Mike Mularkey being unduly criticized for masterful game plan

Atlanta Falcons cornerback # 20 Brent Grimes intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for wide receiver # 17 Robert Meachem during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Officials ruled pass interferance on the play awarding the Saints an automatic first down. Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons cornerback # 20 Brent Grimes intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for wide receiver # 17 Robert Meachem during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Officials ruled pass interferance on the play awarding the Saints an automatic first down. Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

BIRDLAND — Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was praised league-wide for his work last season.

The Falcons were able to win 11 games and reach the playoffs in part because of the fine job that Mularkey and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave did with a rookie quarterback and the powerful rushing attack lead by running back Michael Turner.

Without either of his main weapons against New Orleans he came up with a masterful game plan. He’s getting unduly

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

criticized by the reactionary fans.

Against the Saints, the Falcons had to come up with a creative game plan. They had to “Zig” when the Saints were expecting them to “Zag.”

Let’s call that, going against the grain.

Or in NFL talk, going against your tendencies.

New Orleans came out and sat down on tight end Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White, who were heavily targeted in the passing game by Chris Redman in the previous game. White had an unthinkable 20 passes thrown his way.

So they bracketed Gonzalez with two defenders and followed White everywhere, even to the bath room. How else do you explain them letting Michael Jenkins run down the middle of the field unguarded, not once, but twice?

Therefore, Redman had to spread the ball around to eight different receivers.

In the run game, Mularkey was able to beat the over-pursuing Saints with a reverse early in the game.

In all, the Falcons had nine plays that went for 18-yards or more. They were gashing the Saints.

Now, if they would have had a better red zone plan, they would not have had to kick those three first half field goals.

So, was the reverse on first down in the fourth quarter, really a bad call? Before that, it was the Falcons best rushing play of the game. Why not start the drive off with the play that’s picked up the most yards?

On the next possession, on fourth-and-2, Mularkey went back to another play that had gotten him 38 yards. Why not call a play that got you 38 yards, when you just need 2? (I do have a pet peeve of not throwing the pass play past the required yardage marker. . . but that’s another blog).

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) rallies teammates in a huddle before taking on the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. (Associated Press Photo/John Amis)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) rallies teammates in a huddle before taking on the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. (Associated Press Photo/John Amis)

But there was one major problem with the reverse call.

They Saints had sniffed it out and called a corner blitz.

The Falcons, in the Wildcat, didn’t have an audible out of the play. They were just hoping that Randall Gay went with the play fake to Jason Snelling and that Eric Weems could whiz around the corner undetached.

Head coach Mike Smith took the blame for that play.

“It was obvious, while we were getting ready to run that play that they were coming off the edge,” Smith said. “Really, I’ll take responsibility for that. It should be my responsibility as the head coach to call time out and make sure that we don’t run that play. Either we call time out or put it in the hands of the Lord and hopefully we can run around a blitzing corner. I take full responsibility for that play. It’s not on the players. There is nothing in our system for us to get out of that play. It’s something that I should have handled.”

REALITY CHECK TIME: It’s reality check time for Falcons. The playoffs are nearly a statistical improbability. According to one stat guru, the have less than one percent chance of making the playoffs.

Some of the fans, like Pete of Norcross, want to take the Reality Check.

In an e-mail, Pete wrote,

“D.O.L.

Every week it gets more desperate.

Still in the hunt? The Falcons, with their injury littered roster, are as much a playoff team as Tampa or St. Louis. Please.

We all have drunk the Kool-Aid for the ump-teenth time. It’s getting old.

Let it go.

This season is history. . . on to 2010.

Lot’s of interesting stuff to happen after Feb. 15, 2010.

Thanks.

Pete”

David Gerard has a website called www.makeNFLplayoffs.com and his computer program calculates the chances of the Falcons making the playoffs.

The Falcons have a 0.0% chance of a first round bye, a 0.0% chance of hosting a 1st round playoff game and 0.9% chance of being a road wild card team in the first round.

