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 Post subject: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:03 pm 
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I'm watching the Giants beat the Saints 52-28. And I'm seeing that explosive, and dangerous Giants offense that helped them get hot at the end of the season and win the Super Bowl. Victor Cruz and David Wilson were killing the Saints defense.

We'll see how the Falcons handle it better this week. But watching the Giants offense, instead of contemplatin the immediate issues that face the Falcons this Sunday, my mind started thinking about the long-term issues of the Falcons, so that they can build an offense similar to that.

I've been harping all year long about this offense's need for big plays. When you can't run the ball effectively (like the 2011 Giants), those big plays offset the one-dimensionality of your offense. Since the Falcons running game has struggled all year and likely to struggle in January, they needed to have this big play element show up consistently in their offense, so that come playoff time it was a regular thing, rather than something special. For October and much of November, that big play element was there. The past few weeks, it has not. And this is the point in the year where you don't want things grinding to a halt.

But since I'm not sure what the Falcons can do to change this for the immediate future (next 4 games), I do have some ideas what to do for the future, and it involves personnel.

There is a 95% chance Gonzo is gone next year, so the Falcons will need to get a new TE. One of the few flaws in Tony's game is that he is not very good after the catch. At his age, he's truly a "low post player" like Patrick Ewing. So it would help the Falcons if they can get a TE that does have that ability to make plays after the catch. A guy that can help stretch the vertical seam will be ideal. Obviously, the idela player will be Jimmy Graham. Is there a Jimmy Graham available? Probably not. So the Falcons will have to make due with the best they can find.

I've stated before that the biggest offensive priority for this team was to improve the ground game. The Falcons need to be a balanced offense so that if they do go through future slumps when it comes to generating big plays, they can at least move the ball effectively with a solid ground attack.

That means we're going to have to revamp the O-line because the current unit can't do it. I'm not here to talk about that. But they do need to get better at RB as well. They need an every down back (unlike Turner) that is big and tough enough to carry the load of 15+ carries every week. Ideal player for this would be a Ray Rice. But will that player be there? Perhaps. But doubtful. So the Falcons have to get the closest they can find to a Ray Rice type of runner. They also should move Jason Snelling full-time to fullback, and use him as a combo back/H-back specialist to make the offense less predictable. That frees up two spots at RB and perhaps the Falcons take a more committee approach next year. Quizz is one of the runners, another quick, homerun threat that can play on 3rd downs (i..e. poor man's CJ Spiller) and a more of a thumper that can help out in short-yardage (i.e. poor man's Mark Ingram) to split reps with.

The Falcons need some help at WR too. They need to go out and get a 4th WR that can help take the top off the defense. Doesn't need to be a world-class player, but ideally it would be a Brandon Lloyd-type. But if not, get someone that can win 1 on 1 matchups on the outside and generate explosive plays downfield. You want a guy with HD's speed, but Roddy's size. Kevin Cone fits that mold, but has yet to turn into that player.

If the Falcons do a great job drafting this year and make some smart FA investments they could all of these pieces this off-season. And thus you can grow into that offense that could really be fantastic going forward...even if Matt Ryan has peaked. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:27 am 
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I'll tell you the very first move that we need to make, and I wouldn't feel one little bit upset if they made this move tomorrow... Get rid of Michael Turner. Turner is holding this offense back, and anyone who can't see that isn't watching the same games that I'm watching.


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 Post subject: Re: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:32 am 
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FA OG. FA 3/4 WR. 2 new backs and a TE. Dominant offense for years.

I agree with your points. My concern is this has been clear for a few years, but hasn't happened. I certainly hope it does this year. A backfield anything like New Orleans, and 3rd and 4th receivers anything like New Orleans, and interior OL play anything like New Orleans (crazy, huh?) and this team can be very very good. And the players are cheap. A couple decent RBs and a 3/4 receiver...dirt cheap. TE and OG may be a bit more, but a small price to pay for consistent explosiveness.

And after you have that, you can devote most money and early picks to DL and D in general, just adding occasional 2nd and 3rd round WRs and RBs to your corps.


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 Post subject: Re: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:58 pm 
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I would do whatever it takes to keep Tony G.

I don't think getting an every play running back is all that hard. I would even break the cardinal rule and use a #1 for running back.

The O-Line could be a 5 page debate, but I'd start with a new center; and perhaps one free agent that's proven.

I don't think Ryan has peaked; but I do think he's just more comfortable with a running game. I don't really think he's comfortable
trying to do it all in the NFL, not many can; but he's good enough to be a Super Bowl Qb, lets just not expect him to do more than he can.

Turner has had a better year than I expected; but please no more (:

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 Post subject: Re: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
I don't think Ryan has peaked; but I do think he's just more comfortable with a running game. I don't really think he's comfortable trying to do it all in the NFL, not many can; but he's good enough to be a Super Bowl Qb, lets just not expect him to do more than he can.

Agree Cyril, Ryan can win a lot of games throwing the ball, and given the right circumstances, maybe even a Super Bowl. But why should he? Why make it harder for him? We know a balanced attack is important. It's in the Falcons best interest to make the running game as strong as possible.

Especially if the defense doesn't make significant improvements. Nolan has been a great addition, but who knows if he sticks around. And who knows even if he starts devoting early picks, will TD be able to build a top-level defense quickly.

If you're going to be one-dimensional offensively, whether you run it or pass it, you always need a good defense that can prevent your opponents from exposing that weakness.

So unless the Falcons defense suddenly turns into a Top 5 unit in 2013, then it makes sense to try and get rid of the one-dimensionality by making it balanced on offense is the best route to success.

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 Post subject: Re: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:05 pm 
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Oh no doubt I agree.... Then when we have success running the ball;
I'm afraid Smith would use it too much..... Absolutely a balanced attack is what we need....

Linemen who can also run block and a couple of others who could rush a Qb; and Smitty would be looking good.

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 Post subject: Re: Formula For Future Offensive Success
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:42 pm 
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As for the O-line, might as well go down that road...

I'm partial to the Saints-style of line, which features size and guys that can push the pile. With a QB like Ryan, you're not really going to have to have a great pass blocking OL for him to be effective around. He gets rid of the ball quickly.

Obviously, you need a competent LT. Moreso than NO, because Ryan is not as mobile as Brees is. So I don't think going with the Jermon Bushrod approach is idea. That's basically what I think Sam Baker is. A serviceable LT. And unlike Bushrod who is a decent run blocker, Baker is not. And thus if you're going to get "only" a serviceable LT, then you want someone that is a competent run blocker. Baker is average on his best day.

So I'd rather have a better run blocker there.

I think between Konz & Hawley, we should be pretty solid at center going forward. Blalock and Clabo aren't great, but I can live with them currently at their current positions.

That leaves RG as the priority. And you want someone that can push the pile. History tells us that Clabo's play improves dramatically (esp. on the ground) when he has a good right guard beside him. That alongside getting a good pass rusher are probably 1 & 2 in my list of off-season priorities.

But you want beef in the middle, which gives Ryan a relatively clean pocket to step up in and coupled with a good running game (that can bring up the safeties), now Ryan can step into his throws and hit those deep shots at a continued high level.

But at the end of the day, I think TD needs to be looking at "plus" run blockers to get any real improvements. Guys that can push the pile. Right now, there is no one on the roster that is that. Konz might be it if he plays OC. But that means LT and RG need to be upgraded there.

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