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 Post subject: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:22 pm 
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http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2014/5/2/5 ... ichael-sam


Atlanta should be the next home for Missouri edge-rusher Michael Sam

By Murf Baldwin @MurfBaldwin on May 2 2014, 7:00a 82
Kevin C. Cox

The Falcoholic's Murf Baldwin delves into why a marriage between Missouri edge-player Michael Sam and the city of Atlanta should be on the horizon—in an article that was previously blacklisted at another platform.

Former University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam has a tough road ahead of him. As he attempts to become the first openly gay athlete in the NFL, the weight of navigating his journey may prove to be too cumbersome if he has go it alone—in a theoretical sense, of course.

Sam has undoubtedly received widespread support and adulation from many quarters leading up to the draft. But the support he receives in his newly minted hometown (upon being drafted) will be the make-or-break scenario that'll be a major determinant as to how smooth his transition will be.

NFL front offices not only have to weigh not only the temperature of their locker rooms and organizations, but also have a firm gauge on the city Sam will call home. Although the majority of NFL teams are in major cities, not all metropolitan areas are created equal—in terms of progressiveness.

That's why Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff needs to think extremely hard about bringing Sam to the "Gate City of the South." Not only would Sam be a perfect schematic fit, but there's not an NFL city more prepared to welcome a young, talented man like Sam regardless of his sexual orientation.

Atlanta is an interesting city, despite being in the heart of the "Bible Belt," it's home to one of the highest percentages of African-American entrepreneurs in the United States (according to this article by Leon Stafford of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Additionally, there are pockets of the city that's dedicated to everything from arts to music.

Getty Image of Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

For a city that was once at the forefront of the civil-rights movement, it needs to be stated how far we've come culturally. And it's none more apparent than with Atlanta's gay scene.

It's widely known that Labor Day Weekend is by far the busiest weekend of the year for our great city. We sports fans have college football's Chick-fil-A Kickoff classic at the Georgia Dome, which usually coincides with an Atlanta Braves game.

For those that are into science fiction, the famed Dragon Con exhibit runs all weekend as well. And to top it off, the Atlanta Pride Festival (also referred to as Black Gay Pride) brings in thousands of diverse party-goers for a two-day extravaganza that culminates with "National Coming Out Day," according to GayAtlanta.com.

ImagePhoto courtesy of AtlantaPride.org

Now for those of you who've never been to Atlanta on this weekend. These events are literally happening within a 10-mile radius of each other. The residents that live in the suburbs in the northern part of town usually take the transit (called MARTA) to get to the city.

To say those train rides are full of diversity is an understatement. You have hundreds of thousands of people, all unique in their own way, commuting and communicating with each other. It's truly a beautiful site for a major city in the southern part of the country.

As it pertains to Sam, as Atlanta is commonly described as the "Gay Capital of the South," having an openly-gay athlete-who is the absolute truth as a football player-would be worth its weight in gold for the city. You can't frequent the party scene in Atlanta and not mix with a wide-range of lifestyles-some alternative. It's virtually impossible. So you can bet your bottom dollar that the majority of the Falcons' locker room wouldn't bat an eye at Sam's presence—nor should they.

Many players live in an affluent part of town known as Midtown-which is considered the capital of the "alternative lifestyle" scene. A scene that so desperately needs a voice like Sam's (as described in this Los Angeles Times article on Destee.com).

From a business standpoint, there are plenty of fans in the gay community that are die-hard fans (or even young athletes). But even those fans want what we all want...a productive pass-rusher!

Sam has the talent to be that individualm as most of us watched him get to many of the Southeastern Conference's best quarterbacks. His 11.5 sack-season culminated with him being named the SEC's co-defensive player of the year.

Sam being on an NFL roster wouldn't be a charity case. The guy could immediately step on the field and be one of the more effective players at his position (and would be the most talented on the Falcons' roster as it's presently constructed). He's a polished rusher that does a great job at converting initial quickness to power; he also has a plethora of finesse moves.

His stocky build lends itself to him winning the leverage game most of the time. Teams are currently over-thinking his prospects due to his size (6'2", 255 lbs) and being labeled a "tweener."

Those pundits did the same thing with one of the best players of this generation, Dwight Freeney (San Diego Chargers), who at 6'1", 268 lbs, shed that tweener label with his production. Sam has a lot of the same characteristics as Freeney, with a very similar playing style.

Here we see Sam doing what he does best—getting after the QB. Leverage is the name of the game in the trenches. That's why players like Michael Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) struggle to generate consistent production.

Image

There's no substitute for being able to get underneath players and gain leverage. Here Sam used an arm-under move to power through the tackle. He has an innate ability to bend and contort his body to take ideal angles as well. Additionally, he has a piston-like motor that churns at a high-level. Players with that type of motor and work ethic tend to rub off on others.

