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Coming Off His Best Season, Does Thomas DeCoud Have Anything Left To Prove?

Fact: if Thomas DeCoud were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there

Grant Halverson

Mixed reviews of Thomas DeCoud abound. Statistically speaking, he hasn't always graded out well. While nobody would question his innate athleticism, he can be undisciplined, taking bad angles and making costly mental mistakes.

That said, The Mike Nolan Effect hasn't missed DeCoud. In fact, it hit him like a truck; except instead of being some variety of roadkill, DeCoud is a pass munching destroyer of offensive momentum. Let's be honest, he was an interception machine last year (career high of 6). He eventually nabbed a Pro Bowl nod after the Falcons were eliminated from the playoffs. He also had a career-high approximate value (8) in 2012 and meowed SportsCenter in epic fashion.

I won't lie, if he can repeat 2012, or come close, going forward, that'd be just fine with me. I'm not sure we can justifiably expect much more. For a third round pick (98th overall), he's brought an incredible amount of consistency and stability to the free safety position. I can look past the occasionally poor tackling, assuming his intensity and willingness to fly all over the field with reckless abandon don't go anywhere anytime soon. I'm confident they won't, and I'm confident DeCoud will both earn and play out of his current contract.

What do you think? Is DeCoud playing well enough to justify his contact? Does he still have anything to left to prove? Will Dave ever get sober? These are the things that keep me up at night!