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Bair Mail: Mike Davis' potential as feature back, realistic Josh Rosen expectations, Kyle Pitts and more


We're nearly through the preseason! How exciting is that? Two games that don't count down, one more to go before this roster trims to 53 players.

After that, it's on.

We're learning more and more about this Falcons team and the coaching staff leading it, especially with so much new in all areas of the organization.

While that has been fun, let's be real. There have been sticking points of frustration during preseason games against Tennessee and Miami. I can feel that through your questions.

I also offer this rebuttal: Understand that those preseason games don't paint a full picture of these Falcons. Trust me on that. I've seen every rep taken this training camp, save a few closed walk-throughs. I've seen the starters work, both in camp and during joint practices against Miami. I've seen Kyle Pitts do a lot more than warm-up before a preseason game. Dude's the real deal.


And, if we're still keeping it real: The Falcons aren't deep. They've got problem spots in multiple position groups. But there's foundational talent here. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith must keep pouring good concrete to build the sturdy base required for sustained success.

They can't do all that now. They have to win as many games as possible with the talent on hand and the 2021 roster moves designed to enhance it. Let's talk about where they're at during Wednesday's edition of Bair Mail.

Arthur Felder from Decatur, Ga.

Why didn't we use our second-round draft pick on a running back? Mike Davis is a career backup

Bair: First of all, that seems a smidge early for a rusher, especially with Richie Grant available. You either take a generational talent in the top 15-ish, or you wait and wait and wait until a productive one falls to you at a value slot. That's my philosophy. I doubt Fontenot would disagree.

And, for every LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson, there's a middle-round pick waiting to give you 1,000 yards.

Regarding Mike Davis as a primary back, he was essentially one in 2020. Christian McCaffrey spent a large chunk of that season hurt and Davis churned out 1,015 yards total offense on 224 touches. That ain't half bad, and a reason why the Falcons believe he can be a featured player.

They'll use several in the rushing attack, though I think Davis ends up the workhorse. It will be interesting to see what he can do with 200-plus carries. Falcons certainly hope he can hit four digits on the ground alone.

Will Smith from Summerville, Ga.

Mr. Bair: McCarron's injury got me to thinking, a sometimes dangerous proposition. My best-case scenario for the future is for us to sign Josh Rosen to work behind and learn from Matt. Hopefully something will finally click for him, being coached up by Arthur and mentored by a future HOF-er. And...the Falcons already have their next starting QB on the roster when Matt does hang it up. What do you think? Too farfetched? If so, why? Thanks for your good work.

Bair: Always appreciate the submissions, Will. Keep 'em coming. I understand it's easy to dream about Rosen living up to his NFL Draft stock. I mean, the guy was a former top 10 pick.

I'm also a UCLA alum with an affinity for players who went to my school so, yeah, I'm pulling for Tuioti-Mariner, Moreau, Ankou and Rosen. No shame in that. But, if keeping it real's our Bair Mail theme, let's not set expectations too high.

Maybe he'll come in and wow. Maybe something will click working with Matt Ryan and Smith. That's entirely possible. But Smith also said that signing a quarterback this week won't prevent them from signing one the next. Maybe.

And Rosen has a tough job ahead. He must learn Smith's system quickly and apply the portion he's given well, almost right away. That's a hard way to make a good first impression. But there's talent in there. So is the size and mechanics and footwork. Can he put it all together this time around? We'll have to wait and see.

Stacey Edenfield from Port Wentworth, Ga.

What was missing draft day.......fields

Bair: Let me guess: You don't mean former All-Pro center Joe Fields or two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Joe Fields. You mean Justin Fields, the homegrown quarterback who's now a Chicago Bear. You aren't the only one who keeps bringing him up, methinks because Fields has performed well in the preseason and the tight end the Falcons took seven picks prior hasn't made an impression on you yet, only because he hasn't played.

I knew I'd get caught up in a lot of polarizing arguments as this website's resident columnist. Two I didn't expect: Defending future Hall-of-Famer Matt Ryan and reminding everyone that Kyle Pitts is legit and worthy of the fourth pick.

I (sorta, but not really) get why you wonder about the last one. He hasn't been on TV as a Falcon. He will be soon. Let’s judge him and the Falcons’ choice at No. 4 overall after we’ve, you know, actually seen him play.

Scott Bair from Buford, Ga.

Hey man. I heard you just added some new people to the digital team. When do they start?

Bair: Waaaaait ah min-ute. ... We have the same name! What a shocking coincidence. Never met or seen you before, but I'd bet you're a handsome devil.

And, yes. You heard right.

The Atlanta Falcons just hired Tori McElhaney and Kris Rhim to help cover the team, two unreal talents who will bring it with great content all year long.

Read more about them right here:

You're going to love their coverage. Trust me on that.

Call for questions

We've got one more Bair Mail left before the final preseason game. Get your questions in now by clicking this link. I'll answer some (okay, most) and enlist Tori and Kris to chime in for our Friday morning Bair Mail. Ask any of us a question. We'll be ready.

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