It is currently Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:11 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:45 am 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:51 pm
Posts: 4890
Location: New York
My recap from yesterday. http://news.profootballspot.com/_/nfl/n ... inals-r981


Who do you criticize first? Who do you not blame for the Falcons’ worst performance, since arguably the loss against the Giants in the infamous wild card game? It has been that long since the Falcons have taken such a one-sided beating. You could bring up the loss to Carolina last December, but they had the division already clinched and made it competitive in the fourth quarter.

Despite recovering the onside kick late in the fourth quarter, Atlanta was pretty much finished. This was another game, where the Falcons were soundly outplayed on both sides of the ball. The big difference was that they didn’t have Ryan to bail them out. Arizona’s defense was too much for Atlanta’s anemic offense to handle and swarmed Ryan into making uncharacteristic mistakes.

This was a game where Atlanta essentially had to win to stay relevant. This was one of the easier games left on the schedule. Arizona’s offense has played terrible for almost the entire season and the defense has shown some leaks in the secondary. Based on today’s game, you wouldn’t have recognized it.

It seemed like there was some optimism from the victory last week. Now it seems that the season is once again over. Who’s to blame for the debacle in Arizona? The list may be never ending, but the first culprit couldn’t have been more obvious.


Offensive line gets manhandled once again

Everyone always wonders what is the most overrated stat in football? I’ve always felt sacks were because it can be inflated in judging a player’s numbers. When you are analyzing a game, you can realize that a pressure forcing a turnover is more valuable than a sack. It may not show on the stat sheet, but it still proves to be an even bigger play. Sacks are still an important stat, but it can be inflated in a major way.

Atlanta is a prime example of that. They were tied for least amount of sacks allowed. It seems insane to believe that, considering how poor the offensive line has played all season. Other than Justin Blalock, you can consider every lineman below average at this point. Peter Konz came into this season with high expectations playing his more natural position at center, but he’s been a disappointment so far.

The tackles were the main culprits today. After improving over the past few weeks, Lamar Holmes couldn’t have been more exposed. He fatigued once again and was allowed more pressure, as the game went on. John Abraham made him look like a child, which didn't really surprise me. People can take shots at Abraham's age, but he can still produce when not being overused. You have to wonder how did Holmes pass his conditioning test in training camp? The more you watch the Falcons late in games, the more you watch him cave in. It’s a shame because I thought he was turning the corner and possibly becoming a serviceable tackle. Instead he proved to be every bit as bad as Jeremy Trueblood against Arizona.

The blame can be directed towards all parties. Many people were questioning the offensive line depth going into the season. Even though Tyson Clabo has looked terrible in Miami, the right tackle spot has been a disaster all season long. The Garrett Reynolds experiment at right guard has been going on for three years now. There needs to be an upgrade at right guard replacing Reynolds. Konz and Blalock are probably the only lineman locked in right now for long term. Sam Baker should be coming back soon, but he’s another player that has been injury prone throughout his career. The front office has handled the situation poorly and have relied on too many young players rather than look for actual upgrades in the off season. Speaking of youth that leads to our next topic.


Growing pains defensively

The scary thing about the Falcons’ defense is that the corners once again played well. Despite Carson Palmer actually looking like an NFL-caliber quarterback for the first time possibly all season, the cornerbacks once again played well. Desmond Trufant had some issues with Larry Fitzgerald on one drive, but once again we are talking about an elite receiver. It’s the growing pains of a rookie cornerback. Still he played hard and made some plays. The same can be said for Robert Alford, who continues to shine.

The defense failed in spurts, which still isn’t good enough against an offense that has abysmal for weeks now. They knew that the offense wasn’t going to have a tough time scoring points against Arizona's defense. This was a game, where they needed to force multiple turnovers and make Arizona throw the ball. Instead they let Arizona establish the run and forced Atlanta to throw the ball for most of the second half.

Once again, the linebackers failed to make much of an impact. Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu haven't been difference makers to say the least. It’s hard to criticize undrafted rookies, but they simply haven’t made enough plays in both the running and passing game. The same can be said for young pass rushers like Malliciah Goodman and Jonathan Massaquoi. They have been put in a major role to be productive, due to various injuries. We’ve only seen spurts of impact plays from all four players. That isn’t good enough to succeed. I expected much more going up against an offense as poor as Arizona.

