Friday, September 21, 2007

Falcons Are Quick On The Trigger. A Good Thing?

I wonder if Petrino will turn out to be like his owner…quick to make a personnel decision that later turns out to be ill-advised.

Blank inherited Vick, but extended his contract big time after the Falcons advanced to the NFC championship game. Had he waited a year, he might not have made the same decision. Blank also quickly signed Warrick Dunn to a monster contract, soon after a dinner meeting. Dunn is a great citizen and has made a solid contribution, but it may not have been the biggest bang for the buck.

GM Rich McKay deserves some blame for many draft day failures, particularly receivers Jenkins and White. Injury-prone defensive lineman like John Abraham were given large contracts. The large payroll led to the loss of end Patrick Kearney.

At the end of training camp the Falcons cut kicker Billy Cundiff, who was more experienced than the stronger-legged Matt Prater. Prater was to relieve punter Michael Koenen of kickoff and long field goal duties, but washed out in two games. Ageless vet Morten Andersen was welcomed back, but now Koenen has his kicking duties back.

Now it appears Blank urged McKay to sign QB Byron Leftwich, who had lost his job in Jacksonville largely in part to not sharing his coach’s enthusiasm. While Leftwich was perhaps the best option available, the odds seem stacked against his success.

Leftwich Plusses:
1. Great arm
2. Tireless preparation & study of film
3. Plays hurt

Leftwich Minuses:
1. Immobile…joining a team with a weak defensive line. Joey Harrington has been sacked 13 times in two games, though in his career Harrington had one of the lowest sacks per game averages…notable considering he played for below-average teams.
2. Not the take charge type. Sounds like the guy we had last year.
3. Slow release. He winds up to throw.

No comments: