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 Post subject: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good Move
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:54 pm 
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http://falcfans.com/why-the-atlanta-fal ... move-16220

Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good Move
June 19th, 2014
Aaron Freeman

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
T.J. Yates

The Atlanta Falcons pulled off a trade late last night, acquiring former Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates in exchange for linebacker Akeem Dent. It was a smart move by the Falcons front office for several reasons:

The trade addressed a key area of need: backup quarterback.
It cost very little.
Showed that the team was willing to move on from a move that clearly wasn’t working.
Let’s address each of those things in kind:

Addressing a Key Need

The Falcons backup quarterback situation was one of the weakest in the National Football League. Dominique Davis currently sat atop the Falcons depth chart behind starter Matt Ryan, but Davis has done little over the past year to indicate he deserves such status.

After a promising rookie summer where he unseated long-time backups Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson, Davis seemingly regressed last summer. The areas where he needed to show the most improvement upon: mechanics, touch and accuracy, hardly showed any growth. It’s not to say that Davis can’t eventually get there with more time, but he certainly did not show he was there quite yet.

Davis’ inability to complete intermediate and vertical passes last summer was a major glaring issue. According to premium website Pro Football Focus, Davis completed just 42.9 percent of his 28 attempts of 10 yards or more last preseason, with one touchdown, three interceptions and a passer rating of 46.8.

Frankly, if you cannot reliably complete throws beyond 10 yards, then you don’t really belong in the NFL as a quarterback. Perhaps Davis would have shown the necessary improvement this summer to earn his starting spot, but that was a risk the Falcons should not have been willing to take. Anybody that knows the team’s recent history knows that lacking a backup quarterback is not some trivial issue. This team has had two recent seasons tank (2003 and 2007) because of the lack of an adequate Plan B in the absence of its starter.

Thus enters Yates. Yates is by no means the best option the Falcons could have added to address their need at backup quarterback. Josh Freeman, David Carr and Rex Grossman, all currently free agents, are simply better and more experienced quarterbacks. But Yates is a step in the right direction. With seven career starts (all from his rookie season in 2011), he has legit NFL experience.

In Houston when Yates replaced an injured Matt Schaub down the stretch in 2011, he was asked to manage the game. He didn’t need to do much because at the time the Texans sported among the league’s premier rushing attacks and defenses that season. As long as Yates could protect the ball and keep the offense on schedule with short and intermediate throws, things worked out well for the Texans. He’ll be asked to fill a similar role here in Atlanta, although he won’t have nearly the supporting cast in those two areas he had in Houston.

That could create problems for Yates. He does not possess a great arm and will miss on some throws because of that. His touch and accuracy on deeper throws isn’t quite up to par, which can lead to turnovers and incompletions. He does move well in the pocket, able to buy time and avoid pressure, but doesn’t always do a great job resetting his feet to throw with accuracy. That too can also get him into trouble and lead to some turnovers.

But the biggest knock on Yates is that he’s still at this point in his career a one-read quarterback. That can lead him to throw interceptions as smart defenders can read his eyes and jump throws as they did in his more recent performances as a Texan. Yates threw three interceptions in a playoff loss against the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, and a pair in his only major action in 2013 during the second half of a loss against the St. Louis Rams. Most of those turnovers being poorly placed deeper throws or jumped throws by defenders.

The point is, the Falcons did not get a savior in Yates. But they got a guy that if he has weapons around him (namely Julio Jones and Roddy White), he can competently run the offense. And at this point, Yates in limited action has shown a lot more than Davis has.

Despite the Falcons’ efforts to improve their pass protection, it is by no means a guarantee that Ryan will stay healthy in 2014. A year ago, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered bruised ribs the first time he took a hit last year. Meanwhile, Ryan managed to take roughly 90 hits over the course of the 2013 season without missing any time. Lowering the number of hits a quarterback takes certainly improves his chances of remaining healthy, but it is by no means a guarantee. It is essentially random if/when any of the hits a quarterback will take over the course of a year will wind up being one that will keep him off the field. The Falcons can’t simply trust that improved offensive line play alone can keep Ryan healthy and upright in 2014. They need to have a contingency plan in the event that he does go down, and Yates is a much better one than their current options.

The Low Cost

While again, Yates is not as capable a quarterback as players like Freeman, Carr or Grossman, he hardly cost them anything either. Typical salaries for a veteran No. 2 quarterback in the NFL range between $1 and $5 million. In Yates, the Falcons essentially upgraded their backup quarterback situation and saved $80,000 in the process.

