Fan Mailbag: Oct. 12

Fan Mailbag: Oct. 12

Jay Adams

Published October 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Feel free to call him “Hops” McClain.

This is how this works. I solicit questions from fans on Twitter, then I bring some of the good ones over here and answer them. Easy!

For your reading pleasure, I present this week’s Fan Mailbag questions. To submit, follow me on Twitter.

Question: @kinglouie9: where did we find Robert McClain? What took him so long to finally get playing time? Our scouts find huge diamond in the roughs!

Answer: So true. McClain was signed in January, not long after the Falcons’ playoff loss to the Giants. Sorry to bring that up, but perhaps that’s the reason the signing was missed by most Falcons fans. McClain has been climbing the ladder quickly, going from a guy who looked to be just a number to fill the camp roster to competing for a 53-man roster spot, from being inactive the first week of the season to taking over the nickel position. His progression has been impressive. With Chris Owens back in the mix, McClain will likely see less time on defense, but the snaps he is in, he’s performing his job, and then some. Remember, at the end of camp, the decision on the coaching staff was between McClain and Dominique Franks. Franks ended up cut and then re-signed the following week, so McClain is a guy the coaches like. Could have a nice future here if he continues to progress.

Question: @Eddie_cook40: Are the Falcons thinking about starting someone else at MLB since thats a important position on the field stoping the run?

Answer: The Falcons’ run defense is a hot topic right now because, on a team with so many strengths, it seems to be the area of most difficulty. The issue, however, is not with the personnel at middle linebacker. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is a big proponent of nickel defense, and when that nickelback is on the field, the middle linebacker is on the sideline. The Falcons will run most of the game out of the nickel, so without the MLB, the Falcons are trying to figure out how to fit the run better. That’s what head coach Mike Smith has been stressing. It may take some time, but Nolan and the defense will get it figured out.

Question: @NickElliott65: Right now in the NFC, four teams are 4-1. ATL is slated to play only 1 of those four. With our remaining schedule, what are the chances ATL has the coveted perfect season?!?

Answer: I think it’s way, way, WAY too soon to even think about something like that. This is a team that’s focused on the next game, and that’s it. I think the 1972 Dolphins don’t have anything to get worried about right now. Of course, the goal is to win every single game, but until the Falcons are 15-0, there’s no reason to think about a perfect season.

Question: @HangNwitCoop: Looking at the schedule, with the Eagles, Cowboys, Saints, and Cardinals coming up, how important is it going into the bye with a victory?

Answer: Super important! Two weeks is a long time to fester on a loss, especially if it’s the first loss of the season. The Falcons, as you pointed out, have a bear of a schedule coming up after the bye, so any confidence they can take into that time off will be important. Under Smith, the Falcons are 3-1 the week before the bye week. They’re also 3-1 the week after the bye, so obviously, a win before doesn’t always equate to a win after, but I think making sure you don’t have the bad taste of a loss in your mouth for two weeks goes a long way toward preparing a team for what lies after the break.

Question: @bensharenko: Is the secret behind Matt’s success his black undershirt? (Hint: the answer is yes)

Answer: Yes.

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