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It’s time for the Falcons to play their young players

Guys like Matt Gono, Qadree Ollison, Deadrin Senat and Jordan Miller need to get meaningful game snaps now.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

With nine losses already for the year, the Falcons are now completely out of the playoff race. There’s nothing left to play for this season, so it’s time for the organization to insist on playing young guys in the remaining four games. Simply put, if there’s going to be a coaching change in 2020 - which seems likely now - that coach will benefit greatly from knowing what each of these young guys was able to do in the tail end of the season. Let’s take a look at some of the names that need to start seeing the field on Sundays.

Matt Gono

In the preseason, we heard about how much this player had developed over the past year. In fact, coaches talked about his ability to play inside and outside. He was even slated to start the season at right tackle until he was sidelined by a back injury. Since that time, though, he’s been inactive for almost every single game while the completely ineffective Ty Sambrailo continues to see action. Let’s see if Gono can play inside.

It’s clear the coaching staff is unhappy with James Carpenter. Why not put that praise pf Gono to the test?

Qadree Ollison

Again, another player praised in the preseason who has been inactive until a deluge of injuries forced the coaching staff to activate him. He has played the past several games but still has only gotten a handful of snaps. We know what Devonta Freeman has to offer and Brian Hill has seen plenty of snaps for us to know what he can be. It’s time to give Ollison enough snaps to get a feel for what his true potential is.

Deadrin Senat

Of all the guys who never get to play, this one is maybe the most confusing. Senat looked decent in his rookie year and has summarily been inactive nearly every single week this year. There were rumblings about a poor work ethic, but at this point we need to know what he can do on the field.

Jordan Miller

While Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield have both shown progress in the past several games, we have yet to see Jordan Miller get significant snaps. He doesn’t have to be a starter, but giving him some opportunities in nickel sets could be beneficial.

John Cominsky

This was a guy that was heavily talked about during the preseason and for good reason. He has freaky physical traits and flashed in several preseason games. He’s seen some action, but at this point we know that Vic Beasley isn’t coming back. Let’s get Cominsky more snaps and see what he’s capable of doing with 20 or 30 snaps on defense.

Olamide Zaccheaus

He was a surprise roster addition that has been inactive virtually every week. Funny enough, recently promoted Christian Blake has seen far more action than Zaccheaus, which makes you wonder why they rostered him over Blake to begin with. Someone like Justin Hardy can ride the pine for a game or two to give Olamide a chance to show what he’s capable of. The team thought enough of him to give him a spot on the 53-man roster. Let’s see why.


I do want to give credit where it’s due. We have seen more of guys like Christian Blake and Jaeden Graham, and in both cases, these guys showed there’s enough there to keep them around in 2020 to see how they develop. Really, at this point, that’s what all of this is about. We have a lot of young guys with supposed upside that we’re not getting to see. With the team out of the playoff race, there’s absolutely no reason to not give them a shot now.