Kazee is the most likely candidate to replace Brian Poole at nickelback in 2019 now that the Falcons declined to pick up Poole's restricted free-agent tender Friday, Kelsey Conway of the team's official site reports.
Head coach Dan Quinn said earlier this offseason that Kazee is not only a candidate to garner playing time at free safety, but he's also a potential option at nickelback. Entering his third pro campaign out of San Diego State, Kazee will strive to improve as a tackler, but his ball-hawking abilities are undeniable. After he accounted for an NFL-high seven interceptions this past season, Atlanta wants to find a way to get him in the lineup one way or another. With Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) both likely to be recuperated in time for training camp it's going to be challenging to snag a starting spot at safety, but his shift to nickelback would provide the defensive backfield with another key difference-maker.
Kazee registered five combined tackles, one pass deflection and one interception during Sunday's 34-32 win against the Buccaneers.
Despite cooling off from an insanely impactful first half of the season, Kazee still managed to wrap up 2018 in a three-way tie with Kyle Fuller and Xavien Howard for an NFL-best seven interceptions. Besides from his impressive ball-hawking nature, Kazee finished just behind Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford for the team lead in pass deflections, while also forcing a fumble during a Week 5 loss to Pittsburgh. Head coach Dan Quinn stated in December that even when starting safeties Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) return to the fold next season, Kazee will continue to see substantial playing time at safety and nickelback.
Head coach Dan Quinn said that Kazee will continue to play safety and nickelback when Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) are fully healthy, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
After starting just once as a rookie in 2017, Kazee has collected 77 tackles and six interceptions in 14 starts filling in for Allen at free safety. The 25-year-old has missed a number of important open-field tackles, but he's impressed with ball-hawking instincts in his second season out of San Diego State. Kazee is currently tied for third in the NFL with six interceptions, and ranks top-three on the Falcons in tackles (77), pass deflections (nine) and forced fumbles (one) heading into a Week 17 matchup against Tampa Bay's high-powered passing attack (319 yards per game).
Kazee collected four combined tackles and an interception during Thursday's 31-17 loss to the Saints.
The second-year man continues his Pro Bowl bid, with an NFL-best six interceptions (all coming over the past eight games), eight pass deflections and a forced fumble on the season. Kazee has been an undeniable difference maker for a Falcons defense that has otherwise struggled mightily to generate turnovers (10 all year, seventh-fewest in the league). There is, however, one glaring deficiency in Kazee's game -- inconsistency as a tackler in the open field. Most notably, he whiffed on a tackle that could have prevented Nick Chubb's 92-yard touchdown scamper in Week 10, and in Week 11 he allowed Cowboys back Ezekiel Elliot to slither past him for a game sealing 23-yard touchdown run. Sound tackling will be paramount in slowing down the Falcons' upcoming opponent, an unpredictable Baltimore backfield that features two powerful running backs in Alex Collins and Gus Edwards.
Kazee (shoulder) has no injury designation for Thursday's game against the Saints, Will McFaden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Kazee was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. The second-year safety appears to have fully recovered from his shoulder injury sustained during a Week 11 loss to the Cowboys, and is on track to suit up against the Saints on Thanksgiving Day.
Kazee sustained shoulder and elbow injuries during Sunday's 22-19 loss to the Cowboys, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Kazee exited Sunday's loss to the Cowboys during the first half and was later able to return to the game. The severity of the Kazee's shoulder and elbow injuries remain undisclosed, but it's encouraging that he was able to play through them. The second-year pro will face a short week of recovery as Thursday's divisional tilt against the Saints approaches.
Kazee collected three tackles and one interception during Sunday's 28-16 loss to Cleveland.
Kazee's magical 2018 continued in Week 10, as he intercepted running back Dontrell Hilliard on a trick play and streaked down the sideline 33 yards to set up Atlanta with a short-lived three-point lead in the second quarter. The Falcons secondary had been getting its act together somewhat in holding opposing quarterbacks to a 9:4 touchdown:interception ratio over the four outings prior to Week 10, but Baker Mayfield carved up the Atlanta defense with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and an 85 percent completion rate. Next for Kazee and the defensive backfield comes a matchup with Dak Prescott, who's been less than stellar overall this season, failing to exceed 275 passing yards in any of his nine starts and throwing just 1.2 touchdowns per game.
Kazee (ankle) was a full participant in Friday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Kazee was limited for two consecutive practices to begin the week, so his full participation bodes well. The second-year pro appears on track to start against the Browns in Week 10 and will look to build upon what has been a breakout season.
Kazee (ankle) was a limited participant during Thursday's practice, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
It's been a breakout season for Kazee, with 43 tackles, six pass deflections, four interceptions and a forced fumble at the midway point of Atlanta's regular-season slate. After registering just one start in his rookie campaign of 2017, the San Diego State standout has tallied seven starts this year in place of the injured Keanu Neal (knee). Kazee's presence in the lineup is essential for the Falcons' matchup against Baker Mayfield and Cleveland's No. 23 passing offense Sunday, but his limited involvement in consecutive practices raises concern. If he's unable to suit up, backups Sharrod Neasman and Keith Tandy are likely to see an uptick in playing time against the Browns.
Kazee tallied five total tackles, one pass deflection and one interception during Sunday's 38-14 win against the Redskins.
Kazee came down with a game-clinching interception midway through the fourth quarter, catching a Blidi Wreh-Wilson-deflected pass and dragging two feet along the sideline to secure possession for Atlanta with a 17-point lead. The second-year man commanded attention from the Falcons coaching staff with an outstanding preseason (second on team in tackles, with one interception during preseason), and he's remained a difference maker with four interceptions over his past five outings. Kazee has had a hand in six total turnovers this season for the defense, and he's tallied five or more tackles in five of the past six games heading into a Week 10 matchup against a Browns passing attack that's averaged 6.3 yards per attempt this year (among NFL's five worst teams in that category).
