Pro Football Weekly writes about the situation of Michael Boley and expresses their doubt that Boley will be returning to Atlanta next year.
In a past entry I pointed out that I was disappointed in Boley’s play through the first half of the season. And his play has not picked up since then. He may have hit rock-bottom when he essentially became a nickel linebacker while journeyman Coy Wire got most of the reps on running downs last week. Wire played well (minus his half-hearted attempt on the blocked punt) finishing the game with 13 tackles.
PFW proposes that Boley’s drop-off in play has been because of the scheme and/or the fact that he may have never bought into Mike Smith’s new regime altogether. If that’s the case, it makes perfect sense for the Falcons not to bring Boley back next year.
However one possibility the Falcons may think about exploring is moving Boley to weakside linebacker next year. Keith Brooking has a voidable year in his contract, meaning he could be a free agent after the season. And it makes little sense for the Falcons to bring Brooking back at this point in his career. If the price is right, then moving Boley to the other spot could potentially solve the issue of marginalization via scheme.
Although I’m not confident that it will work. Boley simply hasn’t been the same player he was last year, regardless of any schematic marginalization. He’s not playing with the same passion or skill from 2007 which may backup up the notion that he “never bought into the Smith program.” He’s just not playing like he really wants to be back in Atlanta. And with him essentially being benched last week, it’s doubtful it will change over these final two weeks.
So once again, bye bye Boley. Wish you luck in your next stop, assuming it’s not Charlotte, New Orleans, or Tampa.