The young players will obviously garner criticism, but how about some of the veterans? Osi Umenyiora was once again a non-factor. It’s hard to criticize Osi because he shouldn’t be the focal guy for the pass rush. The front office did a poor job of not truly addressing that need, which has been a need for years. After playing his best game last week, William Moore played his worst game of the season. He missed a few tackles and blew his coverage, which led to a 51-yard completion to Teddy Williams.


Other Notes

It’s really hard to criticize Matt Ryan in these circumstances. No quarterback in the NFL can succeed with the personnel in Atlanta right now. The running game has been non-existent for about four weeks in a row. Ryan is being forced to throw a ridiculous amount of passes, which played right into Arizona’s hands. You knew that Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, and John Abraham were going to be all matchup problems for the Falcons’ offensive line.

His interceptions thrown to Daryl Washington and Tyrann Mathieu were poor decisions. The other two interceptions were simply trying to make a play in a difficult situation. It was third and long on both occasions, along with Ryan getting hit (shocker) on each throw. He’s always proven to be tough and he’s doing all he can to lead the offense. It’s a shame now he’s going to get heavily criticized, due to the numbers on the stat sheet. Ryan is one of the top quarterbacks in the league, but this is almost an impossible situation to succeed in playing against top defenses.

Steven Jackson’s return was nothing more than a dud. There was some inkling that he looked slow, which is extremely harsh. How can you judge a player’s speed when he has no room to run? It was his first game back from injury. There are some football purists that analyze every movement and decide that's good enough to formulate a true opinion. I’m not buying into that. The offensive’s struggles are entirely on the offensive line. Anyone doesn’t believe that didn’t watch the game yesterday.

I’ve brought up the rookie corners before as bright spots. The other bright spots were Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters. I’m expecting the Falcons to release some veterans in the off-season to look for some potential upgrades. That may include Asante Samuel, even though he’s still someone I’d keep.

Babineaux is another player that is still playing at a high level and constantly causes havoc in the backfield. Peters continues to have a fine year and should be getting paid this off-season. Even though Andre Ellington had a big day, it’s hard to blame the defensive line when most of Ellington’s successful runs were from counters or tosses.


Future outlook

A trip to Carolina is on the horizon and that is another difficult matchup. They are playing against Cam Newton, who always gives the Falcons’ fits. Not to mention, the Carolina pass rush is one of the top units in the league. It looks to be another long day for the Falcons.

Even if Roddy White manages to come back, Atlanta simply doesn’t have the all-around talent to beat decent teams at this point. The defense is struggling to stop teams and the offensive line is allowing Matt Ryan to take too many hits. This could get ugly against a much-improved Carolina team. While Carolina’s record is a bit inflated, they always play well against Atlanta and have proven to be a bad matchup in the past.


You can follow me on twitter at @Allen_Strk

_________________
Image

I'm a Devin Hester guy.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:07 am 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25963
Location: North Carolina
It's easy to criticize Ryan. He played poorly yesterday. Sure, he had zero help from the receivers and the offensive line, but he still played like crap. Whether due to Koetter's play-calling or his own volition, Ryan and the Falcons had almost no intermediate/vertical element to their offense yesterday.

This is the same issue we've now had on this forum for years, people's inability to separate one bad performance from a player's career. Every bad performance Ryan has, seems to be a referendum on his career, when in fact it means just exactly what it means: one bad game. The same happens with Mike Smith's coaching decisions. He makes a couple of mistakes in a game, and all of sudden we're talking about how these issues are systemic over the course of 90+ games, when given the sample size, they are really nothing more than several isolated incidents.

There isn't a bigger Matt Ryan fan in the world than myself, but guess what? He played like dogshit and I got no qualms saying so. Neither should you.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:04 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:15 pm
Posts: 4273
I think that our offense was dogshit yesterday. The play calling and offensive line WERE the offensive problems. Ryan's picks were mostly heaves of desperation where he was going down in the process.

Yesterday, it looked like the team had nothing left. And yes, with those heaves of desperation, it sure looked like Ryan had checked out. This team is not right. Blame the coach, blame the QB, blame the front office, blame the injuries, etc.

