5 questions with The Falcoholic: Regular season dress rehearsa
5 questions with The Falcoholic: Regular season dress rehearsain Allgemein 09.11.2018 03:37
von chenyan94 • | 71 Beiträge
l It’s the third week of the preseason Brandon Linder Jersey , which means we’re going to get an extended look at the starters during the Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game on Saturday. This will be a big test for both teams, as Jacksonville’s highly-vaunted defense gets a chance to go against an offense with a lot of firepower, while Blake Bortles and the offense faces off against a very underrated defensive unit.As we continue our “5 questions with the enemy” series, I had an opportunity to speak with Jeanna Thomas, who covers Atlanta for The Falcoholic and is also the talent manager for team brands with SB Nation. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of my questions regarding the preseason tilt and the how the Falcons look as a team in 2018. Let’s get right to it...1. Obviously a lot was made about Jalen Ramsey’s comments regarding NFL quarterbacks. Matt Ryan said he isn’t bothered by Ramsey’s thoughts, but are you expecting Ryan to use those words as motivation and go after Ramsey a bit? Or do you agree that this is a non-issue?Jeanna: I completely agree that it’s a non-issue. Ramsey’s outspoken, and quite frankly, it’s fun. I think the league needs more guys like him. But Ryan’s been in the league for a decade now, and his preparation and approach won’t change because Jalen Ramsey couldn’t remember his name and said he was overrated. 2. The third preseason game is generally the game where we see the starters get the most reps all preseason. What players will you be paying attention to most, and are there any players on the Jaguars you are excited to watch? Jeanna: We’ll all have an eye on Calvin Ridley, who certainly has impressed thus far. I would say Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, but I doubt they play. Right guard is the most pressing issue on offense, so that rotation is one to keep an eye on, and the continued development of tight ends Austin Hooper and Eric Saubert is also of interest. On defense, I really just want to see them playing with intensity. I may feel differently about this than many Falcons fans because I covered the league nationally for a few years, and I low-key love the Jaguars. The defense is so much fun to watch. I hope they take it easy on my quarterback, though.3. The Falcons regressed a bit offensively under first-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian last year. What does Sarkisian and the offensive unit need to do to improve as he enters his second year as OC? On the flip side Cheap Logan Cooke Jersey , the defense was improved and finished in the top-10 in both scoring defense and total defense in 2017. What can that unit do to be even better this season?Jeanna: I think more than anything the offense just needed another offseason for Sarkisian to adapt to the considerable talent he has at his disposal, and vice versa. We should see more consistency from that unit based on that familiarity alone. It was the case in 2016, after fans spent much of the 2015 season calling for Kyle Shanahan’s head. We all know how that turned out. Sarkisian isn’t the coordinator Shanahan is, so I’m not at all saying that all of a sudden Matt Ryan’s going to be MVP again and the Falcons offense will dominate every team in its path, but I think we’ll see improvement. Defensively, it’s always the same two emphases with the Falcons: creating takeaways and getting pressure on the quarterback. If they can improve in those two areas, we’ll see an even tougher defense in Atlanta this season. 4. The Julio Jones contract situation was a big offseason storyline for the Falcons. Now that a re-worked deal has gotten done, what are the expectations for Jones this season? How do you think he matches up with Jalen Ramsey and/or A.J. Bouye this week? Jeanna: I actually don’t think Jones will play this week. I do try to temper my expectations for preseason in general because the game plans, if they even exist, are so vanilla. As far as the regular season, though, I think the addition of Calvin Ridley is going to keep defenses honest. With Ridley’s speed and the crisp routes he runs, he’s got to be accounted for on the field. I’ve seen teams use a top corner, a safety, and cheat a linebacker in Julio’s direction to try and contain him and it doesn’t work even close to all the time. With Ridley on the field, too, that limits the resources teams can devote to covering Julio Youth Logan Cooke Jersey , which should create more opportunities for him. 5. While the starters will play the majority of the time, are there any young players or roster bubble guys you are hoping to see something from this week? Jeanna: On defense, Damontae Kazee is making a case for regular season playing time, as is rookie Deadrin Senat. Second-year LB Duke Riley isn’t really a fringe player, but he has underperformed. We’d all like to