Atlanta Falcons: Todd McClure on struggling run game: ‘More to it than five guys up front’





By Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–Falcons center Todd McClure doesn’t want to hear about how Atlanta’s failure to convert short runs for first downs against the Saints yesterday paralleled their inability to do the same in the 2012 playoffs against the Giants.

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The Falcons couldn’t convert a third-and-short run in the fourth quarter against the Saints and then opted to try three straight passes at the one-yard line with a chance to win the game. McClure bristled at the suggestion that there were similarities to the Giants game.

“That’s two totally different ballgames,” McClure said. “That’s what [ticks] me off more than anything is you guys are going to write about how bad we are up front and that we can’t get in the end zone. But there’s more to it than just blocking up front, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

“I get really frustrated when I hear things and read things knowing there’s more to it than five guys up front but we take the brunt of the blame. I don’t want to talk about that anymore because I don’t want to say anything I regret.”

The Falcons managed 46 yards on just 18 carries against the Saints, who were the worst team in the league against the run entering the game. Atlanta running back Michael Turner, who was dropped for a loss of one yard on third down during the penultimate possession, gained just 15 yards on 13 carries.

McClure didn’t elaborate on the issues in the running game but said the struggles are about the offense overall not just the line.

“It is in every aspect of it,” he said. “But we get the ball on the one, we are expected to get it in. I just get frustrated sometimes the past couple years. There’s more to it than just lining up and blocking the guys wherever they line up. And that’s it. I can’t talk about it anymore.”

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305 comments Add your comment

Trainwreck

November 12th, 2012
2:17 pm

Sounds like a shot at Mike T. Just saying

Trainwreck

November 12th, 2012
2:20 pm

In my mind I’m thinking a running play’s success is about 1. play call 2. Blocking & 3. RB play… making someone miss or hitting the hole when it is there. So he has to be either questioning play call or Turner’s ability to hit the hole.

Escaped from Email Purgatory

November 12th, 2012
2:21 pm

Agree with McClure. At some point, your money back has to step up big in the clutch.

Michael Turner should be able to move the pile back enough to score from the one. But he can’t.

Tpeg88

November 12th, 2012
2:22 pm

I agree Trainwreck. McClure is a vet and him saying stuff like that carries a ton of weight.

robo71

November 12th, 2012
2:24 pm

i agree with mcclure. turner only hits the hole hard when it’s wide open. he runs like a 185lb running back instead of a 260lb fullback. he’s soft from drinking and partying all night.

REAMing aints

November 12th, 2012
2:25 pm

Yep, I defended turner long enough. He thinks he has outside speed, or he knows better than the play design, searching for holes before committing. He’s older, lost his speed, and needs to use his drive to make holes. Having a decent fullback wouldn’t hurt either.

eddie willers

November 12th, 2012
2:26 pm

Its hard to be at your best when you are hungover. Turner’s DUI points to a bigger problem.

tay

November 12th, 2012
2:26 pm

TURNER AND OL NEED TO STEP UP………… IT A TEAM SPORT LETS NOT FORGET THAT…. YOU GUYS WAS KISS TURN ER BUTT WHEN HE GAIN 100 YARDS LAST GM…..

tay

November 12th, 2012
2:28 pm

I HATE FAKE FANS AND FANS THAT DONT KNOW $HIT BOUT FOOTBALL

Answer This

November 12th, 2012
2:30 pm

Sounds like a VET calling out MT33! Glad he did it! Maybe now Turner will know that it is his job to get the 1 frigging yard! Heck they pay me $100 bucks I promise I can get a yard so that I can be the HERO!

Football Larry

November 12th, 2012
2:34 pm

Turner -Turner-Turner!!! Come on people, Coach Smith; are you aware that the are plays called end around, that’s right run the ends, why up the middle , up the middle, up the middle– on inside the 5 yard lines. PS if that’s all you know then use a full house backfield with Snelling too. Quit blaming Turner .
WAKE UP COACH. YOU LOST THIS GAME WITH BACK CALLS.

