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 Post subject: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:51 pm 
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http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Atla ... ove-080912

Falcons look to make noise in 2012
Alex Marvez
Updated Aug 9, 2012 10:41 AM ET


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.

The "dirty bird" was their trademark celebration en route to Super Bowl XXXIII.

The Atlanta Falcons need to rediscover that rhythm after opening playoff losses three of the past four years.

The Falcons are on a run of unprecedented success, posting four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history under head coach Mike Smith. But each of those campaigns ended in major disappointment.

Atlanta, which didn't qualify for the playoffs at 9-7 in 2009, was bumped from the postseason by Arizona (2008), Green Bay (2010) and the New York Giants (2011). All three of those teams did reach the Super Bowl, with the Packers and Giants winning championships. The Falcons, though, had better regular-season records than each of their opponents. Equally devastating, Atlanta played some of its worst football of the season in those losses.

Such failings are the motivational fuel for the 2012 Falcons.

"It’s time for us to march past that first game," defensive end John Abraham said at Falcons training camp. "I think once we get that first game there’s going to be no stopping us.

TRAINING DAYS
Pads are on and jobs are on the line. Check out practices from all the training camps around the NFL.

"It’s just getting that first dance out of the way. You know you’re nervous the first time you dance with somebody. You get that out of the way, you feel comfortable. Now it’s time for us to two-step, get down and boogie.”

Abraham should be dancing in the streets about Atlanta's change in defensive coordinator. While the Falcons don't have a complementary pass-rusher on their roster, Mike Nolan is installing a more complex system designed to bring the heat from multiple angles and formations. This should help a third-down defense that Smith admits needed upgrading from 2011.

"I think it’s going to be 10 more people (rushing), not just me," said Abraham, whose 112 career sacks are the most among active NFL players. "How Mike has it set up, everyone is coming — cornerbacks, safeties, linebackers. It’s not just going to be d-line. We have people capable of getting to (the quarterback) so we’re using everyone possible on the team to go.

"We’re probably going to show some different looks here and there. You’ve got to. Once you become one-dimensional and vanilla, teams tend to tear you apart. They know what you’ve been doing and what’s going to happen in certain situations. I don’t think we’re that type of team at all this year.”

Atlanta's offense also could look noticeably different with a new coordinator to replace Mike Mularkey, who left to become Jacksonville's head coach. Dirk Koetter will try to deploy more of a deep passing game to utilize the skills of rising second-year wide receiver Julio Jones. There also may be more of a running back-by-committee approach with workhorse Michael Turner now 30 years old.

BLAST OFF
Demaryius Thomas is just one player ready for a breakout season in 2012.

For the unit to have success, improvement is needed from the offensive line and quarterback Matt Ryan. Smith is encouraged that the lanky Ryan has gained weight and increased his strength in offseason workouts entering his fifth NFL season.

Just like his teammates, Ryan also knows he must save his best for last. Ryan has proven one of the NFL's most efficient quarterbacks the past two seasons, especially when it comes to avoiding turnovers, with only 21 interceptions compared to 57 touchdowns.

His career playoff statistics aren't nearly as impressive. During last year's 24-2 playoff loss to the Giants, Ryan struggled to complete deep and intermediate throws and Atlanta's offense failed to convert in three critical short-yardage situations.

"It comes down to little things — executing four, five, six plays within a game," said Ryan, who had an even worse playoff outing against Green Bay the previous season. "That changes you losing in the first round or going on to win a Super Bowl.

"When I look at last year as a whole, I think that’s what we needed to do better. That’s been our emphasis going into camp this year.”

Abraham said the desire to atone for recent postseason flops "kind of makes you want to fast-forward to the playoffs now so we can play." First things first, though. The Falcons have to stay focused on getting to Abraham's "dance" in what should be an improved NFC South.

IT'S ON NOW
Seats are getting warm thanks to a crazy NFL offseason. Find out who is under pressure.

“We know we have to break through that proverbial door in the playoffs. That’s big," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "It seems as though in the media there’s quite a bit of banter about what we don’t have, whether it’s we’re not tough enough or a resilient enough team or we don’t finish enough.

"We have a lot of players going into their fifth, sixth, seventh year. I think they’re a little agitated with it, too. They want to make sure they can do something beyond winning regular-season games. There’s an edge there.”

And maybe some dancing shoes, too.

Alex Marvez interviewed John Abraham, Matt Ryan and Thomas Dimitroff with co-hosts Randy Cross and Bill Polian on SiriusXM NFL Radio

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:24 am 
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Quote:
His career playoff statistics aren't nearly as impressive. During last year's 24-2 playoff loss to the Giants, Ryan struggled to complete deep and intermediate throws and Atlanta's offense failed to convert in three critical short-yardage situations.

"It comes down to little things — executing four, five, six plays within a game," said Ryan, who had an even worse playoff outing against Green Bay the previous season. "That changes you losing in the first round or going on to win a Super Bowl.

"When I look at last year as a whole, I think that’s what we needed to do better. That’s been our emphasis going into camp this year.”


Is Ryan saying what this team needs to do better is the little things?? Does He know the score of the last two playoff blowouts??
What about doing some big things right? Five or six big plays!!

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:23 am 
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Well, I hope that the first quarter tonight showed that a new pair of coordinators can make a significant difference. Like I have been saying for a while, we have been getting out coached, not necessarily out-played. Hopefully that will all change this season.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:55 am 
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RobertAP wrote:
Well, I hope that the first quarter tonight showed that a new pair of coordinators can make a significant difference. Like I have been saying for a while, we have been getting out coached, not necessarily out-played. Hopefully that will all change this season.



Except for depth. We really hoping the current crew can get it done without injury. If Ryan goes down, were doomed. I sure hope Peterson's got a little left in the tank.

If Julio goes down were in trouble as well. I did like seeing Ryan toss it up and letting JJ and White fight for the ball. Amazing Mularkey didn't see that.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:23 am 
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If Ryan goes down, were doomed.


Ya, but so are 99% of the teams in the league if they were to lose their starter. I think once a few teams make some cuts, we will see a veteran come in compete for the back-up role. Redman's and or JP's days are numbered me thinks. If Ryan does go down, our WR's are too good to have Redman hand it off to Turner 40 times a game.


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I sure hope Peterson's got a little left in the tank


The linebacker corp is thin and getting thinner by the moment. It's an area of concern for sure. Other than the O-line protecting Ryan, it's my biggest "worry" as of now. I guess we will see!


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:46 pm 
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It'll be a cold day in hell when the Falcons get rid of Redman. Thankfully the world is going to end in December, so the Mayans will do it for us.

I'm not overly concerned about the LB group. We just might end up in a position similar to the Giants a few years back where we just play nickel all of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:55 pm 
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I like all of this except Ryan saying it's about executing on 5 more plays. While 5 plays do generally turn each game, the best way to fix that is to give yourself 20 shots at those 5 big plays. Not try to be perfect on the 5 shots you get.

Take more shots and, miraculously, you'll find you're the one on the positive end of those 5 plays more often.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Indeed, the play calling was a considerable hindrance in the past. Hopefully we're past that.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:03 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcdWrChtts8

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:05 pm 
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Over at my parent's house this evening, we were discussing Samuel L Jackson, and tried to name characters of his that didn't use profanity. Mace %$^&in Windu, and the %$#$in Avengers. We got to the Falcons commercials and decided that even though he didn't actually cuss in the commercials, when we see them, we can hear him saying, "What the %*#$ do Falcons do? Falcons $%&$ RISE the %#$@ UP!


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons look to make noise in 2012
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:14 am 
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I believe Nick Fury did say the word "ass" in the Avengers, something about people making stupid ass decisions.

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