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Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 08:26 AM
http://cbs.sportsline.com/nfl/story/8760203 (Former Raven Ready to Ruffle Freathers as Falcon)

Living in Atlanta I've gotten an opportunity to watch the Falcons on a regular basis. The most impressive part of the team is the fine LB core they have assembled over the last few years. This year they added Edgerton Hartwell.

Considering how hard the Chiefs tried to recruite Hartwell I thought some of you might like reading this article.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The shadow cast by greatness can sometimes overwhelm a man.

Edgerton Hartwell lived that life for the past four years.


Edgerton Hartwell can get boisterous, just like a certain former Ravens teammate. (Getty Images)
Playing alongside Ray Lewis, the game's best linebacker and quite possibly one of the best middle linebackers of all time, Hartwell never seemed to get his due.

When the words linebacker and Baltimore Ravens were mentioned, all anyone thought about was the frantic, in-your-face style of Lewis, one of the league's marquee stars.

Hartwell? He just went about his business trying to gather up a scrap or two of attention.

What was lost on those who didn't give it to him was that Hartwell made himself into one heck of a linebacker. Now that he's playing for the Atlanta Falcons, courtesy of a multi-million contract he signed as a free agent, Hartwell has faced a lot of questions about the shadow cast by Lewis and how good it feels to be free of it.

With the issue raised a lot already, and probably more so as the season moves along, you get the impression Hartwell doesn't really care too much about the subject.

"I really didn't see it as overshadowing me," Hartwell said after a practice last week. "He's been in the league so long. He's earned his stripes. I was a young cat coming up, doing the things I had to do to earn my stripes. I made my plays. As the years moved on, I earned my stripes. The fans knew who I was when I stepped on the field. When you play next to Ray, you have to do a lot of things to get noticed."

Hartwell did plenty. It's why he was a hot free agent in the spring. The Kansas City Chiefs offered him more money than the Falcons did, but he opted for Atlanta because he felt more comfortable there.

It's also his chance to show that he's in the same class with Lewis.

"I think I am in that class," Hartwell said with confidence. "I have to go out and prove it every day, that I am a dominant middle linebacker and a complete player. Not just be a dominant player, but the monster in the middle that terrorizes offenses."

Isn't that last sentence a definition for Lewis?

Truth be known, Hartwell isn't as good as Lewis. Then again, who is? Ever? But last year Hartwell was close to being as good as Lewis. And that's the rub. Word around the Ravens is that Hartwell thought Lewis received too much of the attention, that he was credited with tackles made by Hartwell. It was the old piling-on routine.

The shadow lingered.

"I know the type of player I am," Hartwell said. "People will see now that I'm in Atlanta."

Hartwell deserves props for thinking he's in the Lewis class. That confidence comes through loud and clear when talking to him -- and on the field, too. His new teammates have noticed quickly that Hartwell plays with a passion and he also plays with a big mouth, not unlike Lewis.

"We have a lot of guys on this defense who play with a passion, so adding another one is great," Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney said. "The more the merrier. He's got such a positive approach. He not only tells us we're going to win, he tells the other team we're going to win. He loves to run his mouth. I do a little of that myself, but he does it even more. He plays with a supreme confidence."

Kerney admitted he wasn't that familiar with Hartwell until the Ravens and Falcons met last year in the preseason.


"His name was getting announced all the time over the loudspeaker," Kerney said. "He was going sideline to sideline making plays, making vicious hits. Every time I watched the Ravens after that, I couldn't help but watch him."

Hartwell will team with Keith Brooking and Demorrio Williams or Ike Reese to give the Falcons a much-improved linebacker group. Brooking and Hartwell should excel at plugging the opposition's run game with power, while Williams is a good run-and-chase linebacker.

One thing Hartwell insists is different between him and Lewis is that he takes on blocks. The knock on Lewis is that he runs around blocks, using his instincts and speed to get to runners, rather than taking on a fullback or a guard in the hole.

"I've got everything," Hartwell said. "The only thing I have that he doesn't is I come down and hit you in the mouth when I take on a block. He doesn't really care about doing that too much. I say you keep hitting that guy blocking you and blowing him up, they won't want to do it anymore. They'll slide away and say, 'Oops, I missed the block.' They didn't want to get it upside the head."

