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Start Taking It Personal

9 Dec

Josh Brent

Josh Brent at the Irving Police Department. (AP)

 

Two weeks, two tragedies.  As the public is beginning to move forward from the Jovan Belcher story, here comes the tragic death of Jerry Brown, defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys.  He was in a car accident with alleged drunken driver Josh Brent, his college and professional teammate.  Dallas travelled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals and found out on the plane.  It is a sobering reminder, excuse the pun, that players are not beyond the scope very public problem and often reflects a microcosm of society.  However, when will personal responsibility take over in these kinds of situations.  Please keep in mind, often times in NFL Cities, the NFL Players Association provides a car service for the players at little or no cost to them.  Judging by the statistics, a lot of players are not choosing to use this service, in fact between 2000-2008 out of the 385 arrest of NFL Gridders, 112 were for DUI.  When will personal responsibility take over some players.  I can somewhat understand that players may not want to leave their high-end vehicles in some remote place, however if a player is locked up for killing someone then the chances of enjoying that ride are slim to none.  So now you can add Josh Brent to names such as Leonard Little and Donte’ Stallworth and sadly you can add the name Jerry Brown to countless others that have died as a result of carelessness of drunken driving.  So while the NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell is suspending players for illegal hits, maybe he should suspend players for the next person they might hit.

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The Fal-cans Going Forward

17 Dec

One of Roddy White's Two Touchdowns

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 15: Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Georgia Dome on December 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After the 41-14 “thrashing” of the Jacksonville Jaguars on last Thursday night, the Falcons appear to be peaking just at the right time  They have put themselves in a great position to make the playoffs barring a major collapse or catastrophe.  This game was not the test case to see if the ”Birds” are Super Bowl contenders but this is still the National Football League where all wins are quality.  The Falcons are likely a 5th or 6th seed in playoffs, with an outside shot of repeating as NFC South Champs but they must win at least one of their last 2 games to feel secure.  The defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers were in a similar position last season, barely getting into the tournament but doing the ultimate damage when they got the opportunity.  The Falcons have in place a team that can follow in the Packers footsteps, however they must do the following;

1. Remain injury free.  They are not deep enough in certain positions to afford them.

2. Pass rush must show up.  Hopefully John Abraham’s 3.5.sacks against Jacksonville was a sign of things to come.

3. Offense must remain balanced.  You must run the ball in this league for sustained excellence and the Falcons can be one of the most balanced in the league with their great skill position players.

4. Brent Grimes must return to form.  Chris Owens and Dominique Franks have provided a ”band-aid” for that spot and have gotten good experience but Brent Grimes is your Pro Bowl corner.

5. Speaking of stopping the bleeding…the Falcons must sure up the offensive line or a quick trip will not just be a gas station.

If all of these things followed along with a little luck there should be no reason why this Falcons Team should not make a deep playoff run.