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 Post subject: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 11:55 am 
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Did the Atlanta Falcons Make a Huge Mistake Giving Matt Ryan Massive Contract?

By Aaron Freeman , Contributor December 24, 2013


With the 2013 season nearly complete, is it too early to begin to question whether the decision by the Atlanta Falcons to give Matt Ryan his massive deal was the right one?

Ryan signed a five-year extension at the end of July that netted him $103.75 million, in an offseason that saw a number of other signal-callers rake in huge contracts.

It’s without a doubt that the Falcons had little choice in paying Ryan. 2013 was set to be the final season on the rookie contract he signed back in 2008, and given Ryan’s success over his first five seasons in Atlanta, it was a no-brainer to lock him up long-term.

Ryan had compiled a 56-22 record during his five seasons as a Falcon starter. No signal-caller had compiled more regular-season wins in his first five seasons than Ryan, and it was without a doubt the best five-year span in Falcons history as the team earned playoff berths four times and had five consecutive winning seasons. That was notable for a franchise that in 42 seasons prior to Ryan’s arrival had never had back-to-back winning seasons, let alone five consecutive.

But the Falcons now stand at 4-11 with a game left to play in 2013, and the prudence of the huge financial decision stands in question.

Ryan isn’t alone in his disappointing season, as all four of the other quarterbacks who received monster extensions this offseason have been hounded by questions.

After a strong start to the year, Matt Stafford is facing heat as his Detroit Lions are amidst a 1-5 tailspin to close out the season that could see them choke away the playoff berth that seemed inevitable six weeks ago.


Tony Romo has come under consistent fire for his erratic play late in games and is now reportedly sidelined with a back injury for a pivotal Week 17 divisional showdown that will decide the postseason fate for his Dallas Cowboys.

Aaron Rodgers has also been bitten by the injury bug, as a broken collarbone has caused him to miss seven straight games and potentially an eighth in another pivotal season finale for the Green Bay Packers.

And Joe Flacco’s production has taken a huge nosedive, despite the fact that the Baltimore Ravens remain resilient and in a position to make the playoffs. Flacco has thrown 19 interceptions and posted a career-low passer rating of 75.2 with a game left to play.

But Ryan has had the worst season of all. The two interceptions he threw in Monday night’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers mark a new career high (or rather low) with 16 interceptions thrown. And unlike the teams of the other quarterbacks who are all scrapping for a place in the postseason, the Falcons have instead spent much of 2013 looking ahead to next May’s draft and their early draft position.


But as noted before, it’s not really a question of whether the Falcons should have paid Ryan in the first place. It’s more a question of how the Falcons move forward to make their decision to pay him the right call.


What has become clear this year is that Ryan has struggled to function without strong weapons to throw to. Early-season injuries to wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White really limited the Falcons offensive attack. It allowed teams to focus their attention on tight end Tony Gonzalez. And despite quality production, wide receiver Harry Douglas just hasn’t been the sort of playmaker who can help carry the offense as Jones and White did.

The other issue the Falcons have been plagued with is their porous offensive line play and lack of balance with a running attack. However, the Falcons have seen some progress in both regards thanks to a shuffling of the starting lineup over the past month and better production from running back Steven Jackson. But it hasn’t quite been enough.

Essentially, the revelation of 2013 is that while Matt Ryan is paid like an elite quarterback who is expected like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning to “carry” his team, he isn’t at that level.

He needs a lot more help, and it’s something the Falcons have not provided this year. It will be paramount for the Falcons as they move forward into 2014 to make a more concerted effort to protect their $103.75 million investment.

And that starts with solidifying their offensive line. The Falcons will continue to work through more permutations of their starting five in the season finale against the Carolina Panthers next week to try and discover which players are worth keeping and which are not.

Center Joe Hawley has played well since taking over for Peter Konz five weeks ago but is an unrestricted free agent come March. The Falcons need to decide whether he is a good candidate to bring back to be a starter.

They also need to make a decision on Lamar Holmes, who has shown some improvement at left tackle since the season-ending injury to Sam Baker. Baker is expected to return next year, and the team needs to decide whether Holmes is to stay on the left side or move back to right tackle, where he struggled early in the season.

And how will emerging young players like Ryan Schraeder and Harland Gunn figure into the mix next year as well as disappointments like Garrett Reynolds, Mike Johnson and Peter Konz?

