Should Malliciah Goodman be the De Facto Starter at Left End?

Kevin C. Cox

An open question after Goodman had an impressive performance against the Buccaneers.

You may have seen me asking this very question in Jay Adams' mailbag yesterday. You probably chalked it up to my oft-professed love of Malliciah Goodman.

There's reason to believe that Goodman is heading toward seizing the bulk of the (continuing, inevitable) timeshare at left defensive end. Jonathan Massaquoi has been working there for a few weeks now and has not distinguished himself as we had all hoped he would. The Falcons responded by slashing his snaps this week, playing just about one in five for the Falcons. Stansly Maponga wound up taking more than 20% of the snaps, but the big winner was definitely Goodman.

These things do change, and they could continue to change on a week-to-week basis. The Falcons are trying to find the best possible guy or combination of guys to elevate the level of play opposite Osi Umenyiora. For one week, Goodman certainly delivered.

The roughing the passer call was rough, certainly, but Goodman was around the quarterback on Sunday. He also graded out as the best run defender on the team against the Buccaneers, regularly punishing a very good tackle in Demar Dotson on his way into the backfield. The numbers aren't bearing this out yet given his two tackles, but watching tape, you can see Goodman bulling through and creating havoc. Also, he says things like this:

The coaching staff can see just as well as we can—hold your jokes—and they're likely to reward Goodman with another shot. The Cardinals are a team with a brutally poor ground game, so it's possible they'll scale back his snaps and see if Mass, Maponga and Cliff Matthews can get after the quarterback. Goodman's a little slow off the snap in pass rushing situations, but I think he deserves another shot to see if he can get after the lead-footed Carson Palmer. He's making the case for the increased playing time, at least.

Do you think Goodman should see the majority of snaps at LDE going forward?

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