The Falcons talked as though they would line up Jordan Richards at strong safety, but being the Falcons and feeling tricksy in an injury-plagued 2018, that’s not what actually happened.
Instead, the Falcons lined up Brian Poole at the position to start the game. It was a surprise, but not an unpleasant one for many Falcons fans who felt his physicality played well at the position. That left Isaiah Oliver at cornerback.
Birthday boy Isaiah Oliver gets the start for the #Falcons at cornerback. Looks like Brian Poole is playing strong safety right now.— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) September 30, 2018
This may well be the best long-term move for the Falcons this season, as Poole clearly has the talent to play the position. The early results have been pretty mixed, however, with Poole letting Tyler Eifert fly by him for a touchdown in what looked like a bout of miscommunication. His physicality and years spent as a cornerback ought to help him, but there’s likely to be an adjustment period to the position, and the Bengals have a tough enough offense to make that even worse.
Still, it looks like Richards is not going to be the starter, which is just as well. Even if the Falcons are being too clever by half by saying one thing and doing another, it’s a move I support.