Greetings, Falcoholics, and welcome to the 10th edition of The Falcoholic’s Staff Spotlight. This series profiles a current staff member of The Falcoholic, aiming to give insight on them that you may not be aware of. You’ve read their articles; now get to know them a little bit more. This week’s “Staff Spotlight” is on Kevin Knight.
Hi there! I’m Kevin Knight, editor and writer at The Falcoholic since 2016, and host and producer of our live video show, The Falcoholic Live. If you’ve followed the site for a while, you’re probably familiar with my roster projections, mock drafts, scouting reports, and stats previews. What you might not be familiar with are my interests outside of football. For starters, I’m an avid video gamer. My dad built me my first PC, and since then I’ve always gamed primarily on that platform—though I’ve taken over the PC-building part. Some of my favorite games include The Witcher 3, Mass Effect, Planetside 2, and World of Warcraft (Classic-Cataclysm). I’m also very into airsoft, which is like half military cosplay and half shooting sport. It’s similar to paintball (but cheaper and less messy) and is a lot of fun if you’ve never tried it. In the winter months, skiing is my favorite pastime—my favorite mountain is Big Sky in Montana.
I asked Kevin some questions, so let’s get started.
How did you become an Atlanta Falcons fan, and how did you start writing for The Falcoholic?
I became a Falcons fan around age 9 after following the team for several years. There were four major factors in my selection of the Falcons as my team:
1) Red & black is the GOAT color combination
2) The Falcons were my favorite animal at the time
3) I had family in Atlanta and the Falcons were the closest team to me, in terms of driving distance – I grew up near Destin, Florida.
4) Michael Vick. Vick was the most exciting player I had ever seen, and once I saw him defeat the Packers in the 2002 playoffs, I was hooked.
It’s been a long and interesting road to The Falcoholic. After graduating college with my B.S. in Psychology, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to “take the plunge” and go into graduate school debt. I knew I loved football, so I started writing as a hobby for a small site called The Runner Sports in 2014. It’s funny because, at the time, I reached out to Editor-in-Chief Dave Choate and asked him what I should do to pursue a career in sports writing—he gave me good advice! After about a year, I got an offer to write for the Fansided Falcons’ site Blogging Dirty in 2015. Before the 2016 season, Matt Chambers reached out to me about writing here instead, and the rest is history.
You recently visited Falcons training camp; how was the experience? Who are some players that stood out to you?
This was actually my second time visiting Falcons’ training camp. The first was in 2014, right when I first began trying to make sports writing a career. I met Jeanna Thomas at Flowery Branch, and she was kind enough to show me the ropes and yell at the gate guards to let me in. Coming back to training camp this second time was very different. Instead of standing up on the hill with binoculars, I got to stand on the field next to Vaughn McClure and DLed. It’s been a bit of a surreal experience to have been a fan for so long and then make the sport I love into a job.
I was able to observe two days of practice—the first of which required me to stand out in the rain to take videos. I do it all for you, folks. I thought the young WRs really stood out while I was there: Russell Gage was Ryan’s favorite target and Devin Gray caught a long TD. I expect a fierce competition there over the final few roster spots, with names like Christian Blake, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Kahlil Lewis also factoring in. On defense, the young CBs (Sheffield and Miller) certainly impressed along with John Cominsky, who also had a standout Hall of Fame game performance.
Can you explain how the Scouting Academy has benefited your scouting and analysis?
The Scouting Academy’s system is all about consistency and improving your confidence in what you’re seeing on film and on the field. I haven’t been able to dive head-first into the program like I would’ve liked due to other life events getting in the way, but what I’ve been able to do so far has been very helpful in my growth as a talent evaluator. In particular, I’ve appreciated the detailed breakdowns of which traits to scout at each position, and their overall mantra of “tell me what a player CAN do, not what a player CANNOT do.” For those that are interested in broadening their football knowledge in a substantial way, the Scouting Academy is definitely a worthwhile investment. Just be aware that it is a significant time investment, as well.
What’s your outlook on the upcoming season?
I personally see the Falcons going 10-6 and heading into the playoffs as either division winners or as a wild card team. The NFC (and NFC South) is stacked with talent, and I expect there to be a lot of teams around 10 wins. Atlanta, however, happens to play a lot of these potential playoff teams during the regular season, including Minnesota, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Those tiebreakers could be crucial to determining who ends up with a first-round bye and who ends up with a wild card spot. This should be a fun season for Falcons fans, with an elite offense and a defense that should finally reach its full potential with Dan Quinn at the helm.
Is there anything you want to say to The Falcoholic readers?
If readers haven’t had a chance to check out our live video show, The Falcoholic Live, you can watch us on Wednesday nights at 8:10 PM ET on YouTube. We go on for about an hour and answer viewer questions throughout the show. It’s a fun, laid-back atmosphere where we can all talk Falcons together. We are also doing live play-by-play shows during the Falcons’ preseason games, and we’ll be doing post-game shows after all the regular season games. Also, make sure you give me a follow on Twitter @FalcoholicKevin for all the best takes. I greatly appreciate all of you who watch, read, and comment—your fandom makes it possible for myself and all of us here at The Falcoholic to do what we love. I also do read the comments, and appreciate the nicknames—Knight Rider in particular is fun because my middle name is actually Michael. Let’s go get that Super Bowl this season!
Well folks, that wraps up another edition of The Falcoholic’s Staff Spotlight. I appreciate Kevin for sharing his opinions and thoughts with us. As he mentioned above, be sure to tune in for The Falcoholic Live as both Kevin and Adnan to an excellent job breaking down any recent Falcons news, and what’s coming up in the week ahead.
Additionally, you can find me on Twitter @EvanBirchfield. If you missed any of the past editions of The Falcoholic’s Staff Spotlight, you can view them by clicking the links below. Thanks for reading, Falcoholics!