Falcons Defense Needs Life From The Predator in 2010

February 16, 2010 by

Going into the off-season, the two major concerns for the Falcons are on defense. The offense, for the most part will be complete. The return of Harry Douglas from season ending ACL surgery is a big boost. It gives quaterback Matt Ryan another playmaker to distribute the ball to next season.

Also recently re-signed receiver Brian Finneran helps complete a pretty solid core of receivers. The offense also has a healthy Michael Turner coming back as well as the best tight end in NFL history, Tony Gonzalez.

So the offense seems ready to go in 2010. It’s the defense that needs a little tweaking.

The return of Peria Jerry and Brian Williams should provide quite a boost for a team that ranked in the top ten in run defense last season. However, the pass defense is another story.

The main issue with the pass defense was the rush on the opposing quarterback. That job relied mainly on four time Pro Bowler John Abraham.

In what one would call an “off year” for the veteran, he only managed five and a half sacks. A far cry from his sixteen and a half from 2008. He was excellent against the run, but his speed rush seemed to disappear.

After listening to interviews with up and coming players Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury you cannot deny Abrahams importance to the team. He’s taken a mentor role for the first time in his career. Having an off-season to really help these guys come along should bring about a positive atmosphere in Flowery Branch.

But the NFC South has always been an under-rated division and in order to succeed you must start in division. The New Orleans Saints are the defending Super Bowl Champions. It’s hard to say to be quite honest. But they are the measuring stick one must use to gage progress. To defeat them, quarterback Drew Brees must be stopped.

This is where the Predator, John Abraham, needs to play his best football.

He will be 32 before kickoff in September. For many defensive ends this is the age where they either excell or fall off completely. It’s a gamble GM Thomas Dimitroff faces going into the free agent signing period as well as the NFL draft.

Looking at the pool of possible free agents there is no one the caliber and production of Abraham. Things appear just as bleak in the upcoming draft. Having only one pick in day one doesn’t make things any easier for the Falcons.

This means the Falcons must rely on two division II players (Biermann, Sidbury) to step up and become factors. The lead they follow is Abrahams. For the Falcons to be competitive they must rely on the man known as the Predator to return to All-Pro form. There just isn’t much to choose from this off-season in the way of pass rushers. I suppose it’s possible Dimitroff could persue a player like Kyle Vanden Bosch but he’s a one gap penetrator. Much the same as Falcons current back-up Kroy Biermann.

Just last week, FOX Sports Adam Schein picked the Falcons to be the ‘surprise’ team going into 2010. For this to occur, the pass rush must improve somehow.

So the biggest question mark going into the season is wearing number fifty five. Is he up for the challenge?

Only he can answer that question…

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    5 Responses to “Falcons Defense Needs Life From The Predator in 2010”
    • […] See the article here: Falcons Defense Needs Life From The Predator in 2010 | NFL Touchdown […]

    • ted havens says:

      Finneran has always been one of those solid veteran receivers who makes the players around him better. People don’t realize how valuable he is. I’m glad he’s been a Falcon. Good article.

    • Rick says:

      Appreciate it Ted. I love Finn personally. He’s been injured year after year and sets his mind to returning to the field. He’s an inspiration to those of us who love this game. When he retires, I’d love to see him in a coaching position.

    • Falcon Fan says:

      Brian Finneran is the most overated waste of time I have ever seen. I can not understand why people are so determined to make this guy into some sort of player. He i sslow, can’t catch, and can’t stay healthy. Even if he able to get on the field, which he nver seems to be able to do, he still would be slow and have suspect hands. I remeber in the 2004 NFC when i watched this scrub drop balls all over Veteran Staium. Scre Finneran. Kickj that scrub off the roster and get real talent that can actually make plays.

    • Falcon Fan says:

      I really like Bierman. He is a very good situational pass rusher. I would love to see him develop into a strong run defender and take the starting from Anderson who has been a terrible disapointment. As bad as Anderson has been he did show some promise playing inside on passing downs when Bierman would come in and rush the passer. If Bierman can develop as a 3 down lineman, with Jerry coming back, Sidbury splitting time with Abraham to keep him fresh, and Babineux pushing the middle we maybe ok on the d-line and could focus our attention on the secondary. Kyle Wilson or Donovan Warren would look great in the red and black.

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