Big Donnie

November 12th, 2012
2:36 pm

I hope Michael Turner never takes another snap in the city of Atlanta. He is the worst running back in the entire league in my opinion. When you’re 230+, you shouldn’t tip toe, and you really shouldn’t be hitting the turf every time someone slaps yous ankle. His inability to pick up three feet when we need him has made him completely worthless to this team.

I’d rather hand it to Quizz, who can at least break tackles. Turner goes down at the point of contact every time. What a joke – the game has passed this boozehound by.

12 carries, 15 yards. At least 4 of those carries came on 2nd and 1 or 3rd and 1. EARN YOUR PAYCHECK LAZY AZZ!

mike

November 12th, 2012
2:36 pm

This doesn’t seem to be the popular opinion here, but I don’t like McClure throwing Turner under the bus. McClure is a vet and knows better. Turner is a vet as well and should’t be called out like that. Keep it in house, fellas.

I’m not a big fan of Turner’s production either, but no reason to McClure to say to reporters and destroy our locker room chemistry.

Ronnie

November 12th, 2012
2:38 pm

Maybe McClure shouldn’t have missed a block on 1st and goal from the 5 in the 4th quarter that allowed the DT to fill the hole.

Big Donnie

November 12th, 2012
2:41 pm

McClure has every right to say “hey, don’t hang this on us every time” — meaning, the RB has to make plays sometimes.. not do a faceplant at the line everytime he gets the ball.

THANKS FOR A FEW GREAT YEARS TURNER, now don’t let the door hit you in that big, soft butt on the way out. Lazy AND soft don’t work in the NFL.

Football Larry

November 12th, 2012
2:48 pm

Big Donnie, What the hell do you know about Pro Football. NOTHING, your a total idiot.!!!
Mike doesn’t call the plays, single back behind Ryan is so obvious, The play selection on Sunday was a total disaster. That game was lost by our Coaching staff with just dumb-dumb play selections.
Get off Mike’s back cause you know absolutely nothing about running plays.

Esquire

November 12th, 2012
2:51 pm

Trainwreck
November 12th, 2012
2:17 pm

Sounds like a shot at Mike T. Just saying
*****************************

“Almost” triggered both barrels……..!!

Tpeg88

November 12th, 2012
2:51 pm

The OL isn’t going to take crap. They are professionals and take pride in their jobs. If you want to believe they can’t produce the run, then don’t look at the runs Quizz had in his carries. He may not be an every down back, but Quizz/Snelling can be.

And Tay, everybody has been calling for turner regardless of his 100 yards. Most of us said he got luckily because he sure wasn’t trying. No fakeness in most of us, we’ve watched the games, we’re just critical thinkers.

Starship 1

November 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

I’m going to see if I can watch the game-then I’ll return for my opinion; I wasn’t able to watch it on Sunday.

cdog

November 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

tay, he needs to show up for all games especially this one.hes not disclpline enough to be a featured back anymore. the falcons should seriously cut his carries and try rodgers who wants to win. you can”t tell me a 265lb running back can”t make a yard against a 190lb db, c”mon

Gatorzone

November 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

Sure Turner is overweight, slow and dances around… However, there is no denying that the line gets ZERO push when we need it!!! Mcclure had no room to say jack about their push yesterday on several short yardage situations…
BTW Turner is FAT and SLOW!!!

Stevie

November 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

It’s been like this all season. Can’t run or stop the running game. Twice 1st and goal and they can’t score. They need the wake up call and yes it is a team effort. Maybe this will do it.

Here here

November 12th, 2012
2:55 pm

Football Larry-I approve that message. The O-line did not block worth a crap on that 1 yard play. Do you guys even what the plays or do you just cheer when they score?

Tpeg88

November 12th, 2012
2:57 pm

I’m wondering how much is scheme though, if you saw the QB sneak, there was wicked push from the center.

