Falcons Get Familiar Help with Tough Competition

Jun 18, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive back Asante Samuel (22) shown on the field during minicamp at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the falcons made a major offseason pick up of Asante Samuel.  Samuel is getting older and is always chancy when he goes for the big play.  Sometimes, Asante gets burnt.  However it doesn’t seem like that happens quite as often as it did when he was in Philadelphia.  It may be the fact that Atlanta utilizes him better or he is more motivated surrounded by championship-type players, but Asante certainly isn’t way past his prime.  5 interceptions for a 32 year-old is not bad at all.  That is not the point, however.

Asante wasn’t just an add that Atlanta desperately needed.  Yes, the pass defense in 2011 was suspect and Asante came with a great bargain, but I believe a bigger contributor to this pick up was the fact that Samuel came from the NFC East.  In 2012, we were taking on a young, exciting Washington team, a Dallas team with a good quarterback and receivers, the defending Super Bowl Champs (who also knocked Atlanta out of the playoffs the year before) and an incredibly talented Eagles team.  Aside from great coaching and game planning, a way to get a leg up on the competition may be to bring in a guy who plays those teams several times a year.  Without his insight, I’m not sure the Falcons would sweep the NFC East.

After the Falcons lost in the NFC Championship to the 49ers and only barely beating the Seahawks, the falcons head into the next schedule with the NFC West on the board. Asante worked out well, Atlanta needs a running back, and Steven Jackson is on the market, what could go wrong?  The fact of the matter is that Steven Jackson has played San Francisco and Seattle twice a year for his entire career.  He knows that team better than anyone else on the Falcons roster, and he knows what it takes to move on two of the most powerful defenses in the NFL.  Talent wise, the Falcons may split the division 2-2.  With the addition, I think the Falcons win it by at least 3-1.  Maybe even another one in the playoffs.  Jackson is more than just a running addition, he’s an instruction manual on how to get pass these defenses.  He’s just like Asante Samuel who was an instruction manual on how to slow down good offenses.

Topics: Asante Samuel, Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan, Mike Smith, NFC East, NFC West, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Steven Jackson

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  • DRRL

    In 14 career games against the Seahawks, Steven Jackson has averaged 68.6 per game, and never had a 100-yard game. Last year he had games of 52 and 55 yards rushing. That’s supposed to be “an instruction manual on how to get pass [sic] these defenses”? And in other additions, who do you think will win a matchup of 32 year-old Asante Samuel vs. Percy Harvin? I think your optimism may have gotten the better of your judgment.

    • Robert Stephens

      I disagree. Keep in mind I was not saying that Steven Jackson is successful against Seattle, but the Rams have defeated them and has game planed for them many times. My point stands for Asante, Did he always have good days against Romo and Manning? No, but he has been on a defense that planed for that game twice a year.

      And if Percy Harvin was healthy, which never happens, I wouldn’t say that Asante would shut him down, but your optimism in that guy may have gotten the better of you since he never has put up elite numbers. He would get some catches, sure, but Asante would definitely be able to cover him.

      • DRRL

        Well, now you’re right about Steven Jackson, He has NOT been successful against Seattle, “But the Rams have defeated them and has [sic] planed [sic] for them many times.” The question is, have they successfully planned against Seattle? Since 2005, the Rams record against Seattle is 2-14! PLEASE, learn all that you can from the Rams about how to play Seattle! :)

        • Robert Stephens

          I don’t think the record of the Rams really has anything to do with it because Seattle is not playing the Rams November 10th. Steven Jackson knows the Seattle defense better than anyone else on the team whether they were successful or not. Except the Falcons have the tools and talent to beat the Seahawks and the Rams didn’t.

          • DRRL

            Bottom line: You now have a player who wasn’t successful against Seattle, who played on a team that wasn’t successful against them. And now, what?
            On the basis of his experience he can now teach the Falcons what didn’t work? Look, the Falcons are strong team, as is Seattle, and it will be great game. If it were at C-Link, I think the Falcons would struggle mightily. In Atlanta? It’ll be a tough game. But the premise of this article is very weak.