It is currently Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:27 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:36 am 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5006
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- They sound like idle words, even for a team with the NFL's best record.

Everyone is being evaluated on a weekly basis. No one's job is safe. If someone isn't performing up to expectations, they can be replaced.

Well, the Atlanta Falcons weren't kidding.

Coming off their first loss but still cruising at 8-1, the Falcons made a bold move this week when they dumped big-money defensive end Ray Edwards. In less than two seasons with the team, he had done little to justify a contract that included $11 million in guaranteed money, so the Falcons decided to go in a different direction.

The message to everyone else is clear - don't get complacent.

''It's a wakeup call,'' safety Thomas DeCoud said Wednesday. ''The message has been received.''

While it might have been convenient to let Edwards languish on the bench, especially with the team playing so well, coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff decided it's never good to keep an underperforming player on the roster. Edwards had only nine tackles and no sacks this season, his starting job claimed by Kroy Biermann.

''I don't want to get into sending messages and what not,'' Smith said. ''We evaluate every day. We evaluate after every game, from top to bottom. We talk about it all the time. It starts with me. This is a decision that we made. We feel like it makes our team better today and makes our team better in the future.''

With Edwards gone, the Falcons will give more playing time to fourth-year player Lawrence Sidbury, second-year lineman Cliff Matthews and rookie Jonathan Massaquoi, who got his first playing time in last week's 31-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

In the meantime, all the younger players have seen the cruel side of the business.

''It's scary,'' rookie offensive lineman Peter Konz said, managing a weak smile. ''It makes you think. But if you do the right things, get the job done on the field, you don't have to be too worried about it.''

Edwards had not done much right since signing a five-year, $30 million contract with the Falcons just before the start of training camp last season.

After combining for 16.5 sacks in his final two seasons with Minnesota, he was supposed to team with John Abraham to give opponents a two-sided nightmare coming off the edge. Instead, after undergoing knee surgery during the lockout, Edwards struggled to regain his mobility and managed just 3.5 sacks in what turned out to be his only full season with the Falcons.

This season, things only got worse.

Biermann, the player Edwards was supposed to replace, was much more effective as a rusher and at playing the versatile role required by new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan (sometimes even dropping into pass coverage). Edwards started four games, but found himself spending more and more time on the sideline.

Finally, the Falcons had seen enough.

Even with a $4.5 million hit on the salary cap next season, Smith and Dimitroff made the move.

''We're about winning games here,'' defensive lineman Corey Peters said. ''It's in the best interest to do everything we can to help our team get to that goal. We're not hesitant to make decisions and make changes.''

If nothing else, Smith has always tried to be up front with his players. If someone's not playing up to their ability, he'll tell them. If change is needed, he'll pull the trigger and move on.

''This is not anything new,'' Peters said. ''I'm grateful to be in a place where they're pretty transparent. The let you know what they think of you. That's all you can really ask for.''

While some players surely have more leeway than others - Matt Ryan is not going to be replaced at quarterback, no matter how poorly he plays Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals (4-5) - coaches have always relied on a bit of the fear factor to keep everyone motivated.

Given that most players don't have a lot of guaranteed money in their contracts, the desire to succeed takes on new importance. There's always someone looking for a job. There's always someone eager to take your place.

''That's the way this game goes,'' cornerback Dunta Robinson said. ''You can be replaced.''

In a sign of how quickly things change, Massaquoi had already taken over Edwards' locker space on Wednesday, claiming a more prominent spot among the other defensive linemen.

''Ray was a great friend of mine,'' Robinson said, looking over at Edwards' former locker. ''I hate to see him go. But it's a business. Things like this are going to happen when it's a business.''

Linebacker Mike Peterson said he wasn't surprised at all by the move.

''This organization definitely believes in trying to get better at each position each and every week,'' he said. ''Even when we're winning. Even when we were 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, we were trying to get better each week.''

Safety William Moore heard Peterson's comments as he walked by.

''You better believe that,'' Moore said.

No one doubts it now.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/8-1-falcon ... --nfl.html

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:23 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25966
Location: North Carolina
This is a good move if it means guys like Sid, Matthews, and Mass will get more reps. I don't expect any improvement to the pass rush with Edwards replaced, but given that DL is one of those positions that takes years before a guy can grow into the role and polish up his technique, etc. early reps are very beneficial.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:00 pm 
Offline
Playmaker
Playmaker
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:26 pm
Posts: 463
Location: The Kingdom
Pudge wrote:
This is a good move if it means guys like Sid, Matthews, and Mass will get more reps. I don't expect any improvement to the pass rush with Edwards replaced, but given that DL is one of those positions that takes years before a guy can grow into the role and polish up his technique, etc. early reps are very beneficial.

There are exceptions to that...JPP??

