Falcons Week 2 Recap
|"Chicago is a hard place to win in. You have the weather to deal with, you have the wild fanbase, it'll be a fun game.", GM Nissen says before the game today.
The Atlanta Falcons came out a little slow and lackadaisical with the ball in the first quarter. QB Bo Callahan threw an INT in the redzone and the FB Dennis Palumbo fumbled as well.
The 2nd quarter was where the Falcons took the lead and had a very strong quarter scoring 17 of the teams 20 points in that quarter. Both teams had trouble converting on third down, Bears going 5-16 and the Falcons going 5-14. It was definitely a defensive game win here for the Falcons. They stood tall and kept the lead the offense built up earlier.
LE Robert Quinn had 6 tackles, two of those being sacks. He also had a forced fumble in today's game. CB Kendall Fuller led the team with 7 tackles. He also scooped up a fumble to give the offense the ball.
QB Bo Callahan finished the day 14-31 for 209 yards. throwing two TD's and 1 INT. WR Ryan Broyles was, yet again, in the right spot, making his only grab of the day a 47 yard TD. WR Rock Pritchett caught the other one from Callahan. HB Joe Mixon had another solid game today as well, carrying the ball 24 times for 92 yards. Mixon had a 22-yard run in the final 5 minutes of the game to help keep the final drive for the Falcons going, which ending up leading to a FG by K Gadhi Mendel to go up by a TD in the final minutes of the game. The defense yet again stopped their offense, resulting in a T.O.D., leading to a Falcons victory.
After the game, GM Nissen spoke at the podium.
"I thought we played a good game. There is some room for more improvement on both sides of the ball, but the boys squeezed the W out today. Now its time to go back home and prepare for a tough divisional game next week against Carolina."
(by D_Nissen on 11/20/2017)
Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Falcons Week 1 Recap
|The Falcons came out in their home opener, trying to get the new GM his first W with the team, and they did just that. One the first drive of the game for the Saints, it looked like they would march down the field and score, but CB Jamar Taylor came up with a huge INT in the endzone.
Bo Callahan and the offense had a great, efficient first drive, driving down the field and hitting WR Ryan Broyles for a 5 yard TD.
That's when the game started to get interesting. Both teams were plagued by injuries, both losing their starting QB for the game. Falcons QB Callahan finished 8-10 with 84 yards and a TD. The back-up, Reginald Hart came in and went 4-15 for 83 yards and a TD. He did hit a 47 yard bomb to WR Billy Crockett to stretch the lead. Crockett finished with 3 receptions for 84 yards and one TD. HB Joe Mixon had 22 carries for 115 yards in his GZL debut.
The Falcons D also made a stand, holding the Saints to only 7 points and 1-4 in the redzone. FS Ed Parrish picked another on off in the redzone in the final quarter to help seal the deal. DE Quinn had two sacks in the game with FS Terrence Brooks also recording a sack.
In the press conference after the game, GM Nissen was up at the podium. After being asked how he thinks the team played in the season opener, he said, "I think they did a great job of not losing sight of the W, even with all injuries both teams had. I think there's always room for improvement, but this is a good stepping stone for this team, on paper and moral wise. It's still early, we'll get healthy and start to prepare for Chicago next week."
Everyone is back in action for the Week 2 match up for the Falcons.
(by D_Nissen on 11/13/2017)
Replies - 1 :: Views - 15
New GM in Town
|With new GM Daulton Nissen joining Atlanta, we may see a turn around over there. He had some comments from his first press conference as the Falcons new GM.
When asked what he thinks about the team, he responded with, "I think the team is very well rounded, this team should be winning games. Bo is an excellent QB, in the right offense he should succeed. Also, Ian Coyle drafted a stud rookie HB that should be a threat this year. I'm excited to see these wide receivers get open. The defense can be solid this year. Quinn and Ogbah should be able to get to the opposing QB and hopefully force some turnovers. Im excited for the opportunity to be the new GM." He also added, "Once everyone is on the same page, this team can win some games. I have a few ideas for the team that I think will put this team in the right direction."
He was asked if he thinks there are any certain areas that needed to be improved, he replied, "I think there are a couple position moves we can do that'll make the defense more well rounded, but I still believe this defense can be very strong for us either way."
Asked if he is worried about the cap trouble the team may encounter, he said, "It's something to keep an eye on. It's in the back of my mind."
Outside the press conference he had some comments about being the son of Titans GM, Tim Nissen. "It'll be fun. Should bring a little bit more grit in the league to be the best. But you learn from the best, so who knows who will come out on top."
