Mularkey defends offensive line against ‘Dirtbag’ claim

110804 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, left, suiting up for practice for the first time, and center Todd McClure, right, prop their feet up on a golf cart while waiting for offensive line practice to begin at training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110804 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, left, suiting up for practice for the first time, and center Todd McClure, right, prop their feet up on a golf cart while waiting for offensive line practice to begin at training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey defended the offensive line’s style of play.

New York’s Justin Tuck called the Falcons “dirtbags” on Monday and noted their “reputation.”

Earlier this season, defensive linemen from Green Bay and Detroit have made allegations against the Falcons’ offensive line.

When asked if the linemen were clean, Mularkey said, “Absolutely.”

The Falcons contend that they are physical and that they block, hit, push and shove until they hear the whistle stop blowing.

Mularkey clearly takes umbrage with the allegations.

“We thrive on doing things right,” Mularkey said. “We thrive on playing physical. We’ve been doing that for four years. Nothing is ever preached beyond the whistle. Ever.”

The Falcons offensive line was cited by John Madden as one of the best in the league last season. They have undergone some change with the lost of Harvey Dahl in free agency and with Will Svitek taking over for Sam Baker at left tackle.

“We are really disciplined,” Mularkey said. “We try to be one of the least penalized teams and offenses in the NFL. We’ve done a good job for the most part. We’ve had some spurts where we had some bad penalties, but it’s really, really important for us to don’t hurt ourselves with penalties such as that. It’s addressed all of the time.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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136 comments Add your comment

Falcon Fan

January 4th, 2012
8:35 am

Notice the two teams calling our Oline dirty both have zero running game to speak of. LOL. U mad bro?

AlanFalcon

January 4th, 2012
8:38 am

The Best, would have been better had we kept Dahl who by the way was the one that pushed the limit until the whistle.
Falcons have them running scared, now make sure they understand why they should be.

Redwave

January 4th, 2012
8:39 am

I’m first but who cares. I hope the O line keeps playing hard and maybe the Giants players will be complaining about it when they go home Sunday with a loss.

Redwave

January 4th, 2012
8:40 am

No longer first–typed too damn slow–but who cares?

Lubie Tupp

January 4th, 2012
8:41 am

What’s all this Mularkey about Dirtbags? Let’s talk about Flea Bags.That Feller from New York had better Tuck and run. And oh yeah, My advice to him. If he visits Tybee Island during his Georgia trip, he’d better not bring his cat!

Season Ticket Holder

January 4th, 2012
8:43 am

O-line keep doing your thing! If the opponents D-line are complaining, you must be doing somethig right. Protect Matt Ryan and open the holes for Turner. O-LINE, DO YOUR JOB!!

Fred Macmurray

January 4th, 2012
8:45 am

So Be it,,,, if they think we are dirt bags thats just great.

BobDawg

January 4th, 2012
8:50 am

Funny how teams try to “motivate” themselves… a Non article/issue… BUT, maybe we will be in their heads all game…. I’m sure Tuck wants the officials looking for some reason to penalize us….

joe white

January 4th, 2012
8:58 am

This is funny for a grown man who gets paid to take on blockers and make plays calling someone out for doing there job, if you half ass during the whistle you get beat or hurt so tuck get ready this is motivation for our oline now we know yall scared just like the lions was. Go Falcons

PMC

January 4th, 2012
9:07 am

Lot more whiny defnesive linemen in the league who don’t like having to put forth any effort to protect thier lower bodies is more like it.

Suh = Whiny and hot headed. Raji = Fat, Slow, Plodding, Whiney

Tuck = Whiny

All 3 guys have complained and the main guy Dahl, isn’t even here anymore.

They are crying about Joe Freaking Hawley give me a break.

PMC

January 4th, 2012
9:10 am

Many of the calls against this team this year have been phantom anyway.

That BS holding call on the Quizz block in the monday night game comes to mind.

10 yard gain for a first down, oh wait the back just pancaked the rusher, throw a flag.

PMC

January 4th, 2012
9:11 am

The Texans cut block far more than we do.

earl

January 4th, 2012
9:11 am

notice that none of you Falcons’ fans deny that your O-Line plays dirty. Since you can’t really defend your O-line’s play – let’s just go after the Giants’ players.

PreyDawg

January 4th, 2012
9:13 am

They did this story on ESPN yesterday. One commentator echoed the hollow accusations. The other (Eric Mangini) defended us. He said he coached against us last year and did not see one thing dirty. Here is what is interesting. They have shown a bunch of highlights of our line blocking in the last two years. I have not seen ONE dirty block. The only thing I have seen is Clabo grabbed Matthews by the throat in the playoff game last year. Okay. That was dirty. But that is one play out of about 1000.

Part of this is left over from when we did zone blocking under Mora. Then we had the same accusations as Denvers old lines had. That is we did dive at the legs alot back then. It was legal but D-linemen hate it. But we have not run that scheme since Smitty and Mularkey got here.

