Our hometown Atlanta Falcons, as heard on our their New FM Home, Sports Radio 92.9 The Game, defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Thursday by the score of 24-14. This game served as the final audition for players to make the 53-man roster along with solidifying depth charts going forward. Going into training camp the Atlanta Falcons sought to become a tougher team both in philosophy and by acquisition. The question of whether the brain trust go far enough to abide by the mandate set forth by Falcons Owner Arthur Blank remains to be seen.
What I can immediately tell you about this football team is that the attitude and sense of urgency has changed. The coaching staff has reiterated that the stakes are indeed high for all that are involved. The “saving grace extensions” granted to this current regime’ stemming from the Petrino-Vick Debacle are now done and “what have you done for me lately” is now the theme. The team addressed both fronts, offensively and defensively, and in the interim may have seemed to have added size and toughness, however it is obvious the Falcons are still a very offensive heavy football team going into this 2014 Campaign.
Throughout the preseason the 1st Team Offense has been sharp, primarily clicking on all cylinders but in contrast the 1st Team Defense has continued to reflect a “nagging” problem that has plagued this team throughout the General Manager Thomas Dimitroff’s time in Atlanta, questioning from where the pass rush will come from. There has not been significant and constant pressure in this preseason and has to remain a concern for the Falcons. The defense has gotten young in several areas and by nature of the growing pains that will exist due to that youth one naturally has to question just what this unit will bring.
As much as I am a fan of the team and I judge the Atlanta Falcons with a glass half-full view realistically the team is incomplete. Personnel wise the franchise made full scale changes defensively philosophically and schematically that will take a while to gel. While I believe they are far from a 4-12 team, I think it is slightly far-fetched that they are championship ready. My prediction for the season, 11-5 and a Wild Card Berth. Happy Football Season……Rise Up!!
Jamie Walker is a Producer and Blogger for Sports Radio 92.9 The Game. You can follow him on Twitter @coachjdub21 or through email at Jamie.Walker@cbsradio.com.