Atlanta Falcons really miss Brian Poole


Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff decided this last off-season that the team no longer needed nickel corner, Brian Poole, he clearly could not have been more wrong.

Former Atlanta Falcons corner Brian Poole is not the most intimidating figure at 5-foot-9 and 210 pounds. His size and his slow 40-yard dash time were major factors in why he went undrafted out of Florida in 2016. He decided to follow his college teammate Keanu Neal to the Falcons after the 2016 draft.

During his three seasons with the team, Brian Poole recorded 195 tackles, 19 pass defenses, five sacks, and four interceptions.

With the odds against him, Poole not only made the Falcons roster but thrived as the nickel corner. He could defend across the middle and on the perimeter and was arguably one of the best tacklers the Falcons had not just in the secondary but on the defensive side of the ball.

Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn felt comfortable enough after the year Demontae Kazee had in 2018 at safety with seven interceptions, that having him in the field more in 2019 as the nickel corner that they could allow Brian Poole to walk.

What a terrible mistake.

Yes, coming out of San Diego State Kazee was one of the most versatile secondary players in the country. However, it is safe to say after four games in 2019, that he is a better safety in the NFL than a corner and he is clearly a downgrade from Brian Poole.

Poole decided to sign with the Jets after the Falcons moved on and he is thriving in New York, while the Falcons sorely miss what he brought to the defense. Looking at the passing games the Falcons will face over the next month, Brian Poole would have provided a lot of leadership, ability, and confidence that the young Atlanta Falcons secondary just does not have.

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It’s always easy to make these statements in hindsight, but everyone knew back in February when the Falcons declined to resign him that this was a major mistake and it’s as true now as it was then.