Reporting Jamie Walker
Free Agency 2013 for the National Football League is off and running. This is the time of year when everyone will supposedly win the SuperBowl just by collecting the best available players according to the experts. So far the nominees to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next February are the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, or maybe the Seattle Seahawks and considering some of the pieces they have obtained thus far why not? But ladies and gentleman this is why the games are played on the field.
For the Atlanta Falcons the “free agency frenzy” has been quiet so far, probably being viewed in a higher regard for players that were released than players signed. The organization has gone about its business, quietly keeping together the 8th ranked offense from a year ago in persuading Tight End Tony Gonzalez to return for one more run in his 17th season, but also re-signing a much improved Left Tackle Sam Baker to a six-year deal. In this “free agent craze” it may be lost that this team was the NFC runner up and that in the 2nd year of the Koetter/Nolan Administration full scale changes may neither be wanted, nor needed.
Statistically, the Atlanta Falcons again were 8th on offense scoring 26.2 points a game but ranked 24th in total defense. Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan is one of the most knowledgeable in the game, historically improving his defenses in year two. In his stint with the Dolphins, prior to joining Atlanta, in two seasons they allowed the sixth-fewest points in the NFL with 19.6 per game, ranked 3rd in rushing yards with 95.6 and tied for 10th with 41 sacks. Despite the perception that last season’s Falcon defense was the weaker unit, they were 4th in the league in points allowed, only giving up 18.7 a game. After being able to analyze these defenders for a season, I believe Nolan knows exactly was needs to be implemented for schematic reasons. Continuity on both sides is more important than making headlines. Free agency is just beginning and the Atlanta Falcons will do what is best in the name of winning.
Walker is a Producer/Blogger for 92.9 The Game and can be followed on Twitter @coachjdub21.