If good character were the primary prerequisite, Chris Draft would still play linebacker in Atlanta, but he was deemed too slow to fit the scheme. The team should hold Scott and aging safety Keion Carpenter equally accountable and not settle for substandard tackling technique.
Bryan Scott clearly isn't the same player he was before suffering a concussion 15 months ago. Engaging in full contact seems to worry him enough that he bounces off a ball carrier more often than not.
Carpenter, a standup guy like Scott, isn't much better. He, too, struggles as a tackler and a ball hawk.
We'll never know if guys like Omare Lowe and Cam Newton are capable unless they're afforded a chance. It's doubtful the Falcons could expect much from seventh-year veteran Antuan Edwards, who seems indifferent to practicing hard and hasn't been active since he was signed last month.
After Carolina stomped his defense in a 24-6 loss Sunday, Ed Donatell cited no individuals, but the defensive coordinator promised the staff would do whatever's necessary to fix the problems.
Asked specifically about Scott's whiff on an attempted tackle of Panthers receiver Steve Smith, Donatell acknowledged that the 18-yard touchdown catch was avoidable.
"You've got to just keep re-emphasizing it," Donatell said of Atlanta's poor tackling technique. "We had a couple of early ones that hurt us in that ballgame. Steve Smith made a nice play on the one where he rolled and went for a touchdown, but we don't accept that. We look to correct it immediately. To play solid defense, you can't do those things."