Dent was set to count roughly $860,000 against the Falcons 2014 salary cap, but by shipping him off the Houston, his $725,000 base salary gets cleared off Atlanta’s books. The Falcons do however take on the remainder of his unallocated signing bonus in terms of a dead money hit of $135,725. In Yates, the team will have to absorb his $645,000 2014 base salary on their cap hit, which is obviously $80,000 lower than Dent’s, freeing up that space on their 2014 cap.

Again, while the Falcons could have secured a much better quarterback if they were willing to spend money, the value on the Yates-Dent trade was just too good to pass up. Had the Falcons tried to sign someone like Carr or Grossman, it likely would have cost them at least $1 million more in 2014 cap space. And a player like Freeman, probably an even higher amount.

US PRESSWIRE
Akeem Dent
Moving On

It was very clear that Dent wasn’t working out here in Atlanta. When first selected in the third round of the 2011 draft, I was highly skeptical of the pick. Dent, was a player that I had graded as a seventh-round talent that the team seemingly reached on in the third round. While never being the biggest fan of former Falcon middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, I still recognized that Lofton was a better player than Dent. But I had hoped that Dent would ultimately prove me wrong and the Falcons right with their faith in him.

That did not prove to be the case in 2012 in Dent’s first year as a starter. He struggled in the team’s base package and was often a liability against the run. He was arguably the team’s weakest link among their dozen “starters” (including the nickel cornerback) on defense. And because of that, it made perfect sense why the Falcons played so much nickel that year, to limit the amount of exposure Dent could get against opposing offenses.

The hope was that with a year under his belt, Dent would show significant improvement in 2013. That was not the case. While Dent did improve, he was far from playing at a level that merited him being a starter. With the decline of Stephen Nicholas in coverage in 2012, it was expected that Dent would graduate from base defender into an every-down player. However, by the end of the preseason, it was undrafted rookie Joplo Bartu that was earning serious reps on passing downs for the Falcons defense. And it was not long before the Falcons turned to another undrafted rookie in Paul Worrilow at the middle linebacker position. By year’s end, Worrilow and Bartu were playing well, and when further injuries depleted the Falcons linebacker corps, the team turned once again to Nicholas. Dent was out of favor in Atlanta.

That decline was further evidenced when the team drafted a trio of inside linebackers this past May in the 2014 NFL Draft: Prince Shembo, Marquis Spruill and Yawin Smallwood, all of whom would be pushing for time.

It seemed clear that Dent was only going to be a special teams contributor if he managed to stick in 2013. Worrilow and Bartu were well ahead of him, and he had three rookies, each capable of performing on special teams as well, breathing down his neck. Dent was a very good special teams player for the Falcons as a rookie in 2011, leading the team with 17 stops. But his performance wasn’t quite up to snuff in the second half of 2013 when he returned to playing primarily on special teams after being benched. He had just four tackles on special teams.

Trading Dent shows that the Falcons were willing to move on from something that clearly was not working. Dent had not come close to returning the team’s investment. A third-round pick is expected to win a starting job by his second or third season in the league and solidify that role. Dent had not, creating more questions than answers at the position. With the emergences of players like Worrilow and Bartu, and the potential for further ones by Shembo, Spruill and Smallwood down the line, Dent needed a huge turn-around just to stick with the Falcons beyond this year.

Like Yates, 2014 marked the final year of Dent’s rookie contract. Even if he made the team’s roster, he would essentially have to revert to his 2011 form on special teams in order to earn a second contract with the Falcons. That didn’t seem likely to happen and thus the Falcons smartly moved on and got something in exchange for him.

In the end, acquiring Yates may not be some franchise-defining move for the Falcons. Hopefully, Yates’ presence on the roster will hardly be noticed simply from the continued good health of Matt Ryan. But the move shows that the Falcons are at least making an effort to plug problem areas.

That’s an effort that the team hasn’t always shown as the Falcons have seemed far too complacent in terms of their backup quarterback situation in recent years, trusting that Ryan would remain healthy without having a viable backup. Again, Yates is by no means Frank Reich as far as backups go, but he is a significant step in the right direction.

