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 Post subject: slowly....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:32 am 
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http://msn.foxsports.com/south/story/fa ... wly-062914

Falcons bringing rookie Hageman along slowly
John Manasso
FOX Sports

JUN 29, 2014 8:40p ET

Ra'Shede Hageman said learning the Falcons' defense is not like learning astronomy, his final class at the University of Minnesota.

By that, the defensive lineman, the Falcons' second-round pick, meant that it's doable but that it will nonetheless require some time.

"It's football," Hageman said of coordinator Mike Nolan's fairly complex defense. "It's what I love to do. So the fact that I'm always on top of my game and just trying to learn -- I obviously want to be good. You don't play in the league just to be average so you obviously have to hit the books hard, as well.

"So, I mean, obviously, just the fact that it's a different language and more terms to it, it's challenge so I'm just going to face it."

When NFL free agency began, the Falcons invested in their defensive line perhaps more heavily than at any other position on the field. They re-signed end/tackle Jonathan Babineaux. Then they signed nose tackle Paul Soliai and 3-4 end Tyson Jackson. If all three of those play to the end of the contracts they signed without being cut or taking a pay cut, the trio will earn a combined $67 million from the Falcons.

It's also worth noting that the Falcons brought back defensive tackle Peria Jerry, their 2009 first-round pick, and that defensive tackle Corey Peters returns, although Peters, coming off a ruptured Achilles' tendon, did not practice with the full team during Organized Team Activities and mini-camp.

As one might expect, that does not exactly have the Falcons in a rush with Hageman. During offseason workouts, he hardly worked with the first-team defense.

Last year, the Falcons were in a much different position with their second-round pick Robert Alford, a cornerback. The Falcons had cut veteran starting corner Dunta Robinson prior to the 2013 season and allowed another veteran starting corner, Brent Grimes, to depart via free agency. Add on top the injury-prone nature of last year's starting left corner, Asante Samuel, and the Falcons coaching staff put some urgency into preparing cornerbacks Desmond Trufant, the team's first-round pick last year, and Alford for serious playing time.

That urgency proved itself to be warranted when Samuel missed a number of games, particularly at the season's start. Alford ended up starting four games and playing in all 16.

This year is a slightly different story. Other than first-round pick Jake Matthews, the right tackle, and fourth-round pick Prince Shembo, who could be pressed in at inside linebacker because of the season-ending injury suffered by starter Sean Weatherspoon during OTAs, the Falcons have been able to take their time with their other top picks, which also include third-rounder Dezmen Southward, a safety. Veteran Dwight Lowery seems to be fitting in smoothly at the free safety position vacated by the decision to cut Thomas DeCoud.

Hageman's imposing physical size, at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, has been counted as one of his best attributes. However, if he doesn't know what he's doing on the field, it won't help him at all.

He said that it's a "big jump from college to the NFL."

"So there's a different language here and more studying the plays," he said, "but at the end of the day, I know as soon as I learn my plays, I'll be on track. Obviously, the coaches are behind me 100 percent."

In terms of those coaches, one of Hageman's biggest boosters is defensive line coach Bryan Cox. Hageman, out of Minnesota, participated in the Senior Bowl, where the Falcons' staff coached his North team. He and Cox began to form a bond while they working together that week in Mobile, Alabama.

Hageman said working with Cox at the Senior Bowl was "great."

"He's blunt," Hageman said of Cox. "He's always up forward and that's the kind of coaches I definitely do well with, somebody that keeps with me and let's me know what I need to work on. ... Me and him obviously have established a relationship earlier in the Senior Bowl so me and him kind of picked it up" during offseason workouts.

Obviously, the Falcons want Hageman to be a productive player but sometimes the best way to develop talent is to nurture it slowly. In Hageman's case, they appear to have that luxury. In all likelihood, he will be part of a rotation.

When his grasp of the defense picks up, he could put himself in a position to be more effective -- "having the game slow down so you can play fast," as the coaching staff likes to say.

It might not be astronomy but until or unless he learns the Falcons' defense, Hageman may just play a supporting role in 2014.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:29 am 
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Anybody that read Hageman's background knows about his learning deficiencies. Expectations that he would make a quick transition to the NFL were baseless hopes.

Hopefully 2016 is the year he takes that next step. And for his sake, let's hope Mike Smith & CO. last that long.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:33 am 
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3 years to make an impact at DT? That's reeeeally slow progress for a guy picked so high.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:45 am 
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No, it's not. It's actually common for most NFL players to not impact until their 3rd years, particularly when it comes to DL.

Jonathan Babineaux didn't impact until his 4th season, he was the 59th overall selection. Linval Joseph, the 46th overall pick, was just OK until his 4th year. Glenn Dorsey didn't become a good run defender in KC until his 3rd/4th season. Alan Branch, the 33rd overall pick in 2007, didn't turn into a competent starter until his 3rd year.

Patrick Kerney, Derrick Morgan, Cameron Heyward, Robert Quinn are all examples of players that took the better part of 3 years before they really started to impact.

