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Early Bird Report 5/30: Biggest question facing the Falcons for 2018

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes the most pressing question each NFL team faces entering the season as well as the Seahawks signing veteran receiver Brandon Marshall.



CBS Sports: The biggest question facing every team

The barren wasteland that is NFL summer is nearly upon us, leaving writers across the country to delve into predictions and speculation until training camp starts up. This type of content isn't inherently bad, however, and can lead to some thoughtful debate.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco has offered up some debate fodder by identifying each team’s most pressing question heading into the season. For the Falcons, that question has nothing to do with personnel or any glaring weakness but rather whether or not offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian can get the offense rolling at peak levels in his second season with the team.

"You would think the way some talked that the Falcons' offense was horrid last season," Prisco writes. "It was far from that – ranking eighth in total offense and 15th in scoring -- but it wasn't the NFL's top-scoring offense like it was the year before under Kyle Shanahan. That's why Sarkisian took so much heat. But Matt Ryan likes Sarkisian and I think they will mesh in their second season. It took Ryan a year to mesh with Shanahan, so look for a jump forward in 2018 for the Atlanta offense."

Following the season, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn explained his belief that the offense did not execute to its capability. On a per-play basis, the Falcons were once again among the top offenses in the league, but an inability to hit explosive scoring plays combined with a league-leading number of drops led to several drives stalling out.

The Falcons return their main corps of offensive weapons once again this season, and they've added some new pieces in key areas, including rookie receiver Calvin Ridley and veteran offensive guard Brandon Fusco.

Here are more articles for Falcons fans:

BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL Brandon Marshall signs deal with Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks added an intriguing piece to their offense Tuesday by signing veteran receiver Brandon Marshall to a one-year deal, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.  

With the departure of tight end Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks could conceivably use a player of Marshall's size (6-foot-4, 229 pounds) in the red zone. In his 12-year career, Marshall has caught double-digit touchdowns four times.

It's unlikely Marshall reaches anywhere close to those numbers in this 13th season, and the 34-year-old is coming off a 2017 campaign in which he caught 18 passes for 154 yards and no scores as a member of the Giants.

Outside of Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, it remains to be seen who will step up at receiver for the Seahawks this season. Seattle must be hoping Marshall has at least one good year left in the tank.

Here are some more articles from around the league:


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