Mike Smith deserves a lot more credit than he gets for being a very smart general of the Atlanta
Falcons. The Falcons have had plenty of flashy ( Glanville ), successful (Reeves), fleeting (Mora),
horrible (Petrino), and Hall of fame inductee (NormVan Brocklin) head coaches through the years
but none as balanced in sifting through young talent and constructing an even keeled motivated unit
as Smitty. That is the only explanation of the recent successful Atlanta Falcons who have a mere one game win in the last three years of preseason. He and his coaching staff observations will be put to task in the next twenty four hours via who makes and breaks from the nest. Here is my trifling view prior to the expected cuts and then important season opener in Louisiana.
I hoped since Mike Johnson went down that the Birds get a versatile veteran o-line add, and although easier said than accomplished, I do expect the staff to take a intriguing cut from elsewhere to strengthen the unit that will get better as the season goes. Peter Konz looks to be a center-stone for the line over the next ten years and a brilliant second round pick.
With two pre-seasons under his helmet, Dom Davis showed rookie nerves, a good arm, athletic legs and has good size for a backup quarterback. I do not want to see a roster cast off cut QB brought in, and believe Dom can handle the duties of his role. The broader question is what the future holds for number 4, who has shown as much, maybe even more, as old back up quarterbacks that have come through Georgia in the names of Farve and Schaub. What price tag does the staff have marked on this prospect I wonder.
Either Mike Nolan has some stealth system not shown in the past month or the Falcon defense of
sacking the quarterback ability needs another preseason of work. I hope it is not the latter, Sept 8th is near.
Stephen Jackson is a weapon that hits holes, makes holes, and leaves holes all over the field. I’d be tempted and crazy enough to set him up at tight end on some plays to throw a ‘what is this formation’ puzzle at the
opposing defenses from time to time. Speaking of tight end, Chase Coffman had a quiet but successful August and think this position to be a solid strength of the team. Chase with more touchdowns than H.D.?
My eye has long seen Spoon, Dent and Nicholas as a very good linebacker squad and this preseason showing of Worrilow, Bartu and James has raised the back up bar and infused youth onto the depth chart.
I wish Banks some good fortune along the way and also hope Schiller makes the practice squad.
Not since Deion roamed the edges has the secondary of the birds been so strong. There will be rookie miscues but Samual, Trufant, Alford, McClain and Franks possess a lot of talent and nice depth with
again that infusion of youth so very valuable.
The most important observation from the preseason is that the Birds are healthy going into what I consider a near playoff game in the opener against the Saints. Health in football is so key because the structure of teams can be brittle and any loss can start a dominoes effect on cohesion through an offense or defense that can be difficult to fix. Sixth straight winning season? Back to back South division titles? Super Bowl?
From the perch the Falcons view looks clear and bright.
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":