You can't bring up special teams without mentioning Keith Armstrong, who will be underrated until the day he gets the NFL head coaching job I think he deserves. He's a sterling motivator, someone who always manages to get the most out of the special teams units he coaches, and a man who has turned the Falcons' special teams into the sole consistent performer for this Falcons team.
Really, through the first nine weeks of the season, the story hasn't changed much. There's been a few mistakes and Matt Bryant hasn't been quite the steely-eyed machine we're used to, but special teams is always a strength of this team for a reason. Let's dive in on the grades.
K Matt Bryant
He's been an A+ player for so long that it's a bit jarring when he's something less than that, but the man is a 40 year old kicker capping off one of the more dominant field goal kicking runs of the last two decades. We can cut him some slack for missing three field goals out of his 17 chances this season, and there's been no further sign of yips from Bryant. Solid A- for the year.
P Matt Bosher
His best season yet. Bosher is averaging 48.5 yards per punt, a career high, and has been getting more touchbacks than ever before on kickoffs. He's willing . A+
KR/PR Eric Weems
It's too bad that Weems seem to be warming up to this role right on the cusp of Devin Hester's return, but such is life. He's been at least decent all season, but he was phenomenal against the 49ers, and I hope he'll be able to keep that momentum going. When you consider how valuable he is on special teams at all times, he gets a very solid B+.
Armstrong has his favorites, but he always makes it work, and aside from the hiccups against San Francisco and talented returner Bruce Ellington, the coverage has been stellar, and the blocking has been good enough. Nate Stupar, Kroy Biermann, Weems, the cornerbacks, Ricardo Allen, and a rotating cast of characters have done a stellar job, as always. A
We'll cover Keith Armstrong in more detail in the coaching review tomorrow, but suffice to say this is one of this Falcons' team's great strengths.