Falcons Mix Things Up In The Numbers Game This Season

USA TODAY Sports

Fact: Zeke Motta never says something tastes like chicken, even chicken.

From a numbers perspective, the Falcons have shaken things up a bit in 2013. Sound the alarms! Run and hide! Loud noises!

As I'm sure you've heard, the Falcons elected to keep six running backs and 10 defensive backs on their 53 man roster. Maybe you're asking why.

The Falcons coaching staff kept some quantities at positions that are departures from the past. Most notable is the six running backs the Falcons are carrying this year. They have kept five running backs (including a fullback) in each of the last three years, but the impressive preseason that Vaughan put together made that number more fluid this year.

We've already discussed why keeping six running backs make sense. But what about the decision to keep 10 defensive backs? First, don't forget the Falcons have kept 10 defensive backs in recent history, just not this particular combination. Previously the Falcons have favored carrying six corner backs and 4 safeties; now they're carrying five corner backs and 5 safeties.

If I had to guess, and this isn't exactly rocket science, the Falcons are carrying 5 safeties because Zeke Motta, Kemal Ishmael, and Shann Schillinger possess special teams value. Just like the running back situation, with Mike Smith at the helm, it's crucial to consider special teams value. While we're at it, it's worth considering the possibility that Motta won't just play at safety. He's got the size and game speed to be an occasional asset at linebacker. In other words, as a Falcons fan, you have to look beyond what first meets the eye. Not too complicated, eh?

Your thoughts?

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