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 Post subject: Big Daddy bust
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:14 am 
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Stumbled across this on KFFL:

Dolphins | Wilkinson may sign; but it would be later
Sun, 2 Jul 2006 06:39:59 -0700

Barry Jackson, of the Miami Herald, reports word is free agent DT Dan Wilkinson (Lions) might eventually sign with the Miami Dolphins, but has reservations about going through the rigors of a full training camp. His agent said the only team he's talking to is the Dolphins.


Sounds a lot like Ellis Johnson. Doesn't seem like he's going to sign with the Falcons, but I think if he changes his mind, the Falcons should find a way to lose his and his agent's number.

I can definitely understand an NFL player's reluctance to go through training camp, especially when you've already been through 12 with 6 different head coaches. But this sort of approach by Big Daddy just tells me that he's only interested in an NFL paycheck (who wouldn't be?) and isn't really committed to helping a team get to the next level.

I'm not a fan of hired guns unless it's for injury replacements. Why deprive someone else of a chance to make the team who desperately wants to be there for a guy that really doesn't care?

I wonder if this is Brentson Buckner's strategy as well? If the Falcons offered him a contract tomorrow would he accept, or wait until midway through August before he would sign with a team?...

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 Post subject: Point
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:56 am 
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Good point Pudge. I think I have spoken several times about 'heart' and just because you have a beefy butt doesn't mean you can get to a QB or stop a shifty footed runner if you don't REALLY want it bad enough. I would also rather see a guy out to make a name for himself or get a roster spot doing those things. If you don't want to be in camp, then you shouldn't be in football. You have to be darn hungry to get a ring, and that fire and hunger aren't in this guy anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Point
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:23 pm 
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MarylandFalcon1 wrote:
Good point Pudge. I think I have spoken several times about 'heart' and just because you have a beefy butt doesn't mean you can get to a QB or stop a shifty footed runner if you don't REALLY want it bad enough. I would also rather see a guy out to make a name for himself or get a roster spot doing those things. If you don't want to be in camp, then you shouldn't be in football. You have to be darn hungry to get a ring, and that fire and hunger aren't in this guy anymore.

MF1


Well, I would like a guy to make a name for himself as well, but right now, looking at our depth chart, we dont have that type of guy on our squad. We need someone to come in at like 330 to eat up some blockers. I agree that it shouldnt be Wilkenson, but its gotta be somebody.

Here is to Antwan Lake taking over as starting NT and making a name for himself, the same way Ed Jasper had done the same earlier...


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 Post subject: Jasper
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:27 pm 
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But Jasper never asked to miss camp... :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:24 pm 
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I'm changing my stance on needing a big space eater...Chicago did well against the run with a line smaller than ours...both of thier ends are 260 and the tackels are both just at 300 (if Tommie Harris REALLY weighs more than 285-290 then I'll eat my hat)

we just need guys to play their gaps and not blow assignments and we can get away with having a small line


at this point i really don't see us bringing in a DT...what we have now is what we'll take into the season unless someone gets hurt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:06 am 
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Steve-O wrote:
I'm changing my stance on needing a big space eater...Chicago did well against the run with a line smaller than ours...both of thier ends are 260 and the tackels are both just at 300 (if Tommie Harris REALLY weighs more than 285-290 then I'll eat my hat)

we just need guys to play their gaps and not blow assignments and we can get away with having a small line

Steve-O, I agree. The Bucs for years never had really beefy guys in the middle and they were always very strong vs. the run. Now, it was true that during the height of the Dungy years the Bucs were always susceptible to a power running game with a really solid interior line (like the Steelers attack a few years when the Bus was still running strong), but considering that they would only face a team like that once a year, it was acceptable.

Sapp is listed at 303, but when he was at his peak in Tampa Bay he was more like 290-295. Brad Culpepper was only 270 or 275 and was a starter for a few years at DT. Booger McFarland is only 300 or so, but I do think he played at a slightly bigger weight.

