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 Post subject: ESPN PRESEASON RANKINGS
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:21 pm 
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http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/powerrank ... 006&week=0


Well, looks like were are closing in on the bottom again according to old ESPN. I can't believe that they are this harsh on Vick, but then again so are we at times so go figure... Looks like you are right Pudge, it might be about time we pass the torch, although since Matt has never won a game in this league I am not sold on him being the one we turn to.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:41 pm 
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We can't imagine that Michael Vick would be benched, but there will be calls for Matt Schaub if Vick continues to struggle.


We get a one sentence sum up from espn, and this is the garbage we get. I guess I should just expect it from this point on, and wait for everyone to change their minds after week 1 (longggggggggg sighhhhhhhh). Oh and I got over a hundred million that says Schaub will never, ever start over Vick.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:05 pm 
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Listening to ESPN radio this weekend and Sean Salisbury had one of the guys on who participated in this poll. Sean was pretty much giving him "what for" for ranking the Falcons so low.

Basically the guys response was that he actually thought the Falcons were a strong team, but that our schedule was brutal.

Sean seemed to think we were definitely top 15 and more toward the 10 then 15.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:06 pm 
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Rankings this time of year don't mean a thing, even halfway through the season they mean nothing. Last year when the Steelers were 7-5, they were ranked 20th...and you know the rest of the story. Just come to play and the rankings will take care of themselves...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:48 pm 
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I also can't imagine Schaub starting over Vick. Here's the scenario I picture if Schaub were to take over for Vick in the near future:

2006
The Falcons struggle mightily through the season, injuries hamper Vick throughout the season and his play when healthy isn't too inspiring. And in a move reminiscent of the 2000 season when Chris Chandler was "injured" and the team started Doug Johnson in 2 late season games. The team will promote Schaub to the starting lineup late in the year to "rest" Vick. Perhaps Schaub plays very well.

2007
During the off-season, several teams make offers on Schaub, but because of the questions about Vick's "durability," the Falcons decide to match the offer. The media will continue to hype a QB controversy, so will the fans (but not to the same degree as the media), but the coaching staff/front office will completely dismiss it. When the season happens, Vick will be the starter as long as he is healthy, but he will be on a short leash (reminiscent to Kordell Stewart in his last years in Pittsburgh). At some point, we'll see Schaub get the job, outplay Vick, the Falcons will win, and the coaching staff will start talking about staying with Schaub because he's "hot" right now.

2008
Now, there will be a true QB controversy going into the 2008 season, although teh coaching staff will still talk about Vick being the guy. But this year will mark Vick's last in a Falcons uniform. He will lose the starting job (or have it taken away), never to gain it back.

2009
The Falcons will release Vick in the off-season or trade him if anyone takes him (but after 3 average to poor years coupled with his price tag, it's doubtful there will be significant offers for him). Schaub will be the unquestioned starter entering this year, and how long he lasts will depend on how well he plays.

Now, I'm not saying this will happen, but I definitely could see happening. But frankly, it only involves a few instances of Schaub actually starting over Vick. When Vick is on the bench during this imaginary time period, most of the time he will be injured to a level where the Falcons will rest him. We know nowadays that Vick basically has to be DOUBTFUL to not start a game, but by 2007 or 2008, that may become QUESTIONABLE or even PROBABLE when it comes to the injury reports.

I don't think this should happen, but I do believe that Vick basically has 2 years to prove that he is without a doubt the Falcons starting QB for the next 5-10 years. The way I figure it, by 2008 or 2009 the Falcons are going to be forced to restructure his contract. And if he's our "Brett Favre" then he'll probably get a cap-friendly extension or restructuring that basically ensures Vick will be a Falcon for several more years just from a cap standpoint. However, if he's our "Kordell" then the Falcons are just going to dump him at that point.

This is what I've meant in past posts about Vick needing to prove things to the fans and coaches.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:19 am 
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Considering we barely hung onto Schaub this offseason, I'm not sure how we'd still see him on the team into the next 2-4 years?? Wasn't that the point of drafting DJ Shockley, for the future backup spot. What I meant in the earlier post is that we're paying Vick over 100 mill, so I don't think you're gonna ever see Schaub starting over Vick. The media would have a field day with that one. Only time it will ever happen is due to injuries, which I hopes is never. I do vehemently state the Vick needs to progress, mainly in the passing game. He also needs to fine tune when to do what. But to say he'll get the hook for Schaub is kinda laughable. Nobody puts a lot of creedence into the point I've heard a million times, that it takes YEARS to master this offense. Steve Young the lawyer has said so repeatidly. Considering Vick is not a supremely cerebral qb, the curve may be longer. I just don't get why we would scrap a several year project before it's had a chance to come to come full circle. Cause boy oh boy if he does figure it all out, then how would we even be stoppable on offense?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:41 am 
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Is Vick really our problem last year? Sure he had some horrible games but lets look at our 8 game collapse.

The offense generated 20 PPG while the defense surrendered 25 PPG Allowed. Only 4 teams had worse numbers in PPG Allowed than the Falcons. Atlanta managed the 21st rank of PPG Allowed only because the first half of the season they had far better performances.

So I ask again was Vick really our problem last year? Atlanta had the 14th ranked scoring offense in the league and I think one could say that Vick's performance was the primary reason we lost for maybe 2 games last year. This team didn't make it to the playoffs because our defense when it counted was nothing short of horrible. As we've seen you take even a mediocore Vick off this squad and it completely collapses. I believe the defense is far more to blame for the Falcons short comings this last season. Now I do Vick is to blame for our inability to get over Philly and move forward into the playoffs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:12 pm 
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Schaub's future longevity in Atlanta is dependent on him outplaying Vick this year or the fact that he gets no offers next off-season from other teams. Both seem unlikely at this point. Although I'm not of the camp that believes several teams will be willing to offer up #1 picks for Schaub next year, but I believe there will be genuine interest in him from teams that the likelihood he gets signed to an offer sheet seems more likely than unlikely. Also the fact that in all likelihood, Schaub will only start 1 game this year, indicates that his opportunity to outplay Vick will be severely limited.

I'm not saying Vick is Kordell or Randall, but his career mirrors those two players probably closer than some people would care to admit. The major difference is that Kordell had significantly more poor years than good ones in Pittsburgh, and Randall Cunningham played the gist of his career in Philadelphia prior to the Free Agency Era of the NFL.

But I think like those two players, there is a significant opportunity for the Falcons to part ways with Vick. Because of his relative success, the Falcons won't so easily discard him like the Steelers did to Kordell. But unlike the Eagles, due to the large number of dollars involved in today's game, the team won't be so patient to let him develop further before moving on.

I believe a QB takes 5-7 years to develop. If after that period of time, you look back and evaluate your QB and don't believe he's capable of winning you a Super Bowl, then you get rid of him. I think it's interesting that if you look at the QBs drafted between 1999 and 2001 (thus players who have now accumulated 5-7 years of NFL experience), only a handful are still with the team that drafted them:

Michael Vick - 2001
Marques Tuiasososopo - 2001
Chris Weinke - 2001
Donovan McNabb - 1999
Tom Brady - 2000
Chad Pennington - 2000

2 of those players are considered by their teams to be career backups. 3 of those players seem to be Franchise QBs, and the last (Pennington) seems to be on his way out unless he proves this year that he should stay.

You note the $100 million contract that Vick signed. Well, the Patriots and Vikings clearly show us that even though you've invested 9 figures into a player, doesn't mean you can get rid of him. Bledsoe was dumped within 2 years of signing the first $100 million contract. Culpepper got a $100 million contract a few years back, and again within a few years is gone from his team.

So yes, a contract of that size does provide some job security for a player for a certain amount of years, it is very important that the players' on-field and seemingly off-field performance are to a level that makes the powers that be believe he is worth that money. For Bledsoe, it was the emergence of Brady. For Culpepper, it was a change in ownership/coaching/front office.

I'm not criticisizing Vick or saying that his job is in emminent jeopardy. From all indications, his play has been at a level that indicates he will be a Falcon for a long time. I believe if the Falcons continue to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender over the next 2-3 years, then VIck's job is safe assuming he remains healthy for the most part.

