Scott Bair is on vacation. Tori picks up the mail bag and immediately addresses the elephant in the room. Tori McElhaney

Scott Bair is on vacation, and I for one am very happy. He needed a break so I hope he likes it. In the meantime, all editorial content goes through me for the next week. This includes the next few parts of Bair Mails.


How good can Kyle Pitts be in Year 2? Falcons sign veteran defensive tackle to one-year deal Bair Mail: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgaier, Calvin Ridley, Anthony Firkser and moreSearching for the Falcons rookie class: Drake London, Arnold Ebiketi, Troy Anderson; Desmond Reeder; DeAngelo Malone, Tyler Allgeier, Justin Shaffer, John Fitzpatrick

I wanted to start things off with a bang, and thankfully you all asked some really good questions to end this week. Mainly, we’re going to address the elephant in the room: Why the hell are the Falcons signing so many players to the Bears?!

Let’s figure it out.

James Pierce of Middle Georgia

Hey, first question, so thanks for the opportunity to answer what’s on my mind. I noticed a lot of signings from the Bears side. Am I the only one who thinks the bears haven’t been to the playoffs in years so I think players from a winning team can improve us more than the former bears. I know we’ve had personal bears since last year, but I just don’t see a difference-maker there.

James, welcome to the mailbag! Thank you for your statement.

To answer your question: No. Of course, you’re not the only one who thinks this. After signing with Eddie Goldman, that’s the only thing anyone thinks about. And I understand. I can see Ryan Pace’s jokes. I also find them funny. But in reality, the Falcons are unable to bring in players who can make an immediate difference. Right now, the Falcons can’t afford difference makers in the sense that we view them. They are looking for valuable finds. You’re looking for players who can help you cheaply bridge the gap from A to B. Strong emphasis on ‘cheap’. So as much as I think everyone would love to see a big name come to the Falcons, it’s not going to happen in the offseason because big names come with big salaries that the Falcons can’t afford at this point.

I’d also like to point out that the Falcons didn’t just sign former Bears players this offseason. They also collected many former Titans, all of whom are related to Arthur Smith. Think Marcus Mariota, Anthony Firkser and Rashaun Evans.

This is a trend we observed last year as well. I know people forget, but Dave Ragone and Charles London came from the Bears. So did Cordarrelle Patterson, Jonathan Bullard and James Waters midseason.

Sure, you’d like every one-year deal to produce Patterson’s results, but that’s the exception to the rule, not the rule. You’re looking for veteran role players, and often the coaches or front office already have an established comfort and rapport with the players they’ve coached before. They know they can get them here on a short-term, cheaper deal, which the Falcons can provide right now. None of the players we’re discussing here (former Bears players or otherwise) have signed contracts for more than two years. It’s temporary, and big names usually aren’t.

Let’s take the example further. Consider Dan Quinn, who is now the defensive coordinator in Dallas. Who did he sign in free agency last year? Keanu Neal and Damante Cazi have signed one-year contracts. Either way, it’s an unusual practice for teams to try to fill deep and veteran talent at certain positions.

Marks Turner of Covington, Georgia.

Please help me understand why they didn’t arrest or prosecute JC Tretter? A proven solid center will be a huge upgrade. No more two 2nd year players side by side. They could make the deal work if they really wanted to.

Of course they could. But will they want to lay out that kind of money when they already have Matt Hennessy and Drew Dahlman still on rookie deals? Cleveland took a cut from Tretter this year to get more than $8 million. Could the Falcons pull off a similar cap hit? Of course. But it turns them off when they try to dig deeper elsewhere. They only have $12 million in cap space at the moment, according to Spotrac.

Personally, I’m not ready to give up Hennessy or Dalman just yet. I think Hennessey gets criticized more than he should just because he fills the vacated role of Alex Mack. That’s hard to do when Mack has been one of the best centers over the past 13 seasons. As for Hennessy, yes, he needs to improve his pass blocking as a full-time starter, but his pass blocking in 2021 has looked pretty good, and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from him in that regard. As for Dahlman, he will get a chance to push Hennessy for the starting spot during training camp. What can he do with this opportunity? I want to see how things turn out with those two before I go and find someone like Tretter. But that’s just me!

Will Smith of Summerville, Georgia.

