FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes some lessons the Falcons can take away from what appears to be the end of the Legion of Boom as well as reports of another big trade.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
*USA TODAY: *4 things the Falcons can learn from Seahawks' breakup
Reports of the Seahawks trading defensive lineman Michael Bennett and likely releasing cornerback Richard Sherman mean that the Legion of Boom as we've known it is coming to an end. One of the most dominant defenses of the last decade, many have compared the Falcons' rising defensive unit to the one Dan Quinn led while he was the Seahawks' defensive coordinator.
With that in mind, Tim Weaver of Falcons Wire, part of the *USA TODAY *network, wrote about four things the Falcons can learn from the possible end to the Legion of Boom.
The first thing Weaver says the Falcons can learn is that Quinn may have been a vital part of the Seahawks' defensive success. The unit peaked during the two seasons that Quinn served as defensive coordinator, and he's quickly turned the Falcons' defense into a very promising group. The second thing doesn't have much to do with either the Seahawks or the Falcons, but rather that the Eagles have only gotten stronger on defense and any return path to the Super Bowl for Atlanta may have to go through Philadelphia.
Weaver's third point is that championship windows can be shorter than they appear to be. Just a few seasons ago, the Seahawks seemed to be perennial Super Bowl contenders. Now, they could be in the midst of a restructure period. Finally, Weaver notes that the draft is everything. Part of the reason the Falcons have so much promise on defense is because they've drafted so well on that side of the ball.
The Seahawks had similar success in the draft, but they didn't hit at the same rate in recent years. When it came time to pay all of their draft picks, they needed to make tough choices. If the Falcons want to keep the window open for as long as possible, the draft is very important.
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BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL
NFL.com: Broncos agree to trade Aqib Talib to Rams
There have been some landscape-changing trades this week. That continued Thursday evening when James Palmer and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Broncos had agreed to trade cornerback Aqib Talib to the Rams.
This news comes just after the Rams also acquired All Pro cornerback Marcus Peters from the Chiefs and Pro Bowl cornerback Sam Shields via free agency. While the Seahawks appear to be tearing down their defense, the Rams are building theirs into an imposing force.
"For Talib, there were really only two places he wanted to go," Rapoport said on NFL Total Access. "New England, where of course he had a lot of success with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. And Los then Angeles with the Rams, where he would get to play under Wade Phillips, his former defensive coordinator in Denver."
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