That's another shot at Lewis. If you sense resentment, you might be right.

"(What did he teach me) in terms of playing the game of football?" Hartwell said. "Not a lot. Just being honest. He's a great guy, a great guy to play next to. But coming into it, I knew how to play football. I knew how to watch film. I knew how to do all those things. I really didn't need him to pull me to the side and teach me something.

"People always ask what he taught me. I don't go too deep into it. We worked. We didn't visit too much outside of work. Some things that go unnoticed are just better off unsaid. That takes nothing away from anybody. He's a great guy. He's a great inspiration. He's done it. He's been successful."

Hartwell was fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2001 out of Western Illinois. He had transferred to that school after two years at Wisconsin. He wasn't sure if he had an NFL future when he made the move, but quickly realized he did after a solid junior season.

In his second season with the Ravens in 2002, he became a force. Playing next to Lewis he led the team in tackles with 191. He had 140 the next year and 141 last season.

But who knew him? Other than a funky first name -- most people call him Ed -- it was hard to get any attention. That's why he was so jacked to face the Ravens in the second preseason game this year, picking off a pass and doing his trademark on-field cacophony of screaming.

"He's going to bring us a little spunk, a little swagger," Falcons coach Jim Mora said. "I know the players feed off his energy a little bit."

If Hartwell can help improve a defense that finished 14th last season, and help get this team to the Super Bowl, he might finally start to get the props he deserves -- and people might stop considering him the former caddy for Ray Lewis.

"My plan is two years from now people will be talking about me as one of the great linebackers that's played," Hartwell said.

With no shadow now cast over him anymore, it's his time.

Iron Chef
08-23-2005, 09:13 AM
Where about in Atlanta do you live?

jidar1
08-23-2005, 09:15 AM
Wish we could have got that guy. If he doesn't want to play here though what can you do?

I'll tell you what though, if he's so confident then why did he shy away from coming to KC? He could have come here and been a part of turning around the defense, or was he afraid he couldn't have a big enough impact?

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 09:19 AM
Where about in Atlanta do you live?

I live in East Cobb, but I have a Roswell address.

I grew up in KC near I-435 and Holmes Rd. I went to Center HS.

chiefz
08-23-2005, 09:22 AM
The way I look at it is that he wanted to break out of the shell of only being productive because he played beside Ray Lewis but he didn't want to take on a project of one of the worst defensive teams in football for several years.

Unfortunately he could end up in a similar situation being overshadowed by Keith Brooking.

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 09:46 AM
Wish we could have got that guy. If he doesn't want to play here though what can you do?

I'll tell you what though, if he's so confident then why did he shy away from coming to KC? He could have come here and been a part of turning around the defense, or was he afraid he couldn't have a big enough impact?

I don't understand why he preferred Atlanta. The article says he wanted to get out from the shadow of Lewis, but in Atlanta there is no bigger shadow then next to the big Southern SEC product Keith Brooking. I think the real issue is Hartwell wanted to live in Atlanta and continue to play on a 3-4 defense.

Brooking and Hartwell is a tough one-two punch on the inside. Plus, they have a rookie Jordan Beck from Cal Poly-SLO backing up Hartwell that looks really good. There is no doubt the Falcons will be stoping the run again this year.

What is more fun is the O-Line blocking under Alex Gibbs. There has been a lot for news from Saban in Miami calling out the Falcon O-Line for dirty blocking tactics. Interesting that Gibbs goes to Atlanta and all of a sudden they are being accused of dangerous dirty blocking methods.

Gibbs is choosing smaller, quicker linemen and using the same schemes we saw from the cheating Donc's for years. You guys may want to consider Dunn or Ducket for your fantasy teams if you can't get the guy your after.

Iron Chef
08-23-2005, 09:55 AM
I live in East Cobb, but I have a Roswell address.

I grew up in KC near I-435 and Holmes Rd. I went to Center HS.


Nice, I live in Paulding County but work near the Galleria, I also grew up in KC north of the River. Park Hill High School.

jiveturkey
08-23-2005, 09:56 AM
I grew up in KC near I-435 and Holmes Rd. I went to Center HS.Same here. When did you graduate?

