FLOWERY BRANCH — In the Super Bowl aftermath and coaching changes, the Atlanta Falcons are evaluating the free agency market and the draft class to see how the talent stacks up.
The defense has to improve internally and could add some more pieces through the draft. Also, on offense the Falcons need to look at the guard and center positions. Center Alex Mack (31), guard Andy Levitre (turns 31 in May) and Chris Chester (34) is slated to be an unrestricted free agent.
Here are five things to know about the Falcons, the defending NFC Champions, on Friday:
1. QUINN GETS HALL PASS. Falcons coach Dan Quinn has to catch up on the scouting side of things, so we'll give him a hall pass for not explaining the recent coaching moves to the fans. Hopefully, we don't have to want until later this month at the combine to discuss the Richard Smith and Bryan Cox decisions.
2. SARK MEETS THE PRESS: New Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian met with the Atlanta media via conference call on Thursday shortly after having lunch with Matt Ryan. CLICK HERE for what he had to say.
3. SHANAHAN DISCUSSES LOSS, VIDEO-GAME PLAY CALLING: Kyle Shanahan discussed t he Super Bowl loss after being named San Francisco's new head coach. The fact of the matter is that his video-game style play calling led to the Falcons blowing five fourth quarter leads this season. The best news out of the Sarkisian press conference was that he haS run some counter-power and that could have been used to run out the clock in Seattle, helped in overtime vs. San Diego (blown 17-point lead), against Kansas City and in the Super Bowl. Against Philadelphia, after taking a 15-13 lead, the offense stalled on there consecutive drives.
4. DRAFT POSITION: The Falcons, with no obvious holes on the roster according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff, are in position to draft the best available player (BPA) with the 31st overall pick in the draft.
5. CONSPIRACY THEORISTS: Some fans were not sure that final touchdown was legitimate. NFL supervisor of officials Dean Blandino released a video yesterday.
RECENT ATLANTA FALCONS NEWS
SUPER BOWL LI: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 -- OVERTIME
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: FALCONS 44, PACKERS 21
NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND: FALCONS 36, SEAHAWKS 20