OC Mike Mularkey: ‘We are not going to panic’

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey met with the media after Friday’s practice.

He discussed how he plans to get the offense on track, the vertical passing game, the rushing attack and the Arizona Cardinals.

Q: What are some of things you all can do to get the offense going, and scoring some points? (D. Orlando Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A: We all have to be a little bit more consistent. As players and coaches we all have to do our jobs and pay attention to the little things. We’re not going to panic after this. We are just going to continue to try to get better and hopefully when we have drives, when we get one going it flows on from there.

Q: How does their defense look? (Roger Hendler, radio veteran)

A: They look solid. Again, it’s a 3-4 front. . . they are solid up front. Just like last week.

WILL Ryan go vertical against the Cardinals on Sunday? 00813 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) loosens up for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010.     Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

WILL Ryan go vertical against the Cardinals on Sunday? 00813 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) loosens up for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Q: Will you try to spread the ball around more? I know Roddy (White) got a high number of targets last week. (Jason Butt, CBSSports.com)

A: There is nothing that says throw it to Roddy this many times or Tony (Gonzalez) this many times. Really, who’s open and we are going to throw it to that spot. Really the defense dictates where the ball goes. It’s going to continue to be that way. If Roddy is the guy, Roddy is the guy. It may be somebody else this year.

Q: How do you rip the top off of defenses with the safeties dropping back. How do you get that play, that vertical play . . . (Ray Glier, freelance, New York Times and AOL)

A: It’s hard when defenses try to keep everything in front of them. What they try to do is make you sustain long drives where you can’t have an explosive play on them. They are waiting for you to make a mistake within those long drives. The one thing we’ve got to do is we have to get to the redzone and have a chance to have some plays down there where we don’t have to throw a long ball or a deep ball or a long run to score. We understand that kind of philosophy and we understand that we can’t afford to mistakes that we are capable of preventing ourselves, self-inflicted wounds is what we say.

Q: Do you have to try it anyway? Do you just throw it up there and see if you can make a play on the ball? (Glier)

A: Yeah, they are in every week. You have to take a shot. You have to hopefully throw it away from where that guy is that’s trying to prevent you from getting over the top. Those are in every week, we just have to hit them. We’ve got them in and we missed them. I’m taking about in the preseason as well.

Q: Will the Dome have an impact on your running game as well? (Hendler)

A: It’s at home. The crowd (and) everything kind of gets you energized. I’m hoping that the run game gets going a little better than it did last week. I think we all are. Again, we have to do things a little better to make that happen. Playing at home and playing in there will make

Tony Gonzalez continues to be a weapon on offense // Falcons at Steelers // 9/12/10 - Heinz Field // PHOTO: Jimmy Cribb, Atlantafalcons.com

Tony Gonzalez continues to be a weapon on offense // Falcons at Steelers // 9/12/10 - Heinz Field // PHOTO: Jimmy Cribb, Atlantafalcons.com

for some good energy.

Q: Some of the guys mentioned this week that Pittsburgh’s 3-4 is different than Arizona’s 3-4. What do you see as some of the differences? (Jay Adams, AtlantaFalcons.com)

A: . . .There are different adjustments based on what you do with your formations, motions and things like that. Pittsburgh’s front has been doing it forever. They are a little different from the way they two-gap compared to what Arizona does. There are some differences and some techniques that we have to be sharp on.

Q: How do you account for (Darnell) Dockett? He moves around for them. (Ledbetter)

A: Really, on first and second down he’s going to be to our right, at least based on film. He’s to our right as their left defensive end. You have to be aware of where he is at all times. He’s that disruptive of player. We feel like he can be a game wrecker if we allow it to happen. We’ve hopefully done some things to prevent that from happening with the run game and protections.

Q: Do they jump around a little bit more in the 3-4. Do they get up field a little more? (Glier)

A: A little more. Pittsburgh is a little more of a skater. . .they really do a good job with their D-ends. These guys are little more penetrating, a little more, based on down and distance and what the situation is. If it’s second-and-long, you see more penetrating pass

Running back Michael Turner hope to get rolling in the Georgia Dome.  - AP Associated Press

Running back Michael Turner hopes to get rolling in the Georgia Dome. - AP Associated Press

rush mode from these guys compared to a Pittsburgh type front.

Q: If you all can run the ball better does that fix that safety problem? (John Manasso, FoxSportSouth.com)

A: That fixes a lot of things. It certainly helps in the flow of things. It certainly helps the play calling flow, if you can get some good chunks on first and second down. If you are hitting a wall, it’s hard to get into a flow for them, for me, for everybody. I think it opens up a lot things if we can get it going.

Q: Adrian Wilson had a big week last week. How do you all account for him? (Ledbetter)

A: He’s a really good player. That he had a big week last week really doesn’t surprise me. He’s another guy like Dockett that you have to be aware of. Where is he? What do we have to do to make sure he’s not a factor and have an influence in the outcome of this game. Because he can, like he did last week. He’s a good player.

Q: They talk about defense and you take what the defense gives you. Can you come and dictate to the defense, we’re going to make you play this? (Glier)

A: You can do that. Is that our intent? Yeah, that’s our intent almost every week, to see if we can get them into specific fronts and specific coverages. Get them out flanked here or there with a shift or a motion. (You might use) a new cadence trying to take advantage of guys that are jumping the snap. We are always somehow trying to get an advantage on them. That is kind of the M.O. every time that we go into the game is to get them out of their comfort zone.

Q: Dockett is the guy? (Glier)

A: He’s the guy. He does (like to jump the snap) and he does a good job of it.

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144 comments Add your comment

truth

September 17th, 2010
2:47 pm

What I would like to see is the Falcons just go out play like they have nothing to lose. Take chances and show that they intend to shove the ball down the other teams throat and make you choke on it! Keep your mind out of the gutter D-Led. :)

truth

September 17th, 2010
2:56 pm

I truly hope this last game has cause Mularkey to look in the mirror and see exactly where he stands. I don’t mind an int every now and then, it’s gonna happen in an offense that’s willing to take chances. I want to see them play to win instead of playing not to loose. There is a huge different between the two.

DTYBRDZ

September 17th, 2010
2:59 pm

**daTruth speaks the truth** Atl needs to play ballz out on offense & try to make sum plays…! Enough with the out routes- use the middle of the field more. Screens, draws- lets play sum Falcon football!!

dean

September 17th, 2010
3:01 pm

I smell doom for the Cardinals come Sunday.

dexterdawg

September 17th, 2010
3:04 pm

It will be a great thing for us to open up the offense. For all I care throw 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions every week as long as we win, numbers are unimportant. Lets throw throw the ball 55 times if needed to open up the running game. Go Birds, peace out

Saints LSU

September 17th, 2010
3:06 pm

@ DTYBRDZ your are not the SAINTS you don’t have the weapons to do all of that 4 wide 5 wide 3 wide are TE bush out of the back field & thomas screen I could go on & on etc.

@tlaNta fAlc0n

September 17th, 2010
3:09 pm

Agreed Truth they do need to play to win and leave everything out their sunday or you can forget about the playoff’s

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

September 17th, 2010
3:10 pm

I wish some of these sportscasters would ask Mularkey the tough questions as oppose to these solf core ones that are referenced in this blog.

1) Why does he refuse to make adjustments on offense when one particular aspect of the pre-game strategy, e.g, continually trying to run Turner up the middle against Pitts defense, does not work?????

2) If Norwood is suppose to be your change of pace RB, why is he not utilized???

3) Why do the Falcons not use slants over the middle of the field in short yardage situations? Why is everything run towards the sidelines on passing routes by the WRs? How does that strategy help the YAC?

THE MAIN TWO QUESTIONS…..
4) Does he really have a clue as to what he’s suppose to be doing with this offensive talent????

5) Will he concede that the offense appears to gain momentum when Matt Ryan is calling the plays (using the no-huddle) as oppose to when he sends the plays into the game from the booth?

PLEASE ASK THIS GUY THE TOUGH QUESTIONS NEXT TIME HE’S INTERVIEWED…..

@tlaNta fAlc0n

September 17th, 2010
3:10 pm

I hate when people think they know about weapons none of those guys meant anything till Brees showed up.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

truth — I like that. That’s football!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 17th, 2010
3:22 pm

Sick — We’ll consult you next time. –Norwood dropped two passes on third down. — Turner had zero runs up the middle. –Slants are more west coast system routes. They don’t run the WC. –no the huddle has 0 touchdowns, he has 0 touchdowns. I don’t think you give the keys to the car to a third year quarterback. He was good and got several tough questions today.

Ron-NS-Fan

September 17th, 2010
3:29 pm

Will it be time to panic when we are 0-3 ? This offense has made no progress.. this will be a 8&8 9&7 team again. Loose to elite teams. Defense is better but they will be worn down half way through the season.

jerry

September 17th, 2010
3:35 pm

Saints LSU: You are right on. While the Saints have built their offense around racehorse speed, diversity, and backs who can also double as receivers, the Falcons have elected to go with a plodding mule type back who is practically useless as a receiver and who needs a hole that a Sherman tank could pass through in order to get 5 yards.

Ree Roe

September 17th, 2010
3:38 pm

So because we don’t run the WC we can’t throw a slant pattern? That doesn’t make sense. Why don’t we run more screens & draws and take more chances down the field? I’m not encouraged by what I saw on offense last wk & were playing a similar type of team this Sun. Mularkey’s comments don’t sound like anything has or will change.

Will Jenkins play this wk or is his shoulder still banged up?

-REEpeat of Roe!!

RobbE33

September 17th, 2010
3:46 pm

For whatever reason (Mularkey, Ryan?), the Falcons seems fragile this year. I don’t see any of the moxie they had in ‘08. Ryan may be stronger but I don’t see the accuracy of a Rivers or Brees. Mularkey definitely doesn’t seem to be very innovative nor able to make adjustments mid-stride. Perhaps they’re just setting the second half opponents up for their REAL strategy. Yeah. That’s the ticket. I hope it’s soon….

hiramsaint

September 17th, 2010
3:46 pm

if ken strickland would crawl out from under his rock he could tell you exactly every facet of why things are not going as they should be and how they can be fixed. he could also go on endlessly about how the players feel and what they are gonna do before they do it. please pontificate the falcons to the winners everyone-including you- said they were gonna be. 3-0 after the saints game i believe was the prediction made by a number of you , including truth , and 0-3 for the superbowl champs.what happened???????????

Lee

September 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

Falcons may win this game but they will do no better than 8-8, maybe 9-7 this season. Eight or nine wins won’t be enough to qualify for the playoffs.

Ron-NS-Fan

September 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

D-Led is it just me or are the defenses seeing something the offense is doing to know the snap count. On several occasions they were getting off the ball before the o-line

Dirty Bird

September 17th, 2010
3:58 pm

Falcons do not lose @ home to the Cards, not happening!

Chuck Sheen

September 17th, 2010
4:03 pm

Mularkey needs to lose his job

Real Talk

September 17th, 2010
4:05 pm

mike is not the one who is snapping the ball he is not the one that is throwing so. I wouldn’t ask him why roddy was the target. Something to think about.

allycks

September 17th, 2010
4:07 pm

You don’t give the keys of the car to a 3rd year quarterback????

Gotta call you on that one, Ledbetter.

Manning and Brady had the keys in their 3rd year, you can bet on it. If you are saying that “the esteemed” Mike Mularkey has no wish to hand over the keys to THIS particular 3rd year quarterback, then OK, that starts sounding a little more like the reality of the situation. You might counter that Ryan is no Manning or Brady, but how the heck would we know, with the esteemed Mularkey keeping him handcuffed?

The esteemed Mularkey said, and certainly not for the first time, that “the defense dictates” what the offense does. Think about that. The man who is in charge of planning and implementing the Falcons attack says that the opposing defense dictates to our offense. That is pretty much the lamest, most PASSIVE plan of attack ever conceived. I am amazed they managed three field goals with that dud of a “game plan.”!!!

AZ Bird

September 17th, 2010
4:08 pm

Cardinals are gonna come in and stomp the ATL tweeters. Hope your DBs are ready to handle a healthy dose of an angry Fitz and cool hand Breaston. Its gonna be 0-2 for you fellas…

JB

September 17th, 2010
4:14 pm

Why all the questions about throwing long and “ripping the top off the defense?”
– Especially if the safeties are deep and you have trouble with pass protection —
Throw underneath and a good receiver should be able to fake out a defender occasionally and take it to the house, and then it becomes a long play.

Jake

September 17th, 2010
4:14 pm

Where is the deep ball Mike Mularkey!Im getting tired of this!Matt Ryan had a great rookie season and had great success in Boston collage by doing what………THROWING THE DEEP BALL!!

blazingcards

September 17th, 2010
4:14 pm

It’s wk. 2 folks. I laugh at those millions who take wk. 1 results and interpret them as a full season records Have all forgot that the broncos started 6-0 a yr. ago? No-one knows if az. is better than atl. thats why the game is scheduled. Truth be told they both have questions…..EVERYTEAM has questions. So lets toss the nostraudomus hats…………..and watch more questions get answered sunday!!!

ATL krusher

September 17th, 2010
4:17 pm

I really hope they fixed things in practice this week. I dont know what to think about Mularkey, he really didnt sound like he was going to change anything that he did from week 1. I dont remember seeing one deep ball last sunday, so I dont know what he was talking about when he said the deep passing plays are in every week’s gameplan. Im calling BS on that. Ill be there early, go Falcons, lets get it going.

Jake

September 17th, 2010
4:20 pm

@blazingcards
I know right!!!!!The 07 Giants lost their first 2 games and guess what…….THEY WON THE SUPERBOWL!

allycks

September 17th, 2010
4:23 pm

Another thing: sitting at home, watching the game on TV, it was clear just based on the offensive formation if the Falcons were going to go with a pass or a run. Last week everybody I was watching the game with got into a game of calling out “Pass!” or “Run!” before the ball was snapped.

WE DIDN’T MISS ONE.

If ordinary fans can predict the call, just imagine how the opposing defense must be licking its chops.

That blatant predictability falls on the architect of the attack, your Atlanta Falcons “offensive” coordinator, Mike Mularkey.

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:34 pm

Oh, Ok,, since we dont run the west coast offene we cant run slant patterns over the middle,, thats about the dummest thing I ever heard on here…

Kman

September 17th, 2010
4:35 pm

Slants are not proprietary to the “West Coast” Offense.

truth

September 17th, 2010
4:36 pm

Another thing. Why did Weems and HD seem to disappear in the 2nd half? They produced when Ryan ran the offense in the no-huddle. I’ve said before, we were moving the ball very well with Matt in charge of the play calling.

newkid

September 17th, 2010
4:37 pm

‘Take what the defense gives you’ has become a trite philosophy. I prefer Coach Dean Smith’s old philosophy: no defense is going to ‘give’ Carolina anything that’s of benefit to the Tarheels, so why would we settle for ‘taking what the defense gives’ rather developing and executing a game plan that TAKES what we want?

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

September 17th, 2010
4:37 pm

1ST BRETT FAVRE

2ND MIKE VICK

AND WE END UP WITH NOODLE ARM MATT RYAN!

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:38 pm

No huddle has 0 touchdowns,, and the Huddle has 0 touchdowns,, whats your point D

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:42 pm

Thanks for clearing me up for me Kman,,, D-Led seems to think it is,,,

blazingcards

September 17th, 2010
4:42 pm

it’s just like when watching a game with friends and one team is up 17-3 , early 2nd qtr. and someone declares the game over, i can only look at them as if they’ve lost their minds, IT’S A 4 QUARTER game and a 16 game season. As for the game….as a cards fan I fear most ryans stellar record at home and what will probably be a very determined atl. offense. AZ. secondary is above average but Anothy G. should have room in the middle. PLUS am listening to az. sports talk right now and beanie was again limited in practice, with swelling and is a game-time decision.

falconfan2986

September 17th, 2010
4:43 pm

Falcons over Cards in a laugher, 31-13.

truth

September 17th, 2010
4:45 pm

The point Frozen is when we got close to the red zone Mularkey took over and things slowed down alot. Now I’m not saying Matt is the boy wonder but it does make you wonder.

BK

September 17th, 2010
4:48 pm

Michael Lombardi said this week on Inside the NFL that he has heard concerns from sources inside the Falcons organization that there is concern that Matt Ryan might not be the player that they once thought he was. D Led is this true and is that why we see such vanilla offense?

Booby's booger finger

September 17th, 2010
4:52 pm

he’s full of mularkey ! Matt only throws to Gonzo

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:52 pm

I with you Truth,, Matt does a much better job when he is reading the defense and calling plays at the line… It also prevents the D from substituting. That was D-Leds argument,, 0 touchdown for the no huddle,, so what,, they moved the ball up and down the field,, just didnt punch it in for the reason you just mentioned., bad play calling by Mularkey.

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

September 17th, 2010
4:54 pm

SHOULD HAVE KEPT THE REAL MATT! MATT SHAUB THAT IS!

truth

September 17th, 2010
4:55 pm

Got cha Frozen.

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:55 pm

And if Norwood cant run, cant catch,, cant stay on the field and produce,, GET RID OF HIM AND GET SOMEONE THAT CAN

THE CURSE OF BRETT FAVRE LIVES IN ATL

September 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

MIKE TURNER IS WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY OVERRATED!

P.S. HE TIPS THRU THE HOLE!

truth

September 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

Now I would at the time rather had seen Vick leave then Schaub. I said then he will be a good QB.

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

Excuses Excuses,,

Frozen Rope

September 17th, 2010
4:56 pm

Enter your comments here

truth

September 17th, 2010
4:57 pm

And I agree with you Frozen about Norwood…..I mean fragilwood.