Final Film Review – Falcons Clunk to Jaguars

Some Bright Spots, Plenty of Bad

Yuck (AP)

First of all, let’s just repeat to ourselves several times: it’s only preseason, it’s only preseason, it’s only preseason. Right? It all depends on what you think of preseason games. Some believe it’s a good indicator of what’s to come, while others believe it’s just a glorified training camp practice. Perhaps its somewhere in the middle. Whatever your take, there were plenty of bright spots and just as many causes for concern. A look at some of both as the Falcons give a forgettable clunker to the Jaguars.

1) 3rd, Long, and Still Atrocious

There’s not much more to add on this one. This has been a major problem since Coach Smith and DC Van Gorder took over in 2008. There have been up-ticks at times, and a few pockets of success, but overall it’s just been downright awful. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers or Blaine Gabbert and Matt Moore, there is an unbelievable inability of this coaching staff to figure out what is wrong and how in the world to get off the field on 3rd and long. It’s been said a million times before and the tidal wave of criticism will only grow larger and louder. Doesn’t matter who’s fault it is (Coach Smith or DC Van Gorder) and fans no longer care whatsoever. The fact is that the results are ridiculous. Players are in place so the mantra will remain the same: NO EXCUSES! And before the argument is thrown in about the backups being in, the smackdown came via the likes of Blaine Gabbert, Luke McCown, Jason Hill, Cecil Shorts, Deji Karim, Montell Owens, Dujuan Harris and Jarrett Dillard.

2) Old Mularkey/Smith Offense Rears Ugly Head

Aggressive O? Yeah Right (AJC)

It’s only preseason, blah, blah, blah. Outside of the amazing pass, catch, and run by Harry Douglas, this offense reminded us of so many awful and anemic offensive clunkers that this coaching staff and players have known to give. Granted, there not too often, but the following names will ring a bell: Bucs ’08, Panthers ’08, Patriots ’09, Eagles ’09, Steelers ’10, Eagles ’10, Packers “Debacle in the Dome. Yes, that’s only a handful of really bad offensive output games, but its sickening to see the same old conservative, dink and dunk offense with so many weapons. Are the Falcons prohibited by law from trying a deep pass over 20 yards? Beginning to think so. Is it 2011 or 2009 with the multiple Matt Ryan one-option rollouts and throws out of bounds?

3) ZERO Depth at Safety

After all the talk being directed at the cornerback corps, the depth at safety looks to be a much more serious and alarming issue. William Moore and Thomas DeCoud are absolutely rock-solid and its easy to forget about the depth, but there are some serious alarm bells going off in that category. There is already an open spot with the Falcons parting with veteran Erik Coleman and backup Shann Schillinger has looked downright awful against second and third team players. The overall depth in the secondary is an issue, but the players behind Moore and DeCoud are downright frightening. Schillinger may make the team for special teams because it surely shouldn’t be for free safety play. Surely, Thomas Dimitroff has got to hit the waiver wire for safety.

4) What Deep Threat?

This kind of ties into Point #2 on the conservative, vomit-inducing offensive gameplan, but the Falcons, their coaching staff, and their PR guys need to halt any and all stories about “wanting to” or “being on the verge” of a great passing attack, because they couldn’t be any farther from that fact than they are right now. Why did we get Julio Jones again?

5) HD is Officially Back!

A Nice Bright Spot (C.Compton/AJC)

If the Mularkey/Smith led offense can pull the car out of the bland gameplan ditch, than they have one nice receiving corps on their hands. The nicest surprise that could lead to the biggest dividends is the re-emergence of Harry Douglas. Fans have been thinking forever that the offensive weaponry would be too much for basically all teams, powered by HD running in the slot with Roddy, Julio, Gonzalez, and Turner already on the field. HD had a beautiful catch and touchdown run after the Falcons offense seemed to hit one of their famous dink and dunk snags. If HD continues his resurgence and the rest stay healthy, the Falcons wide receiving corps could be one of the best in the NFL. Of course the coaching staff still has to use them correctly.

6) Turner in Molasses

Michael Turner looked pretty slow. Maybe its was the offensive line’s lack of blocking or the good Jaguars defense, but Michael Turner looked like his cleats were filled with cement. Probably not too worry too much, but as we’ve seen in the past, when Turner has bad days, he has REALLY bad days.