see more out of him. Offensively, rookie running back Ito Smith may end up being groomed to take over Tevin Coleman’s role next season, since Coleman is in a contract year. A big thank you to Jeanna for providing her insight! Give her a follow on Twitter, and to keep up with what’s going on in Atlanta this week, follow the Falcoholic as well. Of all the things that went right for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017, turnovers were at the top of the list.The Jaguars took care of the ball, especially in the postseason, and ranked second in the league with 33 takeaways. They finished the regular season at plus-10 in turnover margin, tied for fifth in the NFL.They're nowhere close to that these days.The Jaguars (3-3) have been careless with the football through six games and have done considerably less to create fumbles and interceptions.The result: Jacksonville sits next to last in turnover margin, a minus-9 ratio that was a key part of consecutive blowout road losses to Kansas City and Dallas.Finding a way to end the trend Sunday against Houston (3-3) could be the difference between first place in the AFC South and a three-game losing streak."We're definitely not helping ourselves out by any means," quarterback Blake Bortles said. "We are getting unlucky. Not only are we not helping ourselves, but we are also getting some bad bounces, and that is part of it."We will start creating our own good fortune Womens Andrew Norwell Jersey , and I think with that we will start getting some breaks and some bounces will go our way as well."The Jaguars could use some better fortune, especially since they are without their top two left tackles, their top two tight ends, two of their top three running backs and their leading receiver from a year ago. The rash of injuries has hampered the offense so much that it failed to score in the first half of the past two games.And the usually stout defense has done little, if anything, to pick up the slack. The unit allowed a combined 802 yards, 63 points and 49 first downs against the Chiefs and Cowboys."We haven't lost our confidence," defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "I think it's a reality check. We understand who we are. We know who we are. I think a lot of us are leaning on the accolades."We want to be Pro Bowlers. We have to be All-Pros. We want to be this, but we have to understand that we just have to play like we did last year, just stay carefree, and the less you care about your accolades off the field, the more we'll win as a team."The Texans have won three in a row in dramatic fashion. They won twice in overtime and beat Buffalo last week thanks to Johnathan Joseph's interception return for a touchdown in the waning minutes.Houston hasn't won four in a row since 2015.Beating Jacksonville could come down to how well Houston's offensive line plays. The Texans allowed 14 sacks in two lopsided losses to the Jaguars last season and have allowed 25 in six games this season, the second-most in the league.Quarterback Deshaun Watson played last week with a partially collapsed lung and a broken rib."I'm fine now. I'm healthy," he said. "I'm cleared to practice, cleared to do everything. I'm good."Bortles should be wary, too. He has been sacked eight times in the past two games while playing behind an injury-riddled line. And now the Jaguars have to deal with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.Equally concerning are the team's 14 turnovers and five takeaways."It has not been what we wanted or what we expected or planned for," Bortles said. "Everybody knows that. You learn from it Youth Donte Moncrief Jersey , you put it in the past and you move on. You have to find a way to get back on track and get back to playing like we did against the Jets or against New England or late last year. That is all we are focusing on: getting back to playing the kind of football and the execution level that we know we can do."Here are some other things to know about the Texans and Jaguars:BACK TO BASICSJaguars coach Doug Marrone focused on fundamentals in practice all week, with several players saying they essentially returned to training camp mode in Week 7. Some might consider it a desperation move, but Marrone defended his decision to go back to square one."Anytime you see football being played as poorly as we have been playing, then it comes down to fundamentals," he said. "That is my philosophy."HAL RETURNSTexans safety Andre Hal, who is in remission after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, resumed practicing this week. He won't play against the Jaguars, but gave the team an emotional lift this week. Hal was diagnosed with the disease in May and immediately began treatment."I'm in the best shape of my life just from working out all the time, eating right, getting closer to God, getting closer to myself, finding out who I am, stuff like that," Hal said. "I'm a better person."PASSING LEAGUEWatson and Bortles have three games each with at least 375 yards passing this season.