Falcons Defense Needs Life From The Predator in 2010
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…| NFL ATLANTA FALCONS JOHN ABRAHAM NFL DRAFT 2010 NFL FREE AGENCY PREDICTION PERIA JERRY KROY BIERMANN LAWRENCE SIDBURY