The Atlanta Falcons aren’t mad at Ricardo Allen. Allen may have started his NFL career on a practice squad, but he’s started the last 30 games for the Falcons. He’s reliable even if he isn’t truly exceptional, and somehow he makes big plays when it counts. But he’s not elite, and because Dan Quinn is the consummate roster tinkerer, he’s going to have some competition going forward.
Enter Damontae Kazee, a converted cornerback known with a reputation. Here’s how Kazee recently described himself:
“I’m very aggressive. So it’s like, I want my hands on you. I just want to tackle. I just want that ball. Ya know, I mean, every play I just go so hard. I don’t care if the ball’s on the other side of the field; I’m going to go get it. I’m going to tackle you. I’m going to try to race. I’m going to get the there. Getting the ball, making plays. This is your job now, so there ain’t no messing up no more.”
Kazee is fortunate in that he won’t be expected to start in 2017. He will have an opportunity to develop and adjust. But I’ll say this: he’s got the confidence thing down. If his football ability mirrors his self-image, the Falcons may have unearthed another fifth round diamond in the rough.