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 Post subject: Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
January 12th, 2013
Aaron Freeman

When the Falcons moved up 21 spots in the 2011 draft to take a wide receiver by the name of Julio Jones, it made headlines. Most pundits and experts believed it was not a smart trade, but also signaled that the Falcons were “all in” for the 2011 season. To give up the sheer amount of picks they gave up for a second top-level wide receiver did not make a lot of sense. And I agreed with these opinions. I questioned the move and still question it today. I believe the Falcons gave up too much in that trade for Jones. Jones has been an excellent player, but so have been a number of lesser receivers taken in that same draft class such as Torrey Smith in Baltimore and Denarius Moore in Oakland. Had the Falcons held onto those two first round picks and used them on other problem areas (such as the offensive line) and drafted one of those lesser receivers, I think they could be a better team for it. But we’ll never really know the answer to that question.
But what we will know is that whether Jones’ presence on the roster pays off on Sunday. Jones and White are widely considered the best tandem of receivers in the NFL. Throw in Tony Gonzalez, and it’s hard to find a better trio of targets for a quarterback to throw to. Alone is that good enough to win a playoff game, something the Falcons have yet to do under head coach Mike Smith? Of course not. But it is the primary asset of this Falcons team. Those three players along with Matt Ryan are the one thing that distinguishes tthem from other teams, essentially it is what makes them “special.” They will be facing one of the league’s best pass defenses in Seattle, and what many deem the best cornerback tandem in the league in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. It will be the one matchup that all eyes will be glued upon.

“This is no disrespect to Mike Jenkins, because he’s a damn good receiver. But I’ve always been intrigued with the prospect of having a one and one-A with Roddy and someone like Julio.”

This was quote from Thomas Dimitroff cited by Michael Holley in his 2011 book War Room. Will the presence of the 1 and 1-A make a difference tomorrow? It didn’t really a year ago against the Giants. But it will have to this year because of that spotlight mentioned earlier. If having a 1 and 1-A receiver does indeed make a difference worth all of those draft picks, then this will be the game to showcase it.

And if you’re asking me my opinion about what will happen, I think Jones and White will make that difference. Despite my misgivings about the trade, this is the perfect chance to prove doubters like myself wrong. From watching film of Browner and Sherman, I don’t think they have the ability to match up with a pair of elite receivers like Jones and White. And I think if the Falcons offensive line can provide the necessary time for Ryan, he will be able to deliver the balls to make that obvious. If the offensive line is not good enough, then it raises those questions about whether the Falcons would have been better off using those high picks on blockers as opposed to another dynamic wideout. Either way, we should have a fairly definitive answer on whether the trade paid off for the Falcons or not by tomorrow evening.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:20 pm 
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I would say hindsight at this point shows the trade was worth it. Jones is exactly who could push us over the top today. Roddy on Sherman is almost a draw, even though I think Roddy's savy could push him ahead at times. I'm not sure Sherman isn't running on more mystique than shut down ability at this pt. However, Julio has the ability to crush Browner. Browner is best at bumping at the line, but is a little stiff beyond that if you ask me. B/c of the two outside, that should open up the middle for Gonzo. My MAIN concern here is the line giving enough time for Ryan to be on time, b/c he's like Brady in that if you push the pocket in his face is where he struggles. We'll need to run on the edges, b/c Turner isn't likely to make much hay in the middle. I want to see a good dose of Quiz as a result, its the playoffs, no preservation needed now.

Conversely, we'll need to stop the run, ALL day. Can't have a Panthers week 14(?) run d debacle. Seattle runs a lot of the same type plays. Lynch is no joke, and he sets up the rest of their O. I love Wilson, but he's still been more of a function of running his pass plays off that and not screwing up. He's awesome at that, but I'd like to think just like this season, NOlan proves his worth here. I would expect based on confusion from the d, that we can force Wilson into a few key mistakes.

My main key to the game is don't get down early, where Seattle can t off on d and keep running on o. If we can get a lead, that puts seattle is serious trouble for what they prefer. Them losing Clemons certainly helps us. I hope we can wear out Irvin since he'll have to play a lot more than normal. Ultimately its put up or shutup time in the ATL. We can't just be regular season wonders anymore. I do hope Smith watched than denver game, bc you have to give him credit for changing his stripes some this season with the new coordinator (but I fear mr. conservative is still down deep in there somewhere). I'd like to think we've learned that lesson though, and ultimately think Nolan and Koetter will leave all the shell casings on the field today.

Of course everyone fears picking atl based on recent playoff history, but thats regressive thinking. I think this years dirtybird version has what it takes today, esp at home. You want to win a SB, you're gonna have to beat some good teams. With home cookin', I'll go ATL 27 - Seattle 23.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:02 pm 
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The whole deal was really based on Ryan being able to hit some longer strikes.

I think I understand the arguments; and about anyone could make one that we gave up to much or we got a steal. Our offensive line has improved a little during the season,
and at this point the trade seems to have been at least " worth it" ..... but you can never
be absolutely right about it.

Winning yesterday makes it hard to argue that it was a "really" bad deal!!

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 Post subject: Re: Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:46 pm 
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My whole thing was we gave up too much, and for all of the gains that JOnes has given us, it was negated by the losses that we gave up. If Jones made our passing game 30% better, it was negated by the fact that our O-line was 40% worse, something along those lines. So it's a net negative.

But now, I'm not going to say we "won" the trade by any means. Now if the Falcons win this weekend, that's a topic worth re-visiting...

But I do think the idea that it's probably a wash. Would the O-line and/or defense be better had we not made that trade. Undoubtedly I would say yes. But it goes back to what I was saying in the piece about having Jones & Roddy is what makes the Falcons "special." And that would probably not be the case if the Falcons hadn't made that trade and just addressed other areas of the roster. They would probably be a team a lot like the Texans, which is very solid all-around, but nothing that really scares you.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:35 pm 
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I know that I'm going to be crucified for saying it, but I just don't see it. Jones caught 6 passes for 59 yards. Is that what put us over the top? Did his presence allow Harry Douglas to catch 2 passes, or Tony Gonzales to catch 6? You could make the argument that he allowed Snelling to catch one for a TD, but would faking the toss to Harry Douglas or Jaquizz Rodgers be equally effective there?

Please don't misconstrue this opinion... I'm not saying anything bad about Julio Jones. I happen to think that he's a fantastic player.

Is Julio Jones a great player? Yes, he is.
Did the Falcons make out better than the Browns? Yes, they did.
Was acquiring Jones worth giving up 3 potential starters? It's hard for me to say yes to that. If we win the Superbowl this year, the point is moot, but that doesn't mean that yes, the trade was the correct decision. Now, if Jones DOMINATES the opposition over the next couple of weeks, then it will be blatantly obvious that the trade was worth it. 6 catches for 59 yards doesn't scream that to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Jones trade firmly in the crosshairs Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Its a moot point to me regardless. Julio's 6 passes is a lot, when that's about what Roddy had, and close to what Tony G. had. He takes up one good defender on most
opposition.

The fact of what we might have done; and one or two of them either getting hurt or not working out; is to me at this point is just old news.

Julio is a Pro Bowler on a team going to the Championship game. Really can Thomas D.
be that bad a Gm.? Weather we win Sunday or not we need to get back to the Championship game again; you keep knocking at the door and most B.S. goes away.

Not saying the argument is Bs, just saying for me I'm happy with how things really are!!

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