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 Post subject: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Falcons center Todd McClure doesn’t want to hear about how Atlanta’s failure to convert short runs for first downs against the Saints yesterday paralleled their inability to do the same in the 2012 playoffs against the Giants.

The Falcons couldn’t convert a third-and-short run in the fourth quarter against the Saints and then opted to try three straight passes at the one-yard line with a chance to win the game. McClure bristled at the suggestion that there were similarities to the Giants game.

“That’s two totally different ballgames,” McClure said. “That’s what [ticks] me off more than anything is you guys are going to write about how bad we are up front and that we can’t get in the end zone. But there’s more to it than just blocking up front, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

“I get really frustrated when I hear things and read things knowing there’s more to it than five guys up front but we take the brunt of the blame. I don’t want to talk about that anymore because I don’t want to say anything I regret.”

The Falcons managed 46 yards on just 18 carries against the Saints, who were the worst team in the league against the run entering the game. Atlanta running back Michael Turner, who was dropped for a loss of one yard on third down during the penultimate possession, gained just 15 yards on 13 carries.

McClure didn’t elaborate on the issues in the running game but said the struggles are about the offense overall not just the line.

“It is in every aspect of it,” he said. “But we get the ball on the one, we are expected to get it in. I just get frustrated sometimes the past couple years. There’s more to it than just lining up and blocking the guys wherever they line up. And that’s it. I can’t talk about it anymore.”


http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-bl ... -up-front/

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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:50 pm 
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I give props/respect for McClure for always speaking his mind and always giving you an honest sound byte. But this is what we call passing the buck. Sounds like he wants to throw a non-OL under the bus, and I imagine the only player that could be is a guy who's name rhymes with Pichael Spurner...

It's not all on the O-line, but a bunch of it is. Throw out the issues running the ball. That 4th down pass to Roddy at the goalline, essentially failed because Clabo didn't block his man and gave up a pressure. Ryan faded away while throwing because he had a defender all up in his grill. That particular play is 99.9% on the O-line.

But hey it's not the Mud Duck's fault that this team expected it would get dramatically different results with the same starting five from a year ago. :down:

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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Well you know the old saying if it ain't broke don't fix it but it is broke and it needs fixed. We need a combination of new linemen and a running back.Gitter done this off season TD or I'm going to get very angry. :twisted: We've been dealing with this for to many seasons and it's time to change.

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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:22 pm 
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Though I wish it would happen, I've been waiting for it to happen for about a decade. I've given up hope.


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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:57 pm 
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You all know we can't have everything on the team be awesome, right? If we had a great O-line and no receivers or QB, I fear you all will be wanting to burn TD for not getting us a QB and receivers. If we had no receivers, but a great running back, you'd be asking why we didn't draft WRs. I mean realistically, in this day of salary cap space, how many positions on a team can you expect to rate A+? The Patriots don't have a running game or a defense and they still get to the SB. Shouldn't a mediocre O-line, sub-par defense, woeful running backs, a couple great receivers including TEs, and a stud QB be enough?

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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:10 pm 
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I didn't want Julio, I wanted an upgraded line. The line has been our biggest weakness. A complementary WR isn't going to fix that.


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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:40 am 
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MarylandFalcon1 wrote:
You all know we can't have everything on the team be awesome, right? If we had a great O-line and no receivers or QB, I fear you all will be wanting to burn TD for not getting us a QB and receivers. If we had no receivers, but a great running back, you'd be asking why we didn't draft WRs. I mean realistically, in this day of salary cap space, how many positions on a team can you expect to rate A+? The Patriots don't have a running game or a defense and they still get to the SB. Shouldn't a mediocre O-line, sub-par defense, woeful running backs, a couple great receivers including TEs, and a stud QB be enough?

