 NFL season and while there is plenty of football left to be played, there are glaring issues with the Atlanta Falcons that prompt questions as to whether or not this team will advance to the postseason.

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Falcons Get Tougher; Sign RG Asamoah, DE Jackson, NT Soliai

Beefing up the lines is exactly what the Falcons needed to do. (Kevin Liles)

Beefing up the lines is exactly what the Falcons needed to do. (Kevin Liles)

The Atlanta Falcons knew they had to get tougher, beginning with both the offensive and defensive lines.

And with free agency officially underway, getting tougher is exactly what the Falcons did.

They agreed to terms with right guard Jon Asamoah and defensive end Tyson Jackson, both former members of the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s safe to say assistant general manager (and former general manager of the Chiefs) Scott Pioli had some say in the two signings.

Atlanta also agreed to terms with nose tackle Paul Soliai.

Asamoah will be an immediate starter and a significant upgrade at the right guard position. He’s a polished pass blocker and will provide Matt Ryan with much-needed protection.

The signings of Jackson and Soliai show the Falcons are moving toward a 3-4 look – defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s specialty.

It’s early, but it looks like the Falcons are headed back in the right direction.

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2013 NFL Draft: Falcons Select CB Robert Alford

The Falcons double dipped and selected another cornerback.(John David Mercer)

The Falcons double dipped and selected another cornerback.(John David Mercer)

With the 60th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Robert Alford.

I’m a little surprised. I thought for sure the Falcons would look to add a defensive end, but instead they double dip and grab another cornerback.

In a way, it makes sense. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan uses defensive backs a lot, and the Falcons were lacking in that department after losing both Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson. It also means the Falcons didn’t like any of the pass rushers available.

Alford played college ball at Southeastern Louisiana.  He totaled 10 interceptions and 20 passes defended in his collegiate career.

Check out his draft profile here.

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Mike Smith Named Coach of the Year by Sporting News

It’s the third time Mike Smith has been selected as Coach of the Year by Sporting News. (Scott Boehm)

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith has been named Coach of the Year by Sporting News. It’s the third time Smith earned the award; he was also named Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010.

Smith coached the Falcons to a 13-3 record and a playoff win – the first since the 2004 season. Atlanta failed to make the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t take away from the job Smith did this year. Taking into consideration he had two new coordinators (offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan), and the season is even more impressive.

Over the past five seasons, Smith has racked up 56 wins to just 24 losses. That’s impressive anyway you slice it.

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Divisional Round Preview: Atlanta Falcons Vs. Seattle Seahawks

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons’ 0-3 record in the playoffs since 2008 is well-known and brought up aplenty. The pressure is on for the Falcons to get that playoff win.

Atlanta was bounced out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion the last two years, losing 48-21 to the Green Bay Packers in 2010, and 24-2 to the New York Giants in 2011.

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Dave Caldwell to Become Jaguars’ General Manager

Dave Caldwell should do well as the Jaguars' general manager.

Dave Caldwell should do well as the Jaguars’ general manager.

Atlanta Falcons director of player personnel Dave Caldwell will become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ new general manager. The two sides agreed to terms today.

Caldwell, along with coaches Keith Armstrong, Dirk Koetter, and Mike Nolan all drew interest from other teams. It’s what happens when a franchise puts together a successful season.

Like it has been since 2008 with the current regime, it’ll be the next man up to assume the vacated job.

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Falcons Coordinators Drawing Lots of Attention

In addition to offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, the Philadelphia Eagles are interviewing special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for their open head coach position on Wednesday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars interviewed Atlanta’s director of player personnel David Caldwell.

It’s really not surprising Atlanta’s coaches are getting lots of attention after putting together a 13-3 season. Their value will only rise if Atlanta wins a couple of playoff games.

It would be a shame to see any of them leave, but if opportunity presents itself, it’s only natural these guys leap at it.

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A Closer Look at the Falcons Pass Defense

Thomas DeCoud is a big reason why the Falcons pass defense is playing well. (Scott Cunningham)

Thomas DeCoud is a big reason why the Falcons pass defense is playing well. (Scott Cunningham)

As of Week 16, the Atlanta Falcons allow 243.7 yards per game through the air, which ranks 23rd in the league. It’s not exactly an ideal ranking for a playoff team with Super Bowl aspirations, but numbers often fail to show the entire story. Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to get a more accurate picture.

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There is Something Special Brewing with the 2012 Atlanta Falcons

The 2012 NFL season is only three weeks old, but already the Falcons look like they’re poised for something big. Something really big. I mean Super Bowl aspirations big.

The Falcons are 3-0 and one of three undefeated teams (Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans). Two weeks ago, the Falcons defeated the Denver Broncos 27-21 in a huge Monday night showdown. The game lasted ridiculously long due to the multiple stoppages and overall ineptitude of the officials. On a short week, the Falcons headed out west to San Diego to face the Chargers, and they responded extremely well, winning 27-3.

Great teams are able to win decidedly on the road on a short week.

Great teams also have great coaches, and the Falcons hit a home run with their two new coordinators.

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Falcons Intercept Manning Three Times, Win 27-21

Let’s address what needs to be addressed: the replacement officials are absolutely abysmal, and the NFL needs to get the original officials back immediately. The replacements are doing the best they can; their best just isn’t good enough. While they are at fault, the NFL deserves a large amount of blame as well. Something needs to be done quickly because these games are quickly becoming unwatchable. Both teams were screwed several times by abysmal calls; if the NFL cares about the integrity of the game, the original officials will be back in Week 3.

For God’s sake, the first quarter lasted for ONE HOUR.

Now, the game recap:

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