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Tony Taylor Sounds Like A Winner

There's something interesting going on with the Falcons' linebacking corps, and the always informative Steve Wyche has it covered. I thought signing Orlando Huff was a bit of an odd move given that D-Mo isn't expected to miss much of the season. In addition, the Falcons are so high on Stephen Nicholas that they have the munchies. Put those two factors together and there didn't seem to be an extensive need at outside linebacker. Wyche hints pretty strongly that the team is worried about D-Mo's fragility, and so Huff's one year deal is probably a trial that will set him against our incumbent linebackers. Either he or Williams will triumph out, or Nicholas will just take the job and one of them will return as a backup. Given Williams' superior speed and pursuit ability, I'd rather keep him.

But what's really interesting about Wyche's post (it only took me two paragraphs to get to it!) is the quick mention of Tony Taylor, an undrafted linebacker out of Georgia. Ignoring the fact that he's a local kid like 90% of the guys the team's been trying out lately, he's apparently a real cerebral dude. The coaching staff likes his ability to learn and lead, and if he can get the physical part of the game now Wyche thinks he has a real chance to make the roster. The real benefit here? He's a middle linebacker, clearly the weakest one with the three-headed monster of Huff, Nicholas and D-Mo on one side and Falcoholic favorite Michael Boley on the other. If he makes the roster and can spell Jordan Beck or overtake him, you'll hear absolutely no complaints from me.

A really strong group of linebackers can mask problems along the line and in the secondary, and Lord knows we've got a few of those. I'm pulling for Taylor now, though I'd still like LSU halfback Justin Vincent to get a shot with the team, as well.