I'm not sure where you've been the past few years, but the Patriots very much do have a running game. It has been highly efficient and effective over the past 2 or 3 years. It may not fit the classic definition of what many consider a strong running game, with one guy having 1500 yards or whatever, but it is extremely complementary to their style of offense, which tends to be using the pass to build up a lead and hammering their opponents on the ground in the 4th quarter.

And the reason for that is because the Patriots consistently invest in their running game. Dating back to trading for Corey Dillon, drafting Laurence Maroney in the 1st round a few years back and using a pair of 2nd round picks on Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in 2011. That coupled with their consistent investment in OL in the early rounds as well: Vollmer, Mankins, Light, and Solder were all take in the top 2 rounds, signing Brian Waters, as well as mid round picks like Koppen, Marcus Cannon, etc.

And while the Pats defense hasn't been much to write home about, they are making improvements and are investing higher picks in those areas. And thus at some point down the line with continued investment, they should cash in and have a good defense.

See what you're not getting is that many of the reasons why the Falcons are weak in certain areas is because of a lack of investment. The Patriots have a draft strategy that I call "maximization" which is essentially to have as many "premium" picks (i.e. picks in the first 4 rounds) as possible almost every year. People always say the draft is a crapshoot, and basically that strategy offers you more rolls for the die, thus increasing your chances of hitting.

The Falcons on the other hand, in recent years have adopted essentially the polar opposite strategy. Which basically means you have to be luckier than the average person. And so unless Dimitroff truly is the Vegan Jesus and has the Soy-based Hand of God shining upon all his moves (which he clearly does not) then that is not conducive to your team's ability to get better.

No one expects awesomeness everywhere, but competency everywhere is a realistic and very achievable goal if one takes the proper steps. This team has not in recent years.

There is a clear-cut causality between several of the issues/flaws of this team and the decisions of management. How people can still be oblivious to this fact being the root of much of the "beef" with management confounds me.

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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:37 am 
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I was watching Monday night football and one of the announcers said the Steelers have invested the last four drafts with their first 2 picks on def/off linemen. I looked and they were mostly right.

2012 - guard/tackle
2011 - def end/tackle
2010 - center/linebacker
2009 - def tackle ..didn't have 2nd rounder but drafted lineman in 3rd

I would hope TD adopts this strategy for the most part. Obviously you don't take a lineman if another player has much higher potential.It doesn't seem like any of the past Falcon GMs believe in building the team in the trenches. Instead we get low round picks which is why we are having so much trouble vs superior lines.

How many of TDs picks have been on the off/def lines in the first 2 rounds in TDs 5 drafts. Konz/Baker/Jerry and both Baker/Jerry are average or below. You have to hit on a few players which TD fail to do. How many players has TD drafted overall regardless of position have pro bowl potential? Ryan,Weatherspoon,Jones that's it. If we hope to be a top team and go deep in the playoffs much more is needed in terms of star potential.

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 Post subject: Re: no joy in Mudduckville...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Yep. The best strategy once you have a QB is to have as many picks in the first 3 rounds as possible (which isn't hard to set up...you just have to use FA one year and trade away picks for future years...and then you're set up for years of picks) and then devote most of those early picks to OL and DL.

First rounders should almost always be OL or DL unless there's a star there (at CB, WR). 2nd and 3rd rounders should be RB, WR, TE, LB (and interior OL). At the end of 5 years, you have 3 first rounders on OL, 2 first rounders on DL, 2 other 2nd/3rd rounders on OL/DL, and a 7 of WR/TE/LB/RB/S from the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

That's a fairly simple formula for success, without getting into how each draft differs. You'd need to use FA to supplement, obviously, but you have a great nucleus. And 2nd/3rd round WR/TE/LB/RB/S should almost all be strong contributors. Now, if you actually have an extra 2nd round pick each draft, like you should, add 2 more line players and 3 from the 2nd/3rd round grouping and you have what should be a good team for a long time.

Had to pick up CB in FA, but otherwise, run game should be good, OL really good, passing attack diverse, strong up the middle of the D, etc.


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