FalcFans Weekly – April 6, 2014
Potential Atlanta Falcons newcomer and safety Rafael Bush appears very keen on joining the team. The Falcons signed Bush to an offer sheet this week as a restricted free agent, giving his former team, the New Orleans Saints until April 8 to match or let him become a Falcon. Bush is still friends with Falcons safety William Moore, from their days with the team back in 2010-11, and is the strongest candidate should he join the Falcons to replace Thomas DeCoud at free safety.
Blogging Dirty’s Jake Bennett has a nice write-up about how Bush’s addition can benefit the Falcons.
And speaking of Moore, he apparently now has a chip on his shoulder in regards to the contract the Saints gave Jairus Byrd this offseason.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN has an excellent piece on how defensive tackle Paul Soliai’s contract came to be in Atlanta with a candid discussion with his agent David Canter.
McClure also shares insights into center Peter Konz, who has been working hard to improve this offseason. Konz has added some muscle and took to heart the final words of tight end Tony Gonzalez, when he addressed the team before the regular season finale against the Carolina Panthers.
There was a report on draft efficiency on the National Football Post this past week, indicating that the Falcons were one of the league’s most efficient drafting teams when it came to the early rounds (first three) of the draft.
While it’s an interesting study, I’m not sure its methodology and conclusions are meaningful. When you compare the teams that were most efficient in the early rounds versus the teams that were least efficient, you see that the latter group has had more success on the field in the years the study accounted for (2004-13).
The eight most efficient teams combined for 657 regular season wins and 54 combined playoff appearances over the past decade. The eight lest efficient teams combined for 843 regular season wins and 96 combined playoff appearances.
Such a result makes perfect sense given the report is really only looking at games started to measure draft efficiency. Weaker teams are more likely to find players that will start more games because they have more holes on their roster. Games started is a valuable method of judging drafts, but should not be the only criteria.
Take for instance centers Samson Satele and Ryan Kalil, both were selected in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Dolphins and Panthers, respectively.
Satele has started 98 games in his NFL career, while Kalil has started 84. Satele started 32 games for the Dolphins before he was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2009 for a sixth-round pick. Satele played three years for the Raiders before being picked up by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012.
Kalil is a four-time Pro Bowler, with the only years he’s not made the Pro Bowl, he’s been limited by injury.
However according to this study, the Dolphins would get more accredited to their draft efficiency by taking Satele than the Panthers would for Kalil, because the former has started more games.
While the study is worth a look, I wouldn’t put too much stock into it simply because it has some serious flaws, as I’ve explained above with just the Satele-Kalil comparison. In the end, you would like to see a study that reflects on-the-field success as well.
The Falcons media crew have some fun with some locals for April Fool’s Day:
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Falcons were among four teams that discussed a trade for former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. Although Pro Football Talk reports that at least one of those four, possibly the Falcons, had no real interest in Johnson. That follows up another story by PFT from early last week that indicated the Falcons had no interest.
Pro Football Talk also has their preview of what the Falcons might do in the draft, as well as Arthur Blank’s assessment of what went wrong in 2013 for the team, and where they are headed in 2014.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman praised Falcons corner Desmond Trufant by calling him “a beast” on twitter this week.
Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux got the chance to visit London, England for the first time and help begin promoting this year’s slate of NFL games on foreign soil. Babineaux and the Falcons will be back in England on October 26 to take on the Detroit Lions.
The league announced key dates for the offseason schedule, with the Falcons’ first day coming on April 21. OTAs begin in late May and run through early June, with the team’s mandatory minicamp coming June 17.
Apparently tight end Chase Coffman is done in a Falcons uniform.
Coffman’s ex-Missouri teammate Sean Weatherspoon is very supportive of former Missouri defensive end and current 2014 NFL Draft hopeful Michael Sam, who made headlines earlier this offseason by coming out of the closet.
Those seeking to become season-ticket holders at the Falcons new stadium must make a $100 deposit in order to have their names put on a waiting list. That only applies to new season ticket holders, as those that currently have them won’t have to go through this process.
FalcFans articles you may have missed this past week:
Takeaways from Last Week – March 31, 2014
FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 62 “What’s Gonna Happen with the Pass Rush?”
Falcons worked out Vanderbilt tackle Johnson
Lewan Gets Chance to Audition for Falcons
Falcons set to meet with UConn linebacker Smallwood
Towson’s Terrance West Set to Visit Falcons
Falcons Work out Clowney at Pro Day, Schedule Visit
Falcons Work Out Mack, Ealy and Amaro
Falcons Extend Offer Sheet to Rafael Bush
UAB tackle Kaycee Ike has Workout Scheduled with Falcons