First-time Falcons coordinators face big questions in 2024

NFL: SEP 19 Rams at Colts

The Falcons made a lot of changes to the organization this offseason, headlined by Raheem Morris and Kirk Cousins.

There weren’t many changes to the roster, other than the draft class brought in by Terry Fontenot, but the coaching staff and quarterback shift will have dramatic impacts.

Cousins isn’t some world class quarterback. He’s never been elite and has fallen short in the postseason; however, compared to what the Falcons had, he’s practically the second-coming of Jesus Christ.

For that reason, I don’t think Arthur Smith deserved the amount of hate he got from the fan base. Raheem Morris has been a breath of fresh air and could be a better head coach than his predecessor, but the biggest catalyst of Atlanta’s potential postseason berth is the upgrade at quarterback.

The other two factors that are very intriguing and worth monitoring all season are the Falcons first-time coordinators, Jimmy Lake and Zac Robinson. They’re facing big questions this season.

From The Athletic:

For Jimmy Lake: Can his rookies learn quickly enough to address the unit’s biggest weakness?

Lake has been a coordinator before but only at the collegiate level. He takes over for Ryan Nielsen, who helped lead the Falcons defense last year to a much improved 11th-ranked total defense and 18th-ranked scoring defense.

The biggest weakness has been the pass rush, and the Falcons drafted Ruke Orhorhoro, Brandon Dorlus, and Bralen Trice with three straight picks from the second round to the fourth. The hope is they can help contribute to a committee approach kind of pass rush, led by Grady Jarrett, David Onyemata, Arnold Ebiketie, and Zach Harrison.

Honestly, I’m more worried about the secondary. The Falcons are leaning on two veterans in A.J. Terrell and Jessie Bates to lead a group of young defensive backs.

From the Athletic:

For Zac Robinson: Can the former Rams assistant position Kirk Cousins for the ever-elusive breakthrough?

Cousins signed a four-year, $180 million contract to join the Falcons, and Atlanta is expecting him to provide the same stability he did in Minnesota. Robinson’s task will be to integrate Cousins into his system while helping Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson realize their full potential. Much of the Falcons postseason hopes hinge on Robinson and Cousins, but Jimmy Lake and Raheem Morris’ defense are just as important.

Photographer: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire

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