(by D_Nissen on 10/11/2017)
Replies - 5 :: Views - 54
Atlanta Off-season review
To say that last season was a disappointment is a bit of an understatement. This team is chock full of talent on both sides of the ball, but couldn't seem to get the results on Sunday's. The result was a 3-13 season, just 1 win better than the previous season. QB Bo Callahan led the league in passing yardage, but also gave up 19 interceptions, resulting in a pedestrian 75.3 passer rating for the season. He will need to clean up the mistakes if the Falcons are to improve upon last season's results. He is the driving force behind this offense.
Cubby Williams had a good third season, although for the third year in a row, his yardage totals have decreased. He ended this year with 1305 yards and 9 touchdowns (top 10 for rushing TD's). This drop in yardage has more to do with playing from behind than anything; he still has a healthy 4.6 ypc total.
WR Ronyell Conway and Aaron Dobson both flirted with 1000 yard seasons, with Conway reaching it and Dobson falling just short. Callahan did an excellent job distributing the ball around the field. It's rare that a QB leads the league in passing and not a single one of his receivers cracks the top 10 in receiving yardage. Perhaps more impressive 10 of the 11 players that caught a pass from Callahan also caught at least one touchdown from him. This distribution tends to make it more difficult for teams to shut down any one weapon.
To improve upon last season's record, the Falcons will need to do a better job of protecting Callahan and improve on a terrible 30% 3rd down conversion rate to finish more drives with points.
On defense, we had some bright spots but the team gave up a whopping 28.3 points per game and lost the time of possession race by almost 4 minutes per game. The league-wide highlights include MLB Benardrick McKinney finishing 3rd in tackles with 138, including 18 for loss, and DE Robert Quinn finishing 7th in sacks with 12, adding 11 tackles for loss and 2 fumble recoveries.
Rookie CB Rollo Salsbury had a good showing with 4 picks and 79 tackles along with a team leading 21 passes defended. He was pressed into a starting role early in the season due to injuries. DE Emmanuel Ogbah came into his own last season, contributing 8 sacks opposite Robert Quinn.
With all of the talent on the defensive side of the ball, it's hard to guess the reasons for the poor numbers. A large portion comes from sheer chances; we gave up the ball 7 times more than we were able to get back in turnovers. In addition, the offense failed on third down 70% of the time, resulting in a situation where the defense was on the field a lot more than they really needed to be. Opposing passers were able to post a 91.6 passer rating against us as well, showing that we really weren't able to make a significant impact on the passing game in disrupting the opposing QB.
The Falcons came into the off-season with many expiring contracts; several of them being big name veterans for the Falcons. Due to the Falcons’ recent string of losing seasons, most of them were not interested in re-signing with the Falcons. The Falcons were able to extend OT Michel Millen’s contract, locking him up for the next 5 years (5 years $56.83 Million, $16.4 Million guaranteed). The other three guys they were interested in bringing back were MLB Benardrick McKinney, OT Bo Schneider, and SS Andre Burgess. The only way to get that done would be to declare them as match eligible and hope that another team offered them a contract palatable enough for the Falcons’ front office to match. Through this process, we were able to retain the services of both McKinney (5 year $35.05 Million, with $14 Million guaranteed) and Burgess (5 years $27 Million, with $10.8 Million guaranteed), while letting Schneider go.
The Falcons parted ways with WR Michael Farmer, FB Steve Faust, and CB Matthew Diaz. Faust and Diaz were cut to shave salary at positions with considerable depth. They were both starting to show their age and regressing. Farmer was cut to save a little money but also to free up a roster spot for another player that could contribute more.
Also lost to free agency were FS George Iloka, CB Tomas Lopez, LB’s Cyrus Guerra and Nate Irving, DT Desean Curry, C Randy Barrett, OG Derek Newton, and WR Cornell Vogel. These losses were simply due to expiring contracts. This left a lot of salary cap space to sign a few free agents of our own and prepare for the draft.
In pre-draft free agency, the Falcons were able to sign RG Stafon Martin to a 5 year deal worth $5.5 Million, MLB Denzel Perryman to a 5 year $12.25 Million deal, FS Ed Parrish to a 5 year $12 Million deal, and DT Salvatore Price to a 5 year $13.35 Million deal.
Martin was signed to provide depth at OG. We like his raw physical tools. He is 28 and still sub-par in AWR and blocking skills, but can provide decent depth for us. We liked his price point and hoped to find a solid starter in the draft.
Perryman has never had a chance to start in his 3 years with the Dolphins, but he has all of the right physical tools to make an impact. We like to have quick guys at LB and Denzel fits that task. He is a little raw, but at only 26, we have time to develop a little bit at a decent price.
