fun gus wrote:
From what I gather, the NFL is a cyclical league...Sure, right now we are witnessing the rising of pass-oriented offenses, but give it a couple years, and someone will figure out a new wrinkle at the FB position, and then it will become popular again...
It's not for everybody. If you're a team like Minnesota, then investing into quality fullbacks makes sense because the centerpiece of your offense is Adrian Peterson, not Christian Ponder. And you want to complement AP more than you do Ponder to make yourself into the best offense possible. But for Atlanta, clearly our best player is Matt Ryan. That's been the case since 2011 if not 2010, and likely will remain so at least for another 5-7 years. Unless a FB is a good pass protector (which Ovie was) or is going to catch 30+ passes, he's not going to really help Matt Ryan very much.
fun gus wrote:
What that basically tells me, this team cannot seem to develop any other players on ST's.
Well, I'll say this...if it was easy to develop good ST players, then players like Larry Izzo, Coy Wire, Elbert Shelley, Ike Reese, Tracy White, Don Davis, Keith Burns, and Brendon Ayanbadejo wouldn't have all been able to play 8+ years in the NFL.
Simple truth is that Eric Weems and Dent were very good ST players for us in 2011. And Drew Davis is a far cry from Weems. He's decent, but not nearly as good. And the Falcons haven't yet stumbled upon a good LB to replace Dent yet. Maybe that's Worrilow, Schiller or another guy, we shall see. I think it's one of the reasons why the Falcons drafted Ishmael & Motta this year, because of their potential to be outstanding ST players, but only mediocre defensive players.
And you may not be aware, but Jacquizz Rodgers plays a lot of ST. No, not just as a returner. But he works on coverage from time to time, and even when he wasn't actually returning kicks, he was on the kickoff team blocking.
The only skill position players that get away with not playing ST on offense are obviously the big 5 and Harry Douglas. But even now I think the Falcons are going to use Douglas on PRs this year so that he finally starts to earn his keep. Toilolo is out there covering kicks and working on the punt team.
Nicholas still plays ST on occasion. Grimes did even when he was a starter. Biermann does as well. I expect Massaquoi will still continue to cover kicks even though his role on defense is expected to be larger.
This is why they allow you to active 46 players. Typically on any given Sunday, only about 36 are going to play regular offense/defense. The other 10 are purely ST players, but you gotta get 11 on the field, so a few of your defensive/offensive regulars have to be ready/willing.