Nov 29, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud (28) reacts after his interception in the endzone against the New Orleans Saints surrounded by his teammates middle linebacker Akeem Dent (52) , defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) , outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) during the first quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
This week’s fan favorite is beginning to be known among Falcons fans as one of the most colorful players on the team, or even the league. Along with Roddy White, Thomas Decoud is one the few outspoken players on the team. Another breath of fresh air, DeCoud obviously has fun with his job and the media. He has become the go to guy for the media when talking to the players on the Falcons, and the great thing is that he has earned the attention through his play on the field in the past year. His play earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl, along with fellow safety, and good friend William Moore. So, here is the snapshot Thomas DeCoud (all statistics are thanks to edraft.com).
Recent Regular Season Statistics:
Week 9 New Orleans Saints- 3 solo tackles and 3 assisted tackles.
Week 10 Arizona Cardinals- 1 solo tackle
Week 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 2 solo tackles
Week 12 New Orleans Saints- 7 solo tackles and 1 pass defended with 1 interception
Week 13 Carolina Panthers- 2 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles
Week 14 New York Giants- 2 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles along with1 pass defended and 1 interception for 5 yards
Week 15 Detroit Lions- 5 solo tackles and 1 assisted tackle
Week 16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 6 solo tackles and 1 pass defended
Recent Post Season Statistics:
Divisional Round Seattle Seahawks– 2 solo tackles and 1 assisted tackles with 1 pass defended
NFC Championship San Francisco 49ers– 5 solo tackles and 3 assisted tackles with 1 pass defended
Mr. DeCoud isn’t known for proper form tackling, but he does see his fair share of tackles for a free safety. What got him into the Pro Bowl was probably his performance in the first five games, where he intercepted the ball 4 times. Also, he only defended nine passes all year, but six of those ended up becoming interceptions. So when Thomas gets his chance for an interception, he very well might come down with the ball. Another statistic to keep in mind is that even with all the missed tackles he still recorded 76 solo/assisted tackles on the year, which isn’t bad. He stepped up in the playoffs also by putting together some nice numbers, 11 solo/assisted tackles with 2 pass defended.
Off Field Behavior:
I could go on and on, but it might be easier just to tell you to Google Thomas DeCoud and see what comes up. Pretty much every time he is in front of a camera, he is entertaining. He played the “Meow Game” during a phone interview with SportsCenter. The subject was on the upcoming game with the Carolina Panthers to put it into prospective. To sum it up he has done commercials where he is energetically singing in the shower, he has done interviews on the NFL Network where he belts out a tune on request, Dave Dameshek’s The Sports Car interview is another good video. Outside of that DeCoud has done his fair share for the community in Georgia much like the other Atlanta Falcons employees. He has been linked to the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the Strikes 4 Kids Bowling Event recently. He is also a “sneakerhead”, which means he is an avid shoe collector. He has put this interest to good use along with Chevis Jackson and Earl Bennett by co-hosting a charitable event in 2011 to sponsor their co-founded charity called Fresh Steps. Fresh Steps helped get Nike to give all the students of Kennedy Middle School a new pair of sneakers, Reebok brought new book bags and clothes, and Adidas helped out by providing time and effort. Thomas was quoted on rollingout.com as saying, “The school is in an area with high poverty and crime. With Fresh Steps, we are giving the kids sneakers, book bags and haircuts so that we can take the burden off of their parents.” He also added, “When you are a kid, you want to go back to school fresh, and we want to help them with that.”
Future with the Team:
Thomas is going to cost 2.4 million against the cap in 2013, 1.8 million in 2014, 1.2 million in 2015, and 600,000 in 2016. The structure of his contract might come into question in 2016 if he continues to play at the level that he did last year. Besides that there should be no issue with the front office keeping him as a contributing member of the secondary for the next three to four years. By the 2016 season DeCoud will be about 32-33 years old and for a safety that isn’t terribly old so he may resign with the team that offseason. He may possibly get another three to four year contract. It will all depend on the cap situation and whether the team wants to bring in another player according to his level of play at that time.
Possible Roles Next Year:
After a Pro Bowl year last year and his play being consistent for the past four years, DeCoud is more than likely going to be the starting free safety in 2013. With Mike Nolan’s 4-2-5 defense having a free safety that can hold his own in space is essential. There is a reason DeCoud’s stats took a small jump the year Nolan took the reins. I expect DeCoud has earned Nolan’s trust and will stay right where he is doing exactly what he did last year. Having new backups fighting for a roster spot behind DeCoud should be good for depth purposes but nobody behind him can seriously threaten his job. I expect DeCoud should be able to get about four interceptions, 70 to 80 solo/assisted tackles along with a sack and forced fumble or two.
DeCoud has become rich and famous because of his football career, and he’s doing what all of the rest of us regular guys would like to think we would do, have fun. A fan can tell that he is making money doing what he loves and is taking the limelight with a grain of salt. Even if Decoud doesn’t produce at a Pro Bowl level, I like the idea of having his presence on the team. I would like to think his personal motto would be, taking life to seriously can bring a man down. So do a Google search and enjoy another Fan Favorite, Thomas DeCoud.