I'm getting tired of people trying to whittle down the Falcons problems to 1 or 2 areas as if that's all or most of the problem. It's a team-wide issue. Sure, there are areas that are bigger issues than others. And I would certainly say that the problems on both the OL and DL are the 2 biggest problems this team has
All of the above is the darn truth!!
Truth is all I know, Cyril.
hen you call it a "team wide issue" which I think is fair it calls into question leadership which is a real prickly supposition. HC? Team leaders? Ownership? And it is really weird how it can happen. I guess I have been made acutely aware of this by the local college team. Auburn went from NCs to arguably the historically worst team ever fielded at Jordan Hare stadium to where they are now which is--incredibly--not totally unthinkable as NC contenders. They fire a HC who had won the only NC AU had earned since the 50s two years after he won it. So, I guess all of us that say Smitty should stay due to what he has already done can be sobered up by looking at the team here in Auburn and what can happen when the coach loses a locker room. I don't think coaches get stupid or incompetent over night but groups of people can be very fickle and once the sea shifts it is hard to turn around. Clearly something is amiss in FB and it isn't just talent or the lack thereof.
Well, in the case of Auburn, it's hard to argue that their success wasn't largely due to Cam Newton being Cam Newton, and Nick Fairley being Nick Fairley. I remember at that pro day that year that was televised on ESPN, all the NFL scouts were saying how "devoid" Auburn was of talent and that they would fall off the cliff once those 2 guys left, and I think that was accurately reflected in what happened there. Now, I haven't seen enough of Auburn this year to really judge just how much improvement in talent they have made since then, but by and large success in college football is 90% talent/recruiting, 10% good coaching. Just look at Les Miles and his success at LSU.
It's a little different in the pros, because you don't have the wide disparities in talent that you can get in college (like say Florida vs. Vanderbilt or USC vs. Colorado), and thus coaching matters a bit more. You can be conservative and old school coach, which really only works in the pros if you have more talent than others. You can do more with less if you have the right coach, particularly if you have a good QB and an innovate play-caller (see Mike McCarthy). Or if you have horses on defenses and an innovative schemer (see Rex Ryan).
FR Chris wrote:
You know what all of those quarterbacks have always had? Competent offensive lines.
Ehh, I'm not sure. Manning has proven that you can basically put any 5 guys in front of him, even marginal NFL players and he's not going to get sacked or hit. Brees is kinda the same way, although he's never really had to play with a mincemeat OL in NO, but there is constant turnover over the past 7 years and it hasn't made a difference. Ryan is in that same boat, in that he can do more with less in comparison to other QBs around the league.
But like most folks, I would really like to see the day that Ryan does have a good OL similar to what Brady has gotten used to playing behind in NE. Because in terms of their pocket abilities, Ryan and Brady are probably the most comparable.
FR Chris wrote:
What's the excuse for 2008 and 2009 seasons when we saw Matt play at a high level as well?
Well, in 2008 and 2009 Ryan was asked even more so to manage the game, more in the sort of "pejorative" sense that we tend to associate with that term. Here are some compelling stats, just look at the Falcons 1st down plays over Ryan's career:
Percentage of Run plays called on 1st down, and Yards Per Carry on those runs:
2008 - 69.9%, 4.41
2009 - 55.2%, 4.07
2010 - 57.3%, 3.89
2011 - 56.3%, 3.63
2012 - 47.4%, 3.33
2013 - 38.6%, 3.10 (overall)
2013 - 38.9%, 2.59 (post-Julio injury)
Ryan's numbers on 1st down (Completion %, Passer Rating, and Yards Per Attempt)
2008 - 61.5%, 97.2 rating, 9.4 YPA
2009 - 53.5%, 67.5, 5.8
2010 - 59.5%, 82.0, 6.3
2011 - 59.5%, 100.2, 8.2
2012 - 70.0%, 101.2, 8.2
2013 - 69.6%, 87.0, 7.1 (overall)
2013 - 64.8%, 70.0, 6.4 (post-Julio Injury)
The question you're probably wondering is why was Ryan so good on 1st down as a rookie in '08 than he was in '09. Well, the answer is rather simple. The Falcons were very effective utilizing play-action in '08 due to the dominance of their rushing attack, and in '09 the drop in production was largely thanks to turnovers and mistakes. He threw 6 picks that year on 1st down. People often forget that in '09, Ryan had those troubles early in the year where he was very turnover prone and the Falcons were forced to dial things back on offense to protect the football.
FR Chris wrote:
Matt is a franchise quarterback and he's a guy that can go out and win games. Alex Smith is NOT that type of player, Smith is the guy that goes out and just doesn't LOSE a game.
I agree with you, but what you're not seeing is that what you call Alex Smith is EXACTLY what Ryan and this Falcons offense has become since Julio has been out. There is no bite to their offense. They run the ball for 2 yards on 1st down, get into 3rd and long and they cannot convert. They don't attempt any big plays or throws down the field until they are behind by 2 or 3 scores in the 2nd half.
Today's reality is that the Falcons offense has basically become one that asks Ryan to not lose the game because they want to dial it back due to his turnovers, but unlike Alex Smith they don't have the league's best defense that can get stops, nor do they have the running game and a Top 5 RB helping their offense that Smith has that allows KC to win that way. Instead, the Falcons have arguably the worst running game in the league, and have one of the worst defenses in the league.
That is a losing formula. We've seen what Alex Smith has done in those situations in past years in SF, but the reality is that even in those years where the 49ers were a losing team under Mike Nolan and Singletary, they were still better in both those areas than the Falcons currently are.
And this is why I have switched from supporting Mike Smith wholeheartedly to trashing him because to me when you are trying to win this way, you have to be a incompetent idiot to think that can be successful.
So I have 1 of 2 conclusions to draw: either Mike Smith is an idiot and thinks you can be uber-conservative with a Top 10 QB and win, or he knows it's not a recipe for success and they are purposefully tanking. Regardless, that guy shouldn't be the head coach of my favorite football team.