Parrish is yet another guy, at 27, that has not been given a chance to play much. We like safeties that look like corners. His speed and agility will come in handy assisting over the top as well as covering slot receivers and tight ends. We like his large frame as well, at 6’0” he will help with deflections when coming over the top.
Salvatore Price was brought in for one reason, to be a run stopper for us. His massive strength and 345 lb frame will play well in the middle of the defensive line. This was an area that we needed to work on, finishing in the bottom third of the league in rushing yards allowed per game. At 25, he’s got some years in the tank to develop.
All of these signings were designed to fill some gaps some guys that have a little experience and some good physical traits. The rest of the holes would be filled via the draft.
For the draft we found a willing trade partner in the Seattle Seahawks. They were looking to move up to the #1 spot to pick their coveted WR. While a WR of Nix’s caliber would certainly make just about every team better, we felt that we needed to look at the future and salary implications that come from picking several years in a row in the top 10 of the draft. We were able to come to a deal that would give the Falcons a future 2nd round pick along with 1.7, 2.27, and WR Rock Pritchett in exchange for the pick. Rock hasn’t really made much of an impact in Seattle, never topping 1000 yards through 6 seasons. He has the potential to do great things with Atlanta though. He completes a trio of Conway (6’4”), Pritchett (6’3”) and Dobson (6’3”) that will prove challenging to match-up with for defenses. Callahan shouldn’t have much trouble finding a target out there with this group.
The trade for Pritchett made WR Anthony Perez expendable. The Falcons were looking to fill a hole at OT after losing Schneider to Free Agency. This made another deal possible. The Falcons didn’t really see drafting a starting OT as a viable option. The Seahawks again made a good trade partner. We were able to move back in the first round to 1.20 while picking up an additional 5th round pick and OT Arie Kouandjio. We think Kouandjio will fit in perfectly on our line. He’s already posted back to back seasons with nearly 100 pancakes and will step in to make an immediate impact. We will have to work him into our re-sign plan for next season, but we will deal with that as it comes.
1.20 – MLB Raekwon McMillan 6’2” 240 lbs | 83 SPD | 82 AGI | 83 ACC | 82 TAK
We like McMillan’s overall physical toolkit. He comes in with above average tackling ability from the get-go. He doesn’t jump out in any one trait, but he will work well in our system. In addition, he will benefit from McKinney’s leadership and shouldn’t be pressed into a starting role from day 1.
2.1 – OG Tony Strapp 6’6” 300 lbs | 63 SPD |94 STR |80 ACC |82 PBK |85 RBK
We were debating between Strapp and McMillan for 1.20 so to say we were pleased he was still available at 2.1 is an understatement. Strapp will step in and start from day 1. We love his aabove average strength and he comes in with polished blocking skills right away. He has good feet and quickness as well.
2.27 – SS Fish Simpson 6’1” 210 lbs | 90 SPD | 66 STR | 86 AGI | 88 ACC
We like big bodied safeties. Simpson fits our mold. He has good speed and athletic skills, decent strength and will help disrupt the passing game with his reach.
3.1 – OLB Andy Simms 6’4” 219 lbs | 88 SPD | 85 AGI | 88 ACC
Andy will be an interesting project. We took a chance here on athletics alone. His combo of SPD/AGI/ACC is unmatched in the league. On the downside, he is not strong at all. It will be interesting to watch his play and see how much of an impact that has. This could end up being a bust, but could also be a fantastic find.
4.1 – CB Tyler Stone 6’2” 177 lbs | 93 SPD | 82 AGI | 85 ACC
We took a chance on the skew with this pick and I think we still ended up with a solid match-up corner. For a taller CB, his speed is pretty solid. He will match-up nicely with some of those taller WR’s out there that don’t have burner speed.
Our late picks didn’t produce much excitement as there was a mix-up at league headquarters and the picks weren’t submitted until the end of the 6th round due to some other team’s missing their time slot. We didn’t go back to see what could have been, we just selected the players that were still available from our draft board. We did sign most of them as depth, but they weren’t super exciting.
With just over $11 million in cap space, we may still add some players in post draft free agency, but we might also just hang tight and keep the space available in the event of injuries.
