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 Post subject: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:08 am 
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Falcons may be headed for running back committee
Posted by Evan Silva on June 21, 2012, 9:42 AM EDT
Michael Turner Pic Getty Images

Falcons running back Michael Turner has either led the NFL or ranked second in rushing attempts in three of his four seasons with Atlanta. He’s been a workhorse and his final stat lines from each year look pretty good. So you might not think the Falcons would even consider taking away some of Turner’s carries.

They’re doing just that.

Citing comments made by coach Mike Smith, the Falcons’ website wrote Wednesday that Atlanta’s running game will be distributed “on a more by-committee basis.”

Smith hinted at the revised running-game approach in February, and it’s no secret that the Falcons want second-year tailback Jacquizz Rodgers more involved. Jason Snelling gives the club a third legitimate option with plus size, smooth hands out of the backfield, and pass protection skills.

In an interview with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, new Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter explained that Turner’s workload will be scaled back because he’s worn down late in recent seasons.

“Mike has been a very consistent player since he’s been here. Back-to-back 1,300-yard seasons,” Koetter said. “We need to keep Mike healthy so that he’s as good at the end of the season as he is in the front of the season. The way this roster has been built, we have some other backs that are very capable.”

This might be a backfield to avoid in fantasy football.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:16 am 
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Don't hate on Turner for signing a contract that was offered to him by the club. He's been a workhorse....if the club decides to ask him to take a pay cut, so be it. But don't expect Turner to run up to TD and ask for a reduction.

Also, I won't believe the reduced carry speak until I actually see it with my own two eyes.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:50 am 
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Money aside (and I know, I know :doh: , Hillis/Tolber much cheaper and could fill same role), the committe approach is what the offense needs the most considering we retained MT.

It does seem on the surface these two coordinators are better than the previous ones, if for no other reason that they are simply smart enough to tailor the schemes/plays around the given talent.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Yeah, there's not really a set of circumstances under which it makes sense to keep him. He's averaged about 2ypc in the playoff games, and averages under 4ypc in most games.

I agree that Hillis/Tolbert or Hillis/Benson or a number of other combinations would have been more versatile and likely as effective even on the interior.

The problem right now is neither Snelling nor Quizz are suitable "co-backs" and so Turner may get the carries by default. They're both fine 3rd backs or emergency backs, but you want two "starting backs" and I don't think either gets there. Compare them to Hillis or Charles in KC, Ivory/Sproles/rookie from NO, Kendall Hunter as a 2nd back in SF, etc.

It's these things that worry me about the offense. With a legit 2nd back, I think Koetter would implement him and be effective. With a legit 4WR/2TE, I think Koetter would use them some and open the offense (heard Julio was playing in the slot some this year.) But without those guys, it's going to be easy to revert to a 2WR, 1TE, FB, Turner offense. I'm afraid if they revert, it won't be that the other wasn't the right offense, simply that they needed a dualback, a tall slot, and a pass catching TE. The personnel and the coaching have to be married.

The more I hear recently, the more I wish they'd done what I projected them to do in the offseason...drop Mugs and Turner and Baker, and pick up Gaither, Grubbs/Evans, Hillis, other back, and 2ndTE. Don't get Manuwai since you got Grubbs/Evans. Same price and we'd have a proven OL and solid backfield. That would enable them to do everything they're talking about, and would have freed up the draft for 4th WR, good back if he fell, good TE if he fell, and defensive help. Frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:44 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Don't hate on Turner for signing a contract that was offered to him by the club. He's been a workhorse....if the club decides to ask him to take a pay cut, so be it. But don't expect Turner to run up to TD and ask for a reduction.

Also, I won't believe the reduced carry speak until I actually see it with my own two eyes.

Not hating on Turner at all. He should try to make as much money as possible. For the record, I don't hate on/fault any player that is trying to make more money.

I'm hating on the Falcons brass for paying him. They didn't ask him to take a paycut. And no, I don't know that for a fact (i.e. 100% certainty) that they never asked him to take a paycut. But I can say it with 99.9% certainty that they did not, or we would have heard about it at some point in the past 4 months.

The Falcons basically sat on their thumbs for the entire month of February in terms of dealing with their financial situation. They saw their $20 or so million in cap space and figured that was good enough.

But here is something to ponder:

1) Most people seem to believe that the #1 reason why the team cut Ovie Mughelli was to save the $3M or so against the cap.
2) I'd hope most people would also believe that if Mughelli was this team's #5 RB, they would be a better team than they would be if Mike Cox, Lee Meisner, Antone Smith, Dimitri Nance, or Robbie Frey served that position. After all, Mughelli is a Pro Bowler, top-notch special teams player, and has been a critical (arguably the most critical) cog in our rushing success over the past 4 seasons.

3) Thus with these factors considered, if the Falcons had approached Michael Turner at some point in February and asked him to reduce his cap hit by $2-$4M would that mean that the Falcons would have been able to retain Ovie Mughelli, and thus be a better football team today?

