Nick Hartman's Atlanta Falcons Fan Profile

Brief description

To undersand and misexplain

Who am I?

I'm an aspiring sports writer in a competitive world. I am finishing a degree in philosophy, but sports is my first love. I would appreciate any feedback anybody can offer in terms of how my writing comes across or content issues. Please leave comments and/or Contact me at or


Books, Football, Philosophy, Philosophy of football

Main Skills

critical thinking, leadership, writing

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Nick Hartman's Weblog Posts

Colt Brennan: Possibly not just a product of the spread offense? posted on 08/04/2008

     I'm making a list.  The list contains the name of all the sixth round rookie quarterbacks who could have played at Colt Brennan's level from the Sunday night Hall of Fame game in their NFL debut.  It's not long.  Tom Brady comes to mind....after that, I don't know.  It's not just that Brennan threw two touchdowns and completed all of his passes.  It's that he did it in style.

     Nearly every one of Brennan's completions relied, first, on an adept read of the defense, and second, on his incredible touch.  I don't know how many times I saw one of Brennan's throws sail perfectly just over the linebacker to drop over the shoulder of the receiver.  Or hit the receiver in a tiny available space in traffic that he could have thrown a completion.  Or--god help me--even creating on a broken play by scrambling out of the pocket to find a passing lane to throw his second touchdown.  All of these moves required deep understanding of the placing of the defense, receivers, and even blocking lanes.  He made plays that I think other rookies in the NFL will struggle to live up to throughout preseason--even if they

Continue reading "Colt Brennan: Possibly not just a product of the spread offense?"

Training Camp Checkup: A team with two starting quarterbacks is a team with no starting quarterbacks posted on 08/04/2008

     Friday Night Lights has come and gone, but the picture at quarterback has only gotten murkier.  Every quarterback made his mark--be it positively or negatively.  In his two series with the first team, Chris Redman, who is commonly projected to start the season at the top of the depth chart threw exactly one completion--to linebacker Michael Boley.  Matt Ryan's first series went three-and-out and included an unspectacular intentional grounding penalty when Boley (again) came through the line and applied pressure.  Ryan rebounded in the first series of the second half, finding Roddy White for a 60-yard TD pass.

     While this last play gave fans some hope for the future, Ryan did not demonstrate clearly the kind of consistency in decision-making that one looks for in a franchise-caliber, or even a starting-caliber quarterback.  The best thing one can say about him is that he's learning.  meanwhile, Joey Harrington had the strongest game of them all, going 5 of 8.  But while Harrington showed consistency at the scrimmage, we've all seen what happens when he gets on the field on Sunday.  In other words, the Falcons quarterback situation--even with quarterback of the future, Matt Ryan--is sketchy at best going into the regular season.  I'm not saying that no one will distinguish himself during preseason, but having a bona fide team leader in training camp is important in developing a quarterback.  Whoever takes the field against Detroit in week one will not have had a full camp to work with his receivers.  While there is hope for the future, this season has a lot of questions on offense.

Continue reading "Training Camp Checkup: A team with two starting quarterbacks is a team with no starting quarterbacks"

Training camp Checkup: Kindral who? posted on 07/29/2008

     At the beginning of the free agency period, the Falcons signed DTs Tim Anderson and Kindral Moorehead.  I have to admit, I thought Moorehead would make the bigger impact in the rotation, but if the first couple of days of camp are any indication, that is far from the case.  In interviews after each of the first two days of training camp, head Coach Mike Smith forgot about Kindral Moorehead.  In the first interview, Moorehead's name was omitted entirely from the list of interior defensive line personnel, and after day two, the list went on "Justin Babineaux, Montavius Stanley, Tim Anderson and...(long pause for thought) Moorehead."  It's true that there is a lot of training camp left for things to shake out, but if the coach isn't even noticing the guy enough to remember his name, that's not a good sign for Moorehead's playing time in 2008.

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Signing James Just Makes the Strong Stronger posted on 07/17/2008
The signing of Robert James does a lot to help the linebacking corps.  Yes, everybody wants James to produce this year.  I do, too.  But James's contributions to the LBs this year will be as a situational player.  However, there his college career provides encouraging insight.  James didn't crack the starting lineup at Arizona State until his senior year.  However, in that year, he was all-PAC10 and he was named the Sun Devil's most valuable player.  This gives me hope for the guy moving into the future.  Clearly, he may (probably will) take some time to develop, but his history indicates that his potential for development is there, and further, that when he hits the field, he makes the most of any tutelage he's received.  I think he also plays

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Cowboys' Cornerback Depth Makes for Interesting Camp Battles posted on 07/15/2008

     According to Kevin Burnett's blog, a lot of the Cowboys blitz packages are easy to read because they disguise what's going on in coverage.  If that's true (which would explain a lot), then cornerback is an important position for the Cowboys in a way that it is not for teams like the Giants and Eagles, who rely on diverse and disguised pressure packages to create problems for an offense.  Lucky for Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips, the Cowboys are stacked at the position.  Not only do the 'Boys have Terrence Newman, Anthony Henry and Adam "the-artist-formerly-known-as-Pacman" Jones, they also have a slew of young talent, both from draft picks and practice squad players.

Assuming Jones is reinstated, most people expect him to start, but I see him as the number three cornerback, at least until the midway point.  But the fact remains that a loaded roster of cornerbacks will be competing for what amounts to two spots on the roster (unless the cowboys do something crazy like carrying six CBs).  The talent level at the competition for those spots is high.

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