PreyDawg

January 4th, 2012
9:14 am

@Earl- Got any evidence. No. You dont. You are running your mouth and you don’t know what you are talking about.

SawThat1nce

January 4th, 2012
9:17 am

In an article on Yahoo by someone named Biggs, he said that Tuck specifically mentioned cut-blocking by the Falcons OLine, as their dirty deeds.
I have watched almost all, of everyone of the Falcon’s games.
I don’t recall seeing any penalties for cutblocking, any cutblocking, or hearing any announcer mention anything, about the OLine cutblocking.
Did I miss something?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 4th, 2012
9:17 am

PreyDawg — You are correct. They rarely cut block any more. Just the backside on outside running plays. The complaints are about blocking through the whistle and then the Falcons flop when the defenders retaliate. That’s B.J.’s claim. I can’t make sense of Avril’s claim. Tuck just like to talk.

THE INFAMOUS DK

January 4th, 2012
9:21 am

Shut up and play.. Im sick of NFL Girls gossippin.

SawThat1nce

January 4th, 2012
9:22 am

What is amusing, is that any member of the Lions team, can accuse another team, of playing “dirty”.

PMC

January 4th, 2012
9:22 am

This is a quote from a player on a defense who laid down like dogs and faked injuries against the freaking RAMS!!!

Handle YOUR OWN SHOULDER TUCK!!!

THE INFAMOUS DK

January 4th, 2012
9:25 am

Falcons get a win!!!! You need to get a win.. And make sure DeCoud aint dancin around when he makes one play.. Tell that clown he can dance all he wants after the game. BVG stop playing weak prevent defense, cause if youre playing not to lose the you wont win. Falcons….. Crush their faces with a hobnail boot!!!!!!!!! Im sick of losing in the playoffs and making excuses for ya’ll to other fans that have no respect for the squad.

PMC

January 4th, 2012
9:27 am

Hawley flops, he did flop in the Packers game, he’s done it 3 or 4 times.

Flopping is not dirty it’s soccerplayerish and lame. Pushing a guy into a pile is not dirty.

Stomping on a guys neck (Suh) is dirty.

I’ve never seen any Falcons linemen intentionally try to injure anyone.

The dirtiest guy on this defense is Daunte Robinson.

We’re missing a fullback because Louis Delmas put his helmet squarely into the knee cap of Ovie Mugelli.

PMC

January 4th, 2012
9:29 am

Cut Blocking was a remnant of old regimes. That coach has moved on to consult in Houston.

earl

January 4th, 2012
9:41 am

Falcons fans getting a little testy. . . bu that’s understandable. Sounds like PreyDawg only sees and hears what will support his belief about his O-Line. but that’s OK – I get it. I’m a Giant’s fan and if my boys need to fake an injury to stop the clock and preserve a victory – well, so be it. Each team will do whatever it takes to win. If the refs don’t call it and it helps your team win – then why not do it again and again? Looking forward to the matchup of one hell of a d-line against your O-line!

Falconceiveable

January 4th, 2012
9:43 am

Wow….to listen to our fanbase, you would think the O-line could be considered in the elite category. They have been a major part of inconsistencies on Offense this year. Granted they have made significant strides on blocking for Ryan, they have shown promise in some games of opening holes for the running backs, but they have seldom been consistent in doing both in the same game during the course of season. Take a look at New Orleans O-Line.That game was a clinic on what an O-line should look like.

THE Season Ticket Holder

January 4th, 2012
9:46 am

I don’t give a gosh darnit heck if the O line is as dirty as Ric Flair when the referee ain’t lookin’…just win baby!

Dee

January 4th, 2012
9:49 am

THE Season Ticket Holder said: “I don’t give a gosh darnit heck if the O line is as dirty as Ric Flair when the referee ain’t lookin’…”

LOL!

Bojack

January 4th, 2012
9:53 am

Kick asssssFalcons!!!!!

jim

January 4th, 2012
9:55 am

At least the falcons don’t drop to the ground and fake injuries like the lowly giants do….

Super Bowl Shuffle

January 4th, 2012
9:56 am

Sounds like we are inside their heads even before the first snap. 90% of the game is mental and they have already given the birds a leg up! Or should I say a wing up?

SeenThisB4

January 4th, 2012
9:58 am

I think Ryan has another poor performance this week. Too much pressure.

Super Bowl Shuffle

January 4th, 2012
10:02 am

@SeenThisB4……….speaking of dirtbags, you better worry about your own qb getting kicked in the groin.

SawThat1nce

January 4th, 2012
10:05 am

@9:43…..I didn’t notice any comments or suggestions that the Falcon’s OLine is considered elite.
I think that it is the team’s biggest weakness, but they are doing the best that they are capable of doing. But that’s just my opinion, I’m not an expert.

I usually just read but....

January 4th, 2012
10:09 am

Get rid of MM he’s a poor coach(sarcasm) We need an O line that plays like pansys. I hope you anti MM people get what you want just to show you how much worse things can be!

