Atlanta Falcons: Koetter on struggling run game: ‘Mike Turner . . . had no chance’





FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons offense coordinator Dirk Koetter, in his first interview since the offense repeatedly failed in short yardage situations against the New Orleans Saints, acknowledged that the short yardage offense is a major problem for his unit.

Also, unsolicited, he noted that on a majority of Michael Turner’s 13 runs that he “had no chance” because “we had free runners at the point of attack.” Turner finished with 15 yards and was stuffed on key third-and-goal from the Saints’ 1-yard line.

The question was if Jacquizz Rodgers had earned himself more carries.

Here are the highlights from Koetter’s interview session:

ON THE SHORT YARDAGE OFFENSE: “We’ve got to do better. It’s highly unusual that you have a higher percentage on the season , 60 percent and third and 4 to 5; and we’re 50 percent on third and 1 to 3. That’s very unusual. To be third or whatever we are in the NFL in third down conversions and be only 50 percent on third and one is not what you’re shooting for. But we’ve got to do a better job. On a couple of them you have to give them credit for what they did on defense. Coaching-wise we’ve got to have a better plan.”

WHAT MAKES THOSE SITUATIONS SO CHALLENGING?: “They are challenging because you need one yard and everybody knows you need one yard. That’s what makes it challenging. It’s like you’re trying to make one yard and they’re trying to defend one yard. Maybe we ought to just pretend its third and 10 and we might be better off.”

HOW IS IT SUPPOSED TO ALL WORK TOGETHER?: “There’s always multiple parts. Sometimes we have checks on. WE are checking for different looks. The very first one the other day, we just didn’t block it right. We blocked the look wrong. We either didn’t prepare them good enough or they didn’t recognize it good enough. The second one we threw a pass and they ran an all-out blitz on one side, so we had some protection issues. The second time we threw a pass and I’d call that play in a heart beat. We didn’t execute it that time. Any single play out there, you can never just say it’s this guy’s fault or this group’s fault. There is always multiple reasons.”

IS THIS A BAD THING?: “Yeah, it’s a bad thing. If you had a magic wand and could wave it, then it would be easy to fix everything if you had that magic wand. Again, that’s one part of the game. We came up short in that part and eventually that added up to us coming up short on the score board. Your goal is on offense, you break it down into different segments. You want to be good on first down. You want to be good on third down. You want to be good in the red zone. You want to be good in short yardage. You want to be good on goal line. You want to protect the passer. You want to run the ball good. It’s hard to do all of those well all of the time. We definitely came up short in that area.

HAS JACQUIZZ EARNED HIMSELF SOME MORE CARRIES OR WILL THE SPLIT STAY THE SAME: “We never go into a game. We only ran the ball 18 times. We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn’t matter who the runner is. When you look at the tape on the majority of Mike Turner’s runs in the game the other day, he had no chance. We had free runners at the point of attack. Jacquizz did a good job when he was in there. He touched the ball, but some of that could be luck of the draw. We’ll see how it plays out. Touches on this team are always going to be an issue because we have so many good skill guys. One guys increase in touches is going to come at the expense of another guy. Who is that? That’s the million dollar question.”

HOW DID RODGERS 18-YARD RUN LOOK ON FILM: “That was a nice run. He did a nice job. That was a pretty play. We needed one more. We needed one more of those.”

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186 comments Add your comment

Michael M.

November 13th, 2012
7:38 pm

Just 1 yard huh ? I have seen this b 4……………….hahaha like last year ?
No pun intended STB4zip…………….hehehe

Yorker

November 13th, 2012
7:49 pm

NO BIG DEAL, A LOT OF GAMES LEFT.

Answer This

November 13th, 2012
7:53 pm

I like how DK did not throw TTMT33 under the bus ( tip toe mike turner 33). Now on the other hand I hate how it put all the pressure and responsibility on the line! I hope and pray that he is in TTMT33 face this week and let him know he gave him a pass and that he expects MORE! MORE! I also hope that this does not change our mode of attack and have to get that fat angus more touches….cause he proved he is not what he used to be! However we still RISE UP! carda u on deck to get taken down by an angry group of birds!

Edd

November 13th, 2012
7:54 pm

My God we are 8-1 with a 3 game lead in the division and THE best record in the NFL. 30 other teams wished they were in our shoes. Move on, let it go and it may have been a blessing, learn from it and move to the next game.

md

November 13th, 2012
7:58 pm

Good idea, treat it as any other play and the defense has to treat it as any other play.

Who on here didn’t know the Birds were going to give it to Turner as the lone back last year in the Playoffs? It’s called predictability, and the Birds are notorious for it. Everybody on the planet knows what the play is going to be. Open it up and use the same plays that got you down there……

Great Falconi

November 13th, 2012
7:58 pm

Turner doesn’t have the quickness to make a move when he needs to. Our O-line isn’t great at run-blocking, but there are holes that Turner can’t hit because of his weight/age/blood-alcohol level/whatever.

joja boi

November 13th, 2012
7:58 pm

Like the feedback by Koetter. Got to be better!

Falcons RiseUp

November 13th, 2012
8:05 pm

Coach need to start Antone Smith get some fresh feet in the backfield switch it up a little

Falcon James

November 13th, 2012
8:05 pm

Well not being able to 1 yard is a HUGE problem. This has happened several times this year. We have no confidence that we convert on 3rd and 1 ft, much less 3rd and 1 yard and 4th and 1 yard. How many times this year have we needed a Foot and lost yardage. Yes this is a HUGE problem. I don’t know Rodgers is the answer, but I can tell you this. Turner has had all the changes I would be willing to give him. Its half was through the season and this is his worst season since he became a Pro. That is a HUGE problem. If we are going to make some changes, lets start with Turner not starting next week. What have we got to lose? We have no running game anyway, so anyone who does better will be an improvement. We can always put a pound cake, 40 oz, and stripper pole in the End Zone for Magic Mike to run to. It seems he is more interested in those three things than anything else.

Edd

November 13th, 2012
8:08 pm

The problem was the early penalty by Asante that put us on the 28 instead od the 13 yrd line and had to settle for a field goal. When you get the momentum don’t turn around and give the other team the mo right back. Yeah you had a 10 point lead but may have been 14 and you hadn’t won the game yet so it was not a time to celebrate and get a penalty, if the game is out of reach then you can talk but not early in the first quarter. Mike Smith looked Pissed and so was I, this aint Philly. dON’T SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, I’m letting it go, on to Arizona.

Edd

November 13th, 2012
8:12 pm

Falcons 35 – 13 over Arizona, 9-1, do ya’ll feel better.

chuck

November 13th, 2012
8:14 pm

Mike M why don’t you just get on your knees and blow stb4.

Edd

November 13th, 2012
8:20 pm

While I’m predicting, Falcons Green Bay Chicago NY Giants San Fran Seattle in the Playoffs. No eartly idea just sayin, crystal ball a little blurry.

Edd

November 13th, 2012
8:23 pm

While I’m predicting, Falcons Green Bay Chicago NY Giants San Fran Seattle in the Playoffs. No earthly idea just sayin, crystal ball a little blurry.

MrShields

November 13th, 2012
8:26 pm

Luck of the draw my ass. Its cause Quizz is faster, and more agile. Its Called the Burner is Burned Out. Put in the Spark!!!

Dennis

November 13th, 2012
8:26 pm

Well, DUH! Maybe he didn’t have any where to go because it’s too damned predictable!

I’m not a defensive co-ordinator and I only missed ONE call the entire game (where the play called was Turner up the middle).

Mee Too

November 13th, 2012
8:26 pm

Mike Smith and Koetter,

We fans are not stupid nor idiots. Don’t try to pull that BS on us. It’s not going to work. Michael Turner is a negative runner not just this year but in previous years.

SCFalcon

November 13th, 2012
8:32 pm

Two words on the run game problems, Harvey Dahl…………………….

David

November 13th, 2012
8:38 pm

A great running back makes holes ! Get Rid Of Turner !

Edd

November 13th, 2012
8:39 pm

True, we miss Harvey and Ovie and turner is slow.

Edd

November 13th, 2012
8:41 pm

Ivory ran like his life depended on it, i’d like to see the Falcons get a back like that.

Eric C.

November 13th, 2012
8:49 pm

I’ve been as critical of Turner as anyone the past couple of seasons, but c’mon folks…he really didn’t have a chance, even Koetter admits it.

Eric C.

November 13th, 2012
8:49 pm

I’ve watch replay of those goal-line situations, and not even Barry Sanders would gotten a yard.

David

November 13th, 2012
8:50 pm

Why in Gods name can you not use Snelling, Please Please make a change.

SCFalcon

November 13th, 2012
8:51 pm

Maybe if they lined up some strippers at the back of the end zone, Turner would be motivated to run faster and through defensive players. It got him moving fast at 4 am after the Broncos game.

Eric C.

November 13th, 2012
8:51 pm

Ever since Ovie went down in Detroit last season, the short yardage running game has been doomed.

4BsihTneeS

November 13th, 2012
8:51 pm

You know who was a royal failure inside the red zone for the fal can’ts? Matt Ryan, he was as bad as the former burner.

The fal can’ts have a fourthandphobia versus the SAINT s.

lowdownjj

November 13th, 2012
8:52 pm

Seems like Mud Duck is the lone voice for the O-Line. Gotta lot of respect for Mcclure… he is our longest tenured Falcon and a warrior. Makes ya go hmmmm though

Eric C.

November 13th, 2012
8:52 pm

If Snelling was the feature back he would do no better…the same with Rodgers.

SCFalcon

November 13th, 2012
8:53 pm

Good point Eric. But he doesn’t even try to move the pile. I know….. easy to say when you are watching it on TV.

techduck

November 13th, 2012
8:53 pm

Roddy you gave it away when you started to run that big ole mouth Last week.The team release Ray Edwards today,which they sould have not gotten in the first place.I want everybody to remeber this name(techmule)that i told you so.Micheal Turner is going to have a big game his next game coming up.When he does you all STUPID people are going to forget about all them 3rd down 1 and could:nt get a half a yard then have to punt again.Watch and see if am right again and again and again.

SCFalcon

November 13th, 2012
8:56 pm

If he has a big game next week, I will sing his praises and forget about all the 3rd and 1’s. I promise….

Is it techduck or techmule. I want to write this down so I don’t forget.

Eric C.

November 13th, 2012
8:58 pm

I’ve said all along it seems Turner has lost some explosiveness coming off the snap…but the problem that exists now seems to transcend Turners lost step. An angrier running back like Chris Ivory or the old Marion Barber would be better…but it is tough trying to juke people in the backfield.

LMAO

November 13th, 2012
9:02 pm

“A great back makes holes” might be the dumbest comment I’ve read so far today.

Eric C.

November 13th, 2012
9:05 pm

SCFalcon, let’s hope for a big day from the defense…AZ is coming off the bye and I’m sure their defense will be tough.

Heard It All Before

November 13th, 2012
9:06 pm

Witch Hunt Patrol:::: The Highest Paid Offensive Mind N The Falcons Organization Says ” Turner Had No Chance” 2 Reach The Line Of Scrimmage,And Folks Still Blame Turner… HILLARIOUS… The Issue Is Dimmitrioff’s OL Draft Picks… G.Reynolds,S.Baker,J.Hawley,M.Jhonson Have All Been BUST’s!!! No Push,Holes Or Runnin Lanes Would Evan Make Eric Dickerson Look Bad,These Blogs R Just “Witch Hunts”,If Any1’s To Blame,How Bout Looking @ Dimmitrioff’s Draft Record ((A. Dent,D. Franks,K. Mier,C. Owens,R. James,S. Adkins… Included))!!! #Get_A_Clue

Chris

November 13th, 2012
9:08 pm

Why up the middle every time? Everyone in the stadium sees that coming, especially the defense!

[...] only ran the ball 18 times. We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn’t matter who the runner is,” Koetter said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

Adogg36

November 13th, 2012
9:17 pm

Tuner costing us games get him up out of here.Dis been going on since about 2 seasons ago.

Ledbetter blocked me

November 13th, 2012
9:22 pm

On those short yardage downs Matty didn’t deliver. He had more chances to complete a pass but didn’t! Pressure will make ice melt.

coleski

November 13th, 2012
9:22 pm

This o-line can’t block in the run game. I don’t undeerstand whynot, but they can’t. They did’nt last
year. Not even when Ovie was here.

coleski

November 13th, 2012
9:24 pm

They cant block in the run game.

marcus

November 13th, 2012
9:25 pm

i just want to know why did we have a pulling guard on that fourth down run put a hat on a hat and got it done turner needs to run harder point blank period run like u got a chip on your shoulder lower that big head of your and get big legs a churning

[...] only ran the ball 18 times. We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn’t matter who the runner is,” Koetter said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

Adogg36

November 13th, 2012
9:27 pm

Even on da power poll dey saying our running game going to be an issue in da playoffs.

chucktown38

November 13th, 2012
9:41 pm

Seems like Turner fails to the turf on first contact way to much

Great Falconi

November 13th, 2012
9:44 pm

It’s a combination of Turner and the O-line, of course. The problem is that the O-line can do a better job and Turner still won’t hit the hole because he can’t get there. It’s up to Smith and Koetter to realize that they have to use all their guys in the backfield and do what they do best instead of running it up the gut to no effect.

Daron

November 13th, 2012
9:47 pm

koetter — don’t blame turner

mcclue — don’t blame the oline

who should I blame for that terrible offensive performance???

Tom(Independent Viet Vet-USAF)

November 13th, 2012
9:53 pm

SCFalcon – For the life of me, I’ll never understand why they let bad boy Harvey Dahl get away?

datruf

November 13th, 2012
9:53 pm

The problem is with the play calling. If the running game is not working (which it’s more than not working, it’s a negative play waiting to happen) PASS THE BALL! Most of the game, we really had two downs to pick up a first. We’d run the ball on first…lose 2 then pass on 2nd and 3rd. Sometimes we’d recover the 12 needed….sometimes we wouldn’t.
When we give up the run, we score. Why do we need balance? The need for balance is an untruth. Let’s score 3 or 4 tds then start trying to run.
Last week with Dallas it was the same way. Go back and look at that game….we’d drive 75 yards, get to the 15 or 20 and start running. ??? GIVE IT UP! Turner is not an NFL talent anymore.
The insistence on running the ball is costing us wins. The game should have never been that close. Let Ryan open it up and we can’t be beat….regardless of our defense.