7) Quizz Looks Good

It’s going to be tough trying to keep rookie Jacquizz Rodgers on the bench. He is always going forward and seems to add the long needed complement to Turner and Snelling’s hard running, between-the-tackles style. Quizz has enormous potential and its going to be tough trying to balance the carries between Turner, Snelling, and Rodgers.

8.) The Great CB Debate

Turner in Molasses (C.Compton/AJC)

Chris Owens looked better in parts. Dominique Franks had his ups and downs. Darrin Walls and Rafael Bush had about the same, but this question will remain until the final roster is announced: with Brees x 2, Freeman x 2, Rodgers, Vick, Manning, Schaub, Cutler, and many more on the docket, are you really comfortable with a cornerback depth of Chris Owens, Dominique Franks, and Rafael Bush?

9) Can Blitz Scheme Be More Anemic?

Same as #1, whatever creative and aggressive and, ultimately effective, blitz scheme Brian Van Gorder had at the University of Georgia, its all but gone in the NFL in Atlanta. The infamous nickel blitz telegraphed from a mile away is now even being picked apart by rookies such as Blaine Gabbert. Maybe the Falcons need better blitzing linebackers, but they are awful when they attempt to get after the QB. On one particular play, both Sean Weatherspoon and Curtis Lofton blitzed with a 3 man front and neither got anywhere close whatsoever. Fans aren’t expecting the old days of the Grits Blitz, but for goodness sake, can you ever perform an effective and/or imaginative blitz.

10) Wrap Up Problems Remain

Along with Points #1 and #9, wrapping up is still a major issue with this defense and even special teams. Perhaps its an unfair criticism because the Packers game is still seared in the memory of Falcons fans brains, but how many times do you see a Falcons defensive player be in a perfect position, only to miss a sack or tackle behind the line of scrimmage. My wife counted 6 missed tackles alone on one play where Peria Jerry and Trey Lewis tackled each other as opposed to David Garrard. Pitiful.

Before many of you lodge the bombs that “this is only preseason” and “the preceding are too harsh,” we’re only judging on what we see in preseason and there are either serious issues to resolve or just a matter of major rust to shake off.

Your Turn

  1. Your overall thoughts on the Falcons 2nd preseason game
  2. Analysis too critical, about right, or not critical enough?
  3. What the H with the torrid 3rd and long problem?
  4. Major offensive gameplan concerns or just a bad preseason game?
  5. Frightened about safety depth?
  6. Same-old, same-old lack of deep threat or only preseason
  7. Thoughts on what HD can add to offense?
  8. Just a bad night for Turner or more worry?
  9. Thoughts on Quizz
  10. Who will start nickel back on September 4th?
  11. Who SHOULD be starting nickel back on Sept. 4th?
  12. Comfortable with Franks, Owens, and Bush at CB depth?
  13. Please explain this blitz scheme (or lack thereof).

518 comments Add your comment

Paddy O

August 20th, 2011
12:08 am

ooooooh, very weird no posts.

Mike

August 20th, 2011
12:12 am

Great analysis. I think turner’s best days are behind him and I really hope we are just being so conservative on O because it’s preseason.

Paddy O

August 20th, 2011
12:17 am

OK – watched the game. Shillinger plays without game context – he essentially knocked out Cliff Mathews with a pointless, running slam into him AFTER he had taken down the runner (Mathews has a gigantic wing span – looks like an octopus grabbing his victim). I liked what I saw out of the starting D. Our back ups are iffy. Walls hurt himself on that TD by McCown. Rodgers has the ability to drag MUCH larger defenders – he might be the starter in a few games. As D3 stated – Turner looks like a zombie – no burst, no yards. We STILL make profoundly DUMB play calls with, as with Shillinger, no game context. Yeah, I know it is just preseason. Special teams – are we going to count on the friggin punter to make 50% of tackles? This kick off rules change is Goodell stupid – NFL really does stand for NO FUN league – and who gets protected? The one guy catching the ball? No one appeared to do a serious cost/benefit analysis on this decision. ME? I’d redesign the helmet & make it BETTER at absorbing impact. Speaking of helmets – who is our equipment guy & how soon can we can his worthless non-keeping the helmet on our guys’ head butt? We need snaps that HOLD. As stated, maybe its because we went away from Riddell – but the current helmet does NOT provide adequate shock absorption. I am officially off the Douglas sucks train – he has been excellent. Meier made a good catch BUT – why the heck is he still on special teams? We want him injured again in the 4th preseason game? I was going to razz some folks on Redman – but after that 1st drive, he was awful – bad decisions, bad play calls. We have NO INTENSITY. We have NO CONSISTENCY. That’s all I can say.

