5 Most Important Backups on Atlanta Falcons Roster in 2012
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Atlanta has some extremely important backups that would be detrimental to lose. They can play multiple spots and have the ability to help not just at their position but also on special teams.
The best way to a championship is depth, and the Falcons are starting to build one of the deeper rosters in the NFL. By having multiple players who can provide versatile weapons for the coordinators to play with, the Falcons will enjoy better success.
Atlanta has been developing quite a talented roster over the past four years under Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff. However, the following players will be the most important backups for the Falcons in 2012.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
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Jacquizz Rodgers is the primary change-of-pace running back. He will be coming in primarily on third downs and gives the Falcons a speed element out of the screen. While he isn't as fast as similar backs around the league, he is much shiftier and will benefit from the new offensive coordinator.
He also finally has an offseason worth of activities that he didn't get to do his rookie year. Things like minicamp and offseason training activities will be very beneficial to his development this season. Expect the diminutive back to have a not-so-diminutive stat sheet in 2012.
WR Harry Douglas
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Harry Douglas is one of the best slot receivers in the league. He is also one of the most underrated. His value is more than just as a receiver though. He can run end-arounds, block for screens and even contribute on special teams as both a gunner and returner.
Douglas is one of those jack of all trades types that will do anything he can to help the team. It's part of why the Falcons gave him a four year deal this offseason to keep him in town. Expect him to have a career year statistically because of an expanded role in the scheme.
DE Kroy Biermann
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Kroy Biermann is an interesting player. He is a guy who can do everything well. He can drop into coverage, get after the passer and set the edge. He's also someone who can slide back to linebacker when Mike Nolan switches the defense into its 3-4 alignments.
Expect the Falcons to have their defensive line go after the passer much more in 2012. Biermann will be one of the players who will break out for the Falcons in the new scheme. Biermann is also a top special teams ace and his versatility makes him a top backup.
LB Lofa Tatupu
Lofa Tatupu should lose in training camp to Akeem Dent. The Falcons are lucky though because they don't have to cut whoever loses the starting job. Tatupu is signed to a very cap-friendly contract and he will be able to benefit from keeping his roster spot for the next two years.
Tatupu will be used as both a middle and strong-side linebacker backup on game day. His versatility and talent will be a complete asset for the Falcons and their weak linebacking corps behind the starters of Weatherspoon, Dent and Nicholas.
CB Dunta Robinson
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Robinson is a great fit for the nickel role. It was something he has been clamoring to do for the past two years as a reserve. With the addition of Asante Samuel, the Falcons will be moving him back to the nickel role and his physicality will be a good fit for the new scheme.
Mike Nolan will also have Robinson do things in the new scheme that Brian Van Gorder never had him do. Nolan will have Robinson blitz, cover in press man and even play some third safety in big nickel packages.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.