Before we lay the smack down to our NFC South Rival Falcons, I wanted to take the time and ask SBNation Falcons Blogger, Dave, a couple questions about his beloved Red Birds. Here's the fruit of that labor:
Your Atlanta Falcons have a nice winning streak going.... Does the fan base want wins to keep coming or is there a quiet yet prominent sector of the fan base that would rather see this team tank in order to secure a better position in the upcoming NFL Draft?
I've mostly heard from fans who would like to see us salvage a little dignity, but I also think it's a very real concern. If we end up with none of the top-rated quarterbacks because we won a couple more games and still ended up being a bottom dweller, you're going to see plenty of pissed off Falcons fans. On the other hand, an unlikely division title would be just what the doctor ordered for this team. I just don't think it's going to happen.
QB Joey Harrington has picked up a little steam over the past couple weeks, yet I read a report where Petrino may start QB Byron Leftwich in spite of the teams current success. Is there any truth to that rumor and who would you rather have out there on the gridiron?
Leftwich will almost definitely start if he practices Friday. Petrino is eager to get the guy with the strongest arm out on the field, regardless of the winning streak. I also have to believe he's of the opinion that the QB hasn't had a whole lot to do with the team's short string of success. I personally would rather have Leftwich out this week (with the caveat that he has to be healthy) to see if he's capable of giving us a deep strike spark. If he's not, Harrington's only a length of bench away.
You've had a half of season with Bobby Petrino as your Head Coach.... Are you excited about the future or is there still a sense of unknown given your Quarterback Situation and the lack of time he's had to truly implement his Coaching style? Would you say he'll be coaching the Falcons Three Years from now?
Boy, tough call. There's still very much a sense of unknown with Petrino. He doesn't have the power back he favors, a QB who is known to be a long-term solution or an offensive line that's where he obviously would like it to be. The jury's also out on whether his sometimes weird approach to dealing with players and making calls on the field can be successful long term. I'd say based on this year alone, he probably won't be here in three years, but next year will probably prove to be the real litmus test for that.
You knew a Florida State related Question was coming; RB Warrick Dunn (aka Mr. Courageous), he's played fairly well the past couple of weeks. Is he in jeopardy of losing any more playing time to Norwood? And how has Dunn looked? Clearly diminishing skills every turn of the season or is he remarkably the same guy who joined the Falcons several years ago?
Dunn looked diminished all season but has suddenly turned it on. I wouldn't say he's been doing great, but he's been solid enough that I'm not calling for him to get greatly reduced carries anymore. Still, given Petrino's preference for a power back and Norwood and Jason Snelling's hopeful emergence, he should have no future beyond next year with this football team.
Because of Petrino's weird philosophy, Norwood's not really a major threat to Dunn's carries. He's underutilized the speedy back all year. It would absolutely shock me if he got more than 5-10 carries this weekend, even though he'll likely average more than 5 yards per carry. He is coming off an injury that also could limit his effectiveness.
At one point in the season, my favorite TE Alge Crumpler wasn't happy with the way Veterans were being used in Petrino's system. Is Crumpler still enraged or has he and Bobby made peace and found a way to get Alge more involved in the offense? I feel Alge is the BEST Pass Catching TE in the league, I just hate that he's had erratic QB's to feed him the pigskin (I guess it helps my Bucs in the long run)
I think Alge's calmed down a bit. That might just be a function of his complete ineffectiveness and injuries this season, a depressing reality for a guy who's really been a team leader and excellent player over the last several years. I've heard whispers that his problems are chronic and are likely to hamper the rest of his career, which would be devastating. He came up big last week and hopefully will be healthy enough to contribute big time this week, though Petrino still uses his tight ends for blocking just as much as pass catching. He's a great unknown at the moment.
Thanks for the insight Dave, Good
Luck, heh, um yeah.... Be sure to visit TheFalcoholic.com for all of your Falcons Related News and Fan perspective!!!