The Falcons playoff hopes peaked in Week 6 after they improve to 4-1. They had a 62.3 percent playoff chance.

Now after a loss in week 14, the Falcons (6-7) chance of making the playoffs has fallen to 0.9%.

FOILED OR BOTCHED: My man Ron sent me a few e-mails contending that the Falcons didn’t “foil” the fake field goal attempt. He contends that Mark Brunell, the holder, messed up the play by holding onto the ball too long.

What did y’all see?

FRIENDS, HOW MANY OF US HAVE THEM????: It looks like defensive end Jonathan Babineaux didn’t learn

Atlanta Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo offers some encouragement to defensive tackle # 95 Jonathan Babineaux as he warms up for the Saints at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Babineaux was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana during a routine traffic stop Thursday night. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Atlanta Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo offers some encouragement to defensive tackle # 95 Jonathan Babineaux as he warms up for the Saints at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Babineaux was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana during a routine traffic stop Thursday night. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

that lesson about picking good friends.

The lesson was also on display in the Michael Vick case.

So that brought to mind a line in an old rap song by Whodini, when they ask the question:  “Friends, How many of us have them?”

Later on, there’s a line about “With friends like that, you don’t need enemies.”

Have to give some respect to AJC Baseball blog and music guru Dave O’Brien first, but here’s the youtube link and the lyrics.  Jalil, Ecstasy and Grandmaster Dee breakdown the meaning of “Friends.”

(LYRICS COURTESY OF http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/nextfridayoldschool/friends.htm)

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Ones we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, lets be

Friends*

Is a word we use everyday

Most the time we use it in the wrong way

Now you can look the word up, again and again

But the dictionary doesnt know the meaning of friends

And if you ask me, you know, I couldnt be much help

Because A friend is somebody you judge for yourself

Some are ok, and they treat you real cool

But some mistake kindness for bein a fool

We like to be with some, because they’re funny

Others come around when they need some money

Some you grew up with, around the way

And you’re still real close too this very day

Homeboys through the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall

And then there’s some we wish we never knew at all

And this list goes on, again and again

But these are the people that we call friends

When we first went out together, we barely knew each other

We had no intentions, on becoming lovers

But in no time at all, you became my girl

Me and you, one on one, against the world

Talkin on the telephone for hours at a time

Or else I was at your house, or you was at mine

Then came the arguements and all kinds of problems

Besides making love, we had nothing in common

It couldnt last long because it started out strong

But I guess we went about the whole thing wrong

Cause out of nowhere it just came to an end

Because we became lovers before we were friends

*Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Ones we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, let’s be

Friends*

You say you and your girlfriend were so tight

You took her out with you and your guy one night

She even had a set of keys to your home

And you shared mostly everything you owned

But as she shook your hand, she stole your man

And it was done so swift, it had to be a plan

Couldn’t trust her with cheese, let alone your keys

With friends like that you dont need enemies

You wonder how long it was all going on

And your still not sure if your man is gone

You say, well if she took him he was never mine

But deep inside you know thats just another lie

And now you’re kinda cold to the people you meet

Cause of something that was done to you by some creep

But nevertheless, I’ll say it again

That these are the people that we call friends

*Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, lets be

Friends*

*Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

One’s we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, lets be

Friends*

*Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

One’s we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, lets be

Friends*

133 comments Add your comment

Matt

December 16th, 2009
8:16 am

Great column!!! I was one of the critics of Mularkey on Sunday but this has helped put my mind in perspective! All too often it’s easy to dwell on the negatives and not on the positives. If the officials would have had the heads in the game we would’ve handed the “undefeated Saints” Asses to them on a platter! GO FALCONS!!!!

tidog

December 16th, 2009
8:23 am

The problem I had with the last play was the formation. When we lined up I immediately said “why shotgun”. Saints only had to protect the pass and not the run threat. All in all good game with suspcious pass interference calls. Lets run the table now.

NCFalconFan

December 16th, 2009
8:26 am

Thanks DOL….I’m feeling a tad bit. I guess I’m drinking the Kool Aid again, looking forward to 2010. A year w/Gonzalez, Turner, hopefully a healthy Norwood & OL, and Harry Douglas. Just got out and get some DEFENSE!!!

