Saturday, February 12, 2011

Moving on...

Well, it's time to move on from the NFL season and re-group. I took the Falcons loss pretty hard, and it has been tough to discuss or watch anything NFL related since. I think there are some things the team can do this off-season that would give the team another chance at making a strong run in 2011. Here are the needs in no particular order:

1) Offensive Tackle
2) Running Back
3) Slot Receiver
4) Linebacker
5) Defensive End
6) Corner

I believe the most pressing need is at defensive end. Biermann is serviceable and makes plays and Abe can still be good, but more is needed here. Chauncey Davis is fine as a back-up, but someone needs to come in and make a difference as a consistent pass rusher. This will help the secondary, which can get better, but certainly was not the sole reason behind the GB loss. Shaun Ellis, Charles Johnson, and others are free agents, but a guy like Cameron Heyward from OSU is also intriguing in the draft. Look at what Julius Peppers did for the Bears defense this season, a solid pass rush covers up other weaknesses.

Once this piece is added, depth at linebacker and corner can be met through free agency and the draft. Thomas Dimitroff has brought in a big-name free agent every off-season, and if he uses that strategy again and brings in another offensive piece, I could see it being RB or WR.

Michael Turner is likely coming up on his last season as a guy that can handle 300+ carries. He simply takes too big of a pounding each week. Snelling is a fine 3rd stringer, but the team needs a back-up guy that has some big-play ability, quickness, and good pass receiving skills. If the team goes free agency, Darren Sproles could be a fit. As for slot receiver, Santana Moss needs a job and if the price is right, that could be another offensive fit for the birds.

It is tough to think positively immediately after the crushing loss against the Packers. However, they had a rare combination of a hot QB and a stiff defense-good things are still in the Falcons future.

The Falcons have a really good nucleus and now are on 3 winning seasons in a row. Winning seasons and division titles certainly made the Braves significant in the 90's, but as anyone today will tell you, world titles are what matters. At this point, I can't see Art Blank failing on his goal to bring Atlanta a Lombari trophy...

1 comment:

William Satterwhite said...

If he does indeed become available (I doubt the Raiders will actually let him hit the open market), the Falcons need to do whatever it takes to sign Nnamdi Asomugha. I disagree about the Green Bay game, that game fell squarely on the secondary- the defensive line in that game consistently got into positions to make plays, Aaron Rodgers just found ways to elude the pressure. The NFL is becoming more and more a league where the nickel is a base defense, pairing Asomugha with Robinson and slotting Grimes back to his more natural nickleback role would significantly improve the Falcons defense. Plus, barring a blockbuster trade to move up in the draft, I'm not sure there's an impact DE that the Falcons can get their hands on and as the Jets proved this season, a stellar pass defending secondary can help the pass rush just as much as a strong pass rush can help the secondary.

It's not on your list and it shouldn't be really but I'm kind of curious if the team looks towards upgrading the backup QB position. The Falcons have been pretty lucky in that Matt Ryan hasn't missed much time his first three seasons but now that they've established themselves as a consistent winning team (never thought I'd ever be able to say that about the Birds) I think it's time to start worrying about what happens if he goes for extended periods of time. Worst case scenario is we end up with another Matt Schaub.