"I know, Atlanta Falcons fans."
One of the best players in franchise history has just been traded. The Atlanta Falcons offense has lost one of its foundational pieces. Now, look at the defense – here’s not that much talent but at least the new defensive coordinator is the legendary Dean Pees.
And now this 30-year old writer is going to compare him to Mike Nolan?
Well, I’m choosing to remember the good times.
The 2012 season saw a rejuvenated, opportunistic Atlanta Falcons defense contributing to the team’s success like no defense has done since.
Now, Dean Pees one of the top defensive minds in football, whereas Mike Nolan is struggling to find employment, so there’s no doubt that he’s an upgrade, but he can find success in many of the same ways.
The Atlanta Falcons defense is top-heavy. Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones have been Pro Bowlers, while Foye Oluokun and AJ Terrell have shown the potential to be outstanding contributors. Elsewhere, though, the handful of top-level players are surrounded by unproven draft picks and journeymen.
While general manager Terry Fontenot could add reinforcements, he and head coach Arthur Smith appear happy with the roster.
Pees will have to be at his best if the Falcons are going to field an above-average defense but Mike Nolan’s 2012 Atlanta Falcons defense could provide the blueprint.