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Straight from the 'Beek

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Questions about Matt Ryan, backup quarterback, NFL Draft, possible moves before the trade deadline


Welcome to Straight from the 'Beek! The Falcons are back from their bye week and preparing for a road game against the Redskins this week – and in the meantime, you've got plenty of questions. Just remember that all opinions here are mine unless otherwise noted.

And away we go.

Cameron from Gilbert, AZ
Hey, Beek. There isn't really a question, but I just read the SFTB from the 26th and all I can say is what the hell? What does that guy have against Matt Ryan? He has MVP numbers and if we had Marcus Mariota or Baker Mayfield or even Aaron Rodgers do you think we could have more wins? With how the O-line had been playing, I say no. Matt has been playing lights out and we can't put most of these losses on him. Matt Ryan is elite again now that he is comfortable with Sark. It takes time to get comfortable with the OC but all these "diehard fans" don't get that. The defense also looks better. Lots of yards but minimal points. The Giants came back with a touchdown with 5 seconds left. The game wasn't close. I'm tired of all these "diehards" doubting. If I lived in Atlanta I would be at every game. Every Sunday I watch with my torn jersey and cheer my team on. Trust the staff. Trust Matt Ryan and trust when you support your team. Amazing happens. That's all, Beek. Thanks!

Matt: Hey, Cameron. Ha, yes, I remember the question now – it was Chris from Helena, Ga. – who said Matt Ryan is "getting a pass," etc. You can read it here, if you missed it. I think most people understand that the Falcons' problems this season do not stem from Ryan or the passing game. All that matters right now is improving week to week, staying healthy and, of course, winning. I believe the Falcons are still in that must-win territory and next up is Washington. I've said it repeatedly and I'll say it again: I believe the Falcons need to go into New Orleans with a 6-4 mark. That would mean taking care of the Redskins, Browns and Cowboys – all winnable games, too. If the Falcons can accomplish that, which would be amazing considering this team was once sitting at 1-4, they'd have a chance at being 7-4 and 3-1 in the South heading into Week 12. Chew on that. But … they must beat the Redskins first.                                                                                               

Adam from North Wales, United Kingdom
Hi, Beek. First timer from North Wales, UK. Love reading your honest answers to many overreacting fans. I know it's a bit early to be thinking about next year's draft but depending on what's available, what are your thoughts on drafting a running quarterback to give us more options on short-yardage situations? Lots of other teams seem to be utilizing this option very well. Keep the faith. #riseup

Matt: Hey there, Adam. When I read your question, a couple of teams immediately came to mind – the Ravens with Lamar Jackson and the Saints with Taysom Hill. They're fun to watch, for sure, but there's a not a bunch of guys out there with their skill sets. If you have one of those guys, that's one thing. But the Falcons have Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith – all very capable runners. They also have a package for Mohamed Sanu behind center, don't forget. As far as your question goes and whether or not they'd target a quarterback with one of their picks in 2019, good question. Backup Matt Schaub, who is 37, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. So, there's a very good chance they could have a different backup next season. While I don't see any Lamar Jacksons in this 2019 class, there are some athletic quarterbacks (see Oregon’s Justin Herbert). The Falcons will likely address a number of other positions higher up in the draft before quarterback. As far as who they'd pick in the mid- to lower-rounds (and who would be available), I have no idea sitting here in October. Ask me again come February or March, Adam. Thanks for writing in!

Eddie from Albany, GA
When are we going to address the bigger elephant in the room? Yes, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have done a great job, but in order to make our team better we need a decent running back, 225 pounds or better. ALL of the elite teams in the league have one. That moves the chains, keeps the suspect defense on the sideline and keeps the clock moving. Will we target one this year or get one in the draft?

Matt: I love the draft questions but, boy, we have yet to hit the midway point of the season. There's so much football still to be played – and I think this team will continue to evolve as we head into November and December. I also think it's going to be interesting to see how the Falcons handle the running back situation with Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith at season's end, too. It's clear that they need all three of those backs, especially with the beatings those guys take (it's the nature of the position). I will not be surprised if the Falcons opt to draft another running back in April, either. So, yes, I'm saying it's possible that only two of those three players are back in 2019. But let's be clear on the draft talk: So much of the draft depends on what happens in free agency, where a team picks, what the position of needs are and who is available when you're on the clock. How that plays out pertaining to the running back position is all speculation right now. I do agree with you, Eddie, in that teams must be able to run the ball and gain those tough yards when needed. I also know that the best running backs in the world will struggle to go anywhere without any push or solid blocking up front.

Bobby from Leesburg, GA
I enjoy reading your section of the Falcons website very much and hope to continue to read all you have to offer. I have been an Atlanta Falcons since the 1960's and will continue to be. My question is about our corners on defense. Robert Alford just seems to get beat a lot on defense and our other corner in last game could not tackle. Every time he had a chance to hit someone he used his shoulder like he was blocking instead of wrapping his man up with his arms. Could you put some input on this so I can rest at ease? Will be a Falcons fan win or lose. Love my Falcons.

Matt: Hi, Bobby. Well I certainly can't make any guarantees, but I can tell you that Falcons coach Dan Quinn has acknowledged and addressed the team's tackling issues. And if makes you feel any better, it was quite apparent that Quinn wasn't happy about it.  Sometimes it's a communication breakdown (expecting help), sometimes it's a matter of taking a bad angle or sometimes it's simply bad technique. With different guys playing a lot of reps and some taking on new roles due to the rash of injuries, it's some of the mistakes are understandable. What matters moving forward is that they are addressed and the team improves. They've won back to back games and are slowly digging themselves out of a hole, courtesy of that three-game skid. Plus they'll be getting Deion Jones back soon – and that'll be huge. So, stay positive – and hopefully that puts you at ease some.

John from Vermillion, SD
First off, I want to say how proud I am of the Falcons coming off a nice win against the Giants!!! Now I have noticed a lil' Brian Hill chatter in SFTB lately and thought I'd put in my two cents. Well I'm really piggybacking off an ESPN writer, but I've thought this for a while. At 219 pounds and a big back why not beef up and compete for the starting fullback position next season?? He would certainly be a dynamic player with versatility if he could beef up to 230 and handle more importantly the blocking. What do you think, Beek? He is certainly buried pretty deep in the running back rotation.

Matt: It's certainly an interesting thought, John. Would Brian Hill make a better fullback than Ricky Ortiz? Is he really a better blocker than Ortiz? I'm not so sure. Plus, would Hill want to give up playing tailback and make the change? Personally, I would just like to see some kind of production out of Hill. And the way this season is going – unpredictable with injuries – he needs to be prepared to step in at a moment's notice. Let's see how this season shakes out first. But the Falcons obviously like Hill and see something in him – they drafted him and brought him back. I'm just not convinced his future is at fullback. Not yet, anyway.

Cailin from Atlanta, GA
Hey this is Cailin. What do you think about a trade for perhaps a guy like Deone Bucannon from the Arizona Cardinals? Dan Quinn will have him playing an Important role in our secondary, I believe we can get him.

Matt: Hey, Cailin. Do you have some inside information you'd like to share, since you believe the Falcons get him? Remember, in order to trade for a player, a team needs a willing trade partner. Are the Cardinals willing to deal linebacker Deone Bucannon, a former first-round pick? I have no idea. There have been rumors that he might be moved, but they're just rumors. And if the Falcons did make such a move before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, they'd have to make a corresponding roster move (someone would be moved) and there are also salary cap ramifications. Can the Falcons afford to absorb a big contract or any contract of a player they might like? There's a lot to consider, Cailin. If you're asking me, I just don't see the Falcons making such a move.

Vick from Moultrie, GA
Hey, Beek. Love reading the post and just chiming in with my two cents. I just think we don't make enough of the right moves in order to be a contender. For example, our offensive and defensive lines desperately needed to be addressed with "upper echelon" or blue-chip players – sure, I can say it's not so well NOW but I get tired of yelling during draft day about a bonehead pick we made (i.e., Beasley, Matthews) or a missed pick. Can't wait till these guys become consistent producers? My question or pitch through you is … well, here it goes. Can we go after HaHa Clinton-Dix if he's available for a trade and what will it take? I've been screaming for a free safety and better defensive players for years. Do our best to manipulate the draft and pick quality players. I should have this job REALLY here's to wishing? Since losing the Super Bowl I've tried to have some belief in pro football and have lost a lot of faith in the program. Sincerely, a discouraged lifelong fan.

Matt: Hey, Vick. I know a lot of you are hoping that the Falcons make a blockbuster trade ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, but I just don't see it happening. Check out my response above. Thanks for writing in.

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