Mailbag: Atlanta Falcons edition

March, 17, 2009
3/17/09
5:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

I'm going to continue my temporary hiatus from Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler questions. That's why the Atlanta Falcons are up on our continuing team-by-team mailbags.

Relax Tampa Bay fans. We'll have a Bucs mailbag with lots of Cutler talk up in a bit.

Mark in Houston writes: Hey Pat, love reading the blog. My brother and I are a little worried with the Falcons' lack of offseason moves. I, personally, am unsure of the Mike Peterson move, both because he is getting older and had issues with Jack Del Rio last season. But other than the Mike Peterson signing, I haven't heard of them talking to any FAs or any trade rumors including the Falcons. I trust that Thomas Dimitroff has a plan, but it's still a little concerning for me to not hear anything. Have you heard of them talking to any free agents, or talking with any teams about a trade? And am I silly for being worried, or do you think this could be a real issue?

Pat Yasinskas: No doubt the Falcons have been very quiet in free agency. But Thomas Dimitroff has said all along that was the plan. I think that's a smart approach because Dimitroff and Mike Smith are building for the long term and not looking for one player to "put them over the top" as so many teams do. The Falcons have a good, young core in place. Yes, there are still some holes to be filled, but free agency's not over yet. The Falcons will get more involved with some remaining free agents a bit later on. The Peterson move might not seem like a big deal and it's not going to solve every problem, but it at least gives Atlanta some options at linebacker.


Jon in Huntington writes: What direction do you think the the Falcons will take in this years draft? I know we could use an effective pass rusher outside of John Abraham but it seems like we have a lot of holes on defense.

Pat Yasinskas: Teams always like to talk about taking the best-available player in the draft. But let's be honest, teams usually draft for need and Atlanta's needs are on defense. The only thing they really need on offense is a tight end and they're not going to use an early pick on a tight end because that position's not that big a deal in their offense. Realistically, I think the Falcons have to focus on defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, safety and cornerback early in the draft. They can take the best-available player as long as it's at one of those positions.


Wes in Clearwater writes: Hey Pat, First off I want to say I think you've been doing a great job covering the NFC South, but I have to address something I've seen in a few of your columns lately regarding the Falcons and Dominique Foxworth. As a life-long Falcons fan, I was a little disappointed in Foxworth's departure. But from everything I had seen regarding the deal, Atlanta had offered a larger contract than the Ravens. The deciding factor was Foxworth's desire to be closer to family, so he took less money. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I got. Keep up the good work.

Pat Yasinskas: I could be wrong, too. But everything I've heard about the Domonique Foxworth situation is that the Falcons had a limit of how much they would pay to keep him and the Ravens greatly exceeded that. Whatever the case, there's no doubt Foxworth's roots in Maryland played some role in his decision.


Jonny in Qunicy writes: I'm a huge falcons fan...do you think that we will have any success with our young secondary, or what? do you think it would be chris houston and chevis jackson starting....because i think jackson could be a great corner and houston is going to get better...do you think our defense is going to be good???

Pat Yasinskas: The fact the Falcons haven't made any moves at cornerback (other than letting Foxworth go) makes me wonder if the coaching staff has a higher opinion of the corners than the rest of us. Chris Houston developed nicely last season and Chevis Jackson came on well at the end of his rookie year. I know the coaches are high on those two guys. The Falcons also have Brent Grimes and Von Hutchins, who each missed some significant time with injuries, coming back. Could the Falcons still add a corner in free agency or the draft? Sure, it's entirely possible. But I'm also starting to think it wouldn't be a total disaster if they stick with what they've got.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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