Or Option B is you reduce Turner's money, still cut Ovie, and thus with the $5-7M you've now saved could go out and sign 5-7 mid-level $1M players that can potentially upgrade 5-7 spots on your roster, or maybe you spend it all on 1 really good player that costs $5-7M to upgrade one key spot on your roster.

But you know that C-word I've said about 758 times this off-season, this is what it is. This idea either never crossed their mind, which is worrisome in itself because the powers that be aren't that smart to figure out fairly simple ideas like this, or they thought about and realized it wasn't that big a deal, which is the exact definition of complacency.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Or Option B is you reduce Turner's money, still cut Ovie, and thus with the $5-7M you've now saved could go out and sign 5-7 mid-level $1M players that can potentially upgrade 5-7 spots on your roster, or maybe you spend it all on 1 really good player that costs $5-7M to upgrade one key spot on your roster.

But you know that C-word I've said about 758 times this off-season, this is what it is. This idea either never crossed their mind, which is worrisome in itself because the powers that be aren't that smart to figure out fairly simple ideas like this, or they thought about and realized it wasn't that big a deal, which is the exact definition of complacency.


I see your point but is it a valid one? You cannot sign a mid-level player ( I'm assuming you mean average player) for 1M, never mind 5-7 of them. The average player salary in 2011 was 1.9 M..... so you're looking at signing 3 average players. Now Turner, though skills are diminishing, is still an above average RB. And I am on record as saying no matter what he does this year, it is his last in Atlanta.

So, does cutting Turner for an average RB and two JAG's make us better? Smitty knows what he has in Turner. Smitty doesn't know what you're going to get with another another RB. Complacent or smart? You can argue either way.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Well since Vince Manuwai, Jason Snelling, James Sanders, Madieu Williams, Todd McClure, Chris Redman, Philip Wheeler, Gary Gibson, Roscoe Parrish, Shawntae Spencer, Bryan Scott, Shaun Rogers, Luis Castillo, Kelvin Hayden, Andre Caldwell, Chase Blackburn, Justin Bannan, Terence Newman, all cost $1 million or less. Players like Jabar Gaffney, Eric Weems, Joseph Addai, King Dunlap are in the $1.2M range. The potential was there to find up to 5-7 of those guys.

And I said you didn't have to cut Turner to save that amount of money. You could have kept Turner and made those moves/additions, just at a reduced price.

As I've outlined multiple times over the past few months, if the Falcons had approached players like Turner, Babineaux, Mughelli, and maybe negotiate long-term deals with Ryan and Grimes, in addition to the restructurings they actually did with Blalock and Robinson, this team had the capacity to save as little as $15M and as much as $30M against this year's cap, based around how creative TD & CO. are with their money.

But instead, they chose not to do that. And thus they had to function like a team that did not have any maneuverability under the cap, when that was a choice they made by their own inaction. Did they need to free up that space to be a good team? No. But that's their maintaining the status quo (which I consider complacency) because they already had enough to re-sign the 8-10 guys that they wanted and then add the 2 FAs that they did before being forced to cut Ovie to make room for Asante.

And IMHO, with minimal spending this team could have bolstered depth at WR, TE, LT, DT, LB, and/or S had they had the cap space to pursue such players. They chose not to, and IMHO they are a weaker team at ALL SIX of those positions because of that choice. I don't think that's smart.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Their coming out and surprising people with Turner playing fullback & running back. Turner has always been our best blocker in the backfield. I also think he could learn to catch a screen pass with practice all spring&summer!! That's where Snelling started.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:09 am 
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To make screens work, it's not just catching the ball. It's the ability to get upfield quickly and follow blockers and make plays in space. That is where Turner is weak because he lacks burst at this stage in his career.

As for Turner being our best pass protector, if you use Pro Football Focus metrics, then the best pass protector we've had over the past 4 years was Ovie Mughelli, who had a pass blocking efficiency of 99.2%.

Last year, Quizz's number was 96.9%. Over 4 years, Turner's is 96.6% (last year it was 99%). Snelling is 95.8% (98.2% in 2011), Verron Haynes was 95.6% in his one year, and Norwood was 94.1%.

So you can make the argument that given there is no significant difference in his blocking than the other RBs, his poor hands, and lack of burst, the Falcons are actually making their offense less effective whenever Turner is on the field in passing situations. And considering passing situations will likely consist of 57-60% of play calls this year, that basically means Turner is hurting this team at least 57-60% of the time.

There are several 2-down starting RBs in the league, but almost all of them are significantly better than Turner is: DeAngelo Williams, Adrian Peterson, Rashard Mendenhall. And those that weren't we either outright dumped this off-season: Ryan Grant, Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, or replaced with better, younger legs: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, LeGarrette Blount.

