Off Season moves impact on ex-Buckeyes in the NFC South

Off Season moves impact on ex-Buckeyes in the NFC South
Simon Fraser

Off 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.

    The D-line 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.

    The other 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.

    The passing 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. 


    One 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 team.

New Orleans

    Will Smith 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. 

Tampa Bay

    Former 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 3rd safety.

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  He has also published several novels on and edits
Tags: Buckeyes Football NFL Ohio State

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