Desmond Trufant may be back in action this week, the first time we’ll have seen him on the field since Week 5. That’s big news for a secondary that has been skewing young in recent weeks, but it’s not the only bit of personnel news that’s worth paying attention to on the back end of this defense.
That’s because the Falcons are apparently sticking with the Damontae Kazee at free safety, Ricardo Allen at strong safety configuration they trotted out against the Seahawks. The team was victimized by the same kinds of embarrassing communication errors that have plagued them for weeks now, but they did also kind of hold the Seahawks in check and make some nice plays in coverage, which looks like real progress if you squint a little.
With Raheem Morris back on the defensive side of the ball aiming to address those miscommunications, the Falcons are willing to try something a little different. Allen is a quality safety regardless of where he plays, and Kazee thrived as a safety just a year ago, so this is sensible enough.
Falcons secondary working a little extra at end of practice today with Trufant at LCB, Oliver at RCB and Sheffield at nickel (Kazee at free). We will see if Trufant makes return from toe injury Sunday— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) November 7, 2019
We haven’t seen Trufant, Oliver, and Sheffield all on the field at the same time at cornerback much this season, but if Tru’s good to go that’s going to change in the very near future. With Oliver making some progress and Sheffield showing real promise, that’s the team’s strongest five healthy defensive backs on paper. Whether they can slow down a suddenly healthy New Orleans passing attack is very, very much up for debate, however.
Still, after seven games of Kazee largely struggling in coverage at nickel cornerback, hopefully the return to safety will get him rolling again. If Oliver and Sheffield develop and Kazee returns to form the Falcons will actually have something to build on in the second half and beyond in the secondary, and I think that’s well within the realm of possibility. Just don’t expect that to happen without some bumps along the way.