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:36 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:51 pm
Posts: 4894
Location: New York
Peterson and Moore comments were my favorite, love the mindset. There was no room for improvement with Edwards, I give the front office lots of credit for making the move now. Very excited to see what the trio can bring to the table.

_________________
Image

I'm a Devin Hester guy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:17 am 
Offline
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:12 pm
Posts: 6212
Location: Planet Claire
He surely sucked but I cannot help but just be flabbergasted at the amount of money this man was paid to do so little. He made D. Hall's short time with the Raiders seem almost like a bargain. Ok, that is probably over the top. :lol:

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:23 pm 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5006
Atlanta Falcons: Look for Matthews, Massaquoi to pick up most of Edwards’ playing time
November 16, 2012, by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — In the aftermath of the stunning decision to release Ray Edwards, there was a big hole on the Falcons’ depth chart for the first time this season.

Kroy Biermann, who was playing more than Edwards, slid into the No. 1 slot at left defensive end on the team’s unofficial depth chart.

Cliff Matthews, a special-teams standout, figures to benefit the most from Edwards’ release, followed by rookie Jonathan Massaquoi and fourth-year defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.

Massaquoi is listed as No. 2 behind Biermann, and Sidbury is listed as No. 2 behind John Abraham — followed by Matthews.

“They are all doing well,” defensive line coach Ray Hamilton said Thursday. “They have been practicing all year, but they haven’t been practicing on our side of the ball a whole lot because they’ve been doing mostly scout-team stuff.”

Edwards had played an average of 23 snaps per game. Biermann likely will take on eight of those plays, leaving about 15 snaps to be filled by the other defensive ends because the Falcons like to use a rotation to keep players fresh.

“Their mindset has changed a little bit this week,” Hamilton said. “They know they have a chance to play, and they are doing well.”

Matthews, a seventh-round pick in 2011, is the most similar in stature to Edwards, who played mostly against the run in the Falcons’ base 4-3 defense.

“Cliff is a big, strong and physical guy that we’ve always liked,” Hamilton said. “We think that he’s come along enough to get in there and get a few snaps.”

Massaquoi, a local product from Central Gwinnett High, is working to refine his skills. He was inactive for the first eight games of the season. He played five plays on special teams Sunday against New Orleans in his NFL debut.

Hamilton is high on Massaquoi.

“Massaquoi is a guy that’s got a lot of physical ability, a lot of good football instincts,” Hamilton said. “He’s just a raw kid right now. Hopefully, he’s learned enough to get in there. We’ll see what he can do.”

The Falcons need to improve on defense against the run and would like to ramp up their pass rush. Abraham leads the team with seven sacks, and Biermann has two.

Overall, the Falcons have 21 sacks, which is tied for 13th in the league with Indianapolis and New Orleans. Denver leads with 31 sacks. Also, the defense has given up 129.8 yards per game, which ranks 25th.

Sidbury has the most experience of the trio.

“His chances of playing are going up also,” Hamilton said.

The Falcons have pulled Matthews off some of the special teams in order for him to better focus on playing from scrimmage.

“He looks like the real deal,” Hamilton said. “He’s a guy that we’ve brought along slowly.”

The door clearly is open for Matthews, who played at South Carolina and was a second-team all-SEC pick in 2010.

“We need a big physical guy, so Cliff could be the one who mostly benefits by what has happened,” Hamilton said.

First-year defensive coordinator Mike Nolan uses some of his ends like 3-4 outside linebackers. Against the Saints, Biermann dropped into coverage 16 yards on one play. There are times when he stands up and blitzes or plays the run.

Sidbury would like to see some of that action, too.

“I’m comfortable with everything,” Sidbury said. “I’ve shown, in the times that I have gotten to play, that I’m comfortable with everything. I don’t have any uneasiness with anything. It’s fun to do. Yes, you have to think a little bit more, but I’m able to handle it with no problem.”

Matthews, who was inactive for all 16 games last season, clearly is excited about the opportunity.

“I’m ready,” said Matthews, who said he’s been getting in extra film work. “All I have to do is take advantage of the opportunity.”

Massaquoi had 20 sacks one season in junior college and was a standout at Troy.

“Jonathan is a very athletic defensive end,” coach Mike Smith said. “He’s an explosive player. He’s a strong guy. His role will probably have an opportunity to change a little bit this week.”

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:36 pm 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5006
here is an interesting conspiracy theory:

suppose your in Nolan's shoes, and you walk into the current player/personell we got and you intend to spend next season with this team....

AND, although you can coach both styles (3-4 4-3, and the hybrids) you feel a little more 'comfy' with the 4-3, but you dont have the big beefy NT or the prototype OLB/ DE ro run the scheme.