People talk about the big 320+ DTs, but these guys really aren't as common as people seem to make them it seem. There's really only about 30 or so of these guys around the league. And the majority of them are more like Gerard Warren and Fred Robbins (AKA Underachievers) than the likes of Shaun Rogers and John Henderson. And a lot of these massive guys have only recently become so. I looked it up and guys like Robaire Smith, Jamal Williams, Kris Jenkins, and Ron Edwards combined since 2003 have put on 126 pounds of weight. And has any of these guys play improved significantly over the past 2 years as opposed to how well they played in 2003 and before? No.

I also looked it up and saw just how big top run defenses interiors are vs. poor run defenses. I found the results mirrored what I discovered about smaller offensive lines: size does not matter. I looked at units in the past 2 years that have ranked in the Top 12 in both yards per carry and yards per game in run defense and also in the Bottom 12. A total of 8 teams over the past 2 years have managed to be good run defenses by this standard, and 14 teams have had poor run defenses. Then I looked at these teams DT rotations and basically averaged their playing weights based on the DTs that registered 5 or more tackles in the season. Here are the results based on percentages. Note that I discounted teams that ran the 3-4 or hybrid defenses in those years.

Under 300 pounds:
38% of the Good Run Defenses averaged under 300 pounds at DT
21% of the Bad Run Defenses averaged under 300 pounds at DT

Between 300-310:
50% of the Good
36% of the Bad

Over 310:
13% of the Good
43% of the Bad

This evident seems to indicate that if you are running the 4-3 defense, it is better to have generally lighter and quicker DTs than having big hogs.

People once again (as they were with the OL argument) are overemphasizing size, and underemphasizing that it is ability that matters more than size.

The Bills and Falcons were teams that were considered Good Run Ds by those standards in 2004, but in 2005 were among the Bad Ds. The Seahawks were the opposite going from bad in 2004 to good in 2005. Why these changes? I'll explain...

In 2004, the Bills had Pat Williams (317) who was the smallest of their rotation. Fact is that Sam Adams (335) and Ron Edwards (320) are much better pass rushers than run stoppers despite their size, and the guys that filled Williams void in the rotation were not anywhere close to his talent level: Tim Anderson (304), Justin Bannan (305), and Lauvale Sape (296). You take away your best interior defender, a guy that is Pro Bowl caliber and replace him with 3 decent players, but just rotational bodies, and you see the drop in play. It's not because of the drop in size. You'll notice that the Vikings run defense improved significantly from 2004 to 2005 with Williams on their team.

In 2004, Jasper (293) was our main man along with Coleman (285), Lavalais (293), and Lake (308). Jasper is replaced by Lavalais in 2005, and guys like Shropshire (301) and Babineaux (286) along with Lavalais are unable to fill the void.

In 2004, the Seahawks starting DTs were Cedric Woodard (310) and Rashad Moore (324) with guys like Rocky Bernard (293) and Marcus Tubbs (320) on the bench. The next year they go out and get Chatric Darby (298) and Craig Terrill (290) makes a bigger contribution. Darby is better than Woodard, and Tubbs also improved as he was a rookie in 2004 and was beginning to grow into his 1st round talent in 2005. Their improvement was because Tubbs and Terrill made bigger contributions and played better, and also they upgraded 1 of the starting spots.

Why the sudden charges on these 3 teams? Although their sizes did change from one year to the next, it wasn't the pounds they packed but the talent they had. Players played better or worse from one year to the next.
Steve-O wrote:
at this point i really don't see us bringing in a DT...what we have now is what we'll take into the season unless someone gets hurt

I agree. I don't see the Falcons addressing DT possibly until at the end of camp if an injury occurs or the team doesn't like the progress Lavalais/Lake/Babs/Shrop have made in camp.
ether3917 wrote:
Here is to Antwan Lake taking over as starting NT and making a name for himself, the same way Ed Jasper had done the same earlier...

