Falcons DeCoud explains social media rant

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud, who got replaced by rookie Zeke Motta during last Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay, explained why he took to Twitter and Instagram to express some frustration.

DeCoud tweeted the following message: "By no means am I sittin here acting like I'm ballin out there...but if you don't know those three things I stated...you really have no room to talk..."

DeCoud was referring to a message he wrote on Instagram that read: "I understand someone has to be the lightning rod for everyone’s frustration … but if you don’t know the huddle call … the rules of our defense … or our gameplan … you have no clue what’s goin on out there. … I don’t care how much football you think you know. … It’s a lot more going on than u can fathom.’’

DeCoud’s rant obviously was directed toward folks criticizing him via social media, although he declined to discuss which specific message set him off.

"It was just venting a little bit,’’ DeCoud said Wednesday. "There is a lot more going on behind the scenes than people really realize. It’s venting, and it had nothing to do with the team.

"It’s been a tough go. When things aren’t going right, there’s a bigger spotlight put on you. I’ll say that. It just gets frustrating a little bit.’’

Much of the criticism toward DeCoud has been related to the way he has defended a couple of big pass plays the last two games. Against Seattle, he didn’t turn his head while covering Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse on a flea-flicker, resulting in Kearse’s 43-yard touchdown grab from Russell Wilson.

Then last Sunday against the Buccaneers, DeCoud found himself in a similar position on a 53-yard pass play from quarterback Mike Glennon to receiver Vincent Jackson that set up a Bucs touchdown.

DeCoud, a Pro Bowl pick last season, realizes his mistakes.

"On the first one against the Seahawks, I could have gotten my head around a little bit,’’ DeCoud said. "Actually got my head back on the second one, but it was a little late and the ball was underthrown.

"It’s frustrating not being able to make those plays, yeah. But I’ve proven that I can play the ball here before. The two times that I have had chances to make plays on the ball in the deep in, one was a trick play and one, yeah I got my head around a little bit late. It was just kind of circumstances of the plays themselves.’’

Despite outside speculation, DeCoud has remained with the starters during practice this week. Motta is playing with a cast after breaking a finger on his right hand.