Season moves impact on ex-Buckeyes in the NFC South
Simon Fraser moving
to Atlanta, in
addition to Tim Anderson and David Patterson on the Falcon defensive line, Ben
Hartsock, and Alex Stapanovich.
By Bill Smith
Atlanta has become OSU
South. The new administration has been
given the responsibility of gathering together a team that can play without the
humiliation of personality flaws that have sullied the recent history of this
organization. Coach Mike Smith has
decided that there is going to be a physical running game and a tough defense.
could have a tint of gray along with the Falcon Scarlet depending on how well
the OSU representatives perform. The
D-end spots are fairly solid with Simon Fraser, who the new regime
signed as a FA from Cleveland,
as a key backup and part of the rotation.
The D-tackle position is in flux.
Last year's starters, Coleman and Jackson, were both released. At the start of training camp both Tim
Anderson and David Patterson are penciled in as reserves but
the starters Jonathan Babineaux and Montavious Stanley have very little
experience and were injury replacements last year.
major thrust of Coach Smith is to restore a running game featuring FA star
Michael Turner from San Diego. With a rookie QB, they are going to need a
running game to take pressure off the passing game. One of the first moves the new administration
made was to cut former all pro TE Alge Crumpler and sign former Buckeye free
agent Ben Hartsock to a 4 year 9 million dollar contract. Crumpler was a receiver but not a
blocker. Hartsock can do both and will
be a great help in the running game.
Another former Buckeye, C Alex Stepanovich is in the mix to start
at center replacing another former Buckeye Doug Dadish who was released.
game will be better with rookie Matt Ryan who is much more consistent a passer
than any of the veterans from last year. Michael Jenkins is now listed as the third WR but has a chance to
work into the mix for a starting spot.
of the problems with the Panther D last year was the backfield. The D line didn't generate much pass rush
despite having all pro quality players. Chris
Gamble is a solid starter at cornerback
and is one of the best cover corners in the league. He still needs work on his tackling. The team did not offer a tender to 07 starter
FS Deke Cooper. They signed FA veteran S
Terrence Holt and drafted CB/S Charles Godfrey to compete with last year top
reserve Nate Salley for the FS starting spot. Right now, Salley is working with the second
DE was selected to the all pro team in 2007 after getting 7 sacks. He will have some help in 2008 from the
draft. Sedrick Ellis DT USC was the 7th
overall choice in the draft by the Saints.
Ellis should help keep both Smith and LE Charles Grant from getting
double teamed as much.
If you want
your son to have a long professional career, teach him to be a long snapper or
a left handed hitting catcher. Both of
those positions offer long profitable careers in the pros. Former Buckeye Kevin Houser has
been in the NFL for 9 seasons as a long snapper. He will continue to get a paycheck in that
position as he has for the last 9 years.
Buckeye Joey Galloway turns 37 this year. Despite his age, he is still one of the most
explosive wideouts in the league. For
several years, Galloway has had to contend
with double and triple coverage on every play because the Bucs have not been
able to find a second receiver to take some pressure off him. This year again, Tampa Bay
has brought in several suspects to help out.
The leading candidate is Galloway's
pupil second-round pick WR Dexter Jackson.
Will Allen was a backup at FS behind
starter Tanard Jackson in 07. This year
the Bucs signed Eugene Wilson from the Patriots. Wilson
may be a CB or compete at S. In any
case, Allen will have an up hill road to playing time as anything more than the
Next Friday—NFC West.
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com. He has
also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and