CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Chase Coffman #80 of the Cincinnati Bengals jumps for a first down over Chris Rucker #36 of the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
First, Chase Coffman. The chief competitors for the Falcons' third tight end slot did very little to distinguish themselves in the first pre-season game, and the Falcons apparently want to at least light a fire under the underwhelming (and banged up) group. Coffman should accomplish that.
Then again, who's to say Coffman won't win a backup role? He stands 6'6" and 250, is just 25 years old and was once a fairly highly regarded tight end prospect. The fact that he didn't get in a game a year ago is a little disheartening, but there's enough potential upside here to make this a semi-intriguing signing.
More than likely, Coffman either wins the third tight end slot outright or provides a little competition to a guy like LaMark Brown. Either way, smart little signing.
Lousaka Polite is more obvious. The Falcons want to give Mike Cox and Lee Meisner competition with Bradie Ewing done for the season, and Polite was arguably the most accomplished fullback left on the market. He's had starting stints for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins in the past, though like Coffman he made virtually no impact last season. At 30, he's a stopgap type of guy if Cox can't hack it, but I'm hoping the young fullback will win the job.
These signings were accomplished, unfortunately, by putting Ewing on IR, cutting tight end Adam Nissely and inevitably cutting backup punter Dawson Zimmerman. I wish them all well.
Your thoughts on these moves?