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Old 03-05-2007, 01:24 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
D. Orlando Ledbetter
For Sporting News

The free agent signing of FB Ovie Mughelli adds a bruising blocker to what had been the league's top rushing attack over the last three seasons. That stat sounds good, but really is a testament to the extra yardage that Michael Vick gets when scrambling. The Falcons couldn't move anybody off the ball in short yardage situations last season and Mughelli (6-1, 255), has a reputation for flattening linebackers on isolation runs. The main benefactors of the signing were running backs Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood. Mughelli, who has averaged 4.2 yards on just 12 pro carries, will also be an option in short yardage situations, but don't expect too much. He's in Atlanta to blow up linebackers and that's it. His pass catching skills are suspect with just 24 career grabs. . . .

The release of Ed Hartwell and Ike Reese signal the revamping of the linebacking corps. Hartwell and Reese both came to the Falcons via free agency in 2005. Injuries robbed Hartwell of the burst and explosion that he had in Baltimore and Reese was a special teams stalwart. The Falcons added LB Marcus Wilkins via free agency from the Bengals to fill Reese's role. The new staff is high on Demorrio Williams and will give him a chance to take the weakside linebacker position away from Keith Brooking. Brooking, a former Pro Bowler, is slated to move back to the middle and will have to hold off Jordan Beck, a third round pick in 2005, in an open competition. The plan in revamping the linebacking corps is to make it more of a sleek, faster and ball hawking unit. Brookings will not be pleased with a move back to the middle. He hates fighting off guards and the power struggles that goes with getting to the ball from the middle of the field.

SCOUTING REPORT: LB Demorrio Williams has finally found himself a home. The former fourth-round pick was given a second-round tender because the coaching staff likes his explosion and ability to make big plays. They are slated to feature him at weakside linebacker, a spot that he's spent some time at as the team had to reshuffle positions because of Ed Hartwell's injuries over the last two season. Williams can blitz off the edge and drop into coverage. He played some at strongside linebacker early in his career, but was not stout enough at the point of attack. He's become better at slipping blockers and getting to the ball.

DRAFT BUZZ
: With DE Patrick Kerney being allowed to void his contract and enter free agency, the Falcons are looking long and hard at the defensive ends. Florida's Jarvis Moss is the type of edge rusher that would fit in the 4-3 scheme that Mike Zimmer will run. Moss destroyed Ohio State's tackles in the championship game. The question about Moss is his strength. He only lifted the 225 pounds 16 times at the NFL Scouting Combine. Georgia DE Charles Johnson might be a better selection. He's not as fast as Moss, but he has much better strength. He lifted the 225 pounds 33 times. He was the strongest player in the Georgia program last season. He excelled on a line with Quentin Moss, another DE prospect, who be available in the third or fourth round after flashing first round ability as a junior.
  • Very interesting. I do know that Zimmer's 4-3 scheme used quick and explosive lineman in every position except for NT. Moss has awesome physical potential. I'm not sure Adam Carriker, or even Charles Johnson, is what this team wants at LDE.
  • Mughelli will be a major addition, especially if the team adds Michael Bush on draft day.
  • With Williams, Brooking, Boley, we will have the fastest Linebackers in the NFL. Along with Denver that is.
  • Beck and Brooking in a open competition really is something. I think a lot of Falcons' fans give Brooking way too much credit. Fact is, he struggles in traffic at MIKE, and makes his tackles an average of 5 yards down the field.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:33 PM    (permalink
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With Boley, Beck, and Williams we would have the fastest, hands down.

Yeah, Brooking struggled in the middle, but he's pretty good overall, he's the heart of our defense, he gets people hype, he's the real leader out there.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:45 PM    (permalink
georgiafan
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I like what we LB are going to look like, But I still think we go Levi Brown in the 1st and then go with DE in round 2. We will be able to get a better DE in R2 then a OT.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:46 PM    (permalink
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I think all the equity he's earned is out the window. I think with this new staff, unlike Mora's, favoritism won't be accepted. I felt last year, a lot of the players were coddled. If Beck comes out, plays faster, plays better, in O.T.As and Training Camp, he should be the starter. The best man should play, regardless. Jason Webster, Ed Hartwell, immediately come to mind.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:50 PM    (permalink
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Webster is awful he got burned all year, He has to get cut before the season started.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:52 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiafan View Post
Webster is awful he got burned all year, He has to get cut before the season started.
As long as he isn't the starter, I am alright with him. As bad as he was as a starter, he would be better than Nickel corners on most teams. Though I would love to add someone in the draft who would replace him by next year.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:05 PM    (permalink
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What Beck really brings to the table is his versatility. He has the tools to play all three LB spots. Fact is, LBs get banged up. With Boley-Brooking-Williams as our starting threesome, Beck can step in if any of them goes down injured, and the other two are unaffected. That said, open competition is always the best option, and it's not impossible that Beck would beat out Brooking, especially if Brook isn't that pleased about moving inside.

Question is, will Demo get offered a long term deal. I doubt he'd sign one until he is sure that he's settled as the starter, which is fair enough.

As for Webster, I think he'd make a well-above-average NB - if he can stay healthy. Rod Hood would be a solid NB, but I doubt we get Hood without cutting Webster - that would be a LOT of money tied up in backup CBs.

Incidentally, my opinion of Ledbetter as an awful hack is confirmed - someone who gets paid to write should know the difference between a benefactor and a beneficiary.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:08 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, I did do a fair share of tweaking his article to make it make some sense. You would think someone getting paid to write would make sure he had his facts straight. I liked the gist of the article, but some of the errors I had to correct were inexcusable.
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