Falcons HC Arthur Smith Has Message for Saints’ DE Cam Jordan

Falcons

Getty Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan #94 sacks former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan #2.

The Atlanta Falcons kick off Week 1 with a matchup against long-time rival New Orleans Saints at home.

It should be an exciting time for the organization and fans who will finally get to see their new quarterback Marcus Mariota, along with some fresh pass-catchers, take the field for a game that counts.

But there’s just one problem and that is Saints’ monster defensive end Cam Jordan.

The seven-time Pro Bowler has had his way with Atlanta for quite some time and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon after being chosen for the past five Pro Bowls.

Not to mention that at 33 years old and entering his 11th season, he’s fresh off a season in which he logged 12.5 sacks to add to his career tally of 107 sacks.

And through the 22 games vs. Atlanta during his career, Jordan has racked up 23 sacks, 25 tackles for losses, 40 quarterback hits and eight pass breakups.

In fact, Falcons’ head coach Arthur Smith was hoping he would have thrown in the towel by now to pursue broadcasting.

“Cam Jordan, I was kind of hoping he was going to join you guys in the media,” Smith said earlier this week. “Maybe he needs to get a new talent agent that would’ve helped him get more money.

“In all seriousness, I predict that he’ll be on the network one of these days. Cam, if you’re listening, I could’ve gotten you more money, and you wouldn’t have to take on double-teams or chips that may be thrown at you on Sunday. But I’m ready for him to join you guys.”


 Cam Jordan Is Worried About Facing Atlanta

While the Falcons are worried about facing Cam Jordan, Cam is just as worried to face Atlanta.

Unlike New Orleans, the Falcons have done a nearly complete roster overhaul. Because of this, the Saints are prepping for the unknown.

“We’ve got somewhat zero film to work off of to prepare for what could be a lethal offense,” he said via Sports Illustrated.

“You’ve got Cordarrelle Patterson … Throw in Kyle Pitts, who’s in my mind is going to be one of the top talked about wide receivers in the game. … With Marcus Mariota, now we’ve got to go back and watch some film (of the QB in his previous stops). We’ve got to break down who he is because he’s not a traditional pocket passer like Matt (Ryan) was.

“This is going to change up their game a lot.”


Kaleb McGary Will Have His Work Cut Out for Him

Falcons’ offensive tackle Kaleb McGary has a lot to prove this season if he wants a future with the franchise that drafted him.

Atlanta decided not to exercise McGary’s fifth-year option in 2022, which means he will become a free agent at the end of the season and all eyes will be on him this fall, beginning this week.

Falcons’ beat reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution already has McGary on the hot seat heading into Week 1.

The good news is that McGary seems to know he’s on the hot seat and has made some drastic improvements this offseason that have not gone overlooked.

“I’m proud of Kaleb,” Falcons’ head coach Arthur Smith told reporters on Saturday, August 20 (via the team’s official website). He’s come a long way… I think he’s playing really good football right now.”

Smith isn’t the only coach who is high on McGary’s growth.

Falcons’ offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford echoed what Smith had to say.

“I know this is only my second camp with him, but it’s the best camp I know I’ve seen from him,” Ledford said. “I know other people have said that as well.”

The Falcons initially drafted McGary in the first round, 31st overall, in the 2019 NFL Draft. In the last two years, he has made 29 starts, but his overall production has decreased, giving the Falcons a reason to decline his fifth-year option.

In 2020, he finished with an overall PFF grade of 64.3 and allowed four sacks. His PFF grade fell to 62.8 in 2021, allowing nine of 40 sacks on quarterback Matt Ryan.

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