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 09:58 AM
Same here. When did you graduate?

1980

jidar1
08-23-2005, 10:03 AM
Brooking and Hartwell is a tough one-two punch on the inside. Plus, they have a rookie Jordan Beck from Cal Poly-SLO backing up Hartwell that looks really good. There is no doubt the Falcons will be stoping the run again this year.


They were awesome at stopping the run last year... except for one game. ROFL



What is more fun is the O-Line blocking under Alex Gibbs. There has been a lot for news from Saban in Miami calling out the Falcon O-Line for dirty blocking tactics. Interesting that Gibbs goes to Atlanta and all of a sudden they are being accused of dangerous dirty blocking methods.


I hadn't heard this but that's not surprising. I wonder if Alex Gibbs gets volume discounts on vaseline.


Gibbs is choosing smaller, quicker linemen and using the same schemes we saw from the cheating Donc's for years. You guys may want to consider Dunn or Ducket for your fantasy teams if you can't get the guy your after.

Good call, I should have thought of that. Not thinking of things like this are why I never win my league...

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 10:05 AM
Nice, I live in Paulding County but work near the Galleria, I also grew up in KC north of the River. Park Hill High School.

Park Hill :cuss:

Disciples of Alex Gibbs knee hunting bastiges! :)

I always go to a local sports bar on Roswell Hwy by the Chattahoochee to watch the Chiefs. Let me know if your going to pass by this way for a game.

I'm also trying to learn to be a Falcons fan, but it is not easy. There was no way with Dan Reeves as coach, but I really like Jim Mora Jr. and the current defense.

jiveturkey
08-23-2005, 10:05 AM
1980I was 1995 so I'm betting that we don't know the same people. :)

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 10:08 AM
I hadn't heard this but that's not surprising. I wonder if Alex Gibbs gets volume discounts on vaseline.



It was the big news on sports radio yesterday. The whole thing gave me a cheating Donc flash back.

I'm thinking the Donkey's lost a lot more than they realize with the departure of Gibbs.

kc rush
08-23-2005, 10:36 AM
Didn't Hartwell sign with Atlanta prior to the draft? I remember it going on and on for an infinite number of 48 hour periods, but can't remember exactly when he signed.

I'll bet that if the Chiefs had signed Hartwell, they wouldn't have drafted DJ. I'd rather have DJ for the upside potential.

Frosty
08-23-2005, 10:43 AM
I think the real issue is Hartwell wanted to live in Atlanta and continue to play on a 3-4 defense.

The Falcons ditched the 3-4 before last season. Hartwell is playing MLB and Brookings has moved outside.

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 10:45 AM
Didn't Hartwell sign with Atlanta prior to the draft? I remember it going on and on for an infinite number of 48 hour periods, but can't remember exactly when he signed.

I'll bet that if the Chiefs had signed Hartwell, they wouldn't have drafted DJ. I'd rather have DJ for the upside potential.

I don't remember when Hartwell signed, but I agree that DJ is the much better option.

Since Hartwell hasn't played yet I don't have an opinion whether he was a good or bad pickup. One thing for sure is he picked a place that will give him a great chance of excelling.

If Kaweaka keeps excelling I don't think KC will ever think twice about Hartwell.

Chief Faithful
08-23-2005, 10:49 AM
The Falcons ditched the 3-4 before last season. Hartwell is playing MLB and Brookings has moved outside.

I checked into it and your right.

StcChief
08-23-2005, 11:53 AM
Lewis ? Didn't seem to be real impressive last year when
Chiefs, threw him around the field,(so called double teamed him all night. BS.

He is damn good, LB but can be nuetralized. As Gunn proved.

Hartwell. we will forget him before the end of 2005.
No would-a,should-a, could-a on him now.

He is playing in Brookings shadow., maybe he'll step out of it and stop talking about leaving Ravens to be the man somewhere else.

Dirty-birds... Still like the way the handed the Lambs their a$$ last years playoffs.

What was it here in KC?? 56-10 against Vick and co.