SPARTAN NATION

December 16th, 2009
8:26 am

Whodini rocks!!!

SOME_PLAYS_ARE_BAD

December 16th, 2009
8:30 am

A GAME PLAN IS NOT MASTERFUL UNLESS YOU WIN THE GAME!!!! THERE ARE NO OTHER MEASUREMENT POINTS!!! THE WILDCAT HAS STOPPED US SEVERAL TIMES THIS YEAR ON GOOD DRIVES. PLEASE COLLECT THE STATS RE THE FALCON’S USE OF THE WILDCAT AND THE RESULTS OF THE DRIVE. THE FALCON’S USE OF THE WILDCAT IS GIVING ONE OF YOUR DOWNS TO THE OPPOSITION. WE SHOULD HAVE WON THE GAME ON SUNDAY, AND THE PLAN WOULD HAVE BEEN MASTERFUL. I AM 64 YEARS OLD AND I KNOW THE JOURNEY OF THE FALCONS SINCE CONCEPTION.

Bird

December 16th, 2009
8:31 am

Matt Ryan?..lol! Great Read, GO FALCONS!

William

December 16th, 2009
8:37 am

Jeepers Creepers! Give Mularkey and the other coaches a pay raise or bonus for failure! Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser! A great statement by a great warrior.
Ok let us get together and send them a Christmas card with all the excuses they need to justify being a loser. It will make them feel warm and cozy about themselves while they spend all those millions.

Same Old Song!!

December 16th, 2009
8:47 am

This is what I hate about my town….. Why is Mr. Ledbelly making excuses for the Falcon coaches? Hey Orlando, Just in case you forgat, the only thing that counts are wins and losses!!! I can assure you that folks in this town would be a lot happier if we had run 75 dive plays up the middle in a win than a fancy “Zig or Zag” in a loss…..

Timbo

December 16th, 2009
8:49 am

How does awful calls late equal a masterful game plan?

Robert M

December 16th, 2009
8:52 am

Matt..do you really think you would’ve handed the Saints their @sses on a platter? After two games against us you should realize, we were very vanilla for the Falcons. We save all our special stuff for real teams like the Giants, Patriots, Eagles, and Cowboys. No need to show our hand against the likes of the Falcons, Panthers, Bills, Jets, etc. Watch the difference come Saturday night. The Saints will dominate the Cowboys the same way they did the Pats, Eagles and Giants.

That said, I do give props to the Falcons for hanging in under difficult conditions. You guys have lots of injuries, but its part of the game. Without all the injuries the Saints had in 2008, this would be the third playoff berth in four years for us.

Good luck next year. The Falcons are building a foundation to have an impressive team for the long term. I don’t really look forward to playing them twice a year with the talent they have now.

Samuel

December 16th, 2009
8:56 am

Mike Mularky should take some of the blame for that silly play. Also Mike Smith needs to do a better job coaching,instead of showing us he’s angry when a call doesn’t go his way. I know there’s alot of starters not playing but it wasn’t like the coaching staff didn’t know. They the coaches won’t publically say it but some of these draft choices were a bust. And there’s several players on the team who would be cut if they were playing for another team. Dimitroff did a lousy job with theses picks and he knows they haven’t panned out. Jamaal Anderson, Brian finneran, Tye hill, Chris houston and Jerious Norwood, Chris Redman. Probally won’t be around next year. The fans in Atlanta take a beating each year,hopes are high and then it seems we’re back where we started. You have to have atleast four probowler’s on your defense to be successful. I can’t remember when the falcons had a defense that was dominate. So don’t call the fans reactionary, but realize that they been witnessing mediority for a very long time.

