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Bair Mail: On Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot, Kyle Pitts and the proper mix of Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson

Your questions get answers in Friday's mailbag


The Falcons have a chance to get on a winning streak on Sunday against the Washington Football Team. It won't be easy, but there's an opportunity to make hay here against a softer portion of the schedule.

Can they do it? How will they do it?


Those are discussion points leading up to this game. You all, however, hit on some of the hot-button topics from the practice week. We'll hit on all of them in this week's Bair Mail.

Let's get to it:

Jimmy Brooks from Brunswick, Ga.

Wondering how long Mr. Blank will will give Coach Smith to build this team to his specifications. Other than drafting he couldn't really do anything. How long will the cap space hinder our coach and GM? So far, I'm pleased with Coach and GM hopefully the coaching and upgrading of the team continues. As of right now our team maybe 4-5 years away if our cap space doesn't get better.

The line is getting better but hopefully time will continue to tell. Hard to establish offense with 3 step drops because of the blocking. This is why Ryan is dinking and dunking passes. Hopefully Blank understands and doesn't put expectations on Coach Smith that aren't realistic. He also is a rookie and needs to grow. Hopefully Blank realizes this because Blank buying the team from the Rankin's was by far the best for fans!

Bair: Arthur Blank is very involved in this team and knows exactly what's going on and what types of hurdles lay in front of Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot. That's why I believe they'll be given the time necessary to build this team up their way.

I like the tone Smith has set with this year's group, especially in terms of accountability. There are no victims here. There are no excuses for subpar play, even though the Falcons have plenty at their disposal. I also like that Fontenot is trying to do what is hard, trying to win now while setting up a brighter future. He could've torn this thing to the studs but didn't do it. Let's see how Smith and Fontenot navigate the next few seasons and whether they can create the steady improvement I'm sure ownership is looking for with these hires.

Rick Mayers from Macon, Ga.

I disagree with your statement that's it not the play calling, The Giant game was the most conservative I have ever seen the Falcons. Coach Smith said the Giants had a good game plan to take Pitts out; impossible he is 6'6" with a very long arm span, he can high point passes that they can't get to. When they really needed a score in the 4th quarter he was instrumental in the touchdown and game winning field goal so if he had played more in the first 3 quarters we most likely scored more points.

Bair: There wasn't really a question in there, but I like differences of opinion and disagreements. Respect your opinion enough to put it out there. On this Kyle Pitts targets issue, Tori McElhaney posted an excellent story breaking down the reality of the situation that simply must read. And, look, defenses are working hard to game plan against him.

But, to your point, the offensive play caller can design something to get the ball in his hands. I go back to the preseason finale versus Cleveland when Pitts played one snap. He took an short route in the flat, caught the ball and turned it upfield for a huge gain. Those plays could kickstart his day, though it doesn't guarantee consistent touches. That must come when he's open. Ryan's a disciplined quarterback opposed to unnecessarily putting the ball in harm's way. He won't force it. That's just a fact that'll play into Pitts' targets when he's being bracketed.

The Atlanta Falcons are in good spirits as they prepare for this weekend's game against the Washington Football Team. Take a look at the best images in this gallery.

Andrew Newman from Washington, D.C.

Going off your debate with Tori (great content from you both this year by the way) about running backs, we've got a heavy lift against the Team's d-line. Building off last week's slightly better offensive line performance, any chance we start seeing a little better running game going?

Also I am taking Tori's side in the debate as I think the CP/Utility tool role suits him better than full time RB. I am sure this gets me at the bottom of the pile but I am a man of principles and I am sticking by that

Bair: Good timing on this question, Andrew. I actually spoke to Falcons running backs coach Desmond Kitchings on Friday morning about what you're asking. He sees improvement in the entire operation, but knows they need to be a bit more consistent, a bit more efficient with what they're doing.

In regard to siding with Tori, that's never a good idea, even though – Shhhhh! Don't tell anybody – I agree with her stance, too. I think Cordarrelle Patterson's in the right role and, if the Falcons have a lead in fourth quarter, Mike Davis is the closer and primary back.


Falcons Final Whistle | A Postgame Podcast

Break down the hottest topics surrounding the Atlanta Falcons and how they can impact the team's success with Falcons Insiders Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Terrin Waack. Like and subscribe to join us for the lively debate on Falcons Final Whistle.

Welcome to Falcons Final Whistle – an Atlanta Falcons football postgame podcast during the season that shifts gears in the offseason to answer a pressing question about the team's future each week through free agency, the NFL Draft and the offseason program.

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