But I also understand how quickly the tide can turn in the NFL. What if VIck sucks this year and the Falcons finish 3-13? What if Mora is then fired? What if McKay departs to become Commish. What if Vick is injured the next two years, and manages to only play a handful of games and the Falcons manage to win several with another QB (like Schaub) at the helm? I'm not saying any of these are likelihoods, but just they are possibilities, and I understand that Vick nor Falcon fans should be content with the status quo.

I'm not blaming Vick for this past year's collapse. But there has to be a point that if the Falcons ugly non-winning streak continues that you have to start to wonder if Vick is the guy that is going to be able to end that streak. If not, why should we keep him? I think because of the Falcons franchise history, they really can't afford to have eternal patience with their players, coaches, and front office staff, or else they end up like the Arizona Cardinals.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:15 pm 
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So I ask again was Vick really our problem last year?


To an extent, yes. When ever we had to pass, we couldn't. The best rushing attack in the league is all well and good, but if you can't play catch up, you're forever destined to hover around the .500 mark in today's NFL.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:41 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Quote:
So I ask again was Vick really our problem last year?


To an extent, yes. When ever we had to pass, we couldn't. The best rushing attack in the league is all well and good, but if you can't play catch up, you're forever destined to hover around the .500 mark in today's NFL.


With a true Top 10 defense the Falcons shouldn't have to be playing catch up on a regular basis. From time to time sure but not on a regular basis. If the Falcons D played at a Top 10 level the majority of the season this team is a 10-6 to 12-4 team getting a Widl Card or Division playoff spot each year even if Vick's development was to stop here.

Now if Vick's development stopped at this level the Falcons might be hard pressed to win a Super Bowl. But we should be a regular playoff team. Not an 8-8 squad.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:49 pm 
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dirtybirdnw wrote:
AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Quote:
So I ask again was Vick really our problem last year?


To an extent, yes. When ever we had to pass, we couldn't. The best rushing attack in the league is all well and good, but if you can't play catch up, you're forever destined to hover around the .500 mark in today's NFL.


With a true Top 10 defense the Falcons shouldn't have to be playing catch up on a regular basis. From time to time sure but not on a regular basis. If the Falcons D played at a Top 10 level the majority of the season this team is a 10-6 to 12-4 team getting a Widl Card or Division playoff spot each year even if Vick's development was to stop here.

Now if Vick's development stopped at this level the Falcons might be hard pressed to win a Super Bowl. But we should be a regular playoff team. Not an 8-8 squad.


Insert the Baltimore Ravens. Granted, they won a Super Bowl inspite of their offense, but they had one of the best defenses of all time.

Now for the sake of arguement if Vick's development has stopped, I'm still hard pressed to rely on our defense to absolutely carry us to the playoffs. Will we be better? Yup. Are we going to hold teams to 11 points a game? No.

That being said, I am excited about our "D" this year and can't wait to see the boys back on the field!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:03 pm 
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I don't think the Falcons passing offense is as bad as the Ravens passing offense was. It is a bit more dynamic and capable of big plays. Our receivers don't out right blow like Baltimores did. They are just young and developing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:32 am 
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dirtybirdnw wrote:
I don't think the Falcons passing offense is as bad as the Ravens passing offense was. It is a bit more dynamic and capable of big plays. Our receivers don't out right blow like Baltimores did. They are just young and developing.


Just for fun..... :)

The Ravens Super Bowl year offensive stats....

The QB's, Dilfer and Banks, passed for 3080 yards, 20 td's with 19 interceptions. Banks had a rating of 69.3 and Dilfer's was 76.6. The leading receiver was, ironically enough, there tight end, Shannon Sharpe. 67 grabs for 810 and 5 td's. The top receiver was Qadry Ismail with 49 catches for 655 and 5 td's. The next best receiver was Priest Holmes with 32 catches for 221 and then a WR, Travis Taylor with 28 for 276. Anyone see a resemblance?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:24 pm 
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I would put the 2000 Ravens passing attack on par with the Falcons 2005 passing attack in terms of overall talent. The Ravens had Shannon Sharpe at TE. That's not to say I believe Crump is as good a player as Sharpe, they are similar players in their impact and role on their respective teams. Qadry Ismail and Travis Taylor were the Ravens starting WRs. Taylor was a rookie that year that I believed was injured for the Super Bowl, so he was replaced by the likes of Jermaine Lewis, Patrick Johnson, and Brandon Stokley. With only Lewis (at the time) capable of performing like a typical #3 wideout.