Image

Here's another look at Sam's arm-under move.


You can't tell me he doesn't have a similar look to New Orleans Saints' edge-rusher Junior Galette and Freeney. These guys are two of the very best in the game when it comes to out-leveraging offensive linemen.

Having a backfield terror like Sam is something Atlanta desperately needs on its roster. Acquiring a pass-rusher with the sixth-overall pick, or earlier, and following that up with acquiring Sam in the fourth round—where many draft pundits expect he will land—could give the Falcons one of the most exciting pass rushes in the league.

Can you imagine adding both Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) and Sam in one draft? Eventually veterans Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann will have to be replaced. A combination of Clowney and Sam would represent a possible major upgrade in the pass-rush department—especially when you factor in Jonathan Massaquoi's future development.

Image

Atlanta often employs the Wide-9 technique that is designed at getting edge-players in space. With the type of get-off move that Sam has, he'd definitely pile up sacks being played out in space like this. Playing Sam as a nickel pass-rusher in sub packages would be worth its weight in gold when you think about the manufactured-pressure game the Falcons so heavily rely on.

The Falcons' brass is very familiar with Sam as he was on their team in the Senior Bowl. While it was reported that he didn't have the best week of practices trying to adjust to playing outside linebacker for the first time in his career (per Chase Goodbread of NFL.com), he did end up with a sack during the game.

Also, pundits failed to mention the staff had him playing an off-the-ball linebacker opposed to a hybrid rusher. The general public is looking for ways to discredit Sam by harping on his sub-par performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, and by saying he piled up sacks against Vanderbilt, Florida and Arkansas State—where he collected three sacks each. But do you hear anyone discrediting the University of Buffalo's Khalil Mack for achieving sacks against Miami (Ohio), Kent State and Western Michigan?

Things that make you go hmm...

In addition, the Falcons have a strong locker room filled with mostly classy players—led by QB Matt Ryan and receiver Roddy White. Not to mention there were three players on the Falcons' roster from Missouri last season in Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore and Chase Coffman.

In our great city if you can play, you can stay. Most importantly, we love our successful athletes (almost unconditionally) as we're a booming city starving for success.

You'd be welcomed with open arms, minds and hearts here in Atlanta, Michael. But if you end up generating only two sacks a year, like former defensive end Jamaal Anderson, we'll turn on you quicker than zombies from the TV show The Walking Dead.

But do know you will be judged on how you perform between the lines, like everyone else in that locker room.

Note: By saying Michael Sam would thrive in Atlanta is not an indictment any other city. I happen to believe he will be successful no matter where he lands. This article simply highlights how great of a city Atlanta is, and how much of a need it has for a top-notch edge-player who can thrive in both the organic- and manufactured-pressure scheme.


:ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:55 pm 
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Watched a couple games physical skills are not impressive and would get sat down against NFL tackles. Seems to be at best when used in stunts but lacks any inside moves or counters. I wouldnt touch him before the 6th round.

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 1:20 am 
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His combine workout was also lousy, not strong nor quick. I see allot of problems with this guy, and none of them have to do with his sexuality. I'd be fine with our 5th or later.

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 11:27 am 
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Michael Sam's workout numbers are the same as Jarvis Jones, who was a 1st round pick.

Michael Sam

6-2/261
4.79 40
19 bench
30 inch vertical
9-5 broad jump
7.80 3cone

Jarvis Jones

6-2/245
4.88 40
20 bench
30.5 inch vertical
9-3 broad jump
7.46 3cone

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Michael Sam's workout numbers are the same as Jarvis Jones, who was a 1st round pick.

Michael Sam

6-2/261
4.79 40
19 bench
30 inch vertical
9-5 broad jump
7.80 3cone

Jarvis Jones

6-2/245
4.88 40
20 bench
30.5 inch vertical
9-3 broad jump
7.46 3cone


Right and Jarvis Jones was lousy this year only recording one sack, what a waste of a pick by the Steelers.

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:40 pm 
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But isn't it interesting that last year when Jones had his turrrrible workout at the pro day, most people said it didn't matter because he was so productive on the field.

No such "benefit of the doubt" for Sam, who like Jones was the SEC defensive player of the year. People were much quicker to pick apart his tape and say how his production came mainly against the lowest levels of competition.

Did everyone just smarten up after seeing Jones struggle to impact as a rookie, or is there a bit of an inherit bias against Sam because of "other" stuff? Makes you wonder.

A year ago, we were wondering if Jones dropped to the 30th pick, whether or not the Falcons should think about taking him. I know I certainly was. And now we aren't even willing to spend a 5th round pick on Sam?

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 7:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
But isn't it interesting that last year when Jones had his turrrrible workout at the pro day, most people said it didn't matter because he was so productive on the field.