Super Bowl Shuffle

November 12th, 2012
2:58 pm

I’ve said this once and I will say it again. A running back is only as good as his offensive line. With that being said, Turner is DONE!. He takes entirely too long to get his motor running on every play. That is not exceptable. Please run Jaquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling more. Also, I haven’t questioned the play calling much all season. But, twice in the last two drives on goal to go situations, we chose to try and run the ball on second and third down, respectively. Just sayin’. Questionable. One more note. Could the Falcons have underestimated the value of Ovie Mughelli? Just sayin’.

Esquire

November 12th, 2012
3:00 pm

mike
November 12th, 2012
2:36 pm

This doesn’t seem to be the popular opinion here, but I don’t like McClure throwing Turner under the bus. McClure is a vet and knows better. Turner is a vet as well and should’t be called out like that. Keep it in house, fellas.

I’m not a big fan of Turner’s production either, but no reason to McClure to say to reporters and destroy our locker room chemistry.
************************************************
He didn’t throw Turner under the bus, he just said there is more to it than 5 guys up front and didn’t want to say anything he would regret. And if he was saying it to Turner maybe it needed to be said.

“Keep it in house, fellas”? Yeah, probably.

scottg

November 12th, 2012
3:01 pm

Hard to get that one yard when the offensive linemen are consistently pushed backwards for at least 2 yards. I lay the blame TOTALLY on the 5 who imitate a blocking line in short yardage situations.

singhisking

November 12th, 2012
3:01 pm

everybody knows …… turner is the problem ! he dont care about team if he did , wouldnt showup overweight . its time for snelling and rodger to start and bench turner . other teams will do it right away ! falcons probably not ….. we are screwed …..

Esquire

November 12th, 2012
3:01 pm

Tpeg88
November 12th, 2012
2:57 pm

I’m wondering how much is scheme though, if you saw the QB sneak, there was wicked push from the center.
************************************
Thank you for reminding me of that play. The best QB sneak Ryan has ever run………..are we sure he was the one under center?

Sherman to the Sea

November 12th, 2012
3:02 pm

If Michael, Dancing Bear, Turner could get to hole quickly without doing his Dancing with the Stars routine, maybe the line would look a little better.

tidog

November 12th, 2012
3:02 pm

Turner doesn’t play on the offensive line. The surge begins with the line but if there is no surge and the line is pushed backwards own it.

WD

November 12th, 2012
3:03 pm

McClure is right.
Sorry but its on Turner. The holes are there, not long, but they’re there.
I slow-mowed several of the botch runs and Turner absolutely takes too long to get to the line.
You have to hit them quick and he is slow as Christmas now.

rivercard

November 12th, 2012
3:04 pm

First to Mcclure- hard to take you serious when that DLINE camps out on your backfield most of the game.
Turner still a productive back at times but even on his best day he wasn’t a good short yardage back. Bad scheme/play calling. If Snelling or FB can’rt serve as a short yardage guy then time to find someone who can.

bo joe ellis

November 12th, 2012
3:05 pm

TURNER is not the BURNER anymore!
Why does turner line up 8 yds back…takes him to long to get to line. Falcons did a Graham ….

Here here

November 12th, 2012
3:05 pm

I think McClure is upset because somebody on the O-line is about to get benched. Maybe himself since he is complete horse hockey in getting push in the run game. He is not just throwing Turner under the bus here he is throwing coaches under the bus as well. Very unprofessional. I would bench him and start Hawley. McClure won’t be back next year anyway at what 38 yrs old. He’s too old. Time to move on to Hawley.

Trainwreck

November 12th, 2012
3:08 pm

Just from reading the comments so far I think McClure’s point comes to light. You can’t just put the blame on the O-Line or RB solely. O-line is getting pushed back and RBs are not hitting the hole. Both are at fault as far as I’m concerned.

NorthGaFalconFan

November 12th, 2012
3:09 pm

Turner is a big reason the game wasn’t won yesterday. Don’t blame it all on the O line.