These are still unanswered questions for the Falcons. And if anything can be considered a huge mistake, it was how the huge investment in Ryan may limit the Falcons' ability to invest in their offensive line.

According to OvertheCap.com, the Falcons are currently at roughly $10 million under the projected 2014 salary cap. They could potentially free up more by cutting some veterans on either side of the ball.

Restructuring Roddy White’s contract as reports indicate should also net savings, reducing a cap hit that tops $6 million in 2014. That leads to the next issue the Falcons face, which is improving the depth at the wide receiver position.

The loss of Julio Jones to injury really limited the Falcons offense, which is one of the least explosive units in the league. According to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), Matt Ryan ranks dead last in the NFL in terms of percentage of pass attempts thrown beyond 20 yards. Without the playmaking presence of Jones, the Falcons offense has gotten increasingly conservative.

The multiple injuries that limited White through most of the season also did not help. White didn’t seem to begin to play like his former pre-injured self until Week 13 when he lit up the Buffalo Bills secondary for 143 yards. He’s finishing the season strong with another solid effort against the 49ers on Monday night. But as the team moves forward with White, they should consider moving him to the slot on a more permanent basis.

That has been a role played primarily by Douglas. But the team would be smart by adding another vertical threat to the outside to help open up their downfield passing attack more in 2014. While Douglas will likely continue to provide depth and an option for a Gonzalez-less Falcons offense, the team needs to work better to add more dynamic targets on the outside to help provide more big plays.

But the lack of big plays isn’t entirely due to the play of the wide receivers or the lack of protection provided by the offensive line. A lot has to do with Ryan’s own unwillingness to challenge downfield. That has never been a significant part of the Falcons passing attack under Ryan. When the team made the blockbuster draft-day move to get Jones in 2011, it seemed to mark the end of that period where the Falcons were a conservative, run-first offense.

All that has ultimately occurred is that the team has morphed into a conservative, pass-first unit. That needs to change, particularly if the team expects Ryan to live up to his massive contract. The play-calling and coaches must be more willing to emphasize the importance of the deep pass, otherwise they will continue to see Ryan make the “smart” and “safe” plays with checkdowns rather than the riskier deep shots.

But it's those deep shots that are ostensibly the "money-making" plays that will earn Ryan a place at the top of the NFL, coinciding with his salary.

Essentially, Ryan went into a shell in 2013 and the team must find ways to get him to emerge from it in the coming years. Otherwise, the Falcons will find themselves on the wrong end of this deal, with an adept but overpaid signal-caller. One where the positive value that Ryan brings on the field is outweighed by the negative value that his contract brings by limiting their ability to improve the rest of their roster to an acceptable rate.

And it essentially becomes a catch-22 where the Falcons are unable to get better play out of Ryan, which prompts the need to get a stronger supporting cast. But that supporting cast becomes more difficult to acquire because of the size of Ryan’s contract.

It’s still too early to determine if paying Ryan was a mistake, but unless the Falcons can get Ryan playing back at the near-elite level he was at in 2012, it won’t be long before we know that answer.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:04 pm 
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All I can say for those that want the front office to help Ryan more
is " How can they when Matt took all the money for himself ??

We are 10 million under the cap, The Falcons and Ryan made this decision, now when Matt is getting broken up, maybe some other Qb
may remember that you can only spend 20 million a year so
many places; and you hope the hospital isn't one of those when your 50!!

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:55 pm 
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Though I would have been happier if they had given Ryan less, Ryan isn't the reason that we're where we are. Poor personnel choices, poor drafting, and bad coaching are much bigger factors than the amount of money that we're paying Ryan. After all, we're 10 million over the cap. Plenty of room to sign people. The problem is, there's no one to sign.

The Falcons had two fantastic opportunities last year to pick up an OT, and let them both slide. We could have kept Abe around, but let him walk. We could have kept Clabo, but let him walk.


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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 4:02 pm 
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I agree that Ryan is not responsible for our 12 loss season last year. Its
almost shocking that no one saw the Offensive line for what it was, and
the defensive line for that matter too. The injuries hurt too, but many teams go through injuries and have back-ups who can fill in.

Both recievers being 10 million a year players or close to it; makes filling in for them a little harder; but many a team has found a nugget when injuries occur instead of going "Harry Douglas" who has close to proven he can't fill the role in a big way.