It all starts up front. If the Falcons don't address the lines in the off-season, we're screwed. Frankly, I would get rid of TD at this point. "The System," has gone out the window. Get someone in here that does have a system.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:26 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25963
Location: North Carolina
We're not screwed. You'll fooling yourself if you think 1 off-season is going to fix the Flacons problems. Yes, the Falcons must take serious strides to upgrade their OL this offseason and it's possible things might get worse before they get better. TD should be given 2 offseasons to right the ship.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:34 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:59 pm
Posts: 1157
Location: San Diego, CA
Outside of the Julio trade TD has had numerous opportunities to improve the O-line. He could have drafted lineman with the many picks he burned on all the DBs he has missed on. He also could have signed Eric Winston this offseason or made a trade for one of the three offensive linemen that were traded for a bag of lays and half a Fresca. At this point I am off the TD bandwagon, the system that he has built obviously isn’t working and it definitely is not the same mold as the Patriots because they never ignore both lines. If things continue the way that they have and we win no more than 6 games, how do you keep TD and or Smith? Change can be good and maybe it’s just what the doctor ordered for the Falcons

_________________
The Young Gunner


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:59 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 3148
Quote:
Outside of the Julio trade TD has had numerous opportunities to improve the O-line. He could have drafted lineman with the many picks he burned on all the DBs he has missed on


You make it sound like TD has totally ignored the line. He hasn't. Through the 2012 draft, TD drafted 7 offensive linemen out of 38 picks...or 18%. Konz is going to be fine long term. Baker was supposed to be a cornerstone for years to come, but a bulky back is preventing that. When healthy, he does the job. Holmes....too early to tell. He wasn't ready this year, but injuries forced him into action.

In the 2013 draft, we "burned" picks on DB's (and defense in general) because it sucks. TD couldn't ignore the fact any longer. At the time, the OL was healthy and wasn't the concern it is today. The season is wasted, let those young DB's get their feet wet, Growing pains aside, it bodes well for the future.

Quote:
If things continue the way that they have and we win no more than 6 games, how do you keep TD and or Smith?


That's crazy talk. Smitty and TD turned this franchise around. Have you forgotten about the shitshow it was the previous 45 years? One bad season, due to injury more than anything, and you wanna blow everything up? Doesn't make sense to me. this team needs to be tweaked, not broken up. there are still some good parts here. Season like this you find out who wants to play and who is just collecting a pay check.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:12 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:15 pm
Posts: 4273
TD has made two obvious great draft picks since he's been here. Matt Ryan, and Julio Jones. The rest of TDs picks either have not panned out, have shown talent below their draft position, have been injured too often to be worth their draft position, or have worked out, "good/ok."

Here's a list of the picks that we've made, and what I feel to be the value of those picks.
Great = player has played well above their draft position, or is one of the best players at his position.
Good = player has exceeded the expectations of where they were drafted.
Ok = player has done what's expected of their draft position.
Bad = player has played below their draft position.

I didn't give a rating for 6th and 7th rounders unless they worked out better than expected.

2008
Matt Ryan (1st) - Top 5 at his position in the NFL. No injury problems. Great pick.
Sam Baker (1st) - Average talent for his position. Lots of injury problems. Bad pick.
Curtis Lofton (2nd) - Old school MLB with good talent, but a bit obsolete in this day and age. No injury problems. Falcons moved on. Bad pick.
Chevis Jackson (3rd) - Not in the league anymore. Bad pick.
Harry Douglas (3rd) - Has been good in a backup role, could probably be a starter, or the 3rd weapon. Had one major injury. Good pick.
Thomas Decoud (3rd) - Has been a decent starter. No injury problems. Good pick.
Robert James (5th) - Never amounted to much... Bad pick.
Kroy Biermann (5th) - Situational Pass rusher with big motor. No injury history until this year. Good pick.
Thomas Brown (6th) - Gone
Wilrey Fontenot (7th) - Gone
Keith Zinger (7th) - Gone

2009
Peria Jerry (1st) - Has played better lately... Major injury issues. Bad pick.
William Moore (2nd) - Has been a good starting safety for us when he's been healthy. Some injury issues along the way. Ok pick.
Christopher Owens (3rd) - For whatever reason, he didn't work out for us at all. Bad Pick.
Lawrence Sidbury (4th) - Never amounted to anything. Bad pick.
William Middleton (5th) - Gone. Bad pick.
Garrett Reynolds (5th) - Our starting RG! He should be a backup. Ok pick.
Spencer Adkins (6th) - Gone
Vance Walker (7th) - Gone

2010
Sean Weatherspoon (1st) - Great player when he's healthy, which is about half of the time. Bad pick. (it's only a bad pick because he's never healthy)
Corey Peters (3rd) - He's a quality rotational player. Good for a 3rd round pick. Good pick.
Mike Johnson (3rd) - Has spent 2 of 3 years on injured reserve. Bad pick.
Joe Hawley (4th) - Hasn't amounted to anything. Bad pick.
Dominique Franks (5th) - has been a decent backup player. Ok pick.
Kerry Meier (5th) - <shrug> + injuries = gone. Bad pick.
Shann Schillinger (6th) - Hasn't done much.

2011
Julio Jones (1st, 2nd, 1st, 4th, 4th) - Top 5 player at his position when he's healthy, but he certainly has had quite a few injury problems. Cost us too much to get him. I think this was a bad move, but the pick was Great for its draft position.
Akeem Dent (3rd) - Another obsolete MLB. Another bad pick.
Jacquizz Rodgers (5th) - Good, consistent player. No injury issues. Good pick.
Matt Bosher (6th) - Top 5 NFL punter. Good for kickoffs as well. Good pick. (hard for me to say that this was a great pick considering just about all punters are drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds)
Andrew Jackson (7th) - Gone
Cliff Matthews (7th) - Jury's out

2012
Peter Konz (2nd) - Starting center. Still learning the ropes. Ok pick.
Lamar Holmes (3rd) - Starting RT/LT... Hasn't looked so hot thus far. Should probably be a backup. Ok pick.
Bradie Ewing (5th) - Has spent his first two years on IR. Bad pick.
Jonathan Massaquoi (5th) - Starting LDE. Has been mostly invisible. Should probably be a backup. Ok pick.
Charles Mitchell (6th) - ???
Travian Robertson - he plays for us...


Great Picks - 2
Good Picks - 6
Ok Picks - 6
Bad Picks - 14

You're more than welcome to post your own thoughts/ratings.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:42 pm 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:59 pm
Posts: 1157
Location: San Diego, CA
AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Quote:
Outside of the Julio trade TD has had numerous opportunities to improve the O-line. He could have drafted lineman with the many picks he burned on all the DBs he has missed on


You make it sound like TD has totally ignored the line. He hasn't. Through the 2012 draft, TD drafted 7 offensive linemen out of 38 picks...or 18%. Konz is going to be fine long term. Baker was supposed to be a cornerstone for years to come, but a bulky back is preventing that. When healthy, he does the job. Holmes....too early to tell. He wasn't ready this year, but injuries forced him into action.

In the 2013 draft, we "burned" picks on DB's (and defense in general) because it sucks. TD couldn't ignore the fact any longer. At the time, the OL was healthy and wasn't the concern it is today. The season is wasted, let those young DB's get their feet wet, Growing pains aside, it bodes well for the future.

Quote:
If things continue the way that they have and we win no more than 6 games, how do you keep TD and or Smith?


That's crazy talk. Smitty and TD turned this franchise around. Have you forgotten about the shitshow it was the previous 45 years? One bad season, due to injury more than anything, and you wanna blow everything up? Doesn't make sense to me. this team needs to be tweaked, not broken up. there are still some good parts here. Season like this you find out who wants to play and who is just collecting a pay check.


I am not for the firing of Mike Smith, but I am simply stating that when your team is a SB contender and you are staring 5 or 6 total wins in the face that’s kind of a tough position to put decision makers in. I understand that they turned Atlanta around but let’s not act like they have made Atlanta a powerhouse that is to be reckoned with in December and January. I liken what they did here to what Richt has done at UGA sure they are always competing and sure they find themselves in a big game occasionally but they don’t get it done. My problem is more with TD than Mike Smith I feel he is growing as a coach nicely he has the occasional hiccup but for the most part he is a good HC.

