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GFalcon


Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: How Much Better Have We Become? Reply with quote

How much better have we become with these new additions do you think and why.
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FalconFan13


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think we were a 4-12 team last year with a fully healthy team i think we were a 88 to 9-7 team. The o-line and d-line still were terrible and Decoud still sucked but we had enough talent to maybe sneak in as a WC.

So with a fully healthy team an upgraded RG position a much better interior d-line and a full draft a talented young players coming in that are actually high picks and high talent. Then i can see us back to 11-5 or so this year and back in the playoffs fighting for a SB.
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DrawABlank


Joined: 27 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Compared to the 4-12 team, we gotten a lot better unsurprisingly. Julio, Baker, fully healthy Roddy etc.

Compared to a notional healthy 2013 team:

Improvements
New players- Soliai/Jackson for run D, Asamoah for pass pro, Hester for returns
Development - Trufant/Alford/Worrilow/Bartu all more experienced
New Draft Picks - TBA

Downgrades
Losses - Gonzalez is major, DeCoud could be minor but no current replacement
Decline - Steven Jackson, Roddy and Bryant all getting towards tipping point
Other teams have the draft too; NO signed Byrd

Overall, we've about held steady IMO. Draft will be impactful - we could stand to upgrade 5 starting players ideally (OT, FS, TE, FB, Pass Rusher) and only FB is a late round need.

If this could possible be the year we finally hit big on a non top-100 guy, that would go a long way if Dimitroff continues his good record in the early rounds.
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SpoonFed56


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrawABlank pretty much laid it all out in the above post. Another thing you have to take into consideration is- the experience of a 4-12 season on a team that had gotten used to winning/making to playoffs (they had gotten complacent). 2013 was Super Bowl or Bust and they achieved the latter. Last season should have been a wake-up call throughout all of Flowery Branch. You can already tell that our organization is taking the necessary steps to righting the ship... I think we have had a hell of an offseason so far. The draft is gonna be HUGE this year, bigger than years' past for sure. This is make it or break it for TD and co this year. Blank will not put up with another season without the playoffs.
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devils1854


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On paper, if healthy, we are a vastly improved team.

The passing game should be back to form this year with a healthy Julio and Roddy. I dont care if we lost TG. Matt is supposed to be a top 7-10 QB in this game. He has two great options, and a good slot receiver in Douglas. The passing game should not decline, although I think Toilolo is being slept on. You cant teach that size. He wont be Jimmy Graham, but we dont need Jimmy Graham. We just need a reliable target that can catch 45-50 balls.

The offensive line looks better as well. Baker is Baker. If he is healthy, then we at least have a serviceable left tackle, and thats a big improvement over what we had there last year. Blaylock is coming off the worst year of his career, and hopefully he will bounce back. He has been pretty good for most of his career, so its not a stretch to think he will be back to form this year. Hawley at center is a upgrade over Konz, even if he isnt a top 10 player at the position. Jon Asamoah could be our best lineman at RG. Compare that to the spot last year when Reynolds was probably our worst player. It would be nice to have a upgrade for Holmes, but even if we dont get one, you would have to think that the position will be better this year. Holmes will be in his second year, so he should be much more comfortable than last. We wont have Trueblood playing. Thats a upgrade right there. We also have a healthy Johnson, who was slated to be the starter last year before being injured. Its not a until that will look like a top unit in the league, but when we were winning, we didnt have a great line, so it should be a unit that will be vastly better than what we put out in 2013.

The running game should only improve on the 3.9 yards a carry from 2013. That starts with the offensive line. Its improved, so running the ball should be easier. Jackson also looks to be healthy, and he showed glimpses of why we signed him toward the ladder stages of the 2013 season. Not having a fullback isnt a big deal. Its a dying position, and there are a few quality ones left in free agency. We should be able to find someone suitable for the role. The running game will never be the focal point in the offense, so we dont need a dominant game. We just need someone to take pressure off Matt, and with a healthy S-Jax, and a improved line, we should be able to do that.

