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 Post subject: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:15 am 
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So we all know Pudge doesn't believe that we need an elite offensive line to win in this league... But I'm still curious as to how we could possibly fix this line up next season. Matt Ryan has been under constant pressure throughout the season, so it's obvious that this line isn't working. Will we be bringing everyone back and rely on Lamar Holmes to come into shape next season and be the savior of our offensive line?

For left tackle, I'm no financial guru, but I don't think the Falcons will be willing to just cut ties with Sam Baker after extending him to such a large contract and after an injury-plagued season. Mike Smith has also stated that Baker will be back for next season and seems to be in high hopes that he will be back to his 2013 self after the offseason regimen, so I think Baker will be the favorite to start the season (or preseason off, at least) as the starting left tackle.

I like the glimpses of potential and talent that I've seen from Lamar Holmes this year. He definitely was not in the best shape of his life coming into the season, but he has slowly improved although I think he's been inconsistent. Could one full year of playing time under his belt and perhaps an offseason of proper strength and conditioning allow Holmes to come into next season as our starting right tackle?

I haven't watched enough of the games this year (and when I have watched, the quality of the games haven't been the best), so I haven't gotten a good look at the rest of the linemen. I can only assume that they've all been inconsistent as well. Whatever happened to Konz? I thought heading into the regular season that he would be our best offensive lineman by far. Has he looked that bad? Should he be back next season?

Let's hear what you guys think we should do in the offseason regarding our linemen on offense. I see a lot of mock drafters having the Falcons draft an offensive tackle, but I highly doubt and would despise that pick regardless of how bad our tackles have looked this year. I do think we should look at picking up a body or two in the middle rounds of the draft to develop and add depth to our line though. (Note that I try my best to keep up with all of the posts throughout the season, so if this topic has been addressed in various threads, I apologize!)


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Contrary to popular belief, I want to improve the OL. It's just that I believe defense (and thus the DL) must be the priority because this team has been without a good DL for much longer than it has been without a good OL. And the fact that having a good defense is far more crucial to winning championships (after all, that is the ultimate goal) than having a good offensive line.

Left Tackle

I don't know the details of Sam Baker's contract. But he's due an option bonus next year ($4 million), and I see no reason for the Falcons to pay it. He still has guaranteed money on the deal, and I don't know what happens if the Falcons don't pay it (is it one of those option bonuses that kick in the last few years of his deal or is one of those option bonuses that affects salaries?)

But let's assume because of the remaining guaranteed $$$ the Falcons are forced to keep Baker for another year. He and Lamar HOlmes need to be competing at left tackle for the starting job next year. Holmes has played competently at times this year. He's not good but with another year under his belt, he should be able to function. Baker is a known commodity. When he's good, we know he's competent as well.

Left guard

Justin Blalock is fine for another year. In an ideal world, the Falcons will be abel to find an heir apparent for him in next May's draft. He carries a $7.6 million cap hit in 2015, which is going to be tough for the Falcons to pay if he's not playing at a high level. Blalock isn't great, but even when he's underwhelming, he's rarely bad.

Center

Hawley has played well here. He is a free agent and needs to be re-signed. He and Konz need to compete directly for this job. And if Hawley continues to play as well as he has, then he needs to enter the offseason as the starter and it'll be on Konz to unseat him. Hawley as of the past 2 weeks is playing like an elder Todd McClure, which isn't great, but more than competently. Konz still needs the opportunity to salvage his career, and working from behind Hawley in OTAs next spring might be the kick in the pants he needs. Plus, I still think Konz is a very poor fit at OG because he doesn't have good feet.

Right Guard

Reynolds has another year on his deal. Mike Johnson is a free agent, and should be re-signed. Johnson has been miscast as a RT the past two years. He doesn't have the great feet/technique for RT, but his experience there should make him a more effective RG vs. speed, more so than REynodls who again struggles by giving up too much ground because of his height. but the Falcons need to bring in another body. Either a midlevel veteran with starting experience or a mid-round pick to bolster this spot. If Johnson runs away with this spot, then that rookie can be Blalock's heir apparent.

Some FAs worth considering: Richie Incognito, Willie Colon, Jamon Meredith, Kevin Booth.

Jon Asamoah is the class of the FA group, but will likely require a contract in the $30-40 million range to sign away from KC. Asamoah is a good player, but if I'm going to be spending more than $15-20 million to sign a FA guard, I'd prefer a better player (i.e. Carl Nicks or Andy Levitre).

