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 Post subject: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Atlanta Falcons Falcons used “Big Tackle Three” to stop Eagles’ run game

8:08 am October 30, 2012, by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — It was abundantly clear early on Sunday that the Falcons’ coaching staff didn’t spend the bye week out on the golf course.

They were in the office, concocting a way to improve their run defense and stop the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Falcons entered the game giving up 143.8 yards rushing per game, but held the Eagles to 92 yards rushing on 24 carries (3.8 yards per carry) in their 30-17 victory.

In obvious run situations, the Falcons used three defensive tackles — Jonathan Babineaux, Vance Walker and Peria Jerry — to knock back the line of scrimmage. Babineaux, normally the “quick tackle,” lined up at defensive end.

“In the bye week, we looked at a lot of different combinations and we had an opportunity to put some things up on the board and get some dust, so to speak, in the bottom of the chalkboard,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said Monday. “We put different things together and looked at some different combinations.

“We went into this game with a little bit of a different strategy and I thought that it helped us in our run defense.”

Defensive tackle Corey Peters subbed in and out for Jerry during the second half. He played 20 of 63 snaps (32 percent) in his first game back from a preseason stress fractured foot injury.

“He gives us some flexibility in terms of moving guys around on our defensive line,” Smith said. “Not necessarily always playing left and right. It gives us some flexibility and helps us in our rotation.”

The Falcons’ rush defense average dropped more than seven yards to 136.4 yards per game. Before Monday’s play, they ranked 26th in the league.

In addition to playing the extra tackles, defensive end Kroy Biermann was used in multiple roles. He served as the “spy” defender on Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. His job: attack Vick if he decided to run.

Biermann, who finished with seven tackles and one sack, performed well against the fleet quarterback, who ran for 42 yards.

“I thought he put good pressure on the quarterback,” Smith said. “He had one sack, had an opportunity for another and he chased the quarterback out of the pocket one time and he gained like two yards on a pass play. So it ended up not being a registered sack, but it was a heck of a play.”

Before the Philadelphia game, the Falcons had given up at least 116 yards per game. Four weeks before, Carolina rushed for 199 yards. Denver’s Willis McGahee and Washington’s Alfred Morris both rushed for more than 100 yards against the Falcons.

In the game leading into the bye-week, Oakland rushed for 149 yards, the second-most against them this season. Those numbers led the coaches to the chalk board to come up with a remedy.

“It was the best performance of the season,” Smith said. “I thought we were tackling much more crisply. Our angles to the ball, our pursuit angles were much better.”

After the coaches put together their plan, they presented it to the players, who took the entire bye week off. A back-to-basics practice last Monday was critical.

“It was very remedial, that practice,” Smith said. “We wanted to get back and break down football into its simplest form. It basically comes down to blocking and tackling.”

The Falcons did everything but break out tackling dummies.

“We spent a whole lot of time breaking down different components of the different types of tackles,” Smith said. “I thought that our coaching staff did a good job on our Monday practice. It was probably just 45 minutes of remedial, eight-grade football. Some times, we need to get back and do that.”

The players brought into the fundamental review.

“Some times you can’t see the forest because of the trees,” Smith said. “We needed to step back and work on some fundamentals after our bye week.”

Defensive John Abraham was pleased with the unit’s effort.

“There weren’t many missed tackles,” Abraham said. “A lot of the big runs in weeks prior came from missed tackles. We did a good job of wrapping up.”

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Babs has looked surprisingly good as a pass rusher from the DE spot. He really shined against Washington a number of times.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:29 am 
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What are the cap ramifications of cutting Edwards next year?


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:03 pm 
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samedi wrote:
What are the cap ramifications of cutting Edwards next year?

From crunching the numbers I've found, due to the $3 million option bonus we gave Edwards this past offseason, there will be $4.65 million in still prorated bonuses after this season.

He got a $4 million signing bonus as part of his initial five-year deal, with a remaining $2.4 million prorated after this year. Three-quarters of this year's option bonus has yet to be paid ($3M prorated over 4 yrs) which adds up to $4.65 million.

His base salary in 2013 is $5.5 million. If he was cut that would clear with the Falcons forced to eat the $4.65 million in dead money. Edwards cap hit in 2013 was originally going to be $7.05 million, so we would actually save $2.4 million against next year's cap.

Edwards will probably ultimately go down as TD's worst signing, up there with Peerless Price for Reeves, and Ed Hartwell for McKay, but it certainly seems like at least TD didn't spend a huge amount for him. $12 million paid over two years to Edwards, but in terms of cap hit we only paid $7.35M to Edwards as opposed to the $7.9M committed to pay Chauncey Davis instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
, but in terms of cap hit we only paid $7.35M to Edwards as opposed to the $7.9M committed to pay Chauncey Davis instead.


They owed him $7.9? Did he get signed at the same time as Jenkins?


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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:52 pm 
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I don't think we will cut Edwards, not TD's style to have cap room locked up in guys that aren't on the team. We'll probably work with Edwards another year or two to see if we can turn it around.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Dave you may be right, and at this point I would probably say the odds are in favor that Edwards stays for 2013 (60%??)

But barring a huge improvement next year, I think it's pretty clear Edwards is an outright bust.

Davis was one of the first free agent moves of the TD era, I think signed a day or two after we locked up Turner. Remember his $7.9M was on the backend of his deal, while Edwards money is on the front end. Comparatively in Years 3 and 4 of his deal, Edwards is due a combined $12 million in cap space, which is why it'll be smarter if the Falcons get out of it sooner rather than later.

But Dave may wind up being right, and people wonder why I knock TD. You would think someone that is brilliant and a so-called genius would understand that the $2.4 million you save by cutting Edwards could amount to four veteran players at the minimum level. So why is it a better strategy to pay Edwards that $7M next year when you could spread that among 4 players that could potentially help you in 4 areas? The only way that is a worthwhile strategy is if Edwards improves and lives up to that salary, which would likely require him to become 3 or 4x as good a player as he currently is...at age 28.

Like it was with Turner, without MAJOR improvement this year, the only way TD can justify bringing Edwards back next year is at a dramatically reduced salary.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Tackle Trinity
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:43 am 
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I get what Pudge is saying about TD's draft/free agent record. Yes the bottom line is we are 7-0 however has anyone thought about why it took so long to get any decent coordinators in here when the fans have been clamoring for change the last few years? Why didn't TD see that the coordinators just weren't cutting it sooner?

Free agent wise Edwards has been a bust and DRob on the defensive side of the ball. Turner has been the only free agent on offense which again we overpaid alot for him.Draft wise how many players has TD draft drafted that our going to be core/premium players( Ryan,Jones,Weatherspoon that's about it.TD did trade for Gonzo but that was a no brainer.Gonzo was just wasting away in KC and giving a 2nd rounder for him was a good move but again no brainer. We don't know how the players are going to develop from this draft but hopefully Konz turns into a pro bowl type yet who is may develop into pro bowl material the jury is out.

Mckay and Reeves were horrible Gms which is why TD is getting so much credit.Comparing TD vs some of the elite GMs in the game TD as a ways to go in building a decent roster of pro bowl players.This is his 5th season and we have how many pro bowl or potential pro bowl players acquired by TD (Jones,Gonzo who will retire soon,to early to tell on Konz and Ryan. Defensively Weatherspoon is the only one.

Just goes to show how a QB can make a huge difference along with the right system and coaching. TD must come up with more gems before he's considering one the best GMs in the game in my book.

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