Given that cleared charge and the fact that he has no other history of crime that I’m aware of, I’m more than willing to give the USS Babineaux the benefit of the doubt. I think he’ll come in Week 2 older, wiser and ready to murder a quarterback or two. Last time I checked the rule book, that was totally legal.
And more importantly for our purposes as Falcons fans, we really need him. Even our Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on a new dimension without him, because he won’t be able to add to our pressure on totally immobile Byron Leftwich and help out with stopping Rashard Mendenhall as he barrels up the middle. I think everyone’s intrigued by Corey Peters, but I’m not sure I wanted to find out his capabilities in the first week of the season.
In fact, the argument’s been made right here on this here site that Babineaux is one of the best penetrating defensive tackles in the league. You don’t simply replace a guy like that, and that’s why it’s well worth putting up with a lighter-than-expected suspension in exchange for a lesson learned and some serious ass kicking.
The Steelers will also be missing the services of fifth-year right tackle Willie Colon, one of the league’s best linemen. Colon suffered an Achilles injury in June. This may enable the Falcons to compensate for the loss of Babineaux by bringing more pressure from the outside.
Stay tuned to The Falcoholic.