When the Atlanta Falcons used the 35th pick of the third round on Thomas DeCoud in 2008, not many people knew what to expect. He had a nice collegiate career at California and has since turned into a solid safety in the National Football League. Ever since getting a chance to play full time in 2009, DeCoud has been putting together solid seasons, but thus far in 2012, has become a stud for the Falcons. Through the first five weeks of the season, DeCoud has gone from a quiet and productive player to an elite, MVP-caliber player.
Through the first four seasons of his NFL career, DeCoud picked up eight interceptions, two sacks, 20 passes defended and 235 total tackles. The Falcons defense was picked apart at times a year ago, but the addition of Mike Nolan as the defensive coordinator has helped DeCoud and the entire defensive unit improve in 2012.
In the week three victory against the San Diego Chargers, DeCoud picked off Philip Rivers twice, defended three passes and made three tackles. He was a major part of why the Falcons we able to limit the Chargers to just three points. The following week, DeCoud was absent in the Atlanta win against the division rival Carolina Panthers, but he bounced back when the Falcons defeated the Redskins in week five. He had an interception and three tackles in the victory.
Through the first five weeks of the season, DeCoud has 22 total tackles, one fumble recovery and four interceptions, which is tied for first in the league with Tim Jennings from the Chicago Bears. With Darelle Revis out for the season with a torn ACL, and players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed a little older, the time may be now for someone like DeCoud to jump into the discussion for the award. He will see some competition for the award from Clay Matthews and J.J. Watt, but if the Falcons keep jumping out to leads, the opposition will need to turn to the pass more, which will only help DeCoud record more picks and add to his credentials.
For a look at season recaps for the Atlanta Falcons, go here for easier access.
More from this contributor:
Hobson Lopes is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to Deion Sanders and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Atlanta Falcons
- National Football League
- Thomas DeCoud