Hope Brings Experience, Chance to Push Other Safeties

Hope Brings Experience, Chance to Push Other Safeties

Jay Adams

Published July 2, 2012 at 9:43 AM

If there’s one area that has stolen the show during the offseason, it’s the defensive back positions. From Brent Grimes’ franchise tag to trading for Asante Samuel, the secondary has been addressed, from a personnel standpoint, more than any other area on the Falcons’ roster this offseason.

That’s especially true after the addition of veteran safety Chris Hope over the weekend, who will come in and likely provide some much needed depth at the safety position.

Much like when the Falcons added vet James Sanders — a Super Bowl champ himself with the Patriots early in his career — last year during the preseason, Hope will bring with him a wealth of experience from which the Falcons’ relatively young safeties will draw from.

A former Pro Bowler with Tennessee and Super Bowl winner with Pittsburgh in 2005, Hope is in a position to not only boost what the Falcons already have at safety but provide an experienced shoulder to lean on for William Moore and Thomas DeCoud, as well as rookie safety Charles Mitchell, who was drafted in April.

With 20 interceptions in his career, Hope is certainly no stranger to asserting himself at that position, which begs the question: Can he vie for a starting spot with all things being equal in training camp?

The current strong safety position is filled by Moore, who has had a stranglehold on the job since earning it in 2010 over then-starter Erik Coleman. Last year, Sanders came in and earned a starting nod in place of DeCoud early in the season, but DeCoud earned the spot back before the two platooned at the position.

While Hope’s role with the Falcons has yet to truly be determined, it’s important to remember the mantra that is repeated day-in and day-out during training camp: Competition breeds success.

And while Hope is in the second half of his career, a safety with his credentials certainly seems like he’d bring quite a bit of competition with him to camp — which is great for all the Falcons’ safeties.

What say you?

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