In search of the skinny on the Atlanta Falcons, The Viking Age touches base with Jamie Kelly of Blogging Dirty.
TVA: How’s Matt Ryan doing this year? Or should I call him Matty Ice?
BD: Yes you should! He started the season slow and a bit out of rhythm with receivers but since he is beginning to play better and better each week. The last few weeks he has got back to Pro Bowl form, throwing back to back 300 yards in a running based offense and his accuracy is back to what it was last year. His control of the offense in the no huddle is very impressive, he continues to put the offense in the best possible situation.
TVA: When the Falcons made that crazy draft day trade to get Julio Jones, what did you think of the move? I thought it was Ditka-like insanity myself.
BD: On draft day, i was mostly shocked, surprised and excited all at the same time by the aggressive nature of the move. Although the Falcons gave up a lot, I absolutely love the move. Julio is the real deal, he could become the best WR in the NFL, he can be that good! The only concern at the moment is the injuries he has had in his rookie season, which has derailed him from having a massive statistical season.
Although it may have seemed like a knee-jerk move on draft day, it was carefully thought out and planned. The Falcons were more than comfortable giving up the 2nd rounder and two 4th rounders given the amount of players on the roster that were developing nicely and that were drafted by this current regime. The 2012 first was always difficult to give up but the Falcons were anticipating it would be a late first rounder and that Julio Jones would make up for it and give Matt Ryan an elite target for the next 10+ years.
TVA: You guys picked up one of my all-time not-favorite Vikings Ray Edwards. How’s he looked for you so far? Has he gotten into any sideline arguments?
BD: He’s done a decent job overall. Against the run, he has been terrific and has helped the Falcons to become 2nd in the NFL against the run. His pass rushing needs to improve with him only getting 2 sacks so far. But he is getting pressures just needs to convert a few of those into sacks. He’s also been good at deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage, something the Falcons haven’t had in recent times.
No he hasn’t, and I don’t anticipate any of that happening. The Falcons, who are very strict on character wouldn’t have signed him if he wasn’t committed to buying into the Falcons philosophy.
TVA: The Falcons were considered legit Super Bowl contenders last year until the Packers ruined their dreams (I feel for you; they ruin a lot of dreams). This year they’ve been good but maybe not quite as good as people expected. Seems like they’ve been sort of hanging around in the middle of the NFC pack. Can they make a real run this year or is the Super Bowl out of the question?
BD: Without a doubt they can make a run for it. They do the things you need to do late in the season, which is run the ball and stop the run. While the Falcons seem to be struggling, they have suffered from a very difficult start to the season in terms of schedule, which gets easier down the stretch. Finishing with 10 or 11 wins is certainly not out of the question.
In the playoffs, the Falcons match up well with most teams. However the major obstacles will be the Packers and the Saints. Games against the Saints in recent times have been a coin flip and can go either way. Getting past the Packers in the playoffs will obviously be a challenge, but I actually fancy our chances more in Lambeau than in the Georgia dome, due to the cold weather which favors our style of play.
TVA: Your team made me cry in ’98. Proud of yourself?
BD: Considering that is probably the highlight of Atlanta Falcons history, yes I am proud! We have had all too many moments like that over the years, I know the feeling.