The Falcons are the last team to get the memo. I hope for theirs and our sake, it doesn' turn out to bite them in the rear.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:44 am 
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You can make the numbers look how you wish; but Turner has football smarts too; and I'm mostly talking one back offense during
much of his time in the backfield. So picking up blitzes he's really good at; but Ovie is out because of injury and wouldn't be the same.

BTW some screens start so far back by the line of scrimmage you've run 6-7 yards but no since arguing that; I am just giving some
ways that he can be used; while you make him the poster reason that Mike Smith is gonna run the same offense.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:55 am 
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Well since Vince Manuwai, Jason Snelling, James Sanders, Madieu Williams, Todd McClure, Chris Redman, Philip Wheeler, Gary Gibson, Roscoe Parrish, Shawntae Spencer, Bryan Scott, Shaun Rogers, Luis Castillo, Kelvin Hayden, Andre Caldwell, Chase Blackburn, Justin Bannan, Terence Newman, all cost $1 million or less. Players like Jabar Gaffney, Eric Weems, Joseph Addai, King Dunlap are in the $1.2M range. The potential was there to find up to 5-7 of those guys.


Again, I understand your theory. But really not counting the players you listed on the Falcons already (?) do any of them drastically improve us as a team after we make roster space with cuts for them? It's probably a wash.....


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
but Ovie is out because of injury and wouldn't be the same.

So you say. But Ovie is 100% cleared from his injury. Ovie is not a running back, and his injury was not an ACL tear. The most we've heard on the subject was that it was an MCL tear, a relatively minor knee injury. Now, an MCL tear typically does not require surgery, yet Ovie got surgery so I'm assuming his was a very severe MCL tear, or there was some other damage to the knee. But again, we can assume that said damage wasn't that devastating because Ovie was cleared to play 5-6 months after he had the surgery, which from my observations is a relatively normal recovery time for an NFL player.

Would he be the same Pro Bowl-caliber player he was from 2008-10? No, probably not because then he was the best lead blocker in the league. Since Vonta Leach has taken his title from him. But he'd still probably be among the Top 5-10 lead blockers in the league with any expected drop-off. And the fact that Ovie is only 32, and most fullbacks of his ilk that played at a level similar to him throughout their careers were able to play up to 35, 36, 37, and 38 years old.

I'm not going to re-hash the same arguments I was making a month ago when we cut Ovie. You can either choose to think for yourself, or you can be a sycophant that assumes everything our beloved Vegan Savior does is the right move. Either though there is a wealth of examples over the past 14 months that is not the case.

AngryJohnny51 wrote:
But really not counting the players you listed on the Falcons already (?) do any of them drastically improve us as a team after we make roster space with cuts for them? It's probably a wash.....

Drastically improve? No. But subtly yes. They improve depth and in the event of injuries. I've said before, I think the Falcons depth at WR is bad. I think their depth at TE is even worse. I think their depth at S is poor. I think they have mediocre depth at DT, and I'm not the biggest fan of their depth at QB among other positions.

I think if a handful of specific players were to get hurt, this team's lack of depth would get them into trouble. Almost every player I mentioned has extensive starting experience, and therefore IMHO are much better depth than some of our unproven young guys. And I'm not against giving young guys opportunities, but really only if they have upside to be future starters (like say an Akeem Dent or Dominique Franks). But most of the Falcons young players in these key positions aren't future starters, they're career backups (e.g. Michael Palmer, Kerry Meier, Shann Schillinger, Peria Jerry, etc.), and thus whether it's them or one of these mid-level journeyman veterans really doesn't matter that much, except Palmer and the like are going to eventually become these journeymen but lack 3-5 years of additional experience and development, and thus aren't quite ready to step in as a starter for 3-4 games if need be.

James Sanders last year was a perfect example. Sanders wasn't good enough to really present a challenge to DeCoud or Moore as the starters at FS or SS. But his experience, and versatility to play either spot in a pinch made it so that when DeCoud and/or Moore were out of the lineup, there was little drop-off on the defense. But instead we have CHarles Mitchell and Shann Schillinger, and nothing against those guys because I think they can be decent backups in time. But there is going to be significant if either have to play 3-4 games this year. And what the Falcons either fail to realize or simply ignore is that safeties are among the most injury-prone/least durable positions in the league. Think about it. If you count the number of missed games over the past 5 years for Falcons starting safeties, they average 2.6 games per year. If you factor in William MOore's 9 missed games as a rookie (when he wasn't a starter), that number shoots up to 4.4 games. So if you can bet money that DeCoud/Moore will miss a combined 2.6 games this year, I hope for the Falcons sake they don't come in the middle of the season, and the Falcons will be forced to start either Shann or Mitchell against the Eagles, Cowboys, and/or Saints...

They won't drastically improve the team, nor would they drastically hurt the team if not signed. But it's a very good insurance policy for the near future. And it certainly bolsters competition in camp, which is something that Mike Smith is talking, but not necessarily walking.

Again, so explain to me why essentially doing nothing is a smart strategy...

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:03 pm 
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Snelling nor Quizz


I might disagree on these two being co-backs, in that you put them together and that is your co-back with MT. With the caveat that you hope Quiz can continue to ascend into potential co-back solely, with an obv tilt toward third downs.

Buuuuuuuuut, where I worry in tendency breaking when each back is in the game. B/c you know MT isn't getting a screen. Thats that. I suppose we need Quiz to be good between the tackles, which that stat I posted a while back was very encouraging.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:27 pm 
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I think the reasoning behind why the Falcons aren't really looking at mid-level veteran talent is because of their draft day decisions over the past two springs. Without a plethora of draft picks to infuse this team with young talent, they are compensating by having an overabundance of UDFAs to make up for the lack of youthful talent. Thus another consequence of the Jones trade, weakened depth on the team.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:39 am 
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A consequence of the Jones trade is Ryan can show he's got most of the skills of a 5 year veteran Or show
he's not got the arm or accuracy to ever consistently hit the deep ball. Without the latter skill; you just can't ever be
more than a team manager; Not Leader or elite Qb.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:51 am 
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Like you just agreed; Ovie won't be the same blocker; Turner can block as good or better than Ovie. You can take some of your stats
and save them; even you don't think Norwood blocked 80% as well as Turner out of the backfield......

Its a lot of BS. for not having a clue as to how the Falcons will use the ball and players this year; their being rather tight about saying what the
offense is going to do!! So while we make things up; Turner is not going to make or break this team; nor is he a symbol of anything except in a few imagination's!!

Of all people you're the one wanting an investigation why we didn't bring Ovie back??

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:23 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Turner is not going to make or break this team;

Then why is he the 4th highest paid player on the roster?

Cyril wrote:
even you don't think Norwood blocked 80% as well as Turner out of the backfield

Actually, I do. I think Turner is a good blocker. But I do not think he is unique in that ability.

Cyril wrote:
Like you just agreed; Ovie won't be the same blocker; Turner can block as good or better than Ovie.

In pass protection? OK. And Rodgers and Snelling can block as good or better than Turner. The point is that if all Turner brings to the table is pass protecting abilities, there were 3 other potential players that are just as capable as him, and therefore he is not special. That alone isn't worth keeping him at $7.5 million this year. You have to bring more to the table than that.

Cyril wrote:
Its a lot of BS. for not having a clue as to how the Falcons will use the ball and players this year

Oh, I definitely have a clue. Everybody here has a clue. They may not know completely, or be able to predict the future with 100% accuracy, but we have a clue. It's called an educated guess. Why pay a guy that much money if you don't intend on using him to a high degree?

In my opinion, Turner has a very specific skillset, which is to lead a ground and pound attack. I believe he no longer ably fills that skillset. It's not something I fabricated in my imagination, because it's something that you yourself have agreed with me in recent months. So you're seemingly as deluded as me.

They've been saying for 3 years now that they are planning on scaling back his carries, yet they haven't done a great job because he's been one of the most used RBs in the league over that span. So why should we believe it now? Because there's a new OC and it's clear that Turner isn't the player he once was? That's fine. But then it begs the question then why aren't you paying him a salary commiserate with his newfound value?

The only way they are justified in paying him that salary is if he is used to a similar degree as he has been over the past 4 years and is highly effective in that role (comparable to his play from 2008-10). And since everybody in Flowery Branch is saying that is not going to be the case, and every fan seems to be saying that won't be the case, then why is he being paid so much?

Why am I the only person criticizing the team for this? Because I'm a jaded delusional jerk that is looking for reasons to hate on the team? Perhaps. But the delusional people are the ones that see the reality (that the team is overpaying Turner) and simply ignore it. That's delusion people.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:22 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I'm not going to re-hash the same arguments I was making a month ago when we cut Ovie. You can either choose to think for yourself, or you can be a syncophant that assumes everything our beloved Vegan Savior does is the right move...


'Your either with us or against us" :roll:

Look, Im not 'highfiving' the team for not resigning Ovie, but I really dont think it's as dire a move as you say. The position is changing, or outright being deferred. We have three guys who can do the job. Ovie is coming off an injury. Yes, he was 'medically cleared'.. If our new scheme doesn’t utilize a FB much (20% of plays), there’s no need to tie up almost $3-4 million in the position. Bradie Ewing was the best FB in the draft and will be able to make those 20% plays work... He can run, block, and catch. And he's not coming off an major injury.

I would think that such a superstar as Ovie would have been snapped up at the highest price right away. He was released in the first week of May, nobody inked him in the last 7 weeks. He will get signed to somebody's roster on the cheap later in the season, so I know he will find a slot. But the fact that 31 other NFL teams are willing to 'wait' this long should tell us something. Maybe everything is not all right with the ol' kneecap. Who knows?

Turner is already on a pitch count, so I see no need to tie up that $$ with Mugs.

This actually gives me a little glimmer of hope.

Now, I could be completely wrong on this, but what if Koetter has something up his sleeve?

When we face off against teams that dont scheme well against Turner, or weaker teams he seems to play great, but when faced with a tough a$$ Dline, or one that can fill gaps he is toast, because he will get stonewalled and he cant catch well enough or is fast enough anymore to get outside: so maybe this is the times when Turner will be on his 'pitch count;, and we would see more usuage of guys who have a different skillset then ground and pound, 3 yards and a cloud of dust, etc..?

One can hope!

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:04 pm 
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fun gus, I'm not trying to say that cutting Ovie is a dire move. But it's one of several moves that when added together are dire moves, and are strong indicators of this team's complacency. Ovie had significant value on offense. The player that will likely replace him as the 5th RB on the team (Frey, Nance, Smith, Cox, Meisner) won't and their significant value will come on special teams. And since Ovie was no slouch on special teams himself, I don't believe that is improving the team.

An analogy I've used before is when you're trying to fill a glass, you keep pouring water in yet the glass never fills up. That's because there are small cracks and wholes in the glass that leak.

The fact that Ovie hasn't signed isn't surprising to me. Nobody signs veterans after the draft. If you're a veteran FA and you don't have a deal done by the first week of April, then the odds are very low that you'll be able to get one done before July/August. After the draft and UDFAs are signed, the off-season is essentially over for NFL teams. They will only make a handful of transactions between May and August, and the vast majority of them are swapping UDFAs rather than signing veterans.

I agree, Ovie wasn't worth $3.7M or whatever the price tag was. So you have two options, reduce his salary or get rid of him, and do so at the beginning of March rather than waiting until May which is not fair to Ovie (for the above reason). Their decision to do NEITHER of these is what I'm criticizing. I've explained before that restructuring Ovie's deal would have been relatively easy, but they NEVER picked up the phone. And I've explained before that even if they wanted Ewing, then cutting Ovie would not have affected their ability to get him like so many people seem to think. As I said, if you had cut Ovie back in March, you could have spread misinformation that you were planning on moving Jason Snelling full-time to FB and that you really liked Mike Cox and that between the two of them you thought they could do what Ovie could do. And not you, I, or anybody else in the NFL would have batted an eye thinking that wasn't the case, thus allowing the Falcons to target Bradie Ewing and still get him.

It's the same with the Michael Jenkins cutting. Yes, I know I'm always bringing that up. :wink: Jenks was going to make something like $5.5M in 2011. I get that is too expensive for a backup WR. So you either reduce the salary to a palatable figure, or you cut him right? But if you cut him as we did, don't leave that void on the team. You should go out and sign someone else with similar ability for the right price. And last summer there were a ton of guys like that available (because outside Sidney Rice & Santonio Holmes, no WRs got paid). But this team seemingly made the decision that the void could be filled by Weems, Douglas, Brandyn Harvey, and/or Kerry Meier. And they were WRONG! IMO, no competent GM would have made that decision. And if the decision was that we only need 3 good WRs as opposed to 4, then again that is also a dumb conclusion/decision.

The point I'm trying to illustrate is that this team is making cost-cutting decisions but at the same time weakening the team (i.e. drilling those small holes into the side of the glass of water), when they don't have to be.

And I'm trying to get someone to explain to me why it makes sense for this team to being paying Michael Turner $7.5 million? And so why is Michael Turner more deserving of any treatment different than Ovie Mughelli? Just like Ovie, Turner should have been cut or restructured at the beginning of the off-season.

And the fact that they have not done that is to me just one more notch on the belt of why this team is complacent and/or not run to the quality that people seem to think it is.

The Falcons are already a good football team. They are going to be a team that is going to consistently win 8-10 games pretty much every year and be in the hunt for the wildcard every year similar to how the Tennessee Titans were under Jeff Fisher, or the Eagles are under Andy Reid. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't going to be one or two big moves that is going to suddenly get this team to the next level that is consistently winning 11-13 games and competing for championships. It's not going to be just Julio Jones or Mario Williams alone that gets this team over the hump. It's going to be a bunch of little moves. And IMO, this team makes too many bad little decisions, and not enough good little ones. Getting Samuel was a good little move. Big name, but little move. Picking up Tatupu and Manuwai were also good ones. But not re-doing Turne'rs deal, cutting Ovie, letting Jenkins go without replacing him, giving Blalock too much money, letting Dahl walk, not bringing in veteran competition at LT, are bad little moves. Not shoring up depth at WR and TE = bad. Giving Nicholas too much money. Neglecting depth at DT and S. Not bringing in a proven return man, all bad.

And people sit there and think that the reason we haven't made that next step to being a better football team is because Matt Ryan can't throw a deep ball. And it's the above reasons just as much if not more than Matt Ryan's pathetic deep pass that is holding this team back.

This is the point of all this arguing about what is wrong with the team. It's 10 reasons why this team isn't getting better, not just 1 or 2. But people seem to be only focused on 1, and I'm trying to point out the other 8 or 9 reasons. You may not agree that they are as big issues as Matt Ryan, but you should at least recognize they are legit issues that do factor in.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:52 pm 
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fun gus, I'm not trying to say that cutting Ovie is a dire move. But it's one of several moves that when added together are dire moves, and are strong indicators of this team's complacency. Ovie had significant value on offense. The player that will likely replace him as the 5th RB on the team (Frey, Nance, Smith, Cox, Meisner) won't and their significant value will come on special teams. And since Ovie was no slouch on special teams himself, I don't believe that is improving the team.

An analogy I've used before is when you're trying to fill a glass, you keep pouring water in yet the glass never fills up. That's because there are small cracks and wholes in the glass that leak.

The fact that Ovie hasn't signed isn't surprising to me. Nobody signs veterans after the draft. If you're a veteran FA and you don't have a deal done by the first week of April, then the odds are very low that you'll be able to get one done before July/August. After the draft and UDFAs are signed, the off-season is essentially over for NFL teams. They will only make a handful of transactions between May and August, and the vast majority of them are swapping UDFAs rather than signing veterans.

I agree, Ovie wasn't worth $3.7M or whatever the price tag was. So you have two options, reduce his salary or get rid of him, and do so at the beginning of March rather than waiting until May which is not fair to Ovie (for the above reason). Their decision to do NEITHER of these is what I'm criticizing. I've explained before that restructuring Ovie's deal would have been relatively easy, but they NEVER picked up the phone. And I've explained before that even if they wanted Ewing, then cutting Ovie would not have affected their ability to get him like so many people seem to think. As I said, if you had cut Ovie back in March, you could have spread misinformation that you were planning on moving Jason Snelling full-time to FB and that you really liked Mike Cox and that between the two of them you thought they could do what Ovie could do. And not you, I, or anybody else in the NFL would have batted an eye thinking that wasn't the case, thus allowing the Falcons to target Bradie Ewing and still get him.

It's the same with the Michael Jenkins cutting. Yes, I know I'm always bringing that up. :wink: Jenks was going to make something like $5.5M in 2011. I get that is too expensive for a backup WR. So you either reduce the salary to a palatable figure, or you cut him right? But if you cut him as we did, don't leave that void on the team. You should go out and sign someone else with similar ability for the right price. And last summer there were a ton of guys like that available (because outside Sidney Rice & Santonio Holmes, no WRs got paid). But this team seemingly made the decision that the void could be filled by Weems, Douglas, Brandyn Harvey, and/or Kerry Meier. And they were WRONG! IMO, no competent GM would have made that decision. And if the decision was that we only need 3 good WRs as opposed to 4, then again that is also a dumb conclusion/decision.

The point I'm trying to illustrate is that this team is making cost-cutting decisions but at the same time weakening the team (i.e. drilling those small holes into the side of the glass of water), when they don't have to be.

And I'm trying to get someone to explain to me why it makes sense for this team to being paying Michael Turner $7.5 million? And so why is Michael Turner more deserving of any treatment different than Ovie Mughelli? Just like Ovie, Turner should have been cut or restructured at the beginning of the off-season.

And the fact that they have not done that is to me just one more notch on the belt of why this team is complacent and/or not run to the quality that people seem to think it is.

The Falcons are already a good football team. They are going to be a team that is going to consistently win 8-10 games pretty much every year and be in the hunt for the wildcard every year similar to how the Tennessee Titans were under Jeff Fisher, or the Eagles are under Andy Reid. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't going to be one or two big moves that is going to suddenly get this team to the next level that is consistently winning 11-13 games and competing for championships. It's not going to be just Julio Jones or Mario Williams alone that gets this team over the hump. It's going to be a bunch of little moves. And IMO, this team makes too many bad little decisions, and not enough good little ones. Getting Samuel was a good little move. Big name, but little move. Picking up Tatupu and Manuwai were also good ones. But not re-doing Turne'rs deal, cutting Ovie, letting Jenkins go without replacing him, giving Blalock too much money, letting Dahl walk, not bringing in veteran competition at LT, are bad little moves. Not shoring up depth at WR and TE = bad. Giving Nicholas too much money. Neglecting depth at DT and S. Not bringing in a proven return man, all bad.

And people sit there and think that the reason we haven't made that next step to being a better football team is because Matt Ryan can't throw a deep ball. And it's the above reasons just as much if not more than Matt Ryan's pathetic deep pass that is holding this team back.

This is the point of all this arguing about what is wrong with the team. It's 10 reasons why this team isn't getting better, not just 1 or 2. But people seem to be only focused on 1, and I'm trying to point out the other 8 or 9 reasons. You may not agree that they are as big issues as Matt Ryan, but you should at least recognize they are legit issues that do factor in.