I would say that if Vick's development/progression stops, then the Falcons probably need to think about getting rid of him. The Vick of 2004/2005 is good, but just not good enough to really get the Falcons over the hump. Short of the team sporting a Top 3 defense and #1 rushing offense, the Falcons would probably be incapable of making it to the Super Bowl. Frankly, the Vick of the past 2 years is a good player, but not good enough that when faced with a tough defense (like say the '04 Eagles or '05 Panthers or '05 Seahawks) is going ot be able to take his game to the next level in order to beat those teams.

But again, I'm saying if he doesn't improve, then his days are and should be numbered in Atlanta. But since i believe he will improve (and I believe the majority agrees with me), then I think this is all purely speculation on our parts.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:07 pm 
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It will be interesting if, this is the best Vick will be, what Blank will do. Trade the most marketable player in franchise history and become vastly unpopular with fans, or keep him for the sake of putting a fanny's in the seats, but knowing we will never win the big one with him.

Right now, Blank is the Pope of Chili-town and Vick is putting even more money into his already deep pockets. If he let's vick go, and the guy they bring in doesn't win....I don't think anyone would like to be in his hand crafted Italian leather shoes.

Time will tell.....


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 Post subject: Cash
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Blank will bend to the fans, and as anyone knows fans in the NFL can turn on a dime. If Vick keeps fumbling, throwing INTS, and starts losing the majority of games because he can't pass Atlanta will turn on him. When that happens, the seats won't be filled and Blank will get rid of him. Winning fills seats, period. Vick was lightning in a bottle for the first year, and people liked watching him run all over, but losses really count. This is Vick's sixth year and six years in the NFL will take a lot out of your legs. I doubt he will ever be as fun to watch as he was in 02.

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 Post subject: Re: Cash
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:11 am 
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MarylandFalcon1 wrote:
Blank will bend to the fans, and as anyone knows fans in the NFL can turn on a dime. If Vick keeps fumbling, throwing INTS, and starts losing the majority of games because he can't pass Atlanta will turn on him.

I would disagree to a degree. The Falcons could go 5-11 with Vick as the starter this year, but still the vast majority of Falcon fans will still love him to no end.

Sure, Vick losing will have a sizable contingent of Falcon fans turn on him. But it's going to take at least 2 losing seasons before you could see a majority of folks clamoring for the Falcons to get rid of him.

I would say that between 25-30% of Falcon fans, Vick really can do no wrong in their eyes. His success thus far has merited him an infinite number of chances over the next decade with this team.

For others, they are a little wishy washy, in that it would take several years before they started calling for Vick's head. They'd be vocal about his need to improve, but probably wouldn't be openly calling for it. I would say this group makes up the majority of fans, which is about 40-50%.

For a few, they are already beginning to sour on Vick. They don't want to replace him yet, but it's not going to take much for them to want to. Another year of missing the playoffs will probably seal the deal for these folks. This is probably about 15-25% of fans.

The other portion (about 5-10%) already are very vocal about getting rid of Vick. They already want him gone.

I think if McKay is still with the team, then the chances of moving Vick is relatively decent. If McKay is gone, then I doubt Blank pulls the trigger for those marketability reasons.

Vick is the first superstar for this franchise. Sure, guys like Andre Rison, Deion, Jamal, and Brooking have been marketable players, but none are genuine superstar status like that of a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Barry Sanders, etc.

I think if Blank defers to a football GM like a McKay, then Vick is potentially expendable. However, if Blank is top dawg and without a presence like a McKay in the front office, and thus has his hands deeper in football decisions, then I would say that it's up in the air if Vick is ever dumped.

But again, this is all speculation, as we're all talking more about a worse-case scenario than a likely one.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:52 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
It will be interesting if, this is the best Vick will be, what Blank will do. Trade the most marketable player in franchise history and become vastly unpopular with fans, or keep him for the sake of putting a fanny's in the seats, but knowing we will never win the big one with him.

Right now, Blank is the Pope of Chili-town and Vick is putting even more money into his already deep pockets. If he let's vick go, and the guy they bring in doesn't win....I don't think anyone would like to be in his hand crafted Italian leather shoes.

Time will tell.....


Blank has already made that decision.


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