I think Pudge is right in the implication that the coaches just need to go deep more often..... Sometimes the more interception you throw the more "gun shy" you are of taking chances.....I think the coaches need to tell Ryan a 50 yard interception sometimes works out about like a punt,
and look at the payoff should Ryan have about 5 long extra Tds a season.

Another receiver would also be excellent, I like the idea of putting Roddy in the slot. Pudge wrote
Quote:
According to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), Matt Ryan ranks dead last in the NFL in terms of percentage of pass attempts thrown beyond 20 yards.


This should be an embarrassment to the coaches; the receivers; and to Ryan, and probably in that order!!

If Its Ryan who likes the check down then we're in trouble!!

Being just 10 million under the cap is not that good. Julio gets paid again next year, restruction Roddy can help some, but a #6 pick will cost, as will any addition that really adds value.

I feel keeping Steven Jackson another year is a waste, we need to understand the older these guys get the more they get injured.

The bottom line is Pudge's article does ask a great question; that only this coaching staff and perhaps Ryan himself can answer. If Roddy and Julio stay healthy this year we really should see the answer fairly quickly!!

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:37 pm 
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The Falcons have committed a classic fallacy, which is basically believing that since you possess certain weapons (such as Julio Jones), means that you optimally use them.

The overriding failures of 2013 stem from poor coaching and poor decisions from the front office.

Ryan played "soft" as well, which didn't help matters.

Unfortunately it suggests that all the three figureheads of the franchise: Dimitroff, Mike Smith, and Ryan are "frontrunners" and don't deal when forced to adjust to adversity.

Having a player like Julio Jones makes all of their jobs easier, and thus they take it for granted.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 7:32 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
I agree that Ryan is not responsible for our 12 loss season last year. Its
almost shocking that no one saw the Offensive line for what it was, and
the defensive line for that matter too. The injuries hurt too, but many teams go through injuries and have back-ups who can fill in.

Both recievers being 10 million a year players or close to it; makes filling in for them a little harder; but many a team has found a nugget when injuries occur instead of going "Harry Douglas" who has close to proven he can't fill the role in a big way.

Look, I have taken issue with Douglas making boo-boos in big moments. However, he was a 1,000 yard receiver last year. He has proven that he's a plenty capable WR. Our issue with Douglas is that our coaching does not do a good job of putting him into situations where he excels. Also, our QB has a tendency to throw high, and Douglas doesn't do very well with that. Though Douglas has proven that he's not the kind of receiver that you break the bank for, he's adequate. He would probably excel on a team where there was a seam stretching TE and a deep threat WR on the field when he was. Last year, we asked a short, scrappy guy to replace a tall deep threat WR, and one of the league's best possession receivers. In either case, he's not a suitable replacement for those guys.

Quote:
If Its Ryan who likes the check down then we're in trouble!!

There are two parts to this. First one... Under Smith, Ryan has been taught to check down, and that, "long is never wrong," in terms of throwing deep. (which is why so many of Ryan's deep passes were out of bounds, or uncatchable early in his career)

The second part of this is that we didn't run deep routes last year. As soon as Jones went down, we gave up on any kind of deep game at all. That we went out and signed, "Robiskie!!!!" is proof that we didn't give a crap about having a deep game. This is completely on the staff. Ryan has proven that he can throw it deep if he's asked to.

Quote:
Being just 10 million under the cap is not that good. Julio gets paid again next year, restruction Roddy can help some, but a #6 pick will cost, as will any addition that really adds value.

Yet another reason that we never should have traded so many picks to get one guy. We have our, "franchise players," in Matt Ryan and Roddy White. We also had Tony Gonzales. We didn't need to give up a bunch of picks to get another franchise player. I know that I'm never going to sway you guys on this trade, but to me, this trade is the most recognizable symptom of a bad front office. They mortgaged the future to try to win a Superbowl, and it didn't work. (It almost never does)


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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 3:07 am 
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Quote:

Yet another reason that we never should have traded so many picks to get one guy. We have our, "franchise players," in Matt Ryan and Roddy White. We also had Tony Gonzales. We didn't need to give up a bunch of picks to get another franchise player.


I have moved to it was "ok" but we don't have Gonzales now, and Roddy is
probably not a franchise player now while Julio is and the trade must be viewed over years!!

Yes I agree Douglas is adequate so he doesn't look so good filling in for
Roddy or Julio. If you like him that's fine.....

