The Atlanta stood in the 2nd of the 2015 NFL draft with a choice. Draft a to fill a ‘need’. Help to shore up their defensive backfield especially at the safety position. A reasonable, conservative approach by a franchise STILL haunted by the departure 8 years ago of Michael Vick to a dog fighting scandal. Or they could take a risk. Use the pick to take a calculated risk to make their team suddenly one to be feared defensively. Randy Gregory, LB/DE of Nebraska was still on the board. Gregory, who by many pundits was rated HIGHER than Falcons 1st round pick Vic Bealsey. Gregory was available because of testing positive for marijuana. Imagine offensive nightmares that could be created by having 2 lightning quick pass rushers on both sides of the field! Atlanta chose Jalen Collins, S, LSU with that pick. Seemingly a safe, conservative pick.
We find out later however that Collins had his own off the field issues, AND had an injury which he needed surgery on before camp. So why not take a chance on Gregory?
Former Pro bowler Adrian Clayborn who looked done in Tampa Bay, seems rejuvenated in ATL. Paired on the same side of the field as Vic Beasley, these two already seem to be making things tough on opponents. Imagine having a pass rusher like Gregory on the other side.
This choice may determine whether the Atlanta Falcons will be simply playoff contenders, or lost an opportunity to be Super Bowl caliber team for years to come. Time will tell (As of this writing Gregory has 2 sacks, Collins has often looked a bit lost so far)
The Atlanta Falcons had a first half that was a great paradox. Their 6-3 record would be considered by most who previewed the team before the season to be a pleasant surprise. However losing the 3 of the last 4 games and the way they lost them leave the team and their fans looking at a glass half empty.
The offense which was dominant in the first 5 games suddenly became stagnant and predictable in the last four. Now in their bye week the team is examining all aspects of their offense. Look for the NCAA’s all time reception leader to have an increased role. In his 1st game vs Tampa Bay, his 1st 2 catches were for 1st downs just like he did at East Carolina, and in the preseason.
Hear Justin talk to us about playing in his first regular season game.
Sytonnia Moore of Sports Wire Magazine and Sytonnia LIVE TV joins host Min. Jonathan Simmons for a post game wrap up of the Hawwks 97-94 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
The Falcons WR corp is hit with more bruises as slot receiver Nick Williams is now injured. Roddy White and Julio Jones are note 100% and Leonard Hankerson is out. The stage is now set for Justin Hardy to play in his 1st NFL game…FINALLY
The East Carolina rookie is NCAA’s all-time leading receptions leader with 387 receptions for 4,541 yards and 35 touchdowns. He performed well in the preseason for the Falcons catching almost every ball thrown his way. The fact that Hardy has not been on the field before has been puzzling to us and most Falcons fans. We talked about the impact Hardy could make in multi receiver sets on both the REAL TALK SPORTS and 100 Yards of Football Sports Radio shows earlier in the year.
Hardy’s ability to catch the football out of the slot especially on 3rd down will be a boost to a recently sluggish Falcons offense. Hardy also could impact as a runner on a reverse or quick toss end around play. All this guy has done is make plays throughout his football career. Falcons fans should look for more of the same this Sunday
Quarterback Faton Bauta (10)
(Photo by Philip Williams)
You knew there was a problem at quarterback for the Bulldogs when heir apparent red shirt sophomore Bryce Ramsey was not named starter for the 2015-16 season. Instead Virginia back up QB Grayson Lambert (originally recruited by Mark Richt in high school) was brought in to ‘compete’ for the starting job. As the season drew near it appeared neither guy was playing their way into the starter’s role. Meanwhile there was a buzz forming about the 3rd stringer Faton Bauta. People were talking about his mobility, size and strength. But at the end Lambert, the classic drop back styled QB got the nod.
Richt and UGA coaches thought about moving Bauta to another position. This has become a troubling trend at Georgia. Either not recruiting a talented mobile QB who isn’t the drop back style or not taking advantage of skill sets that could win at the college. Remember they asked Cam Newton if he would play TE when they recruited him. Joshua Dobbs of Tenn, Blake Sims who led Alabama to Nat’l Championship game played HS in GA
Lambert looked impressive in some of the games. He even set an NCAA completion record (96%) vs South Carolina. In big game vs Alabama however he, and backup Bryce Ramsey had the ‘deer caught in the headlights’ look. Then a loss to underdog Tennessee, and vs Missouri the offense again looked lackluster in a 9-6 win.
The Florida game is here. They are the best team in the SEC now, not Georgia. So Mark Richt looking at the chance to keep an SEC East title a possibility, did what he probably should have done to start the season. He is going to play Faton Bauta. Bauta more mobile than the other 2 QBs will create a different challenge for the Gators. Georgia fans hope that he will be able to elude the rush from the pressure defense of Florida. Also fans hope he make some keys plays with his athleticism.
