Hard to say, but Alford is definitely primed for an important role in 2015. I'm confident in this because of how defensive backs are used in the modern era. Last season, for example, five or more DBs were on the field during 60 percent of plays from scrimmage, according to Pro Football Focus. Conversely, just four DBs were used 38.2 percent of the time. So, even if Jalen Collins leapfrogs him on the depth chart, Alford should see the field at slot CB and nickelback.
And you will only find true love if you learn to love yourself first.
It's difficult to assess the offensive line right now. Pads have yet to be worn, and many of the players are still getting acclimated to Kyle Shanahan's zone blocking scheme. But there are reasons to be optimistic. For one, Jake Matthews is healing well and is excited about the new style of play. Some of the free agents brought on board — namely Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus — have experience in the ZBS. And just about every O-lineman on the current roster has the frame and skill set needed to work in this system.
The injury to Lamar Holmes does hurt, though. He looked solid in OTAs and, according to Quinn, was having a great offseason. Hopefully he's back to full-strength by Week 1. If not, it'll be interesting to see how the team adjusts.
I'm not sure how much the music affects the tempo itself, but it does contribute to the overall environment. Practices are fast-paced, high-energy and efficient; blaring Ludacris, DMX, etc. only intensifies that atmosphere. And the players love it.
Dan Quinn was asked about Mathis last week and, as expected, didn't offer any specifics. He did say Atlanta is "always going to keep an eye out for guys who have the ability to help fit into what we're doing." Take this quote with a grain of salt.
Mathis is a tremendous talent who would immediately improve the Falcons' offensive line. That said, he probably won't sign here. Even if the coaches view him as a schematic fit, you have to consider the odds. There are plenty of GMs who have at least considered pursuing the veteran guard. Additionally, the Falcons are in the process of retooling, and Mathis, 33, is no spring chicken.
This isn't to say on-field success won't be important in 2015; however, Atlanta is trying to build a viable, consistent winner by adding guys who will be here for the long haul. Paying top dollar for a short-term fix isn't a bad idea in a vacuum. It just isn't likely to happen.
@andrewhirsh #AskAndrew is a hot dog a sandwich — Travis Hughes (@TravisSBN) June 24, 2015
It's time to put this debate to rest. A hot dog is unquestionably a sandwich.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a sandwich as "two or more slices of bread with a filling such as meat or cheese placed between them, or a partly split long or round roll containing a filling." Not every definition includes the latter part, but that doesn't make it any less true.
If you order black forest ham at Subway, you're going to get meat served on a split piece of bread, right? Is that a sandwich? Of course. Thus, a hot dog (filling) served on a bun (bread) is a sandwich. Case closed.