BIRDLAND – They called Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey “Inspector Gadget” for his creative play calling in previous NFL stops.
He’d be the first to admit that he’s had to hold his cards close to his vest while the team has been developing young quarterback Matt Ryan, implementing his system and still winning 20 of 32 regular season games.
As the Mularkey and Ryan are about to enter their third season together, we should see more creativity in Mularkey’s
play-calling and Ryan’s play.
“Obviously, we’re light years ahead of where we were when we got here three years ago,” Mularkey told the AJC’S Ken Sugiura after the last open OTA practice. “We can experiment a little more with things because of these guys’ experience with the offense. It’s been fun. It’s gotten very productive.”
Mularkey has been spending time on the board, drawing up new formations. He’s been moving parts around like he’s playing chess and adding new wrinkles to existing plays.
“Our guys just adjusted immediately and made it easy to do,” Mularkey said.
So should the fans be expecting to see Inspector Gadget at the Georgia Dome this season?
“That reputation and the players that I was with in Pittsburgh were capable of doing the stuff we were doing,” Mularkey said. “That’s one of the things we try to do offensively is play to the players’ strength. We’re not doing anything different here.
“It’s just a different personnel group. We don’t have the same type of guys. It doesn’t mean I don’t like that. I think it keeps defenses off-balance, but it’s hard to do if you don’t have a specific-type player.”
MULARKEY ON THE O-LINE: “The O line has been absolutely a blast to be around with the way they approach everything. Very positive. (They) bust their ass as well as any group I’ve been around. I think they’re just hitting their stride. Their communication is far ahead of where we’ve been.”
ON TIGHT END JUSTIN PEELE: “Justin Peelle, I think every team wants a Justin Peelle.”
ON THE RUNNING BACKS: “In the back, it’s been good to have Mike (Turner) back and Ovie (Mughelli’s) been here. Having everybody here has allowed us to take maybe a step ahead in the offseason compared to where we’ve been.”