Justify My Lost

December 16th, 2009
8:58 am

The fact that this bonehead wrote the article is the main reason none of the professional sports teams in Atlanta will be champions of their sport. No Coach in this city holds any of their staff accountable for anything. A bad play call is just a bad play call period. I don’t want to hear a lame excuse to justify a bad play call. Just admit it was bad and move on. The fact that this article was written proves the loser mentality a lot of fans express(including me). And don’t hit ME wit that lame a$$ “you’re no a real fan bull S&%#”

FoxNoise.net

December 16th, 2009
9:01 am

I like Mularkey, overall he called a great game against New Orleans. But he shouldn’t have made those two calls because the Saints defense won’t be fooled twice.

Justify My Lost

December 16th, 2009
9:09 am

Ledbetter should NO better

Justify My Loss

December 16th, 2009
9:10 am

Enter your comments here

Same Old Song!!

December 16th, 2009
9:14 am

Hey Ledbelly,

I guess next you are gonna start with the ” our coach could be up their coach” or Our dome is nicer than theirs, Or ( and this is my favorite) Our cheerleaders as so much better looking!!! Lets see what other lameAzz excuses we can come up with….

Andrew

December 16th, 2009
9:15 am

“FoxNoise,” actually they WERE fooled twice. Jenkins was wide open on the pass that he dropped (were we one dropped pass away?) and then he burned them on the one he caught after they brought the corners around on a blitz.

Great read DOL. Those that say coaches in Atlanta are never held accountable should remember that the majority of the Falcons’ losing legacy can be attributed to a longtime owner who let his son play General Manager.

Justify My Loss

December 16th, 2009
9:23 am

Same Old Song!! : LMFAO!! I know right or “Mike Smith could not forsee Two of his best players Hurt.” Or Roddy(I sat my azz out because i made the probowl) White ” Roddy isn’t use to catching balls thrown by Reddman” Puhleassse!! Stop babying these overgrown boys

Same Old Song!!

December 16th, 2009
9:24 am

Andrew

December 16th, 2009
9:15 am

Funny, I never hear Super Bowl winning teams talk about stuff like this… You my friend have been cursed with the loser gene. You can say “They WERE fooled twice”….He brother, you did not fool them when it counted!!! Excuses are made for losers!!!!!!

Ken

December 16th, 2009
9:28 am

Tidog – The reason you line up in the gun on that is because it’s a wildcat play. The RB was taking the snap so the Saints know he’s not going to drop back and throw the ball. So even when you’re running a reverse you have to do it out of the same formation that you would run wildcat from. Now if you’re suggesting that they shoudl have run it out of their base set then that’s another question all together. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with running the reverse out of the wildcat though.

Justify My Loss

December 16th, 2009
9:30 am

Hey Andrew you sound like those weak forgiving losers on 680 the fan. We as falcon fans need to grow a set and call that sh## like it is. Does the phrase”Wait til next year” not get old?

Same Old Song!!

December 16th, 2009
9:33 am

I get it now…It seems as if the press is more interested in staying in good with the powers at Flowery Branch than calling it like we all saw it!!!

AceDawg

December 16th, 2009
9:36 am

I’m still impressed with the Falcons’ coaching. Injuries, a once great kicker losing his touch, etc haven’t let the season roll the right way, but realistic Falcons fans should have known that 11-5 or better wasn’t likely, as the Falcons outplayed their abilities last year. With a good offseason where the Falcons hopefully acquire a defensive upgrade or two, and a little depth at QB and O-line, I think they’ll be back to a contender. They are STILL a fairly good team that has missed opportunities, which is hard to recover from in the NFL.

Justify My Loss

December 16th, 2009
9:39 am

Same Old Song: Thats the problem with the entire state of GA sports(including college) we put politics above accountability. Thats why none of our teams can win. Instead of constructive crticism they ask the politically correct questions and make politically correct statements. This foolishness is why the city of Atlanta has all these fairwhether fans. It’s 2010 not 1864

tidog

December 16th, 2009
9:42 am

Ken I get your logic on the reverse. The play formation I had a problem with was the last play of the game. 4th and 2 pass to Snelling who gets blown up by Vilma 1 yard short of first down. That formation was shotgun and had 0 run threat.

