Jamaal Anderson: Time To Earn Your Pay

Micky WoosleyContributor IMay 1, 2009

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 7: Defensive end John Abraham #55 of the Atlanta Falcons takes the field for play against the Detroit Lions at the Georgia Dome on September 7, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

I know the picture above is of John Abraham, LOL. I couldn't find one of Jamaal Anderson...I guess that sums up how bad his play has been so far. Anderson was picked No. 8 overall in the 2007 draft. He signed a deal worth $31 million with $15.4 million guaranteed.

So far Anderson has been a huge disappointment to say the least. In 2007 he started every game and had 30 tackles, no sacks, and three passes defensed. In 2008 he played fifteen games and had 27 tackles, 2 sacks, and three passes defensed.

If you add all those stats together and divide it into just his guaranteed money he has gotten paid around $237,000 for each play he's made. I wish they would sign me...I'm pretty sure I could come up with numbers rivalling his and would do it for much cheaper!

So, what is Anderson's problem? Is he not motivated? Does he have no talent? Work ethic? Was he overrated and just got numbers in college because he was big and on a decent defense? 

How about motivation...Was Anderson given the starting job too soon? Has he had adequate competition? Last year I think he did...however we all know he got to play because of the money, not his production. Kroy Biermann and Chauncey Davis were in backup roles and outproduced Anderson.

Biermann had 21 tackles and 2 sacks, while Davis had 38 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 pass defense. Hmmm...if I were those two guys I'd be pissed because I'm pretty sure they're not making anything near what Anderson is.

When you look at those numbers it kinda makes you sick. How much better would the Atlanta defense have been if Anderson was on the bench and Biermann and Davis sharing the time? I'd say much better, and I hope it's that way this year.

Okay, so it's not the motivation...especially since last offseason he talked many times about wanting to produce and get better. Is it his talent level? In my opinion that is his problem. He looks slow and non-athletic.

He lacks moves and just trys to speed rush or bull rush his way to the quarterback (which obviously worked in college but hasn't panned out for him in the NFL). Anderson looks more closely like Swamp Thing lumbering around the football field than he resembles a football player.

It looks like he tries to produce on the field, but he does give up on plays and rarely do you see him chase someone downfield. Anderson's work ethic probably isn't too bad...he isn't overweight or anything like that and he has nice size.

It just seems he was hugely overrated and unless he can pan out at defensive tackle may find himself out of football sooner than later.

I gave Anderson a break his rookie season...and hoped he would produce much more last year. He finally did get a sack against Chicago and actually had a good game. He had four tackles, one sack, and he even batted down a couple of passes.

I thought that would be his breakout game and was hoping that was the real Jamaal and not a fluke. He got another sack against Philly in the next game and then disappeared again.

Well, now is definitely his make or break time. The team drafted DE Lawrence Sidbury out of Richmond for even more competition. It wouldn't surprise me if Sidbury or one of the other guys gets the starting job this season. 

It's been rumored that the Falcons want to try Anderson at defensive tackle and I hope he pans out there. If he doesn't, with his salary and given the depth that the Falcons have at DT and DE; Anderson will probably be cut because I don't see anyone trading for him.