Atlanta Falcons: rebuilding mode

ATLANTA, GA- The Atlanta Falcons (3-10) have dropped another winnable game as they exit the wintry landscape of Lambeau Field.

Going forward it looks as if the young guys in the lineup will get some valuable playing time with season’s end approaching soon with no sniff of the playoffs possible. The Falcons may not even win another game with the way the team has been leaving points on the field as of late.

The way the season has gone, Mike Smith and next week’s opponent Mike Shanahan have converted to preseason mode.

Coach Smith said on Monday, We felt like there were a number of guys we wanted to see some significant playing time. We felt like they’ve earned it, like I said before. Instead of playing them in spot playing and getting them 15 or 20 snaps,” Smith said before he elaborated, “Again, that evaluation process is going to continue through these last three weeks of the season.”

atlanta falcons

(Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)

This indicates to me that some of the starters will ride the pine for a few series and maybe even entire quarters to the guys in the second and third spots. However, it looks like this might not be the case all around the team. Smith still tries to play spin doctor for the fans and won’t admit that the real reason why they’re evaluating players in week 14 of the NFL season. Even Maliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga had significant playing time.

For the fans, it’s been a good five year winning streak, and there is always bound to be a down year for teams. Just look at the Saints last year without Sean Payton. The rest of the season should be about development and that’s something a person can still get excited about.

Among those who are developing Zeke Motta seems like he’ll be around another year to continue backing up safety Thomas Decoud. After suffering a concussion during the game, Decoud stepped out and Motta played well in his stead. Certainly the conditions of the field didn’t show off his ability to stop the pass but it was an NFL game experience that he needed. Something the team will need next year if they intend on competing for a playoff spot.

atlanta falcons

Will Coffman and Toilolo be ready to fill Gonzalez’s shoes by next year? (Photo Credit: Kevin Cox)

As for the young tight ends, it looks as if Tony Gonzalez will consume nearly all the tight end snaps as he wishes to make the best of his last season. Unfortunately, Gonzalez’s story will end in mediocrity as the front office was either unwilling or unconvincing in trading the future Hall of Famer to a decent team. The coaches have already indicated that he gives the team the best chance to win.

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At this point, just drop the act because if you are evaluating talent to make deals for the offseason, then you’re not playing for wins this year. The team is playing for wins in the offseason and the 2014 season. Honestly I’d like to see Chase Coffman and Levine Toilolo get some of the main reps. I guess they’ll have to settle for some preseason action next year.

However the rhetoric stays unchanged and the message is consistent which I can respect from a certain standpoint. The team is well disciplined and the only true wild card is Roddy White, who dispenses most of his true thoughts and feelings via Twitter and social media.

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