While the 49ers schedule dates are not set, we do know their opponents. Today we take a look at the Atlanta Falcons this offseason.
We ran into this team in one of the best playoff games this season. I think we all read enough leading up to that game about the team: what its strengths were; its weaknesses; what player X ate on Tuesday morning in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Twelve. There's little to no need, on this blog at least, to rehash that.
Instead, let's do pretty much only preview. Their season has been exhaustively reviewed.
Yeah, exactly. That's a lot of talent. As such, CB may be an area of need. Brent Grimes is an FA. Dunta Robinson his still on contract, but there needs to be more depth to compliment that. Figuring out what to do with William Moore at safety will also help. At 28, he's probably a guy they want to keep around. Franchise tag anybody?
Another area of need on the defensive side of the ball is at DE. First off, the Falcons didn't have a great pass rush. John Abraham is currently 34. In addition, Ray Edwards was axed during the season. I expect the Falcons to take a serious look at this position in the offseason.
The Flacons have less to worry about on offense. Obviously the Tony Gonzalez question is a big one. Will he retire (yes, I think)? And if he does, what do the Falcons do in response? He is obviously a hard player to replace - even with his age, he was producing at elite levels.
I imagine the Falcons will also look to Running Back this offseason. Michael Turner is slowing down, and RB depth is never a bad thing in this league.
By and large, though, that offense should stay explosive. Most of the work will probably be on the defensive side of the ball.