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 Post subject: Still looking up
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Was reminded of the 1990 season,...the first year I bought season tickets. After the 1989 season the season ticket base was just under lol 25,000 fans,...amazing,...but then, the 80's were cruel to the Falcons and in 1989 we won just 3 games.

In '90 we hired Glanville and we won the first game against the Oilers. I'll never forget that game,...Aundray Bruce and Scott Case dominated and there was a thunder storm that almost halted the game. We then beat the Saints and then the Bengals on a Thursday night game televised by TNT. But at 3-4 we lost the next 7 games,...four of which we should've won,...2 of those losses were due to some questionable officiating as Glanville wasn't liked by many refs. Then the Rams were to come to town and we beat them, and then the Cowboys came to town and we blasted their playoff hopes into smithereens. That same Cowboys team would become a dynasty by the year 1992.

But point being,...we were ecstatic to have those 5 wins! We knew Glanville was playing a roster of over achievers but we happy with what we got. It's time to approach this year's team in the same manner.

We already know that our backfield is not deep and is not big enough. We know we're aged at both O-tackles. We know we need a backup TE to step up because Crump is getting up there with age and has been having injury problems. We know we need a pure MLB by next season. We know we need help at DT and most likely RDE unless Abe can stay healthy. We know we'll need to draft or sign a safety next season.

All these concerns meant we had to wait for another year for all of Petrino's and Zimmer's plans to fully work out anyway.

So to heck with what happens to Ron Mexico. The World does NOT revlove around this guy like some people tend to say otherwise.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Joey Harrington has never won more than 6 games as a starter in a season, but I don't think we should be content with 5 or 6 wins this year.

Although I certainly wouldn't put money on it, I think this is a team that could challenge for a wildcard spot. Despite what everyone says, we don't lack talent. We just lack production. Our talented guys aren't producing, and I think we shouldn't settle for another lackluster year, esp. from our WRs, OL, and defense. :cry:

We are old in certain areas, but our older vets aren't bad players. Gandy, Weiner, Brooking, Coleman, Jackson, Milloy, Dunn, Horn, etc. are all players that can still contribute. Almost all of those guys could be starting on many if not most NFL teams.

We have talented young guys that just need to step up: Jenkins, Roddy, Norwood, DeAngelo, Boley, Jimmy Williams, Jamaal Anderson, etc. Probably only one of those guys is capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level, but we don't need Pro Bowls, we need consistent contributions.

I expect the Falcons to be competitive throughout most of the year. It won't surprise me if the team only wins 5 or so games, but I expect to be close and competitive in double that many games. I don't expect to see a bunch of games like we did last year in which we knew the game was over by halftime or midway thru the 3rd quarter. I think the dropoff between Harrington and Vick can be boiled down to that Harrington is just not the playmaker Vick is/can be, in that when the game is close late, Vick can come up with a much needed play, while Harrington will tend to come up short.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
I think the dropoff between Harrington and Vick can be boiled down to that Harrington is just not the playmaker Vick is/can be, in that when the game is close late, Vick can come up with a much needed play, while Harrington will tend to come up short.


Vick has not been the great comeback QB such as an Elway or Montana, historically. If it's Vick or harrington or D.J.,...ya see,...this is the beauty of the Petrino offense. Of course we've all read about how universal his scheme is and how any QB can succeed in it.

Yes, you are right too,...we knew when we were beat the last two seasons and this new staff won't allow that.

But the main thought in this thread is that we don't need Superman any more than the Eagles needed McNabb last season before he got hurt. The Eagles were posting some serious offensive numbers to start the season and were losing games. McNabb blows a knee,...an old man Garcia comes in and *spreads* the ball around and voila! Playoff berth!

The day has past when #7 gains a pass in more than two regards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:03 am 
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Vick is not a comeback guy, you're right, but early on in his career we won a lot of close games. Between 2003 and the Packers game in 2005, Vick was 13-1 in starts that he finished that were decided by 8 points or less. Since that Packers game, he is 2-5. That 13-1 record, including an 8-game winning streak in these "close" games between October '04 and November '05.

By contrast, Joey Harrington is 11-20 in "close" games (using the above standard), but is 12-18 in all other games he starts and finishes, leading you to believe that he's not significantly better when the game is on the line, since his win%s aren't that much different (35.5% vs. 40%).

Vick on the other hand, over the course of his career is 20-10-1 in close games, and 14-10 in other games. Again, not a huge difference in winning % (66.1% vs. 58.3%), but when you factor in that 8-game win streak in '04 and '05, he has shown the ability to win close games.

Harrington on the other hand has never had a win streak go beyond 2 games in close games.

Now you might say that you need to factor in defense, since defenses are pivotal in close games. And looking at the Lions Ds between '02 and '05 one could see how Harrington could struggle. But the interesting thing is that Vick's win % in close games really have no correspondence with defensive success.

In '04, where Vick was 7-1 in close games, the Falcons D ranked 14th in scoring. But in '06 where the defense was 16th (i.e. marginally worse) he was 2-2, and in '05 where the D ranked 18th, he was 4-3. In '03, when the D was ranked 30th, he was 3-0. In '02, when the D ranked 8th, he was 4-4-1. Vick had his two worst years in close games with the #1 and #3 best defenses.

Harrington's best year in close games, was this past year in which he was 2-1 with the Dolphins who had the 5th ranked scoring defense. His next best year was '05, where he was 2-2 when the Lions were ranked 21st. His worst year was '04 where he was 2-7 although the Lions did have the 18th ranked D, so again, it's not a direct correspondence but it's stronger than Vick's.

Bottom line: generally Michael Vick was a good QB in close games and was better in them than other games. On the other hand, Joey Harrington shows no improvement in close games, and is slightly worse.

Most experts believe that confidence issues were a key component to the downfall of Joey Harrington in Detroit. It'll be Petrino's job if it comes to it, to get Harrington's confidence up to a point where the Falcons can be a competitive team. Hopefully, Nick Saban & Co. helped lay the groundwork for it.

Harrington is a classic fit in the WCO, but clearly from his time in Detroit did not adapt to it very well in the pro game. On paper, he's not a great fit for Petrino's offense, but you never know how things work out. It's "now or never" time for Joey Harrington. If he doesn't turn his career around in Atlanta, then his only hope for some sort of NFL success will be that maybe like Rich Gannon when he turns 35 he'll have the benefit of playing on a team with 2 HOF receivers and one of the best OLs in the league.


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