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Early Bird Report 2/12: Falcons among NFL's least-needy teams; Colts hire new head coach
February 12, 2018 02:59 PM | Will McFadden
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Today's Early Bird Report includes a ranking of the NFL's neediest teams as well as the Indianapolis Colts finding their next head coach.

Enjoy!



FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY



Sports Illustrated: Ranking the NFL's neediest teams

In Friday's Early Bird Report, we shared a clip from The Ringer's Danny Kelly, which ranked the Falcons as the league's most stable franchise. Now, Andy Benoit of Monday Morning Quarterback has a similar message delivered in a slightly different manner.

Benoit ranks the neediest teams in the NFL, beginning with the team that he believes has the most holes to fill and ending with the one that he deems the most complete. The Falcons, entered his ranking at No. 30, meaning they are the third-most complete team in Benoit's opinion. Here is what he had to say about the Falcons, whose biggest need he lists as guard:

"Even with first-and-second-down D-linemen Dontari Poe, Adrian Clayborn, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin hitting free agency, the Falcons' front is in fine shape. Every position on both sides of the line is set for the near future. Except guard. On the right, Wes Schweitzer, a sixth-round pick in 2016, improved late last year, particularly in pass protection, but he still has athletic limitations. Andy Levitre, 31, was solid on the left but finished the year on IR and now carries an $8.4 million cap number ($7 million of which can be scrapped with his release). Matt Ryan is at his best when climbing the pocket, so Atlanta will invest in that pocket's cleanliness. Whoever they acquire must be mobile, too, as that's critical in Atlanta's outside-zone running scheme."

Here are more articles for Falcons fans:

> AJC: Ex-Falcons coach Jerry Glanville returns to coaching
> USA TODAY: Comparing Sarkisian's first year to Shanahan's



BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL



NFL.com: Indianapolis Colts hire Frank Reich to be next coach

The Indianapolis Colts have their new head coach in former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, according to NFL.com. This news comes after Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel abruptly changed his mind and turned down the Colts' offer to become head coach after reportedly agreeing to assume the open position.

"We are extremely excited to announce Frank Reich as head coach of theIndianapolis Colts,"Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement, per NFL.com. "Frank has all the ingredients of a successful head coach: intelligence, innovation, character, organizational and leadership skills, and a commanding presence. He also has a stellar reputation, and his myriad of life experiences and the people he has worked with make him the perfect fit for us and our fans. I feel extremely fortunate and could not be more excited forColtsNation and the future of our franchise."

Reich was hired by the Eagles in 2016 to run the team's offense, and he helped turn quarterback Carson Wentz into a legitimate MVP contender in just two years. Reich played a large role in helping the Eagles win this year's Super Bowl, working with Nick Foles to help him perform at a high level through their playoff run.

Here are some more articles from around the league:

> ESPN: Johnny Manziel says he's bipolar, working on a comeback
> CBS Sports: Top offensive linemen in free agency
> SB Nation: How run/pass options work differently in NFL vs. college



MORE FROM ATLANTAFALCONS.COM



> Straight from the 'Beek: Expectations for 2018
> Riggs to be inducted into Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame
> Straight from the 'Beek: Some fans want Wynn
> Five Falcons named in PFF's top 101 NFL players

OTHER NEWS
Falcons fans ask about trading up in NFL Draft, trade rumors, Sarkisian's second year, more
6 days ago
Questions about Falcons' chances of landing Isaiah Wynn and a very strange trade request
9 days ago
Former Falcons great Gerald Riggs to be inducted into Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame
9 days ago
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