Of course, not too many will give this staff respect as this slew of benchings feels like too little, too late. Like everyone involved feels just a bit too secure in their jobs.
The good news is that we did get some definitive answers to questions like: "Is Thomas DeCoud a great safety or an awful safety?"
He is awful. Awful enough that a (now) 2-8 NFL team thinks he is a liability against a rookie quarterback. The staff has frequently gotten away with keeping a player in far too long despite weeks and months of poor play. DeCoud is bad enough that this staff, as lethargic at benching players as most of our team is on the field, finally had enough.
DeCoud was replaced by seventh round rookie Zeke Motta out of Notre Dame. DeCoud looked silly out there but he is frequently much worse. It feels like DeCoud was on a short leash entering this game after what looked to be the rookie season for this sixth year pro. No word yet if he will return for Thursday night.
Linebacker Akeem Dent, Atlanta's third round selection in what appears to be a disastrous 2011 NFL draft, was finally booted from the lineup with Sean Weatherspoon coming off of short-term IR. Specifically, undrafted gem Paul Worrilow moved from OLB to MLB, so Worrilow replaced Dent, who has struggled in coverage dating back to his time at the University of Georgia.
Garrett Reynolds, previously thought to be the weakest link on our offensive line, was finally benched by second year center/guard Peter Konz. Joe Hawley was plugged into center and was an immediate upgrade over Konz.
Konz grabbed ahold of this opportunity by playing one of the worst games ever seen in Falcon history. Konz, by himself, gave up three sacks to Gerald McCoy. Konz was eventually benched for Reynolds. Yes, McCoy would have likely had a baker's dozen of quarterback takedowns if Konz got to play all 60 minutes. Konz may go down as one of the worst Dimitroff draft selections. What does Alge Crumpler think?
Coaching won't n can't help Peter Knoz right now. Had help from Hawley but McCoy just overpowered him. It's up to him to decide. #ATLvsTB— Alge Crumpler (@Alge_Crumpler) November 17, 2013
Jeremy Trueblood, who has struggled with penalties and not being a very good football player, appeared to get benched in favor of undrafted free agent Ryan Schraeder. Schraeder showed some nice upside in preseason and looked to hold his own on Sunday.
The entire offensive line is certain to struggle with Sam Baker out for the rest of the year and constantly shuffling the players. The starters for Thursday may be anyone's guess. It is a pretty sure bet Atlanta is going to struggle.