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 Post subject: The Window of Opportunity?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:00 pm 
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When do you think the window of opportunity is going to start closing on the Falcon and their Super Bowl quest? I think last year and this upcoming season will be when the window is open the most.

The running game should be improved and hopefully the defense improves as well. Barring injury, the offense should be hard to stop once again.

That being said, next year no Tony G.....S-Jax will have another year of wear and tear on his 30+ year old body and I also think Roddy's career as a Falcon is winding down as well. Matt Ryan's contract/cap hit will kick in eventually and that may handicap future signings. So realistically, is this year the last legitimate run?


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 Post subject: Re: The Window of Opportunity?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:34 pm 
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I think the window probably closes after 2014, unless the Falcons really hit homeruns with next April's draft. I think the team in 2015 will be largely unrecognizable from the team that exists today. There maybe only 8-10 starters on that team that are currently starting on this year's team. Looking at the 22 starters today, here's how I think their longevity goes in Atlanta with their final years with the team in ()

QB Matt Ryan (2020)
RB Steven Jackson (2014)
FB Bradie Ewing (2015)
WR Julio Jones (2020)
WR Roddy White (2014)
TE Tony Gonzalez (2013)
OT Sam Baker (2015)
OG Justin Blalock (2014)
OC Peter Konz (2020)
OG Garrett Reynolds (2014)
OT Mike Johnson (2016)

DE Osi Umenyiora (2014)
DT Jonathan Babineaux (2013)
DT Corey Peters (2017)
DE Kroy Biermann (2015)
LB Stephen Nicholas (2013)
LB Akeem Dent (2014)
LB Sean Weatherspoon (2018)
CB Asante Samuel (2014)
CB Desmond Trufant (2020)
S William Moore (2015)
S Thomas DeCoud (2014)

I think the Falcons have made their bed for the next 2 seasons, and will probably be going into "reloading" mode for 2015 and 2016, with the hope that maybe in 2017 they will be back in the mix. I say 2017 because I think it's going to take 3 good drafts (2014-16) to get back to a level comparable to where they are now.

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 Post subject: Re: The Window of Opportunity?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:12 am 
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I think that the Falcons will continue to be competitive for as long as Ryan stays healthy. As far as being a true superbowl contender, there's really no telling, but this year's draft and next year's draft are going to figure heavily into whether we're a superbowl contender for the next several years.

In my opinion, there is one major issue that will either be solved, or will kill us this year... TD has spent several years trying to draft mid-round talent to rebuild our offensive line. This year, we're going to find out if TD's investment was solid. If the young players on the line are solid, then the line will carry us through the next several years, and we can use our top draft picks to replace outgoing players like Gonzo, White, Jackson, and Umenyiora. If the line implodes, then it will be back to the drawing board, and the team will have a few down years.

Keep in mind that our defense is pretty weak. We have lots of talent in the secondary, but little talent in the front 7. Here again, we have to look back to the offensive line. If TD has blown all of the mid-round picks that he spent on the OL, then we won't have much ammo to build our front 7 with. (here's hoping that we found some gems in the draft, or that Brian Banks is Superman on a mission.)

By mid season, I think we'll have a better idea of how the, "window of opportunity," is looking.


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 Post subject: Re: The Window of Opportunity?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:51 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I think the window probably closes after 2014, unless the Falcons really hit homeruns with next April's draft. I think the team in 2015 will be largely unrecognizable from the team that exists today.


I tend to agree Pudge. Lots of new faces in key places in 2015. Time for TD to earn his money and keep this team competing for the long haul. There is a difference between new faces in key places and a total rebuild.


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 Post subject: Re: The Window of Opportunity?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:11 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
I tend to agree Pudge. Lots of new faces in key places in 2015. Time for TD to earn his money and keep this team competing for the long haul. There is a difference between new faces in key places and a total rebuild.

Yep, why I used "reload" instead of "rebuild." The reload is because the Falcons will already have a firm core of their offense with Ryan and Julio at the skill positions. They'll need to find a young RB that they can build around for the next 5-7 years, and another WR/TE option to replace Tony and/or Roddy. Hopefully Konz will be a firm foundation piece up front, and at least between Johnson & Holmes, one of those guys turns into a Blalock-level (or better) player for the next few years. The scenario I'm sort of imagining is that the starting five this year is LT Baker LG Blalock C Konz RG Reynolds RT Johnson. Then next year, they re-sign Johnson and have him push Reynolds at RG, and Holmes is ready to assume the RT spot so it's then: LT Baker LG Blalock C Konz RG Johnson RT Holmes. Then in 2015, they add another G to replace Blalock. And then in 2016, they add another OT to replace Baker and Hopefully Holmes will have proven himself over the past 2 season to merit a contract extension. That 2016 line should then be collectively fairly young. Average age would be about 25.6, compared to our 2008 OL which was 26.6, so then presumably that could carry us through 2020, where Matt Ryan will be 35 (same age as Brady is now) and starting to wind down.

Defensively, one hopes that Spoon returns to his 2011 level this year and maintains that for the foreseeable future. Trufant/Alford/McClain lock down the CB spot for years to come. Hopefully Corey Peters is more than what he's been the past few years. Maybe Massaquoi turns into a quality starter. But the Falcons will need to replace their safeties sooner rather than later, and also need to find a foundation piece on their DL in the next 2 drafts. They can't continue to try and build a quality DL with middle/late round picks. A Chandler Jones/Muhammad Wilkerson/Carlos Dunlap/Corey Liuget type of player that can be a person we can build around up front.

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