It's the off-season and we are waiting patiently for the fall. It's the perfect time to bring the guys together at the Grits Blitz roundtable so pull up a chair and listen to what we have to say and feel free to chime in with your answers as well. Last week we talked about position battles and earlier this week we talked about the games we are most looking forward to. Today, we talk about who we think will be the most improved players on the Falcons.
Dirk Koetter was highly influential in our answers
Joe: Harry Douglas. I have beat this drum all off-season; Harry Douglas simply needs the opportunity to shine. If Dirk Koetter is all we've heard he is in relation to his philosophy, Harry Douglas should have a breakout season. Douglas doesn't have far to go and his "improvement" will be more a result of the aforementioned opportunity. He is well beyond his 2009 knee surgery and should be as explosive as ever. Douglas will be lethal from the slot; he is merely waiting to be turned loose.
Matt: Julio Jones. The Falcons have been selling him as continuing to improve over his shocking rookie year, and I am buying. Jones has elite talent and took significant strides through his rookie year, but is clearly still developing. With a full offseason under his belt and experience from the 2011 season getting him up to NFL game speed, Julio is primed to become the most improved player.
Zach: I have no doubt in my mind that Corey Peters will be the most improved player on the Atlanta Falcons roster this year. Peters has made steady strides in his first two years in the league and he's due for a break out season after recording three sacks last year. Keep an eye on Peters because if he can stay healthy I fully expect him to do some big things in the middle of the defensive line this year.
Kevin: I really hope it's a defensive guy like Thomas DeCoud, Kroy Biermann or Akeem Dent but I'm going offense with my pick. Julio Jones and Harry Douglas have already been named and it's obvious that new OC Dirk Koetter is going to have a lot to say about how improves based on his play calling. I'm going with Jacquizz Rodgers. Koetter had a lot of success in Jacksonville with Maurice Jones-Drew and I think Rodgers can be utilized by Koetter in a lot of the same ways especially in receiving out of the backfield. Look for more snaps for Rodgers and for him to see the ball more as the season progresses.
Don't forget Dominique Franks. I think he'll have a good year and may find some starting time with inevitable injuries that always happen in the secondary.
@rickkhanna Good choice but like you kind of mentioned he's not going to see the field much unless their are injuries at his position. The Asante Samuel trade was fantastic but it will mean that some of the young guys won't be getting much action this season.