Right Tackle

This is going to be a position where I think with Holmes moving permanently to LT, and Johnson kicking inside to RG, then the Falcons are going to have to have new faces. Ryan Schraeder needs reps in order to determine if he's going to be in this competition. Sign a midlevel FA and/or use a Day 2 pick on a good run blocking OT.

FAs worth considering: Charles Brown, Anthony Collins, Winston Justice



If there's any FA I'd be willing to break the bank for it'd be Alex Mack. His deal will likely be in the same ball park as Baker's (5 or 6 yrs., $7-8M/yr. with $25M guaranteed). I'd also be willing to give JAson Peters a very lucrative, short-term deal if he's cut by the Eagles. (e.g. 3 yrs. $22.5 million)

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Incognito will never play for the Falcons and may never play football again, so you an scratch him off the list.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:14 pm 
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While I reluctantly dive directly into Maury Povich World, though he may not play for ATL if Incognito is blackballed for what he has done while wife beaters play on seemingly every team that tells you all you need to know about our mentality.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Wease wrote:
Incognito will never play for the Falcons and may never play football again, so you an scratch him off the list.


Couldn’t agree more Wease. Other than that, Pudge you were spot on. Still like to see the Falcons address the right guard situation earlier in the draft. They need stability in that position, not some 4th rounder.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:16 am 
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Yes i CAN FINALLY AGREE with Pudge that the defensive line needs more help. Watch Buffalo
just Bust our Defensive line tomorrow. Some of this terrible O-line will just get better with a season under their belt.

Who would have thought Hawley would be our new center; he's probably playing best now as he really learns the position. Konz won't beat him out; its more than footwork; but although I think this present line SUCKS; you can't really guess who'll get a lot better.

However according to other positions they might would put Konz back at center....
and move Hawley. I hope not !!

Holmes is like a wildcard we must play, to see if he'll get better. He'll need to be in shape and
work on strength is the off season..... That kinda wrestling around they sometimes do can take it out of you. Holmes attitude must change; that's its never ok for someone to hit Matt
Ryan. Its hard to understand the difference it makes with a lines experience having that one year.

I love Alex Mack i don't know what his age is, but regardless I think we can get two free agents..... If we keep Thomas D. and Coach Smith it just makes since. Let then learn from this years screw-ups; and I think we'll be in the hunt again for the playoffs. Any situation can come up; and this year we just were not ready!! I take into the situation with the hurt players; and so many of the players who hadn't contributing before might see with Julio back & Roddy back; and a better defense that they may really make a run.

Lets remember Coach Smith & Thomas D. are in their 6th year; that's not a lot from a Coach who had never been a head Coach before; and a GM who was getting a lot of praise
who kinda forgot that the back-ups matter.

Hopefully one defensive end IN THE FIRST ROUND, and the other got for the O-LINE. Then
USE FREE AGENCY to get a second end. we'd probably have two new defensive ends. I can only think our Rookie corners will get better; and both of our two linebackers. The two rookie free agents.

YES i actually think this can be turned around in one year with some breaks!!

When next year gets going good we'll wonder what all the fuss was about!! Well its about
us not winning today. Our line sucks but our drafting must be goodl and the free agents
selected very carefully. It would help it Arthur wouldn't talk much this off season; we don't need to know his hopes; and his talking attention has always taken away in my opinion!!

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:56 am 
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draft the best RG in the draft, and pick up a FA LT next season, hope the other clowns can play better. That's all we can do ,really.

or we can trade up for a DE or another WR, because I have a sneaky feeling these Falcons will f*ck it all up and probably now beat 2 or 3 more teams ( Buffalo, Skins and Carolina who will be resting their starters, because their coach is not that silly) :ninja: 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:36 pm 
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With our 2nd round pick, we should target one of the big three offensive guards. I would like to see us target an offensive tackle in free agency, but I don't know if we're willing to make such a move.

Pudge is correct that the defensive line needs more help. Frankly, I think both lines are in the same kind of shape. I would like to see two new starters on both lines next year, and said starters should not be castoffs or late round picks.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:57 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
With our 2nd round pick, we should target one of the big three offensive guards. I would like to see us target an offensive tackle in free agency, but I don't know if we're willing to make such a move.

Pudge is correct that the defensive line needs more help. Frankly, I think both lines are in the same kind of shape. I would like to see two new starters on both lines next year, and said starters should not be castoffs or late round picks.


