Falcons Promote Patrick DiMarco, Sign Two Linebackers To Active Roster

Rob Carr

The Falcons have filled three holes opened by major injuries.

The Falcons opened up three roster spots when they placed Kroy Biermann and Bradie Ewing on injured reserve and Sean Weatherspoon on the IR, designated to return. They didn't waste much time filling those spots.

The DiMarco move was one I was pretty confident in yesterday. The Falcons clearly liked DiMarco—you don't often keep a fullback around on the practice squad unless you do—and if he grows a little he'll be a fine blocker and decent pass catcher. He'll step right in to the starting job, and unless he faceplants, Jason Snelling will be used primarily as the team's short-yardage hammer until Steven Jackson returns.

So who are the new signings? Jamar Chaney is a 26-year-old linebacker who spent three seasons with Philadelphia, piling up 117 tackles, one sack, 10 pass deflections and three interceptions. There's talent here, but Chaney probably tops out as a useful reserve with the ability to spot start as needed. He's decent in coverage and maybe not so great against the run. Depending on how quickly he can pick up the defense, he's probably ticketed for top backup duties on one side. He'll be the guy who sticks when 'Spoon comes back, more than likely, particularly when you factor in his quality special teams play. Just don't expect anything spectacular.

Gaither is a 29-year-old who also spent time with the Eagles, in addition to the Bears and Raiders. He primarily has manned the middle in his eight-year career, which has seen him amass 300+ tackles and six sacks. He'll slot in as the team's backup MLB for now, but may be off the roster when 'Spoon returns. There's not much upside here.

The Falcons can get creative with who they're throwing at DE, of course, but right now it looks like they're pretty comfortable with their young group of ends and the ability to kick Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters out. Linebacker is going to look very interesting.

If I had to guess, I'd say that Joplo Bartu is going to start outside at one spot, with some combination of Akeem Dent/Stephen Nicholas/Paul Worrilow locking down the other spot. This gives the team quality depth, at the very least.

Your thoughts on these signings?

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