At least from this point on, you can’t blame the Falcons’ mistakes on a lack of effort. And when it comes to personnel, that’s really all you can ask for. As Dent’s career shows, not every move is going to work out. But there is nothing worse as an organization than to stand pat on something that is clearly not working in the hope it turns around in the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:50 am 
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Another failed 3rd round pick for TD. Dent was just a guy at UGA I dont see what they expected him to become here in Atlanta. Hopefully Southward buck the trend of under performing 3rd round picks.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Yes I like Yates better than Davis, but I doubt he could win a football game, and we should have paid the extra money on the better Qb whoever it was. If Ryan goes down I don't think this move would help any
coach not get fired!!

As has been stated it showed another terrible 3rd pick by T.D. Nobody
thought he was a good pick, AND he showed that to true. How could anyone think Dent was worth a third round pick; you need to hit on your 3rd rounders and its where Thomas D. has been a complete failure.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:30 pm 
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I would say I feel kind of bad for Davis, but I don't. He made more money in the last two years then I did in the last ten. My guess is he was so pissed because he realized that he had blown all his money on his posse and now there is nothing left. :twisted:

I agree on TD. He really needs to up his game, but it won't matter. Smith will get fired before TD. Lack of talent on this roster is pretty apparent and that is reflected on TD. Cyril don't you need to change your image to include TD? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:52 pm 
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Quote:
Cyril don't you need to change your image to include TD?


Does that mean you think I like him or hate him?? First what Image I had
got lost by the computer, so I'm just going without.

I've got mixed emotions about T.D. I thought he hired a good head coach,
many didn't want us to take Matt Ryan on our third pick (I think it was),
and the Tony G. trade for a #2 was awesome, so I thought he really set us up our first couple of years.....Then we did well in year three and four, but
some of those choices then are hurting us now.

Then the last couple of years I think he's really missed on things like letting Abe go, especially losing 3rd round picks for corners that have never made it, and letting the O-line go to hell.

So as of this minute I wouldn't say T.D. is terrible. I liked his draft this year better than others, so I'm judging him one move at a time. I think he let us get bad enough we can't get it completely squared away this year, but I don't see him panicking..... Yes Coach Smith would probably go first, but Thomas D. endorsed him hard this year, think about our lack of players on defense and its hard to win without a defense!!

I'm hoping all of this is a learning experience for Thomas D. and I do think Coach Smith has never had his team play worse than his talent.
That's better than our other head coaches!!

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:53 pm 
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I think when you begin trying to fix your team through big FA acquisitions tat this is a bit of a panic and after last year TD prob has reason to panic. You can screw your cap just as badly with FAs as with draft picks that don't work out.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
I do think Coach Smith has never had his team play worse than his talent.

I don't know how to tell you this Cyril, but there was this thing called the 2013 Atlanta Falcons season. You might want to amend that statement.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:05 am 
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My problem with TD is that he can't look at his roster and predict what the team needs to be successful in the future. All he really sees are the major stand out issues. He totally missed the ball on the offensive line. He never had an answer for our pass rush issues. He seemingly was surprised that Tony G was no longer on the team, and now we're going to diminish our tight end role in the passing game.

It just seems to me that TD handles things like an armchair GM rather than a forward thinking, team builder.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:08 am 
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I completely agree with you on this ... In my opinion also GM is far better than TD..


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:24 am 
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I think it was B. Finneran recently and Koenan once he was in TB who both used the expression that the mood in FB was "tight" and not in a positive way but "up tight." I imagine there is a bit of a future-is-now vibe that has been going on since about 2010 and that it comes down from the top...maybe even earlier. Once we got a sniff of the playoffs I think AB got Viagra-tized. One of the more damning quotes from last season and one that I don't hear brought up much but one which I actually liked because it was accountable was when the season was in the midst of melt down last year Smitty said, "We built this roster and we like it." He put himself in the cross hairs with that one and the mass changes to the roster say they decided they didn't like it as much as they thought they did or somebody said I want to see improvements--immediately.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Pudge, No amendment from me. Injuries are part of the game and when
you lose Roddy, Julio, and Biermann, and more,and your team has no reserves to fill in, what are you going to do? No offensive line or defensive line, you can't rush the passer or block for your Qb, that's a very bad team!!

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:54 pm 
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The Falcons lost far more than just Roddy, Julio, and Biermann for significant stretches of the season:

They also lost S-Jax for a long stretch and he never really was himself. Spooner was never really 100% and eventually went down for the season. Sam Baker was out for a majority of the season (when healthy he is decent). On top of all of that you had DeCoud not just fall back to earth but play incompetently at best.