I don’t think he has totally ignored the O-line but he has passed on plenty of opportunities to improve the O-line and also chose to let Harvey Dahl leave and go and sign Ray Edwards. Not to mention he has saw this line all off season saw how it was manhandled by the Bengals in addition to losing a penciled in starter and still chose to go into the season without any upgrades.

When I said burned picks on DBs that he has missed on I was speaking on the two 3’s he burned on Chevis Jackson and Chris Owens and the 5th round pick he burned on Dominique Franks. I like Tru and Alford but I also believe that we had too many holes to spend our two highest picks on two CBs why not draft Ogletree and then Alford in the second? Our front seven is devoid of playmakers and he has ignored that.

_________________
The Young Gunner


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:32 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25963
Location: North Carolina
There's no need to discuss TD's record. Anybody that has regularly visited this site over the past 2 years knows his track record, because folks like me have hundreds of 5,000 word posts breaking it down.

I remember back in 2003 after the Steelers went 6-10, I was in college and friends with dozens of Steeler fans. I thought they needed to get rid of Cowher. Over 12 years up to that point, the Steelers had made the playoffs 8 times, and had 9 winning seasons. In his first 6 seasons, Cowher made the playoffs 6 straight times. Over his most recent 6 up to that point, the Steelers had missed the playoffs 4 times. Over the course of 12 seasons, Cowher was 1-3 in home games in the AFC Championship, and his team got blown out in their lone Super Bowl appearance. I was convinced that Cowher was incapable of winning the big game.

Then in 2004, after Big Ben & Co. got shellacked in the AFC Championship, another home game vs. the Patriots, I kept telling my Steeler fan friends how Cowher couldn't win the big game.

Then obviously with a lesser team the very next year the Steelers won the title. It was a valuable lesson in understanding the concept that just because something hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. It also helped me understand another important factor in determining who wins championships: random luck.

Were the 2005 Steelers better suited to win a Super Bowl that year than the '94, '95, '97, '01, or '04 teams? No. But instead of facing a team like the '97 Broncos with John Elway & Terrell Davis, they played the '05 Broncos with Jake Plummer and Mike Anderson.

My point is that I don't necessarily prescribe to the "Someone's head must roll strategy." Look at the Steelers. In '03, they drafted Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor. In '04 they drafted Roethlisberger and signed Willie Parker as a UDFA. That year, they also re-signed journeyman James Harrison, although he wouldn't really start to contribute until 2007. In '05, they drafted Heath Miller with their top pick, to supplement the talent they already had on the roster like Aaron Smith, Hines Ward, Alan Faneca, Casey Hampton, Joey Porter, etc.

We're likely to have a Top 10 pick this year (if the draft was held today, we'd be picking 7th). If we draft the next Aldon Smith/Adrian Peterson/Champ Bailey then things are looking up for us. If we draft the next Sedrick Ellis/Thomas Jones/Darrius Heyward-Bey, things won't be. Note, all 6 of those players were 7th overall picks. You get another William Moore-caliber pick in the 2nd round, things are looking up for us. If we get some more solid complementary starters in the 3rd, 4th rounds, then things are looking up.

Maybe we go 7-9 next year, or maybe we go 13-3. Who knows. But the arrow is pointing up if the Falcons actually draft well and do well in FA this spring.

I also don't want to fire the coach, because that is going to mean killing stability and revamping schemes. And if we fire the GM, then the new GM is gonna want to fire the coach eventually and bring in his own guy. The end result is the same (Just delayed slightly) where whatever stability you had in the organization is gone. And stability is important, something I also learned from watching the Steelers.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:37 am 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:57 pm
Posts: 4588
Great Post Pudge!!

_________________
"Everything Counts"
Cyril


Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:58 am 
Offline
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:12 pm
Posts: 6211
Location: Planet Claire
Coaching matters but I could not agree more, Pudge. I get so sick and tired of knee jerk--or maybe just jerk--over reactions with the all-you-have-to-do-is solutions which generally involve canning so and so. To me one of the most edifying experiences in my NFL watching career was when the Falcons played the Rams in 98. I had scored some el cheapo tickets on the first level near the 40 yard line. The band wagon folks of ATL had not yet figured out that the team was good. As a side note, Chipper Jones was walking hand in hand with his first bride on t \he sideline in a big show of solidarity after news they were having troubles had hit the papers. Anyway, the Falcons steamrolled the Rams and I remember thinking, "Are we that good or are they that bad?"