We couldn't sign anyone else; we were paying for Gonzo; Ryan was in his
first year of his huge contract, I'm not arguing that the coaches go long; I'm just saying we were up against the cap; and lousy linemen.

I think our only difference of opinion is on Ryan; while I like him; you like him much more I think. I probably think the coaching staff does a little better than you; but that's always debatable when you only win 4 games!!

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 10:58 am 
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Cyril wrote:
We couldn't sign anyone else;

We could've, we just didn't.

Not saying there was a guy out there that could've filled Julio/Roddy's hole adequately, at least not anybody that wouldn't have cost us anything substantial (like a high draft pick), but there were better options than Robiskie. Robiskie was on the roster for 49 days (7 weeks). How long did it take for them to realize that he wasn't the answer and they needed to try and find someone else? 9 days? 19 days? 29 days? 39 days? Or the full 49?

But not being 100% sure that there's a better option shouldn't stop you from trying to find that better option. I would cut them a lot more slack if they had cut Robiskie after 4 weeks and then tried to sign someone else (Mohamed Massaquoi is more that fit than Robiskie, and he worked out for the team twice).

That's what I mean by failures of the front office.

RobertAP wrote:
Under Smith, Ryan has been taught to check down, and that, "long is never wrong," in terms of throwing deep. (which is why so many of Ryan's deep passes were out of bounds, or uncatchable early in his career)

Not to split hairs, but I think there's a difference between being "taught" something and have previous teaching "reinforced." The Falcons conservative, no turnovers brand of offense reinforces the things that Ryan was taught long before he joined the Falcons. Ryan wasn't a gambler at Boston College. It's not like he was Tony Romo, and Smith & Co. reined him in and made him into this check down charlie that he has a tendency to be.

BUt they did reinforce the "game manager" skills that he already possessed. And to that, your point still stands. But I don't want it to get twisted that somehow Smith & Co. "made him this way." They didn't.

And frankly, it's difficult to argue with the results as Ryan and the Falcons win-loss record and his career stats show. He's one of the more efficient QBs in the league. But unfortunately, when you're a "rich man's" Alex Smith, sometimes you wish you could just plug in a Colin Kaepernick.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Pudge wrote:


Not to split hairs, but I think there's a difference between being "taught" something and have previous teaching "reinforced." The Falcons conservative, no turnovers brand of offense reinforces the things that Ryan was taught long before he joined the Falcons. Ryan wasn't a gambler at Boston College. It's not like he was Tony Romo, and Smith & Co. reined him in and made him into this check down charlie that he has a tendency to be.

BUt they did reinforce the "game manager" skills that he already possessed. And to that, your point still stands. But I don't want it to get twisted that somehow Smith & Co. "made him this way." They didn't.



I think it comes from the discrepancy between his rookie season and the following seasons. He threw it up for his receivers to "make a play" much more his rookie season than the subsequent seasons.

Mularkey and Smith made comments about being smarter with the long ball over that offseason, and making better decisions, and then we saw the "long is never wrong" approach on display.

I don't think Ryan was ever a Favre, and he clearly didn't just shrug off their coaching, but I very much think they really highlighted the problems with turnovers, how to minimize risk, etc. It is Smitty's primary hallmark. Low penalties, low turnovers, low risk. That's his entire deal. It's why I worry he'll never get further as a coach. All those things are important, but he doesn't seem to balance them with "opening up the field," "keeping the safeties honest" and other things that make your job as a football player far easier.

It could just be coincidence, but it seems unlikely.


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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:35 pm 
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I think if you're going to make an argument for when the coaches dialed things back it was midway through 2009 when Ryan had that stretch of games where he turned the ball over quite a bit.

It all arguably came to a head in Week 9 when Ryan made a horrible throw to force a deep pass to Michael Jenkins vs. Carolina at the end of the game.

These 2 threads dating from that time should refresh anybody's memory:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11570
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11643

That Panther game was the 6th straight game where Ryan had thrown a pick, with a 9:11 TD-INT ratio in that span. That game also marked the 4th in 5 games where Ryan completed less than 60% of his passes and had a passer rating under 70.

Now after that Panther game, Ryan didn't throw another INT until the season finale. Granted a chunk of that time he was injured. But in his final 4 full games, he had an 8:2 TD-INT ratio.