Past few weeks, Rob’s posts have been spot on. They need to really address these holes and make it a priority. Using early round picks and one big investment in FA should do the trick.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Every time I think about our OL/DL, I believe we need to spend the 1st and 2nd picks on a DE and OG/OT (preferably in that order). Then we need to also get a solid FA for both as well. I honestly think putting that level of talent into the mix will make a huge difference and help our team get back on track.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:23 pm 
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I just dont see the Falcons giving up on Sam Baker after giving him all that money. Logic would say draft the best OG with your 2nd round pick and add a tackle via FA but Sam Baker is commanding some serious coin.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Unless its the next Logan Mankins/Chris Snee type, I'm just not on board with drafting a guard. If I'm drafting a guard in the Top 50, I need to feel like I'm getting a perennial Pro Bowler. Otherwise what's the point?

Would you draft Justin Blalock again with a Top 50 pick of you could redo the 07 draft with what you know now?

I wouldn't.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Unless its the next Logan Mankins/Chris Snee type, I'm just not on board with drafting a guard. If I'm drafting a guard in the Top 50, I need to feel like I'm getting a perennial Pro Bowler. Otherwise what's the point?

Would you draft Justin Blalock again with a Top 50 pick of you could redo the 07 draft with what you know now?

I wouldn't.


I would. I'd draft him with a top 40 pick. Looking through the entire 07 draft, I see maybe 25 players with better careers than him. And I am not a fan of his.

I think that well over half of the draft choices ahead of him (including the #1 overall) would be swapped with him knowing what we know now. Jamarcus? Gaines Adams? I'd of course rather have other players if I'm allowed to draft first, but he's no worse than 30th on the list of 2007 successes.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:12 am 
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I think you're missing my point.

Sure, you're probably right that there are no more than 25 players that have definitely had better NFL careers than Blalock, and he's probably one of the 40 best players from that draft class today.

But I'm talking about value. Has Blalock been a significantly better pro than a player like Uche Nwaneri, a 5th round guard taken by the Jags that year. Or Jermon Bushrod, a 4th round OT by the Saints, who sat his first two seasons before becoming a starter?

I don't think so. Is Blalock better? Sure, but not by any huge degree. Think about this…

There are 7 centers, 9 guards, and 10 right tackles that were undrafted and have started at least 6 games this year. Factoring in guys drafted in Round 5 or later, that number becomes 14 centers, 21 guards, and 18 right tackles. And the overwhelming majority of 3rd & 4th round picks that are current starters are guards (25 out of 39, or 64%)

Teams scrape the bottom of the barrel to fill out roughly a third of their OL units. So if you're going to use a high pick on an OL that doesn't play LT, i.e. Top 50 pick, then you need to find someone that is rises to the top. Otherwise, why was your investment worthwhile? If roughly two-thirds of the starting OGs in the NFL today are mid/late round or undrafted talent, then my investment of a Top 40 pick needs to be more than "marginally better" than that. And with Blalock, I don't feel that it is.

This goes back to the complaints about the Falcons going into this season with unproven blockers up front, like Reynolds and Holmes. It's a common practice around the league, and the notion that the Falcons were stupid/crazy/misguided for doing something that every team does is a weak argument. Obviously the Falcons have had (degrees of) past success with it. see Clabo, McClure, Dahl, Forney, Shaffer, Salaam, Tobeck, etc. Again, the issue with the Falcons is that players like Baker, Blalock, and Konz, i.e. the "talented ones" aren't good enough to carry the unit like they are supposed to.

The mistakes made by the Falcons was investing $80 million in guys like Blalock/Baker that they could have replaced with mid-round talent for literally 5 cents on the dollar, and would've probably seen drop off, but probably not 95 cents worth.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
The mistakes made by the Falcons was investing $80 million in guys like Blalock/Baker that they could have replaced with mid-round talent for literally 5 cents on the dollar, and would've probably seen drop off, but probably not 95 cents worth.


I completely agree with this point, but this is also not the part of your post that I argued. I do agree that your thesis may hold true in sample situations.

Blalock was a solid choice for that spot in that draft. Overpaying Blalock and especially Baker is a problem. Not being able to count on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th round guys is a bigger problem, though. That's too many whiffs at the OL position overall. if that's from scouting, decision making, coaching, conditioning . . . there's a lot to consider there.

It's not that Blalock is so bad, or so expensive: it's that they've found no one for any cost that can do the job reliably at any other position on that line. Signing Blalock and Baker does hamstring the future of this situation, but--again--that's not a function of drafting Blalock with the 40-somethingith pick of that particular draft, nor is it the biggest issue here, which is that for 2013, ATL cannot scare up any reasonable players at 2 if not 3 positions on the line.

None.

For any cost.