HC_Chief
08-23-2005, 11:54 AM
Hartwell did plenty. It's why he was a hot free agent in the spring. The Kansas City Chiefs offered him more money than the Falcons did, but he opted for Atlanta because he felt more comfortable there.

Better titty bars in hotlanta.

vailpass
08-23-2005, 12:00 PM
Better titty bars in hotlanta.


Atlanta offers black people cultural, educational, and social opportunities that are not found in many, if any, other US cities.

HC_Chief
08-23-2005, 12:03 PM
Atlanta offers black people cultural, educational, and social opportunities that are not found in many, if any, other US cities.

Wow, their titty bars must REALLY kick ass! :thumb:

vailpass
08-23-2005, 12:06 PM
Wow, their titty bars must REALLY kick ass! :thumb:

ROFL

Iron Chef
08-23-2005, 12:40 PM
Park Hill :cuss:

Disciples of Alex Gibbs knee hunting bastiges! :)

I always go to a local sports bar on Roswell Hwy by the Chattahoochee to watch the Chiefs. Let me know if your going to pass by this way for a game.

I'm also trying to learn to be a Falcons fan, but it is not easy. There was no way with Dan Reeves as coach, but I really like Jim Mora Jr. and the current defense.

I know not of what you speak. :harumph: we never cut block at Park Hill.


I have Sunday ticket so I rarely go out to watch the game. I like the Falcons ok, but they will never compare to my Chiefs.

Pants
08-23-2005, 02:00 PM
But, but... GUYS! It was Carl's fault dammit. It was all his fault!

Halfcan
08-23-2005, 02:24 PM
Hey cool article. Hartwel,,l will have a big season I think. Atlanta is a very cool place to visit. Yes the titty bars are good-all the night life is. Hey did they shut down the Gold Club? Now that place rocked-first class food and hotties-plus private rooms. Yeah Atlanta rocks in my opinion.

milkman
08-23-2005, 07:49 PM
Didn't Hartwell sign with Atlanta prior to the draft? I remember it going on and on for an infinite number of 48 hour periods, but can't remember exactly when he signed.

I'll bet that if the Chiefs had signed Hartwell, they wouldn't have drafted DJ. I'd rather have DJ for the upside potential.

I disagree completely.
If the Cheifs had signed Hartwell, they would not have sigend Kendrell Bell.

When Hartwell left town without a contract, the Chiefs decided to go after Bell.

I don't think that Hartwell had any impact on the decision to draft DJ, because DJ was an absolute no-brainer, regardless of any FA signing.

Saul Good
08-23-2005, 08:57 PM
I disagree completely.
If the Chiefs had signed Hartwell, they would not have sigend Kendrell Bell.

When Hartwell left town without a contract, the Chiefs decided to go after Bell.

I don't think that Hartwell had any impact on the decision to draft DJ, because DJ was an absolute no-brainer, regardless of any FA signing.

Ding ding ding.

We have a winner.

Deberg_1990
08-23-2005, 09:00 PM
because DJ was an absolute no-brainer, regardless of any FA signing.

Yep, even Carl couldnt have F*cked that one up.

DaWolf
08-24-2005, 04:41 AM
I disagree completely.
If the Chiefs had signed Hartwell, they would not have sigend Kendrell Bell.

When Hartwell left town without a contract, the Chiefs decided to go after Bell.

I don't think that Hartwell had any impact on the decision to draft DJ, because DJ was an absolute no-brainer, regardless of any FA signing.

I dunno, remeber in the end it came down to Atlanta and KC for his services, and by that time we had already signed Bell, and a lot of the board was going crazy trying to figure out if we were still in it for Hartwell. And it turned out we apparently were.

And yeah, DJ would have still probably been the pick, since the Hartwell signing would have just moved Kawika to 2nd team, with DJ and Bell starting on the outside. If anything, it probably would have caused us to not draft Boomer, which obviously I could live with.

In terms of not signing with us, it may have had to do with the long term stability in KC, with DV probably leaving, the offense getting older, the team coming off a 7-9 year, etc. vs Atlanta coming off of a very good year with an up and coming young coach.

Not that I think that should matter, because in the NFL it doesn't take long for a team to tank and a coach to look like an idiot...

