With the release of Tyson Clabo this week, the Atlanta Falcons are now displaying just how much last seasons’ changes at offensive and defensive coordinator are impacting the upcoming year. The Falcons Nation was up in arms last week when former cornerback Brent Grimes signed with the Miami Dolphins but they must be really going crazy over the release of Clabo. This is somewhat understandable, considering that Atlanta was already thin at offensive line with the retirement of Todd McClure but this will most certainly be addressed through the upcoming NFL Draft.
Not much consideration has been given to Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter and Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan in this 2nd season to be able to mesh with General Manager Thomas Dimitroff after a year of game experience and comb through this roster. Considering the contrast in both offensive and defensive schemes and philosophy from the previous regime, this off-season provides an opportunity to tweak the roster in the manner that is more conducive to what the coordinators want to be able to do yet economically sound for the organization. For example, Brent Grimes carried the franchise tag last season but unfortunately was later injured and out for the year. Because of the injury he never got an opportunity to play in Mike Nolan’s scheme. After seeing the likes of Robert McClain and others step into that spot and become mildly successful in a brand new scheme, Grimes became expendable. It was the same rationale in the case of Michael Turner on offense where the player was not deemed viable enough to remain on the team for that current salary. Sometimes we all forget teams have to manage a roster with limited spending money and the hope is the player will match the scheme at the correct price point. This is especially important for the team this season considering you have to pay that Ryan guy, you know the leader of the Atlanta Falcons and the free world.
The Atlanta Falcons have done very well so far in managing continuity, players for scheme, upgrades, and economics thus far in free agency, however this season will highlight the abilities of both management and coaching staff. Long time award winning NFL Writer and 92.9 The Game Reporter Len Pasquarelli alluded to in his blog on March 28th that under the Dimitroff-Mike Smith Administration that although the Osi Umenyiora signing was “solid”, they have not developed a viable pass rusher or gotten one in free agency. They must show the ability this year to discover, develop and acquire talent not just at defensive end but with all the recent departures in key areas, roster and position wide.
Jamie Walker is a Producer/Blogger for 92.9 The Game and can be followed on Twitter @coachjdub21 and reached through email at Jamie.Walker@cbsradio.com