With that said, it does make more sense to get an average performer from the later rounds/UDFA if you know that he'll be better than the current situation. However, if they have the opportunity to draft a guy who, on his own, is capable of starting in the NFL, RG is a real position of need for ATL. However, if it's just going to be Pete Konz again . . .


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:44 am 
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samedi wrote:
Blalock was a solid choice for that spot in that draft.

Well, we'll just agree to disagree. Blalock was the 39th overall pick in that draft, and IMO for a Top 40-50 pick, you should be striving to get a guy that is (at best) more than just an above average starter for his position. Instead, the ideal value at that spot is like Eric Weddle (37th overall) or LaMarr Woodley (46th overall), i.e. a player that is one of the better players at his position and/or a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

I don't think Blalock is a bad selection. At least we got a good complementary starter out of that, and it could have been a lot worse as John Beck, Drew Stanton, Dwayne Jarrett, and Tony Ugoh were taken over the next 10 spots after Blalock. But I just think a "solid" pick in the upper portion of the second round is an impact player which I feel Weddle and Woodley, not an expendable starting guard which Blalock has been for most of his career. He's only now seen as "essential" because of how bad the rest of the Falcons OL is.

But my larger point is that while everybody and their momma wants this team to draft another blocker at the top of Round 2, I want more than that. Just getting another complementary starter on the OL like Blalock is not enough.

I want someone that not only can be a starter on this team's OL for 7-8 years, but someone that for at least 2-3 of those years will be considered one of the better players at his position and be a Pro Bowler, comparable to what Marshal Yanda has been in Baltimore (3rd round pick in '07). Again, because teams invest so little in interior OL, it's not a particularly esteemed accomplishment for someone to start 7+ years in the league. Look at Samson Satele, who was the 60th overall pick in that draft. He's started 96 games with 3 different teams: Dolphins (who drafted him), Raiders, and Colts and he's been underwhelming during all of them. From the '06 draft, you have underwhelming players like Chris Chester (2nd/56th overall), Jeremy Trueblood (2nd/59th overall), Charlie Johnson (6th round), and Jeromey Clary (6th round), who have all started 90+ games in the league but widely considered backup-quality players for much of that time because teams don't invest much in the position.

Getting a guy that is a decent starting OL for 100+ games isn't easy, but also isn't as hard as people probably think. And thus why I feel like you have to get more out of a 2nd round pick, especially since that's a "money" round. I won't complain about a "double" in Round 2, which I'd probably say Blalock is/was, but that isn't what I'm shooting for. I want a "triple" or "HR" because that's still the point in the draft where you still have a decent chance of finding one of those.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:03 am 
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This goes back to the complaints about the Falcons going into this season with unproven blockers up front, like Reynolds and Holmes. It's a common practice around the league, and the notion that the Falcons were stupid/crazy/misguided for doing something that every team does is a weak argument. Obviously the Falcons have had (degrees of) past success with it. see Clabo, McClure, Dahl, Forney, Shaffer, Salaam, Tobeck, etc. Again, the issue with the Falcons is that players like Baker, Blalock, and Konz, i.e. the "talented ones" aren't good enough to carry the unit like they are supposed to.


Its not a weak argument and your examples are not good!! Salaam was let go in his fourth year and was a 7th pick. So he played because no one else was around. Shaffer sucked and I think we got a 7th for him and he never made it with Cleveland. He was our last pick in 2002 .....Neither was close to average. This franchise has never had depth at the line position.

The last time we did something like you want was when we got Bill Fraclic in 1985 the number 2 choice in the draft; he was awesome till a knee injury got him around year 6.

You could also say Bob Whitfield was a #1 in 1992 and was probably worth it. Reeves squandered so many 1 & 2 round linemen it was pathic; really McKAY hardly tried to get 0-linemen and besides Baker; Thomas D. hasn't tried much harder and has been poor with it.... Baker, & Blalock aren't exactly talents and from what I see so far Konz is just a bust like Johnson whom has never done anything..... Depth? What Depth??

Claybo started 5 games and played guard before being moved to tackle. He was also good at guard but we needed a tackle more. He was a free agent that proved himself just like Dahl. These free agents earn it in summer camp. They proved it against competition!!

Look I don't mind guys winning positions like McClure did over Garza who was let go and has started 10 years with Chicago. Claybo & Dahl earned there positions. What I hate is a guy like Konz just being put in when he hasn't shown anything in games or practices but was a low draft pick. Same with Baker and Blalock; these guys were given positions because of where they were drafted. Really their not worth what we paid. We probably couldn't get a 3 for Baker and maybe a 7th for Blalock. I don't think most teams put guys like Johnson or
Konz in who have never done anything. Sure you can name some guys; but our line was filled with crap at the start of the year!! Not one proven good player!!

Pudge, Not one proven good lineman?? How bad is that?? 5 linemen who we were just hoping to play the best we'd ever seen them play? How often does that happen??

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:22 am 
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1. Clabo "earned" his starting job due to injury. He played OG in 2006 because Matt Lehr got suspended. He was inactive up until that point. Then in '07, he played RT because Todd Weiner hurt his knee. Then Weiner was recovering from that knee injury going into 2008, and Clabo once again was the fill-in. I would say Clabo played and proved himself on the field, but he never won the starting job with a camp competition.

Dahl did by beating out Forney in '08.

2. As for proving yourself, I think you have a very naive viewpoint here Cyril. How many 1st & 2nd round picks prove themselves before they get on the field? Not very many. They are just plugged into the lineup, and typically go through growing pains early on and eventually turn into good players...or don't.

Take for instance Duane Brown and Sam Baker. Both guys were essentially handed starting jobs as 1st round picks. Sure they had nominal competition in the form of Ephraim Salaam and Quinn Ojinnaka, but everyone knew they would start as rookies. They gave each 1st team reps during minicamps and OTAs because of their high draft status and both basically opened training camp as starters or had "won" the job by the time the preseason rolled around. Brown struggled his first two seasons, but then started to blossom into a good player in his 3rd year, and is now considered an elite left tackle in Year 6. Baker showed promise when he was on the field as a rookie, but never showed much improvement from that point on. And now he's 1 more bad season away from being a backup in the league.

Cyril wrote:
Pudge, Not one proven good lineman?? How bad is that?? 5 linemen who we were just hoping to play the best we'd ever seen them play? How often does that happen??

It's working out for San Diego right now, which managed to succeed with a bunch of question marks up front after having one of the league's weakest units a year ago. King Dunlap, Chad Rinehart, Jeromey Clary, and D.J. Fluker. The only "proven good" blocker they had was Nick Hardwick, a 32-year old center about 5 years past his prime.

But I'm trying to understand how you expect guys to become proven if they don't play? That's what I'm talking about naiveté. If a team invests in you with a high pick or a big contract in FA, more often than not you're not going to have to "earn" your playing time. You did that with your play in college to merit that high pick or with your previous team to merit that big contract. You're just going to be given the job and expected to sink/swim.

The issue isn't the Falcons having a bad strategy in expecting their guys to play well despite being unproven. The issue is that the guys simply aren't playing well. The problem is that a player like Konz who was widely considered to be a 1st round talent when he was drafted is getting outplayed by a 4th round pick that was widely considered to be a 7th round talent in Joe Hawley. Konz "earned" his job in camp by beating out Hawley just as much as Matt Ryan "earned" his job by beating out Chris Redman. And he certainly did more to "earn" his starting spot than Julio Jones did back in 2011 or Desmond Trufant did this summer with getting his job.

There's nothing wrong with expecting a 2nd round pick like Konz to play well. Or a 3rd round pick in Mike Johnson and/or Lamar Holmes to play well either. If you didn't have those expectations, then there was no business drafting them that high in the first place.

The Falcons didn't make the moves they made up front this offseason because they thought it would lead to huge improvement in 2013. They made those moves because they believed it would lead to huge improvements in 2014 and beyond.\

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:20 pm 
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What you don't understand is they have summer camp, where Coaches break them down like marines to see what they have. They also have 4 exhibition games that folkes here call nothing, but the newest guys are blasted and scorned by poor performance in preseason.

I give you the fact that a #1 or #2 will be given every chance to start, and I understand it. I cringe when you say I have naive viewpoint when you've been saying with each argument the O-line in not so important. Back when McClure was 32 you were pointing out many linemen
can play to their expectations to about 35.

I'm talking about this year. A rookie or a non starter before a season will usually struggle; then
before the season I asked who were our linebackers? I looked at our Line and saw Sam Baker the guy who is now close to a back up. I saw Blalock the guy we'd be lucky to get a 7 for. I saw
Konz at center and realized no matter how good he became he's probably going to struggle. I saw a left guard that nobody deserved; and I saw Johnson at right tackle, a 3 pick who had been on the team 4 years without accomplishing jack crap.

So please don't say I was naive to expect anything good from our line this year.....That's all I'm saying. The better the line then usually you can have a running game good too. A good running game & good passing team makes for a better offense IMO!!

