Hey you guys, I'm happy to present my first falcoholic fanPost. At first, I want to tell you, that I am not from Atlanta, not from Georgia, not even from the United States. I am from Paderborn in Germany (no, I'm not a Nazi; yes, i don't like Hitler (but i like making jokes about him)), so please forgive my not-so-perfect english (I'm a little drunk, too (a bottle of wine (Gran Reserva 2004))). I'm sure you will understand what i mean :)
The boring part of the offseason began, you only read about the packers, eagles and patriots on nfl.com, the atlanta journal constitution doesn't bring any news and so you just sit there and wait for something to happen (thanks to Dave Choate & co for something to read every day). Well, there is one thing you can read everywhere, as it seems, and that is how good Cam Newton is and how much better the Panthers will be the upcoming season. Damn, the guy had a really nice season, broke some records and stuff... but man...one good season doesn't make a hall-of-famer. Most "experts" predict a mediocore season for the falcons, but if you ask me, that seems to be a consequence of ignorance and some media-popularity-whatever-stuff (yip, i'm german, sry).
Of course I'm a die-hard Falcons fan (I beg to the gods to see them in the Georgia Dome before we get a new stadium), but here, after the jump, is a position-by-position look on the team by my side:I'll begin with the offense, cause this seems to be the most powerful unit of the team! Let's start with the
Sam Baker! I'm sure some hate boils up in many readers just because of reading his name. Well, what our "franchise" left tackle showed last season was pretty ugly. After the first three games of the season you could have predicted a record-setting season for the falcons in terms of sacks allowed. Baker never got on track in 2011, but in the end at least Svitek did a decent job of protecting Ryan. So far nothing happened on the LT-position, which may leave some fans shivering. But remember: In 2010 the ATL O-Line was one of the best units in the NFL, with Baker at LT. So don't be too worried about this position. WIth a full offseason and more than enough competition for Baker, Svitek and Holmes, I think we will end up with an at least acceptable left tackle to protect Mattys blind side.
McClure is my choice here. Of course age is a factor for our longtime starting center, but I don't see Joe Hawley taking over his job, as long as Toddy is with the Falcons. Our newly drafted rookie Konz might be a backup here, but I think he will take over the RG spot until a replacement for this position is found in free agency or the next draft.
Konz, as I said above. Garret Reynolds or Mike Johnson just don't seem to be the long term answer here, but they will serve as backups, as the falcons do not have any better material to fill this spot. (I miss Harvey Dahl... my favorite offensive lineman the last couple of years)
Tyson Clabo. I'm happy with this guy. If he gets hurt, maybe Holmes will get a chance to show any improvement of his techniques or so....
Matty Ice... since he is with the Falcons watching football is much more fun. I'm still wearing my Vick-Jersey to show my admiration for the falcons (new Jerseys are really expensive here in Germany), but Matty is the real deal. I cannot understand all those guys who say, that the Iceman is not the long term answer for this franchise. Dudes, I'm a falcons fan for about six years now... I don't even know how hard this team s***ed before (sorry, but it's true). We had four consecutive winning seasons now, our QB got statistically better each and every year. Our new weapon JJ11 will have a complete offseason with our QB..... damn, why the hell should his production decline?
Our depth on QB is not thaaaaat well... but i think rojohombre will do his job, if Ryan goes down, and Dominique Davis is an interesting prospect.
Tony Gonzalez? I simply don't see him slowing down.He is still one of the greatest TEs in the league and if anybody says something else, Tony will proof this guy wrong.
Our other TE is Michael Palmer. In my opinion he is pretty underrated. I think he is a decent blocker and can catch a pass very well, if he is asked to.
Turner the Burner is Turner the Burner. Even a RB like Adrian Peterson can't do anything, if two Linebackers are directly in front of him in perfect position to tackle him. If the offensive Line does better, Turner will have a great season, even if he shares his load with Jaquizz. This guy amazes me extremely! Just think of his long touchdown catch last season! Awesome!
Big Snell is what he is.... the best backup RB an NFL team could wish.
Ewing... we'll see! Mughelli was a huge loss! I wished we could have held him on the team... best FB alive... love this guy!
White, Jones, Douglas... do i have to say more? I think Jones will be the next Larry Fitzgerald... just faster!
Babineaux, Peters, Jerry, Walker Robertson... No elite player here, but I think, that Corey Peters will be our best DT this year. He's still young and is going to improve constantly. Babineaux is getting old and as Jerry seems to be a bust, we need to replace him sooner or later. Anyway, I think we've got a pretty decent rotation here
Same for the Defensive End position: Abraham, Edwards, Sidbury, Bierman, Massaquoai (did i spell it correct? probably not!). I still belive that Edwards can do pretty much for this defense. Everybody thinks, that he was just as good becaus he had Jarred Allen on the other side of the line... but c'mon... now he has John Abraham!!!! The Predator!!!! Maybe this guy is not as good as Allen (he is about 75 years old), but he's still one of the best DEs in the league. I'll just hope, that Nolan will know how to use him!
Lofton is gone and that hurts me pretty much... I really loved this guy, but as he went to the Saints it is not that hard to hate him now. MLB will be the biggest question mark in this group this season. Nicholas and SPOOOOOON will be absolutely phenomenal. The competition of Tatupu and Dent will be interesting though.... 'd love to see them at OTAs or Camp.
DeCoud and Moore? I can live with those guys. If Moore stays healthy he will be a force of nature. DeCoud will be a solid FS. There are better ones in the league, but man... he is a solid FS!!!!
Yay, I was looking forward to this position!!! Grimes and Samuel? Are you kiddin' me? Plus Dunta Robinson at Slot, where he wants to be and in a scheme, where he should flourish? This could be the best secondary in the NFL!
K: Bryant - Check
P: Bosher - Check
KR - ? We'll see
PR - ? We'll see as well... maybe Franks?
I have no idea!!!
I think the falcons will fare pretty well this season. Anybody who says they will regress can just STFU (sry). This team is destined for greatness. The talent is there, it all will depend on the coaching and how Nolan and Koetter will adjust to the level of today's NFL top teams!
If you see any awkward mistakes within this text, don't hesitate to write me :) I like to report about the NFL, but in Germany... well nobody seems to be really interested in what i write :D Thanks a lot and have a nice weekend!