I agree with this Takeitdown. But I think we already have that explosive YAC guy in Douglas that can take the 5-yarder and make it 30. Getting that game-breaker that is a threat to score on every play is A: Unrealistic since there are only a handful of guys like that in the league to begin with and B: Unnecessary for what the Falcons should want to do.
The Falcons had 32 20+ yard plays last year. The teams that were among the leaders in the league (Steelers, Chargers, etc.) had over 60. I think the goal for 2011 is let's get that number up to 42. Then in 2012, it should be 52. And then in 2013, it should be 62.
I think there is this desire for the Falcons to have a more spread attack like the Patriots or Packers, but I think the Falcons should gear themselves more to what the Chargers do. Which is have 3 or 4 tall receivers that have good, not great speed, but have ball skills, body control, and can make grabs in traffic, and able to get open relatively quickly (at least Gates, Jackson, and Floyd are), and they bunch them up and Rivers throws a lot of jump balls to them.
There were times this past year where we saw Douglas go out 3-5 yards and turn that little dumpoff into a 15-30 yard gain. We need to try and mix in more play calls like that. Maybe that gets us to 35. And if you draft a guy like Rudolph, maybe he can get you 5 20+ yard plays this year, and that gets you to 40. And maybe with Pettis on the roster, you can afford to give Roddy more opportunities to run deeper routes because you have another solid underneath receiver that can make those 7-10 yard grabs that help move the chains. And maybe that gets you to 42 or more. And anything that any other addition (like Shorts or whoever), or any improvements Jenkins or Gonzo make, or Meier is just gravy on top of that.
And then you build from there.
Again, agreed. I was just saying having both is obviously great. But the quick D Jackson types are really best for two types of passers
1) A scrambler, who can buy time, giving them time to get ridiculously open on double moves (Vick, Roethlisberger, etc.)
2) A precision passer, who can drop it in the bucket from 35 yards out when they have a 1/2 step (Manning, Brady, Brees.) To some extent, even though there were other factors, Peerless Price was an example of a guy who could get a 1/2 step and looked good with an accurate deep ball thrower, but couldn't come back and make a play on the ball.
Ryan is neither of those types, so I fully agree we need to go more the San Diego route. I'm actually glad you're pushing that, as everyone seems to think we need a 4.2, 170 lb guy, and I just don't think that fits Ryan's game, even if we were going to open it up (at least not as the deep guy.)
Where I differ from you is expectations. Ryan's rookie year we had a lot more 20+ yard plays, I believe. One of the primary reasons is he threw more deep balls to Roddy, and Roddy made a play on the ball. The WR always has the advantage in those situations. They were ugly balls, but it worked fine with a fighter like Roddy. I think if you have a Burress/V Jax on one side, and Roddy on the other, you can let Ryan give his receivers a chance to make plays, and the number goes up much more quickly than you say (especially given that the deep threats open up HD underneath, the TE, etc.)
Edit: After a quick look, Ryan had 45 20+ throws his rookie year. I think aiming for 50 starting now shouldn't be that odd (assuming a grab it WR, and a TE are acquired, ti pair with a hopefully healed HD).