Saggysack
08-24-2005, 05:28 AM
Wow, their titty bars must REALLY kick ass! :thumb:


Chita 3 ain't half bad.

Kerberos
08-24-2005, 06:18 AM
I disagree completely.
If the Chiefs had signed Hartwell, they would not have sigend Kendrell Bell.

When Hartwell left town without a contract, the Chiefs decided to go after Bell.

I don't think that Hartwell had any impact on the decision to draft DJ, because DJ was an absolute no-brainer, regardless of any FA signing.


YUP

And if we had signed Hartwell we would have had him PLAYING in the last two preseason games unlike BELL and the pampering of his F#$%ing injuries that should have been a concern BEFORE we signed him.

:cuss: :banghead:


.

milkman
08-24-2005, 06:53 AM
I dunno, remeber in the end it came down to Atlanta and KC for his services, and by that time we had already signed Bell, and a lot of the board was going crazy trying to figure out if we were still in it for Hartwell. And it turned out we apparently were.

My impression was that the Chiefs left the offer on the table, and because Hartwell wasn't getting any better offers, he still considered it until he made his decision to go to Atlanta.

And yeah, DJ would have still probably been the pick, since the Hartwell signing would have just moved Kawika to 2nd team, with DJ and Bell starting on the outside. If anything, it probably would have caused us to not draft Boomer, which obviously I could live with.

My guess, and that is all we are doing here, is that if Hartwell had decided to sign while he was still in town, we would have passed on Bell.

If he had decided to sign later, instead of signing with Atlanta, I fear we would have ended our pursuit of Surtain, because of the cap dollars, but it would not have impacted our decision to draft DJ.

I do agree, however it would probably have led to us drafting someone other than Boomer.

In the end, I'm pretty happy the way things worked out.

I'd rather have Bell, DJ, and Surtain over Bell, Hartwell and DJ.
Hartwell, DJ and Surtain would have worked for me as well.

In terms of not signing with us, it may have had to do with the long term stability in KC, with DV probably leaving, the offense getting older, the team coming off a 7-9 year, etc. vs Atlanta coming off of a very good year with an up and coming young coach.

Not that I think that should matter, because in the NFL it doesn't take long for a team to tank and a coach to look like an idiot...

I agree.

milkman
08-24-2005, 06:56 AM
YUP

And if we had signed Hartwell we would have had him PLAYING in the last two preseason games unlike BELL and the pampering of his F#$%ing injuries that should have been a concern BEFORE we signed him.

:cuss: :banghead:


.

I'm only going to worry about Bell if he starts missing regular games.

PRIEST
08-24-2005, 07:08 AM
I'm only going to worry about Bell if he starts missing regular games.

I am on the wait & see wagon also.I do not think Carl would pay Bell any amount of coin if he thought he would not play.

DaWolf
08-24-2005, 07:12 AM
Yeah I'm not too concerned about Bell either. Yet.

If Bell is healthy then he's the best LB we could have signed because he's a playmaker, and really that's what Gunther's defenses are built around, guys who make plays, get the big sack, cause the big turnover. Hartwell is probably the more solid linebacker but Bell is probably the better playmaker.

And here's to hoping that guys like Mitchell and Fox turn out and don't prove to be more wasted draft picks.

One thing about Hartwell, and any athlete who does this, I can't stand them talking about how good they are. Go out there, play the game, establish yourself, and show me how good you are. Don't just stand there telling me what a great ballplayer you are when you haven't done squat to prove you're as good as Ray Lewis yet...

milkman
08-24-2005, 07:24 AM
Yeah I'm not too concerned about Bell either. Yet.

If Bell is healthy then he's the best LB we could have signed because he's a playmaker, and really that's what Gunther's defenses are built around, guys who make plays, get the big sack, cause the big turnover. Hartwell is probably the more solid linebacker but Bell is probably the better playmaker.

And here's to hoping that guys like Mitchell and Fox turn out and don't prove to be more wasted draft picks.

One thing about Hartwell, and any athlete who does this, I can't stand them talking about how good they are. Go out there, play the game, establish yourself, and show me how good you are. Don't just stand there telling me what a great ballplayer you are when you haven't done squat to prove you're as good as Ray Lewis yet...

