very difficult team

#1 von jinshuiqian0713 , 19.09.2019 05:07

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons began a major overhaul Tuesday after a dismal season, signing three linemen at the start of free agency, re-signing defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, and cutting former Pro Bowl safety Thomas DeCoud. Needing to bulk up on both sides of the line, the Falcons agreed to terms with guard Jon Asamoah, defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Asamoah and Jackson played last season with Kansas City, where Asamoah lost his starting job. They were familiar to former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who was hired in January as Atlantas assistant GM. The 345-pound Soliai spent seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins, including two seasons under Mike Nolan, now the defensive co-ordinator of the Falcons. "They are good football players and solid in many ways," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a conference call. "They add to the toughness, the size and the grittiness of our team. That was a goal we had set out at the beginning of the off-season to accomplish." Terms of the new contracts were not released, but Soliai reportedly received a five-year deal worth $33 million, with $14 million guaranteed, while Jackson got a five-year deal worth up to $25 million. "Paul has played for coach Nolan in Miami and is familiar with our scheme, and Tyson is a good football player that will fit with what we want to do defensively as well," Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement. "Jon is a physical, experienced offensive lineman that will add a veteran presence to our offensive line." The Falcons made re-signing Babineaux a top priority, not wanting to take another hit up front before delving into free agency. A nine-year veteran, Babineaux had 49 tackles, two fumble recoveries, a sack and a forced fumble last season. Overall, he has played 138 career games for Atlanta, with 108 starts. "Remaining an Atlanta Falcon and in Atlanta as my home were the best decisions for me and my family," said Babineaux, who agreed to a three-year contract. DeCoud, a third-round pick of the Falcons in 2008, was a leader on the Falcons defence two years ago when the team came up one victory short of the Super Bowl. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection. But DeCouds production dropped significantly last season as quarterbacks lit up the secondary and the Falcons plummeted to 4-12 for their first losing season since 2007. He was the second starter released from that unit, following cornerback Asante Samuel. "The search for a safety that will help us in our quest to be a more established and consistent defence was at the forefront of this decision," Dimitroff said. In other moves, the Falcons re-signed centre Joe Hawley, who made seven starts in 2013 after Peter Konz lost the job, and offensive lineman Mike Johnson, who was expected to contend for a starting job a year ago but went down in training camp with a season-ending injury. In a procedural move, Atlanta formally released tight end Tony Gonzalez, who retired at the end of last season and has already taken a job as a television commentator. "This was a decision we had to make with the start of the new league year as we begin retooling our roster for 2014," Dimitroff said. "On behalf of the entire Falcons organization, we wish Tony all the best in his television career and thank him for everything he did for this franchise." Asamoah was a third-round pick in 2010 by the Chiefs. He fell out of favour with coach Andy Reid and was benched last season in favour of journeyman Geoff Schwartz. Still, the Falcons feel he can stabilize the right guard position, which has been a major issue for several years. Atlanta cut Garrett Reynolds, who made 10 starts at that position last season before he was replaced by Konz, who had flopped at centre. The line must do a better job protecting quarterback Matt Ryan, who was sacked 44 times, and opening up holes for a running game that ranked last in the league at just 77.9 yards per game. Jackson was the third overall pick in the 2009 draft out of LSU, but never had a breakout year with the Chiefs. He did have a career-high four sacks in 2013, so the Falcons hope hes ready to make a more prominent impact. Atlanta is desperate to get more outside pressure on opposing quarterbacks after notching just 32 sacks last season; only two teams had fewer. Soliai played in 99 games with the Dolphins, including 62 starts. Last season, he had 34 tackles with one sack, one forced fumble and five passes defenced. He played under Nolan in 2010 and 2011, earning his first career Pro Bowl selection in the latter season. With big holes remaining in the secondary and at tight end, plus the draft coming up, Dimitroff said there is plenty of work left to do. "We will continue to add in every direction to fix this team," he said. Vlade Divac Jersey . As the schedule flipped from November to December, they would go on to drop five straight, falling six games below the .500 mark before a franchise-altering trade turned them into an unrecognizable team. Michael Cooper Lakers Jersey . The top-ranked Djokovic also beat Gael Monfils and then routed Roger Federer en route to his first Abu Dhabi title. "Its always great to win a title. This is the best way to start the 2012 season," Djokovic said. http://www.lakersteamofficial.com/Dennis...-Lakers-Jersey/. -- The San Francisco 49ers have re-signed cornerback Perrish Cox to a one-year contract. Byron Scott Lakers Jersey . If Vettel wins at Suzuka on Sunday, and his nearest rival Fernando Alonso finishes worse than eighth, the German driver will join his compatriot Michael Schumacher and Argentine Juan-Manuel Fangio as the only men to win four consecutive titles. Robert Horry Lakers Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (4) – He had a strong game Sunday; was very good in tight with big saves on Crosby, Malkin and Neal in-crease.FIVE QUICK NBA THOUGHTS: 1. THE THUNDER & PACERS BENCHES: In a nutshell, not impressive at all. These teams will continue to come up short if they dont add depth and scoring punch to their second units. You spend a fortune on your starters in the league, yet your scouting, evaluation and development of spots numbers 6-15 are vital. You must find those gems that help get you over the hump. 2. HEAT & SPURS: The common thread when I watch both of these squads is team and they truly value the importance of the pass. The best two teams are where they belong in the NBA Finals. Lots of good things happen when you share. 3. BORIS DIAW (Spurs): Hes always been a wonderful talent, but conditioning has been an issue over the years. Hes in much better shape now and, boy, did he ever showcase his vast skill set in Game 6 against the Thunder. His game fits the Spurs system and it fits him for a perfect match. He might be slow and methodical, but hes really effective. 4. CHRIS BOSH (Heat): He really picked his game back up late in the series against the Pacers. He will be a crucial guy for Miami in the Finals. His perimeter versatility and reboundiing will be huge for the Heat.dddddddddddd Sometimes hes comfortable being that complimentary piece, but he cant do that here. He must exert his will and talents on the series. When hes really right, the Heat are a very difficult team to match up against. 5. COACHING VACANCIES: The Lakers, Knicks, Timberwolves, Cavs and Jazz all still have openings. Rumours fly all over the place and many are planted by agents to boost the profile of the candidates. The big decision for the GM is to make sure they get a coach who can develop young talent, adapt to the talent at his disposal and work on the same page with the front office. Are they out there? Oh, yeah. You just have to select the right fit for your franchise. Its not about "winning the press conference," its about tuning out the noise. For example, Jeff Hornacek and Steve Clifford worked out just fine this past season. There are lots of very good coaches out there. Take your time and do it right. These guys really define the direction you take. With the wrong hire, it can really set you back. Know what you need and dont play the "name game." ' ' '

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