There are some obvious holes to fill on both sides of the ball for the Atlanta Falcons.
The glaring concern starts with the offensive line so, to beef it up, the Falcons added two interior offensive linemen, Danny Isidora and Bryan Witzman, along with one defensive lineman, Mike Pennel, to the practice squad, as reported by ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.
In corresponding moves, the Falcons released kicker Elliott Fry, receiver Juwan Green and tight end David Wells from the team.
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Why These Moves Makes Sense
It’s good to see the Falcons addressing their problems instead of ignoring them following an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Eagles.
Unlike starting rookie guard Jalen Mayfield, the two veteran offensive linemen come with experience.
Isidora, 6-foot-3 and 306 pounds, was originally selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round (180th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Since then, he has seen action in 25 games (six starts) for the Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.
Witzmann, 6-7, and 320 pounds has appeared in 40 games (20 starts) around the league with the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers since entering the NFL in 2014 out of South Dakota State as an undrafted free agent.
The Falcons’ defensive line also struggled against Philly so adding some extra depth there only makes sense.
Pennel, 6-4 and 332 pounds, who also went undrafted in 2014, has tallied 150 total tackles (85 solo), two sacks and two passes defensed in 91 career games for the Green Bay Packers, NY Jets and KC Chiefs in seven seasons. Just last fall, he finished with 29 total tackles (13 solo) in 14 games for the Chiefs.
Falcons Take on Reigning Super Bowl Champs
What we watched the Falcons do last week was nothing close to what head coach Arthur Smith had prompt us for. Atlanta posted just 260 yards in total offense, 136 yards passing, and 124 yards rushing. On third downs, they converted just 3-of-14. And starting quarterback Matt Ryan went 21-of-36 for 164 yards passing and no touchdowns. Running backs Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis combined for 103 rushing yards, while No. 4 overall pick tight end Kyle Pitts contributed only 31 yards on four receptions.
The Falcons defense didn’t do any better, giving up 434 yards to the Eagles.
Meanwhile, the Bucs barely came up with a win against a very good Dallas Cowboys team.
Brady went 32-of-50 passes for 378 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. But, he wasn’t sacked by the Cowboys’ defense, unlike Ryan, who went down three times. In total, the Bucs’ offense put up 431 yards.
It’s obvious one team has it together more than the other. The Falcons have nearly an entirely new team and an entire new coaching staff. Growing pains are a part of change but let’s hope they can put up more of a fight this weekend.