The bye week for the Atlanta Falcons could not have come at a better time. With a 1-7 record heading into the bye week, fans have a reprieve and don’t have to be subjected to the lifeless, uninspiring, unenthusiastic and undisciplined brand of football displayed by this team for one week only.
There are a few key areas that this inept Atlanta Falcons coaching staff should be focusing on for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Let’s make no mistake about it, the 2019 season after the first eight games have been nothing short of a colossal disaster for the Atlanta Falcons. The offense has mostly been out of sync and inconsistent.
The defense has been atrocious, has way too many holes and is very soft. The coaching in all three phases has been pitiful. There have not been many positives to take away other than the play of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones on offense and Grady Jarrett on defense.
Certain players should either be benched or have their playing time decreased dramatically in the remaining eight games. If they are not traded by tomorrow’s deadline, then Devonta Freeman, De’Vondre Campbell, Desmond Trufant, and Vic Beasley, Jr. are the four main players that this applies to.
Almost every defensive starting player this season (minus Grady Jarrett) on the Atlanta Falcons in the first half has either blown an assignment, committed an unnecessary and undisciplined penalty and has looked completely lost on the field. Let’s not neglect the fact that they have played with zero passion, heart or enthusiasm far too often as well.
It is extremely puzzling to fans as to why running back Qadree Ollison and defensive tackle Deadrin Senat have both been inactive for the first eight games. Devonta Freeman has been giving every opportunity to show that he is back to his old form, but it is quite evident that he is nowhere near the player he used to be. He runs too hesitantly and does not hit his holes properly.
Moving forward, Qadree Ollison needs to not only be active but also seeing the field and getting some touches. He had a very good preseason and should have been playing from game one.
The same can be said for Brian Hill. He was probably the most improved player on offense in the pre-season as he took major strides while working on his pass-catching ability out of the backfield. Hill’s speed and shiftiness were apparent on his 23-yard touchdown run.
Both Hill and Ollison should be splitting snaps until Ito Smith returns from injury. This should be a no-brainer throughout the coaching staff and front office.
On the defensive side of the ball, certain players should also only see the majority of the snaps. This will only help with their experience and confidence. These players should be thrown into the fire to help evaluate for next season. Regardless of the fact that they are rookies and have limited to no experience in the regular season, this is part of the evaluation process.
Kendall Sheffield has been starting of late and has been playing well. His man coverage yesterday was fundamentally sound and excellent on some perfectly thrown balls his way. Deadrin Senat is another head-scratcher that has been inactive for whatever reason. He must be in Dan Quinn’s doghouse.
The second-year player from South Florida had a solid rookie season last year. He should be active for the remainder of the season and receive plenty of snaps to evaluate if he will be part of the team’s future plans.
Rookie cornerback Jordan Miller has only seen time on special teams so far this season. He is another player who should see playing time moving forward, along with linebacker Jermaine Grace. Grace had an excellent preseason and has yet to see a defensive snap this season.
With the season lost and nothing to lose moving forward in the second half, the coaching staff and front office need to swallow their pride and forget about their loyalty to underperforming veterans on this team. They have nothing to lose and owe it to the fans to play rookies and younger players who deserve a chance and have earned the right to be evaluated for the future.