IMO, it's downright silly to criticize the coaching staff for dialing things back in 2009. Ryan was a 2nd year player and not nearly the player he is today. Again, I think they were perfectly reasonable at the time. The issue is that in recent years where they've had the opportunity to dial things up, they have restrained themselves from doing so.

It's hard to argue with the results from 2010-12, but this past year was the opportune time to dial things up.

Again, I think it's silly to be overly critical of past coaching decisions since you can't argue against the results. You can criticize to a certain extent, but those criticisms need to be tempered somewhat. They may not have been the best decisions, but it's one of those things where "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" It's only in 2013 where the coaching decisions truly became negative.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 11:44 pm 
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I must admit, my memory of those times isn't too terribly clear. What I did garner from my posts was that Ryan, 1. didn't have time to throw, and 2. apparently only had a couple of options to throw to due to us keeping a lot of people in protection. One of my last posts from that thread was about overhauling the offensive line in the off-season. (Seems to be a running trend for me.)


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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:49 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I think if you're going to make an argument for when the coaches dialed things back it was midway through 2009 when Ryan had that stretch of games where he turned the ball over quite a bit.

It all arguably came to a head in Week 9 when Ryan made a horrible throw to force a deep pass to Michael Jenkins vs. Carolina at the end of the game.

These 2 threads dating from that time should refresh anybody's memory:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11570
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11643

That Panther game was the 6th straight game where Ryan had thrown a pick, with a 9:11 TD-INT ratio in that span. That game also marked the 4th in 5 games where Ryan completed less than 60% of his passes and had a passer rating under 70.

Now after that Panther game, Ryan didn't throw another INT until the season finale. Granted a chunk of that time he was injured. But in his final 4 full games, he had an 8:2 TD-INT ratio.

IMO, it's downright silly to criticize the coaching staff for dialing things back in 2009. Ryan was a 2nd year player and not nearly the player he is today. Again, I think they were perfectly reasonable at the time. The issue is that in recent years where they've had the opportunity to dial things up, they have restrained themselves from doing so.

It's hard to argue with the results from 2010-12, but this past year was the opportune time to dial things up.

Again, I think it's silly to be overly critical of past coaching decisions since you can't argue against the results. You can criticize to a certain extent, but those criticisms need to be tempered somewhat. They may not have been the best decisions, but it's one of those things where "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" It's only in 2013 where the coaching decisions truly became negative.


Well, you see me saying the same thing there. They scaled back the offense, and it got worse. I think it just shortens the field too much.

Basically, I never understood the "we had a QB come in, have a great rookie season, and a surprising YPA, let's dial that back." I may be overly sensitive to any of that language because I hate that style of coaching, but it was very clear in between his rookie season and sophomore season they were taking out those "risky" throws.

I agree with your assertion that what was good for a 2nd year QB may not be relevant now. My point is more that it's a philosophical trend with the coaches. And you don't inculcate a QB with a philosophy for 5 years and then all of a sudden say , "oh, nevermind, " and expect that to flip immediately. I'd appreciate if Smith seemed to understand the difference in stupid risk, and ok, useful risk. Stupid risk is throwing into double coverage 4 yards from the line of scrimmage. Useful risk is throwing the ball in play for your receiver 30 yards downfield on 3rd down (or 2nd). Ryan displayed this in his rookie year, and not again until Julio's 2nd year. I don't think it's correct to say it's all because of Julio, because he did it with Roddy and MJ.

If they'll let their tall receivers fight for the ball, and in general spread the field a little more, they'll see an amazing return on their investments. If not, well...


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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 10:44 am 
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Got a kick out of reading those old threads. Bird Brain was such a shameless drama queen but he was entertaining in a "train wreck" sort of way. :lol:

I actually think most of the posts there were reasonably consistent with what people still say and with how Ryan's career has progressed. He still hasn't really lived up to the hype because the hype was so hyperbolic, i.e., next Manning, HOF, etc. Some of his problems can certainly be pointed out as being organizational but this past year clearly illustrated--to me anyway--that he is no Peyton. When Manning missed a year in IND they were so bad they were awarded the first pick and got his eventual successor. I suspect that if Ryan were to miss a year we would accomplish a similar feat, however, he didn't miss a game and we damn near did it anyway. That should tell us something. Don't take this to mean I am largely down on Matt. I'm not. But he's been in the league for minute now and blaming his struggles on coaching kind of reminds me of the Mora's fault defense of Vick...or maybe, more accurately, Knapp. Matt is still a threat to make the game killing pick (SF game come to mind) after having played well to get us in position to pull off the improbable win.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:55 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
But he's been in the league for minute now and blaming his struggles on coaching kind of reminds me of the Mora's fault defense of Vick...or maybe, more accurately, Knapp. Matt is still a threat to make the game killing pick (SF game come to mind) after having played well to get us in position to pull off the improbable win.