The rush defense was 31st in the league last year, giving up 4.8 yards a carry. We signed Jackson and Soliai just for that. Both are very good at what they do, and thats stopping the run. Babs, Peters, and Jerry are all more suited for rushing the passer from the DT spots, so our two major signings look to be great supplements to the defensive front. Worrilow and the rest of the LBs should only get better because of this. Jackson and Soliai should be able to hold blockers, and give them a chance to make plays, something that they werent able to this past year.

Rushing the passer is still a pretty big need. We do have three solid, not spectacular options in Osi, Biermann, and Massaquoi. None of the three look to be 10+ sacks guys, but all should be able to find their niche in the defense, and be pretty good at their jobs. Osi has been put in the role that we had Abraham in. He is no longer the starter at RE. He will be given 30 or so snaps a game as a pass rusher. At his age, keeping him fresh should only help what production we get from him, and he still should be able to give 7-9 sacks from that role. Massaquoi will probably be the guy that will end up starting at Osi's former spot. During the first half of 2013, he was a role player, and he did a pretty descent job in his role, but in the last quarter of the season, he became the starter when Nolan put Osi on a snap count, and thats when Massaquoi shined. 3 sacks in those final 4 games showed what potential he has, and he could have a breakout year in 2014. Biermann was missed big time in 2013. He is the most versatile guy of the group. He can line up at either end position, or in the hybrid role. He'll never be a pro bowler, but he has a role in the defense, and is descent at what he does. We're also going to be getting a pass rusher in the draft, whether it be Clowney or Mack. We didnt sign anyone for the role in free agency, nor did we go after someone. That tells me that the position will be filled very early in the draft, since it looks to be our biggest need. I am almost 100% certain that TD will do whatever it takes to get one of those two names in a Falcons uniform come draft day, and putting them with the three guys that I already named, should give us a unit that will put a good bit of pressure on the quarterback.

Our pass defense in the back end should only get better. Not many people realize it, but Trufant was a top 10 corner in the league as a rookie. He should only get better. Alford should get better as well in his second year. He showed flashes as a rookie, and has the ability to be a very good #2 corner. McClain and Arenas give the corners a descent amount of depth. No Franks is a good thing. Willy Mo is Willy Mo. He is one of the better strong safties in the league, and is the leader of the unit. DeCoud was the worst starting free safety in all of football last year. It cant get any worse, no matter who fills the role in 2014. Someone in the draft like LaMarcus Joyner or Jimmie Ward could make the secondary one of the best in all of football. Also, we have Bartu back for his second season. He is the best cover linebacker that we have, and was very good at times. He was also bad at others. He should be able to develop more this offseason, and give us a reliable player to cover the TEs that we will face.

---------------------------

Right now, I believe that we are the second best team in the division. Tampa has made splash moves for 3 years straight. Signing V-Jax and Carl Nicks a few years ago. Traded for Revis and signed Goldston last year, and still nothing. It looks like more of the same this year with their plethora of signings in the first week of free agency. Lovie Smith is a big upgrade for them, but I still dont see more that 6-7 wins for that team.

Carolina has made Jerico Cotchery their #1 receiver so far in free agency, and Tiquan Underwood is the #2. That is not doing any favors to Cam Newton. Sure they will draft guys, but most rookie receivers make little to no impact. Smith, LaFell, and Ginn might not have been a world beating unit, but its a hall of fame group compared to what Carolina could have this year. They also havent replaced their very good left tackle who retired, and have lose Captain Munnerlyn and Mike Mitchell from their secondary. I think we have moved past them at the moment.

Now we come to the Saints. Right now, they are still the clear favorites in the division. That defense has gotten scary good, and the addition of Byrd should only help. The offense could have problems for the first time in a long time. Drew Brees was good last year, but wasnt as good as he was in the past. Maybe age is creeping up on him a little. Darren Sproles is gone, and he was a huge, huge part of giving them mismatches. Jimmy Graham looks to be unhappy. Who knows if that will effect his play. They are a very good team still, maybe one of the favorites in the NFC, but we are a lot closer to them, than we were a year ago.