I've watched Lake the past two years and I really don't expect much from him in terms of improving our run D. I think some people see that Lake is 308 pounds and automatically assume he's a better run stopper than the much smaller Lavalais, Coleman, and Babs. Well, I'm here to say he's not. I hope you're right ether, and Lake does make a contribution. But the way I see it is that Lake entered the NFL as an oversized DE (he was listed at 285 in 2003). And he essentially is still that same player. He is basically a pass rusher in a large body. From all the things I've seen from him the past 2 years, he adds absolutely nothing to the run defense when he's in the game. In fact, he may in fact hurt it. He's a revolving door. I hope he improves, but I don't see it.

My hope for our improve run defense mostly lies in 3 players: Lavalais, Shropshire, & Hartwell.

Many people are fed up with Lavalais right now, and understandably. My hope is that he is a late bloomer like many NFL DTs and will really find his feet this year. If he does not, then I really don't think our run defense is going to do well. We really need him to play well. Shropshire I believe can definitely help, but I don't have too high hopes for his upside. I'm not sure he's capable of being a force as a starter, instead just a guy that can give you 15-20 good snaps a game, but nothing more. Also Hartwell is in the equation, and hopefully he can be a force against the run that I saw glimpses of in last year's season opener.

Now if someone else like Lake or Babs steps up and becomes a force then I'll be happy. But to me, those 2 along with Coleman aren't going to be our salvation.

It starts up front, and our D-line needs to set the tone, so that it filters back to the LBs and DBs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:27 pm 
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Shrop is showing out in camp. Of all the players we have on our roster he was the one that looked closest to a "true" DT. He's got good burst and anchors the line pretty well, well he showed flashes at least.


pulled this from the AJC

Quote:
Shropshire steps in on No. 1 defense

Defensive tackle Darrell Shropshire replaced Chad Lavalais with the first-team defense.

"It's just a job, but I feel like I'm capable of making big plays," Shropshire said.

Mora said the move wasn't permanent, but added, "We gave him a little bump up this morning."

Free agents shine at defensive end

The Falcons are looking for depth behind Patrick Kerney and John Abraham at defensive end. Chauncey Davis is solid as the No. 3 defensive end, while free agents Josh Mallard, who played collegiately at Georgia, and Josh Savage have caught Mora's eye.

"They stand out to me because they play so hard," Mora said. "They practice hard and run around full speed all the time. It's going to be interesting to see how they hold up in games."

Jackson, Bozeman might get hard look

Defensive tackles Tommy Jackson (free agent, Auburn) and Michael Bozeman (free agent, Mississippi) have played well. The Falcons want to see how they hold up against top-flight competition.

Instead of playing them in mop-up time during the preseason, both have earned a look against quality opposition.

"Sometimes when they play in the third and fourth quarter, they are playing against guys that are in the same boat as them, free agents that are trying to make the team, and they can look better than they will look against the starting center," Mora said.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:21 pm 
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Looks like both Lake and Lavalais are in danger of losing not only their job but roster spot. Atlanta hasn't had any problems with displacing veteran talent for younger talent that shows more in camp and practice with mild success in game. I do like to see that Shrop is getting time with the 1st team defense.

IMO both Lavalais and Lake are expendable.

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 Post subject: Time to get it done!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:18 am 
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Pudge looks like someone has been doing there home work on the weight debate and run defenses.Nice Stuff. I think Shrop has the inside track at def tackle if it is based on talent. Lava coming out of shape and not performing like he needs to if I am mora I sit his tail down if he doesn't get it together by end of training camp. Some players have heart and lava doesn't seem to care just wants a paycheck. Maybe a player is signed at the end of training camp for def tackle since most veterans who are still out there don't want to go through training camp.

We don't need excuses this year.Its time to realize your potential or get out of town if I am falcon management to the players.

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