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Bair Mail: On Terry Fontenot fortifying roster, short-yardage issues, an NFL Draft option and Falcons fits

Your questions get answers in Wednesday's mailbag


The Falcons played two games in five days. Now they have to wait a long time to rebound from some unfortunate events.

They'll go 10 days between that Patriots loss and Sunday's game against Jacksonville, devoting the extra time to fixing problems in an attempt to start a much-needed winning streak.


You all are thinking about those issues and some more macro topics as we move through the season's second half. Let's get to them in Wednesday's edition of Bair Mail.

Will Smith from Summerville, Ga.

I keep reading about how the Falcons need to play a complete game in all phases, etc. before they can get to .500. I really think that there isn't enough talent on this team to do that. Our previous GM hit on some of his draft picks but missed on so many more that the current staff was handed a subpar team to begin with. I have faith in Terry (he had a great track record with NOLA) but think it's gonna take at least two draft cycles to get us right. Your thoughts?

Bair: I agree, Will, that it will take a little while to get things up and running well. That's especially true regarding the salary cap. There's no overnight fix there. It'll take a while, which some difficult choices made to gain the financial flexibility required to operate as desired.

I also agree, Will, that the Falcons need talent upgrades at several position groups. That's true on both lines, at running back, cornerback and receiver. Hitting on draft picks will be key early in this effort, with veteran imports only a real option during the latter stages of free agency. You can't hit on every pick Terry Fontenot and crew will miss on some. They key is drawing impact players beyond the first round and then developing talent selected to fortify this depth chart.

That also doesn't mean fans should assume the Falcons can't and won't be highly competitive before this process is over. Fontenot's working to remain that way while restructuring the roster.

Preston Krah from John's Creek, Ga

Good afternoon! I want to start by saying thank you for what you are doing for Falcons fans with this piece. I'd like to ask a question regarding third/fourth and short play calling. Does Arthur Smith hate QB sneak? Or does Matt Ryan hate it? I've seen us go for plenty of 3rd and 1 plays as well as 4th and 1 where we hand the ball the the HB and fail to convert when Ryan could easier sneak over the D-Line. Do you know why we don't ever call the QB sneak?

Bair: You aren't the only one with this question, Preston. The Falcons aren't anti-QB sneak. They're for whatever moves the chains. Arthur Smith addressed the short-yardage issue after Thursday’s game and said it's about the looks an offense gets, which prompts a quarterback to choose from a package of plays called in the huddle. He also agrees that the Falcons must be better in short-yardage situations.

"Well, you get different looks. I think the biggest misnomer, if you get certain looks and you like them or you're going with a play you felt pretty good about," Smith said. People package plays all the time. If you may not get the look you want, like I said, obviously everything's on the table. We got to look at it, we got to fix it."

Jeremy Baker from Calhoun, Ga.

Hey Bair, what's been your favorite uniform combo so far? I personally like the white top and black pants! Happy thanksgiving!

Bair: This isn't just recency bias, but I loved the throwbacks. The black matte helmet with the old logo, especially. It's hard to go wrong with the color scheme and either logo, though.

And while we're on the uniform topic, let's hit Craig Green's question about wearing red pants. I'm all about adding that to the mix, but I don't think that's coming soon. It's on the table down the line, though.

Hunter Hughes from Athens, Ga.

Let's get straight to business. We know the falcons need help on both the offense and defensive line as we've seen throughout the season. So what do you think about using the first draft pick on the monster that is known as Jordan Davis? He's big and physical and has played on both sides when needed and even has a touchdown on the resume and is hard to handle.

Bair: The Falcons are still playing meaningful and relevant games during this campaign, which means I haven't turned on my draft brain yet. Not even for a second. I compartmentalize that way. Always have.

But, in the interest of addressing your question, who wouldn't want Jordan Davis a massive, super strong, shockingly athletic human seemingly beloved by his teammates? The Falcons need to build up their defensive line this offseason, and the interior is a good place to start. I'd call that a good move if he ended up a Falcon. I'm sure the massive contingent of fans who follow both the Bulldogs and Falcons would agree.

Call for questions

We have one more Bair Mail before the Falcons travel to Jacksonville for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Submit your questions about that matchup, or whatever else you want to discuss, right here.

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