Mike Smith would have to be stupid to not open up more; and I really don't think Smith is stupid???
I don't think Mike Smith is stupid. And I do think Ryan will make progression this year and in ensuing years. But again, at the end of the day Mike Smith has shown overwhelmingly that he wants this to be a physical ground and pound football team. Their gameplan against the Giants was a clear indicator of that.
Changing offensive coordinators won't be the huge dramatic shift that people think it will be, at least it usually isn't. And if this team was intent on going away from the Michael Turner-led offense that it has clearly been the past four seasons, then they would have prioritized adding a good running back rather than a fullback, and probably would not have traded back in Round 3 and just would have taken Bernard Pierce, Robert Turbin or Lamar Miller at pick no. 84.
I just worry about where this team is going to be a year from now. Eight months from now, the rest of the world will realize something that myself and others have realized for the past 8 months in that Michael Turner is done. And then who are they going to turn to? Quizz? How comfortable is Mike Smith going to be with a 196-pound zone-blocking RB leading his attack?
Maybe then the Falcons will embrace the pass-first attack that will give Ryan the room necessary to take that next leap forward. But it's clear that is not the plan as it stands today. Otherwise this team would have followed the pathway that takeitdown has been harping on which is getting a 4th WR and 2nd pass-catching TE rather than focusing on being more physical with their top 3 picks. And even if that were to happen and the Falcons were to embrace Matt Ryan and the passing attack as their salvation in 2013, it would still be an indicator that this team has no direction as they just keep reversing course year after year, being reactive rather than proactive.
I don't fault Decoud on the second one. That's what I was saying, WR will always win that battle. The first one, there was no chance Decoud would intercept it, but if he had recognized what the WR was doing to him, he could have turned and swatted. That's the less important part though, onto the QBs.
I agree it's about the difference in philosophies between Saints and Falcons regarding passing games. However, I think it's more than just "getting used to a guy." There's a fundamental difference between guys getting enough reps to where they're on the same page, versus actually teaching a style of passing that relies on the WR knowing he may have to break off his route, and the QB knowing his WRs can do that. No amount of regular passing will get you in synch that way. It has to be on purpose. WRs will get on the same page as Brees in 1 yr. It's not always guys he's been around forever.
So I agree it's about rapport...but rapport guided within a certain philosophy. And that philosophy is "you wide receivers are not always going to be open, and you the QB are not always going to throw a perfect pass...here's a style of passing that aids both of those issues." Basically, QB...throw it where the defender isn't. WR, keep your speed under you and know that you're likely to have to go up, sideways or back to get to the ball.
It's simply smart passing game, and I hope the Falcons come around to it at some point. It's not quite as amazing as some people think it is. It's a bit more orchestrated. Brees is super accurate, but he looks a lot more accurate on a lot of plays because Colston makes a subtle move inside and goes up to catch the ball. It is pretty much indefensible, so I'd really like to have it on this team.
I agree. I think playing in the spread also helps you in that regard because it's going to create a lot more 1 on 1 situations for your WRs, and a QB as smart as Brees will know which matchups he can and should exploit. I too think the Falcons could have a similar capability if they first embraced that style of play. I think Ryan definitely has the smarts, and while his arm isn't anything special, I think with a lot more reps he would get in that style of offense would begin to develop more of the gunslinger mentality necessary to make that offense work. Even so, he probably would never be as good as Brees, but I do think it would at least make the Falcons offense one of the more feared out there in the league, which it is not the case right now.
So much of the Falcons under Mularkey was about staying on schedule, not making mistakes, so that it became very difficult to respond to adversity. If you put the Saints in a 3rd & 11 situation, for their offense, it is really no different than a 3rd & 4, at least in how they approach it. It's a "fearless" approach, rather than our more "fearful" one where if you get us in 3rd & l1, we're pretty much screwed unless Gonzo or Roddy bails us out with one of their patented money grabs.
And IMO, changing coordinators isn't going to change this aspect of the Falcons offense...at least not this year...