DiryBirdLover

December 16th, 2009
9:42 am

It’s time to find some new coaches in Atlanta. The problem is scheme and coaching. The run defense is solid but the pass defense is horrible. Not one of the Falcon defenders turns around to defend passes while they are in the air they just keep running. That is a coaching issue and far as the offensive scheme it’s horrible. The reason Matt Ryan passes are going the other way is because he doesn’t throw deep passes much like when Michael Vick was here. This past two Sunday’s we threw more bombs in those games compared to Matt Ryan’s entire career in Atlanta. Everytime we throw deep it’s wide open because they are playing Atlanta tendencies. We have to spread the wealth and quit focusing on Gonzalez and White. If Michael Jenkins isn’t a reliable receiver find somebody else. Other teams find diamonds in the rough all the time but in Atlanta we don’t develop our players into impact players just into role players with limitations. It’s time for the guys we draft to develop in household names not just average players. Get it together Atlanta…

Justify My Loss

December 16th, 2009
9:46 am

“but realistic Falcons fans should have known that 11-5 or better wasn’t likely”: Thats exactly the bull sh1t I was talking about. The majority of “realistic falcons fans” as you put it sir had high hopes coming into this season based off of last seasons success and all but knew the falcons were playoff bound this season. Now all of a sudden the “realistic falcons fans” knew 11-5 was not likely. Miss me with that. If you really believe that jive you’re spewing then you and the rest of the “realistic falcons fans” need not to be realistic but simply Keep it REAL!!

Mike is Back

December 16th, 2009
9:47 am

Great Piece DLed, I agree with Matt…There were a lot of positive in the game…they showed some PRIDE.

However, MIKE SMITH is right…he botch that one…the troubling thing is he’s botch a few like that. HIS propensity to play it safe has cost the team dearly in some big games. I like him I think he a good coach…but he has to be prepared to roll dice when the game is on the line…it doesn’t matter if it the first quarter or fourth…when you get your shot…you got to go for the jugular…THAT IT IS!!!

Other than that…he’s my guy…I think he has handled adversity with class…they gotta keep pushing the envelope on offense and come up with more miss direction plays…it something about their base formation that seems to tip the opponents off…that is something that can be experimented with during the remaining of the season.

I thought there was an old rule where you always passed the ball beyond the first down marker on fourth down…that theory should have ruled that play out all together. Heck is was only two yards…if you are going to go with Snell…why not go with the POWER RUN…for god sake…show some moxie some time…THE GUYS WILL RESPOND!!!!!

No sense since in folding the tent in now…there is still plenty to play for this season. I think if we can put back-to-back winning season together…that would cast a positive light on this injury-riddled season. Injury are not…DM got to go get us some first grade corners. lol

KEEP PUSHING FALCONS…ALWAYS TO THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ndccruz

December 16th, 2009
9:55 am

The 4th and 2 play actually worked. Not in the way it did the first time, when it got us those 38 yards, but it still worked. The first time we ran it, the Saints focused on Gonzalez, leaving Snelling open. This time, they knew what was coming and decided to focus on Snelling, leaving Gonzalez in single coverage. Vilma made a great play by hanging back and making it look like Snelling had enough room to get the first down, and then getting the tackle after he saw Redman actually throwing to Snelling. Had Redman read this right and gone through his reads instead of staring down Snelling and doing what the Saints were expecting, he could have had an easy pitch and catch to Gonzalez with plenty of distance for the first down. If your future Hall of Fame TE is wide open on arguably the most important play of the season, I don’t think you can blame the OC for bad play calling.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 16th, 2009
10:19 am

Same Old Song: You’re fired up!!! Like that. Keep it coming. I knew I’d get called out for being a suck up. We do have the best cheerleaders in the country. And Mike Smith probably would take most coaches. Did I miss anything. . .

SEASON TICKET RENEWALS: Who’s got their packages? Understand there’s another increase (for like the 19th consecutive year!). Share some details. I will call my tailgating buddies and see if they have receiver their packages, you right before Christmas time.

