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Posts tagged with "Wes Schweitzer"

Mike and Cory are back to break down the Falcons’ first loss of 2017 (well, second, technically…).

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The ailing Atlanta Falcons laid a goose egg in their second home stand of 2017 against the resurgent Buffalo Bills, and Mike Aprile and Cory Woodroof of Rise Up Reader are here to talk about it.

The fourth installment of The Falcoholic Postgame Podcast deals with this unfortunate blot on the otherwise-promising first four games of the Falcons season. Mike and Cory discuss what went right, what went wrong and how indicative this is (or … hint, hint … isn’t) of the team’s future fortunes.

On the roster for today’s podcast:

  • How the team continued to fare on offense despite sustaining key injuries
  • How Tevin Coleman and Wes Schweitzer were positives on offense from the loss
  • Why the defense isn’t doing half bad (even on an off day)
  • How Ricardo Allen’s loss was felt in the secondary
  • Why it’s not time to worry about the 2017 season (yes, seriously, we had to go there)

You can listen through the SoundCloud player below:

For more, you can find The Falcoholic podcast on iTunes, the Google Play store and Stitcher. You can find an RSS feed here.

You can also follow Mike on Twitter at @RiseUpReader and Cory on Twitter at @CoryWoodroof47.

Programming note: Mike and Cory will be taking a bye week along with the Falcons — look for The Falcoholic Postgame Podcast to be back after the team takes on the Miami Dolphins.

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This team is so locked in that every game is just a business trip. That trip, of course, ends with someone forced into a lake of fire and under the watchful eye of an ancient demigod.

Dan Quinn has gone through a lot. In order to win games, he had to make sacrifices to a potentially evil metal falcon’s lake of fire. That has been pretty tough, but not nearly as tough as losing two separate Super Bowls to the New England Patriots thanks to his offensive coordinators.

“Never again,” says Quinn. The sadness that previously haunted him is entirely gone. One more season of sacrifices could lead him to that Lombardi trophy. “Time to crack a few eggs,” says Quinn, as the elevator door opens nearly 500 feet below the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

“This feels a little weird, Dan, but at least you aren’t taking me into the old indoor training camp building again to push me into the…”

Robert Alford sniffs the air, and knows the strong smell of sulfur means he’s in for trouble. Can he escape the lost souls stuck in the fire? This is a new location for him, so he might run out of his normal cheats.

Alford!!! He’s been a mix of his terrible early 2016 and his fantastic late 2016. Ultimately, too many bad penalties and plays made him the worst player on the field against the Green Bay Packers.

So far, Quinn has sent both Wes Schweitzer and Alford to the lake of fire. 14 more and we are into the playoffs!

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Fact: NFL training camp is as blissful as a vacation in the Bahamas

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The smell of fresh cut grass. Shiny new equipment. The sound of a freshly picked playlist by one of the coolest coaches in the league.

It’s that time of the year again. On July 26th, the Atlanta Falcons will kick off another edition of their annual Training Camp chronicles.

This one will be quite interesting. As you all know, the team is coming off an historic ending to their season in a particular game that rhymes with “Trooper” and “Goal” back in February and now their sights will be turned to a new season. As training camp kicks off and carry the team through the preseason and right to Week 1 in Chicago, here are several key items to closely monitor during the festivities:

The Right Guard “Competition”

The right guard spot on the offensive line will see a new starter this season as the team transitions from former starter Chris Chester to a trio of possible names. The “favorite” at this point is second-year guard Wes Schweitzer out of San Jose State. Rookie Sean Harlow will have his name in the contest thanks to his run blocking ability that stands out on tape. The versatile and highly valued Ben Garland may see time at the position as well during camp, but as of now, Schweitzer appears to be the starter to begin the season. Assuming things go according to plan.

Rotation In The Secondary

One of the perks of having a coaching mind such as Dan Quinn’s is the development of numerous ideas to attack opposing offenses. Quinn loves versatility (obviously) and now the Falcons secondary has an abundance of depth that will lead to a combination of activity on the backend. The drafting of rookie Damontae Kazee in the fifth round this year gives the Falcons a nice shot of versatility. His ballhawking skills will be utilized at free safety and as a nickel corner this upcoming season. His talent is refined enough for Kazee to be an actual threat to the starting free safety spot, which is manned by veteran Ricardo Allen.

Last year’s nickel corner, Brian Poole, will also see looks at free safety during training camp and if Quinn wanted to get really creative, inserting Robert Alford ther…….ok never mind.

Basically, with the drafting of Kazee, the emergence of Poole, the solid 2016 outing from Allen, the return of corner Desmond Trufant, and improvement from Alford and Jalen Collins, Quinn and defensive coordinator Marquand Manual has several interchangeable parts in the secondary and training camp may see a little experimentation.

The Evolution Of Young Assets

The Falcons defense received a tremendous boost from edge rusher Vic Beasley this past season as he led the league in sacks with 15.5. How he progresses in his third season will be important for the defense and their long-term success. Strong safety Keanu Neal was also an integral piece to the puzzle this past season as he was second on the team in tackles and added five forced fumbles. Running back Tevin Coleman added pounds to his frame this offseason that will aid his inside running and the ability to run through tackles.

The team has several young pillars that are still at a stage in their career where development is expected. Watch some of the young players mentioned above and a few more that can take that next step in the skill set.

Communication On Offense

Unless you’ve been taking an incredibly peaceful nap since the day after the Super Bowl, it is no secret that there is a new offensive coordinator in town by the name of Steve Sarkisian. During his time at the University of Washington, Southern Cal, and Alabama, Sarkisian has carved a respectable reputation in terms of his knowledge of Xs and Os.

Now he has the privilege (or challenge, however you perceive it) to take a record-setting offense, add his flavor, and possibly have very little drop-off from what former coordinator Kyle Shanahan established prior to his departure.

Where it all starts is communication. From Sarkisian to Ryan, Ryan to his offensive constituents, so on and so forth. One underlying factor in the team’s offensive success last season was the component as a whole being on the same page. If Sarkisian can establish cohesion early, it will make the transition that much smoother.

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Veteran offensive guard Chris Chester, who started for the Atlanta Falcons the last two seasons, told ESPN Thursday he is retiring from the NFL.

Chester, 34, played 11 seasons with Atlanta, Baltimore, and Washington. The former second-round pick of the Ravens said he plans to expand on his decision to retire at a later time.

Chester started 143 of 169 games he played in during his career. He started 32 regular-season games at right guard for the Falcons the last two seasons, along with three postseason starts during Atlanta’s run to Super Bowl LI.

Chester played 8,929 career offensive snaps and averaged 1,034 snaps per season over the last six years. He overcame shoulder surgery between the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The Falcons now need to fill the void at right guard. Coach Dan Quinn expressed confidence in returning players Ben Garland and Wes Schweitzer, although neither has started a game in the NFL. Garland, who has played in 24 career games, is listed as a backup center but showed versatility by playing defensive tackle last season. Schweitzer, a sixth-round draft pick last season, was inactive for every game during his rookie year.

The Falcons also added former Indianapolis Colts starting guard Hugh Thornton during free agency one a one-year contract.

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