Concerned with Falcons Beatdown?

Four Questions as Falcons Prepare for Dolphins

Should We Worry, Coach? (CCompton/AJC)

First and foremost, let’s all repeat it together: it’s just preseason. The games don’t count and there’s no trophy for blasting opponents and going undefeated. Preseason is a time for players to get into playing shape and mentality. It’s a time for coaches to get a good glimpse of players in real game situation and decide who stays, who goes, and who starts. That being said, it was more than a little worrisome to see the Falcons look completely disinterested to be there against one of the best teams of the 21st century, on national television, and at home in The Dome. Yes it is preseason, but the Falcons were pushed around, manhandled, and pretty much embarrassed by the Patriots. With the Birds supposedly having one of the deepest rosters in recent memory and a several spots open, fans would hope to see a better showing. Although the big test awaits in the coveted “third game” in Miami, is there reason for concern as the regular season awaits right around the corner?

1) Are You Concerned?

We know, we know, we know. It’s preseason and it means nothing, but……its hard to argue that simply putting in a game-plan, getting a few players healthy, and turning on the “real game” mentality will automatically solve some issues that have plagued the Falcons for the past two years. One of the biggest problems last year was their inability to get off the field on 3rd down. Guess what popped up again? Offensive coordinator may get more criticism that he deserves sometimes, but the Falcons had serious issues converting on third down as they neared the red zone and unable to put up any points on otherwise good and long drives. Guess what popped up again (and has all preseason)? The Birds may well have lost several games with field goals that could have easily been made by Jason Elam. Guess what popped up again…..and again……and again? Once again it’s only preseason, but some of the issues that were supposedly addressed in the off-season have reared their ugly head again in preseason. Thinking the pass defense woes in preseason last year would evaporate when the regular season started ended up with the Birds finishing near dead last in the NFL in that very category. So……are you concerned?

2) What Will Be at Receiver?

Can Weems Produce? (CCompton/AJC)

The wide receiver bad luck continues in 2010 with Michael Jenkins being out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury and the heart breaking news of Kerry Meier being lost for the year. Even though Meier would have only been the fourth wide receiver at best and likely come along slowly, he was having a great camp and some thought he would eventually push his way up the depth chart as the season rolled along. There already was a major fight brewing for the final receiver spot involving Eric Weems, Brian Finneran, Brandon Harvey, Ryan Wolfe, Troy Bergeron, and several others. The Falcons could possibly even carry 6 receivers now that Jenkins will likely miss a few games. Even though he’s done little as a receiver, Weems seems to have a lead due to his special teams duties and Finneran seemingly will take another spot with his veteran experience and sure hands. Brandyn Harvey and Ryan Wolfe will have to make some huge strides in the next two weeks to claim one of those spots. Even though Weems and Finneran will add some security, does it upgrade last year’s receiving corps at all? Troy Bergeron has certainly put in his duties on and off the practice squad and looked good in action the other night, but can he finally make the leap? Many will say that Weems and Finneran will add a sense of safety to the roster, but will it infuse the much needed talent at receiver? Decisions await.

3) How Bad Will the Kicking Game Get?

Most fans rarely ever question Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff’s decisions about the roster and team overall. Their ability to stock the Falcons roster up and down with talent at almost every position has been pretty unbelievable. They always get the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. That being said, its hard to understand what they’re thinking at kicker. Dimitroff made a strong statement when he signed possible Hall of Famer Jason Elam to a four year, $9 million dollar contract when he was 38. The Falcons GM obviously knew how important the kicking game was. The plan went wonderful in 2008 with Elam being a major part of the playoff. Run. That same plan quickly unraveled when Elam started to struggle mightily. Its hard to say that the Falcons would have necessarily won a few games due to missed field goals, including New Orleans, Carolina, and New York Giants, but those field goals could have easily changed the complexion of the game and potentially led to a win or two. The front office gave him plenty of time to correct his mistake, but after going 8-15 in field goals over 30 yards the Falcons had to make a change. They picked up Matt Bryant at 34 year old and was a little more consistent, but still missed 3 field goals in 10 attempts. Seemingly, the Falcons wanted a serious competition between Bryant, Steve Hauschka, and undrafted rookied Garrett Lindholm. Most fans expected the battle to go all the way to final cut down day with the best man winning. Inexplicably, the front office cut Lindholm without even giving him a chance (Colts have since picked him up) and cut Steve Hauschka after missing one field goal, thus handing the keys over to Matt Bryant, who has already missed 2 out of 4 field goals in preseason. Can anyone explain how the Birds are in any better situation than last year? Hard to imagine this was what they had planned and the question remains: how bad will it get at kicker?

4) Should Brian Van Gorder Receive More Criticism?

Look Familiar? (CCompton/AJC)

The beloved former University of Georgia defensive coordinator (you know the one that actually had his defenses prepared?) has had mixed success as the Falcons defensive coordinator under Coach Mike Smith. The first year under Van Gorder saw the Falcons overachieving with less talent, but more veteran leadership and experience. The surprising defense was a main reason for the Falcons resurgence in 2008. Thomas Dimitroff oversaw a complete overhaul in 2009, releasing 5 starters on defense (Keith Brooking, Lawyer Milloy, Michael Boley, Grady Jackson, and Dominique Foxworth) and the youth movement was sure to see some growing pains. It surely did. The pass defense was atrocious, failed to put any pressure on opposing QBs, and absolutely could not get off the field on 3rd down to save their life. After multiple injuries and a very poor performance for most of the year, the Falcons D started to gel somewhat towards the end of the year. Curtis Lofton continued his ascension and the Falcons started to see great glimpses of young guns Thomas DeCoud, Christopher Owens, Brent Grimes, Stephen Nicholas, and Kroy Biermann. They also got good play out of journeyman Thomas Johnson and 7th round draft pick Vance Walker at defensive tackle. Dimitroff then added one of the best cornerbacks on the free agent market and used the first round pick on arguably the best linebacker in the draft in Sean Weatherspoon. Unquestionably, the Falcons have gotten more talented on defense and that’s not even including Peria Jerry and William Moore’s potential. So when the same old problem reappeared on Thursday night (little pressure and terrible on 3rd down again), many may start pushing a little blame towards Van Gorder, who’s definitely gotten more of a pass than his counterpart Mike Mularkey. Yes, it’s preseason and you never want to give away too much, but should Brian Van Gorder start feeling the heat a little more if the Falcons defense doesn’t improve? How can he not?

The Experts Weigh In (Your Turn)

-Take your shot at the four questions

-Time for a little concern or it’s just preseason, who cares?

-Please sort out this mess of a receiver position

-Should Falcons go veteran or youth?

-Should Falcons look outside for receiver help

-How much of a nightmare is the kicking situation?

-Will Van Gorder start to feel the heat if defense doesn’t improve?

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389 comments Add your comment

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
10:01 am

Beat ya Sarah!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
10:03 am

Great post my friend…will be back later to provide some insight.

Bangkapi Ajarn

August 22nd, 2010
10:04 am

Morning, SW, thx for not screaming 1st, but with respect I reakon you have earned the right if you felt the urge ;-) .

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JJ

August 22nd, 2010
10:17 am

D3, great piece as always!

1- I’m a little concerned, not worried, about our OL inability to pass block. These guys are veterans and pretty good at run blocking, why have we not seen improvements in the passing game. Is it coaching, technique or personnel? This is my biggest concern. If MR only has 2-3 sec to pass, our 3rd down conversions will not improve.

2- Weems is NOT the answer IMHO. Looking fwd to seeing other WR in miami, especially wolfe/harvey. Bet TD will grab a veteran after the cuts, I hope!

3- Too early to tell about the kicking siuation. After last yr, understand why many are. We MUST have a solid kicking game or we will not make the playoffs.

4- Although we looked sloppy on thurs., I think our D will be dominating games (and carrying our O) by the 3rd game. Finally have the players that VG can attack with. Yes, VG has no excuses this yr, same as mularkey. Improve or feel the heat!

WR

August 22nd, 2010
10:23 am

I be back for this one in a few, but I wanted to get this out there to give some a chance to marinate on what I saw and heard. Did anyone see the channel 11 late night interview with Mike Murlarkey, if you can tivo it or look it up you will be amazed, Murlarkey actallly believes the Falcons offense is one of the most dynamic and confusing offenses in the league. He went on to say with all the Falcons do it makes it hard on opposing defenses to figure out thats why they have been so successful. He says that he has always believed in having a dynamic offense that keeps the D on its heel and thats what he has brought to Atlanta. Now for all the talk of good or bad, is it just me or has anyone seen anything Murlarkey is talking about. Trust me ya’ll have to see this video, he looks dead serious when he’s saying all of this stuff.

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WR

August 22nd, 2010
10:24 am

Should be I’ll be back, guess I was in a hurry back later cage.

BT

August 22nd, 2010
10:26 am

Wow, D3
Very good questions and a lot to digest and think over for a few.
This should be another good blog.
Let the blogging begin.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
10:38 am

WR, what is he talking about? I haven’t seen it…maybe their hiding it during preseason, but how can he honestly say that unless their just keeping it under wraps for now?

I am concerned about the kicking game. Can Bryant get it done?

Bangkapi Ajarn

August 22nd, 2010
10:46 am

Lets take a shot at D3’s questions dejour:

-Take your shot at the four question
I count 6 :-) . But, to be fair, the juices are still running hot after Thursday’s beatdown, so I could be seeing double on the troubles (just funnin’ a bit, you da man D3)

-Time for a little concern or it’s just preseason, who cares?
Time for concern in my opinion, but NOT panic. As D3 pointed out, we knew what needed improving, but we can’t see improvement in this version of the birds yet. I understand that the argument could come that we can’t judge because so many potential starters haven’t played yet, and it IS a fair argument that they need time together, as a unit, to work out the kinks and we are losing that. The regular season isn’t the time to get those reps in, NOW is the time. And, to expand, different areas of the team warrant different levels of concern. The D line was frightening run D wise Thursday, and that is supposed to be a strength. We haven’t truly tested our WR depth yet, but TE depth does seem to be getting evaluated OK. RB depth is getting evaluated Ok, and so on–.

Having said all that, I still expect the falcons to make a run in the playoffs, win 10 or 11 regular season, outside shot at 12 wins, and win NFC South.

-Please sort out this mess of a receiver position –
I have written this one to death, so, trying to take a different approach, I am disappointed with the coaches decision to NOT run some of the youngsters out there trying to make the team.
Personnel wise, Weems should make it because Franks isn’t showing much on ST returns – yet. watching KC’s new talent at return duties, and seeing ours, makes me, shall we say, sad.
Finn should make it Ok as long as he is upright at the end of camp if for no other reason than he knows the Offense, MR is comfortable with him, and attrition is removing his competition for a spot.
White and Jenkins are automatic, White for receiving skills and Jenkins for blocking and speed. HD is a welcome return, but I hope and pray he hasn’t lost a step after the injury.

That’s 5 roster spots, defacto, leaving Bergeron as a favorite for #6 based on time in service learning the system and one play last week showing more YAC talent than anyone else so far this preseason. I sure would like to see Wolfe and Harvey

Bottom line, no improvement from last year’s initial roster (before injuries), but HD will be on the field so better production.

-Should Falcons go veteran or youth?
Both. BUT– Youth should be added every year, training to step in. Spoon will have rookie mistakes, but by the end of the year the falcons LB corps will be considered one of the tops in the NFL, just give the kid a chance to learn and grow. He is only 22, and needs a chance to learn, grow, make mistakes and be the better for it.

-Should Falcons look outside for receiver help
No, and I have talked this one to death. The first three spots on the WR depth chart are fixed already it seems, so we are looking at 4,5, and 6 on the depth chart – places for special teams mavens and developmental players. Now, if a scary good ST returner (that happens to play WR) comes available, THAT would be a different story.

I look for fewer throws to WR’s this year anyway, as some balls are re-directed to RB’s, and TE’s continue to make a high number of reliable catches.

-How much of a nightmare is the kicking situation?
Bad. When the field goal unit comes onto the field it should provide a level of comfort, of certainty – it shouldn’t be a source of ulcers and stress for fans. There IS an opportunity here, however – maalox commercials on TV after each FG try should be a good source of revenue. While I still think the falcons can make a good run into the playoffs, THIS could well be their achilles heel to keep them at home watchig the playoffs on TV. Two losses of close games from missed FG’s would be all it takes (exacerbated by longer drives necessitated by a limited punt return game)

-Will Van Gorder start to feel the heat if defense doesn’t improve?
Not yet, too soon and too make injuries to fairly evaluate his schemes (and Lewis will likely make Van Gorder look good by the end of the season).

MM will feel the heat first with timid playcalling that doesn’t maximize the strengths of his roster, but Smith will likely stay loyal to his coordinators.

Moose

August 22nd, 2010
10:59 am

Good one D3…….. A little news for the Cage on the wounded and I’ll check back later to weigh in……. Yard work really sux this time of year…….

AP reports Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas returned to play against the Patriots this week. Starter WR Michael Jenkins is out with a shoulder injury but could be ready for the start of the regular season. “Michael is going to be back around the opening of the season so we feel good where we’re at with our guys,” HC Mike Smith said. “Harry is back, so I don’t anticipate that we need to do anything in terms of our roster.” Jenkins will miss the full preseason. If he is not ready for the start of the season, veteran WR Brian Finneran could join WR Roddy White as the starting receivers. The team had its last day with two practices on Saturday. Even with two preseason games remaining, Smith said the team will move to a regular-season practice schedule. Rookie DT Corey Peters (knee) and DL Jamaal Anderson (thigh) missed practice on Saturday.

S William Moore had a nice interception he tipped to himself in practice Saturday afternoon. Moore said his groin feels 100 percent, adding: “It can be a tricky thing, so I want to stay on top of it and keep getting treatment.”

Rookie DT Corey Peters (knee) missed both practice sessions Saturday. But coach Mike Smith suggested Peters’ injury isn’t too serious by saying, “He’s not out of the mix.”

SuperBird

August 22nd, 2010
11:06 am

Ok, The offense can’t score touchdowns, we are still weak at the kicking position, defense can’t get off the field on 3rd downs, we are still weak at the receiver position. All of these problems we had last year, lo and behold, these problem are rearing its ugly head again.

The definition of insanity is, doing things the same way or with the same personel and expecting a different result. The steady constant begins with the head coach, he receives the acculades when the team succeeds and should get blame when they look like a high school footfall team. If he is willing too stick with both mediocre offense/defense coordinators, blame should be with him.

Both of these coordinators maybe good people, but are terrible at play calling and game planning. Coach Smith if you don’t make a change at both of these coaching positions, maybe you should leave with them.Oh, lets not forget Thomas D. people are beginning to question his draft genius, he is quickly developing a pattern of selecting injury prone players and subpar talent. We need football players that bring a little swagger and attitude. I am about feed up with his type of selections ie… chemist and violin playing draft picks, we need some football players with attitude, there is know fire on this team.

If this team goes 8 – 8 this season and Know significant improvements on both sides of the ball,the top brass might need to consider some coaching shake ups, HEAD COACH INCLUDED!

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:11 am

Well, here I go. May get a little long winded so I apologize in advance.

Concerned? Like JJ, I am more nervous than concerned. The youth on this team still has a ways to go in terms of their growth and development. Cohesion still appears to be suspect at times. Focus is not as sharp at times as we would like. These things can be coached up and should show some facet of improvement once the season starts. Depth at some positions is still an issue. Again, we will have to play the hand we have and continue to seek improvement. I know I have said it a million times but it is so true. It is a process.

Both coordinators must feel a little heat this season. The tools appear to be in place. They have got to find ways to intergrate them into the game plan. Not going to scream fire yet but the engines are ready to roll from the station. But that would bring into play a crucial question. If we make a move on one or both coordinators, who would we go after and how much “damage” would that do to the progress to-date of the Process, particularly MR2.

More on the concerned facet later…

BT

August 22nd, 2010
11:11 am

Yeah, much like Coop said.
He and myself seem to be the local pessimist, of sorts.

I am concerned about the lack of offensive production from our starters but not hitting panic button yet, it`s been taken out of the drawer and placed on the table to be within easy reach for about halfway through the next game if, there is not some improvement in red zone efficiency, pass protection and diversification of Ryan`s game.

The WR situation, Smitty has spoken and they are content with what they have on the roster.
We will see how that works out, the door has been cracked open for second guessing, if it don`t.

Not too worried about Bryant just yet.
He seems to have good strength in his kicks but he has been pushing them to the right.
That indicates he still has good leg but needs to work out a kink in his follow through, like you would a golf swing.

I am still 100% behind BVG, at this point.
How do you blame the DC when he has young guys out there making rookie mistakes, when the right defenses have been called, with players being in position to make plays but failing to make the plays?

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:16 am

Part Two.

The Falcons are on record as saying they will not be going after a WR anytime soon. That means one of two things, IMHO. They plan to run the rock more extensively and use the WRs they have OR they feel that Douglas, White, and Jenkins can handle the load with Fin and the inexperienced Harvey, Wolfe, and others in the fold for depth. I, for one, do not believe this for one moment. Unless we are going to employ more two TE sets, we simply have to make a move in FA at the WR slot. It is a must. Two consecutive years of a promising WR going down to injury is very disheartening. This is the year that MR12 has to step up his game. If he does not end this season with at least six TDs, forget him as a viable #2 option. RW84 is going to see double coverage. This will facilitate an greater reliance, once more, on TG88. With that reliance, which I do not have an issue, comes the chance for greater turnover numbers as DCs will scheme for that. The Douglas factor will offset this in some measure but HD has to have time to get back to full strength in his game. Watch all this closely but we must add a young, veteran presence at WR.

SuperBird

August 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

I can blame the Defensive Coordinator when they can’t get off the field on 3rd down, its not the players, but the coaching scheme.

mountain_jim

August 22nd, 2010
11:24 am

I missed that Mularkey interview but find his comments insulting. Repeatedly teams recognize our plays from formations and the play-calling has often been bizarre and ineffective. Our passing scheme appears rudimentary and afraid to stretch the field.

I hope he’s hiding some good stuff in preseason because what I have seen so far will not get it done. Ryan has not thrown one ball down the field. The passing offense looked better in 08. Nearly every pass goes to Gonzo. The pass blocking is terrible, and the play-calling could help with that.

Very concerned.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:25 am

Kicking game. The Falcons have potential MAJOR issues here. Bryant is a reliable veteran. BT makes a very good point in that he (Bryant) has a strong leg and simply needs to make a few minor adjustments. He should be good for one more season. But the Falcons MUST look ahead and find their PK of the future soon.

Punter is equally critical. Koenen has a cannon of a leg. He kicks off deep and positions punts with skill. However, he is playing out a one year tender this season. If he is allowed to walk, and trust me, if there is football next season, there will be interest in him, the Falcons will suffer a huge loss.

Kicking game is definately a concern this season and beyond.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
11:30 am

SW, BA, all…I agree on the WR position. Losing Meier was a heavy blow as MJ was already banged up and HD coming back from injury is a wait and see. I don’t think we have the guy we need to stretch the field and take double teams off RW. Blind loyalty was never one of my strong suits, but I’m going to hang in there with CMS if he says we don’t need anybody…but I just don’t see it.

Thats good news about Corey Peters injury….guess it’s not serious. But we did look like the Keystone Cops on D, especially on that Fred T. TD run with our guys knocking each other down.

Does it seem like injuries come often on the Dome turf? Purely speculative on my part but I’d like to see some stats on that.

martin

August 22nd, 2010
11:31 am

It’s a pipe dream if any of you guys think for one new york second that your team is going to unseat the super bowl champions new orleans saints, for the nfc south championship.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
11:34 am

martin…talking about pipes, you should stay away from them…

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:38 am

BVG. D3 and CBrass had to educate me on this coach because my knowledge of him was very limited. I was told that he needed certain players to maximize his schemes. If I am correct, he has those players now (or a significant number of them). So I am willing to give him a chance to see what he can do. In his defense, his side of the ball has undergoing a much more dramatic transition than the offensive side of the ball. So with that as my guiding thought, I will continue to give him a pass for the moment. NOTE: Smitty, as an EXPERIENCE coordinator, has to step in though and help his man if he sees the game getting away from him. Smitty is a great teacher we have seen and heard; maybe his DC needs a supplemental course or a seminar to refresh his skill set.

Mad Mike on the other hand, I’m beginning to get a little concerned. I am trying to hear this interview but as one who watches the games closely, outside of the running attack, I see stagnation in our offense. It is very predictable. I’m clearly missing the confusing nature of it. If MR2 has another suppar season (less than 25 TDs) or more than 20 Ints, or God forbid, he is hurt, then Murlarkey is gone.

Replacements? Do not count on it being Musgrave. There is not much there to get excited about as a coordinator. He is an excellent QB tutor but his track record as a coordinator leaves a lot to be desired. Dennis Green or Brian Billick. Sure, they have not called game in a while but when they did, they were electric at times. Dennis definately would open things up for sure…

My personal choice…a total sleeper and shocker. Jay Gruden. Yes, Chuckie’s little brother. If you are a fan of Arena Ball, you know his offensive mind. A former QB, he knows how to make things click on offense. He is the master of the intermediate game and is an innovator. Just a thought..

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:40 am

DePlane, I, like you, am really staying the course with Smitty. I like him. WR is an issue but I do think we will add a young, veteran presence very shortly. This week will ensure that we make that move. Just stay tuned.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
11:40 am

SW…can’t see them not making a deal with Koenen…he is one area of strength on an otherwise suspect kicking game…but they will have to spend some money to keep him.

BT

August 22nd, 2010
11:42 am

Super Bird,
Here is a good breakdown of play calls what happened on all the 3rd down opportunities by the starting defense in the last game.

On defense, the first time the team had the Patriots in a third down situation, they played a 3-3-5 nickel package on 3rd and 7. Stephen Nicholas came in to replace Mike Peterson, and Domonique Franks came in as the extra DB, with DT Corey Peters heading to the sideline. The Falcons showed a seven man rush but came with a five man blitz. Chris Owens and the linebackers rushed while Kroy Biermann and John Abraham dropped back into short coverage. Nice play, and it worked well enough – except that Abraham missed the chance at an open field tackle on Kevin Faulk after the dump-off. (In commentary, Aikman called out Spoon for missing the play, but it was Abe in the short zone and Spoon on the pass rush. It’s preseason for the announcers too.)

The second opportunity was also a 3rd and 7. Again the Falcons went with the 3-3-5. The problem this time was that Atlanta basically had just four men in the box, which is Really Bad when the other team decides to run up the middle. Before the snap, Lofton was already drifting back into the middle zone. He was 8 yards deep before he realized the play was a handoff.

The third opportunity was only a 3rd and 2. Chris Owens had jammed a finger, so Franks was in temporarily replacing him.

Franks lines up close to the WR, who was just behind the line. The WR goes in motion, so Franks runs with him. At the snap, that WR blocks Chevis Jackson away from the middle while Franks runs too far outside to get back to the hole. One WR effectively neutralizes two CBs. That’s pretty sweet, and it’s something I hope Mularkey will remember for future use. Also, Spoon ran himself right into a block on that play, but he probably wouldn’t have been able to prevent the first down anyway.

The next play (the following first down) was the 28-yard TD run by Fred Taylor. It was a comic masterpiece by the Falcons defense.

Spoon screened out Erik Coleman, taking him out of the picture. But Spoon was there himself and had his arms on the running back… until Peterson got blocked into Spoon, knocking him off the tackle.

Thomas DeCoud ran up and made a nice hit, stopping Taylor in his tracks. But then Jonathan Babineaux plowed into Decoud, taking both of them out of the play. So Taylor bounced outside and was off to the races. Franks ran over Jackson during the chase, making sure neither CB had any chance of preventing the touchdown.

It appears to me as bad play over bad play calls
Now tell me again, it`s the all DC`s fault.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:47 am

DePlane, I concur on Koenen. We have to make a move and make it sooner rather than later.

Great play by play, BT.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
11:50 am

BT…thanks for the breakdown…yep that play was comical…all the elements of bumbling came into play. BVG can scheme all he wants but if the players execute like that it doesn’t matter.

SuperBird

August 22nd, 2010
11:55 am

I respect your analysis BT, can u also go back in the future and tell me every exact movement and position of the players in last years season, the defense couldn’t get off the field last year either.

The problem is either the coach or the players, pick one. I am more incline to believe that its coaching.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
11:56 am

I thought our o-line was manhandled by the Pats D. Wilfork is a monster truck. Lack of time for routes to develop is a problem because we cannot pass block. Still MR2 was 8/13 and had a few dropped balls that would have made it seem less of an issue, but I still think the o-line needs to give him more time.

JJ

August 22nd, 2010
11:58 am

BT, great breakdown!

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
11:58 am

DePlane,and that 8-13 was with extensive use of the shotgun and/or no huddle.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:03 pm

Wilfork is a beast, DePlane. You can see why I wanted him in FA. He changes things upfront.

GregKennesaw

August 22nd, 2010
12:03 pm

I laugh when people start talking about replacing the very coaches that just gave us our first back-to-back winning seasons, they are 20-12 overall. Remember we were 4-12 the year before they arrived. Come on they have done an exceptional job!

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
12:04 pm

SW…and while I’m a fan of the no huddle we can’t be dependent on it all the time. With MR2 calling the plays (scripted I’m sure) in the no huddle we seem to have better success moving the chains, but either predictable play calling or not enough time for the plays to develop seems to inhibit us the rest of the time.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
12:05 pm

SW…yep…that old hindsight thing…I guess he doesn’t fit our 4-3 scheme or cost too much but what a plug in the middle!

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:06 pm

DePlane, I agree. I has to be complimented with a solid running attack. And if not exceuted in the proper manner, it will stall out in a flash.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

Greg…you’re right…they have done a phenomenol job in a short time. Like SW says…let the process contine.

darrell starks

August 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

D3 not concern right now, but so far spoon have not showed me anything in preseason games, im realy watching spoon 2 see how he perform in the next game.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm

DePlane, to me, IMHO, that is an issue as well. What is our TRUE scheme. Are we trying to do too much in terms of a scheme?

WR calls it the Falcon Four…I see images of the Eagles or Dungy’s Tampa 2. Just settle on a scheme and employ it.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:09 pm

Greg, thanks for giving the Process some love.

I would ask again. If they turn stupid and fire Smitty, where do we go? Cowher? Not.

SuperBird

August 22nd, 2010
12:10 pm

Same old back to back winning season cheerleading, if we as fans are will too accept this as accomplisments, while other teams are winning super bowls, we’re DOOMED

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:11 pm

Darrell Starks, for a lesson on what we will see, just take a look at what Aaron Curry did last season in Seattle. The journey’s to date are almost a carbon copy. And in the end, Curry had a respectable first year in the league.

darrell starks

August 22nd, 2010
12:11 pm

Can the falcons bounce back yes but the defense have 2 step up and perform better than last week.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
12:12 pm

The Pats ran 6 straight passing plays, then 6 straight running plays and moved the ball at will. That spells confidence to do either. I would love to see that kind of consistency our of our offense…sometimes you just need to execute.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
12:12 pm

Meant “from our offense”…sorry.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:15 pm

But SuperBird, it IS an accomplishment. Consistency is something this team has never had.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

I concur, DS. Both the OFFENSE and DEFENSE need to show a sense of greater focus, first team, second team, third team, waterboy, trainers, shoe shiners, etc.

DePlane

August 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

SW…couldn’t agree more…settle on a scheme and execute it. But what we’ve seen could be a product of injury compensation. I have confidence they’ll settle in at some point, but hopeful it doesn’t take until the 5th game of the season.

SeminoleWarrior

August 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Keep it coming, DePlane. Loving your roll this early afternoon.