Former Panthers, Giants OL Geoff Schwartz Not in on Falcons

Geoff Schwartz is a former NFL offensive lineman turned media personality who wants to pump the brakes on the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Raheem Morris will need to topple his old team to win the NFC South
Atlanta Falcons head coach Raheem Morris will need to topple his old team to win the NFC South / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

While there are some who question the potential success of the Atlanta Falcons in 2024, it is essential to remember that change often brings opportunity. With significant shifts in the team’s coaching staff and the addition of a seasoned veteran quarterback, the Falcons are poised to take the next step toward becoming a winning or contending team.

However, one who does not see this potential is former Carolina Panthers guard and NFL media personality Geoff Schwartz. The former Oregon Duck, known for his exceptional offensive line analysis, retired from the league after eight NFL seasons in 2017. 

Schwartz gave his thoughts on Raheem Morris’s new team in a recent Sirius XM NFL Radio segment.

"Everyone is going to pick them to win the NFC South this year," said Schwartz on
Sirius XM NFL Radio. "Did we forget Tampa Bay won the South last year? I feel like people are giving Atlanta the division pretty easily without sort of at least looking at Tampa Bay and being like – ‘that team won nine games last year and won the division and returns a lot of good football players.’

"I feel like we’re giving the Falcons way too much love for the division and the opponents that they’re playing. Like people are just kind of penciling in them, maybe ‘sharpieing’ them in to win the NFC South. I feel like it’s going to be a little tougher than just giving them the Sharpie right now." 

The eight-year NFL veteran has a valid point in one regard: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC South in 2023. What Schwartz fails to mention is that Atlanta finished just two games behind them with subpar quarterback play all season long, and that issue has since been addressed with the addition of Kirk Cousins.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' most significant addition this offseason is potentially a rookie center. The case can be made for both teams and potentially the New Orleans Saints as candidates to win the division – the South is wide open.

Schwartz’s tune may seem harsh to Falcon fans, but could he be a voice of reason? After all, the team hasn’t had a winning record in an NFL season since 2017, the year after they went to the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. 

Skepticism can be warranted when directed at the Falcons, but like 2016, anything is possible with a top-10 quarterback at the helm.

CJ Errickson