Well, if I am Nolan, then tossing out 'Edwards' really is not that 'stunning'.

I mean, think about it. You got 3 guys on the roster with upside that aren't getting any real time game experience because of one overpaid undermotivated douchebag. You also have 2 guys ( Walker and TRob) that might be able to play the NT in the 4-3. ??

It makes no sense to keep Edwards around if he's not performing, even for depth, because in order to for him to flourish, he needs to work in the 3-4 with a dominant DE on the opposite side and a strong front 4 on D.

But, now you get to see the other 3 guys and maybe if VW or TROB look like they could handle the 4-3 then that's gravy too.

So Im not 'stunned' and this makes a little bit of sense to me...

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:00 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:15 pm
Posts: 4275
Our defense is a work in progress. I would not be surprised at all if we drafted a NT next year. I'd be watching for either of the Georgia boys, Jonathan Jenkins or Kwame Geathers. They're both underclassmen, but either of them should be able to make it in the NFL at NT in a 3-4.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:38 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25966
Location: North Carolina
Confess_Jesus_Now wrote:
Pudge wrote:
This is a good move if it means guys like Sid, Matthews, and Mass will get more reps. I don't expect any improvement to the pass rush with Edwards replaced, but given that DL is one of those positions that takes years before a guy can grow into the role and polish up his technique, etc. early reps are very beneficial.

There are exceptions to that...JPP??

Always exceptions to every rule. But also remember that JPP has as much talent as Sidbury, Matthews, and Massaquoi combined. And what is also interesting is that in his 3rd year, which is usually the year when DEs hit their mark, JPP is not exactly setting the world on fire. Now 6.5 sacks in 10 games is by no means bad. But at this point last year, he already had 10.5 sacks.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:04 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:51 pm
Posts: 4894
Location: New York
Well teams are game planning for JPP. Last year I felt that he was definitely someone to watch out for but not a guy to totally game plan for. People were thinking Tuck was still the main guy to deal with. Now after last year, teams will be all over him. JPP is still a top player in the league and as you like to say, never judge sacks on great players. Abraham was a prime example of that last year, when he only had 9.5 sacks but 4th overall best d-end according to ProFootballFocus.

_________________
Image

I'm a Devin Hester guy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:41 am 
Offline
Playmaker
Playmaker
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:46 am
Posts: 488
Location: Vacaville, CA
Pudge wrote:
Now 6.5 sacks in 10 games is by no means bad. But at this point last year, he already had 10.5 sacks.


Cute stat alert. :beef:

Seriously though, that's arguin' to argue. He's incredible on the field and they are gameplanning for him. Did you see the Grantland article on Suh's great one-tackle game? Similar argument.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:48 am 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5006
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_ucbiqKoQ

8-)

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:40 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25966
Location: North Carolina
Look, slow your roll guys. All I said is that it's interesting that in his 3rd year, JPP isn't having a great year. I wasn't arguing anything. I was just pointing out what I thought was an interesting side note. Clearly, I should have typed the words "side note" before writing that.

Typically, defensive ends and defensive linemen in general have slightly longer length to impacts than most other positions.

And the guys that are usually the exception to that rule often tend to be rare physical specimens such as JPP, Julius Peppers, Aldon Smith, Jevon Kearse, etc. Guys that are so athletically gifted that they don't need polished technique to beat most NFL starting tackles.

Now occasionally, you'll get a Mark Anderson or Jared Allen, who is perceived as a less talented individual that hits the ground running in the NFL. But those are even rarer than the JPPs of the world.

I don't think it's realistic to expect any of our young DEs to have that sort of early impact. But still, their getting reps down the stretch could be beneficial to their long-term development, since I don't think mental reps & practice work as well as they do with other positions.

In order to improve technique and leverage in order to beat guys, you sort of have to use it in actual game situations. Unlike say a wide receiver or tight end, who can use practice just as effectively as game time to polish up his route-running. Film study also helps them read coverages. Or a linebacker, who doesn't need to play to study film and recognize plays, shouldn't need to play to understand how to tackle, nor does he need to play to know how to take good angles to the football, or know how to get leverage against a blocker. Many of those things are either instinctual, learned in the film room, or already been taught to him long before he'll ever have to step out onto an NFL field. Thus why you will often see LBs come in right away and hit the ground running, or a WR/TE that usually can take off in Year 2. And whether a guy is a 1st round talent or 4th round talent doesn't typically make a ton of difference as far as that goes.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Massaquoi?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:26 am 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:57 pm
Posts: 4588
Your Right Pudge, although The reps Mathews gets this year will really help him next year, but that's what you were trying to explain I think!!

Massaquoi will also be very good I think; but I'm tired of waiting on Sid.

_________________
"Everything Counts"
Cyril


Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  


cron