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 Post subject: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:24 pm 
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http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_ ... een-passes


Falcons light it up with screen passes
September, 26, 2012
Sep 26
11:42
AM ET
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com


Those of you that followed this blog in recent years know I frequently took the Atlanta Falcons to task for not using the screen pass more often.

That’s only because they deserved it.

In 2011, Matt Ryan completed 16-of-20 screen passes for 68 yards with no touchdowns. In 2010, Ryan completed 13-of-16 screens for 73 yards with no touchdowns. Over those two seasons, Ryan attempted fewer screens than any other quarterback to start the majority of his team’s games.

Well, the days of bashing the Falcons for not using the screen are over. They left with former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, who is now the head coach in Jacksonville. New coordinator Dirk Koetter has added a few more screens to the playbook and he’s not afraid to use them.

I just looked at the latest packet from ESPN Stats & Information and it only confirmed what I thought I’d seen in the first three games. The Falcons are using the screen and they’re using it very effectively.

Ryan already has thrown two touchdowns on screen passes. That’s the highest total in the league. The first screen touchdown went to receiver Julio Jones in the season opener at Kansas City and the second went to running back Jacquizz Rodgers in Sunday's victory at San Diego. Ryan has completed all 10 of his screens for 66 yards. Ryan’s 82.4 Total QBR on screen passes is second only to Peyton Manning (87.0).

I’m not saying the Falcons need to go crazy with screen passes. Keep throwing three or four a game and it will only continue to open things up for the running game and for deeper passes.

Aside from Ryan, five other quarterbacks have had screen passes go for a touchdown this season. Carolina’s Cam Newton is one of them. Newton has completed 9-of-11 screens for 68 yards.

New Orleans’ Drew Brees, usually one of the league’s most accurate passers in any category, is near the bottom in completion percentage on screens. Brees has completed 7-of-10 attempts for 89 yards. Only three quarterbacks have a screen completion percentage lower than Brees.

Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman has a decent percentage. He’s completed 6-of-7 screens (86 percent), but the Bucs have gotten virtually nothing out of those plays. Tampa Bay has gained only 28 yards on screens.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Pretty amazing what this offense can do when you don't just run the same 7 plays over and over and over and over..... I don't think Dirk is by any means a genius, but man, we wasted a few good years with Mularkey's super conservative play calling. Super conservative is fine if you have a good D and no offensive talent, but we did and do have offensive talent. I'd like to personally thank Jacksonville for hiring away Mike M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:58 am 
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DaveWaz wrote:
Pretty amazing what this offense can do when you don't just run the same 7 plays over and over and over and over..... I don't think Dirk is by any means a genius, but man, we wasted a few good years with Mularkey's super conservative play calling. Super conservative is fine if you have a good D and no offensive talent, but we did and do have offensive talent. I'd like to personally thank Jacksonville for hiring away Mike M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mularkey was good for this team in the beginning. He brought Matt Ryan along nicely......but when the time came for Ryan to spread his wings, Mularkey couldn't or wouldn't let him do it. He outstayed his welcome one year to many IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:32 am 
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Actually, Mularkey started holding Ryan back in year 2. Year 1 was absolutely fine. Year 2 was a step back. It wasn't just a sophomore slump, Mularkey actually pulled back on the reigns and kept Matt and the offense from further developing. For all intents and purposes, this was the case from year 2 to year 4. Some of us have been trying to explain that for the past few years, but to no avail.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Disagree Rob, I think AJ51 nailed it by staying Mularkey outstayed his welcome one year too many. I think Ryan needed the tighter reins in Year 2 because he wasn't quite that developed. In Year 3, Ryan began to show that he could use an expanded offense built around him, based around his play late in games that won us probably 4 or 5 games in 2010. But when the Falcons basically opted to trot out the same exact offense from 2010 in 2011 despite the changes made to the personnel, that was when things broke bad for Mularkey.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:30 pm 
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I'm really liking the way the offense is shaping up this year, but I'd like to see some more RB screens. I didn't get to catch the SD game, but from what I've seen, the Falcons are running mostly WR screens and very few RB screens.

I think they need to mix it up a bit more, but I'm just picking nits at this point. I really love seeing the scoreboard light up like it has the past few weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:27 pm 
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not as potent as I would like, but ok...

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons light it up with screen passes
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Happ wrote:
I'm really liking the way the offense is shaping up this year, but I'd like to see some more RB screens. I didn't get to catch the SD game, but from what I've seen, the Falcons are running mostly WR screens and very few RB screens.

I think they need to mix it up a bit more, but I'm just picking nits at this point. I really love seeing the scoreboard light up like it has the past few weeks.

Quizz's TD vs. San Diego was a screen.

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