--------------------------------------

Do we still have holes? Of course. We need someone who can rush the passer and a free safety. We will fill at least one of those spots very early in the draft this year. Would it be nice to bring in another lineman to compete at right tackle? Definitely. Another tight end would be nice, in case Toilolo isnt the answer.

The fact is, not many, if any, teams in the NFL has zero question marks. The Patriots still have question marks at receiver, and at who will run the ball with Blount gone. The Packers still have no one at free safety, nor do they have a tight end, or someone opposite of Clay Matthews. Seattle needs people on the right side of their offensive line, and someone to takeover for Golden Tate. Are those teams better than us? Right now, sure they are. We havent seen our team in 2014, but that's not the point. We shouldnt get all worried if we dont have a high draft pick or a vet to take over at tight end, or if we have to start a 3rd round pick at free safety. We arent the only team with holes. Everyone has them. Its how you play at the other positions around those spots is what matters, and so far in this offseason, we have done a great job strengthening our team on both sides of the line, and thats going to have a trickle down effect. Its going to make other positions that much better.

Im not a huge optimist. Ive always tried to be more realistic, but I truly believe that the team we have now is a playoff team, as long as we get that pass rusher early in the draft, and lets not forget that we still have 12 starters left from the team that was 6 yards away from the Super Bowl just 2 years ago.
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terrell123


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrawABlank wrote:
Compared to the 4-12 team, we gotten a lot better unsurprisingly. Julio, Baker, fully healthy Roddy etc.

Compared to a notional healthy 2013 team:

Improvements
New players- Soliai/Jackson for run D, Asamoah for pass pro, Hester for returns
Development - Trufant/Alford/Worrilow/Bartu all more experienced
New Draft Picks - TBA

Downgrades
Losses - Gonzalez is major, DeCoud could be minor but no current replacement
Decline - Steven Jackson, Roddy and Bryant all getting towards tipping point
Other teams have the draft too; NO signed Byrd

Overall, we've about held steady IMO. Draft will be impactful - we could stand to upgrade 5 starting players ideally (OT, FS, TE, FB, Pass Rusher) and only FB is a late round need.

If this could possible be the year we finally hit big on a non top-100 guy, that would go a long way if Dimitroff continues his good record in the early rounds.
He's just been avg in the early rds too imo. 2 or 3(As much as I like him, the jury''s still out on JJ, considering his injuries, and what we gave up for him) out of 6 years were hits.(Ryan, Julio(still iffy), Trufant, and possibly Alford(2nd rdr) (Jerry,Konz,Baker/Weatherspoon) were misses . And no, I don't consider Weatherspoon a hit at #19. More mouth than substance imo. I Love this offseason so far though..However, lack of depth at certain positions still scares me.
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DrawABlank


Joined: 27 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terrell123 wrote:
(Dimitroff's) just been avg in the early rds too imo. 2 or 3(As much as I like him, the jury''s still out on JJ, considering his injuries, and what we gave up for him) out of 6 years were hits.(Ryan, Julio(still iffy), Trufant) (Jerry,Konz,Baker/Weatherspoon) were misses . And no, I don't consider Weatherspoon a hit at #19


I think this is a case of excessive expectations.

Looking at the 7 teams that have had the same management since 2008 (so a largish sample size for us to judge) - their 1st round draft picks over the period are at the bottom of this post:

If you look at our top 3 (Jones, Ryan, Trufant) they compare favourably with any of these teams (only Dallas really has a case with Smith/Bryant/Frederick). And Weatherspoon has an excellent argument as the best "4th best guy" - I'd take him over guys like Claiborne, Gresham, Amukamara or Nick Perry myself.

And looking at the 2nd round - a foursome of Lofton, Moore, Alford and Konz gives a 75% hit rate at finding an above average starter (assuming Alford builds on his strong rookie year and isn't another Chevis).
I'm not listing them all, but that's pretty good relative to the league average.