I saw a team without a pass rush, so I made one prediction of 6-10. Then the injuries came
and Thomas D. has kind of been shown he's be asleep at the wheel. something you've been saying for awhile. I only was awaken watching preseason and the experience I have had watching other sorry teams. Contrary to the thinking of some here those exhibitions show a lot about your starters and your depth!!

Another place where we agree is I think our # 3 should be a money pick too. This is where both McKay and Thomas D, has let us down. I'll throw some out from my spotty memory,
Jorden Beck -2005 2006- Norwood -2007 -Chris Houston, then my guesses are Johnson, Harry Douglas, Chris Owens, Malliciah Goodman, maybe actually a 4th but our 3rd pick?
There's others but they aren't real good. (That I can remember)

Since your being so picky about Claybo you might put it in your mental bank that Salaam
has been gone over ten years!! We're actually arguing nothing but last year our ++++ plus turnovers showed us to be much better than we were. Some of those are just breaks of the game; and we won maybe 4 we could have lost.

Its a little of every ones fault but I maintain you don't get rid of a coach for going to the playoffs 4-out of 6 years.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Fine Cyril. I misread what you were saying when I called you naive. Sounded like you were saying, "I don't get why the Falcons would plug in an unproven #2 or #3 pick." But you weren't, so my bad.

Cyril wrote:
Since your being so picky about Claybo you might put it in your mental bank that Salaam has been gone over ten years!!

I know. But Salaam is an example of how you can get by with a middling starter up front if you have the horses elsewhere (e.g. Whitfield, Tobeck) to carry the unit. BTW, Salaam wound up starting 9 years in the NFL, thus another example that finding a decent starting OL late in the draft isn't that hard.

Cyril wrote:
Its a little of every ones fault but I maintain you don't get rid of a coach for going to the playoffs 4-out of 6 years.

Fine, and I don't disagree with that. I'm just upset at how poorly coached/run this team has been for much of this season. And it seems like to me that over the past several weeks, you seem to be unwilling to admit that is the case.

And if you say Smitty has done more good than bad, and it outweighs all the bad we've seen this year, then fine. But I disagree that this team was poised for a 6-10 year before the injuries. IMO, the notion that Mike Smith is a good coach and this team was poised for a 6-10 season are incompatible ideas. If he's as good a coach as you say (and I used to say), then there's no way this team could be a 6-10 team unless Matt Ryan missed half the season.

It really boils down to this… here is my problem with this team: When Julio got hurt, the impending disaster that this offense was going to be was obvious. But this team didn't see that coming. Just like they didn't see Michael Turner's fall-off coming. And they just thought, let's sign Brian Robiskie, and we'll keep on chugging.

And that tells me they are either stupid or naive.

And many may point the blame at Thomas Dimitroff who is in charge of personnel. But where I fault Mike Smith is that if he had a clue he would have realized that this offense needs to have a deep threat to function and stay afloat for the remainder of the season without Julio JOnes. And if he believed that he would have told TD to go out and get him that deep threat the offense needed. And since TD didn't get that player, then it's very clear to me that Smitty didn't have that realization. And IMO that realization was a very simple one to make (just like the one about Turner). It's a no-brainer, and if you're not smart enough to figure that out, then you're not smart enough to be an NFL coach, 4 playoff seasons be damned.

This is what I honestly believe happened when Julio got hurt:

They thought Roddy would miss a week or two and would be back to carry the offense at 100%, and that Steven Jackson would be back after the bye and he could share the load. And this team would just go back to being the "balanced" attack they were in 2010.

And IMO that was just a very, very flawed plan. And if you're a good coach, you don't come up with flawed plans like that. If you're a good coach, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to become arguably the worst team in the NFL, which the Falcons have become since Julio went down. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be a good coach of an NFL franchise and be the worst team in the league. Bill Belichick is never going to coach a 2-14 team. And if he does, his 2-14 team is going to look more like a 6-10 team.

Since Julio got hurt, we're a 3-6 team that looks like a 1-8 team. That's coaching, not because the team has a bad OL or no pass rush. Does that mean Mike Smith needs to be fired? I'm not saying that. But it does mean he needs to be held to task for the s***ty job he's done since the bye week.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:23 am 
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Quote:
And many may point the blame at Thomas Dimitroff who is in charge of personnel. But where I fault Mike Smith is that if he had a clue he would have realized that this offense needs to have a deep threat to function and stay afloat for the remainder of the season without Julio JOnes. And if he believed that he would have told TD to go out and get him that deep threat the offense needed. And since TD didn't get that player, then it's very clear to me that Smitty didn't have that realization.


To me that's a big leap to say Smith could get Thomas D. to get someone like a deep threat???
What was the cost?, and really who's job is that?? Did we have cap money??

However the truth is our difference remains when you ask me why we sucked; and I still believe we started out with a lousy team. If you reread my first answer I said Smith should raise such hell, maybe it get him fired before the season. I blame Smith for not getting changes in preseason; I also believe a healthy Roddy today is as important as a healthy Julio
Because Roddy moves the changes; Roddy does the dirty work across the middle.....

But all this is getting no where. I thought the team sucked before injuries and you didn't think so, and that's a divide we can't bridge on this issue. Those 5 starting O-linemen, the 2
untested linebackers and the two rookies at corner before the season started I figured their
would be huge screw ups some place (didn't know where for sure but I didn't think we'd be good with what I CALL 9 QUESTION MARKS.) Your more preoccupied that Smith has done a
poor job after everyone got hurt. I agree with you and all the more reason why I blame Smith for things I can't be sure of like telling Thomas D. we don't have the players!!

Please recheck my first post on Coach Smith's preseason. (and Thomas D's) if I'm even 50%
right it should explain a lot. I do understand what your saying, but where were the players
to make things better??? YES BRADY could probably make us 6-10 but Ryan has shown he's just not in Brady's league although he;s still a top 10 Quarterback but now with more competition!! He won't stay top 10 without more leadership from him!!

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:39 am 
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HERE'S THE REAL DEAL AGAIN!!


If I WAS THE OWNER and I DID FIRE SMITH IT WOULD NOT BE JUST THE TONY G. THING; BUT i THINK IT WAS A MUCH BIGGER DEAL THAN YOU DO.... i THOUGHT IT SHOWED THROUGH HIS ACTIONS THAT ONE PLAYER WAS ABOVE THE TEAM....

Then it would be from the preseason; we sucked and I must assume that Smith thought things were alright... Heck he has Baker going up against Babs; he has Konz in practice going up against Peters; Its the daily practices where a coach should know exactly where his team stands!! You have Offensive starters going one on one with defensive starters. Smith should have know his line sucks. Maybe you don't remember preseason but when our first team plays against opponents first team we really sucked their too. (If I was owner I would blame Smith for letting us go into a season without people who can win)

Then If I really wanted to fire him; I'd blame him for playing Roddy just because Roddy wanted to keep his streak alive. The Coach sometimes just has to piss people off for the good of the team. We remembered Sunday what a even somewhat Roddy really gets the attention off Tony G. and I thought Roddy was selfish for himself, and not the team....

Quote:
- Games since the Falcons have held an opponent to under 100 rushing yards. Atlanta’s defense began the season very stout against the run, limiting opposing offenses to 78 (at NO), 69 (vs. STL) and 90 yards (at MIA) in their first three games. Since then, the Falcons have given up an average of 154 yards on the ground per game. Against the Bills in Toronto Sunday, the Falcons surrendered 195 yards on the ground.

Roddy White heads upfield after one of his 10 catches against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.10 - Catches for Roddy White Sunday against the Bills, for 143 yards receiving, the 36th 100-yard receiving game of White’s 9-year career.


Pudge, I didn't think Coach Smith out coached anyone Sunday; and I know you want me to blame Smith for his (being outcoached) the last couple of months but his football team was sorry from day one!!

Since you like Stats we haven't been talking much about Atlanta's terrible defense against the run......... HOW DOES A COACH WIN WHEN HIS DEFENSE AVERAGES GIVING UP 154 YARDS A GAME ON THE RUN OVER THE LAST TWO MONTHS??

I really think the reason Coach Smith has been conservative because he knows on long passes Ryan will get sacked...... He could have been out coached but he's kept the team together as he always does. GO to the FALCON WEBSITE and all the players are glowing after beating this sorry ass Buffalo team.....

So If I fired Coach Smith it would be for a terrible preseason and preseason practices where he should have know we needed a lot of changes. That's where your team is developed and the most important part of the season. Its where you set the tone for NOT giving up sacks;
and set the tone for GETTING SACKS & STOPPING THE RUN. Just BECAUSE THE GAMES DON'T COUNT; how your first string play counts; and we knew or should have known we had problems. Not really for losing them all; but for how the first string played in practice and in the exhibition games. Once again those who have played in organized football dread summer camp because its so hard and you can be embarrassed....MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT; FIRST STRING OFFENSIVE TACKLES GO UP AGAINST FIRST STING DEFENSIVE ENDS
AND ALL ACROSS BOTH LINES.

We could have taken cast off veterans and done better. So that's why I would fire him if that was my goal. Jeez did he really think these guys would hold up.... Obviously he and Thomas
D. didn't see a problem; and I put that on the coach not the GM once preseason starts.

In fact I'd love to ask him that question myself; we'd had injuries but so does everybody; how did you take such a terrible team into the season. Once it started we were SCREWED!!

So actually the whole season is on Coach Smith and some ThOMAS D. Vince himself couldn't win with these dogs. All season's are on the coach!!

ps. One more win and were exactly where we were after our Super Bowl year!!

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:31 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Smith should have know his line sucks.
I'm sure he did. But like he did in 2011 and 2012, he just counted on the other 6 players on offense to carry the team. We can debate whether that was a sound plan or not, but since it worked to great effect last year, I can't exactly crucify him for thinking it would work again. I figured there would be drop off from Ryan and the WRs from last year, although I didn't think we'd go from #1 to #25. Maybe like #1 to #12.

Cyril wrote:
Since you like Stats we haven't been talking much about Atlanta's terrible defense against the run......... HOW DOES A COACH WIN WHEN HIS DEFENSE AVERAGES GIVING UP 154 YARDS A GAME ON THE RUN OVER THE LAST TWO MONTHS??

Simple, the same way we "stopped" teams last year with a bad run defense: by scoring early and forcing teams to stop running and throw to catch up.

I say simple, rather than easy because it's not easy. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. If you are up 10-0 in the first quarter, or 17-7 in the second, your opponent is going to be less likely to run the ball as the game progresses. That's how we stopped teams last year.

This is why I've spent the past 7 weeks harping on throwing the ball downfield, generating big plays, and being aggressive early in games. Because the only way this offense is going to be able to score early and often is by doing those things. That's the direct responsibility of Dirk Koetter, but until I receive word that Mike Smith has little to no involvement in the devising of offensive game plans, I'm going to assume he's equally to blame. And again through deductive reason, if Smitty was telling Koetter to call that kind of game, and Koetter wasn't, then we'd probably know about it. So logic suggests that Smitty isn't telling Koetter squadoosh.

Now if you throw early and build an early lead, you expose the defense to get gashed via the pass. And with our pass rush that's not a great recipe for success. But you know how we stopped that in past years? Because the offense scored points late and finished games.

If you are taking deep shots, and Ryan is making bad throws and throwing picks left and right, that's one thing. That's trying and then failing. I can forgive you for that. But I cannot forgive you for not trying at all.

Why did I make a big deal about the Buffalo game? Because they actually did what I'm talking about and took shots down the field. And they benefited from it with the best offensive performance of the season. Why couldn't they do that every other game this year? Why didn't they even try?

And we keep butting heads on this because you seem to believe there are "circumstances" that prevented this team from doing these things. And I say BS. If the OL isn't good enough, then get new blockers. If the WRs weren't good enough, then get new WRs. If the QB isn't good enough, then why did you just give him $104 million? If you don't have cap room, why don't you make it by cutting some players or renegotiating some deals? Fate/circumstance didn't conspire against this team or Mike Smith. It's ALL self-inflicted issues.

TD may handle the personnel, but Mike Smith is ultimately responsible for whether this team wins or loses on Sunday. And if Mike Smith doesn't have the wherewithal to get up off his ass and do something about it, then why does he deserve his job? I can hire any bum off the street to be a clueless head coach.

It's not all on Smith, it's an organizational issue. They don't ever work out new players unless there's an injury. They don't ever pounce on waiver wire players. They are content to overpay 40% of their starters with underachievers.

And it's been a few months I'm sure since I used it, but it's that c word: COMPLACENCY. And Mike Smith is just as culpable if not more so than anybody else in that complacency, because he's the head coach.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we "fix" the offensive line next season?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:54 am 
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The guy who says were both right is probably closest.


Quote:
It's not all on Smith, it's an organizational issue. They don't ever work out new players unless there's an injury. They don't ever pounce on waiver wire players. They are content to overpay 40% of their starters with underachievers.

And it's been a few months I'm sure since I used it, but it's that c word: COMPLACENCY. And Mike Smith is just as culpable if not more so than anybody else in that complacency, because he's the head coach.


Fine. I agree. Lets leave it at that. We've both made valid arguments. The truth is with this personnel I don't know if Coach Smith has been out coached or not? Ryan has been reduced to average this year but nothing seems to be one persons fault but I ended my last post with all seasons are on the coach. I haven't cut Coach Smith much slack and one of our differences seem to come how a coach prepares his team during the training camp. Smith failed there so let the chips fall where they will. His mistakes this year I doubt will be repeated.

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