The backdrop to this was that the St. Louis players had almost been in open revolt to Vermiel's methods. It was all over the press and recall them looking so dispirited on the sideline and recalling so many of our teams that were like that. Meanwhile, DV is walking around with this kind of half placid look on his face and I was thinking he must be deluded. Well, the next summer the starting QB tears up his knees and a former arena league player named Kurt warner gets the nod and I thought how it seemed like they just couldn't win for losing. The rest is history as they became the Greatest Show on Turf and we became Team Irrelevant. The pint is, things can change fast (Chiefs) and as Reeves and many others have preached, "The difference in winning and losing is slight."

Young players get better. A funny shaped ball takes luckier bounces. Your opponents run into trouble. As Roddy mentioned earlier, the team currently has no identity other than a Rd Cross. We had to get younger and need to get younger still. Growing pains and pains in general have cagged us. If there is any true disconnect in the org it is with team itself and the marketing department.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:40 am 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25963
Location: North Carolina
I remember that Rams team, which is one of the reasons why their success in 1999 was so shocking.

Man, what a difference a QB change (Warner), RB change (Faulk), hiring a new OC (Martz), and getting a good WRs coach (Al Saunders, who was only available because the Chiefs fired Schottenheimer) can do to uplift an offense.

It was probably the first time we really saw how much difference a QB can make. Going from Tony Banks to Kurt Warner then was literally the statistical equivalent today of going from Mike Glennon to Aaron Rodgers.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:41 am 
Offline
Draught Guru
Draught Guru
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 5005
backnblack wrote:
Growing pains and pains in general have cagged us. If there is any true disconnect in the org it is with team itself and the marketing department.



You may be on to something there, BnB.

But, you know what bothers me about all this? And this COULD just be knee-jerk y type reasoning for me, but hear me out.

Five years ago, our team was destroyed. Blank is a smart man, he realized he needed to get fresh blood in here and keep out of the 'football side' of things. So in comes WonderVegan! And TD, Smith, McKay AND Blank said they had a plan. A Plan to Get To A Superbowl. It was a Process. A FIVE YEAR PROCESS.

Now, to be 'fair', they almost got there. But still, in the depths of depravity, the ONE thing they told us, to help us out with our demise was that they had a PLAN to get us OUT.

I was told part of the '5 Year Process' was that we would get a Wunderkind who was groomed by the best scouting and development organizations...Someone from the 'Belichik Tree'. And apart from that 'Falcons Filter' nonsense ( was great for the first four years, but should have been gone by year five ) for the most part, TD spent the first three seasons doing just that. All was well.

Then, in 2011, all that went out the window and he traded FIVE picks to get ONE GUY. Now whether or not this was a 'good' move can be debated, and the jury, for me, is still 'out'. If Julio misses time NEXT year due to injury, does that change your mind on whether or not the trade was wise? I mean, look at the honorable Pudge. Even he has jumped on and off the Julio trade bandwagon. I understand his reasoning, it is sound.

So were trucking along in 2011 and we changed philosophy. Well, okay as long as it works. But to make that work, TD and the scouting dept, along with the coaches and coordinators, needed to do two things to make this work. Basically, giving up that many picks meant you had to scout/trade you ass off, AND develop viable backups in case of injury. Well, they failed there. And now we are seeing the results. I mean look no farther then the QB position. In five years we have not had one QB backup to do anything but regress. And look around the league to see this is not 'normal. Hell, we cant even coach up Double D into being a competant backup! That speaks to coaching. Now, look at RAP's post about TD's draft record. Even if you wanted to be 'generous', lets say he is batting .500.

Great Picks - 2
Good Picks - 6
Ok Picks - 6
Bad Picks - 14

Okay to simplify, lets just say TD's drafts are 14 good and 14 bad. Call me crazy, but since we cant 'develop' talent ( there are exceptions, of course, but I am speaking on the big picture) then TD (in order to keep his Five Year Process Promise) HAS to do a better job drafting. I know, I know, two year GM of the year, five winning seasons, yadayadayada....

Pudge always trots out the Steelers as an example of the virtue of patience...But riddle me this? When Cowher took over, did he say to the Steeler Nation " I have a wonderful GM, we are on the same page, and we have a 13 Year Plan!"? Im thinking not. That's why 'some' people are being hard on TD, and Smith to a lesser extent, because he is the ONE who proclaimed 'The Process'.

I can understand what he did, too. It was a 'gamble'. In 2011, he 'thought' he could make it work. What we are seeing now is that we have overlooked the basics, and it has exposed us. And TD has to own that...also they dont really make bold moves in FA like they did with the Jones trade, and it is maddening. I mean look at what we have done protecting the most important player on the field? Some broke down Polynesian or journey JAG? Think about this for a minute..I was listening to ESPN radio sometime ago, and they were discussing out of 32 starting QB's in today's league, there might only be 12 'good' ones. 12 guys 'capable' of getting to a Superbowl, let alone winning one. Matt Ryan is on that list, and were damn fortunate to have a guy like that: and look what we put in front of him. It is abominale. He is literally paying for it in blood right now, the Cards whipped the sh*t out of him.

Then, he still drafts according to the 'Falcon Filter' five years later, when he needs to start bringing in a few less 'team captains' and a couple of 'mean bastards'. You know, the kind that if you take a cheap shot at thier QB they look to cut block that guy to send a message. Things like that.. It's not that hard to do.

I wish they had never promised a 'Five Year Process'. A process like Belichik, that doesnt't make splashy trades, and builds from the line out. But that is what was promised. So, now I am hearing it's no longer a 'five year plan'. it's actually more like an 'eight year plan'. Pudge says TD should be given at least TWO more seasons to 'right the ship'. Im not that forgiving. I think if we have another let down year next year, it might be time to start looking for a new GM that can get together with Mike Smith on the same page. :ninja:

_________________
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sky Is Falling: Offensive Line is the major blame
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:09 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25963
Location: North Carolina
Well, the key difference with the Steelers is that they drafted well. They added playmakers over the course of Cowher's tenure, to keep themselves competing at the upper end of the spectrum.

In 1992, Cowher came to a team that had Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake, Dermontti Dawson, John Jackson, Greg Lloyd, and Neil O'Donnell already. He added players like Kevin Greene, Darren Perry, Levon Kirkland, Leon Searcy, Joel Steed in his first year there. Chad Brown, Jason Gildon, Will Wolford, Lee Flowers, and Jerome Bettis were added in subsequent years. But they sort of hit a lull from 1998-00, when they turned the keys over fully to Kordell at QB. They were still a good team, but Woodson, Lloyd, Dawson, and Greene were gone; Lake was getting old, etc.

But in '98, the Steerlers drafted Alan Faneca, Hines Ward, and Deshea Townsend. In '99, they picked up Joey Porter and Aaron Smith. 2000 was PLaxico, Marvel Smith, and Clark Haggans. 2001 was Casey Hampton and Kendrell Bell. And thus in 2001, the Steelers are back in the AFC title game. In 2002, they make the move from Kordell to Tommy Maddox and are a playoff team. Then the bottom falls out for Maddox in 2003 with Mularkey calling the shots and Bettis getting very old very quickly. And then they get Big Ben in '04, and the rest is history.

The Falcons might be hitting their lull. I honestly didn't expect it until next year, but it's come a year earlier. They can get out of it with good drafting, just like the Steelers did.

I'm for giving TD that opportunity just because I don't want to disrupt the continuity and stability because the new GM is going to be itching to fire Mike Smith, and if/when that occurs you're going to have a brand new system and schemes, and it may take another 2-3 years to get the old players out and the new players in. I also think TD's drafting had a slight upswing this past April than what it was in the previous 4 years. If he can build off this and actually have good (not just better) draft in 2014, then that's what I'm hoping for.

The situations somewhat parallel each other, but only if the Falcons start to draft better. So I'm in 100% agreement with you on that fun gus. Until Doc Brown invents the flux capacitor, we can't do anything about the past mistakes (although we can try and correct a few of the more recent ones *cough*Sam Baker contract*cough*). But if we can take advantage of the opportunities presented to us in the present/future, then things could be looking up.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  


cron