Super Bowl Shuffle

January 4th, 2012
10:09 am

Even with the personnel changes and struggles that are well documented with the OLine, there were only 3 more sacke allowed this season compared to last season. And Turner ran for 1340 yards. The OLine deserves some of the credit.

SawThat1nce

January 4th, 2012
10:10 am

Those Giants fell down on the turf and played dead, like that little boy in the Christman Story movie, “it was their only defense”.

JOD

January 4th, 2012
10:17 am

You mean Offensive Players cut block in the NFL??? No way, say it aint so!

PreyDawg

January 4th, 2012
10:22 am

@ Earl- Now now earl. I did provide more than just a blind alleigance to my team. I DVR all the games and watch the offensive plays again in slo-mo (Which my wife hates). Plus, I said in my post, they showed a ton of highlights that were supposed to show us being dirty and there was no dirty play on the highlights.

But you are a Giants fan, you have your teams back. I respect that. We are never going to agree on this one. I do hope we can run block your guys because you speak truth. Your pass rush from your front four is AWESOME. Downright scary. Traditionally we don’t do well against a strong front four pass rush UNLESS we can run the ball. If we get Turner going (and that is a pretty big if) then you guys are going to have a hard time against us.

Falconceiveable

January 4th, 2012
10:23 am

I concede, they may not be saying it, but I think the inherent confidence factor could be a huge let down. Don’t get me wrong I love the Birds, but I have had an extremely hard time jumping on their band wagon, and much of it has been the results of the O-line’s performance this year. On the other hand, maybe the doubt and trepidation will be incentive for a BLISTERING KICK ASS Game against the Gi-aints.
GO FALCONS!

PreyDawg

January 4th, 2012
10:25 am

@ D-Led- Thanks for your reply. Good points. One thing I have wondered about all season.

WHY on EARTH dont we run out of our 4 wides set more often? I would love to see Turner get a few touches like this. We did it once against Tampa and he got 14 yards. But according to the NFL stats page, we only ran out of this 4 or 5 times all year. Wouldn’t this help with the pass rush?

Also, would love to see Jacquizz touch the ball ten times in this game at least. And Snelling actually has been a beast this year. He doesn’t get enough touches either. Only one football I know. Lets see 5 touches for Snelling, ten for Jacquizz and twenty for the Burner.

PreyDawg

January 4th, 2012
10:27 am

One last thing. I look for Gonzalez to put up big numbers in this game. Giants are going to see the Julio and Roddy highlights and roll safety’s that way. Then Gonzalez is gonna eat.

On the other side of the ball: I LOVE Weatherspoon. What an asset. This guy is headed for the ring of honor. And his “spoon it up” celebration is one of the best in the league. Does not taunt anybody just celebrates and makes it fun.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 4th, 2012
10:28 am

Malrkey need 2 shut up. He on borowed time hear with is horible paly calling. They are dirty with Havey Dhal being the worse 1 of them all.

Falconceiveable

January 4th, 2012
10:29 am

I usually just read but….I hope Mike Mularkey takes his road show somewhere else. From what I have seen out of him, he is unable to make any necessary adjustments in his offensive schemes especially after half time. His predictability does not allow for it, and his creativity is like a kindergardner with a one color crayon.

1game@atime

January 4th, 2012
10:37 am

I used to be a G-Men fan back in the day. U have to give them props only because they have a ring. They had one back in the day, as well. That being said, I like the Falcons matchup, however-I’ve seen lots of Atlanta letdown in the big game(s). Look at the Hawks last night-made me want to cuss the tv all night. Falcons, please don’t let me down. Get on da good foot-feet don’t fail me now! Ready or Not, here we come…

Chuck

January 4th, 2012
10:37 am

65th!!!

I did it Ma!

john

January 4th, 2012
10:43 am

OL not as good as 2010- GM let Dahl get away – bad decision ; Baker hurt or something this year , not worth a # 1 Draft – OLnot consistent but still up there with better Teams OL’s especially Pass Protection as Ryan does not slip Sacks like Rodgers, Brees, Manning(Giants),etc.

SeenThisBFalcon

January 4th, 2012
10:45 am

If Murlarkey plays it right he will need to have a good showing in the playoffs that will help his Resume if he wants to land another job..

Tim

January 4th, 2012
10:50 am

Here’s how it’s going to play out – Mularkey goes to Jax, Falcons bring in Martz, and the explosive offense finally arrives…in September.

rick

January 4th, 2012
10:53 am

Falcons will win this game. When Eli gets shaken up, it can lead to a bad game for him. He can have a 4 TD game or a 4 INT game. Nontheless Falcons beat the Giants and get good game experience playing in NY, outdoors, and in a loud, hectic environment to go to Lambaeu.

mike

January 4th, 2012
10:57 am

All tuck is doing is trying to get the refs to watch the Falcons instead of his hands to the face routine he does when he rushes the QB. When they start the FLOP routine then the Falcons will know that they are going to win the game.