(by I_Coyle on 02/08/2017)
Replies - 2 :: Views - 50
Falcons Day 1 Draft Report
|Atlanta has been fairly quiet this off-season, not having any Free Agents that were needing to be tagged as match eligible and choosing not to delve too deeply into pre-draft free agency. They did however make a couple moves to bring in additional draft picks as GM Coyle made the conscious decision to re-fuel the tanks. The first trade started as an inquiry from the Raider's front office, seeking the Falcons 6th overall pick in the draft. In scouting the draft class, the Falcons had decided that there were several pieces worthy of first round selection, but with a somewhat weaker draft class compared to the last few years, they were not too keen on the price they would be paying. This was compounded when they considered that they have picked at the top of the last couple drafts in a row and need to be cap conscious over the next few seasons. So when Garth made an offer allowing the Falcons to drop back to 17 and pick up the 27th pick as well in the first round, the Falcons pulled the trigger. This deal must have been the topic of conversation at the Pearce family Thanksgiving table, because not two days later, Wade Pearce came calling with another deal that the Falcons couldn't turn away. They were able to acquire veteran Corner Janoris Jenkins and a 4th round pick for one of the Falcons' three 2nd round picks. We felt that with the move toward youth, having a few extra veterans around, especially ones that can be cut or traded without a cap hit, would be a smart move.
So let's take a look at what the Falcons got for their effort, shall we?
1.17 CB Kendall Fuller - Virginia Tech 5'11" 195lbs 95 SPD | 95 AGI | 95 ACC | 68 CTH | 70 AWR
Our original plan included taking Hargreaves III at 1.6, who we had as 1A to Fuller's 1B. When we pulled the trigger on the trade with the Raiders, we were hoping that one of our top 3 CB's would fall to us at #17. Fuller did. He is very much on par with the talent of Hargreaves. We love his 95 across the board physical tools. A tiny bit disappointed at the sub 6'0" frame, but he's got the tools to make it work. What we REALLY loved was that he's coming in already at 70 AWR, making the transition to the pro game that much quicker. He will slot in from day one at nickle most likely and get excellent mentor bonus' from Jenkins and Diaz.
1.27 DE Emmanuel Ogbah - Oklahoma State 6'4" 275 lbs 85 SPD | 74 STR | 80 AGI | 83 ACC | 71 TAK | 70 AWR
We loved seeing Ogbah's name still on the draft board when our second first round pick came up. He will contribute right away, opposite Robert Quinn to give the Falcons two scary bookends on the defensive line. We love the speed and snap off the ball. The high end AWR only makes him better and he will still benefit from mentor bonus with Quinn to develop even faster.
2.2 WR/KR Tyler Lockett - Kansas State 5'10" 182 lbs 94 SPD | 95 AGI | 93 ACC | 81 CTH | 70 AWR | 97 KR
Tyler Lockett really fits our long term plans as a slot receiver with return game capabilities. We have Dri Archer returning kicks successfully right now, but this gives us two options there. Lockett also comes in with decent hands, better than some of our veteran guys, so he will be able to contribute right away we feel.
2.22 TE Mo Idlewild - Iowa 6'6" 255 lbs 75 SPD | 80 STR | 74 AGI | 74 ACC | 70 CTH | 65 AWR | 60 RBK/PBK
Mo was our #2 TE. OJ Howard was our first choice, but he was taken a few picks earlier. We felt that with Gronk still able to produce in the passing game, we could use a good blocking TE. Enter Idlewild, who will fill that role nicely. He comes in with some polished blocking skills and will work nicely in the two TE sets that we will run.
3.6 HB Michael Ortiz - South Carolina 5'10" 201 lbs 98 SPD | 94 AGI | 96 ACC | 70 CAR | 63 AWR
Mike brings another speedster to be a change of pace from Cubby. His strength won't turn into many broken tackles, but if he can get the edge, he'll be trouble. At this point in the draft, we were looking to plug some holes with some guys with physical skills. We were happy with this pick.
3.21 P Cecil Garza - San Jose State 6'2" 211 lbs 96 KPW | 80 KAC
Not much to write home about here. A strong legged punter, strongest in the class. Garza probably would have been around a round or two later, but our top picks were drying up at the time and we were on the clock, so we filled a need. Pretty happy with the pick considering that punters won't miss extra points or chip shot field goals with sub 90 KAC. He will need some work to avoid the flubbed punts here and there, but it's not nearly as game shattering as a poor KAC Kicker.
4.6 OLB Rocco Bianchi - Florida 6'2" 220 lbs 81 SPD | 66 STR | 79 AGI | 80 ACC | 66 TAK | 70 AWR
We liked seeing a 70 AWR OLB still around in the 4th and we jumped on him. This guy will play mostly special teams to start with, but we see him with some upside as an outside rusher and even decent in pass coverage on some of the TE's and Backs with his decent physical skills. He won't run over many linemen, but he can get to the QB or rusher with an open lane.
Overall, we're pretty happy with day one. Had some good success with early picks and, given good skew results, may have some winners in the second half of the day too.
(by I_Coyle on 12/29/2015)
Replies - 1 :: Views - 29
At A Glance