QTNA Heading Into The Falcons Season

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Matt Ryan (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM).

There are just some things we’re eager to know.

Training camp is just a month away, which means we’re even closer to the season starting. Of course, there are things that some people want to know heading into the season. What are some questions that need answers?

Will Duke Riley Have A 2nd Year Leap?

Many people were excited when the Falcons drafted Duke Riley. He seemed to be another gem that Dan Quinn found in the draft and fit the Falcons motto of “fast and physical”. The expectations were set for Riley, as people thought he would come in and make an immediate impact next to Deion Joines and DeVondre Campbell. That didn’t work out well at first as Duke struggled in coverage at times and couldn’t set the edge on run plays. Later in the season he was playing mostly special teams and played a sprinkle of wrinkles on defense. Riley has been working hard this offseason so his 2nd year might be special.

Will Devonta Freeman Get Back To His 2016 Form?

Devonta Freeman had some unlucky injuries happen to him this season. He had 2 concussions, and at the end of the season he came out and said he had a sprained PCL and MCL. You couldn’t actually tell that he has those injuries the way he was playing. His running style may be the reason he suffered those injuries. Devonta Freeman is the type of player that gives it his all every possession no matter what. The shifty running back should come back to full health the upcoming season and put up big numbers.

What Will Be Rookie Isaiah Oliver’s Role On The Team?

Isaiah Oliver is talent cornerback the Falcons selected in the 2nd round, but nobody knows his role on the team. Going into training camp, he may challenge Brian Poole for the nickel position. They also might decide to move Robert Alford in the slot and put Oliver on the outside. The worst-case scenario for Oliver is if he just plays on special teams at the beginning and gets an opportunity late in the season. For a second round pick, we should expect him to have a major role on the team sometime in the season.

Will Sark Improve His 2nd Season?

Steve Sarkisian had some rough patches in his first year as the offensive coordinator. Things did not go as well as they did in 2016 when the Falcons were putting up 30 points a game. In 2017 they shaved off about 10 points from that average. When you have the playmakers the Falcons had, it was strange to see such a decline. It was definitely a process for Sark, as you saw he improved as the season went along. His best game was probably against the Rams, and that was the second to the last game. Sark should build off his struggles, and the Falcons can go back to being the scary offense that they were before.

Will Julio Get What He Wants?

Some reports say that Julio and the Falcons are uneasy with each other. The organization itself has said that everything is fine and the expect to see him at training camp next month. Julio Jones contract is basically old and is looking for some more money in the incoming years. Tne Falcons just paid Matt Ryan, and don’t have much money to spend. They also have to think about paying their young defense next season so things may not be looking good on Julio’s side. He is a freak of nature and puts up big numbers, so he deserves anything he wants. But when you don’t have the type of cap flexibility, things get hard.

Is It SuperBowl Or Bust?

Could you really say this is Superbowl or bust for the Falcons? This may be the most complete team they’ve had in years, so it’s possible. The offense is still led by Matt Ryan and the defense gets better every year. When you add the depth that the team has as well, they look like a dangerous team. Of course, teams like the Rams and Eagles will be a challenge to beat, but the Falcons have the tools to go up against anybody. Also, remember that the SuperBowl is here in Atlanta, which may bring in some extra motivation for the team.

Malik Brown | @_MalikATL

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If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil Veasley (@_ATLPhil) on Twitter or IG. Or send a sample article to atlsportshq@gmail.com.

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