I agree with everything you said here.

The one thing that gives me hope where Fox is concerned, is that all the talk about how good he was looking was when he was working on the left side.
Then about a week before the first preseason game, he was moved to the right side.

If he was looking as good as advertised on the ledt side, then it should only be a matter of time and work for him to get comfortable on the right, and start showing what they saw earlier, again.

htismaqe
08-24-2005, 07:48 AM
I remember Hartwell saying (or his agent) that he was concerned about the future in KC with DV retiring...

milkman
08-24-2005, 08:02 AM
I remember Hartwell saying (or his agent) that he was concerned about the future in KC with DV retiring...

I remember, prior to the offer, that Hartwell, or his agent, said that he wanted to play for Gun.

It's funny how that all changed once he got an offer that he didn't think was for enough money, ain't it?

Pants
08-24-2005, 12:26 PM
I remember, prior to the offer, that Hartwell, or his agent, said that he wanted to play for Gun.

It's funny how that all changed once he got an offer that he didn't think was for enough money, ain't it?

Yeah, but he went to Atlanta for LESS money than the Chiefs offered him.

Chief Faithful
08-24-2005, 12:34 PM
Yeah, but he went to Atlanta for LESS money than the Chiefs offered him.

Do you think he negotiated with KC only to get more money from Atlanta?

milkman
08-24-2005, 12:34 PM
Yeah, but he went to Atlanta for LESS money than the Chiefs offered him.

Do we know this with absolute certainty?
Or is this just something that his agent said, and we've decided to believe him?

Or, did he sign a contract with Atlanta that looked like less money, in terms of overall possible numbers, but that had more guaranteed money in the contract?

Pants
08-24-2005, 12:36 PM
Do we know this with absolute certainty?
Or is this just something that his agent said, and we've decided to believe him?

Or, did he sign a contract with Atlanta that looked like less money, in terms of overall possible numbers, but that had more guaranteed money in the contract?

IDK, it's a sportsline article... :shrug:

milkman
08-24-2005, 12:40 PM
IDK, it's a sportsline article... :shrug:

The point is, not everything you read can be taken at face value.

I don't believe for a second that, if the Chiefs had offered more sure money, Hartwell would be a Falcon.

kc rush
08-24-2005, 01:55 PM
Yeah, but he went to Atlanta for LESS money than the Chiefs offered him.

It could be that the first offer the Chiefs made was higher than what Atlanta offered, but when they signed Bell they put smaller offer out there and Atlanta was offering more money at that point.

Just another possible spin.

Pants
08-24-2005, 02:56 PM
It could be that the first offer the Chiefs made was higher than what Atlanta offered, but when they signed Bell they put smaller offer out there and Atlanta was offering more money at that point.

Just another possible spin.

I really think he just took a little less money to go to Atlanta.

Reasons:
Location (city, ocean, climate, etc)
Vick
Much better team situation - coming off of a NFC Championship season, young coach, could dominate for a long time.

Saul Good
08-24-2005, 03:06 PM
I really think he just took a little less money to go to Atlanta.

Reasons:
Location (city, ocean, climate, etc)
Vick
Much better team situation - coming off of a NFC Championship season, young coach, could dominate for a long time.

If he went to the Falcons for the ocean, he's going to be sorely disappointed to find out that there isn't one within hundreds of miles of Atlanta.

Chief Faithful
08-24-2005, 03:45 PM
From the standpoint of being a city Atlanta is not a city like NY or Chicago it is more like Charlotte grown out of control by people moving in from everywhere else. KC and St. Louis have more culture. Atlanta is the most transient city in the SE. Nobody is from Atlanta they are always from somewhere else.

The single biggest cultural boast is one of the largest gay populations second only to San Francisco. IMO, this city is a hole, but the state parks and mountains are amazing if you like camping or hiking.

Pants
08-24-2005, 11:56 PM
If he went to the Falcons for the ocean, he's going to be sorely disappointed to find out that there isn't one within hundreds of miles of Atlanta.

Better than KS/MO is what I meant. You can drive to Florida and just chill there.