The Bulldogs and Mar Richt roll the dice. I think that they might have a winner in #10 Faton Bauta
Vic Bealsey Picture – USA TODAY, SB Natiion
The Falcons started 2015-16 season with 2 big questions.
- Could they run the football consistently with a hastily put together offensive line
- Would they be able to generate a pass rush effective enough to sack the other teams QB when needed
The answer to the 1st question has been answer beyond expectation The O-Line has adapted to the zone blocking scheme so well RB Devonte Freeman has turned into one the best in the NFL. On question #2 the answer is: close but no cigar. On defense has been much better especially vs the run. Atlanta has allowed only 78 yards per game. That’s 2nd in NFL only 7 yards more per game then the league leading the NY Jets. Rushing the quarterback however the team is one of the leagues worst. In fact the Falcons have only 8 sacks in their first 7 games.
Head coach Dan Quinn said he liked the pressure his defense has gotten around the pocket, but clearly stated the goal was to get the quarterback on the ground. 1st round pich Vic Beasley has 2 of those 8 sacks, tying for the team lead. The rookie DE is blessed with great speed and a lightning quick 1st step. But At 6’3 and only 235 lbs he is probably the lightest lineman in the league. We believe the Falcons should move Beasley around in order for him to take advantage of his superior speed and quickness. This is the way many of the best pass rushers are used by their respective teams. Moving him will create match up problems and allow him to get a better line to the QB and avoid being slowed by taking on 300+ lb offensive lineman right at the line of scrimmage. If this is done #44 could turn out to be everything this team desired and more as an edge rusher.and game changer.
Atlanta had Rich Homie Quan as the entertainment, but not much else. The Hawks looked nothing like the team that had 60 wins last season. Lack of rebounding and terrible 3pt defense were the main problems.
Former UGA standout Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was virtually unstoppable hitting 4 of his first 5 three pointers.He finished as game high score with 21 points Pistons led by as much as 18 in the 4th quarter. Hawks got lead down to 9 with under 2 mins to go, but could get no closer.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 20 points. Paul Milsap chipped in with 19 pts and 8 Rebs. Kent Bazemorehad a sizzling pre season for the Hawks, but was held scoreless in his 1st start. Thabo Sefolosha however looked good defensively., He was diving for loose balls, and making other energy plays. Kyle Korve continues to struggle fro 3pt range going only 1 of 5 in his return from season ending injury in playoffs. Next for Hawks is the NY Knicks. Although he did not play against Pistons, former Knick Tim Hardaway,Jr will probably see his 1st action a Hawk uniform then.
It must have been the Full moon. On a beautiful, breezy fall night the stars finally aligned for the Yellow Jackets. After battling the #9 Seminoles dead even for 59.8 minutes, it seem like all world FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo was going to nail a 56 yard FG at the end of the game sending Tech to another crushing defeat. They had lost to Pitt the same way the week before. But tonight it was different. Tech blocked the kick, and sophomore DB Lance Austin returned it for a 78 yard game winning TD. Here’s a link to video of the play
Kennesaw State Football continued its historic season with another first. They won their 1st Big South Conference game, a 12-7 nail biter over a rugged Gardner Webb squad. The Owls were led with an outstanding performance by QB Trey White’s. They now take a trip for their 1st road conference game vs defending champ Liberty in VA this afternoon. It should be another good one especially since there has been a Liberty victory guarantee ( click here to see) as reported by Brian Jones
Check out more by Bleacher Report and ksuowlsfootball.com writer Brian Jones Owls Landing-Trey White Excels
As #UGA enjoys a week off before their game against Florida, good news arrives from the doctors about #NickChubb. Click link to read article from John Taylor of College Football Talk
Source: Nick Chubb undergoes surgery; UGA ‘optimistic for a full recovery’
Atlanta opened game on a 14-2 run en route to 24-9 1st quarter lead. But the Grizzlies clamped down holding the Hawks to 15 and 16 points over the next two quarters. They increased the lead steadily as Hawks seemed to have no answer to the Grizz ‘D’
Finally Kent Bazemore help lead the Hawks on a 20-6 run to close the gap. Hawks got the Grizzlies lead down to 76-74 late in 4th qtr. But Memphis held on to win 82-81. As we have said on our radio show this year’s team is bigger, stronger, faster than last year. They also have depth at every position
The Hawks finish preseason 4-2. They open with 2 games vs Pistons. The season starts with them playing them in Detroit, then returning to take them on here in Atlanta. It looks like it could be another exciting season in #ATL. Who will be #TrueToAtlanta 2015-16? The answer coming soon