Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

NFC South Season Preview part 3

with 2 comments

Next post in this series and this time I’m looking at the Atlanta Falcons. There has been wall to wall coverage of the Michael Vick case, however I’m going to try leave that well alone and focus on the onfield issues. In late October the Falcons were 5-3 and looking good. However the team fell away in the second half of the season going 2-6, a slump that ultimately cost Jim Mora Jr his coaching position. Bobby Petrino (ex Louisville Head Coach) has been brought in to try and turn the fortunes of the franchise around.


 

Atlanta – Last Season 7-9

Bobby Petrino would have faced challenges in trying to get the Falcons headed in the right direction with Michael Vick at QB. With Joey Harrington it’s a whole different question to resolve. Harrington and Vick are polar opposites in terms of their QB styles, Harrington the prototypical pocket passer and Vick one of the most mobile QB ever. Vicks running ability gave defences nightmares (he rushed for 1039 yards last season) and he was able to share that running load with Warrick Dunn (Dunn rushed for 1140 yards). The #2 RB is Jerious Norwood, and he will need to step up toprovide that 1-2 punch at RB. Early season the pressure could be on Norwood even more as Warrick Dunn is currently rehabbing from back surgery. Reports say that Dunn will need 3-4 weeks on the sidelines and this could include the first two games of the regular season. With Harrington at QB, the Falcons will need their recievers to play more of a role in the offence then they did in previous seasons. If the Falcons can establish a run game then they will need one of their WR’s to step up. Just to pile the pressure on Harrington, Alge Crumpler the go to TE for Vick has been limited in training camp with a knee problem relating to earlier surgeries. Harrington will be praying that Crumpler can rehab quickly and be ready for the season opener.

Are the team stronger than last year ?

In a word No. Any team that lost a star Defensive End and Quarterback would stuggle. Players of Patrick Kerney and Michael Vicks’ ability cannot easily be replaced. Joey Harrington is a solid pro but he’ll need to gel quickly with the offence to make sure that the Falcons get off to the best possible start. Jamaal Anderson was drafted in the first round and will need to get somewhere near Kerneys 2005 form to help the defensive line. Joe Horn has been brought in from the Saints and one of their former first round picks Michael Jenkins or Roddy White will need to contribute far more than they have over the previous seasons. It’ll be an interesting season for the WR’s as they now have a QB whose primary thought will be to look for his WR’s rather than looking to take off if the routes aren’t developing.Defensively the Falcons will be looking to improve a pass defence that ranked 29th in the league last year. At CB Lewis Sanders has been brought in from the Texans and Chris Houston was drafted in the 2nd round to give some assistance to DeAngelo Hall. The run defence is stout (ranked 9th last season) and if the passing yards can be controlled then the team could flourish.

Key Player Losses:

Michael Vick QB / Patrick Kerney DE / Justin Griffith FB / Brian Finneran WR (IR) /

Key Player Signings:

Joe Horn WR / Jamaal Anderson DE (Rookie) / Ovie Mughelli FB / Justin Blalock (Rookie)

A good season if…

The season hinges on Joey Harrington. If he can get the team with him (something he couldn’t do in Detroit) and get the team rolling they could be challengers for the division. However I think they’ll be battling the Bucs to stay off the bottom in the division.

Schedule

Date Fixture
Sep 9 @ Minnesota
Sep 16 @ Jacksonville
Sep 23 Carolina
Sep 30 Houston
Oct 7 @ Tennessee
Oct 15 New York Giants
Oct 21 @ New Orleans
Oct 28 BYE WEEK
Nov 4 San Francisco
Nov 11 @ Carolina
Nov 18 Tampa Bay
Nov 22 Indianapolis
Dec 2 @ St Louis
Dec 10 New Orleans
Dec 16 @ Tampa Bay
Dec 23 @ Arizona
Dec 30 Seattle
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Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

2 Responses

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  1. With Vick headed to jail and a subsequent NFL susoension, The Falcons are left with egg on their faces. New orleans is the team to beat and Carolina is their main challanger. The Falcon have fallen off the map.
    The Sultan on Sports

    http://www.tsos20.wordpress.com

    tsos20

    August 19, 2007 at 5:02 pm

  2. I’m a big fan of the coaching changes, and an even bigger fan of their draft, getting first round talent in the first three rounds.

    Also, the addition of Joe Horn should help the overall attitude of the team, and I don’t doubt he just about single handedly beats the Saints once this year.

    OMAR

    August 20, 2007 at 4:45 am


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