Uh oh

August 20th, 2011
12:21 am

This team will go no where without a better nickle back

M&M

August 20th, 2011
12:27 am

I keep saying the falcons should have gotton one more big free agent on defense ! The falcons are gambling on rookies and 2 year players who are not bringing anything to the table ! Why did the falcons brass do that ?! :???: The falcons let the eagles get everbody, While they sat around with 2 year players whom are not that very good ! Aurthur Blank said he don’t want to feel the way he felt after the blowout playoffs in the dome ! Well, get ready Aurthur, You are going to feel it again ! How could Aurthur not know he needed some more proven players to get them over the hump ?! :mad: So fustrating !

M&M

August 20th, 2011
12:31 am

I believe someone will get fired this year !

Elaine

August 20th, 2011
12:34 am

Been a while but glad Falcons football is back. Couple of late night thoughts as of the 3rd qtr…had to DVR the game so forgive the tardiness:

ST still a concern…Bosher has two tackles so far…says a lot about him but leaves me wondering about the unit as a whole.

Quizz and HD are the real deal…KM ain’t so bad either.

I know it’s pre-season…I’m not worried but could have been more inspired by 1st team…overall just happy to have football back and will focus more on the good and trust coaches and players to improve as needed.

Elaine

August 20th, 2011
12:38 am

Okay having now seen the end of the game I am more annoyed than impressed. No good reason to tank this game other that lack of off-season prep…but that applies to JAX as well so our guys need to knuckle down.

M&M

August 20th, 2011
12:40 am

Elaine

terrible ! just terrible !

M&M

August 20th, 2011
12:43 am

Are there any more top free agents not signed ?!

Elaine

August 20th, 2011
12:54 am

M&M- Yep…terrible…I really try to be supportive and optimistic but I am not an idiot and I expect more…pre-season or not…from “professionals” who need to add a little bit of “give a damn” to the pre-season. I get that some of it is the coaches trying out different schemes…much like some of my mock fantasy drafts…just trying to see what works and what doesn’t….but some of what I saw tonight was just lack of effort and fundamentals. Stupid mistakes..the the rookies I understand…the 1st team…ugh. Hope the next two weeks are better. Go Falcons!

Elaine

August 20th, 2011
12:58 am

All that being said I’d rather stay the course and develop what we have than bet the farm on a bunch of free agents that may or may not make a difference in the long run. Tonight was not the best showing but I still trust AB and TD to make the right decisions for our team.

Paddy O

August 20th, 2011
1:06 am

I was hoping that either FRanks or Owens would step up. Owens did seem to play better today, but Franks got beat a couple of times on easy routes. Bush played well to me. Did not hear Sidbury at all tonight. Hope Mathews was NOT seriously hurt.

Paddy O

August 20th, 2011
1:22 am

After careful consideration, it appears HC MS can’t really alter his game plan to be MORE explosive. If we are, it is because TD has given this coaching staff a collection of players who are exceptional. Ask yourself : When was the last time we blocked a punt or a field goal? Is that even one of our goals? Also, we haven’t seen Ryan run the no-huddle yet, maybe we are just saving that – i’d prefer that we send in the player package and let Ryan run the offense. I can’t figure out redman – 1st series, good spread & moved the ball – next 2, just stupid calls and a lack of defensive action recognition. Bizarre. This is a strong re-run of last year’s pre-season. Maybe everybody else is having problems too – i hope.

Paddy O

August 20th, 2011
1:49 am

Who knew?? The defense would play better than the O in the pre-season. Remarkable & scary.

Big O

August 20th, 2011
1:51 am

D3, relax! Isn’t it obvious that White & Gonzalez are not going to be the QB target much in the preseason. Which means winning the game is not priority #1.

And the play calling is going to be somewhat predictable because the other coach knows the Falcons flock of good WRs are being thoroughly evaluated. You don’t need to use much of your playbook to do that. Coach Smith doesn’t want to show any more than he has to before the season; and, he is under no job security pressure to win preseason games by risking starter injuries. Preseason games are merely glorified scrimmages.

The few Turner runs were just empty plays because the coach knows what he can do and winning the game is not a priority. I didn’t see a single play action pass off a Turner fake. Plus the plays have been fairly fundamental. The likelihood of Atlanta doing as well as 13-3 again is low. It’s just a very low probability for all teams to do so twice in a row.

Didn’t see Sidbury at all, but saw lots of E. Stephens and Matthews. They both looked good again. Didn’t see Chauncey Davis either?

Wabe

August 20th, 2011
2:00 am

Regarding the lack of deep balls today, I really think the Falcons are looking to pull things back a bit. I don’t think they’re looking to show too much of what they plan on doing with both their new weapon Julio Jones nor the offense in general. I think we saw a bit last week out of Jones because the coaches wanted him to get his feet wet. But, I think you can expect the Falcons to turn it back a notch through preseason. Pat Y. had written an article just a while ago regarding how the Falcons may want to turn the offense down a notch in hopes of not exposing what they plan on rolling out in the regular season.

I’m still a bit skeptical of the O-Line. Ryan was running all too often, and he looked pretty uncomfortable early in the game. He never really established much of a rhythm, and I think you can directly attribute that to the O-Line not giving him the protection he needed to really ever get comfortable in the pocket. All too often we saw Ryan rolling away from pressure and trying to make hero throws. Some may point to that as being happy feet, I point it more to him just not getting the time to get comfortable and allowing the routes to ever really develop.

I did like some things though. I liked what I saw out of Quizz. This kid can run in between the tackles. Not just your typical scatback whose only determined to get to the outside. The broadcasters made this point when Quizz seemed to get into the endzone but was later called back due to a hold. The dude wasn’t looking just to get to the outside, he cut it back inside and took a few hits, but ultimately dragged a couple of bodies into the endzone. He’ll provide a great change of pace to Turner/Snelling.

The secondary depth is what it is. We just don’t have much of it. Any depth, if you can really call it that at this point, is very much young and inexperienced. It’d probably be better for the Falcons to have gone out and picked up some proven veteran peices in the secondary as insurance should we face any injuries down the road, but I guess TD decided to pass on it. We can only hope our guys stay healthy.

All in all, still preseason. I know it’s not wise to completely look past some of the flaws that are popping up on the radar. I really think a lot of the offensive concerns, other than O-Line, can be attributed to us not really showing too much. Defensively, I’ve always been critical of BVG. My patience has been worn thin with the way he calls games. It’s funny, because I’ve already really passed my judgement on him, but I’m willing to just keep quiet regarding this matter until either a) the end of the season b) some point during the regular season when I grow frustrated of his vanilla schemes. We’ll see how it goes.

Wabe

August 20th, 2011
2:07 am

Gotta say though…

D3 has this on point: “Harry Douglas is OFFICIALLY back”

Without a doubt. Again, I think the prescence of Julio Jones should create some openings for HD. Last year he had opportunities at times, but him and Ryan never really seemed to be on the same page. We’ve seen two preseason games now though where Ryan and HD have connected on some nice throws/catches. I look forward to that carry forward into the regular season. He will definitely help in the big play department, especially if Julio Jones forces opposing coordinators to gameplan for him.

A lot of defenses will be sleeping on Douglas. I can see teams forgetting what Douglas brings when you’ve got Roddy, Julio, TG, Turner and company to gameplan for.

P. Bull Terrier

August 20th, 2011
2:29 am

Paddy O had a good point earlier – What’s up with all of the helmets flying off? The NFL is starting to remind me of the old Rock’em Sock’em Robots game.

Screen Pass

August 20th, 2011
2:40 am

Cool, welcome back Elaine! Nice to see another of the old crew that actually talks football instead of just rah rah blah blah. Those of you using the tired old lines that MM is “hiding’ or “saving” it for later…go look thru the archives on the right side of the page. You will see the same old same old tired lame excuses over and over…”its pre-season”, “we play them twice, dont wanna show everything”, “saving it for the playoffs, dont wanna show everything”…etc etc ad naseum. Its great that you wanna be positive, but there comes a time when you gotta be real and see it for what it truly is…MM and BVG are middling at best. They are not hiding anything because they have nothing to hide..after 3 years going into the 4th it should be painfully obvious by now. They do what it is they do and because of some limited success they are not gonna change anytime soon. Ill hope for the best this year, and unfortunately that prolly means some big changes in our coaching staff at the end of it.

Wabe

August 20th, 2011
6:43 am

No problems here trying to be real, Screen Pass.

Truth is, in an offseason where all we’ve heard about is wanting to be more explosive, I find it hard to believe we’ll be seeing the tired old same approach. I don’t think TD jumped up 20+ spots to snag a WR expecting to see more outs and comebacks. I think Michael Jenkins could’ve handled that. I think when TD made that move, it became extremely evident that a shift in philosophy would be expected.

Here’s the thing, I’m not an advocate for MM. I personally have nothing against him, but I don’t think so highly of him that I’d be disappointed if he were to go. I’m just so-so about the guy. But, since you’re calling for realness, lets be real here and take a look at the offense of last season for a second.

Outside of Roddy White, who exactly were the Falcons trying to open up the offense around? You have an aging TE who was the next option to Roddy White in the passing game – whose really only good to be Ryan’s safety valve at this point. Michael Jenkins spent years in Atlanta, and although I loved the guy, I don’t think he really provided the Falcons much outside of just being your typical posession receiver. Brian Finneran was much the same. Harry Douglas could be used to make things happen, but for whatever reason, he didn’t really bounce back from his knee injury the way we would’ve liked last season. Outside of Roddy, there really wasn’t anybody in the passing game to turn to for big plays.

Even in the run game, it’s not as if Michael Turner is a big-play back. He’s a bruiser, who’ll pound and wear defenses down. Jason Snelling is much the same way. Jerous Norwood was a peice of glass in his time with the Birds. Who is there to really get creative around in the backfield?

I know you’re just calling for creativity. Find ways to make the offense less predictable. But, you need personnel to do that.

Truth of the matter is, I’m willing to give Mularkey more of a pass up to this point than I would to BVG. I think although Mularkey has had weapons, he hasn’t necessarily had playmakers. They haven’t been the type of weapons that really allowed us to do much more than we’ve done. We’ve all, myself included, been calling for shots downfield, but truth of the matter is, there really haven’t been guys on the roster outside of Roddy and Douglas, who just came off knee surgery the year before, to chuck it to.

I know you probably want to get more creative with the offense, but please explain, with what we’ve had, what exactly have you been expecting? Get Weems involved? Reverses? Screen passes? Pass first?

At this point, I’ll concede Mularkey has no excuses. He has guys to get creative with. He has a #2 to Roddy’s #1, which should also open it up for Douglas in the slot and even some 4-5 WR sets. He has a scatback to get the screen game going. But up until now, it’s not as if he’s really had much to get creative around.

Just my opinion.

BT

August 20th, 2011
6:57 am

The Good..Harry Douglas, he`s Mr. Excitement.
The Bad…3rd down defensive efficiency.
Not wrapping up tackles, you can`t really blame that on the coach.
The Horrible..O-line pass protection, Ryan got hit or hurried on every pass that he did not roll out!
More horrible..Punt cover team, it`s a real bad sign when, your punter leads that unit in cover tackles.

BT

August 20th, 2011
7:12 am

I will throw this out there in the teams defense.
They had been in Jacksonville since Tuesday and that might have been a contributing factor in their overall lackluster performance?
Last year, I spent four days in Jacksonville, it was a pretty long four days.
By the end of the 2nd day there, I was really looking forward to being back in North GA.
They may have been just tired of the heat, humidity, Jacksonville, wanted to get the game over with and be home?

ATL XMAN

August 20th, 2011
7:30 am

guys relax..it was just a preseason game. it is a perfect time to work on some things before the real seaon starts. most of you guys panic way too much and way to early. as long as we come out of a game with no big time injuries then i consider it a win. the starting defense looked fast and ready to go. the offense in preseason games are most of the time running vanilla and very basic plays so really hard to tell where they are at right now. but im not worried about the offense anyways. those guys have played plenty of meaningful games and have scored plenty of points most of the time. enough to win anyways. im just looking at our defense and see how they look.

ATL XMAN

August 20th, 2011
7:32 am

that starting defense pretty much shut down those guys on 3rd down except for maybe a couple bust plays where gerrard ran a bit. but they had 2 turnovers and a stop when we fumbled the punt on our 12. all in all the defense played well.

jimi

August 20th, 2011
7:40 am

Am i missing something or is this preseason? It’s pretty obvious that the players where out
of sink due to lack of practice, Sometimes Julio Jones looked like he was lost out there. He
does not know the plays. A revamped offensive line, with lack of playing time? This is what you
get, The defense missing tackles from a lack of contact. Give them a couple of weeks,

E43

August 20th, 2011
8:11 am

I didn’t think the falcons played horribly. I thought they won the match up. I don’t think many people in Jacksonville are happy about their teams performance despite the W. I thought the falcons had one of the uglier wins in the NFL but a win nonetheless. Everything else is just statistics that will likely fluctuate wildly over the course of the season. They just need to rest the nagging injuries. Study the miscues and come out ready to roll.

Its obvious the reserves are the weak link. The Falcons might want to consider benching all starters outside of the O and Dline in that last game against Baltimore.

BT

August 20th, 2011
8:11 am

OK jimi
We will give them a couple of weeks but that is all they get.
They have been practicing for a month, the O-line is not exactly revamped, they only needed to find a replacement for Dahl and they are trying to do it with guys that have been in the system for two and three years.
We blow up preseason games very year on this blog and it has been demonstrated that, the issues we point out here at this time, more often than not carry over into the regular season.
Again, nobody is in panic mode now but we do discuss, what we see as the teams strengths and weakness and that includes not just watching preseason games but regular practices from the hillside in Flowery Branch, the draft, FA and the regular season games.

mountain_jim

August 20th, 2011
8:39 am

Ryan can’t throw long because Sam Baker and the oline can’t give him the time or a pocket to get it done. Terrible pass blocking. Only time Mularkey even tries going long is with max protect and only 2 or 3 going out.

That being said, it’s also Mularkey’s fault for not having or calling creative plays that slow down that rush – screens, etc. And I almost threw my shoe at the tube on that rollout right play to kill another drive, with the expected throw in the stands.

WR

August 20th, 2011
9:07 am

In reference to the last birdcage blog, JJ I’m fairly certain in this economy everyone understands, especially with money laying on the table, and thank you for the post about Sarah, definitely miss her being in the cage.

On to the game. Well first, the double edged sword, yes its only preseason, but know way can we just chalk the Falcons vanilla play up to not wanting to show to much. Who doesn’t know the Falcons drafted Julio Jones to add explosiveness to the team, so what are they trying to hide by not working on the passing game. Moving on, when is the last time Turner gained anything decent on a sweep, so someone is going to tell me the Falcons just ran that play so Turner could take some abuse. As they say on ESPN, “come on MAN”, its not a panic by any means, but its a time when interceptions don’t hurt you really so fling the thing around a little rather its in your playbook or not. Back to the fans who say the Falcons don’t want to show to much, didn’t we draft Julio to help take some pressure off of Roddy, Gonzo, and maybe even Douglas, shouldn’t the Falcons at least be giving teams something to think about regarding that. Its a 16 game regular season schedule, chances are you can’t show much in the first place when your starters are going to basically play 6 quarters over the span of 4 preseason games.

Lastly, anyone seen games involving NE, GB, Philly, Pittsburgh, NYJ, NO, Bal, KC, IND and so on, these were all playoff teams last year, and these teams are letting it rip. Except for maybe KC, they do the same every year in the preseason. The preseason is for getting the kinks out, its not a time to be conservative, if you plan on opening up your offense you should definitely be showing signs of that in the preseason because W’s and L’s don’t count then.

D3

August 20th, 2011
9:46 am

Great Morning Cage! — Excellent convo’s as always. Let’s dive in……..

There are two paths of logic to follow on preseason, as I mentioned in the post. I’m going to have to agree with Screen here. We’ve heard the same arguments for three years now about “they’re saving” or “just preseason” only to see the exact same problems when the season starts. These are problems that have existed since Smith/Van Gorder/Mularkey took over:

1) — Absolutely terrible getting off the field on the 3rd down. This is sickening and it goes all the way back to 2008 when they took over (3rd and 16, anyone?). Understandably, sometimes teams are going to convert, but it doesn’t matter who’s on the field anymore, they will convert. If I see that same old weak @ss nickel blitz that doesn’t work, I’m going to break my Falcons mug. It’s ridiculous. All of my UGA BVG is long gone at this point. Don’t care who’s fault (Smith or BVG) it is anymore. Net results are all that matters at this point.

More next………

[...] read from original news source: Final Film Review – Falcons Clunk to Jaguars | Atlanta Falcons … [...]

tdawg

August 20th, 2011
9:59 am

felt like I was watching UGA Yuck

ryan

August 20th, 2011
10:17 am

Do you think Falcons will regret trading those draft picks to get Julio Jones now two words John Gruden .

D3

August 20th, 2011
10:34 am

..continued……

2) — Wrapping Up. This is the most annoying of anything else. Some blame the players for not wrapping up. At this point in year 4, I’m blaming the d@mn coaches. This is ridiculous. How many times did Aaron Rodgers get loose from our grasp last year? Same goes for Drew Brees. This is unacceptable. It’s a systemic and endemic problem with this team. Every player at almost every level of the defense, including special teams (Meier) do not wrap up. INEXCUSABLE! Period.

Ken Strickland

August 20th, 2011
10:36 am

I guarantee all of you that the Falcons have added a lot more to our OFF and DEthan we’ve seen during preseason. That probably explains why our practices have been closed to the public. What we’re seeing is just a plain vanilla OFF, DEF and approach. Don’t forget last yr, when a lot of our fans were also whining, crying, complaining and predicting doom and gloom about our secondary and NCB position.

I’ll start concerning myself with what we have, or don’t have, if we continue playing without a sense of urgency after 2 or 3 REGULAR SEASON GMS. I see absolutely no reason to concern myself over the 1st 2 exhibition gms when it’s obvious our coaching staff hasn’t shown any concern.

Angelo

August 20th, 2011
10:42 am

Maybe the falcons don’t want to show off to many of their weapons. lol

Big O

August 20th, 2011
10:50 am

Yep, the O-line looked bad, but remember the starting center was out the whole game; and, their defense knew Ryan was going to do a lot of passing to decide which of the good WRs they’ll have to cut. Moreover, sometimes Ryan seemed to be taking a second too long in releasing the ball. The starter pass blocking fullback may not have been in there too because they need to evaluate Cox.

All the rookies have had very little coaching time. No minicamp, etc. It puts more pressure on the coaches to do more evaluating during preseason games. And they have very little time left to do so.

D3

August 20th, 2011
11:04 am

Ken — You know you and I almost always agree on our Birds. But I have to respectfully disagree on this one. Preseason has shown us the last few years that Mularkey and Van Gorder aren’t just “holding back” or “waiting.” There have been great games and bright spots, but last night brought out all the fears and bad memories of when MM and BVG run into a really good gameplan, they are frozen to adjust. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ve seen that preseason is a very indicator of what’s to come in the regular season.

BT

August 20th, 2011
11:06 am

Traditionally it`s the 3rd preseason game when teams game plan for their opponent going through what is essentially a dressed rehearsal for the seasons opener.
By then the starting lineups issues have been resolved and the complete playbook has been installed.
I think, it would be reasonable and rational to issue a pass for the first two preseason games on the teams overall play.
However, by midway through the 3rd quarter of next weeks game against the Steelers, we will have a better idea of what the 2011 edition of the F

bart

August 20th, 2011
11:11 am

Falcon management is lying to the fans. Their suggestions that the offense will be more explosive ain’t happening with the conservative play calling. If the offense continues in this conservative vein then the Julio Jones pick can be considered one of the worst draft day blunders in Falcon history.

BT

August 20th, 2011
11:12 am

opps..premature entry..cont..
Next week will tell the tale.
The 4th PS game is for resting the starters as much as possible and resolving final roster slots evaluations

DHunt

August 20th, 2011
11:16 am

Last week the Steelers played a horrid game. Their coach got in their butts about it, and they came out and trashed Philly. We get those Steelers next week, and I’m pretty sure the coaches will be happy to use this performance as butt-kicking material.

The analysis (over analyzing really) is a bit much. The starting defense, whole and healthy, will handle their business. The offense is the best we’ve had man for man, perhaps ever. We’ve seen over the past three years that at the very least, the coaching staff gets the team to come out and play hard every game (notwithstanding the Debacle). No way this preseason game should cause a doom and gloom outlook. Yeah some guys aren’t doing themselves any favors with the fans (or the depth chart), but those guys aren’t going to be the difference between a great season and a disastrous one. If they are, then it will be the injury bug that buries us.

I am still seeing one thing that causing me just a bit of concern. This isn’t just a preseason critique, although it did seem to happen last night. Matt Ryan still seems slow to release the ball. I think he needs to trust his receivers more and throw them open, rather than waiting for them to be wide open. Nobody seems to want to say it out loud, but this has been an issue since day one, and it was an issue last night. Case in point; on the deep attempt to Julio, the pass was behind and to the outside of Julio. The announcers made it seem like Julio should have known that because the DB was close in coverage that Matt would try a back shoulder throw. Julio was on a go route, so if it was back shoulder, it was still way short. But Ryan should have put that ball deep so Julio had to go get it, and trust that Julio can outrun, out-jump and out-catch the DB. On a similar incomplete pass that Gabbard threw, the announcers said he has to put the ball out there where the receiver can go get it. Very rarely do you hear Matt Ryan being held to that standard.

Watching tv, you often don’t see the receiver routes. You just see Ryan dropping back, pump fake, check down, scramble. I’m beginning to think that more often than not it’s indecision that is keeping him from making those throws. Put another way, we know he can hit an open receiver. I’ve seen him not throw the ball where guys were NFL open, meaning there’s a space to fit the ball in to the receiver. The great ones hit receivers even when the coverage is tight. We need Ryan to be a great one. If we are going to pretend like he has a chance to do that, we need to be honest about this flaw in his game.

I’m not a Ryan hater, I’m a Falcon lover. This team only goes as far as our franchise QB. This is the one big step that he has to make to become elite, and make this a Superbowl winning franchise.

D3

August 20th, 2011
11:16 am

Bart — I’d have to agree with you, but the caveat is that Blank and Dimitroff will not put up with that crap. Willingly or not, TD put Smith/Mularkey in a box with the Julio pick. No excuses. If you’re not explosive now, than you have to move along…….at least MM.

BT — Good point. First game was pretty good, but last night was a gag reflex and they kept O starters in except for Roddy in for 1st full half and still looked awful. Defense has the players, except CB is absolutely frightening. Sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable with Franks or Owens at Nickel with no one else on board.

BT

August 20th, 2011
11:21 am

The Achilles heel of the Falcons Offense is not play calling.
It`s O-line blocking or lack thereof, this is not an opinion based on two meaningless preseason games but an observation based on watching this current teams play since 2008.

clockwork

August 20th, 2011
11:35 am

Michael Turner-2ypc; Julio Jones–30 yards receiving

Explosive!

D3

August 20th, 2011
11:37 am

DHunt — I’ll half-agree with you. He does need to just let it rip and hit his receivers better. He even admitted it that his throw to Julio was bad. That being said, compare the offensive gameplans of Brees/Saints, Rodgers/Packers, Vick/Eagles, Brady/Patriots to our passing attack. There’s no contest. Sean Payton has been quoted as saying he devises pass plays for every receiver 1-5 on the roster. No contest to conservative Mularkey/Smith.

D3

August 20th, 2011
11:39 am

BT — Will have to respectfull disagree again on that one. Hard to argue that the Eagles, Saints, and Packers O-Line is THAT much better than ours. We re-signed Clabo (pro bowl), Blalock, and we have pretty good depth I believe.

BT

August 20th, 2011
11:43 am

DHunt, well thought out post.
That goes back to Ryan`s days at BC.
Hit him a few times, keep applying pressure and his accuracy falls off because of shaky footwork and him not stepping into his throws.
On balance, he is a smart young QB that makes almost all the correct reads and he has the propensity to make big plays in the clutch.
I think, we might keep him around for a while.

Mike

August 20th, 2011
11:45 am

The play of the offensive line concerned me. Not just the protection, but the lack of discipline. It seemed to me there were a lot of penalties on the o-line last night. Also the defense not making plas when they were in position to make tackles. I do have to say the starting LB’s looked very good last night. I do not see them going into the season without picking up another corner. I do not see Owens or Franks being the nickle corner. Maybe Franks still has some developing to do and he will be ready. I also think they will pick up a safety to add depth before the season starts. There are some servicable corners and safeties out there via free agency. I could see them picking up Hayden, Hobbs, or L Shepherd at corner. I am also hoping that last night was the result of redundant week…them and the Jags seeing each other all week.