The problem with the drafting hasn't been the top 2 rounds. It's that not only have we not found a Sherman/Atkins/Carl Nicks/Greg Hardy in the late rounds, we haven't even found a solid starter. I'm talk guys like John Sullivan, Brandon Carr or Desmond Bryant - they aren't superstars but they are top 10 starters drafted in the late rounds (or UDFA).

Biermann is our best from outside the top 100 under Dimitroff (Grimes was before his time). That's a bit sad really, and whether it is the talent of the players or the work of the coaching staff developing them that is at fault, it needs to be analysed and rectified as soon as possible.

-----

Classifications
Pro Bowler to All-Pro Caliber; Good to Fringe Pro Bowl Starter; Average/Solid Starter; Disappointing/Fringe Starter and Does Not Start

Dallas
Mike Jenkins, Felix Jones, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, Morris Claiborne, Travis Fredrick
2 x PB+; 1 x Solid; 1 x Disappointing; 2 x DNS

Cincinnati
Keith Rivers, Andre Smith; Jermaine Gresham; AJ Green; Dre Kirkpatrick; Tyler Eifert
1 x PB+; 2 x Solid; 2 x Disappointing; 1 x DNS

Pittsburgh
Rashard Mendenhall; Evander Hood; Maurkice Pouncey; Cameron Heyward; David DeCastro; Jarvis Jones
1 x PB+; 1 x Good; 1 x Solid; 2 x Disappointing; 1 x DNS

New York Giants
Kenny Phillips; Hakeem Nicks; Jason Pierre-Paul; Prince Amukamara; David Wilson; Justin Pugh
1 x PB+; 3 x Solid; 1 x Disappointing; 1 x DNS

New Orleans
Sedrick Ellis; Malcolm Jenkins; Patrick Robinson; Cameron Jordan; Kenny Vaccaro
1 x PB+; 1 x Good; 1 x Solid; 2 x DNS

Green Bay
B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews, Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod, Nick Perry, Datone Jones
1 x PB+; 1 x Good; 1 x Solid; 2 x Disappointing; 1 x DNS

Baltimore
Joe Flacco; Michael Oher; Sergio Kindle (trade down from 1st) Jimmy Smith; Courtney Upshaw (T/D); Matt Elam
1 x Good; 2 x Solid; 1 x Disappointing; 2 x DNS

Atlanta
Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, Sean Weatherspoon, Julio Jones, Desmond Trufant
2 x PB+; 1 x Good; 1 x Solid; 1 x DNS
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swoosh


Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAB, I love you.
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BeeperKing


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swoosh wrote:
DAB, I love you.


It's good to know that someone around here can still be patient and not flip when Julio is called "an iffy pick".
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FakingInjuries wrote:

Without those elite targets, [Matt Ryan] is in the same tier as Matt Cassell.
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swoosh


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BeeperKing wrote:
swoosh wrote:
DAB, I love you.


It's good to know that someone around here can still be patient and not flip when Julio is called "an iffy pick".
I don't even bother trying to reason or use logic with him. It's just a waste of time. But I love DAB for doing it.
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terrell123


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julio's great when hes ion the field no doubt.. But hes had a lingering foot problems, hammys etc...A part of being a great pick is durability(see Roddy White).. If he stays healthy, great pick, if not, not so much, considering what we gave up. That's why I said iffy. Meaning still up in the air. 2 seasons doesnt make him, or anybody else a great pick. Much less, one that you gave up the farm for..

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BeeperKing


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terrell123 wrote:
Julio's great when hes ion the field no doubt.. But hes had a lingering foot problems, hammys etc...A part of being a great pick is durability.. If he stays healthy, great pick, if not, not so much, considering what we gave up. That's why I said iffy. Meaning still up in the air. One season doesnt make him, or anybody else a great pick. Much less, one that you gave up the farm for..


