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 Post subject: Is 2005 the Real Falcon's or was it 2004? You decide needs!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:45 pm 
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I have been saying this all year that until the falcon's beat above average and great teams CONSISTENTLY then all the victories we get against the rest of the league are questionable in terms of ever winning a Super Bowl. It is easy to pad your record against average and below average teams and now we see that the Falcon's have many problems.I don't want to here that the defense sucks just because we have injuries.Really only Hartwell is a quality player coming back and will be questionable if he is that effective since he doesn't have ray lewis playing beside him.Lets see we have a nunproven rookie in Beck,a free agent off the waiver wire in Cash and Brady who may not be back.If that is going to fix the defense sorry the defense needs much more talent to win.

The Falcon's are playing younger players but I do not want to get into a situation where next year we are basing are season on the progress of rookies and 2nd yr players.What if they don't pan out then will be back in the same dang boat.There are some rookies who can perform well others just may not have the talent.Fix the defense and fix the offensive line that should be the main goals this off season.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 1:08 am 
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It's just depressing to think about how close it was...To think that we had it, until Tampa made a good Special Teams play to block that FG

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 Post subject: Good teams find ways to win
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 1:18 am 
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You can say that about alot of teams in the NFL.Wiinning games at hte least the close ones is a small margin to win or lose.The good teams find ways to win the bad lose them.

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 Post subject: Re: Good teams find ways to win
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 1:42 am 
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thescout wrote:
You can say that about alot of teams in the NFL.Wiinning games at hte least the close ones is a small margin to win or lose.The good teams find ways to win the bad lose them.


Yeah, that's something we did well in 2004. And up until that Packer game, we had consistently done well. Entering that game, Vick was 12-1 in close games that he started and finished (decided by 8 points or less). Since that game he is 0-3.

To take words from Mr. Marshall Mathers, the Real Atlanta Falcons did not stand up this year. WE just didn't have it this year. We can still win next week vs. Carolina, and it will be a bright spot on a bad 2nd half of the year.

But this was a team that wasn't spectacular through the 1st half of the season, but managed to win. I think the offense started to click in the 2nd half a bit better, but we just couldn't find ways to win games.

I think it would be dumb to go with the mindset that we need the old Vick. To say, Vick should regress in his development just because we lost a few games this year is just stupid decision making. It's just the Falcons discovered that now we can't just expect Vick to carry us to victory anymore.

We are 1-6 against teams with winning records this year. This is something that plagued the Chargers in 2004, they were 2-5 against teams with winning records then. Thus far this year they are 5-4 against those teams with 9 or more wins right now. So they showed much improvement without really going into the off-season overhauling their roster.

I think this is a good team. I think this is a team that is a few healed injuries, better coaching, and a few personnel additions from going to the SUper BOwl. Whether we win the Super Bowl is a different story, since the AFC has shown over the past few years that they are the class of the league.

I made the statement at midseason when we were 6-2, that we were the best team in the NFC. Despite going 2-5 since then, I still believe this team is capable of being that level.

I'm hearing people like they want to throw the entire team under the bus. Sure, there are several areas that this team needs to improve in. But I'm of the firm belief that with the exception of safety, if this team goes into next season with the same 22 other starters on the team, it's not a problem. All 22 of those guys have proven they can get the job. Can we stand to get guys that can do the job better? Yes, of course. Can some of those 22 guys stand to get the job done more consistently? Yes, of course.

We need to re-sign a few of our UFAs for depth, cut 2 or 3 players, and then focus on adding talent via the draft and spending wisely in FA adding more talent. We don't need to spend tons of $$$ to upgrade the roster, because we don't need it. Not to mention our inability to afford it.

WE HAVE TALENT TO WIN. WE JUST NEED TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.

2004 = The Year of the Overachievement.
2005 = The Year of the Underachievement.
2006 = The Year we get it just right?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:33 am 
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We definately have talent, and the experience the young guys got this season will provide nice depth. However, I still believe we are a handfull of players away:

- Multiple safties that are physical and can tackle.
- A press/coverage corner
- A starting defensive end
- A guard and tackle

Unless we draft a tackle high I can't see us being able to fill this need in '06.

Moves I would think of making:

- Release Brady Smith (age, nagging injuries, cap hit)
- Release Bryan Scott (lack of production)
- Work on the contracts of Kerney and Dunn to keep them Falcons and free up some $$$

Free agents I would try to sign:

- Tank Williams
- Lance Schulters

Note- Still would like to draft a safety high to replace Schulters when the time comes.

Draft opinion:

The way things are looking as of this post I would seriously consider trading down unless someone falls.


Unless you can contain the run you cannot win in the NFL. We didn't this year.
When you play a soft zone and do not pressure the quarterback you cannot win in the NFL.
We need a stronger, more physical O-Line imo. Tommie Harris would agree w/me I think.
We need to blitz more, tackle better, and be more aggressive overall defensively. We need the talent in the secondary to be able to do this however.

Just some thoughts....


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 Post subject: Interresting thoughts...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 1:18 am 
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A few points about the team that have been brought up.