Tpeg88

November 12th, 2012
3:09 pm

Esquire, who knows, maybe we need an instant replay to find out. A strong push and Matt Ryan running it? We may have been duped.

Heard It All Before

November 12th, 2012
3:10 pm

I Would Love 2 Blame Turner Also,However If Ur Getting Hit Before You Arrive @ The Line Of Scrimmage,It’s Probably Not The RB Fault… Penetration And Negative Rushing Plays,Simply Can’t Be The RB’s Fault,Jeez We Can’t Evan QB Sneak 4 More Than 3inchs,SIMPLY NO MOVEMENT/PUSH From The Middle Of Our Line!!!

UGABrave

November 12th, 2012
3:12 pm

It is Mike Turner..the guy runs like like he has concrete shoes on..He is slow and has no burst at all..Not sure why he is still on the team.. The Falcons need an Adrian Peterson type back…Turner is a bum

Michael McIntosh

November 12th, 2012
3:12 pm

Todd McClure needs to check himself becasue I watched the game and he and Claybo had a rough go of it. They are not getting the push simple and plain! Redzone play Tony is wide open but Matt could not set because Claybo got beat AGAIN by Cameron Jordan and he had to throw to Roddy. The OL is an OK line not a great line but there are two weaknesses that needs to be addressed center and right tackle.

tmc

November 12th, 2012
3:12 pm

Translation: Michael Turner is slower to the line than the Titanic trying to make a turn. And the line can only create/hold a block for so long.

Get rid of the problem!

Is the Falcons line the best o-line in the league? no, but they are not the worst either. There are many running backs who dodge a tackler or run away from a potential tackle using vision. MT does neither of these. He runs right into a tacklers arms without variation. I saw him twice yesterday run away from where the blocking was supposed to go and lost yardage.

He’s slow, doesn’t make initial people miss and rarely breaks a tackle within the first 3 yards of the line of scrimmage. If he were breaking off 10-20+ runs as the norm, i could live with the occasional loss of 1 yard. But he is the opposite. For every 10-20+ run, he has 20-30 no-gain or 1 yard loss runs.

He’s KILLING drives!

Dan

November 12th, 2012
3:12 pm

Long for the days of William Andrews that guy was money….Gerald Riggs blasting guys…..would probably take Bubba Bean at this point

Dan

November 12th, 2012
3:14 pm

Can we PLEASE find a guy that can actually return or at least threaten a return of a kick??

scottg

November 12th, 2012
3:15 pm

maybe they have’nt figured out that to get that one yard, you actually have to move forward.

Gatorzone

November 12th, 2012
3:15 pm

Mcclure is worried about Konz taking his spot? Something needs to change on both ends… Line needs a better push, but coaches need to get with Flabby and inform him he is too heavy to do his dance act on running plays and he needs to hit the hole with authority… Jerome Bettis played at a heavy weight, but he did not dance, he pounded… I think Tubby Turner doesn’t want to play that game…

Heard It All Before

November 12th, 2012
3:16 pm

The Runnin Game And OL’s Toughness,Grit,Determination & Intimidation Factor Left Town With Harvey Dhal!!!

Ryan

November 12th, 2012
3:17 pm

DOL – Do you know if the team is thinking about letting Snelling run the ball more often and in short yardage situation in particular? He was decent a few years ago, and I find it hard to believe he could be any worse than Turner.

Rip

November 12th, 2012
3:21 pm

Todd McClure is a joke, thje guy is just to old and the rest of the lineis just weak. I too think Turner is to slow to the line but, I do not think that is the issue, the defense was all ready in the back field.

Gatorzone

November 12th, 2012
3:21 pm

Turner proved his dedication when he arrived at camp again 40 lbs overweight… Look at Ray Edwards… At 37, he lost 35 lbs in the offseason to be more dedicated to his craft… Turner has NONE of that and it shows! The man lacks Heart, plain and simple! To be great, you have to out work everyone else and tubby does not do it!