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 Post subject: What type of DT are we looking for?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:28 am 
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Purveyor of Truth & Justice
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What do you think the Falcons will focus on when they look for help inside up front?

Are we looking for a Rod Coleman clone? A guy that is a quick inside penetrator that is going to do his best job putting pressure on the QB?

Or are we looking for a guy that is more of a run-stopping type like Lavalais? Someone that can put some pressure on the QB, but his first duties will be stopping the run?

Or is it just the mix of both?

Right now, I want to say we are looking for a NT to compete with Lavalais. But then again, Coleman is not a young guy (29 in August) and has had trouble staying healthy thus far in Atlanta. So wouldn't it be more prudent to draft a guy that can back up him?

Right now, Antwan Lake and Anthony Herron are the lone depth we have at DT. Herron is a converted DE, but has yet to do much in the NFL. You could say the same about "Mr. Invisible" Antwan Lake, since he disappeared down the stretch last season.

Right now, if the Falcons are looking for a DT high in the draft, I'd like it to be a guy that does his best penetrating up field. I'm not as pessimistic about the prospects of Lavalais starting as I was at the end of the season. Plus I'm still hopeful that we will re-sign Travis Hall in June, and Hall can play either position.

But I think the Falcons would be smarter to look for the eventual replacement for Coleman in this draft rather than a guy that is going to compete with Lavalais. I'd rather see a veteran be brought in to do that. I think the Falcons need to figure out who would they miss more if out due to injury, and that clearly is Coleman.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:50 pm 
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Playmaker
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I have a feeling they will look at a good all-around DT like Shawn Cody from USC. He's like Travis Hall in that he is very versatile and is big and athletic enough to play all 4 DL positions. I would love to see them draft two DTs, one of each type. We need someone who will rotate with Lavalais who can stop up the middle, and a faster DT to rotate with Coleman. Lake or Hall should be kept around for depth only. If they don't trade down (as in my other scenarios), I'd like to see them get Cody and later grab a run-stopper.

This brings something else to mind. Now that we have a great run-stopping MLB in Hartwell, would they consider having two penetrating DTs in front of him? It makes some sense that they could get away with penetrating DTs in hopes of getting into the backfield to make plays more often. The flip-side though is if they can't make the play, you have a center and 2 guards bearing down on Hartwell. While it might work, I still think it's better to have a mix. If Cody or some other DT who is good at both aspects could be drafted, that would be the best scenario because we'd have the best of both worlds.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:08 pm 
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I think we need one of each type plus another of each type as undrafted FAs. We need some variety and the more players we bring in the better chance we find someone who can spell the starters a few downs a qtr and maybe develop. Also we need to stick to our scheme when taking these guys, why change what worked just because we can, sure we could package two penetrators at DT every once in a while to change it up and get after the QB but as a standard package I don't think just cause we can is good enough reason, though it would be nice to have two penatrators we trusted that much.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:28 pm 
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The beauty of Hartwell is that he's better against the point of attack than Draft was, so even if our guys don't do as good a job of keeping blockers off the MLB, it still shouldn't be as bad as before.

But obviously, any MLB is at their best when they never have to worry about blockers. Lavalais primary duty will be the prevent the center from getting at Hartwell. Coleman occupies blockers usually by getting penetration.

I think in terms of the interior of our D-line we need the following:

1. A backup NT. Preferably a veteran that can push Lavalais, but a solid rookie definitely would not be a problem. Right now Antwan Lake is our #2 NT, and he's a practice squad player.

2. A backup UT. Again Lake is the primary backup. We need this position because Coleman has not proven he can stay healthy for an entire season and in the past has wore down when he was the starter. If he's playing more than 30 snaps per game on a consistent basis, that's not a good thing.

3. And one of these players needs to be a good pass rusher. Lavalais at this point hasn't found his mark as a pass rusher at this level. He was a pretty solid guy in college, but at this point I'd much rather have a quicker guy. We need this to replace Lavalais (or whomever starts at NT) on passing/nickel downs. We used Jasper/Coleman and Hall/Coleman last year.

I think Travis Hall can fulfill 2 of these 3 roles, but can we re-sign him? It won't happen until after the draft, if at all. And then it depends on how willing is he to return to Atlanta?

Some other FA options for role #1 would be James Reed and Eric Downing. Both are on the right side of 30 and are decent depth. I doubt either would overtake Lavalais, but they are much better options than Lake IMO.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:15 pm 
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I think we need one of each. Would like to see Cody in round #1 & maybe a guy like Anthony Bryant, Sione Pouha or Atiyyah Ellison later.


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