You can get on the Falcons for not having enough depth but when a team has up to 6 starters lose significant time due to injury especially when they are among your elite (Spoon, S-Jax, Roddy, Jones) the team is going to suffer regardless of your depth. Even if the Falcons had enough depth to pickup the slack and be competitive they still aren't a title contending team w/o many of the aforementioned players.

Sure, Dimitroff & Co. dramatically underestimated the short comings of the O-Line and D-Line but even with that a healthy Falcon roster is still probably a WC team.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:02 am 
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dirtybirdnw wrote:
You can get on the Falcons for not having enough depth but when a team has up to 6 starters lose significant time due to injury especially when they are among your elite (Spoon, S-Jax, Roddy, Jones) the team is going to suffer regardless of your depth. Even if the Falcons had enough depth to pickup the slack and be competitive they still aren't a title contending team w/o many of the aforementioned players

Tell that to the 2013 Patriots and 2010 Packers:

Patriots injury losses:

Aqib Talib (3 games missed)
Danny Amendola (4 games missed)
Shane Vereen (8 games missed)
Sebastian Vollmer (8 games missed)
Rob Gronkowski (9 games missed)
Jerod Mayo (10 games missed)
Tommy Kelly (11 games missed)
Vince Wilfork (12 games missed)
Aaron Hernandez (16 games missed)

Patriots made the AFC Championship Game

Packers injury losses:

Cullen Jenkins (5 games missed)
Brad Jones (10 games missed)
Jermichael Finley (11 games missed)
Morgan Burnett (12 games missed)
Nick Barnett (12 games missed)
James Starks (13 games missed)
Ryan Grant (15 games missed)

Packers won the Super Bowl...

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:43 am 
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Pudge wrote:
dirtybirdnw wrote:
You can get on the Falcons for not having enough depth but when a team has up to 6 starters lose significant time due to injury especially when they are among your elite (Spoon, S-Jax, Roddy, Jones) the team is going to suffer regardless of your depth. Even if the Falcons had enough depth to pickup the slack and be competitive they still aren't a title contending team w/o many of the aforementioned players

Tell that to the 2013 Patriots and 2010 Packers:

Patriots injury losses:

Aqib Talib (3 games missed)
Danny Amendola (4 games missed)
Shane Vereen (8 games missed)
Sebastian Vollmer (8 games missed)
Rob Gronkowski (9 games missed)
Jerod Mayo (10 games missed)
Tommy Kelly (11 games missed)
Vince Wilfork (12 games missed)
Aaron Hernandez (16 games missed)

Patriots made the AFC Championship Game

Packers injury losses:

Cullen Jenkins (5 games missed)
Brad Jones (10 games missed)
Jermichael Finley (11 games missed)
Morgan Burnett (12 games missed)
Nick Barnett (12 games missed)
James Starks (13 games missed)
Ryan Grant (15 games missed)

Packers won the Super Bowl...



I believe statisticians would call those "outliers." Non-stats folks would call that"lucky"

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Wease wrote:
I believe statisticians would call those "outliers." Non-stats folks would call that"lucky"

And you could find a few others that would call it those two teams succeeded because their coaching staff knew that in those situations, you needed to put things on the back of your quarterback to try and get him to elevate the play and carry the team. The Falcons failed to do that, and there are a litanry of reasons why that is. Some will debate it's mostly on the coaches, while others will blame the quarterback. The truth is that it's actually a combination of both, but whether it's a 50/50 or 70/30 split either way, both parties are culpable.

People can say that Tom Brady is no longer an elite QB if they wish, but the reality is that he was much better in the second half of 2013 than he was in the first half, when he was largely mediocre. And we all should be able to remember how lights out Rodgers was during his run in 2010.

And even more others would say that a major reason why those teams succeeded and the 2013 Falcons did not is due to those two teams acquiring more talent with their personnel decisions over the most recent 3-4 years. The Falcons simply whiffed too many times on FA signings like Ray Edwards, picks like Peter Konz, and missed opportunities like the Julio trade.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:49 pm 
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Wait... Are we finally starting to think that the Julio trade was a bad move? I kinda felt that after 2012, I was the only one who still firmly believed that the trade was a loss for us. Last year, when Julio went down, I was again stating that, and I met a big friggin wall of opposition.

