Pudge you said before the season
Look, I get how a person could be down on the Falcons off-season.
Best OL in 2012: Tyson Clabo
Gone. Replaced with Lamar Holmes and Mike Johnson. Why would anyone outside Flowery Branch feel like the Falcons got better there?
Lose Todd McClure to be replaced by Peter Konz.
Konz stunk last year, why would you feel like they got better there?
Now that you Thought Konz sucked last year; lost our best lineman in Tyson Claybo; and says Lamar Holmes & Mike Johnson can't be upgrades; so we have four linemen that can't cut it; including Hawley; and it seems you has changed your mind now that the line collapsed as anyone would have believed if honest with the fact's. In fact now that we see the results you now say
Well, firstly you're taking those comments out of context. Those were in reference to a discussion about Pat Yasinskas giving the Falcons an off-season grade of a C, not what I expected the Falcons upcoming season. The part you excised from the quoted text was the part where I said "I disagree with his grades."
You say Reynolds is going to be a back-up, you said Konz stank, in 5 years Reynolds only had 13 starts while inactive all 16 games in 2010. because he couldn't make the team his rookie year!!
Actually, Reynolds did make the team as a rookie (in 2009), but was inactive for most of that year and the following year because he was playing behind a good player in Harvey Dahl. But again, the Falcons opted that Dahl wasn't worth $16 million and Blalock was worth $39 million the following off-season, and thus Reynolds got his chance.
Konz stunk last year because he was playing out of position. Again, all offseason long I was saying that I believe Konz would be better as a center. And even despite his struggles this year, I don't think Konz has been terrible considering it's his first year at center, and contrary to popular opinion, a lot of centers come into the league struggling. John Sullivan (Vikings) is a good example. It looked like the Vikings were sorely mistaken in thinking he could replace future HOFer Matt Birk a few years back, but after 2 seasons of struggling, things clicked and he's considered one of the top Cs in the game. Will that happen to Konz? Maybe, maybe not. But again, there was little reason to think Konz wasn't going to be at least competent heading into this year.
Mike Johnson had 12 career starts in 4 years; also inactive weeks 1-17 his rookie year; couldn't make the team!! Never could be a starter in 4 years!!
Johnson had 2 opportunities to be the starter at RG prior to this year, and both times inopportune injuries prevented him from winning the job in training camp. When you miss 5-10 days in camp, and allow Garrett Reynolds to take the 1st team snaps in your absence, typically the coaches will side with the guy that is taking reps. And obviously this year at RT, his season-ending injury thrust Lamar Holmes into the starting lineup.
In fact A lot of reason I THOUGHT THIS YEAR WOULD BE A DISASTER WAS BASED ON THINGS YOU SAID ABOUT THESE LINEMEN THEN i LOOKED IT UP. YOU WERE RIGHT!!
Well, I didn't because OL play is overrated. You don't need a good OL to be a good team as long as you get production elsewhere on your roster. And my expectation was that this team would get good production elsewhere on their roster, which is why I believe this team would be a playoff-contender.
As I said in another post, the reason for the Falcons stinking this year isn't the OL. It's that the QB play has gone from Top 8 in the league to Bottom 8. Since Jones' injury, Matt Ryan is now ranked 25th in the league in terms of ANYA. And I've indicated that ANYA differential (offense vs. defense) is correlates the highest to winning besides points differential. Prior to Jones injury, this team was 8th in the league in ANYA, the same ranking he had over the entirety of the 2012 season.
And the pass defense has dropped off completely. We went from 10th best defense (according to ANYA) last year to now ranking 32nd. That's because last year's defense didn't give up TDs (#1 in the league in passing TDs allowed) to now being one of the worst (#31 this year). We ranked 4th in the league last year in interception rate, but now rank 27th there.
You compare Matt Ryan's production sans Julio, his ANYA since Week 6 is about the same as Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel, two rookies were during the first 5 weeks of the season.
This is the reason why I'm so down on this coaching staff is because I believe last year that the issues with "coaching up" Ryan were erased, and now we've seen our QB fall off a cliff. You see guys like Andrew Luck struggling without Reggie Wayne, but Luck is a 2nd year player. Matt Ryan is a 6th year player.
And again, it really goes back to this Brian Robiskie thing. This is what I said back in early October when we were discussing trading for a WR:
Yes it does. The shortcoming of the team that won't be apparent to you until you actually see the team on the field is going to be the Falcons inability to generate explosive plays sans Julio Jones. The Falcons are going to go back to the dink and dunk offense they had under Mularkey (that you hated so much), except this time they won't have the running game to support it. The Falcons offense is on the verge of collapse and it will be no more effective than the Patriots. But the Patriots are 4-1 you say, how bad can that be? Well it's an offense that is 29th in YPA, 21st in passing yards, 25th in completion percentage, 22nd in explosive plays, and 21st in passer rating with one of the 3 best QBs in the league. The Pats also have way more balance than the Falcons, who throw the ball 70% of the time, while the Pats only about 60%. The Pats are a much more balanced offense and actually have a good defense (go ahead look up the numbers). You put the Patriots passing attack with our running game and our defense, you'll be lucky to win 3 games the rest of the season.
And the team basically said, "No, we're sticking to our 'process.' We won't make any 'knee-jerk' reactions and will roll with these young WRs that eliminate the strength of our offense, the no-huddle from the equation." And guess what happened, you suddenly morphed into one of the league's worst teams.
So I can only conclude 1 or 2 things:
1. Either the Falcons Brass was too stupid to see what has happened over the past 6 weeks was going to happen.
2. They didn't care because they wanted to tank the season.
Whichever one I conclude, they don't deserve their jobs. They sign Brian Robiskie, so I'm assuming this coaching staff I had so much confidence in that I was defending Mike Smith at the same time I was talking about this team being on the verge of collapse, has a plan that is going to prevent the offense from having said collapse.
Guess what? No plan. Now I feel betrayed by the guy that I was pounding the table for 6 weeks ago because the evidence is clear that you're not a good coach because of how bad this team has been.
Look, I always say you gotta take an entire body of work into context. And yes, when you consider Smitty's success over 6 years, you cannot fire him. But to me, we've learned way more about Mike Smith as a head coach in these past 6 weeks than we've learned in the previous 6 years, and he's come up wanting.
I disagreed with RobertAP before about Smitty not having what it takes to win a title. I still disagree with him when his premise is based off game day adjustments. It's now because he can't adjust, and it's not on game day, it has to do with the big picture.
I just want Arthur Blank to blow it up, because these guys suck (Smitty & TD). But I'm going to back off. Because maybe they get Clowney, and if Clowney is the once in a generation DE that many contend he is, he will be their saving grace. And through sheer dumb luck, that will be the catalyst to turning things around here in Atlanta.