He's had one minor injury during a pretty good season, one season where he was a top-3 receiver in football, and one where he was on track to be the best receiver in football until he had a freak injury. That isn't injury prone. Injury prone is where a player keeps having injuries, usually to the same place. Austin Collie, who has had like 7 concussions, is injury prone. Julio Jones, who has had one freak injury, is not. This is just a case of you being needlessly negative.
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Without those elite targets, [Matt Ryan] is in the same tier as Matt Cassell.
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terrell123


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BeeperKing wrote:
terrell123 wrote:
Julio's great when hes ion the field no doubt.. But hes had a lingering foot problems, hammys etc...A part of being a great pick is durability.. If he stays healthy, great pick, if not, not so much, considering what we gave up. That's why I said iffy. Meaning still up in the air. One season doesnt make him, or anybody else a great pick. Much less, one that you gave up the farm for..


He's had one minor injury during a pretty good season, one season where he was a top-3 receiver in football, and one where he was on track to be the best receiver in football until he had a freak injury. That isn't injury prone. Injury prone is where a player keeps having injuries, usually to the same place. Austin Collie, who has had like 7 concussions, is injury prone. Julio Jones, who has had one freak injury, is not. This is just a case of you being needlessly negative.
I love Julio. I have no reason to be negative. But missing games is missing games in my book.(out 14 games in his first 3 seasons) When you give up what we gave up, you better hope and pray such player can play all 16..Or close to it. If not, you might be staring 4-12 in the eyes, and coaching on a 1yr deal.. We need him ON the field. Look what it did to our team when he went out. There was no depth to fall back on. Giving up picks damn near every year causes this. And some of you fools wanna give up even more picks this year. smmfh.. Btw, you think Pete Carrol, or Bill Belichek is giving up that many picks for a wr? Just curious..
And one more question: Is Weatherspoon "injury prone". Whatever the f that means. If you're out, you're out.. And didnt Julio hurt his foot at Alabama?


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BeeperKing


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terrell123 wrote:
BeeperKing wrote:
terrell123 wrote:
Julio's great when hes ion the field no doubt.. But hes had a lingering foot problems, hammys etc...A part of being a great pick is durability.. If he stays healthy, great pick, if not, not so much, considering what we gave up. That's why I said iffy. Meaning still up in the air. One season doesnt make him, or anybody else a great pick. Much less, one that you gave up the farm for..


He's had one minor injury during a pretty good season, one season where he was a top-3 receiver in football, and one where he was on track to be the best receiver in football until he had a freak injury. That isn't injury prone. Injury prone is where a player keeps having injuries, usually to the same place. Austin Collie, who has had like 7 concussions, is injury prone. Julio Jones, who has had one freak injury, is not. This is just a case of you being needlessly negative.
I love Julio. I have no reason to be negative. But missing games is missing games in my book.(out 14 games in his first 3 seasons) When you give up what we gave up, you better hope and pray such player can play all 16..Or close to it. If not, you might be staring 4-12 in the eyes, and coaching on a 1yr deal.. We need him ON the field. Look what it did to our team when he went out. There was no depth to fall back on. Giving up picks damn near every year causes this. And some of you fools wanna give up even more picks this year. smmfh.. Btw, you think Pete Carrol, or Bill Belichek is giving up that many picks for a wr? Just curious..


Pete Carroll traded multiple picks for an inferior receiver, gave him a $11 million/year contract, and then watched him play two games for minimal impact. That's a TD trolling fail on your part.

Back to the subject on Julio, it was one freak injury. Guess what, players have injuries. It's part of the game. Do you think Packers fans are concerned about Aaron Rodgers because he missed games this year? If this turns into a persistent problem, and he never plays a 16 game season again (God forbid), then we can have this talk again. But for now, let's pump the brakes.
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Without those elite targets, [Matt Ryan] is in the same tier as Matt Cassell.
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terrell123


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was talking about the draft. Carroll traded during the season to help win a championship.(and got it done. Harvin had a BIG game in the SB) Fail on your part. Funny you skip Belichek. I thought that was who were modeled after.... But anyway.. I Hope for our sake Julio stays healthy..
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