One of the big stories of the week came when Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank appeared on 680 the Fan on Tuesday morning and spoke candidly about how he perceived the team lacking toughness. Blank highlighted the hit that New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro put on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the season-opener as a play that bothered him:
“And that play really bothered me, sincerely. It bothered me that none of our players, they all complained, but none of them went to the safety on the Saints and did anything.”
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure has a good recap of Blank’s interview as well as a follow-up piece praising Blank’s candidness. Blank’s comments echoed earlier ones made immediately following the 2013 regular season in which he expressed his desire to toughen up the Falcons.
Blank’s comments were followed up on Friday with a radio appearance by Ryan himself, who was diplomatic in defending his teammates’ inaction while also expressing his own praise for Blank for “having his back.”
Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead asks whether prospects visits really do matter when determining who NFL teams ultimately draft? Based off his research the answer is no, although the Falcons apparently buck that trend.
Jeanna Thomas of the Falcoholic ponders which position is most important for the Falcons to fix this offseason, with particular focus on improving the pass rush versus the offensive line.
I believe that fixing the pass rush will have a greater impact on the Falcons competing for a Super Bowl title in the near future. Although solidifying the offensive line would still be a worthwhile and highly valuable accomplishment.
Falcholic cohort Dave Choate discusses whether running back Steven Jackson will likely be performing his swan song in 2014 as a Falcon.
For the record, I agree with Dave that this season almost certainly will be Jackson’s last in Atlanta. The Falcons will either draft a running back this year who will be deemed Jackson’s heir apparent or prioritize drafting a running back high in 2015.
In offseason moves, former Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud landed with a division rival, the Carolina Panthers, this past week.
Fullback Greg Jones worked out with the team on Tuesday, the same day they worked out and signed safety Dwight Lowery and cornerback Josh Wilson. That could indicate the team is looking to solidify the fullback position before heading into the draft, after releasing Bradie Ewing last month.
Here are some articles written on FalcFans.com this past week: