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 Post subject: Falcons bench Scott at safety
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:28 pm 
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Flowery Branch — Citing the need to get more production from their free safety spot, the Falcons have demoted season-long starter Bryan Scott and replaced him with veteran Ronnie Heard, coach Jim Mora said Thursday.

The move comes with just four games remaining and the team's playoff hopes in the balance.

"We're always trying to get better and this gives us a chance to get better, right now," Mora said. "We've been working Ronnie more and more into the defense the past few weeks he's a guy that's started in this league and who's showed he can play. He's proven to us it's time to get him on the field."

Though Scott was fourth on the team in tackles (61), his inconsistent run support factored into the Falcons problems stopping the run and the coaching staff felt he had become too much of a liability to keep him in the lineup during the playoff push. Scott got his first interception of the season in Atlanta's 24-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers Sunday, but several missed tackles proved to be the final straw.

Scott's role from this point has not been clarified.

"It was strictly a coach's decision," Heard said. "I'm fine with it. I hate to see it happen because B. Scott's a great guy. It's unfortunate for him but at he same time, it's an opportunity for me to showcase some of my talents and what I can bring. I'm glad they have that trust in me. It's all up to me to go out and perform.

Heard, who has eight defensive tackles, has seen most of his playing time on special teams and in Atlanta's "Heavy package," which entails the use of three safeties and one cornerback and is used mainly in running situations.

Heard signed with the Falcons this summer from San Francisco, where he played under Mora before Mora was hired by the Falcons before the 2004 season.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:18 pm 
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I guess we can officially move Scott to the 'bust' category.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:32 pm 
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he was playing all right before he got injured, not great but not enough to be considered a bust. he looked like he was going to be good, at least at run coverage, he never was great at the pass coverage. after the injury he looks like he's afraid to lay down a hit. carpenter is the same. they're too fragile to be playing football at this point.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:59 pm 
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The Pressure is on , Ronnie! Step up and do it Man!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:12 pm 
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Wow, this is the first time i have been excited since we trounced the Lions! I hope Heard can show up big time on MNF & play strong through the rest of the season!

On a side note - I am one person who really believed Scott would make a hell of a Safety. Last year he played very well for a second year starter and I think he could return to form if we don't give up on him. That said, he needed a wake up call. We don't ask him to be a great centerfielder, so he has to be our hitman. He has to find that fire again and maybe sitting him now will fire him up for next year. We can't really call him a bust unless he leaves Atlanta never righting the ship from this season's poor performance.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:44 pm 
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The thing to me is Scott is not the type of S that can do what they want him to do in coming up in run support. Think about it, the kid played CB at Penn St. and moved to a typical FS under Reeves. Last year, he played the SS (who plays coverage in the Falcons' system) which fit with his skills. This year Mora moves him to the FS playing run support instead of being in coverage. I think the reason he's had trouble this year is because that role is not his strength. If they hadn't wanted to bring back Keon, he could have stayed at SS and not been forced to do things that don't come naturally to him. I think they need to think long and hard about the way we are using our safeties rather than see who is performing.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:37 pm 
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Jag, has it right. Scott is not a run-stopping safety. He's a coverage guy. The exact same can be said about Keion Carpenter. I really can't think of a single team that has been able to get solid production from both their safeties when it's been two coverage guys.

But I'm not ready to close the book on Scott yet. No, he's not a bust. But it's time the team did something to try and breath something into the safety position.

We'll see what Heard can do back there. Truth be told, I don't expect a whole lot. Heard is probably a better tackler, but unless he can make some plays in coverage, I don't see him being anything more than a short-term solution through the end of the season, if he even lasts that long.

You can't call a player a bust if they only have 1 bad year in 4. That kind of thinking is exactly why the Chargers goofed and wasted a #1 pick on Philip Rivers. Brees had 1 bad year and all of a sudden the front office and fans started throwing out the "B word" and now they basically wasted an entire draft. I'm sure they wished they could have used the #1 on Larry Fitzgerald instead of Eli/Rivers. Scott is having a bad year, but he wasn't a bust in 2002, 2003, or 2004. He's no bust, he just needs to step it up in 2006. He just needs to get back on track.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:13 pm 
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That or Atlanta needs to end the safety expirement and move him back to corner and let him play as the nickel. If he's a poor run stopper then he has no reason being a safety. I never really understood why they moved him from corner (his natural position) to safety.

Scott in my opinion is a position-less player. He isn't really built for corner and he doesn't have the right skills for safety. Now that heard is starting it would be worth giving Scott some looks at corner to see how he does there.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:18 pm 
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Yes, Scott is not ideally suited for being a SS type of player. Still, there are guys his size that do it every week (see Polamalu, Sander, etc.). The problem is if we draft a Ko Simpson or Michael Huff & use Scott as our run stopper, we may very well be having the same we can't stop the run discussions next year.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:58 pm 
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The bottom line is that Scott is not a good football player. He can not cover well, he cant tackle at all, he cant stop the run. People speak of him as a nice guy, but bottom line is that he can not produce on the field. He has (i think) 4 interceptions in 4 seasons...

Thats not very productive for someone who was supposed to have corner coverage skills. I am all for benching him for the rest of the season, and letting him go to another team next season. I just dont think he has the playmaking/run stopping/ coverage skills needed to play in the NFL.


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 Post subject: When all said and done Scott will be cut!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:08 pm 
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At this point I don't think Scott has much value to the team.There was a time when I thought he was going to do well but I am so tired of him not making plays that I would prefer a free agent or draft someone who can impact a game.This is a strong safety draft and it would behoove the falcon's to get a safety if not no1 then no2 pick.True safeties are usually after thoughts if your def line can't get to the QB but this draft does not have a wealth of impact def ends.Do you take a chance with the def end/linebacker from Louisville? Do you take Tamba Hall? Unless the falcon's grade both high on there board a safety that could comine playing corner and safety would be nice but just give me someone that can make an impact.I mean how many yrs have we had a ball hawk back there(Eugene Robinson)? Free safeties are supposed to be ball hawks getting interceptions.Strong safeties are suppose to hit like a truck and make receivers or running backs fear coming across the middle.The Falcon's have neither and need a major upgrade.Michael huff would be perfect but he may be gone,Ko Simpson could be coming out,Bernard Pollard is a strong safety that hits like a truck and is suppose to be very good,then there is bing,landry,not sure about Blue.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:12 pm 
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If anyone wants to familiarize himself with this year's Safety draft class, follow the link:

http://falcfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1061


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:40 am 
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I don't understand why people have been so sudden to change their mind about Bryan Scott. Sure, I was never in love with the guy. I never thought he was going to be the next Darren Sharper, but he's not a bad player. He's just having a bad year. Sure, safeties the caliber of Brian Dawkins aren't expected to have bad years, but when did we start putting those type of expectations on Scott.

Interceptions, IMO are so overrated a statistic. Guess which safety is currently tied for 3rd in the NFL in interceptions? Brent Alexander. DeAngelo Hall is tied for 3rd in the NFL in interceptions at his position, but does that mean he's an elite cornerback. I'm sure most of us can recall that for the overwhelming majority of this season, the overwhelming majority of posters have been saying, "Hall needs to play better."

Interceptions, IMO are more often than not a matter of opportunity. A player like Brian Russell, who most view is being an average safety had 9 interceptions in 2003. In his 3 other NFL seasons, he's had 3. A lot of times, intercepting a pass is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and the only true skill involved is catching the ball. It's why 6 of Hall's career 7 interceptions are meaningless IMO. Because 6 of his 7 were thrown right to him. The only time Hall has made an interception that actually showcased some defensive ability was vs. the Bills, with one shoulder he jumped in front of a Losman pass, making an excellent break on the ball and intercepted it. All his other interceptions have come on very poor passes by QBs in which tehy were miles away from the WR (see Detroit game) or on Hail Marys at the end of games (see his 2 picks in 2004).

To me a more telling statistic of actual defensive ability for a CB/S is passes defensed, because they usually include batting a pass down, tipping it away, knocking it out of a receivers hand, and yes intercepting it. There are 31 cornerbacks that rank ahead of DeAngelo Hall in passes defensed. That to me is a stronger indication of the kind of season Hall has been having. That would mean he's about on par with an average NFL starting cornerback, which I think when you look at his season as a whole is much more accurate than a Top 5 cornerback. Now let's look at Bryan Scott: Only 16 safeties in the NFL rank ahead of him in PD, he has 6. Which means that if you take away those that are interceptions, he's in fact broken up more passes than DeAngelo Hall has this year, comparing Scott's 5 to Hall's 4.

Brian Dawkins leads the league right now with 16 PD. Ed Reed had 17 last year. Sure, Reed's 9 interceptions were outstanding last year, but more because of what he did after he caught the ball rather than him making the catch. But why is it that Reed isn't having a good year this year? Not because he hasn't managed a single interception in 6 games this year, it's because he's broken up only 1 pass.

And I don't believe he's poor in run support, but he's having the same struggles with tackling ball carriers that a lot of our defenders seem to have. The thing is that when a safety misses a tackle it is more evident because the safety is that last line of defense normally (thus their nomenclature).

Here's how I break down the issues we have at safety:

1. I never thought that Keion Carpenter's move to SS was going to be good for this team. Carpenter is a steadying sideline and locker room influence, but in terms of his on field play, he's nothing special and is a dime back moonlighting as a starter. Fact is, it makes Bryan Scott the sole playmaker at the safety position. Putting more pressure on him.

2. The front 7 hasn't done their job making the stops up front. Scott is never going to be the caliber of tackler that other FSs like Dawkins, Sean Taylor, etc. are going to be. When those guys miss a tackle it's a huge deal. Scott just isn't that talented and to put the expectations that a safety should never miss a tackle is going to have you looking for safeties for a very long time. Again, putting more pressure on Scott.