NOt saying that Hageman won't have some impact over the next 2 years, but he'll primarily be a rotational guy in that span. If people are expecting him to be the next Richard Seymour/John Henderson, that definitely won't happen until 2016 at the earliest.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:56 am 
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If it takes him 3 to 4 years and becomes a beast at the end of it I'm fine with that. With the additions of Soliai & Jackson plus bringing back Babineaux, Peters, and Jerry allows Atlanta to bring Hagemen a long at his own pace.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Sorry, I think its slow if you expect them to become exceptional players.

Look Babineaux was expected to be really good if I remember back when he was drafted, and we were disappointed in his first couple of years.

Frankly Babineaux has never been that good a tackle. He looks better on our defensive line because our lines have sucked....When your picked 56th that's a second round choice, and its fine for people to expect a lot from a second rounder!! Heck he was sitting right by Abe!!

As to Patrick Kerney he gained about 20 lbs. in his first three years. Because he was tall his body could handle it, but it didn't take him 3 years to start, it did take him that amount of time to start making a decent impact!! If you really think about Kerney's career it was not terrific. He was a first round pick. I'm not saying he wasn't pretty good, just not really a special player!!


Usually if your not getting some good starting time early, you don't amount to much.

Look if we're hoping for just an average competent starter then your probably right!!

However for the guys who break out to be really good, they usually are in there starting by year two, and then keep improving. The Falcons have been filled with players who we're still waiting on but their out of the league.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:45 pm 
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Ra'Shede Hageman said learning the Falcons' defense is not like learning astronomy...

No s*** you dumb ass!!

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:28 pm 
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I was not expecting him to be a dominant player his first year in the league. If he can push for a starting role and push the pocket on passing downs I will be happy. He is too athletically gifted to not add something to the pass rush.

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Last edited by The Mattural on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:08 pm 
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Well I think we need our 2nd and third rounders to be more of an impact than they've been!!

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:24 am 
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The Mattural wrote:
I was not expecting him to be a dominant player his first year in the league. If he can compete and push for a starting role and push the pocket on passing downs I will be happy. He is to athletically gifted to not add something to the pass rush.

Just like with Jamaal Anderson, I think Hageman's "amazing" athleticism is overrated. Their basketball backgrounds makes you think they're better than they actually are. Hageman just doesn't move that well on the field.

He's not a natural pass-rusher. He was only really effective there at Minnesota when he played the 5-technique. And the Falcons have 3 better options there in Babs, Jackson, and Goodman.

Cyril wrote:
Frankly Babineaux has never been that good a tackle.

Please go back and watch Babineaux in 2009 and try to say that again. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:15 pm 
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I wouldn't go back to 2009 unless it was to pick up some money.

If I got to think back 5 years to remember someone playing real good,
then it means to me he's been playing fairly poorly during his prime!!

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
If I got to think back 5 years to remember someone playing real good,
then it means to me he's been playing fairly poorly during his prime!!

No, it just means that Babineaux was exceptionally good in 2009 where he was the best DT in the league. He's been good since, just no where near the dominant player he was in that season.

Yes, Babs best season was never on par with the best season from players like Geno Atkins, Gerald McCoy, or Ndamukong Suh, but it certainly matches up with what have been each of their 2nd best seasons. Babs' 09 season was on par with Haynesworth's '07 and '08 seasons, where he was a MVP candidate.

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:01 pm 
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You can make it up, but Babineaux HAS NEVER been the best tackle in the league!!

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:55 am 
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Cyril wrote:
You can make it up, but Babineaux HAS NEVER been the best tackle in the league!!
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suck it
http://youtu.be/Xdyo1lwu8WU

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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:11 pm 
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In my opinion, that -2.4 against the run is a significant handicap. It is also my opinion that Haynesworth is light years ahead of Babineaux on the field. Yes, he's heavily penalized, but he simply dominates.

Babineaux is a penetration UT. He is good against the pass, and he occasionally blows up the backfield against the run. However, if Babineaux doesn't manage to split the gap, he's largely blocked out of the play entirely. I'd argue that it's because of our inability to hold at the point of attack that we have been poor against the run. We have been experimenting with an undersized DL for quite a while now, and they've been getting blown off of the ball.

I'm excited to see what happens this year.


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 Post subject: Re: slowly....
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:37 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
In my opinion, that -2.4 against the run is a significant handicap. It is also my opinion that Haynesworth is light years ahead of Babineaux on the field.

By nature of the grade, a -2.4 run defense grade is not significant.

RobertAP wrote:
We have been experimenting with an undersized DL for quite a while now, and they've been getting blown off of the ball.

You may be falling into the fallacy of relating the style of linemen to their failure. Babienaux has been anything but a failure. Jerry and Peters have "failed" because they simply weren't that good. Had we drafted Geno Atkins in 2010 instead of Peters, you wouldn't be saying that. Atkins is another undersized, penetrating DT. So are Jurrell Casey, Aaron Donald, Darnell Dockett, Sheldon Richardson, Kyle Williams, etc.

What we've "experimented" with is middling talent. Their size is inconsequential.

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