Kazee recorded five total tackles, a pass deflection and an interception during Sunday's 34-29 win against Tampa Bay.
Atlanta continues to get torn apart by opposing passers (342.6 passing yards and 3.2 touchdowns surrendered per game since Week 2), but Kazee has proven himself time and time again to be a playmaker for the banged-up Falcons secondary. Of the seven turnovers generated by the defense in 2018, Kazee has had a hand in five -- forcing a fumble, intercepting three passes, and deflecting a ball that resulted in a Deion Jones interception during Week 1. Next comes a matchup with the Giants, and an offensive line that has surrendered the fourth-most sacks in the NFL this year. If Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley can disrupt Eli Manning in the pocket in Week 7, Kazee may have a shot to haul in a hurried pass for his fourth interception in as many games.
Head coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday that he's seen Kazee significantly improve with communication since taking over as a starter at safety, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
It's no secret that the Falcons' secondary has been exposed since Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) suffered early season injuries, allowing at least 250 passing yards and three touchdowns per game over each of the past four outings. Kazee's development provides reason to hold out hope for a midseason rebound, as the second-year man has recorded interceptions in back-to-back games, while having a hand in four of the defense's five forced turnovers. Sunday brings an important NFC South showdown (if either team hopes to remain relevant in the playoff race) with Tampa Bay and the NFL's No. 1 passing offense (363 yards per game), with Jameis Winston making his first start of the year in place of the recently benched Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Kazee accounted for six total tackles, one forced fumble, a pass deflection and an interception during Sunday's 41-17 loss to Pittsburgh.
The second-year man continues to shine in the defensive backfield in what has otherwise been a nightmarish season for the Dirty Birds' secondary, with a plethora of injuries and continued struggles in defending against the pass. Kazee has averaged 7.7 tackles per game over the past three weeks, and he's proven capable of forcing turnovers, with two interceptions and three forced fumbles in his past seven regular-season and postseason games. Next week may bring another opportunity for the ballhawk Kazee, facing a Bucs team that has thrown 1.8 interceptions per game in 2018 between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston.
Kazee logged one interception and seven tackles during Sunday's 37-36 loss to the Bengals.
Kazee served as Atlanta's starting free safety in the absence of Ricardo Allen (Achilles). Atlanta's defense was mostly unable to stop Cincinnati's passing attack -- allowing quarterback Andy Dalton to pass for 337 yards, three touchdowns and one interception -- but Allen, who accounted for Dalton's only interception, was a bright spot for the Falcons' secondary. Kazee will remain a key defensive piece heading into Atlanta's Week 5 matchup against the Steelers.
Kazee (knee) was a full participant in Friday's practice and is expected to be active for Sunday's game against Cincinnati, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
The Falcons' secondary is elated to have Kazee back healthy with starting safeties Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) down for the season, and nickelback Brian Poole's (thumb, toe) Week 4 status remaining uncertain. Kazee's stellar play throughout training camp and the early regular season helped assure head coach Dan Quinn that he could step in as an adequate replacement, instead of reaching outside the organization for a big-name pickup. The second-year man has a keen nose for the football, as evidenced by double-digit tackle performances in two of his past six preseason and regular-season games. Out of necessity, expect Kazee to be on the field for close to 100 percent of the defensive snaps Sunday against Cincinnati so long as his knee holds up.
Kazee was limited in Wednesday's practice with a knee injury, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
The Falcons already lost their two starting safeties -- Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) -- for the season, making Kazee's health for the rest of the season of paramount importance. While starting in the Falcons' Week 3 loss to the Saints, Kazee tallied 10 tackles across 91 total snaps, showing that he can be a capable contributor in IDP leagues with the opportunity he has ahead of him. Assuming the knee issue isn't too much of a concern, he'll be in store for another hefty snap count Week 4 against the Bengals.
Kazee will start at safety for the Falcons with Ricardo Allen (Achilles) out for the season, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Kazee's insertion as a starter in Atlanta's back end comes as a result of Allen likely heading to injured reserve. Fortunately for the Falcons, Kazee has some experience, albeit limited, working with the first-string defense. The drop-off from Allen to Kazee isn't likely to bring about noticeable differences, given Kazee's familiarity and recent work with the starters.
Kazee was fined $10,026 for his hit on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton during last Sunday's 31-24 win over Carolina, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The second-year safety was handed a hefty fine from the league after delivering a vicious hit on Cam Newton, but at least he won't be forced to miss any game time for the infraction. Kazee will be starting for the foreseeable future in place of Keanu Neal (knee), who is down for the season with a torn ACL. The secondary has thus far performed admirably without Neal in the lineup, ranking 10th in passing yards allowed per game (219) through Week 2.
Kazee admitted that he was, "playing too fast" and apologized for the tackle of Cam Newton that got him ejected from Sunday's game against the Panthers, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.
Kazee is known to play with a fiery intensity when he's on the field for Atlanta, but Sunday's late hit on Cam Newton was wildly unsafe and is precisely the type of collision that the league aims to eradicate from the game. It's certain that the second-year man will receive some kind of punishment for the infraction, but it remains to be seen if he will be held out for an upcoming matchup against New Orleans. That would be a devastating blow for a Falcons' secondary that is already without Keanu Neal (knee) for the remainder of the season. Kazee declined to comment Wednesday on whether there has been a fine or suspension passed down from the NFL.
Kazee was ejected from Sunday's game against Carolina, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Kazee was tossed from Sunday's action for an unnecessary hit on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. The Falcons' safety launched himself head-first into a sliding Newton, prompting officials to quickly flag the second-year vet. Keith Tandy figures to take over in the secondary during Kazee's absence.
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