Smith is a three-time Coach of the Year winner from Sporting News (2008, 2010, and 2012) and a two-time Coach of the Year recipient from the prestigious KC 101 Club following the 2008 and 2010 seasons.
It's become abundantly clear that these facts coupled with the fact that Ron Rivera won COY for both groups this past year indicate this award is less meaningful as being the long snapper on a Pro Bowl team.
With a stronger, more consistent (please please please) OL and a better run game, they should be in a better position to do this.
I agree. Given their QB, the Falcons identity should
be a strong running game featuring a lot of play-action vertical passing. That would be the best way to maximize the talents of Ryan and Julio in this offense. The problem is that they won't get that strong running game without continued improvements to the OL, and probably a switch to a zone-blocking scheme. None of their starting 5 are power blockers. Baker and Asamoah are zone blocking guys, as is Hawley. Matthews probably would fit better in that scheme than a man blocking one too because he's by no means a road grader. Blalock is your best "power blocker" and we have a 7-year body of work that says he's mostly average in that regard.
Given that they have invested in smaller, quicker RBs like Quizz & Freeman, that would ideally be zone runners, this makes sense. But we'll see if the team continues to try and stress the power runs this year and beyond.
Also the team should NOT be investing in smaller, dink/dunk slot receivers and instead be targeting bigger WRs that can work in a play-action offense.
This is why I am complaining AJ51, because I believe given our personnel, what I just mentioned is the right
way to build. But perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps they have another plan/method/path.
Which is fine, because as samedi said there is more than 1 way to skin a cat. But what is that way? Their OL/RB additions suggest they are going to be more of a zone blocking team this year, which is a very sudden change because it was just last year that they were signing 330 pound OTs (Terren Jones) who are very poor fits in that scheme. So we have to assume one of the following:
1) Falcons made the decision in the last 6 months
(since elevating Jones to the active roster) to switch to a zone heavy blocking scheme after spending 6 years doing the opposite
2) Falcons aren't moving to zone heavy blocking scheme, and are just acquiring the wrong
players for a man blocking scheme
Neither development is a good sign.
This is why there is a firm glass ceiling on how good this team can be. Playoff team? Sure, but Super Bowl winner? Not with this level of confusion in the front office and on the sideline.
They're just kinda of twisting in the wind with no real plan other than to stumble around and hope that everything falls into place.
. Unfortunately, the front seven was anything but this last year; having your two defensive leaders out for most of the year likely made pre-snap adjustments nigh impossible, so ATL had to rely on overwhelming and winning the one-on-one battles, which it really wasn't suited to.
Two defensive leaders? One is clearly Spoon. Who is the other? Kroy? Asante? If you're referring to Kroy...
If Kroy is one of our defensive leaders, that's
our problem in a nutshell.
Asante wasn't out, he was benched. They forced him out.
Unless you're talking about Abe, and he too was forced out.
The 2013 Falcons defense…cause of death: self-inflicted gunshot to the cranium.
Injuries are tough to account for, even with 53 players.
I disagree. I think they're easy to account for, just assume they will happen and build accordingly. (unfortunately that only fuels fun gus' paranoia)
Bring in low-level free agents at key positions, take them through OTAs even if you know the chances that they actually make the roster is slim. That way if you do have an injury during the season, then there is a veteran player that already is intimately familiar with your schemes that can potentially be picked up off the street.
But for the most part, samedi spot on analysis.