Reporting Dan Mathews
The news just keeps getting better for the Falcons, as they prepare for the Dolphins in week three. Today, we all found out that linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is going to the “short-term” injured reserve and running back Steven Jackson will miss at least this week with a thigh injury.
Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan says situations like the one his team is facing right now, is just part of the job.
“Injuries do occur, it’s just part of it,” Nolan said. “Its never a good thing, it just forces you to look for new answers.”
Today’s news goes alongside the bad news yesterday, where linebacker/defensive end Kroy Biermann tore his Achillies Tendon and fullback Bradie Ewing separated his shoulder. So, now the team has brought in veteran linebacker’s Jamar Chaney and Omar Gaither. Plus, the team has decided to sign second year fullback Patrick DiMarco from the practice squad and rookie linebacker Chase Thomas to the practice squad.
First, let’s look at what Gaither and Chaney bring to the team. Jamar Chaney comes to the team after spending the last three seasons with the Eagles. While in Philadelphia, Chaney racked up 109 tackles in 44 games (23 starts). 16 of those starts came in 2011 with the team. As for Omar Gaither, the linebacker joins the Falcons after stops with the Eagles, Panthers, Texans (2012 Preseason), and then the Raiders. He’s only 29 but hasn’t been able to find a good landing spot in the NFL since his five years with the Eagles. However, his best season in Philadelphia was 2007, when he started all 16 games and racked up 69 tackles with eight passes defended.
Before today’s Falcons availability with some of the Falcons coaches, Head Coach Mike Smith officially ruled running back Steven Jackson out of this week’s game with a thigh injury. He says that it is a “short-term” injury and could miss about 2-3 weeks (Credit-Charles Odum, Associated Press). So, in his absence the Falcons will look to running back’s Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling to man the position while he is out. Last game, Snelling and Rodgers totaled up for 36 yards rushing. However, they were a huge help in the passing game with 44 yards receiving for Snelling and 28 for Rodgers. Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is confident these two can help the team, while Jackson is out.
“I thought Jason and Jacquizz stepped up after Steven went out after seven plays last week,” Koetter said. “Jason (played well) at both tailback and fullback, I expect they’ll do the same this week.”
These issues face the Falcons as they enter a Week three matchup with a 2-0 Dolphins team in Miami that has also sacked the quarterback nine times this season. Defensive ends Cameron Wake and Derrick Selby have combined for four and a half of these sacks. Dirk Koetter realizes Wake will be a force to deal with on Sunday.
“He’s definitely a big time passer, great numbers last year and off to a good start,” Koetter said. “He is there bell cow as a pass rusher, but they have other guys that can rush as well.”
Wednesday will be the first time we can speak with the players, since their 31-24 win over the Rams in week two. Obviously, there will be a lot to talk about.