Falcons Week 1 snap counts at safety were telling

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On the Falcons first official depth chart, three safeties were listed as starters — Damontae Kazee, Keanu Neal, and Ricardo Allen. That left many of us wondering if we were in store for a lot of three-safety formations, and if not, who were going to be the two safeties on the field the most? On Sunday, we got our answer.

The most eye-popping number in this tweet is Damontae Kazee, who was on the field for 100% of the defensive snaps. He has primarily been the third safety over the last couple of seasons, used mostly when either Keanu Neal or Ricardo Allen was out with an injury. However, since both Allen and Neal have suffered from several significant injuries, Kazee has been on the field more than either since 2018, which has resulted in him earning a full-time starter’s role.

Those extra snaps for Kazee appear to have come at the expense of Ricardo Allen, but Dan Quinn did say yesterday that he expects Allen to have a larger role moving forward. His lack of snaps was mostly due to the Seahawks lining up in more two tight end sets rather than three wide-receiver looks.

It appears the Falcons weren’t lying about incorporating all three of their safeties into the gameplan, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. However, it is apparent there is a new sheriff in town when it comes to the quarterback of the Falcons defense. That crown has been passed from Ricardo Allen to Damontae Kazee. We will see if it stays that way the entire season.

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