3. With all this talk of pressure, it also isn't helping that he's playing a relatively new position. He played SS in college, played SS for his first 2 years for the Falcons. He's now playing FS. He's making the calls in the secondary, which have been previously handled by Carp and Cory Hall. Let's also not forget that missed the entire off-season due to an injury.

I'm not trying to say Scott is playing well. He's not by any perspective. But I don't understand how quickly people are ready to label him a bust and just give up on him.

Scott's issues can be solved with the following things:

1. We acquire a run-stopping safety in the very near future (preferably this upcoming off-season). A player that is not going to be considered a "liability" in run support. A player that's enforcer-"I'm going to hit anything that moves over the middle, not matter the fines or detriment to my health or that of the opposing player" type of mentality that is going to rub off on the rest of our DBs.

2. Possibly contemplate Scott returning to the SS position. But that would be dependent on finding a FS that fits the above description *cough* Greg Blue *cough*.

3. The front seven doing a better job stopping the run so that Scott is not forced into the situation 5-10 times a game where he's gotta make a tackle in order to prevent a TD.

4. His continual growth as a player by adding experience and being able to overcome these types of setbacks.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:33 am 
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I can't even read this crap anymore. Hall needs to play better? What games are you watching? Talk about unrealistic expectations. Look man, Scott has been above average in coverage & had he caught the ball for the most part he would have 4-6 picks himself, but the problem with Scott is tackling not coverage. Hopefully he just needs to clear his head for awhile on the bench, but he may really need to see a sports psychologist to get his edge back. Either way, he is a liability as long as he is letting RB's run him over without bringing them down.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:07 pm 
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With all do respect Pudge, you give way too much credit to Scott. In the offseason, the coaches announced that they were going to play Carp at SS and Scott at FS. However, the roles of these players were supposed to be different in our defensive scheme. The FS was supposed to play close to the line in run support, while the SS plays deeper and is more responsible for coverage. Carp is actually the one who makes the calls in the secondary, not Scott.

As far as Scott being a good cover safety, I wouldnt even say that. I actually feel that he is a liablility in the secondary in coverage as well. He is frequently beatin on routes and when he does have a chance to make a game changing play like a INT, he screws it up, as Incomparable said. He should have about 5 INTs this season. Now this isnt saying that Carp shouldnt have a few more himself, if it werent for dropped balls, but at least he has proven in the past that he can make plays in the secondary. Scotts career numbers are 4 INTS, 4 FF, and 16 PD in 4 seasons. If missed tackles were a stat that I could find, Im sure it would be a number that would blow us all way.

Now I am one who in the offseason thought that our S's would be ok for the season. I will be the first one to say that. However, after watching how they have played thus far this season, it is obvious that we are in major need of an upgrade at the position. It didnt even occur to me that neither were really run stopping S's until the season began. Carp is one of my favorite players on the D, but it may even be time to replace him and offer him a coaching job if he'd be ready...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:21 pm 
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let's ditch both of them and start over...I am tired of seeing the missed tackles this year, I was tired of seeing the blown coverages last year...let's just ditch both of them and try to find a rookie that's got a lot of potential and a solid vet....hell just give me two guys who do their job, they don't have to be great, just be steady and consistant...I'd be more than happy with that...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:23 pm 
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come to think of it...Leigh Torrence and Antwan Edwards have been getting reps at nickle all week...why not let Scott try...he can't be much worse than those two...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:41 pm 
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Steve-O wrote:
let's ditch both of them and start over...I am tired of seeing the missed tackles this year, I was tired of seeing the blown coverages last year...let's just ditch both of them and try to find a rookie that's got a lot of potential and a solid vet....hell just give me two guys who do their job, they don't have to be great, just be steady and consistant...I'd be more than happy with that...


Too bad we didn't feel that way when we had Corey Hall........lol


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:05 pm 
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Cory Hall wasn't solid...Cory Hall was terrible...he consistantly blew coverages...he wasn't exactly great at the point of attack either....


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:05 pm 
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Well, the truth is that he was a solid tackler so you didn't see a lot of this 50 yards after contact stuff we're sitting through this year. Hey, I was the first one to sound the trumpet for Hall & Jasper leaving town, becuse I thought we could upgrade those positions. In time we will, but we are paying an immediate price right now.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:52 am 
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Ronnie Heard didn't look too good in his debut. He missed some tackles and really wasn't much of a factor at all. Not to say I expected him to be the reincarnation of Roy Williams, but it didn't look there was any change back there. The Falcons defense played better because the front 7 played very well.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:46 am 
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Kinda hard to recall when Atlanta had an impact safety.......Scott Case maybe??


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:26 pm 
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did somebody say scott case? he's one of my all time favorites. that white man could lay a serious lick. he was crazy and wore a mustache.

regarding heard and scott it's going to be going with the lesser of two evils here. heards not that good but he's not playing awful like b scott who during a game will usually whiff badly several times in a game. plus though heard isn't so great he didn't seem to be afraid of contact like b scott seemed to be.


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