Voice of the Falcons Wes Durham Sizes Up Atlanta Ahead of the NFL Draft

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How are the Atlanta Falcons taking shape before the NFL Draft and new season?
We got the low down with the Voice of the Falcons, Wes Durham.

Atlanta rolled out new uniforms last week.
Got the A-T-L moniker blazed across the jersey.
Durham says that’s trending with the times.
Said Durham:”It has really kind of taken it’s own shape in the last few years certainly in the city. I think the team joined in certainly with the branding at the top of the jersey, and it looks like several NFL teams have gone to that in the last few years.”
Be nice if the Falcons were branded a winner again.
They’ve gone 7-9 in each of their last two seasons.
Said Durham:”I think the one thing that has happened in Atlanta more than anything else. They’ve had long term injuries, and they’ve occurred early in the year. You could go back to Keanu Neal. He has lost basically two full seasons. Got hurt on opening night in Philadelphia two years ago. Got hurt in week three in Indianapolis last year. I think what will be critical to this team moving forward is they’re going to have to start better. No matter what the schedule says when it comes out, this will be a team that a lot of people will be looking at the way they start the season.”
A healthy Todd Gurley might lead to a fast start.
Said Durham:”His production is unquestioned despite the injuries the last couple of years. I think if you manage his workload going through maybe the preseason and early part of the regular season, you get a pretty fresh Todd Gurley.”
As far as the draft goes, Durham expects the Falcons to go defense in the first round.
Said Durham:”If they stay at sixteen and don’t go defense, I will be surprised, but they’ve surprised me before.”
Reporter:”The NFC South has been a rugged division, and then here comes Tom Brady to Tampa. Wow!”
Said Durham:”Here comes four great quarterbacks is what the deal is. Brady. Drew Brees. Matt Ryan. Teddy Bridgewater. The last time we saw him, he guided New Orleans to an undefeated record. I think what you’re going to get from Atlanta is you’re going to get a really good division. You’re going to have to score a lot of points. The team that believe it or not that probably winds up playing more consistent on defense is going to have the best chance to win.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.