Hi Tori, welcome back. Which single player has impressed you the most this preseason and why? Thanks for the hard work and excellent information.

Hi Will! Thank you! Glad to be back and thanks for the kind words.

I’ll start by saying that it’s hard to get a good evaluation of players during minicamp because full pads aren’t on and they’re not running and tackling at full speed. So it’s really more of an assessment of guys’ mental makeup and getting feedback from the coaches on how far they’ve come. With that in mind, I think Desmond Reeder’s understanding of the scheme impressed me the most.

The fact that Arthur Smith paid him the compliment of being light years ahead of the young defenders from the neck up? Smith is not one to say that lightly. So that comment, combined with talking to Reeder about how confident he feels in the scheme, was probably the most notable information I took away from minicamp about a single player.

Submit your questions

I’m going to need a week of questions from you to fill all the email I’ll be writing while Scott is gone! Don’t let me down. Send them here.

Interested in Falcons tickets?

Join us for the biggest season yet in 2022! Find the best places to watch the 2022 draft picks and your Dirty Birds in action!

LEARN MORE Up Next Video Ranking Position Battles Before Falcons Training Camp Video Deion Jones, Desmond Reeder and Other Lingering Questions Before Camp | Falcons Final Whistle Podcast Video Best of Atlanta Falcons Mini Camp | Video Highlights Offseason program observations from Marcus Mariota, Desmond Reeder, Kyle Pitts and more Kyle Pitts video on second minicamp growth, competition with AJ Terrell and defense | Marcus Mariota press conference video on working with Arthur Smith, chemistry with receivers during minicamp | Press Conference Video of Casey Hayward on working with AJ Terrell, defense during minicamp | Press conference Videos Arthur Smith speaks before the last day of minicamp | Press Conference Video Desmond Reeder talks about working with Marcus Mariota and the first day of minicamp Video Drake London talks about his first minicamp and working with his new teammates Video Grady Jarrett talks about the first day of minicamp and adjusting to the heat Video Arthur Smith talks to the media before minicamp | Press Conference Video Best of Marcus Mariota from OTAs | Highlights of We’re Challenged Every Day | Marcus Mariota press conference Video AJ Terrell ‘leads by example’ during OTAs | press conference Videos “This year everyone wants to prove their point” | Kadri Ollison press conference Feleipe Franks video on OTAs, playing multiple positions | Press Conference Videos Best of Falcons 2022 OTAs | Arthur Smith highlights videos on progress through OTAs, minicamp prep | Press conference video AJ Terrell joins live episode at Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Falcons Final Whistle Podcast Videos Kyle Pitts on becoming a leader, chemistry with new teammates | Press Conference Video Sophomore Richie Grant and Falcons Open OTA Practice Video Lorenzo Carter Talks to Atlanta Media After Open OTA Practice Video Frank Darby Talks to Media After Open Practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Video Highlights from Open Practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Video Arthur Smith speaks to the media ahead of the open training session at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Video Full details | Red Helmet Returns Closer Look Video AJ Terrell First Reaction Red Helmet Returns Video Red Helmet Returns | Falcons re-introduce iconic helmet for comeback Video Falcons, Arthur M. Blank Foundation donates $100,000 to Sandy Hook Promise Health Alliance to end gun violence Video Grady Jarrett joins GMFB | Falcons expansion with new coach, GM means world Video Marcus Mariota calls QB room competition ‘great opportunity for us to get better as a group’ | Brian Edwards press conference video on reuniting with Marcus Mariota and working with wide receiver group | Press Conference Video by Grady Jarrett on OTAs, being in Atlanta and leading the offseason | Press Conference Video Arthur Smith Addresses Media Ahead of First Open OTA Practice Video Arthur Blank Discusses NFL Spring Meeting Talking Points in Atlanta Video Marcus Mariota, Desmond Reeder and what to expect from OTAs | Video of Falcons’ final whistle Roddy White on his admiration for this young team, explosive red zone options Video More likely to throw a pass in the NFL this year: Malik Willis or Desmond Reeder? “GMFB” video Highlights from rookie minicamp

Previous articleSir Mark Rowley appointed as new Chief Constable | United Kingdom | News
Next articleGeorge Acosta vs. Isaac Avelar wins on July 22nd in Ontario