I liken it more to what Drew Brees was going through in San Diego. He didn't really become, "Drew Brees," until he hooked up with Sean Payton.


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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 7:04 pm 
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There is no doubt Payton is a huge factor in Brees' success. All you have to do is look at the year he was gone. How many years was Drew in SD before he was replaced by the Phillip the Great? Coaching matters. I don't think either Bellichick and Brady are who they are today without each other and likewise for Payton and Brees. But Peyton Manning has been able to succeed under dif coaching staffs and with dif coordinators.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Ryan's struggles are his own.

I guess the thing I think about coaching is that you can watch All-22 and see Ryan hesitant to the pull the trigger on some throws, being too quick to look for the checkdown. And then you continue to still do it, and there's 1 of 2 conclusions to be drawn:

1. The coaches are harping for Ryan to be more willing to pull the trigger and he's simply "too soft" to do it.
2. The coaches aren't harping on Ryan's ability to pull the trigger and he's running the offense exactly the way they want it to be run.

Two guesses as to which conclusion I think it is…

I think their respective histories say that Mike Smith would rather play it safe. Quarterbacks like Ryan play within structure. Guys like Vick can break out of structure, but Ryan is going to run the offense largely as it is called and designed. If you want more out of him, then you have to change the structure of the offense.

Could Ryan's play elevate if that structure changes? Possibly. We don't know, but I do know that unless the coaching staff starts stressing downfield throws, Ryan is going to continue to dink and dunk and rely on his big playmakers on the outside to do most.

I'm very curious to see how this year's offense is called. Because if it's anything like the past few years, it's going to be a lot of short and intermediate throws to Julio and Roddy, well over 50% of Ryan's throws will likely be to those two. Part of that will be the design of the offense, but a large part of it will because those are the only 2 receivers on the roster that Ryan trusts.

Unfortunately, the last time we had a 2-man passing game, Michael Turner was still a pretty good rusher (2009-10). And I think the Falcons offense if they rely on Julio & Roddy to move the chains with our current running game is not going to be particularly good.

I just think this offense is in a real rut. It's not hard to defend from a schematic standpoint. The only thing that is difficult about the Falcons offense is the fact that Julio in particular is a very hard matchup for most corners. And a lot of teams that in the past didn't have the CBs to match up could struggle, but a lot of them could rely on a good pass rush to negate their inability to cover our guys 1 on 1 in the back end.

Because our offense rarely does anything dynamic, the problem is that there is a firm ceiling on how good we can be.

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
I think if you're going to make an argument for when the coaches dialed things back it was midway through 2009 when Ryan had that stretch of games where he turned the ball over quite a bit.

It all arguably came to a head in Week 9 when Ryan made a horrible throw to force a deep pass to Michael Jenkins vs. Carolina at the end of the game.

These 2 threads dating from that time should refresh anybody's memory:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11570
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11643

That Panther game was the 6th straight game where Ryan had thrown a pick, with a 9:11 TD-INT ratio in that span. That game also marked the 4th in 5 games where Ryan completed less than 60% of his passes and had a passer rating under 70.

Now after that Panther game, Ryan didn't throw another INT until the season finale. Granted a chunk of that time he was injured. But in his final 4 full games, he had an 8:2 TD-INT ratio.

IMO, it's downright silly to criticize the coaching staff for dialing things back in 2009. Ryan was a 2nd year player and not nearly the player he is today. Again, I think they were perfectly reasonable at the time. The issue is that in recent years where they've had the opportunity to dial things up, they have restrained themselves from doing so.

It's hard to argue with the results from 2010-12, but this past year was the opportune time to dial things up.

Again, I think it's silly to be overly critical of past coaching decisions since you can't argue against the results. You can criticize to a certain extent, but those criticisms need to be tempered somewhat. They may not have been the best decisions, but it's one of those things where "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" It's only in 2013 where the coaching decisions truly became negative.



Those threads were great!

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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 6:04 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 8:09 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Pudge asks the " Best Question Ever"
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 10:36 am 
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