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN THE ATL

December 16th, 2009
10:24 am

THANK YOU FALCONS FOR GETTING RID OF BRETT,DEON SANDERS,KEITH BROOKING AND MIKE VICK! LONG LIVE THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE!

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN THE ATL

December 16th, 2009
10:25 am

MIKE MULARKEY AND MIKE BOBO ARE DRINKING FROM THE SAME STUPID WATER FOUNTAIN!

FalcFan

December 16th, 2009
10:27 am

DOL,

I would agree with you- until midway through the 4th quarter. Then Mularkey went back to his usual 2009 self with below average play calling. It comes down to the old saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Late in the 4th, the Saints knew what was coming as soon as they saw the formation- Vilma even said this.

I’ll call it how I see it- 1. Mularkey was great last season on the ground and in the air. 2. This year his play calling has been sad. The run game is still there (Turner being out has hurt but before he went out he was a force after our line got it together). But all season the pass game has been pathetic. Corners have been glued to our receivers as if they always know whats coming and the lack of the deep ball has really allowed teams to pack guys in near the line of scrimmage.

Now, early in the Saints game Mularkey went back to 2008 where he would stretch the field vertically and it paid off. But calling the same play as earlier in the game is not great play calling- especially if that play generated a ton of yardage because that’s even more of a reason to remember it if you’re the defense.

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN THE ATL

December 16th, 2009
10:28 am

SUPER STUPID PLAY CALLING BY MIKE MULARKEY

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 16th, 2009
10:30 am

Listen to Blues Legend LEADBELLY – (HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5tOpyipNJs&NR=1

ndccruz

December 16th, 2009
10:44 am

@ FalcFan: Great point about Mularkey going back to stretching the field early in the game. I disagree with you on the 4th and 2 though. Go back and read my comment about the play. Yes, Vilma knew what was coming, but that left Gonzalez wide open for a first down. If Redman reads this right, he has an easy throw. And he had plenty of time to make that read. I know it’s all speculation, but I say Ryan would have seen this and gone to Gonzalez for the easy first down.

Frontman

December 16th, 2009
10:54 am

Actually, Andrew, the Saints were not fooled twice. They simply chose not to cover Jenkins – he’ll drop it half the time anyway.

FalcFan

December 16th, 2009
10:57 am

@ ndccruz: After thinking about it- I think I do remember seeing Gonzo flash open at the top of the screen as Redman was staring down Snelling- I agree with you. And I think you are correct about your assessment of Ryan too. However, I still question the play calling in the 4th quarter as both the reverse out of the Wildcat and the interception were very similar to plays run earlier for big gains. Now, I know that Smitty says you can blame it on him for not calling a timeout, but if the head coach has to call timeout to save a play that is enough to prove the play call was poor.

I think Smitty is a heck of a coach, but Mularky’s play calling this season has certainly left him open for criticism to say the least. And I’m not even going to start on Van Gorder (who routinely tries to cover running backs and tight ends with John Abraham, Jamal Anderson and Lawrence Sidbury) because I know better than that and I’m in college and the closest I’ve gotten to professional football is on Madden.

FalcFan

December 16th, 2009
11:01 am

@ Frontman: hahaha you are absolutely right- especially if it’s going to be a touchdown. Jenkins would have a hard time catching swine flu if he tried… but he can block so apparently all is forgiven.

DangerousDan87

December 16th, 2009
11:03 am

We wouldn’t even be talking about Mularkey if the refs make the correct calls, Even Troy Aikman was critical of the officiating on the blown pass interference calls. We’ll sweep the Saints next year when we are at 100%.

