It is currently Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:57 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:27 pm 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5073
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/f ... index.html

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Brent Grimes tears off from one practice field to the next, leaping over a tackling pad that's about as tall as he is along the way.

"What a freak,'' a bystander says, marveling at the athleticism of the 5-foot-10 - if that - cornerback.

While Grimes made that feat look easy, it may be a little trickier for the Atlanta Falcons to keep everyone happy in the secondary. There are two traditional cornerback spots, and three very capable players eager to fill them.

Start with Grimes, a Pro Bowler in 2010 who received the franchise tag from the Falcons this season, setting him up to make more than $10 million. Then move to the other holdover, Dunta Robinson, who received a big-money deal a couple of years ago and has become known for his fierce, if somewhat borderline, hits. And finally, there's the newcomer - four-time Pro Bowler Asante Samuel, who was acquired from Philadelphia over the offseason.

Everyone is eager to see how it all works out.

Just fine so far, insisted Robinson.

"If we were third-, maybe fourth-year players trying to create and make a name for ourselves, this could have potentially been a problem,'' Robinson said. "But the only goal, the only focus we have is winning. That makes the situation a lot easier.''

Those are telling words, because Robinson seems headed for the biggest change in the crowded alignment. When all three cornerbacks are on the field, as will frequently be the case, he's the one who'll likely be moving inside most of the time. That's not what he necessarily signed on for, but he quickly points out that he filled a similar role in Houston during his first three years in the league.

"It's not a tough adjustment for me at all,'' Robinson said. "It's something I've been wanting to do more since I've been here. I'm having a lot of fun playing that position. It allows me to roam and do a lot of different things. It allows me to get involved in football. It's not just covering guys, but it gets me involved in the run game. It allows me to blitz the quarterback. It opens up a lot of doors for me and allows me to be a football player.''

Samuel seemed to blend right in during training camp, yapping incessantly to anyone on his new team who would listen. He has that classic cornerback bravado, accompanied by a very short memory. Sure, he got beat by Cincinnati's A.J. Green on a 50-yard touchdown pass in the last preseason game, but he's already moved on.

"I feel good, man. Camp went great,'' he said. "We did a lot of good things on offense and defense. Everyone is flying around and having fun. I'm really looking forward to this year.''

Like Robinson, Samuel is having to get used to a new position of sorts. With Grimes likely to get most of the playing time on the left side, the new cornerback is working mostly on the right.

Asked if he prefers the left, Samuel replied: "Of course. That's where I made my living. All my production came on the left. The new thing to me is switching back and forth and getting my mojo right, getting the game plan together when I'm switching back and forth. But it's all good. The coaches are going to do what they think is best.''

For now, coach Mike Smith is being vague about how he plans to use the three cornerbacks. But his intentions should become more apparent in Friday night's game at Miami, when the starters will get their most extensive time of the preseason.

"I think it's to our advantage to keep that in house in terms of how we want to play our corners,'' Smith said. "But we've got three very good corners. We're going to play them at a number of positions. Most of the time, Dunta has been working as the inside corner, but there are times you have seen Brent and Asante line up inside as well. We've got a lot of flexibility and multiplicity. That's the theme we want to have defensively this season.''

Grimes, who would have preferred a long-term deal instead of being franchised, said he had no problem with the Falcons adding a player of Samuel's caliber in a bargain-rate deal with the Eagles.

"I knew anytime you can bring a great player to your team, another player who has made a lot of plays in this league, it's always a bonus,'' Grimes said. "I knew he could help out the secondary. Definitely, I knew we could have something good here.''

As for his contract, Grimes said he's not carrying any lingering bitterness into the season.

"I tell people all the time, and it's the truth, I don't really think about it,'' he said. "My agent deals with it and I call and talk to him sometimes, but I just come out here and play and I figure the rest will handle itself. I just do my job.''

While everyone is going through a bit of a learning process, not only with different roles but adjusting to new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the Falcons seem confident about maintaining a harmonious balance.

Besides, there should be plenty of snaps to go around, playing in a pass-happy division that features two games a year against Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Cam Newton of Carolina Panthers.

"There aren't a lot of teams that are playing full games with two receivers,'' Robinson pointed out. "Most teams are playing three- and four-receiver sets. Sixty percent of the game, it's going to be three of us on field anyway. We understand that.''

"This,'' he added, "is going to be as good as we want it to be. And we want it to be good.''

