The Real Reason the Falcons are 1-3
Our mighty Atlanta Falcons are 1-3. Everyone thinks they can pinpoint the solution.We have heard everything from the offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, pass rush, injuries, red zone efficiency, no running game, and of course the coaches.
Well all of those things definitely need to be addressed, many of those things were issues we had last year which we were hopeful would be addressed during the offseason. None of those things got addressed, however I’d like to offer you the real reason the Falcons are 1-3. Cohesiveness. That’s right Cohesiveness. The Falcons lost a ton of veteran leadership from the team last year. We have all forgotten how close knit the groups of guys were. They knew each others strengths and weaknesses. They knew where each other would be on the field, and most importantly they had been here for a while and knew how to play together. Let’s take a look the long list of veterans that departed the team this off season.
- Todd McClure
- Tyson Clabo
- Dunta Robinson
- John Abraham
- Michael Turner
- Vance Walker
- Mike Peterson
- Brent Grimes
Now let’s examine the value these guys had. Center is one of the most underrated positions in the NFL. I think centers are the co-brain of an offense. They call out the blocking schemes that make a QB life a little easier. Todd McClure did this for 16 years for the Falcons. On Twitter the other day he said that he wanted to come back but the Falcons didn’t want him back. Makes you scratch your head just a little bit.
Tyson Clabo was a staple on our offensive line for years. At one time he and Harvey Dahl were one of the nastiest combinations in the league before Dahl left. Clabo was a solid RT but was surprisingly cut during the off season.
Dunta Robinson shouldn’t be mentioned with the elite corners in the league however last year he was a solid player. He missed a few tackles but he made some big hits as well. He quietly had a pretty good year last year. More importantly he really wanted to win and he is from this area. I’ll never forget the hurt look on his face when we lost to the 49ers. He was one of the last players to leave the field, I’m sure he was anxious to get back. He never got the opportunity.
John Abraham has been the Falcons only pass rusher for years. The guy bleeds red and black. He is from South Carolina; which doesn’t have a pro team so Atlanta was perfect for him. He was comfortable here with his daughter and 3 nephews that lived with him. He turned down more money in Free Agency the year before to stay with the team he loved. The city he loved. I’ll never forget him on NFL Network AFTER we had released him with his Falcons gear on (Abraham still wearing Falcons gear after being cut). We replaced him with Osi Umenyiora, I had no problem with signing Osi, but we didn’t have a strong pass rush to begin with so it made since to keep Abe and have a dominant pass rush.
Michael Turner helped the franchise get on its feet. He was a strong runner for most of his tenure here. We all know running backs don’t last long in the NFL. I appreciated Turner while he was here but it was time for him to go or take a reduced role. We replaced him with Steven Jackson no issues here beside Jackson being out due to injury.
Vance Walker was a solid Defensive Tackle while he was here. He left in free agency. Most of us thought he would be r esigned because he wouldn’t cost a lot of money. Instead we let him go. No major loss, but he was still young and getting better, and he was a solid contributor.
Mike Peterson was an awesome teammate. He had been in the league for years. He was inspirational. He was a motivator. He was a mentor. He was the host of D-block. He was a solid special team performer and could step in to play if someone was injured. He was the guy the players called "Unc" because they looked up to him so much. He was a great leader. The falcons probably could have signed him to a veteran’s minimum contract. He wasn’t re-signed.
Brent Grimes was coming off a major Achilles injury. He had worked hard to recover at Flowery Branch so the Falcons knew he would be healthy or they should have known he would be healthy. He could have been signed at a discounted rate because of the injury. He had been the Falcons best corner over the past few years. He walked in Free Agency and took his talents to South Beach where he is making plays for the Miami Dolphins and is now there top corner.
All of these guys were on your active game day roster of 46 players. That’s almost 20 percent of your active roster gone. All of these guys were once proud to be Falcons. They knew how to win these close games we are now losing. They loved the city. They loved the team. They were FALCONS to the core. They helped build this team to the 13-3 record we had last year. The are not here anymore. I wonder how the remaining players really feel about so many of their former teammates being shown the door? The Falcons still have three losses just like last year however they only have one win. The cohesiveness is gone. That is the real problem. Let’s hope these young guys figure out how to win together as our departed veterans once did.