Falcons: Arthur Smith expresses positivity about role players in press conference

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In his presser today, Arthur Smith continued his vague answers pertaining to Julio Jones, staying noncommittal to the star receiver being in attendance at next week’s mandatory minicamp. This shouldn’t be a surprise as Smith has remained firm on keeping in-house conversations exactly where they belong… in-house.

Smith fielded more questions about a couple of critical role players that could have big years with the Falcons. He said he was “really happy how Marlon has progressed.” Davidson only played in three games before he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, then missed four more games after returning, and finally missed two of the last three games due to knee issues — only playing in 12% of defensive snaps. He never really got healthy during his rookie season, but the former Auburn Tiger should be in line to assume many snaps as a 3-4 defensive end for Dean Pees. If he’s healthy, Davidson will be an unsung hero on this defense and could be a massive part of an ascending unit under a new coordinator.

Smith continued with the conference by complementing the team’s second option at tight end, “Hayden has done a nice job day to day.” Hurst is going to benefit greatly from Smith’s expertise at the position, and I fully believe his supplemental role in this offense will be massively undervalued with Kyle Pitts leading the group. Justin Pelle, the team’s tight ends coach, has already stated that fans can expect to see Pitts and Hurst on the field at the same time, which Chase analyzed:

A former tight ends coach himself, Arthur Smith loves his tight ends, and he relishes having two of them on the field at the same time. Smith could run an entire offense out of 12 personnel alone, and he utilized it profusely while he was the offensive coordinator in Tennesse — 33% of the Titans total play calls came in 12 personnel under Smith.

Hurst’s run-blocking is the only question mark surrounding the former Gamecock in this offense, but blocking is mostly effort and attitude. Obviously, hand placement, leverage, and footwork are incredibly important too, but I believe Smith can scheme Hurst into favorable situations when blocking by using down blocks, chipping, double teams, and alignments (better leverage).



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