NOTES: CB Darrin Walls (soft tissue injury) will definitely miss Friday's game, and Smith said he might also have to sit out the final preseason contest. ... Asked about red zone struggles in the first two games, Smith said the team devotes about 20 percent of the snaps in practice to those situations. "It's an emphasis point,'' he said.

---

AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Flowery Branch, Ga., contributed to this article.


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/f ... z24O4zj9N3

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:53 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26073
Location: North Carolina
Two things:

1) I'm not sure how accurate it is to think that there is still some question mark to say where Samuel will play. When I was paying attention against the Bengals, when we were in nickel, Samuel was playing on the left side, Grimes the right, and Robinson the slot. I think that is going to be the way it plays out during the regular season. As many may recall, all of Samuel's targets against him, came when he was playing near the right sideline (i.e. left side of the defense)

2) Our depth behind Robinson concerns me. If the Falcons lose Robinson for any period of time, I'm worried. Franks IMO has not improved as a slot corner based off what I've seen this summer, and we've now seen for 2 years how much Owens struggles there. I just am worried that if Robinson was to miss a couple of games, we would be right back into the situation where we have 2 good outside corners, but there is an obvious weakness in the slot that opposing teams attack, and if that happens to be a week where we play Dallas, New Orleans, New York, or even Washington for that matter, i.e. a team that their best WR is also their primary slot receiver, we could have trouble getting stops.

Of course that also assumes that is not the case with Robinson in the slot. Which I'm still worried about that. His sloppy technique and lack of awareness aren't ideal recipes for being a good slot corner.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:45 am 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:51 pm
Posts: 4916
Location: New York
Seriously Pudge what team has good 4th or 5th corners? I think you are being way too picky.

_________________
Image

I'm a Devin Hester guy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:47 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26073
Location: North Carolina
That's a fair point Emmitt. I guess it's just another symptom that I've been harping on in the past few months, that a lot of this team's success is wrapped up entirely in their ability to stay healthy. If injuries become a problem this year, this team becomes very average very quickly. And I know the comeback is that could be said about a lot of NFL teams, but I'm talking about if Matt Ryan gets hurt, I'm talking about if Robinson gets hurt, or Nicholas gets hurt, etc.

And the reason for that is because we've given up so many draft picks in recent years, we've hurt our depth. The 2nd rounder in 2010, 2nd, 4th, & 7th rounder in 2011, and the 1st and 4th rounder in 2012. You're talking about 5 or 6 roster spots that are gone that are basically now filled with lesser players than they would be had we not made those trades.

I'm not trying to say that we should have never made those trades, but just saying there are consequences to such actions. And those consequences could be that with a few nicks here and there, this team goes from a team that is capable of winning 10 or 11 games and the division to a team that struggles to win 8 or 9 and gets pushed out of the playoffs entirely.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:00 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 3190
Quote:
That's a fair point Emmitt. I guess it's just another symptom that I've been harping on in the past few months, that a lot of this team's success is wrapped up entirely in their ability to stay healthy. If injuries become a problem this year, this team becomes very average very quickly. And I know the comeback is that could be said about a lot of NFL teams, but I'm talking about if Matt Ryan gets hurt, I'm talking about if Robinson gets hurt, or Nicholas gets hurt, etc.


I'll play along. (I'm sure I'll regret it :doh: ) What team doesn't get hurt when they lose their starting QB? Some teams "starters" should be back-ups themselves and if they go down, it's a real s***-storm. And I've noticed as you've tried to put TD down, that you've used an injury to Robinson, spinning it in a negative light, saying we are weak at nickel. We'll an optimist might say we're lucky because if we lose Samuels or Grimes we're okay because we can slide Robinson in and not miss a beat on the outside. It's all in your spin on how you want the team to look. You've been trying to make TD look bad all summer saying we are thin at QB and Nickel. To that, I counter we are like everyone else at QB and stacked at CB. Whether it's perception or agenda, there always two sides.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:49 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26073
Location: North Carolina
Sorry, I mistyped. I meant to say "but I'm not talking about if Matt Ryan gets hurt..."

You're right, our depth at cornerback is fine as far as the outside guys go. We know we have 5 good corners that can play outside. Owens and Franks included. But we've had a weakness in the slot since 2008, and this team has decided after 3 seasons of scraping together mediocrity that Robinson is the fix. I'm saying what happens if the Football Gods conspire to smite Robinson with an injury that keeps him out for a couple of games? Then our fix is negated and we're right back where we started with an obvious weakness in the slot that opposing teams are going to be willing to attack as they have been for much of the past 3 seasons.

