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Gettin' Defensive

I love Steve Wyche at the AJC. He consistently puts together the most informative stuff on the AJC, and I link him quite frequently, so I wanted to send a hat tip his way. The article in question here is no exception, and I have my own thoughts.

To begin with, it looks like the Falcons are planning on using Brooking at middle linebacker. The team has yanked him back and forth between the outside and the interior so many times that the poor bastard's probably got whiplash at this point. I would argue that Brooking's a more effective player on the outside, but we have future Pro Bowler Michael Boley on one side and speedster Demorrio Williams on the other. He's evidently going to get another shot now that Mora and his magical doghouse has disappeared, and I say good for him. The reality is that Brooking is a bit less effective than he was, say, three years ago, so it's hard to argue simply plugging him where there's a need rather than his best natural position. I'm hopeful we'll get to see some of Jordan Beck this year, even if it cuts into Brooking's playing time. The guy could probably use some plays off that he could have breezed through in his younger days, so we'll see how it plays out.

Second, Jimmy Williams has...hold on, I have to prepare this word properly....supplanted Jason "Jim Mora Loved Me!" Webster as one of the starting corner, which is big news. Mike Zimmer also seems to be riding him around training camp like a dune buggy, so that means Williams still has kinks in his game to work out. I'm definitely more willing to let a learning Jimmy Williams make some mistakes because he's not fully developed yet than Jason Webster making those same mistakes or worse because he's like a Swiss cheese blanket in terms of coverage. I also like Williams' attitude about the starting job, with him insisting that he wants to earn it even though it's pretty obvious there's no way in hell Pet Rhino and Zimmer are going to start Webster. I actually think a cornerbacking corps that features Hall and Williams starting with Webster as the nickel back is about 100x better than Hall, Webster and the immortal Allen Rossum. So yay for that.

And our final item is Chauncey Davis. He's facing a bit of an uncertain future given whispers that the team could use the 8th overall pick on a defensive end (NOTE: please, please pick Landry if he's there). I do like Davis quite a bit, and if he can improve his edge rushing to the point where he gets 5 or 6 sacks he'll be a good guy for us. But we clearly should pursue a defensive end with one of our second round picks and groom him to start. If Davis plays exceptionally well and keeps the job, then we can perhaps jettison an expensive, injury prone Abraham or work the young lineman into a rotation. What I'm saying is that with a guy who's clearly capable of being a starter like Davis, it's better to use your highest draft pick on an area like safety or offensive lineman where your need is more urgent. I'm hoping the Falcons will do the smart thing come draft time.

So that's my two cents. To all my readers (and I've noticed there are a bunch of you who just signed up recently), who should fill these positions?