The Atlanta Falcons Need To Add Pass Rusher(s)
The Atlanta Falcons were incredibly close to going to Super Bowl XLVII, and despite being the No.1 seed in the NFC for the second time in the last three seasons, there is still something left to be desired on this roster. Offensively they are good, and with or without Tony Gonzalez that will still be the case, but this team needs to address their defense. In particular their pass rushing is poor, and all due respect to John Abraham but to have a 35-year old as your best sack artist is underwhelming.
Abraham had 10.0 sacks last season, and the drop-off after him is significant. Kroy Biermann was second on the team in 2012 with just four. Scarier still is that Abraham could well become a salary cap casualty as the Falcons do not have a ton of cap space currently.
It looks to me like the draft is the best place for the Falcons to add a pass rusher, with a trade in close second. I can’t imagine Atlanta being able to add a legit pass rushing threat through free-agency due to that cap situation.
Mike Smith is considering allowing defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to switch from their current 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 which Nolan has experience with. I like the idea of creating ways to apply increased pressure on opposing quarterbacks by changing schemes and strategies. The Falcons likely won’t be able to add a lot of talent to the defense this off-season.
This Falcons team has a fantastic offense, so just hoping the defense improves could be costly as their window of opportunity is open but closing. Without finding a way to generate pressure on the opposing QB they will likely continue to be a team that is good but not great.