What Richard Seymour Would Bring to the Atlanta Falcons

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What Richard Seymour Would Bring to the Atlanta Falcons
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If the Atlanta Falcons sign him before training camp, defensive tackle Richard Seymour will bring leadership and a plethora of playoff experience to an already established roster of stars.

His presence along the defensive line will allow defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to run a more multiple front in his defense. And his size will be something the Falcons haven't had since Grady Jackson was on the roster back in 2008.

The Falcons will be hoping that Seymour isn't like their last big free-agent signing on the defensive line in defensive end Ray Edwards. He was cut last year for his inability to produce. The Falcons actually got better production from their defensive line after they cut him both against the pass and the run in 2012.

They will need the reverse effect to happen with Richard Seymour. Departed are John Abraham, Vance Walker and Lawrence Sidbury from the defensive line. Added already have been Stansly Maponga, Osi Umenyiora and Malliciah Goodman.

The edge of the pass rush already looks like it's going to be much better than it was in 2012. There's more speed, power and size on the outside than there was in 2012. There's also going to be much more multiplicity in an already variable defense.

The issue lies on the inside pass rush. Last season, Jonathan Babineaux was excellent early in the season, getting five sacks, one hit and 11 hurries in the first nine games of the year. However, it fell to just one sack, three hits and nine hurries over the last seven games and the two playoff games.

The falloff could be attributed to the loss of Ray Edwards and Babineaux needing to play more defensive end in base packages. However, the Falcons have addressed that. They still need someone to rotate in with Babineaux and Corey Peters on the inside of the line.

Peria Jerry has proven to be a pure bust and Travian Robertson was a seventh-round pick in 2012 who could be a long-term solution but is still developing. So the Falcons bringing in Seymour will be helpful because he can be a big player who still has some quickness and pass rush ability inside.

The Falcons would love to have his massive 6'6", 315-pound frame on their interior in obvious run situations. They would love to have his pass-rushing experience to help guide the younger players with Babineaux. And most of all, they would love to have his ability to play inside or outside in a 1-gap 3-4 defense.

Nolan's multiple defensive fronts make it easier for a guy like Seymour to assimilate. Peters can play the 1-technique in these packages now and with Seymour having experience as a 5-technique defensive end, the Falcons could run an unbalanced hybrid for quite a few plays. 

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The defensive line on this hybrid would be a weak-side 3-technique, a strong-side 1-technique and a strong-side 5-technique. The versatility that this brings will be more than helpful for the team. 

Even more than versatility, the Falcons need someone to help make sure the defense doesn't allow a ton of points in a second half. The defense wasn't used to being up by so much and played ridiculously conservatively in the second half of both the divisional matchup and the conference title game.

When you score 24 and 30 points against two of the best defenses in the NFL, there's no reason for the team to lose. However, they still wound up losing in the conference title game, when a lack of experience showed through.

As horrible as it sounds, the team needs someone to help them act like they have been there before. Mainly because they have, but also mainly because he has. And Richard Seymour is the ideal person for that role. 

While he does get lauded for being somewhat of a trouble-maker, a lot of that is just his willingness to win. There's a reason why he was a captain for both the New England Patriots' and the Oakland Raiders' defenses when he was with each team.

His leadership and guidance wouldn't hurt on an already talented defensive line. One that knows it has to sustain some sort of pass rush...so that they can all get there again.

 

All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.

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