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The Falcons Feature Carefully Crafted Special Teams


Look, it's time once more for our sponsored post featuring Marshall Faulk! Let's all wave to Marshall.

The question this week revolves around craftmanship. It would have been easy for me to point to the receiving corps, but we've spilled so much digital ink about those players in three weeks this season that it seems excessive to trot them out for this. Instead, I'm going to focus on another, underrated unit: Special teams.

Make no mistake, this unit has Keith Armstrong's hands all over it. The now-notoriously angry coach has long been regarded as one of the premier special teams minds in the league, and the Falcons have made a habit of giving him what he needs, particularly after the last couple of seasons' worth of fiascos at returner.

This is a unit that features one of the most reliable kickers in the game, Matt Bryant, who should by the laws of time and nature slow down at some point, but isn't showing any sign of doing so. They have one of the better punters in Matt Bosher, a willing tackler with a booming leg who capably handles kickoffs. They now have Devin Hester, who still looks like one of the league's great return men and already has a punt touchdown to his credit in 2014. And they have a capable special teams unit featuring the reliable Eric Weems and nice contributions from players including Malliciah Goodman, who was reamed out on Hard Knocks for not trying. The presence of Weems and to a lesser extent Courtney Roby tells you that Armstrong's input is valued and given real weight in the front office.

It wouldn't surprise any of us to see Hester finishing in the top five for return yardage, Bryant in the top five for field goal accuracy and Bosher in the top five-to-ten for net average on punts. It's a testament to how carefully crafted these special teams are that this could be one of the best units in the NFL before all is said and done.

Your thoughts on special teams?

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