DangerousDan87

December 16th, 2009
11:09 am

@the curse of Brett Farve…. too bad you don’t know what you are talking about regarding Brett Farve. He has admitted to being hooked on pain pills and alcohol while he was an Atlanta Falcon. Too much nightlife and trouble for him in Atlanta. So, Ex-Falcon brass Tom Bratz goes to Green Bay and gets Farve away from Atlanta. So, Farve focused on football in the simple town of Green Bay without any nightlife. The rest is history. Get your facts right. Its an unfortunate page of Atlanta history. MOVE ON.

ndccruz

December 16th, 2009
11:09 am

@ FalcFan: You’re definitely right about that. No need to call that reverse, and Vilma’s on record saying that he knew what was coming on the interception too. We’ve been really predictable on offense all year, and Mularkey needs to work on that for next season. It seems like we’re running the same 10-15 plays over and over again. He needs to open up the playbook for Ryan.

Same Old Song!!

December 16th, 2009
11:10 am

Bla, Bla, Bla…..Everybody keeps saying that Mike Smith is a good coach… to that I say, Based on what??? During the Smith Era, This team is yet to have a signature win. At some point if you want to claim to be great or even good, you have to do something that warrents that claim, and to this date, he has yet to do it. IMHO, Mike Smith is just another over-rated coach riding on the Arthur Blank hype machine. LedBelly, Put down the Pom Poms…..

anthony hooker

December 16th, 2009
11:14 am

I didn’t notice Gonzalez being open on the fourth-down play but I wonder since we only needed three points why we didn’t create a rollout play that allowed the QB to throw downfield or run for yardage because we know the Saints would play back to prevent big plays. Mularkey and Smith could have determined which side would receive pass rushing pressure and move away from that effort.

anthony hooker

December 16th, 2009
11:15 am

Thanks for the Whodini flashback, by the way.

retired on the lake

December 16th, 2009
11:16 am

D Led love the music links and the song (ala DOB). but man don’t hang with DOB too much he keeps that butt ugly pic up on his post don’t want it to rub off on you. Can’t understand the so called fans that don’t want to stick with the process. Take the Hawks as an example Woody is so blah but he has improved every year and every year fans call for his head. As for the Falcons we all knew the schedule was much tougher and the record wouldn’t improve but the process is in place and changing coaches and QBs and systems every couple of years is idiotic. We have a good core, and need to keep moving forward with the process plain and simple. it ain’t over till the Cryboys win one or the Giants win two OR the Falcons lose one. then the season is over and we can look to next year but 0.09 is not zero yet. Until it is hang in there baby and NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER! I just don’t understand the mentality of tearing it all apart when a little adversity comes your way. we are only in the 2nd year of the TD-Smith era. Damn fans jump ship at every dark moment. Band together and have HOPE! of course there are always those that thrive on the Falcons failures whether it’s because they are just haters or feel we have done their hero wrong. Screw them!

Go Falcons get the winning season and hope that the Cryboys and Giants lose out.

DLed keep up the good work your columns help a poverty stricken retirement.

Joe M

December 16th, 2009
11:17 am

No matter… The reverse was a bad call, check-out possibility or not.

Reverses are meant to work once. I am shocked to hear they had no checks! In the NFL, no checks?!

Now, Malarky is awesome and hope he stays here forever! Everybody has those bone-head moments. I’ve had too many to cover.

As for the pass play, if Snelling had taken it 2 yds instead of 1 it’d be different. If Redman had not either A. made up his mind pre-snap, or B. rushed the a throw, somebody was open on an out route to the right. Saw that on Fox replay footage.

That was on the players, not the OC.

I’m just glad Mike Malarky is in Atlanta, bottom line.

ndcruz

December 16th, 2009
11:22 am

@anthony hooker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZJ_M5gd_Vc The 4th and 2 is at 4:12 in the video. Look at the top of the screen. Gonzalez is WIDE open on the out route.

truth

December 16th, 2009
11:24 am

The Falcons will be in the playoffs this year. The Saints will go 16-0 and not win a playoff game.

vafalconfan

December 16th, 2009
11:32 am

Last time I checked it’s a passing league. Look at the teams contending right now. They can run it, but they pass first. Our scheme is flawed and everyone knows it. Having a back carry the ball almost 400 times a season is not a scheme because when that runniing back goes down then what?..run a bunch of cute wild cat garbage?.. we need a change at both coordinators.