Unfortunately, I mostly agree with this. I don't particularly agree about Ovie, but do about everything else. I wanted both Ovie and Turner gone.

Regardless, you're right that we need a 4th WR (who counts), a 2nd TE who counts, a 3rd safety who counts...all players that can be relied on. A dynamic back also.

I fear you and I have the same idea of what makes a strong team, and thus will be a little disappointed. This team seems to think depth is for special teams/niche players, whereas I think depth is for guys who can contribute now, but especially if a guy goes down...and also for training guys up. Your 4,5, 6 recievers should be a vet who can play, and a tall guy you're developing to start or contribute, and a speedy guy you're developing to start or contribute. Not roster marginalia, but prospects. We haven't had that the whole time. Same at CB (though they're doing better there.) If we had Denarius Moore and Juron Criner at 4 and 5...you and I would be singing a different tune, and these aren't 1st round guys...but they're players.

Until they see the "backup" spots as spaces for guys who can play as starters or you hope can shortly play as starters/strong contributors, this team will lack flexibility and potential. We need those "next stars" being developed now, so our starters are pushed and don't have to be held on to too long.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Said another way, this team is a 2M receiver, 2M tight end, 2M RB, 2M safety away from being a fearsome team, lacking only a couple of stars (at DE, TE) to be dominant.

That's 4 guys that cost a total of 8M and radically change our depth and options at those position groups, for the price of Michael Turner. (Or for a fairly cheap price even if you keep Turner.)

4 WR sets are strong, and Julio can play slot. That's a completely different look/offense defenses have to worry about.
2 TE sets are strong, the run and the pass are equal threats. That's a completely different offense to go to if another one isn't working.
2M RB can run up the middle or catch (Hillis type), leading to versatility there and spelling Turner if we kept him.
2M safety enables big nickel at times (or big dime) letting Spoon and Moore roam the short field having two competent safeties back behind.

With that, our offense and defense are radically more dynamic. And that's not with stars at those positions, it's with competent starters, making your stars be able to get better matchups.

Plus, as TG and Turner leave, you're not as screwed, because you have competent players in those positions.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:55 am 
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Quote:
Said another way, this team is a 2M receiver, 2M tight end, 2M RB, 2M safety away from being a fearsome team, lacking only a couple of stars (at DE, TE) to be dominant.


Disagree. For 2M a year on those positions, you are signing either very young unknowns or aging vets....who would be stop gap at best. I'm not disagreeing with your theory, but 8 million for 4 players isn't going to make us a "fearsome team". It may give us more depth, which always helps, but I just don't see it dramatically upgrading the talent pool.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:04 pm 
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IMO, it's less about the money specifically for each player than the quality. Not to mention if the Falcons had cut Turner outright, they would have only saved $2.5M against this year's cap.

One of the reasons used to justify the release of Ovie was because Koetter's offense won't use fullbacks as much as Mularkey's. Well, if that's the case, then that means increased reps for the TEs. And thus why it would have been smart to draft a quality TE this year and/or sign a solid veteran like Kevin Boss ($3M/yr. from KC), Daniel Fells ($1.75M/yr. from NE), or Joel Dreessen ($2.8M/yr. from DEN). That does make the offense more fearsome, even by a small degree because now you have a No. 2 TE that is a starter-quality as opposed to a career backup.

You do the same at WR, by going out and getting a WR that you can put on the outside that can help stretch the defense and allow Jones to move inside to the slot, where he can be one of the best slot receivers in the league. Depending on how much spend will determine the quality of the player: Robert Meachem ($6.5M/yr. from SD), Brandon Lloyd ($4M/yr. from NE), Mario Manningham ($3.7M/yr. from SF), Jacoby Jones ($3.25M/yr. from BAL), Lee Evans ($1.5M/yr. from JAC), and Chaz Schilens ($800K/yr. from NYJ). Not to mention Braylon Edwards who still is available to fill that role.

It's not a few moves that are going to suddenly make this team into a Top 5 offense overnight, but certainly a handful of moves can help establish the base so that 2-3 years from now they can be a Top 5 offense. And without an offensive identity, there is NO WAY the Falcons can excel on that side of the ball. And even mid-level talent can help you establish that identity that will lead to success.

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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:30 pm 
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You do the same at WR, by going out and getting a WR that you can put on the outside that can help stretch the defense and allow Jones to move inside to the slot, where he can be one of the best slot receivers in the league. Depending on how much spend will determine the quality of the player: Robert Meachem ($6.5M/yr. from SD), Brandon Lloyd ($4M/yr. from NE), Mario Manningham ($3.7M/yr. from SF), Jacoby Jones ($3.25M/yr. from BAL), Lee Evans ($1.5M/yr. from JAC), and Chaz Schilens ($800K/yr. from NYJ). Not to mention Braylon Edwards who still is available to fill that role.


If TD did bring in another receiver, at least the ones you mentioned, he would be run out of town on a rail by 95% of the fan base. It would be Matt Millan/Lions all over again. We need help in other areas first and foremost. If the need is for another receiver to stretch the field, we need to find a hidden gem and cultivate him.

Robert Meachem = 6.5M over paid. Blank would have slapped TD with a Home Depot 2x4.
Brandon Loyd = 4M over paid. There is a reason he's on his 7th team in 9 years.
Mario Manningham = 3.7M Two bulky knees and is not a burner. Risky.
Jacoby Jones = 3.25M Couldn't catch a cold. Couldn't step up and be a two in Houston opposite side of one of the best in the game. Says a lot.
Lee Evans = 1.5MM Price is right but I think he equals another "Price", Peerless. Remember how great he was for us?
Chaz Schilens = 800K Who? Averaging 18 catches a year....can't see why we'd want to sign him opposite of Rowdy.


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 Post subject: Re: Then why are we paying Turner so much money????
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:35 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Quote:
You do the same at WR, by going out and getting a WR that you can put on the outside that can help stretch the defense and allow Jones to move inside to the slot, where he can be one of the best slot receivers in the league. Depending on how much spend will determine the quality of the player: Robert Meachem ($6.5M/yr. from SD), Brandon Lloyd ($4M/yr. from NE), Mario Manningham ($3.7M/yr. from SF), Jacoby Jones ($3.25M/yr. from BAL), Lee Evans ($1.5M/yr. from JAC), and Chaz Schilens ($800K/yr. from NYJ). Not to mention Braylon Edwards who still is available to fill that role.


If TD did bring in another receiver, at least the ones you mentioned, he would be run out of town on a rail by 95% of the fan base. It would be Matt Millan/Lions all over again. We need help in other areas first and foremost. If the need is for another receiver to stretch the field, we need to find a hidden gem and cultivate him.

Robert Meachem = 6.5M over paid. Blank would have slapped TD with a Home Depot 2x4.
Brandon Loyd = 4M over paid. There is a reason he's on his 7th team in 9 years.
Mario Manningham = 3.7M Two bulky knees and is not a burner. Risky.
Jacoby Jones = 3.25M Couldn't catch a cold. Couldn't step up and be a two in Houston opposite side of one of the best in the game. Says a lot.
Lee Evans = 1.5MM Price is right but I think he equals another "Price", Peerless. Remember how great he was for us?
Chaz Schilens = 800K Who? Averaging 18 catches a year....can't see why we'd want to sign him opposite of Rowdy.


I agree on the Meachem aspect. But the point with these guys is they're not supposed to be 2's. Just competent 3's and 4's. I agree that drafting guys would have been nice (wanted Criner late and late rounders last year) but since we haven't, you still have to cover that gaping hole. A 4M reciever would make it so that we can beat cover 2's (which we can't now) because it would let a tall receiver play slot and split the seams. It's not that 4th receiver, it's what he enables with Julio in the center. Same concept with a 2nd TE...it helps beat defenses we have problems with.

So, take Daniel Fells (slow, but competent), Lloyd or Manningham (or Evans if you want just a cheap vert guy), Hillis, and a James Sanders equivalent. That's 9M. Turner and Ovie being cut (if Turner were designated a June 1 cut) gets you 8 of that.

Those guys aren't dynamos. No doubt. It's just that they let other players shine. Evans or Lloyd on the outside, Roddy on the outside, Julio and TG on the inside will give defenses a lot more fits than any grouping we have now. And it's all about versatility...it gives so many more ways to attack.

And, imagine TG gets hurt. Well, having Fells takes the sting away a little. Having better 3 and 4 receiver sets (so you don't have to rely on the TE) takes it away a lot.

Imagine Roddy gets hurt. Well, you can run more 2 TE sets, with Lloyd and Julio as the receivers, or you can revert to Julio and Lloyd on the outside and HD in the slot.

Basically you've made it so that you have 3 or 4 ways to get around an injury with 2 players. Because by getting depth at "pass catcher" that can help if a WR or a TE goes down. I'd say in a no injury season, you're going to get at least one more win from the versatility (if not more), in a normal injury season, at least 2 (from not missing an entire element of your offense) and in a major injury season (HD, Roddy, and TG miss decent time) it's the only thing that makes you remain competitive.

Those guys aren't worldbeaters. They're enables, and what they enable is Julio, Roddy, and mainly Ryan. A guy doesn't have to be very good to be substantially better than Michael Palmer and Cody Pearcy.

Edit: As an addendum, why those guys are so valuable, is because it's not like OL depth. OL depth only comes in if you have injuries, much like a backup QB. But a 4th receiver (an outside one in our case) and a 2nd TE aren't just depth. They would play 30% of the snaps. They're immediate contributors that are also great depth, and so having those players on the squad is a great use of money...a great value, compared to other position options, especially when you can get competent starters/contributors at 2-4M.


Last edited by takeitdown on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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