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the Cleveland Browns are at home to take on the

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    January 30, 2019 4:36 AM EST

    On Sunday Cleveland Browns Womens Hoodie ,  Atlanta Falcons. To help preview a few topics from the Falcons’ perspective, we reached out to Dave Choate from The Falcoholic and exchanged five questions with him. Enjoy!The Falcons added pass rusher Bruce Irvin this week.Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesChris: “The Falcons were hit with some big defensive injuries early in the year, but Atlanta has ripped off three straight wins. Has the defense improved, or is it still a major weakness in 2018?”Dave: “The defense has improved, thankfully. They still need to keep this season alive while they wait for Deion Jones to get back and knock off some rust at middle linebacker, but the Falcons have been able to stabilize things a bit by playing a couple of so-so opponents in a row, re-shuffling their personnel a little bit, and getting the pieces to gel a bit. Having a healthy Grady Jarrett has helped the defensive line a ton, sixth round rookie Foye Oluokun has helped out at linebacker, and Damontae Kazee and Sharrod Neasman have stabilized a safety position ravaged by injuries. That said, are they a good defense? No. The pass rush has been lackluster, hence the addition of Bruce Irvin, and up until the Washington game there was one cornerback being burnt to an absolute crisp per game, on average. I’m hopeful they’re rounding the corner but they’ll probably top out as a league-average unit in 2019.”Where have the touchdowns been for Julio Jones?Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesChris: “Julio Jones has 60 catches for 933 yards, but somehow just got his FIRST touchdown of the season last week. Isn’t that odd? Or has rookie Calvin Ridley been stealing all of those looks?”Dave: “The Falcons have been successful this season through the air for many reasons, but one of them is that teams can’t avoid doubling Julio Jones often, and that leads to open looks for other receivers. In years past, the Falcons have still tried very hard to get Julio the ball in the red zone, with decidedly mixed results. The difference this year is that they haven’t been focusing on that, and have instead focused on getting open looks. It’s not a coincidence that they’re scoring at a much higher clip when they’re not trying to force the ball to Julio in the end zone.It may be that Julio has some weird aversion to scoring that we haven’t identified, but the simplest explanation is that he’s dangerous in space and less dangerous when he can’t run free and there are multiple defenders responsible for him when things squeeze together in the red zone. Fortunately Womens Customized Cleveland Browns Jerseys , having to account for him has given Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley, Tevin Coleman and the rest of the gang room to run, and they’ve taken advantage of it.”The Falcons have some weaknesses on the offensive line, not including Alex Mack.Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesChris: “Cleveland struggled to generate a pass rush a few weeks ago against the Steelers’ offensive line. I know the Falcons are well-equipped with Alex Mack at center, but how has the rest of the line been -- any weaknesses?”Dave: “There are real weaknesses. I’m cautiously optimistic that this line is turning a difference after two straight solid performances, but theoretically you could tee off on at least three guys on this line. Wes Schweitzer at left guard is a mobile, capable pass protector who can be overpowered and sometimes outworked at the point of attack, while Ben Garland is perhaps a bit stronger but pretty similar at right guard. Ryan Schraeder had been a liability for weeks at right tackle before he righted the ships in a big way against Washington, and if you want to be on that being a fluke, I wouldn’t blame you. Only Jake Matthews at left tackle and Mack at center have been great all year.The Steelers are the team to emulate here, as they were absolutely fearless about going Matt Ryan and kept him off balance or on the ground all day. If Schweitzer, Garland and Schraeder are up to the task this week, though, you just have to hope for the best and try to get Myles Garrett some unfettered access to the quarterback by hook or crook.”Rookie CB Isaiah Oliver has been up and down.Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesChris: “Atlanta drafted DB Isaiah Oliver in the second round of this year’s draft. How has he performed in limited action this season?”Dave: “It has been an up-and-down season for the rookie cornerback. Earlier in the year, he couldn’t really get much playing time, and the playing time he did get showed why he wasn’t quite ready for primetime. He was memorably beaten a couple of times in the Cincinnati game in particular. However, he has the length, athleticism and instincts you look for in a cornerback in this scheme, by and large, and I thought he looked much better in a full-time start against Washington a week ago. He was beaten by Josh Doctson a couple of times on ridiculous catches down the sideline but looked much better and should be able to carve out a role going forward. With Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford making a lot of money and being on the wrong side of 30 either now or in 2019 Baker Mayfield Jersey Elite , the Falcons would like him to step up sooner than later.”Ito Smith has stepped up at running back for the Falcons.Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesChris: “Tell us about one player on offense and one player on defense who Browns fans may not have heard of, but who have been playing a nice role for the Falcons in 2018.”Dave: “On offense, your fantasy footballers will already know Ito Smith, but I’m going to mention him anyways. He wasn’t the most heralded back in this draft class, but the Falcons got a steal in the fourth round. With Devonta Freeman missing most of the year, Smith has been a key part of the rushing attack, and has shown good hands, solid blocking skills and a lot of physicality and wiggle to his game. Some of his scoring runs this year have reminded me of Freeman at his very best.On defense, Damontae Kazee is the man. He was the team’s third safety heading into the season, but had to step in due to injuries. He has his lapses, but he covers extremely well, has four picks this year and has shown a real nose for the ball, and hits like a train. The Falcons are going to be spoiled at the safety position when Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal are healthy next year, but in the meantime Kazee is one of the team’s most dynamic defenders.”Thanks again to Dave for taking the time to answer my questions.Joel Bitonio opens up about his move to left tackle, facing Myles Garrett Cleveland Browns standout offensive lineman Joel Bitonio was asked to make a difficult transition this offseason, and despite initial hesitancy he has taken it in stride, and thrived.While we do know Bitonio questioned the decision to move him to left tackle, we do not know his initial thought processes about the move, and we don’t—or didn’t—really know why he felt that way.Thanks to some excellent reporting by the Plain Dealer’s Dan Labbe, we have a better idea of the situation. Bitonio provided very intricate details into his mindset about the change, the differences in guard versus tackle , his matching up with edge rusher Myles Garrett in practice, and more.“It’s a whole new world,” Bitonio told Labbe. “Going against Pittsburgh, I’m used to blocking Cam Heyward, (Stephon) Tuitt, (Javon) Hargrave, those guys inside and then, right away, it’s like I’ve got T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, there’s different animals of players I have to study.”Then just from a whole perspective, the whole playbook’s different on the outside. I’m used to double teaming every play, I’m used to pulling, those types of things and now it’s like, oh, I’m the backside cut-off guy or I fan out on a defensive end.”Bitonio highlighted pass sets as the biggest differing between the two positions, citing more tact and strategy involved in tackle whereas when playing guard everything happens faster.On facing Garrett, Bitonio lauded the former No. 1 pick as on the verge of becoming one of the best pass rushers in the league this season, calling him a “beast,” and saying facing him in practice can be pretty humbling.“t’s a nice thing where practicing is harder than the games sometimes,” Bitonio added.As far as Bitonio’s “fit” as a left tackle Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , we have all seen the scouting reports. Despite playing tackle in college, his pro projection pegged him as an interior offensive lineman because he doesn’t possess elite physical traits typical of the best tackles in the game.But he doesn’t think that any kind of shortcomings he has physically will prevent him from succeeding, and he isn’t going to let them. He actually sees some positives in his build and guard experience that’ll help him be a successful left tackle.“Yeah, I think the in the run game, me and (left guard Austin) Corbett have had some good double teams and some good movement in the run game and I also feel like when they come to bull rush me they’re not used to a stockier guy that’s kind of sitting on the bull rush -- not saying they can’t bull rush me, but I think I have built up a little bit more resilience to the bull rush out there, so I think they’re a little surprised when I get my hands on guys, like, oh man, this guy’s pretty heavy, this guy’s a little bit tougher to move,” Bitonio said, according to Labbe’s reporting.Bitonio hasn’t aced his first regular season test yet, which he realizes is the true benchmark for his progress, but he has come a long way from hesitant to embracing the change. And he hasn’t been half bad at the position, either.Any time you don’t hear a team’s left tackle being mentioned during games, there’s a good chance he’s taking care of business.For more, be sure to check out the entire Q&A with Bitonio on Custom Atlanta Falcons Jerseys