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Bair Mail: On Kyle Pitts production and finding the end zone, Cordarrelle Patterson's usage, Dean Pees and more

We also discuss the identity of the 2022 Falcons (and all Arthur Smith teams) in this Wednesday mailbag

The last few days after Sunday's victory over the Seattle Seahawks has been a more fun for the Falcons fan base than previous weeks.

Now it's time to turn the page toward Cleveland and the players who will play a pivotal role in that effort at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.


We'll take a look at a number of interesting topics relevant to Week 4, including Kyle Pitts' production and whether he'll score more than he has to this point. We'll dive deep into Cordarrelle Patterson's role and usage, plus Dean Pees philosophies and the identity of an Arthur Smith team, including this one, in this Wednesday edition of Bair Mail:

Mike S from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I will never stop comparing the careers of Pitts and the player a lot of us wanted, Micah Parsons. Every week we watch Parsons just cruise through offenses and wreck game plans - Pitts was brought in to be the solution to our red zone woes so I have to ask; where are the Pitts TDs? Are we letting KP down or is he not the red zone threat we all imagined?

Bair: I'm relatively new here, Mike, but I recall more consternation over not taking Justin Fields than not taking Micah Parsons. I would say that Kyle Pitts and Micah Parsons rank high amongst the best selections of the 2021 NFL draft and I don't think you could go wrong with either guy. The Falcons still need pass rushers – they'd love an elite, somewhat positionless defender – but it's tough to be upset with the Pitts pick.

A lack of touchdowns is the only complaint from the fan base, and from Pitts as well, about his career to this point. Arthur Smith likes to say "the ball will find him." Let's add "in the end zone" at the end of that sentence. No way he finishes with one or two or even five. He'll have opportunities to score. He's too good not to. And, if he has a season like I'd expect, Pitts will join the NFL's elite at the position.

MJ from Cincinnati, Ohio

Don't you think we should involve Patterson in the passing schemes more lined up with London and Pitts? CP is 31 years old and, truthfully, I don't want to see him get touches like a true bell cow RB and it wears him down throughout the season. Tyler Allgeier is an impressive RB that once getting his footing in the NFL he could have nice games down the stretch for us.

Bair: This is an interesting topic, M.J. I dig it. I think that most would've agreed with an assumption that Cordarrelle Patterson would be moving all over the formation. Then the first game happened, with two events that may have changed things up: 1. Damien Williams got hurt and ended up on injured reserve (at least for the shot-term), and, 2. Patterson was awesome against the Saints as a feature back.

While I have liked Tyler Allgeier since he got here, I'm not so sure he's ready for a full featured workload.

Patterson has been awesome working from the backfield, with two triple-digit yardage totals in three tries. And he's efficient as heck. He only had 17 carries, which is a good carry count under any circumstances. And they have a better pass-catching corps with Drake London and an efficient Olamide Zaccheaus working with Kyle Pitts.

His snap count to this point: 98 snaps in the backfield, 15 in the slot and seven out wide through three games. That proportion might disperse a little bit when Williams returns, but Patterson has made strides as a runner. That can't be ignored and must be taken advantage of.

Will Smith from Summerville, Ga.

Hi, Scott. I read something in Tori's latest Notebook that I've got a question (for either of you) about. She said Coach Pees really didn't care how much total yardage his troops give up, only points. But it seems, to me, that more yards generally equals more plays, more explosive plays, and longer drives. All these things, alone or in combination, keep a defense on the field longer which, again generally, leads to tired legs, poor tackling, slower reaction, etc. Does he overcome this with more substitutions, superior conditioning or am I missing something? Thanks, Y'all. (Scott may not recognize "Y'all" yet but Tori will).

Bair: One development, Will, to spending so much time working with Tori, is that I have picked up parts of her accent. Not in the way I talk, but in the words I choose. I'll also drop a long I in there when I shouldn't, like saying "liiiiiiight" or "toniiiiight," but that's rare. Y'all is an all-the-time thing for me at this point.

Now on to your actual question about Dean Pees' defensive philosophy. It's true that he cares far less about yards than points. True story. I understand that you're adding layers to it, saying that lots of yards makes scoring (or allowing) points easier. And that's true. His overall point: You've rather give up 500 yards than 50 points. That's why performing well in the red zone and on third down is so key with Pees.

I think you're breaking the philosophy down a bit too far, here, because he's talking in broad strokes. Ideally, he'd rather allow no yards and no points. But, if you had to choose, giving up an 80-yard drive but no points is a success. Limit big plays. Do well inside your own 20 and win on third-and-medium or -long and you're going to be successful. And, again, ignore all the other stats. Scoring defense is the only one that really, truly matters.

We take a monochrome look at the win over the Seattle Seahawks on September 25, 2022.

Angel Plata from Mexico City, Mex.

It's been a long time since I wrote something here, so I'll concentrate on one question. I like that the team fought until the last moment, no game has been given up for lost and I hope it will be the identity of the team in the games ahead. Some time ago that was my question and I know that now there is an answer. What is the identity of the team?

We have been able to compensate little by little for the lack of names, which of course are sometimes necessary, with true warriors who do not give up and that is what I like about this team, I know that there is still a long way to go and that the best is yet to come in every game that follows.

Greetings from Mexico, and here Somos Falcons, too.

Bair: I think the character of this team is one focused on battling to the very end, about never giving up no matter what the odds. The on-field identity of this team, in my interpretation, is something different. As head coach Arthur Smith likes to say, the Falcons never stop swinging.

Smith wants his teams to be physical, to impose their will along both lines of scrimmage. He wants to run the football and stop the run. I would say his teams will major in old-school football fundamentals but emphasize modern techniques in execution. You can see all that in how the Falcons operate on offense and defense, and I think you always will no matter how the talent levels change.

Call for questions

We've got one more Bail Mail before the Browns game, so submit your questions right here for inclusion in Friday's mailbag.


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