With free agency starting on March 12 and the NFL Draft beginning April 25, it’s time to take a look at the positions the Atlanta Falcons need to address.
The Atlanta Falcons signed tight end Chase Coffman and wide receiver Tim Toone to the active roster on Tuesday.
With defensive end Ray Edwards being released and tight end Tommy Gallarda being placed on injured reserve, the Falcons had two open spots on the active roster.
Coffman was signed by Atlanta on August 11. He was a member of the practice squad prior to being signed to the roster.
Toone was signed on July 25. He was then waived-injured by the Falcons on September 6.
The Atlanta Falcons have released defensive end Ray Edwards.
Edwards was signed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract last season – the Falcons’ “splash” of the offseason. Since signing with the Falcons, Edwards has just 3.5 sacks after he notched 29.5 in five years with the Minnesota Vikings. He failed to record a sack this year.
This season, he was primarily used on rushing downs: Pro Football Focus has him playing just 36.7% of defensive snaps.
I can’t say I’m surprised by this move; he has been greatly outperformed by Kroy Biermann. I also likes the message it sends: no one, regardless of contract, is getting a free ride. Perform, or you’re out of here.
The Week 7 bye came at a great time for the Atlanta Falcons. It gave the team an opportunity to refocus and fix some glaring issues. More specifically, it gave the Falcons an opportunity to work on tackling fundamentals.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Falcons have missed 52 tackles through the first six weeks of the season. They’re on pace for 138 missed tackles, which is 31 more than they missed last year.
The Falcons are missing tackles because they aren’t wrapping up for the most part. The biggest culprits are Thomas DeCoud, Dunta Robinson, and Sean Weatherspoon; they often take a chance to lay the wood rather than just bring the ball carrier down.
According to Jay Adams, multiple Falcons addressed the tackling issue on Monday during an open locker room session.
DeCoud gave his input:
“I think, now, we have the technique of tackling. Once we make contact, we know how to do that. But I think now it’s more so just our path to the ball. The speed of the game is a lot faster and it’s faster than it’s ever been before, so guys can eat up angles or make you wrong once you get on your way to the ball, so it’s more about the path to the ball and making sure we have the correct angles once we’re entering contact.”
Ray Edwards simplified it:
“All of us have been playing football since we were probably 10 years old. We know how to tackle. We’ve just got to do it.”
And Weatherspoon chimed in:
“We’ve got to tackle. We’ll have the opportunities. We’ll be faced with some of the things that we’ve been faced with in the games previously, so they’ll watch tape and see things they think they can do against us and it’ll just be up to us to go out there and make sure we hit them whenever we have those opportunities.”
There’s no doubt in my mind the Falcons will start tackling a lot better in the second half of this season.
The Atlanta Falcons (4-0) defeated the Carolina Panthers (1-3) by a score of 30-28 in an absolute thriller of a game.
Matt Bryant kicked the game winning field goal (40 yards) with just 10 seconds left in the game. The Panthers had one last prayer, but John Abraham sacked Cam Newton to end the game.
The Falcons started the game-winning drive on their own one yard line with 59 seconds left on the clock. Matt Ryan threw a deep bomb to Roddy White on the first play, who made the catch for 59 yards. A defensive pass interference call on Captain Munnerlyn, a seven-yard reception by Tony Gonzalez, and a six-yard reception by Harry Douglas set up the 40-yard field goal for Bryant.
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:
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Miami Dolphins Friday night by a score of 23-6. The win marked the first preseason victory for the Falcons since 2010.
The third preseason game usually features the starters playing a bit into the second half, so it’s as close to a regular season game as you’ll get. Final score aside, how did the Falcons fare against a bad Dolphins team?
Although the Atlanta Falcons fell to the Baltimore Ravens 31-17, the first-teamers looked sharp. It was everything Falcons fans have wanted to see from this team: an aggressive offense that picks up yardage in chunks and stifling defense that gives the opposing offense nothing.
Now, I know it’s only preseason, but these games do matter; they just don’t count. And thank goodness they don’t count, because the Falcons backups are mighty close to being abysmal. Their horrific performance would have cost the Falcons a win in the regular season.
This post is written with a caveat: anything coaches and players say about a minicamp session should be positive. Also, because I was unable to attend any of the public sessions, I’ve compiled these five points using articles from those who’ve actually attended the sessions.
The Falcons selected fullback Bradie Ewing out of Wisconsin with their 157th overall pick. Ewing is listed at 5-foot-11, 235 pounds.
Ewing is a fullback in the truest sense of the word; he won’t get many carries, but he provides the power blocking that head coach Mike Smith loves. He’ll probably take over for current stud fullback Ovie Mughelli after the 2012 season ends. Hopefully, Mughelli isn’t made expendable for this season.
With the 164th overall pick, the Falcons chose defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi from Troy. The 6-foot-2, 264 pound Massaquoi will serve as depth for the Falcons’ pass rush. He isn’t a threat to take over for John Abraham or Ray Edwards, but he may garner a few snaps as a reserve.
Charles Mitchell, a 5-foot-11, 202 pound safety from Mississippi State, was the Falcons’ 192nd overall selection. After former backup safety James Sanders left Atlanta to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, the Falcons needed a backup strong safety to William Moore. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Mitchell will fill that backup role.
With their final pick (249th overall), the Falcons drafted defensive tackle Travian Robertson from South Carolina. Robertson is listed at 6-foot-4, 302 pounds. If Robertson is active on gamedays, he’ll provide backup for starters Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters.