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 Post subject: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:13 pm 
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I wrote this up last night.

http://profootballspot.com/_/nfl/nfc-so ... awed-r2199

You may look at the title and think I’m already being over-critical. What Falcon fans have been complaining about over the past few years has been their lack of toughness. They are tired of seeing both lines get bullied around in the trenches. They’ve became irritated by the league perception of the Falcons being soft. The organization had realized that and has made it an objective to address both lines in the off-season.

They began making cap room by releasing several veterans, including star cornerback Asante Samuel. It was clear that they wanted to be major players in free agency. Atlanta has prided themselves on winning consistently, which they’ve done from 2008 to 2012. Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith know that the pressure is on following an abysmal 2013. Another disappointing season and they could very well be back to having secondary jobs for other franchises.


One of the main flaws in Atlanta has been the offensive line, particularly at the right guard position. Many fans were bitter that Harvey Dahl wasn’t re-signed in 2011, while they decided to invest in Tyson Clabo and Justin Blalock. The Falcons haven’t recovered from that loss, as Garrett Reynolds and Peter Konz failed miserably in trying to replace Dahl’s grittiness. Neither player came close to filling Dahl’s shoes, which made them realize that they had to go out and sign a proven player.

With the influence of Scott Pioli, they signed Jon Asamoah to provide stability at right guard. The connection made sense considering Pioli did draft him in Kansas City. While he was benched in favor of Geoff Schwartz, it was more of an indication of Schwartz’s stellar play than Asamoah underperforming. He’s gained a reputation for being a reliable pass blocker over the past few years. At age 26, he still has tremendous upside and won’t have to worry about any competition in Atlanta.

According to Chiefs fans, one concern is that he seems to be a better fit in a zone-blocking scheme. That is more of an indication that he tends to rely on his athleticism more than actual strength. With the change of scenery and a guaranteed starting job, he’ll have all every opportunity to prove those critics wrong. He’ll be paid about 4.5 million a year, which seems fitting for him. With the re-signing of Joe Hawley, the Falcons’ interior offensive line is set for the upcoming season. That was one major positive from yesterday, after having so many issues last year in keeping a set lineup due to poor play all-around.

In other positive news, they did re-sign Jonathan Babineaux. Thankfully they avoided another John Abraham situation, where money became more important than an actual player’s value. It was a fair deal and Babineaux will rightfully be paid three million for the next three years. He’s one of the true leaders on defense and still remains to be an asset on a defense lacking assets. That was a wise decision and everything seemed to be positive going into 4:30 pm.


Then the first major splash had finally occurred with the signing of Paul Soliai. I had mentioned him as a player that the Falcons could potentially sign. There is a clear connection between him and Mike Nolan, who was the Dolphins defensive coordinator before joining Atlanta. They were either going to add Soliai or Randy Starks. When it was announced that they signed Soliai, it made me believe even more that the rumors of switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme were becoming more realistic.

On Monday morning, there were reports surfacing around that Atlanta would shift towards a 3-4 scheme in 2014. Nolan is most comfortable running that scheme and the defense could use a makeover. With Soliai now coming in, it made me realize that the makeover had gotten its first major tool. From a personnel standpoint, this is an excellent move to bring in a true nose tackle. My main issue with the signing comes from a financial standpoint.

Soliai was given a five-year deal for 33 million, along with 14 million guaranteed. They are basically giving him six million a year for him to become the main anchor on the defensive line. That contract is for a player that has proven to be a dominant player or is entering his prime with the potential of becoming dominant. Soliai is already 30 years old and has never been considered as a force to be reckoned with.

He’s still a legitimate one-gap nose tackle that can take on consistent double teams and free up linebackers to make plays in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage. Soliai has been productive in his career, but not on the level to be given such a massive deal. Now he’s 30 years old, where he's essentially in the latter stages of his prime. Now nose tackles can be productive into their mid thirties, we’ve seen that with the likes of Sam Adams and Pat Williams. Is that really worth six million a year though? That’s my major problem in signing a two-down player.


With the signing of Soliai, it seemed like a pairing of Babineaux, Soliai, and Corey Peters would fit well on the defensive line. Then the Falcons decide to make another splash and sign another former Scott Pioli draft pick in Tyson Jackson. Now I had wrote my free agency wish list down on Thursday not knowing about Atlanta’s plans of converting to a 3-4 scheme. With the signing of Jackson, that validates the reports of Atlanta moving towards a 3-4 scheme. There is no way that Atlanta signed Jackson, with the intention of making him a 4-3 defensive end.

In his five-year career, Jackson has a grand total of nine sacks. He was always considered as a prototypical 3-4 defensive end, due to his size and ability to stop the run. Does that mean he should be paid 25 million for five years? That contract absolutely boggles my mind for someone who doesn’t play a significant position. He won’t be counted on to be one of the main facilitators in fixing the Falcons’ anemic pass rush.

According to Pro Football Focus, he had a grade of +15.5 against the run. That shows that at least he has the pedigree of being an outstanding run defender. He knows how to fill up gaps well and is deceptively quick for being 296 pounds. I’ll still never understand how that translates into investing five million a year on strictly a run defender. In Kansas City, he was always taken out on third and longs because of his limitations as a pass rusher. Once again, they invested a significant amount of money on a two-down player.


Unless it’s third and short, both major free agent signings will be off the field on third down. Atlanta had the worst third down defense in the NFL, which goes back to their non-existent pass rush. How do you invest nearly 60 million dollars without addressing the pass rush needs or Thomas DeCoud’s replacement? That’s what frustrates me greatly. Sure these moves will make Atlanta tougher and it'll assure them of not getting completely manhandled against power running teams. Still this isn’t the 1990’s, it’s well documented that this is a passing league.

I’m confident that the front office has an agenda on how to improve the pass rush. That is why I’m not completely burying them for these decisions yet. Could they be adding pieces to the 3-4 scheme as a ploy to bring in someone like DeMarcus Ware? That would erase all my rage towards the front office. It couldn’t be more obvious that the Falcons are in dire need of a game changer on defense. That would be a brilliant move, if the entire makeover were to lure in a productive pass rusher who can possibly complement Khalii Mack.

Hopefully their agenda isn’t to just draft Mack and not give him any support. Osi Umenyiora should be released in the upcoming weeks. Kroy Biermann will always have a role, but he shouldn’t be counted on as the number two pass rusher. 2010 and 2012 were clear indications that he’s not capable of being that player. If the Falcons can bring in Ware, then I’ll once again be calling Thomas Dimitroff a mastermind.

We’ll see in the upcoming days, if Atlanta will continue to be aggressive. Besides tight end and free safety, their focal point should be to upgrading their pass rushing options. The NFL is a passing league and they have to adapt to these times. They now have the personnel to force teams into second/third and longs thanks to Soliai and Jackson. Now can they get off the field on third downs? That will be up to the front office, because the current crop of players on the roster clearly showed last year that they are incapable of consistently doing that. Hopefully Atlanta's flawed day one free agency frenzy turns into a well-structured plan towards becoming a playoff team once again.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:29 pm 
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I think these were excellent moves, all 3 of them. We've got two excellent defenders against the run, and still have cap room to burn.
We will still be making moves this free agency, I saw a report that we kicked the tires on Revis. I don't believe we'd do that if we believe to be done in FA.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:51 pm 
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They had to get 2 DLs no matter what scheme they were going to run: Peters' ability to come back from surgery is an unknown, and Babs cannot be an every-down player any more.

With that said, I think that you'll see one or both of these guys on the field for 3rd downs. If it's short, they're both in. if it's a pass rush situation, I think Jackson (or Peters) slides inside along with Babs. However, this still leaves them light in the DT/DE rotation in a 3-4. I'd expect Goodman will be asked to put on 5-10 pounds and become the 5th DL and a 3rd-5th will be spent on another large body. This gives them 6 3-4 DL, and they'll need that with Babs' age, Soliai's size, and Peters' injury.

I hope that when the contract terms are release, we find that both DT pickups have fairly large 4th and 5th year base salaries. A little of that can be mitigated by the increased cap room this year, but I think that they want to be releasing/renegotiating both of them after year 3 unless they are stellar. I'd expect dead money to be in the $ 2 million range for each for each year if it comes down to that.

I'd agree that they paid a little too much for Soliai (as you mentioned, he's a good NT, a staple of the 3-4 base), but they often play well even into their mid 30s. Jackson, on the other hand, is going to be Dimitrof's albatross if he doesn't play pretty darn well. This is a Pioli-influenced move, and might show that TD just doesn't have it when it comes to personnel evaluations, including hiring his personnel evaluators. However, if the D comes on this year . . .

1 backup DT, 2 Backup LBs, 2 safeties (at least one starting-capable FS), and a CB 4 (and 3 if McClain goes) are still needed. That's six more guys, plus a TE and likely a RB on offense. Oh, and Roddy's replacement. The good news is that they have 2 years for Roddy, though only one for SJax.

And that's considering the OL "fixed."

An awful lot has to go right for the FO/CS this year. As long as none of it relies on Brian Robiske, I'm cautiously optimistic.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:31 pm 
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Pioli's influence is strong in these moves. Bill Belicheck's defensive philosophy is to stop the run at all costs, and they build their defense around that principle. Our picks will help with that big time.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:40 pm 
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McClure has the breakdowns of the salaries/sb for all three contracts. I think they justify my earlier position, but I'm open to someone with more experience chiming in. While the initial numbers are scary, the deals look pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:29 am 
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Provided we go after a 3-4 DE with our first or 2nd pick, I think we'll be in pretty good shape. I assume that Osi will be let go at some point, but I suspect that Biermann and Bartu will be pretty decent on the other side of a purely pass rushing OLB.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:33 am 
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I doubt Osi will be cut, the cap hit is like $3.5 million less if we cut him, for a guy who can chip in with 6-7 sacks. I don't like him, but all things considered I'd be shocked if he wasn't on our team this up coming year. He will get some snaps at OLB.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:43 am 
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So we address our weakness and you still complain? All team's overpay in Free-Agency, the Falcons are no different. Tyson Jackson's Chiefs contract was 5 years for 57 million. We signed for 5 years and 25 mill. That's half off! :P

The moves look pretty decent to me, but as with everything we will have to wait and see how they pan-out.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:01 pm 
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samedi wrote:
1 backup DT, 2 Backup LBs, 2 safeties (at least one starting-capable FS), and a CB 4 (and 3 if McClain goes) are still needed. That's six more guys, plus a TE and likely a RB on offense. Oh, and Roddy's replacement. The good news is that they have 2 years for Roddy, though only one for SJax.


I'd make a few adjustments to that...

The Falcons absolutely need to add an OT (ideally LT) this offseason if they want to make their update of the offensive line complete. I would love to see them draft Mack but I think at this point Atlanta has to draft an OT in the 1st round. If Atlanta can get a franchise tackle and push Baker to LT w/Holmes the primary OT backup I'm very pleased with the O-Line upgrades.

Atlanta also needs to upgrade receiver. Whether that be moving Roddy to slot and getting a new wing mate for Jones or bringing in someone else to play slot they need to add depth at WR.

I still think Atlanta needs a veteran DB for nickel formations. Whether that be re-signing Samuel going after Bailey or some other quality veteran we can't entrust everything to a pair of 2nd year DB's no matter how good they where in their rookie season.

I also think with Snelling retiring Atlanta needs to find someone probably between the 3rd & 5th rounds to fill those shoes and possibly become heir apparent to S-Jax. I'd still love to see Atlanta pickup Bishop Sankey from UW.

On the plus side the rest of Atlanta's needs can be had via the draft, UFA's, and at later stages of free agency or after the June 1 cuts. We aren't going to replace Tony G's production with anyone on the market so I don't see any reason to spend big on that position this year (maybe kick the tires on Owen Daniels? Not sure how much is left in that tank).

Here's hoping Dimitroff and crew can make some magic happen at FS. The Free agency market has been picked of any worthy options at this stage. There must be some notion of something in the draft or something else.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:08 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
Provided we go after a 3-4 DE with our first or 2nd pick, I think we'll be in pretty good shape. I assume that Osi will be let go at some point, but I suspect that Biermann and Bartu will be pretty decent on the other side of a purely pass rushing OLB.


I'm fairly positive Atlanta doesn't go DE in the first round (unless they trade back). I've been thinking about it and I gotta think that at this point they go OT in the 1st effectively completing their re-work of the offensive line.

Atlanta gets a big upgrade at RG and they seem to think Hawley is the future at C. It would be logical if the goal was to rebuild the offensive line they go OT in the first round. They can then move Baker to RT and probably give him more shelf life and have Holmes serve as the primary backup.

They may look at another 3-4 DE in the 2nd round. Atlanta has 3 players that can serve as DE now with Babs, Peters, and Jackson. Goodman could be a 4th but he maybe a touch lean to do so. Atlanta needs a backup NT more than they need a backup DE. The only option on the roster right now is Robertson so depth at the NT spot I gotta think is very high on the list of things to add right now.

I do think Osi is released after the draft or by June cuts. He just doesn't fit on the defense anymore. Though Biermann now becomes a rotation OLB and I think this will suit his style rather well.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:10 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
So we address our weakness and you still complain?


Atlanta didn't though. Sure, they brought in players to move to a 3-4 but this team still has virtually no pass rush. On the offensive side of the ball Atlanta still needs a good LT to finish the O-Line revamp and really they need to add depth at WR and TE.

The biggest glaring issue that has been ignored is the pass rush.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:11 pm 
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dirtybirdnw wrote:
AngryJohnny51 wrote:
So we address our weakness and you still complain?


Atlanta didn't though. Sure, they brought in players to move to a 3-4 but this team still has virtually no pass rush. On the offensive side of the ball Atlanta still needs a good LT to finish the O-Line revamp and really they need to add depth at WR and TE.

The biggest glaring issue that has been ignored is the pass rush.


As we all know, the team has lots of holes. Day one of free agency, TD and company did not sit on their collective asses. Stopping the run was obviously their top priority and ya know what? That's okay. It's a start in the right direction. I imagine lesser names will be signed for depth and we still have the draft were we can hopefully grab an impact player as well at 6.

Some fans are never happy no matter what the team does or doesn't do. And that is their right as fans. But, the roster needed to be upgraded talent wise and from where I'm sitting, it looked like it was.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:52 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
Provided we go after a 3-4 DE with our first or 2nd pick, I think we'll be in pretty good shape. I assume that Osi will be let go at some point, but I suspect that Biermann and Bartu will be pretty decent on the other side of a purely pass rushing OLB.

This was a brain fart on my part. I intended to say 3-4 OLB/Pass rusher. No way do we draft a 3-4 DE with our 1st or 2nd pick. Sorry for the confusion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:29 pm 
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Now it makes sense. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:36 am 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
All team's overpay in Free-Agency,

No, they don't. It's one thing to overpay for a top level player (e.g. Jairus Byrd or Mario Williams), it's another to overpay the 2nd best DE on the Kansas City Chiefs defense.

AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Day one of free agency, TD and company did not sit on their collective asses.

And you see the real impetus behind these moves, winning the PR war. Season ticket renewals, and a 4-12 record, the Falcons couldn't be prudent and smart with their shopping. They couldn't spend 3 hours combing the aisles for the best values, they had $80 in their pocket and they needed to just buy the biggest, shiniest product so that they could show the fan base, they are serious about winning! Throw your money around. It doesn't matter how much you spend, you're a better team today and that's all that matters!

It makes no sense to invest such money into 2-down players. This is not 2005, where you have to build your defense around stopping Shaun Alexander, Tiki Barber, Clinton Portis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Cadillac Williams, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:06 am 
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Pudge wrote:
AngryJohnny51 wrote:
All team's overpay in Free-Agency,

No, they don't. It's one thing to overpay for a top level player (e.g. Jairus Byrd or Mario Williams), it's another to overpay the 2nd best DE on the Kansas City Chiefs defense.

AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Day one of free agency, TD and company did not sit on their collective asses.

And you see the real impetus behind these moves, winning the PR war. Season ticket renewals, and a 4-12 record, the Falcons couldn't be prudent and smart with their shopping. They couldn't spend 3 hours combing the aisles for the best values, they had $80 in their pocket and they needed to just buy the biggest, shiniest product so that they could show the fan base, they are serious about winning! Throw your money around. It doesn't matter how much you spend, you're a better team today and that's all that matters!

It makes no sense to invest such money into 2-down players. This is not 2005, where you have to build your defense around stopping Shaun Alexander, Tiki Barber, Clinton Portis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Cadillac Williams, etc.


As I stated, the Falcon brass was damned if they do and damned if they don't. Some here are happy with the moves, some are not. If the Falcons did nothing, some may have been happy, some have not. And yet some here are going to complain no matter what they did.

It's the time of year were most fans should be looking at the glass as half full. Hey, maybe Tyson Jackson just needs a change of scenery? Maybe being able to stop the run will somehow create third and longs and the defense can actually make a stop now and again. We still have to wait a few months to find out some answers to the all the questions, but the players here last year weren't getting it done. Change had to come, and it did.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:31 am 
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Though I agree that our 3rd down issues are not solved, I expect those to be addressed in the draft. It's also entirely possible that part of our issue on 3rd down was the inability to collapse the pocket, and with these moves, it is possible that we have helped to improve that situation. I expect Babs to be a monster as a 3 technique DE.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:10 pm 
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With teams in the NFL passing on 60% of plays it would seem that you would want spend the most money on players who impact that facet of the game. With only six teams this past year averaging over 30 rushing attempts it seems like a misguided move to sink so much into players who you brought in to only impact your rush defense.
Below are some stats about our defense that were not addressed via FA and will have to be addressed via the draft:

-Opposing QBs completed 66.09% of passes against us.

-Opposing QBs averaged 11.4 yards a completion against us. (Note: every team allowing more have addressed their secondary and/or pass rush)

-Ranked 29 in Passing TDs allowed per game.

-The opponents average passer rating against us was a 102.4 and jumped to a 105 in the GA Dome.

-The Falcons averaged 2.0 sacks a game good for 30 the two teams ranked after us addressed their Pass rush and are expected to also add to their D-lines via the draft (Bears & JAGs)

- Over 60% of opponents first downs came from passing yet they hand out 50 million dollars in contracts addressing the run defense.

While the stats versus the run are bad there are far more categories that are comparable to teams that were in the playoffs or were in the playoff hunt versus the passing stats where we rank in the bottom three or four slots in every category.

Not saying that we don’t need to improve versus the run but there should have been a higher level of importance on improving against the pass in what is a passing league. Now the Falcons will have a secondary with possibly a rookie FS and two 2nd year players starting all while depending on a rookie improve our pathetic pass rush. Smooth move TD :doh: .

Do you all still want a OT with that first pick?

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:14 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
Though I agree that our 3rd down issues are not solved, I expect those to be addressed in the draft. It's also entirely possible that part of our issue on 3rd down was the inability to collapse the pocket, and with these moves, it is possible that we have helped to improve that situation. I expect Babs to be a monster as a 3 technique DE.


I thought Babs was already playing the 3 technique.....

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:35 pm 
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I thought he was a 1 or 2 technique. (typical of a DT in a 4-3.) In a 3-4, he'd be lining up at 2 or 3 with Solai or Peters at 0 or 1.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:17 pm 
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4-3 DTs are usually 1 or 3: 0 would be right over the center and 2 right over the guard, which is not where you want to put players who depend on penetration. A problem with ATL's 4-3 is that all three DTs were 3-technique penetrators: It was easy to just push them off of the play as they moved forward (or backward, in Jerry's case).

Now, however, they have two guys who are going to hit the line of scrimmage and keep it (and the blockers there). With Soliai commanding two blockers (and causing a G to have to pivot in on most plays, there's a lot more opportunity to get creative with how to attack the spacing of the line, as it turns more into a 1-2-2 arrangement of blockers rather than a solid wall of five guys. In addition, this frees the OLBs to take advantage of the wide-9 idea and rely on speed to really come around the corner, because Babs becomes more of a 5-tech DE who pressures the G and T to deal with him.

OMG Soliai doesn't rush the passer! Right, but his value is in occupying blockers so that other people can. You have to lose that 4-3 mentality that says that an effective DL penetrates and effective LBs back them up. Here, the effect DL creates a clog in the middle of the field, and the LB attack through openings. Unless, of course, you have Wade Philips and a man-monster at LDE. Then you just kill people with that guy (Kerney, Watt); however, I haven't seen that used besides Philips.

Speaking of 3-4 DCs, any chance of talking you into changing your avatar, Pudge? I cannot stand the Ryans.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:40 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Change had to come, and it did.

Did it?

samedi wrote:
A problem with ATL's 4-3 is that all three DTs were 3-technique penetrators: It was easy to just push them off of the play as they moved forward (or backward, in Jerry's case).

Peters played 1 technique throughout 2013 and was very good at it. People constantly label Peters as a penetrator in the same mold of Babineaux, but it could not be further from the truth.

Some might tell you that the reason why Peters wasn't that disruptive last year is because of his playing 1 technique at nose tackle and was forced to take on blockers. I say not true. The reason why Peters was not very disruptive relates to the "issue" I've had with Peters for years, which is that he's never been very disruptive. He's got above average quickness, but not to the degree where he is the sort of disruptive playmaker that our 4-3 scheme really wanted him to be, thus previous years' claims by myself that he was overrated. Instead, that quickness coupled with Peters' lower body bulk makes him much better "2-gapping" like a nose tackle, taking on blocks and anchoring at the point of attack. He's not great there, but he can get better and get bigger. But he found his role this past year, which is why it was without a doubt his best season, and the Falcons should continue to develop that.

IMO, one of the major reasons why I dislike the Soliai move is because i believed Peters a capable 3-4 nose tackle in the future. I also don't think having a good nose tackle is as critical to the success of the 3-4 defense as many purport. IMO that's a product of a bygone era in the NFL, back before "Nickel Is The New Base" which is the reality of today's league. Thus even in the worst-case scenario where Peters struggles with his injury and the Falcons get average play at NT, it's not as huge a loss as people would think. To me, all the Falcons really needed there was a stopgap for bridging the gap until Peters is healthy, or for being the guy that will take over that spot if Peters was not the guy.

Thus they could afford to wait for a nose tackle to get the best value (Pat Sims, B.J. Raji, Aubrayo Franklin, Antonio Johnson, etc.)

If they wanted to strike at the outset of free agency, it would have been smarter to acquire a pass rusher or an elite free safety like Jairus Byrd. Upgrading the pass defense is going to make the huge difference in whether that so-called change actually occurs.

Because in reality the guys that couldn't get the job done last year are still going to be primarily responsible for getting the job done, if the job is rushing the quarterback, this year. Soliai isn't going to be playing on those 3rd & longs. Jackson might, but he's shown nothing in his career to suggest that he should.

Thus, unless the Falcons make a move in FA, it's likely that the only help they will have made to the league's worst third-down defense is a rookie pass rusher. Who knows how that works out?...

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:58 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
I expect Babs to be a monster as a 3 technique DE.


Agreed, I'm actually excited to see him in that roll.

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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Apparently Nolan doesn't agree with you Pudge. If he thought Peters was good enough, then he probably wouldn't have asked/lobbied for Sol. Nolan had a top ten defense his two years in Miami and Sol was one of the reasons for that. They overpaid for him, but I think he is more of a known commodity (at least for Nolan's defense) than either Jackson or the OG.


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 Post subject: Re: The Falcons day-one Free Agency frenzy remains flawed
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:46 pm 
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Spanky Ham wrote:
Apparently Nolan doesn't agree with you Pudge. If he thought Peters was good enough, then he probably wouldn't have asked/lobbied for Sol. Nolan had a top ten defense his two years in Miami and Sol was one of the reasons for that.


It's less about whether or not Peters is good and more about the fact that Peters isn't an NT that can be used in a 3-4. The Falcons brought in Soliai because they want to run 3-4 sets and you need a big meaty NT to do so. Peters is more a DE in the 3-4.

That and Peters is coming off a fairly major injury so there is a question mark as to whether or not he is still going to be what he once was.

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