No such "benefit of the doubt" for Sam, who like Jones was the SEC defensive player of the year. People were much quicker to pick apart his tape and say how his production came mainly against the lowest levels of competition.

Did everyone just smarten up after seeing Jones struggle to impact as a rookie, or is there a bit of an inherit bias against Sam because of "other" stuff? Makes you wonder.

A year ago, we were wondering if Jones dropped to the 30th pick, whether or not the Falcons should think about taking him. I know I certainly was. And now we aren't even willing to spend a 5th round pick on Sam?



Quid Pro Quo, Pudge, honestly, really honestly: does the fact that this guy is some sort of social 'hero' bias your judgement of his abilities? Same thing with that poor bastard that got locked up for a rape he never committed, I mean I know I was 'rooting' for him last year.... But, at the end of the day, he wasn't THAT good, and I think Sam may be a little similar...Meaning his 'upside' is not that great, and he would not come in and 'solve the rush problem' as this article suggests..

I look at him as a Biermann type 'tweener', which I think is round 5-7 th type 'value'. Personally, I do think this city is a good 'fit' for him, but I thought the same about Tebow, and I would feel the same about most 'controversial' players.. I think the locker room is pretty much 'set', and if the Ray Edwards fiasco didn't turn it upside down, then I don't imagine having a gay guy, Christian guy, whatevah is going to do this team in.

But c'mon, really? "Many players live in an affluent part of town known as Midtown-which is considered the capital of the "alternative lifestyle" scene. A scene that so desperately needs a voice like Sam's (as described in this Los Angeles Times article on Destee.com).

From a business standpoint, there are plenty of fans in the gay community that are die-hard fans (or even young athletes). But even those fans want what we all want...a productive pass-rusher!

I mean, I don't even know where to begin with that hot mess, but that is about as uninformed and I cannot help but think the same kinda 'worship' ( guilty,as charged ) of Tebow is similar to this guy. (Only at least Tebow nutted up and actually won a tough postseason game.)

:ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:54 pm 
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Michael Sam is J.A.G.

As a late round pick, is he worth a shot? Why not? He's no worse an NFL prospect than Stansly Maponga or Cliff Matthews. He just may be slightly less athletically (but not by much).

My point is that for folks that are quick to dismiss him because of his lack of athleticism, they should note that it wasn't that long ago where there was a similar athletic "specimen" that was at one point considered one of the best players in his draft class. That player was Jarvis Jones. And Sam and Jones have a lot of similarities (highly productive SEC players), yet one is in a position where he might not be drafted and the other was considered one of the best prospects in his draft class.

Should the Falcons draft him? I don't know...maybe. Again, he's not particularly better prospect than either Matthews or Maponga, who if they develop are at best decent No. 3 DEs, but more than likely will be average No. 4 DEs. If his presence comes with some "side benefits" then I guess that's incentive enough for a progressive owner.

But yeah, I support the guy. I'm all about marriage equality and civil rights. As you may recall, I wanted Ovie to come out when rumors swirled that he was gay a few years back. I already liked Kerry Rhodes as a player, but rumors of his "alternative lifestyle" have only cemented my positive feelings about him. I look forward to the point in the future where there are multiple openly gay players on most NFL teams, and it's not a big deal.

Does Sam's personal life bias me to how good a player he is? No. I'd like to believe my track record more than speaks for itself that in general, I judge guys fairly and accurately by how they produce on the field. I won't pretend I'm 100% objective, but I think I do a pretty good job of assessing what is on the field, and can delineate between all that off field stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:39 am 
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Tokenism is just another -ism....like exhibitionism. When equality* has arrived is when we quit talking about people's race, sex life, etc. It's a conundrum, no doubt, as there is way too much money and so on to be made by keeping this ball in the air. What still perplexes me is how a guy can be the player of the year in the sports' dominant conference and be JAG.


* no such thing

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 10:15 pm 
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ooooohhh noooooo, it's a moral conundrum....

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 11:40 pm 
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ridethemattrain wrote:
ooooohhh noooooo, it's a moral conundrum....

...or a political one.

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 7:19 am 
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ridethemattrain wrote:
ooooohhh noooooo, it's a moral conundrum....



someone listens to Ron and Fez! :up:

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:12 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
When equality* has arrived is when we quit talking about people's race, sex life, etc.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that by not talking about those things, you're helping equality along…

Not talking about equality is a result, not a cause.

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 Post subject: Re: If this guy was still there in the late 5th-7th,yessir
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 3:21 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
backnblack wrote:
When equality* has arrived is when we quit talking about people's race, sex life, etc.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that by not talking about those things, you're helping equality along…

Not talking about equality is a result, not a cause.

Whatever you say, birthday boy. My point is that there is no such thing as equality....in anything.

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