So is the Julio trade now being viewed as a bad move? :pray:


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:10 pm 
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I thought it was a "bad" move the day they made it and, if memory serves, so did Pudge. that is to say, I disagreed with and his somewhat fragile history has not helped matters but I don't think it is a slam dunk case either way. He's better than I thought he was.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:04 am 
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backnblack wrote:
I thought it was a "bad" move the day they made it and, if memory serves, so did Pudge. that is to say, I disagreed with and his somewhat fragile history has not helped matters but I don't think it is a slam dunk case either way. He's better than I thought he was.

I never really questioned whether he was good or not. I simply questioned if it was the correct move to make... Trading away three high picks for one guy.

And yes, Pudge was not supportive of the move at first, but after 2012, Pudge started to back down. I don't know that he ever pulled a complete 180, but he did seem to be leaning on the side of, "it was a decent trade."


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:46 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
backnblack wrote:
I thought it was a "bad" move the day they made it and, if memory serves, so did Pudge. that is to say, I disagreed with and his somewhat fragile history has not helped matters but I don't think it is a slam dunk case either way. He's better than I thought he was.

I never really questioned whether he was good or not. I simply questioned if it was the correct move to make... Trading away three high picks for one guy.

And yes, Pudge was not supportive of the move at first, but after 2012, Pudge started to back down. I don't know that he ever pulled a complete 180, but he did seem to be leaning on the side of, "it was a decent trade."

I think there are dif ways of looking at the trade and they are almost mutually exclusive in principle. First, you look at a trade with no hindsight and ask yourself whether this makes sense in the greater scope of what you are trying to do. In this case, Pudge and I both though tit was too much of an investment in a "shiny hood ornament" and I believe this is when he began to slightly sour on the new administration. I think he said something along the lines of ,"I thought we had a chance to build something special." I agreed with this in that I felt we began adding "final pieces" too soon rather than a few more building blocks. OTOH, I thought G. Dorsey was the more judicious move in 08 for the same reason. TD and I disagreeing on this is part of what brought us--rapidly--to the final piece scenario.

The other way you judge is by considering what actually happened after the move was made. What did JJ do? I would say he had a whole lot of influence on getting us "10 yards from the SB." MR certainly looked less fantastic without #11 on the field. Also, our depth looked a bit less than fantastic with him off the field and this what the naysayers will harp on. TD would have drafted multiple starters with these picks we gave away. In theory this may seem pretty plausible. In reality, TD's upper round picks have not all been game changers. Of course, JJ's fragility has to be considered in the "what actually happened" scenario also. In my view, it has been the biggest factor in judging the trade. You can't make a difference on the training table.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:33 am 
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My official stance is this:

The Julio trade was a good move. The Julio trade was also a bad move.

Put simply, we wouldn't have gotten as far as we did in 2012 without making the move. And we wouldn't have been as bad as we were in 2013 without making the move. Moving forward, it is both a blessing (having a playmaker like Julio on the team) and a curse (having to spend the next few years replenishing the talent the team failed to acquire from 2011-12).

Judging the trade (like most things in life) is a firm shade of grey rather than black or white, good or bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:20 pm 
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I will continue to argue that with typical moves, the picks that we gave up to get Julio would have had us in the same position in 2012, and would have kept us from circling the drain in 2013.

We could have made moved with those picks that left us MUCH better off, or we could have made moves that royally screwed us. But if the moves we made were fairly average given our draft position, we would have been better off than we are now.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:43 pm 
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Welcome to the Grey Fence, Pudge, my home of eternal residence. I agree fully and even considering the horror of last year I think that getting that close to a SB was a good step for the franchise and I do not believe we get there with a couple more solid players in Julio's stead. The guy is on most lists as among the 20 best players in the league. This is not insignificant on a team with suspect talent base and--in some circles--a suspect talent evaluation team. The 1998 SB team is pretty much the model I think Smitty had in mind but count me among those who realize that the league--and a lot of other things--have changed significantly in the last five years or so. It's not all for the better but it is what it is, as we like to say. Having a dynamic playmaker--esp for a team QBed by a guy like Ryan--is a must. The X Factor of JJ's fragility is kind of unfair in the evaluation of the move to get him as I do not think he was known as being injury prone at Bama.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:15 pm 
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He was always nicked up at Bama, but nothing devastating that would have caused him to miss a significant amount of time. But the same could be said of Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina, a lot of little nagging injuries that would cause him to miss practice time for stretches, but nothing major that would cause him to miss more than a game or two very sporadically.