1.I think the team underperforming this year hopefully has taught mora and staff a lesson to be prepared.I wonder if management sees that things that should be fixed in practice like tackling,staying in your lanes it isn't getting fixed? I hope the Falcon's can restructure kerney's and dunn's contracts to free up some money in free agency.I know Pudge you think we have most of the ingredients to winning but for me sorry I see a gapping hole at def tackle where lavalias plays.Shopshire has potential and lavalias is flat out not getting it done.I am not sure who in free agency we could get cheap or draft can provide an answer.The run defense needs fixed one way or another or the falcon's defense will be bad again.

I was looking at NFL DraftCountdown they have Jonathan Scott off tackle for the falcon's in the first and Bernard Pollard safety in second.I think the first 4 rounds are going to be crucial and I think 2 def players and 2 off players is the way to go.It is way to early to predict the draft but her are 2 scenarios:

1.Jonathan Scott
2.Bernard Pollard
3. Mark Setterstrom/center
4.def end

1.Mike Huff
2.def end
3.center
4.mark setterstrom

There are 2 excellent centers coming out the guy from ohio state and another forgot his name but I doubt slide out of 2nd round.I am tired of Mclure not being able to block def tackles.This is a very good safety draft so I expect one in round 1 or 2.
We need some how to get another def end.Not sure if DAvis can handle it,he needs competition.Without a pass rush you can have an all star team as def backs but they can't stand on there man all day.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 1:56 am 
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thescout wrote:
I know Pudge you think we have most of the ingredients to winning but for me sorry I see a gapping hole at def tackle where lavalias plays.Shopshire has potential and lavalias is flat out not getting it done.


I disagree. I like Lavalais, I think his play improved down the stretch. His problem in the 2nd half of the year was from the fact that he did not play very much. Lavalais is a good player. Unlike Rod Coleman, he can make plays in pursuit. That's not something that very many DTs are able to do, but to chase down RBs and QBs and make tackles.

I think the Falcons issues at DT stemmed from the lack of a proper rotation. Lavalais/Lake combo played just as much as Jasper/Coleman did in 2004, and stopping the run wasn't an issue. This year, Jasper is let go, Lavalais is promoted, and there is really nobody to fill the void.

Overall, I believe our DTs underachieved, but when I look at the rest of the defensive roster, I see the exact same thing. I like Babs progression over the course of the year. Mr. Invisible of 2004, Antwan Lake actually showed an ability to make plays this year. Shrop got some work late and wasn't bad. Our issues with our DL was not the supporting cast, but the fact the 3 integral pieces: Smith, Kerney, and Coleman just weren't as good as they were in 2004. Sure, Coleman still managed a Pro Bowl appearance, but I don't think most believe he played as well in 2005 as he did in 2004.

I'd say that adding another DT for competition isn't going to hurt the Falcons. But I think that DT is not a need for this team. I think if we can add some more speed and pass rush at DE, you'll see this DL make leaps and bounds in improvement in 2006, because being able to put pressure on the QB was something this team did well in 2004, not so well in 2005, and it trickled back to the rest of the defense.

The talent on this team between 2004 and 2005 is about the same, with I think 2005 being better. Yes, the 2004 team went further against softer competition in a weaker conference, but I think that team won on energy and heart. We just need to get that back and we'll be able to compete with any team in the NFL.

If you're looking to upgrade the talent on this roster that this team is capable of beating the Indianapolis Colts, then you're fighting a losing battle. Short of us getting a T.O., or an impact player of that caliber, this team is not going to be able to improve that much in a single off-season.

The Colts defensive improvement this year was not based on a dramatic increase in talent, but the fact that the defense played harder and with much more heart this year than ever.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 4:07 am 
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When looking at the D line you have to notice some things we saw this year. The D line looked really good against backup O linemen. Kerney in Detroit, Lake vs Jets in Atlanta, and other such performances were all stat padding honestly. The only good lines we did anything against were Philly, Seattle in the 2nd half, and a couple of other minor instances in the earlier part of the season. Basically, when the Bucs' sorry O line is blowing us off the ball then there is a huge problem up front.

On the Offensive side of the ball, we have to look at our competition. If you watched the Dallas vs Carolina game, you saw a huge, less athletic O line dominate the Panthers' oh so glorious D line. And I mean they utterly destroyed the Panthers' D line. The Bucs D line is even a bit smaller & less athletic too! I mean the formula is right there on tape for us & this team has to find an identity. Either you are going to build an all world offense around Vick, or you build an all world D to pick up the slack on the other end & trust Vick, the WR's, and the running game can carry us to a dynasty run.

We have to decide on our identity in order to build this team into what we all want. So many teams get some key components & then just throw pieces into the mix without considering what they already know. This is what we already know:

1. Our D line cannot handle an NFL starting O line that is healthy & most playoff teams manage to stay healthy on their O line for the most part.

2. Our O line cannot handle an above average D line.

3. Our offense is good enough to win championships, but lacks consistency due to the O line's play, Knapp, and even Vick's play from time to time.

4. Our Safeties are God awful.

5. Our LB's are smallish but fast, thus we need some D linemen who can eat up blocks.

6. There is a serious lack of discipline in this team & that starts at the top.

Knowing these things, we need to get beefy up front (which might never happen thanks to Gibbs & McKay's previous success with "their" systems, change is bad!!! lol). We need to get better DB's and the coaches have to improve in every facet of their jobs.


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 Post subject: Here we go!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:11 pm 
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We need more talent to go along with our injury players it is that simple.I predict another 2 drafts we will have that talent if Mckay drafts right and not have a Dan Reeve's draft.Pudge you have a point maybe by playing together for another year the players will come together but I am not counting on it.If you look at the panthers or bucs and compare man for man on both sides of the ball I don't think the Falcon's players matchup overall talent with the teams we need to beat.Carolina,Tampa and now the Bears have fast atheltic defesnes that give us trouble and now it is up to mckay to find the right players.Here is what I hope happens in the off season:

1.Draft more athletic off linemen.The current group doesn't have the ability to pass block against fast and athletic linemen(Bears,Carolina,Bucs).
2.Draft at least one more safety in the high rounds(Bing,Huff,Pollard),the other safety can be signed in free agency(we need 2 safeties ours currently stink.
3.Some how find a big def tackle hopefully in free agency that won't cost an arm and leg and can stop the run.
4.Draft or sign free agent def end.. the rookie Davis may pan out but he may not.
5.Draft another QB with potential - the Ron Wolf theory always draft a QB that may eventually play in the league.Even if he doesn't play for your team you can trade him for draft picks or be a backup.The Falcon's should move Shaub after next yr we need to groom someone.

I am not against drafting a def end in the 1st as long as he can get to the QB.We must get a pass rush or the secondary will always look bad.What do you guys think of drafting another QB maybew in the 4th or 5th round that has potential? I have always liked this theory to have more quality QB's if they can't help your team then trade him and get better draft picks out of him.(Green Bay Brooks,Hasselbeck).

Alot of people ar on mora but I think it is grwoing pains.All the hooping and hollering on the field isn't going to turn over decisions.He needs to learn to chill out as well as the players,There are to many discipline problems and the special teams needs to be looked at ,way to many penalties.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:40 pm 
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I htink the core of this team is solid and can go up against any of the best teams in this league.

I don't think there is anything wrong with our core systems either. The WCO offense, the quick athletic OL, and the fast attacking front 7. I just think we need to get players that better use those systems.

I think the pass rush and stopping the run work hand in hand. If you have a dynamite pass rush, whether you have the size or not in the middle, you tend to play the run much tougher. Our D in 2004 is a good example. The Colts of '05 are a good example, and the Bucs under Dungy are another good example. I don't know exactly why it works, but it just does.

As for the OL, there are plenty of top players around the league that would fit our scheme. Our issue is getting some of those quality guys here in Atlanta, whether via FA or the draft.

I believe we have the youngest starting 22 in the league, and when you consider that I don't think you need to make wholesale changes. It's not about winning a Super Bowl in 2006, it's about building a team that can be a powerhouse for several years, whether that starts in '06, or not until '08.

I think it's a good off-season if we can do the majority of the following things:

1. Upgrade at least 1 starting position on the OL. Whether that means bringing in a new starter or a player that can compete for a starting position (thus making the incumbent better).

2. Upgrade at least 1 starting safety position with a true ballhawk player. That means a guy that is going to be a force vs. the run (and hopefully the pass), but most importantly a guy that can function as an extra LB in the secondary and make plays on the ball.

3. Upgrade the pass rush along the front defensive 4. Ideally, that means adding another pass rusher at RDE. Davis is coming along nicely, but he's not ready to be anything more than an average starter at best in 2006. So at the least we need to add a capable #3 pass rusher or a starter to keep the spot warm until Davis can emerge.

4. Some security at the RB position. Ideally, that means retaining Dunn with a contract that is cap-friendly for the next 2-3 years, and also figuring out who is going to succeed Duckett as the #2 guy.

5. Upgrading the nickel cornerback position. Preferably that means someone young and fast that fits the style of defense we play.

I think those are the 5 KEYS for this upcoming off-season. Ideally, we can get all 5 done, but if we can only manage 4, I'll live with that. THey aren't really in any particular order, but I would say the first 3 are the most important.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:56 am 
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I didn't have a chance to read the whole thread. But I think with our current talent this Atlanta squad is somewhere in between the 04 and 05 seasons. This team is at least a perennial wild card team in the NFC. In the AFC we'd probably be lucky to be an 8-8 team. But another big thing to note is that we have had serious injuries. We've had three key guys out on defense almost all year (Hartwell, Smith, Mathis) and kept losing guys (Cash & Beck), then some key players were often dinged up (Carpenter, Hall, Kerney, Lavalais). The defense at times struggled to field a starting secondary! Of course it was going to be bad.

With that said the secondary still needs help though but I think more importantley is that we need a starting RDE! Losing Brady Smith hurt and he need a 1st round talent guy not Chauncy Davis to fill that need.

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