PFW spins Falcons D

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PFW spins Falcons D

Postby Pudge » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:42 pm

Pro Football Weekly wrote: June 27, 2006

Falcons 'D' must be MVP

PFW asks associate editor Jeff Reynolds for his take on the NFL’s hottest topics.

Focus on Vick a non-issue if defense doesn’t improve

The Falcons went to the NFC title game in 2004, when they went 7-1 at home, led the NFL in rushing and ranked 14th in total defense — including 48 sacks. The wheels came off for the Falcons in ’05. Atlanta was 4-4 at home, 2-4 in the division and ranked 22nd in total defense, allowing 128.9 yards per game, and 31st in yards per rush. To avoid another letdown, the defense has to revert to its ’04 form.

PFW: How can the Falcons’ defense get back on track?

Reynolds: A deflating loss that didn’t receive enough attention was the Achilles injury to MLB Edgerton Hartwell. Hartwell has the size to get to the ball without the protection of two giant defensive tackles to clog running lanes and has the instincts to make plays others might not. Without Hartwell, the Falcons had to reshuffle the deck at the LB position, and the lack of experience with Michael Boley and Demorrio Williams at the OLB spots was all too evident. Getting Hartwell back is as important as any offseason addition made by the Falcons. However, the run defense should get better with a healthy Lawyer Milloy (released by Buffalo), and the pass defense might become one of the best in the NFC with DE John Abraham (acquired via trade from the Jets) and CB Jimmy Williams (6-2, 208, drafted in the second round) expected to make profound impacts. Head coach Jim Mora will be on the attack with a very active and athletic defensive line that includes Abraham, DT Rod Coleman and DE Patrick Kerney. Whether the front seven can also make the adjustments against the run — the Falcons were shoved around to the tune of 4.7 yards per carry in 2005 — might be the greatest question. The collective talent level is impressive, but finding a way to make up for a lack of size and bulk is a must, especially late in the year, if the Falcons want to be a true contender. The final five games of the year could make life difficult — at Washington, at Tampa Bay, vs. Dallas, vs. Carolina and at Philadelphia

Mostly agree with this guy's assessment.
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Postby MarylandFalcon1 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:56 pm

It is one of those tough things. Either you go small and fast or you go huge and slow. If you are small and fast you give up rushing yards, big and slow you take it from the pass. I am pretty sure I would much rather see a fast defense, as I know how bad the Bucs have chewed us up for years now.

"I am certainly not afraid to have Brian Finneran on the field. Has he ever not made plays? He just makes plays. He is one of those guys that just makes plays. He is dependable."

J. Mora JR.

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Postby BirdBrain » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:50 pm

The brutal schedule will require that we get off to a "fast start"...if we flub that, the season could get ugly really fast, to include changes at the top. We must split our first two 0-2 start in the division would be the death bell.

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