Injuries are not part of the evaluation, unless you have a player like Peria Jerry who has an extensive history of being unable to stay healthy (Jerry had missed significant time with related lower leg injuries in 4 out of the previous 5 years before joining the Falcons). The idea that the Julio trade was bad because Julio has been hurt too much to me is a very silly argument. It's like saying that you should never have bought a new car because you got into an accident.

Julio had a broken hand his junior year, and a bruised knee his freshman year, but missed zero games. He played through both. Then he had the broken foot before the Combine, and managed to despite that outperform a healthy A.J. Green. And this latest foot injury is related to that same injury. And he played through the foot injury for a portion of the Jets game before team doctors shut him down. Just like in the NFC Championship Game, he played most of that game injured, missing only 1 or 2 snaps.

RobertAP wrote:
I will continue to argue that with typical moves, the picks that we gave up to get Julio would have had us in the same position in 2012,

There was a time when I argued the same, but no longer. The only reason we made it as far as we did in 2012 is because we had 1 special element to our offense, and that was Julio Jones. That of course coupled with the fact that the Seahawks were missing their best defensive player (Chris Clemons) and his absence allowed our OL to actually control the line of scrimmage in that game, which meant our running game also looked semi-professional for 2 quarters in that game and we were playing at home against a rookie QB in his first playoff game, who had only really played well in about 5 regular season games.

Had we gotten Torrey Smith or Denarius Moore, our offense wouldn't have been special. It would have still be good. But what would have likely happened is that we wouldn't have been able to build that huge early lead vs. SEA, and thus we would have lost in the same fashion we did from 2008-11. We would have been a better overall team, but again the only reason we made it as far as we did in 2012 was because there was 1 exceptional element of our offense, which was our passing game (and only in the playoffs did we actually open things up to a degree where our passing attack was actually explosive).

Our OL, running game, and defense might have become better had we not made that trade and picked up OL like David DeCastro or Riley Reiff, and could have used a 2nd or 4th round picks on a couple of defensive starters, but we'd still be the same team we were from 2008-11, a very good regular season team without the element to become a good playoff team. Julio is the difference there.

Of course the problem moving forward is that having a special WR is relatively meaningless if the other elements of your team are dysfunctional.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:59 am 
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It's all conjecture and luck--for lack of a better word--will always be a factor. As to injuries and evaluations, I agree that you don't really factor in a host of unrelated injuries whereas if a guy has, as an example, constant knee problems or shoulder problems a red flag goes up. But, OTOH, there are some guys who play in a style that lends itself to injury more than others and it is often this style that makes them who they are. A name that comes to mind locally is Cadillac Williams. He was injured at AU a good bit and they were unrelated broken bones. He was a guy who did not like to go down and it was often speculated that this tenacity invited injury. I might mention someone like K Brooking as the opposite. Though he played hard he was never a ferocious type head hunting hitter but more of a grab and drag down kind of player. Some called him a pile jumper. :wink: For that matter, Ryan is a live to play another play type of guy. I see JJ as a balls to the wall every snap all the way to the whistle player. It could be said he might prolong his career by watching how Jerry Rice learned how to avoid blows.

Our 13 season does not wind up as it did with JJ in the line up. He is a dif maker and, as Pudge pointed out some time back, he is the heir apparent for an aging Roddy White. Despite the marketing depts. wishes to the contrary, it is #11 who is the face of the franchise going forward provided he can recover and stay on the field.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Atlanta Falcons Trade For T.J. Yates Is a Good M
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:50 am 
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backnblack wrote:
Despite the marketing depts. wishes to the contrary, it is #11 who is the face of the franchise going forward provided he can recover and stay on the field.

Yep, it's pretty simple...if #11 is in the lineup, the Falcons have the potential to be very good. If he's not, then they suck. That should not be the case as an NFL team never wants to be beholden to a friggin' wide receiver (*cough*Detroit*cough*), but that's the way this team has been built. That's the knock on the trade, but once again had picks like Akeem Dent, Peter Konz, Lamar Holmes, Bradie Ewing, etc. been significant contributors rather than bench warmers, then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

In the past, people argued saying that criticizing some of these picks and personnel moves were "nitpicking" since the team was winning. Personnel moves aren't judged on team success, they are judged simply on whether or not that individual player becomes a good player or not. Unfortunately, the Falcons brass also made the mistake that winning meant they were doing things the right way. Ultimately, they might find themselves looking for employment elsewhere in the near future for that mistake.

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