Things are starting to get moving a bit in the off-season.OTAs are underway and so is the Falcons cheerleader calendar shoot. Which one are you more interested in? Anyway, let's continue taking our look at the Falcons position by position and how we compare with 2012. Today it's time to take a look at the Safety position.
Going into 2012, the Safety position was approached with apprehension. Most fans felt like William Moore was on his way to being a star but the book was still out on Thomas DeCoud. 2012 was a very good year for both players as they both went to the Pro Bowl as replacements.
DeCoud finished fourth on the team in tackles and had a career high six interceptions. He also had a career high in passes defended with nine. DeCoud seemed a lot more comfortable in Mike Nolan's system than he had recently under Brian Van Gorder.
William Moore finished fifth on the team in tackles (with one less than DeCoud) despite missing four games. Moore had four interceptions and eight passes defended. He had a solid season but injuries remain a concern.
This season the back-ups look to be more inexperienced unless a veteran is brought on closer to camp (or after camp starts). Chris Hope remains unsigned so that leaves the Falcons with a group of five guys fighting for a couple of back-up spots: Shann Schillinger, Charles Mitchell (2012 draft pick), Zeke Motta (2013 draft pick), Kemal Ishmael and Troy Sanders (UDFA). Schillinger was injured last year but did have eleven tackles in 2011. Charles Mitchell only managed one tackle in very limited playing time last season. The fact that Motta and Ishmael were both drafted this season leaves me to believe that we could see some changeover at the back-up safety position this year.
The Falcons are set with starters although injury factors are still a concern with Moore. Expect the Falcons safety position to be among the best in the NFL this season, their second under Mike Nolan, as long as everybody stays healthy.
State of the Falcons