Bair Mail: On Jonnu Smith and Kyle Pitts, prospect of more offseason signings and Eddie Goldman

Versatile tight ends should add an an air of unpredictability to Falcons offense

Another OTA wrapped on Friday, and we talked to tons of players and coaches before and after the open session at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

And I mean, tons. Like, more than a dozen by my count.

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It was a great day to gain some insight, with more opportunities following OTA sessions on Wednesday afternoon and the following Tuesday. They also offer unique opportunities to watch a full session. They aren't run at still speed or with pads, but it's still good to see so many new Falcons in action.

We're nowhere close to putting the full puzzle together, but there are some interesting pieces out there on display.

Let's get to your questions on this fine Wednesday morning right, about, now:

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Barry Wynn from Rex, Ga.

Hey Scott, since the Falcons have a nice tight end room, the alignments they can use can be a benefit to the team. Two tight end sets can be manipulated to move players around. The defending national champs used two tight end sets to great success. I see Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith can be used similarly if Ragone and Smith desire to. It is feasible on occasion you could even use three tight ends to disguise what you are doing.

Bair: I would anticipate the Falcons using multiple tight end sets, like, all the time.

Falcons head coach/offensive mastermind Arthur Smith was a former tight ends coach who has an affinity for the position and how its versatility can help an offense become unpredictable. That will be accentuated by the fact that Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith. Can play well in so many different spots.

Pitts can play in-line, in the slot or out wide as well as most any receiver. The game tape will show you that. It will also validate the fact that Jonnu Smith can play well in-line, as a receiver or even as a full back.

That will allow Arthur Smith to do so, so much, especially when combined with the versatility Bijan Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson. You can line up in 22 personnel and do almost anything. That will be the fun part about this Falcons offense – how Arthur Smith deploys all these skill players while operating behind a stout offensive line.

Also, to answer Michael Curtin's question, Arthur Smith alluded to the fact Kyle Pitts could be ready to play by the start of the regular season.

Beegoul Ho from Seoul, South Korea

My favorite player is Koo. My family love him so much. My question is about salary cap. Do we have enough money to make mini splash on offense maybe receiver or maybe defense edge rusher? Thank you..

Bair: Thank you so much for checking in! Always enjoy hearing from Falcons fans from overseas. And you've picked a good favorite player in Younghoe Koo. Great guy. Great kicker.

Now on to your question. The Falcons have some functional cap space left, per OverTheCap.com, and they could add another veteran. But it'd have to be the right player at the right price. It might be worth rolling with the guys you've got through minicamp and then making assessments closer to the start of training camp. There aren't many issues that a free agent available in June can fix.

There are plenty of interesting names out there who could fit here, including Frank Clark, Bradley Roby and maybe guard Gabe Jackson.

Jim McIntosh from Park City, Utah

Love the updates on OTAs and all the FAs and draft picks…. but really haven't heard anything on Eddie Goldman.

Bair: That's correct. Instead of me giving you one, I'll defer to Arthur Smith here. Before we get there, a little recap: Goldman spent the 2022 season on the reserve-retired list, played 14 games the year before and sat out 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. So he hasn't played much lately, and the Falcons have a plan for getting him back in the mix.

"There's a return to play plan that we've been in contact with Eddie," Arthur Smith said. "If we didn't trust Eddie, we wouldn't have kept him. We're excited, but we have to make sure we're smart about that return to play. I think when you've missed that amount of time, you can't all of a sudden expect to play 100 plays the first practice of training camp. So, there's a progression there. We're aware. We're constantly looking at that, no different than a guy coming off injury. There will be a plan for TQ [Graham], Kyle [Pitts].

"We're trying to be smart. We know we're planning to play 20-21 games. So, when you do that, we need to be ready to roll September 10 and need to be playing our best football at the end of the year. That goal is in mind. With all of our players, we have different plans. We'll be smart with Eddie, but we're excited that he's still here."

Call for questions

Let's do the same routine as last week. Submit some questions about OTA observations right here and I'll try to provide you with some updates in Friday's mailbag. I'll try to answer a bunch of questions in that one.

Take a look at the Atlanta Falcons in action during the 2023 First Look practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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