QUOTABLE: The Falcons discuss their penalty woes

 

Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, talks to head linesman Steve Stelljes, right, after challenging a call in the first half against Seattle. They zebras have thrown 27 penalties on the Falcons this season. AP

Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, talks to head linesman Steve Stelljes, right, after challenging a call in the first half against Seattle. They zebras have thrown 27 penalties on the Falcons this season. AP

FLOWERY BRANCH – On their march to the NFC South title last season, the Falcons played near penalty-free football with just 58 penalties. The Falcons have incurred 27 infractions and been fined $47,500 by the league over the first quarter of the season.

They are on pace to register 108 penalties. Last season, Arizona was the seventh most penalized team with 108 penalties. The Oakland Raiders led the league with 148 infractions.

(LOOKS LIKE HOLDING TO ME?)  Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson makes a leaping pass over Falcons defender Peria Jerry. AP

(LOOKS LIKE HOLDING TO ME?) Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson makes a leaping pass over Falcons defender Peria Jerry. AP

One of the Falcons’ trademarks under coach Mike Smith has been their ability to play solid, fundamentally-sound football and not shoot themselves in the foot with penalties. In addition to leading the league last season with the fewest penalties, they had the third fewest (71) penalties in 2008 and fourth fewest (78) in 2009.

Here’s what the Falcons are saying about their penalties . . .

CB DUNTA ROBINSON

We just have to be more conscious of it. In this league you can’t give teams opportunities. We just have to be more conscious of it. Just take care of our business. Penalties, most of them are mental mistakes. It’s a sign of not thinking in certain situations. We just have got to get that back. We don’t want to be a team that’s penalized. We have to do whatever we can to make sure we cut those penalties down.

DT PERIA JERRY

Everybody knows that we have a fast d-line so they are going to hard count us to slow us down. We just have to close out our ears and watch the ball.

LB SEAN WEATHERSPOON

It’s something that we want to change. It’s something the coaches have been talking about. I think it’s pretty much on special teams, it’s all about running. Like our coach Keith [Armstrong] says, if you’re running, you won’t be the guy getting the penalty or be the guy hitting somebody in the back. I think on defensive and offense you just have to be smart in certain situations. You have to be accountable to your

(WHY WAS MARSHAWN NOT CALLED FOR ILLEGAL USE OF THE HANDS?) Seattle's Marshawn Lynch pushes off Falcons defender Curtis Lofton to score a touchdown in the second half. AP

(WHY WAS MARSHAWN NOT CALLED FOR ILLEGAL USE OF THE HANDS?) Seattle's Marshawn Lynch pushes off Falcons defender Curtis Lofton to score a touchdown in the second half. AP

teammates. You don’t want to be that guy that gives up that big penalty that extends the drive. That’s something that we can learn from the previous weeks and get better.

Procedural penalties and those special teams penalties are usually spot fouls. They are a little bit more tougher. We have to be more accountable. I know I don’t want to be that guy that they are pointing to with the penalties. I take that into account and try not to be that guy. We’ve been emphasizing it for awhile. We look forward to cutting that number down.

RT TYSON CLABO

Focus. In my opinion we just have to really focus on our jobs. Part of our job is not to have procedural penalties. I don’t know what else can be done. That’s an individual thing. There is no amount of coaching in the world that can fix that.

LG JUSTIN BLALOCK

If you play aggressive football there will be times that you might get a flag or two. You can live with guys being aggressive. Procedural things, things of that nature, are things that you really can’t live with.

TE TONY GONZALEZ

It’s the pre-play penalties that you can tolerate. You can’t have them. When you are getting offsides or delay of game or something like that, those really hurt you.

We know we have to fix that because it affects the game. It really, really does. We have to be smarter than that.

WR RODDY WHITE

We just have to fix those things. We can’t jump offsides. Pre-snap penalties and stuff like that. We have to stay away from that. We are not a team that gets penalized. Over the last three years, we were in the top 10 for not getting penalized in the NFL. We have to cut back on the penalties and cut back on the turnovers and get a couple of more turnovers. We need to score when we do get them.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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58 comments Add your comment

Falcons Will Win

October 7th, 2011
6:25 am

Please Lord, I pray that you will let the Falcons have their A game this sunday,
Amen.

Wham-o

October 7th, 2011
6:27 am

Sack the Pack!!!! We can beat these guys. We did it last year. We will do it Sunday.

Falcons Chic

October 7th, 2011
7:12 am

D-Led — great story line. I’m glad to read that the players are understanding all facets of the game, whether or not they are snapping the ball/coaching. How is Peria? Glad that Babineaux is back. Just really do NOT want to be blown out by Packers… again.

Singletary

October 7th, 2011
7:16 am

How are the zebras deciding when to call a penalty this year? For example, I’d think Tony G would merit intense care, yet all I saw were arms akimbo (or riding him like a mohair suit) in the last two games. I am a proponent of “letting the boys play,” but the officiating has really gone down hill in the last three years. I cannot deduce their strategy/plan.

terrell

October 7th, 2011
7:42 am

Gotta score TD’S Mularkey, not FG’S. Stop being so damn conservative. No huddle all game long if it were up to me. And for goodness’s sake, NO MORE of Ryan rolling to his left. Remember what happened last year in the Playoff game? I hate that damn play. If you have to roll him out, roll him to the right. Thank you.

CGD..

October 7th, 2011
7:55 am

Excessive penalties= coaching

Bags packed yet Coach Clean shot? lol.

JayCool 4DABirds

October 7th, 2011
7:55 am

We are going to “Smack The Pack,” bottom line!!!! TGIF, butI can’t wait until Sunday night get’s here.

Einstein

October 7th, 2011
7:58 am

Gotta feeling Falcons will win

CGD..

October 7th, 2011
8:09 am

Cheer up Michael M, theres always next season and the next and the next and the next and the next, then 2111…….lol

B'Red

October 7th, 2011
8:23 am

I’m waiting to see what is the game plan…I hope its not the same ole stuff.

B'Red

October 7th, 2011
8:28 am

Here’s an idea that will fool everybody the Packers, everybody in the stand and everybody watching on TV, how about faking the handoff to Turner on first down and passing the ball.

GeeZ102

October 7th, 2011
8:36 am

Yeaaaaaaa, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL…..I’m so sick of the Aaron Rodgers championship belt celebration…I need my defense to crush that damn belt…Come on guys lets come up with a celebration to crush that freaking BELT!!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 7th, 2011
8:45 am

B’Red — That would be called a “play action pass.” The fakes have to be better. Stick it in Turner’s belly and pull it out.

McNasty

October 7th, 2011
8:50 am

BOO BOO – Whats the secret code for beating the Pack?

Glenn

October 7th, 2011
8:50 am

When has Dunta taken care of any business? Worst corner in the NFL. Average players and poor coaching on D.

Quedog13

October 7th, 2011
8:56 am

D. Could some of this be attributed to lack of OTA’s this year?

#10Fan4Life

October 7th, 2011
8:58 am

Do not forget that win/lose ration at home!!!

SeenThisB_Falcon

October 7th, 2011
9:33 am

RISE UP..RISE UP ON MY WAY TO THE DOME FROM SAVANNAH TOMORROW NIGHT LETS GO FALCONS WIN BIG IN A STUNNER UPSET 34-21!~~~~

ijonathan

October 7th, 2011
9:57 am

DOL, so let me get this straight…you are saying that the reason for us not being terribly successful going downfield on the play action passess is…NOT that the O-line isn’t giving enough time, and NOT that we are simply not calling the play, and NOT that Turner isn’t running well enough for them to worry about stopping the run…it is in fact because Ryan isn’t faking it well enough by sticking the ball in the belly?? Did you come up with that searing insight after a case or two of beer, or did you hear that from a real NFL observer/coach/analyst somewhere?

Trainwreck

October 7th, 2011
10:28 am

I just want to know why nobody told me BG20 was gonna be on “The League” last night!

ACCOUNTABILITY @ THE TOP

October 7th, 2011
10:34 am

Got a honest objective question that I would appreciate if someone would answer for me: WHAT IS IT ABOUT BRIAN VANGORDER THAT QUALIFIED HIM TO BE A PRO DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR?

Michael M.

October 7th, 2011
10:50 am

Wrong House for G B this week………………………….upset coming , Birds over Pack !

Mike is Back

October 7th, 2011
11:32 am

DLed, it got to be frustrating to the coaching staff…to see guys continue to mentally break down…at key moments in the game. I think we have too many young guys…TRYING to make the SPECTACULAR PLAY…instead of concentrating on making a regular sound fundamental play. IT want get you on ESPN or the NFL channel…BUT it will give your team a chance to win the game.

I thought SPOON made an interesting comment about the Special Teams…Special Teams is killing us on offense and defense. I wouldn’t mind seeing Franks or Rogers giving a few opportunities on punt return and kick offs…we got to change some stuff up…and give some other guys a chance to make play.

I just hope Mike Smith have his guys ready to play…when the BIRDS come ready to play…they can play with anybody.

RISE UP BIRDS…LETS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

REAL FALCONS FAN

October 7th, 2011
11:47 am

TO MY FALCON’S WE CAN BEAT ANY TEAM INCLUDING OURSELVES,REMEMBER THIS PLAY YOUR GAME FOCUS AND KICK SOME PACKER BUTT GO FALCONS!

jerseyfalcon

October 7th, 2011
12:08 pm

Let’s just hope Brent Grimes can put more work into the game than remembering his lines in ” The League” last night……

SeenThisB_Falcon

October 7th, 2011
12:16 pm

dean

October 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

I predict Harry Douglas is going to have a reception that will turn the game to the Falcons. I’m not sure why. I feel he’s been pretty much stashed away for a reason the first 4 games. I also think that Jacquizz is going to have a significant hand in a win. We’ll see.

SeenThisB_Falcon

October 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

RISE UP…RISE UP!!!!

Jay Dubu

October 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

The Falcons played the Packers twice last season, and were outplayed both times…they won game 1 because of a GB fumble at the goal line, and were beaten into submission in the playoffs in game 2.

They are 2 – 2, and haven’t looked as good as the experts said they would be before the season started. They must beat GB, and start to play to the level they did last season.

Dimitroff, Smith, and the rest of the brain trust has had 4 years of drafting / free agents to get the personnel needed to fit their method of operation. So if the Falcons do not win a playoff game, or even make the playoffs this year, after many so-called experts picked them for the Super Bowl, some changes will be necessary. Most likely one of the coordinators at worst.

But they must start with a win against the Packers this week.

Greg Moundine

October 7th, 2011
12:59 pm

Falcons, will prevail. I have been tortured all week by Packers fans. I will be at the game Sunday night. I be darn if my Falcons are going to let this harrassment continue. We will reap revenge and I will have my time to reap on Packer coworkers next week! Go Falcons!

RUDEDAWG

October 7th, 2011
1:21 pm

I hope we come to play this sunday,we must at least change up the gameplan.Play FOOTBALL Falcons and coaches.GB is not coming in here to play with us,they want to embarrass us to the fullest.

old man

October 7th, 2011
1:23 pm

I repeat:

at least 37 yards net per punt + no worse than equal in sacks and turnovers + at least 150 yards rushing + no pick six given up = Falcon victory.

Bank on it.

B

October 7th, 2011
1:29 pm

Why am I constantly reading about nasty-a Kim Zolciak but can’t find an injury update on Babs (maybe our best D player) unless I go to Yasinskas’s blog on ESPN South Blog?

PlanB

October 7th, 2011
1:32 pm

If MM or MS tries to play conservative on offense we will loose. Same with BVG and the defense. If not we have a chance. We have talented players. Let them play. Pass rush. If there is a crack, Rodgers will get thru it. Give the D line that extra rusher (LB or CB or S) but stay in your lanes.

Blank Stare

October 7th, 2011
2:01 pm

Have the Falcons ever heard of a screen play? Really

B

October 7th, 2011
2:29 pm

Enter your comments here

KissDaBelt

October 7th, 2011
2:33 pm

@GeeZ102

October 7th, 2011
8:36 am
Yeaaaaaaa, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL…..I’m so sick of the Aaron Rodgers championship belt celebration…I need my defense to crush that damn belt…Come on guys lets come up with a celebration to crush that freaking BELT!!!!

**REALLY DUDE???????
KISS THE BELT~!
You will be after the game Sunday! LMFAO

KissDaBelt

October 7th, 2011
2:34 pm

By the way, your defense cant crush a fly!!!! LOL

KissDaBelt

October 7th, 2011
2:36 pm

@ Seen this

How did that “RISE UP SLOGAN” work for you last year?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep up the good work guys, your’e doing great!!!!!!! Rise up the way you did last year…LOL

B'Red

October 7th, 2011
3:11 pm

I think we’re gonna have to stick with our possession game, 10 play drives working the ball down the field and eating up time off the clock to keep Rodgers and their offense off the field. I want to see J. Rodgers and Antone Smith get more touches in the game.

falldown

October 7th, 2011
5:49 pm

The pigeons will fall to the Packers Sunday!! A bird can’t fly with a broken wing LOL!!! The PIGEONS are not good this year and didn’t impress me last year.If I can suggest to to change that stupid slogan Rise Up.It sounds like yall are in church instead of a dome. ATL yall have a lot of entertainers in this town, please change that stupid song!!!

Firsttimer

October 7th, 2011
6:07 pm

kissDaBelt

By the way, your defense cant crush a fly!!!!

Strong words coming from a fan of the 31st ranked defense in the league. If you read what they are saying in your own paper, you would see the Packers big concern for lack of pass rush. Fix your own problems before you worry about ours.

Mike is Back

October 7th, 2011
6:11 pm

Falldown, just say you like the song bro…jeeeeeeeeez. heh heh

Michael M.

October 7th, 2011
7:54 pm

4 more fines issued to players today for trying to get to the quarterbacks……yeah, just as I thought they are trying to fix it where the Quarterbacks just sit back there throwing passes all day with no worries about the other Teams defensive lines……its turning into the Pansie League for sure ! They need to fire the NFL commissioner for trying to change a mans game to a teenie pooper league !

McPACKER

October 7th, 2011
9:46 pm

Scoring Machine comin’ to a stadium near you. YOTTO !!!!!

Bit My Toungue

October 8th, 2011
12:27 am

I would come down and run all through dem packers but you know I am a Eagle now and the Dream Team is dead now and I am just too fustrated and den referees let them hit me evertime I throw a pass and then dem referees neva call a penalty ,

Bit My Toungue

October 8th, 2011
12:56 am

I played gainst em and know they was hard to beat so I have to take my ole team over dem pacman,yall just wait n find out I was right

bucko

October 8th, 2011
6:47 am

Answer me this every year that bum gorder has been our D coach we have been near the last in D so how does he keep his job. I thought A B wanted a super bowl. We will never get to a super bowl with a D ending up near the last every year. Is that so hard to understand
Falcons. I think bum gorder is still there because he is a yes man to Mike Smith. BUM if you are Mike yes man then you need to go and if you are not stand up to coach Smith and lets see if you have what it takes to coach in the NFL.

lions

October 8th, 2011
9:03 am

KissDaBelt, You can KissMyA&&.

SeenThisB4

October 8th, 2011
9:20 am

The end result of this game is a no brainer. The only real question regarding the outcome is whether or not Green Bay can better their margin of victory from the January matchup.