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 Post subject: McClure does NOT like looking bad!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:42 am 
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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons embrace quick-strike passing game

By Steve Wyche
Reporter, NFL.com and NFL Network
Published: Sept. 12, 2012 at 02:23 p.m.

The end to the means is a lot simpler than expected.
The explosive plays the Atlanta Falcons have sought for two seasons are coming via screens and short, quick passes, not so much via the deep ball -- although that is a constant threat. The added benefit to quickly getting the ball in the hands of dynamic wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White? A shaky offensive line isn't exposed -- therefore, neither is quarterback Matt Ryan.
"The screen game helps us out a bunch and takes a lot of pressure off us guys up front," center Todd McClure said.

The Falcons' short passing game was on display during the preseason and was a strong element in Atlanta's 40-24 season-opening victory over Kansas City. Jones' 14-yard touchdown came on a bubble screen that was so perfectly executed that the second-year wideout -- who might supplant White as Atlanta's No. 1 receiving option -- scored untouched.

The emphasis on the screen game was part of the game plan added by new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who came from Jacksonville after former Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey left Atlanta to become the Jaguars' head coach. As part of his offensive installation, Koetter also gave Ryan freedom to audible into screen plays if he notices favorable matchups.
"Matt has the freedom to check into that at the line of scrimmage," McClure said. "There are certain situations where Matt has complete control over what's going on. There are other situations where he's got a package he can check to. There are five or six plays to choose from based off what they give us. "He also has the freedom where, if he sees a route covered, he's got the ability to check us into protections to get it blocked or check to the screen."
On Jones' aforementioned touchdown, Ryan went through the machinations of signaling to an alternative play at the line of scrimmage. It was so smooth and easy that it's clear the nuances of the passing game are ingrained. Executing is second-nature now. That's a reason why the offense looks so well-oiled.

Matt Ryan
Ryan is locked in, McClure said. The quarterback and the rest of the team are tired of failing in January. The Falcons have been bumped from the postseason in their first playoff game three times on Ryan's watch, with the most recent loss being a 24-2 embarrassment to the New York Giants eight months ago. If they fall short again, there could be a lot more changes than just to the passing game. On the first day of offseason workouts, head coach Mike Smith conveyed the message that winning the regular season isn't enough: "Smitty made it clear. There was no reason to beat around the bush," McClure said. "We have to get [to the playoffs] and win some games."

With White and Jones being such dangerous threats, Koetter, with the blessing of Smith, came to Atlanta this summer with the goal of using the pass to set up the run -- a change for the run-first Falcons. The receivers were viewed as more favorable chain movers than 30-year-old running back Michael Turner, whose role, thus far, has been reduced. Turner won't be drastically curtailed because he is still productive and can help pull opposing safeties into the "box," which opens up passing lanes. McClure said the running game would be more of a factor in Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos. Although Atlanta ran it just 23 times against the Chiefs, the Falcons will look to pull Broncos safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, creating single-high safety situations. "We've got to be able to run the ball," McClure said. "But with the athletes we have on the edge, we've got to pass it more. It's something you have to do to win games. We have to have a run game to make those passes big."

Getting the ball out of Ryan's hands also keeps the franchise quarterback out of harm's way. He was sacked a career-high 26 times last season and felt uncomfortable in the pocket far more frequently because the offensive line couldn't hold up. The Falcons didn't do anything radical to change its offensive personnel in the offseason. Instead, it changed how it approached the passing game, by getting things going before the defense can react. More teams are trying to have quarterbacks unload the ball quickly to spare hits and pressure. Today's pass rushers are too athletic to keep at bay, McClure said, so offenses across the league look to get them chasing receivers instead of quarterbacks.

"All O-linemen love that, when you got a quarterback that gets the ball out of his hands," McClure said. "That's one thing about Matt: He gets the ball out of his hands before receivers break, and that makes offensive line look good. "A quarterback that holds on to the ball makes guys up front look bad. We don't like looking bad."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100000 ... ssing-game

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 Post subject: Re: McClure does NOT like looking bad!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:37 pm 
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This is why I like Todd McClure. 13 years in the league, playing with Alex Gibbs who believed Silence is Golden, but nowadays whenever you can get an interview with the Mud Duck, he's not going to make any bones.

When asked what was different about Koetter's system this off-season, McClure's answer was basically, "Not much. Same verbage so as far as I'm concerned, it's basically the same."

When asked if Pat Hill was bringing anything new to the table, McClure's answer was "No, not really. He's helping us on some fundamental stuff, but nothing major."

And he basically tipped their hand about the gameplan by talking about running the ball more, and about how the no-huddle is going to be an integral part of this week's gameplan.

This is why I think Mike Smith and his coach speak is so stupid. See, in New England, if McClure had made these comments, since Belichick monitors every single sound byte or quote, McClure would be liable to sit a half this week on Monday night.

But what is Smith going to do? Not a goddamn thing. So his efforts for not giving his opponents a competitive advantage is such a joke, because you have McClure out here spelling out everything for all this tight-lippedness.

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 Post subject: Re: McClure does NOT like looking bad!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
This is why I like Todd McClure. 13 years in the league, playing with Alex Gibbs who believed Silence is Golden, but nowadays whenever you can get an interview with the Mud Duck, he's not going to make any bones.

When asked what was different about Koetter's system this off-season, McClure's answer was basically, "Not much. Same verbage so as far as I'm concerned, it's basically the same."

When asked if Pat Hill was bringing anything new to the table, McClure's answer was "No, not really. He's helping us on some fundamental stuff, but nothing major."

And he basically tipped their hand about the gameplan by talking about running the ball more, and about how the no-huddle is going to be an integral part of this week's gameplan.

This is why I think Mike Smith and his coach speak is so stupid. See, in New England, if McClure had made these comments, since Belichick monitors every single sound byte or quote, McClure would be liable to sit a half this week on Monday night.

But what is Smith going to do? Not a goddamn thing. So his efforts for not giving his opponents a competitive advantage is such a joke, because you have McClure out here spelling out everything for all this tight-lippedness.



it's really hard to argue with any of that...

Maybe being 'secretive' helps Smith 'feel' like he is doing something that gives us an extra advantage, so I guess we got that going for us, which is nice.

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