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 Post subject: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:40 am 
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FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons’ acquisition of Asante Samuel this offseason might prove to be more than just an upgrade of the team’s secondary. He also opened Matt Ryan’s eyes a little bit with some analysis.

“Yeah, he crushed me,” Ryan said, laughing. “But he has a way of crushing everybody. We played against him four times, and I think he had like three picks against me.”

The Falcons opened training camp Thursday. Ryan had just finished talking about his revised offseason workouts (increased weight-lifting), his new approach to practices and meetings (maintaining consistent focus, discipline and intensity through the year) and the hiring of a new offensive coordinator (Dirk Koetter), all of which he hopes will result in something significantly north of another playoff shutout.

It’s no secret that Ryan hasn’t been good in his three playoff games. It hit him shortly after (and possibly during) the 24-2 loss to the New York Giants that something had to change.

Taking ownership wasn’t a problem Thursday. “When you look at the past season, and leading up to this point of your career, I certainly haven’t been where I need to be,” he said. “I haven’t been as good as I can be.”

He sought and received critiques from opposing players. Quarterbacks “tend to not be too rough on each other,” he said. But Samuel, acquired from Philadelphia, didn’t hold back after arriving and provided some revelations.

Like what?

“Well, I’m not going to tell you,” Ryan said, smiling.

But he is not shy about addressing the obvious: He knows the offense has to get better, and particularly more efficient in the red zone, for this team to have any postseason.

“When you look at the difference between a first-round exit and a Super Bowl championship, the game shakes on five, six, seven plays,” he said. “We have to be better. I have to be better.”

They also have to be less predictable. If we can’t yet know how effective Koetter will be, we at least know things had hit a wall with Mike Mularkey. Play-calling seemed rubber-stamped from the week before. It’s less about the common refrain, that Ryan needs to throw deep more, than it is the offense needs to be more varied.

I have found there to be one absolute in football: When guys in the press box are calling out the play before the snap, there’s a problem.

It’s hard for an offense to get shut out in a game. When a team gets 10 to 12 possessions, it’s bound to stumble into at least a couple of field goals.

Mularkey didn’t understand the criticism. He lived at the intersection of arrogant and insufferable. He seemed closed to any suggestions that his offense had become predictable and that halftime adjustments by opponents possibly led to a drop-off in production. He dismissed these as mere theories from “outside sources.”

“The general public and yourself would not know that unless you studied film, knew what the game plan was and knew what was happening in the first half and not the second half,” Mularkey said last season.

Oh, woe be our feeble minds.

Mularkey is now disseminating his brilliance in Jacksonville.

Ryan did not take any shots at Mularkey, of course. He even said, “I liked playing for Mike.”

But take note of Ryan’s remarks on Koetter: “He’s been really good in meetings, really upbeat, really positive. Everybody is impressed with how smart he is and how receptive he is to our input. … Dirk’s got a different way of teaching, and a lot of our guys respond to it well. He pushes people differently. Mike was very demanding, very organized. Dirk is as well, but he has a different type of personality. He’s very positive. It’s a different vibe.”

Ryan actually had an impressive year statistically — career highs in yards (4,177), touchdowns (29) and efficiency (92.2) — especially considering he was out there with a just-average running game and too-often less-than-average protection from his line. But he knows he needs to better.

He said the offense most needs to improve on “finishing drives.” Some of that is execution by his teammates. Some of it is play-calling. Some of it is on the quarterback.

“There’s one thing that tells you that you need to do something different, and that’s the end result,” he said.

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/ ... hultz_blog

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 Post subject: Re: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Quote:
“The general public and yourself would not know that unless you studied film, knew what the game plan was and knew what was happening in the first half and not the second half,” Mularkey said last season.

Oh, woe be our feeble minds.

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:13 pm 
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When Ryan was in year 2, I recognized that Mularkey wasn't going to get it done for us. Of course, it's possible that Mike Smith is the ultimate issue, but I think that we'll know for sure mid-way through this season.


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 Post subject: Re: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:17 am 
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It's easy to scapegoat Mularkey, and in the case of Schultz who is at the head of the line of the "Mike Smith can do no wrong" crowd.

And I know most people will read this as me saying that Mike Smith is mostly or all at fault for the flaws of the offense and that's not it at all. The reasons why the offense failed in past years is on Mike Mularkey, Mike Smith, Thomas Dimitroff, Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Garrett Reynolds, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Ovie Mughelli, Sam Baker, Will Svitek, and Joe Hawley's shoulders.

But it's easier to place the blame on only one of those entities and pretend that just fixing one of those issues will solve most if not all of the team's problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:14 am 
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Since year 2, I have felt that Mularkey's play calling was the key reason for the problems. His game to game schemes didn't seem to account for his opponents. He was not able to get consistent production out of anyone beyond his first RB, and top two receiving targets. He never seemed to realize that his offensive line was not the kind of line that could bulldoze its way down the field and assert its will upon good defenses. He constantly asked Matt Ryan to bail out the running game, which Ryan was able to do on many occasions.

I don't know if the new OC is going to instantly turn things around for our offense, but I consider it a victory that Mularkey is no longer here.


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 Post subject: Re: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:55 am 
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Both points are accurate, and I am also happy that Mularkey has moved elsewhere. He seems very stiff and inflexible.

It's unrealistic to ask TD (or Arthur, if you want everyne on this lsit changed) to make all of these changes. Having Matt focus on being fresh for the playoffs, drafting Konz, hiring Patt Hill and replacing Mularkey are a lot of changes. Would it be nice to have a real 4th WR? Yep. However, there's a finite amount of money and options available, and I do support their decision to give in-house guys a chance to play into success.

I am okay with the moves, but they do need to be reasobably successful. I am happy to see Mr. Applying-for-a-new-job-in-the-playoffs the hell out of here, especially.


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 Post subject: Re: Mularkey is a douchebag
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:21 pm 
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There has been often talk of a disconnect between front office and the coaching staff. And I think this is true. Mike Mularkey runs a certain type of offense, which is a run-heavy, conservative ball-control style. When he was successful in Pittsburgh, this was the type of offense he ran. ANd at all of his other stops (including Atlanta), his teams have been most successful when they were able to successfully run this type/style of offense. ANd I think this is right in the wheelhouse of Mike Smith, which is why Smith was so quick to pounce on Mularkey back in '08.

Now there are some Falcon fans that will say that the Falcons would have moved on from Mularkey whether or not he had accepted that Jaguars job last January. I don't know if there is a scrap of evidence to support that theory, but at the same time it doesn't sound quite like wild speculation completely out of the realm of possibilities.

But anyway, the point I'm getting at with the disconnect is that I don't think the front office did a good job acquiring the type of players that typically do a good job in the Mularkey-run offense. But then again, the front office did acquire a certain amount of talent, and the OC didn't do his job in integrating those pieces into the offense.

I'm sure most fans fall on one of two sides of that issue, in terms of who deserves more blame for the shortcomings and that disconnect existing, and I'm sure the majority of them fall on the side of Mularkey didn't do his job moreso than TD didn't do his job.

In my eyes I think both share blame. I spent much of last year pointing out all of the flaws of Mularkey, and it was clear that we had gone as far with him as this front office was willing to go. Without beefing up the O-line, getting a young workhorse RB, and bolstering the defense, particularly in the front 4, that the Mularkey style of offense wasn't going to work any longer in Atlanta. It wasn't going to get us to where we want to be which is competing for championships. And whether right/wrong, it was clear by the actions of the front office since the 2010 season, that they had zero intention on improving upon those areas and adding those necessary pieces to make things with Mularkey work.

And I'll still maintain that these past two off-seasons seem to be largely rudderless, and that to me is a "macro" problem that even the world's best offensive coordinator probably is not going to solve/make up for.

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