This team offers potential to cause matchup problems for many teams in the NFL, and as anybody in the know knows, matchups are the key to winning football games. But my beef is that a lot of that potential is tied directly to their ability to maintain a healthy roster. A few nicks here and there, and all of a sudden I believe this team is a lot closer in talent to an 8-8 team than one that is potentially making a deep playoff run.

And whether you care to admit it or not, Thomas Dimitroff's decisions have had a direct influence on that. By giving up multiple premium picks and subsequently not hitting squarely on free agent pickups like Robinson and Edwards, as well as draft picks like Dent, Peters, Hawley, Jerry, Mike Johnson, etc. the margin for error for this team is a lot smaller.

And if come January or February, the excuse for the disappointment that may be the Falcons 2012 season is, "Well injuries hurt us and you can't account for those," then I'm going to say B.S.

You're right, I do have an agenda. I'm trying to expose people to the possibility that maybe Thomas Dimitroff isn't doing as great a job today as he was earlier in his tenure. That the decisions he's made the past couple of off-seasons are directly responsible for some of the shortcomings and disappointments this team has had the past few years, and potentially in future years. I think he's been a mediocre GM the past 2 or so off-seasons, and I think his decisions have narrowed this team's window by a significant amount.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 3190
Quote:
I think his decisions have narrowed this team's window by a significant amount.


...and I think the window is just opening. Ryan is just hitting his prime right now, and he has an absolute stud in Jones to throw it too for years to come. Quizz is showing explosive potential and with Turner gone after this season, the door is wide open to draft a RB or sign a FA if we need to. We also drafted two young linemen, including what I think will be our starting center for years to come. Take out McClure and our oldest lineman is Clabo at 31, which is still pretty young for someone in the trenches. We also drafted the best blocking back out of college, who unfortunately got hurt (blame TD for that too?), but should come back as good as new next season.
Roddy has 1-2 more good years left, then yes we do need a replacement. The only area of concern going forward is TE. So at least on the offensive side of the ball, TD has seemed to have kept the cupboard full IMO.

As for the FA failures, yes they haven't panned out and that is too bad. But at least he tried to address the problems. Who knew that Ray Edwards would suck this bad? I didn't. But I blame him for not putting in the work, not TD. I'm sure you will dig up stats about other FA's who were available and have outplayed Edwards...and that's fine. That what you do. But that is all hindsight and really doesn't hold water IMO.
I'm sure you disagree, but I don't think it is as dire as you make it out to be.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:30 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26073
Location: North Carolina
It depends on your definition of "dire." Dire in the sense that this team is going to be unable to compete for the playoffs in the coming years? No. We're not on the verge of being a 6-10 team.

But if dire means their ability to compete for championships in the coming years, then I think things are a lot more serious than you believe. The Packers are the class of the NFC and through good drafting over multiple years, they are looking to be on the verge of a severely high obstacle to overcome for many years to come.

The goal is to catch up to and surpass teams like the Packers. The Falcons are not set up to do that because they have not drafted particularly well the past 4 years. And that can only come about through multiple good drafts that are on par or better than our '08 draft, or the players that we have added over the past few years like Corey Peters, Sam Baker, Akeem Dent, really making significant leaps in their play. The correlation between winning at the highest level and good drafting is extremely high. This is an incontrovertible fact in the NFL. Yet, people think that the Falcons mediocre drafting in 2009, 2010, 2011, and likely in 2012 won't have any effect on the future success of this team. The more mediocre your drafts are, the more mediocre a football team you become.

But the perception by yourself and so many others out there is that "it's all good" because every year we're going to win 9, 10, 11 games. This team does not appear any closer to winning a championship now than they were in 2010 when they were the 4th best team in the conference. That doesn't seem off to anybody else?

We're on the verge of starting the same 5 guys up front that failed miserably last year, and yet you don't seem to question that? You say he gets points for trying. You call trying to upgrade the offensive line is drafting a C that has never played G and thinking he'd be an immediate upgrade, and drafting a raw LT that is going to need 3+ years to develop. Why does he deserve points for that?

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blitz em Robinson!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:18 pm 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5073
does anyone see the irony that the guy with the 'angry' moniker is OK with the moves made, and the guy with the 'Jolly' sig is unhappy about the current state of the franchise? :ninja:

Im not really that much fun, btw :mrgreen:

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to: