Over 30 Club has been busy this week

FLOWERY BRANCH — When the going gets tough, like it is right now for the 5-4 Falcons, the team internally looks to its veterans for leadership.

In part, that’s why coach Mike Smith has a key veteran within each position group and empowers his “Over 30” club. The group is working overtime this week to help the team rebound from a difficult 26-23 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) is brought down by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Tom Johnson (96) and others during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) is brought down by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Tom Johnson (96) and others during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“What separates good teams and not-so-good teams is how you respond to the adversity,” said quarterback Matt Ryan on Wednesday.

They are trying to put a failed fourth-down attempt in their rearview mirror and make sure they are ready for the Tennessee Titans (5-4) at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

“The message will be, ‘you’re flustered from last week; get that over with and get ready for this week coming up,’’’ 13-year veteran linebacker Mike Peterson said. “As far as last week, last week is over. In this league, the good thing about it is that you get another shot. It’s not Week 16.”

Smith, who’s in his fourth season, remains steadfast behind his decision and has not wilted under the wave of criticism that he has received locally and nationally.

“Not at all,” Smith said when asked if he has been shaken from the experience. “Every day is a learning experience, I will say that. You learn every day that you wake up.”

Smith’s even-keeled approach has helped the Falcons to post three consecutive winning seasons and make two trips to the playoffs. He was named coach of the year by Sporting News in 2008 and 2010.

“It’s hard when you first come into the league, the emotional ups and downs are — you are just really high and really low,” Ryan said. “One of the things that I think helps is experience, trying to keep that even pulse throughout the year, understanding that there are going to be some tough times and are going to be some good times. Keeping that even-keel mindset is really important.”

Some of the players don’t understand what all of the fuss is about.

“It was not his first time going for it on fourth down,” said running back Michael Turner, who was tackled on the crucial play by a sea of Saints. “Maybe it was his first time doing it in that situation, but we went for it on fourth down plenty of times. I don’t know the percentage of us making them, but I think it’s pretty good.”

Turner, 29, is not quite in the “Over 30” club, but he’s the senior member in the running backs’ room.

Turner, who turns 30 in February, embraces his mentoring role.

“It was a tough loss,” Turner said. “But we have to show the young guys how to respond after a tough loss and not go into the tank. It’s a long season. We’ve played nine games, so we still have a lot of football to play.”

Tight end Tony Gonzalez oversees the tight ends and the receivers.

“My message is simple, let’s go out and get a win,” Gonzalez said. “You’ve got the next game. You can get out anything that you’re frustrated about. You can prepare a little bit better. Maybe we can even realize how good we are as a football team”

One thing really bothers Gonzalez. He talked about it Sunday after the game and brought it up again Wednesday unsolicited.

“We can’t hurt ourselves with penalties,” Gonzalez said. “When you get those really silly penalties that can be avoided, it’s not fair to everybody else that is working hard. We have to go out there and make sure that we nip that in the bud right away.”

Peterson is feeling a good vibe despite the adversity the Falcons are trying to overcome.

“We won’t have a letdown,” Peterson said. “You don’t see anybody pointing fingers or anybody walking around with their heads down. Everybody is aware of the situation. We lost a game that we feel like we shouldn’t have lost. OK, it’s over. Let’s get ready for next week.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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46 comments Add your comment

Felix

November 17th, 2011
5:44 am

whoa first!!!

- New Orleans News

November 17th, 2011
5:56 am

[...] Taken from: Over 30 Club has been busy this week – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

MeToo

November 17th, 2011
6:10 am

SeenThisB4

November 17th, 2011
7:00 am

Still! In first place!

SeenThisB4's Mom

November 17th, 2011
7:17 am

SeenThis B4! I told you to stop playing with the computer, shower and get ready for school. The short bus will be here soon and you don’t want to miss it. Do I need to get your father to straighten you out (if I can figure out who he is)? I mean it, I’ll ground you. No more computer time. Come on. This is your last warning! I mean it.

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
7:19 am

Atlanta will pay your Saints and Coach Cripple back at the Fema Dome !

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
7:24 am

No Santy Klaus for SeenthisB4 this year ……………hes been a naughty ” Boy” !

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
7:26 am

No Red Ryder BB Gun either, his Saints will shoot his eye out !

JSS

November 17th, 2011
8:16 am

What is Mike Smith trying to do impersonations of George Allen now? Give me a break, I’m no Saints or Falcons fan, but those FEMA jokes are tasteless… I actually know someone who died in Katrina… He was trying to help elderly folks who had no choice but to stay… Time to get some new material, that group of jokes just doesn’t get the job done..Rest in peace Rodney Thomas, you were a great man!

Zoomie

November 17th, 2011
8:30 am

“We can’t hurt ourselves with penalties (Weems),” Gonzalez said. “When you get those really silly penalties that can be avoided, it’s not fair to everybody else that is working hard (talking to you, Roddy). We have to go out there and make sure that we nip that in the bud right away (looking for a little help here, coach; time for some accountability).”

Bear

November 17th, 2011
8:34 am

The over 30 club needs to start making more plays.

ijonathan

November 17th, 2011
8:55 am

Here’s what our “over 30″ club should really be:
1. QBs…a QB who can throw accurately more than 30 yards…do we have one of those?…Redman? :-)
2. RBs…a RB who can run more than 30 yards without slowing down due to extreme thickness…that would be Jacquizz.
3. Receivers…a receiver who can actually get separation more than 30 yards downfield…Julio or HD
4. DL…anyone who can get to the opposing quarterback in under 30 seconds after the snap…Peters?
5. DBs…anyone who can cover more than 30 yards downfield…Grimes

there’s my ‘over 30′ leadership

PMC

November 17th, 2011
9:34 am

SirReal

November 17th, 2011
9:56 am

@Zoomie Stellar interpretation. Bullseye.lol

They know they laid an egg Sunday….now its time to go out and make a real run. I think they need not only more veterans but veterans that have actually been in the playoffs and come from winning cultures. We dont have many rings around the locker room. Lets just be honest about it.

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
10:27 am

““What separates good teams and not-so-good teams is how you respond to the adversity,” said quarterback Matt Ryan on Wednesday.”

Hey Matt, you’ll make a great coach someday real soon….BTW when a dam playoff game and that will show separation bubba….

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
10:29 am

Hey Matt, you got 1 win in the last 6 games against winning teams, guess your team is not-so-good right now? lol

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
10:29 am

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
10:51 am

You’ll never get it Orlambo… Stay clueless…

Ueeediot always

November 17th, 2011
10:57 am

C’mon Michael, you got to do better dude? Lets hope nothing horrific happens to you and yours..

Lets show the world that just because Georgia started out as prison colony, we can still show some class today?

Ueeediot always

November 17th, 2011
11:03 am

@Orlambo, its time for you to stop watching the Fox brain washing news network, pick up a book and start reading sometime. Maybe you’ll learn something new for a change?

RonFalconFan

November 17th, 2011
11:18 am

This club is in denial………….they stink and have no shot……….Coaching or lack there os is average at best…this explains the beat lessor teams but choke when faced with better teams…this club under this management has reached the top……so wish in one hand a poop in the other see which one fills up first….”They are who we thought they are”

C

November 17th, 2011
11:28 am

Anyone you tools actually want to talk football and discuss the rest of the Falcons season? Way too much time on your hands.

Ueeediot always

November 17th, 2011
11:33 am

“Orlambo has a Phd and is independently wealthy”

Yea and I’m 8′6″ with 40″ biceps and can lift a ton with one hand tied behind my back….lol

Mr. Phd seek help immediately Sir!

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
11:41 am

@RonFalconFan, if this squad fails to make the playoffs I would not be surprise if Mr. Blank fires the entire staff!

Four years and zero playoff wins after I just spent 100’s of millions?

Heads will roll……

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
11:43 am

Where did all of you go to school at? Type? Spell ? Think ?
I am sorry D-led, I can’t deal with all these 2nd grade drop outs in here !

JSS

November 17th, 2011
12:04 pm

Why are you insulting second grade drop-outs? It is not like the normal Snarky Central banter will ever be mistaken for a 3rd year Physics course or a TED seminar with those references to the FEMA Dome… Just saying…

God of the Gridiron

November 17th, 2011
12:18 pm

I spoketh with the football gods and they’ve decreed the Falcons shall not loseth another regular season game, but verily shall smite thine opposition. So it shall be.

He's No Drew Brees

November 17th, 2011
12:28 pm

The problem here is that Matt Ryan and the Falcons got talked up way too much. They had an easy schedule and caught alot of breaks last year. This year they are showing their true colors. Sorry but true!

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
12:39 pm

Sticks n Stones shall never hurt me but your words just chill my bones………………….joking here !

If the Falcons are not focused this week they will go down in defeat………keep the eye on the prize guys and let not one mind think about the past but stay focused Danielson…stay focused !

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
12:41 pm

Easy schedule this Season if you look at it the right way. Only thing is they dropped the ball ….as in Mr. Roddy White.

Falcons > Everyone

November 17th, 2011
1:19 pm

Everyone in the NFC South plays the same teams, minus your designated games depeding on if ou finish 1st, 2nd, etc. Last season the Falcons got Philly and Green Bay as part of their 2nd-place schedule, while New Orleans got Dallas and Chicago as part of theirs. The person who made the ‘weak schedule’ argument is either misinformed or biased.

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
1:48 pm

Maybe we will have another one of these after the next game at New Orleans ;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM1rKzh2_yM

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
1:49 pm

Maybe if the QB was more accurate with his game there would be more catches and less drops?HHHMMMMMMM……….

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
1:50 pm

^^^^ and more wins?

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
1:52 pm

Come on CGD, you know your own self that some of those dropped passes are receiver’s fault so don’t go there man. when you put the ball in the guy’s hands and that just don’t catch the daen thing what else can you do ?

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
2:04 pm

Look up the NFL scouting reports on Matt Ryan coming out of BC. Nothing’s changed…..

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
2:07 pm

He’s not a play maker like Rodgers or Ben or Drew or take ya pick…

He’ll make a great OC someday real soon though….

This guy aint got it….Sorry fans………………..

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
2:08 pm

That window slammed shut last season…Its a wrap……………..

Michael M.

November 17th, 2011
2:12 pm

Here’s you a throwing QB CGD…….check out how high in the air he can sail it out !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0lM5-MICmA&feature=related

CGD..

November 17th, 2011
2:37 pm

72 mil? Wow! Ripped off….

How much did the Ravens pay for their QB drafted the same year? Bargin

falcon fan

November 17th, 2011
3:35 pm

I would like to know why you so called falcons fans, blame Matt Ryan? I don’t think he catches football or calls plays. Why not blame the ones that do Mike Smith and MM. If you had your choice of Quarterbacks, it would be the same with these coaches calling plays. Turner to left, turner up the middle, and then pass. Any team that plays falcons, the week before their defense has a week off. They know what going to be run. Four years of same they all know.
Defense, why does BVG run a simple defense? Man up and everyone know who to cover. Falcons have players, but need coaches. Each game how many receivers do you see that is wide open. Jimmy Graham was not cover in two plays,back to back with three falcons watching him. C’MON !Great defenses have great coaches, who has falcons got? Offense who?

falcon fan

November 17th, 2011
3:38 pm

Why don’t BVG run a simple defense, other than his zone. Goes with above.

Barry

November 17th, 2011
5:09 pm

Hey Y’all:

I said it before and I will say it again. Our offensive coordinator should have had some better plays for scoring in the red zone against the hapless New Orleans defense with their red zone coverage. we made them look good or is our red zone scoring packages that terrible?? Whta I witnessed though is that Ryan, when passing, appears to zero in on one receiver and tries to force the ball. Their appears to be no multiple receivers he can go to who are open. The routes need to be developed to be deceptive and elusive to the defender. The running game need misdirection, combined with the passing game for better scoring options. I repeat, multiple options.

Let’s do this in “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!!!!”

“WE RISE UP!!!” IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!”

THE “PROCESS ‘CONTINUES!

SSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN!! TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!

………………………….. “ONE HEARTBEAT,BABY!!!………………..

Eddie Cook

November 18th, 2011
1:50 am

Hey DOL. Any news on where any Atlanta Falcons ranked in the recent 2012 Pro Bowl voting totals released by the NFL? Thanks.

MeToo

November 18th, 2011
7:20 am

Who is going to talk to the coaching staff. More work is needed here than anywhere else. They continue to blame the players. Let’s call some better plays. Let’s stop running Michael Turner on first down.

Ueeediot Always

November 18th, 2011
10:46 pm

Hey Orlambo, ,make yourself useful and rent them folks some port-a-poty’s..