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 Post subject: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:28 pm 
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I assume that we're all thinking that the best we can hope for is to finish at .500. I am pretty sure that we all know that the playoffs are out of sight.

So what do you think that the team needs to do in the 2014 off-season to right the ship?



Here are my thoughts... (please add your own)
On offense:
Need to acquire a right guard...
Need to acquire an OT. If we don't have the option of drafting Clowney, I'd use our first pick on an OT.
Need to find a true replacement for Tony G, whether or not Tony G comes back.
Though I've liked what I've seen so far from Darius Johnson, we need to acquire more WR depth. That an UDFA is our #2 (or #3) wide receiver at this point is a bit crazy.

On defense:
Overall, I think that we need to pick a defensive identity and stop playing musical chairs. We have a bunch of players in our front 7 that do not seem to work very well together. We have an undersized front 4, and an undersized linebacking crew. (out of necessity because we haven't had LB's who can cover) With all of that undersized talent on the field, teams generally run right through us, unless we commit to stopping the run. (which leaves us vulnerable to the pass)

I would leave the secondary alone for the moment, under the assumption that Trufant, Alford, McClain, Moore, and Decoud will be our secondary for the next couple of years.

The front 7 is where changes need to be made. The way I see it, we have two choices, and we need to decide on which way to go... base 4-3, or base 3-4.

If we're going to go base 4-3, we need to dump Babs and bring in a DT who can eat up the middle of the field. We also need to dump OSI and Biermann and get some stronger DE's in here that can challenge OT's both with speed, and strength. (IMHO, the 4-3 defensive end is one of the hardest positions to find in football, although, if we're picking in the top 5, Jadeveon Clowney could be that guy) The Falcons need to have confidence that the front 4 can hold up their end of the bargain in both pass rush, and run defense. Once the front 4 is rebuilt, then we can take a solid look at our linebacking corps. As it stands, I think that between Spoon, Dent, Bartu, and Worrilow, we have a decent 4-3 linebacking group. I would not complain if we added some talent here as well, but the line has to be the priority.

If we decide to go to a 3-4, we need to acquire a 3-4 nose tackle. (Louis Nix) Honestly, I think that we could get by with just that in the off-season... I don't think that would magically fix everything about our defense, but I believe it would allow our front 7 to be more effective. The Falcons lack strength on the DL. One player could improve that significantly. If we decided to go this route, the perfect player should be available in the middle of the 1st round. (perhaps we can trade down if we decide to pass on Clowney or an OT)

In either case, I think the Falcons need to get faster at linebacker. Spoon has speed, Bartu has speed, but has trouble making tackles. Worrilow doesn't seem to have the physical talents that I'd expect from an NFL player, but he has great instincts. Dent doesn't have speed. I think the talent at LB is just not that great. Then again, the real problem could be that most of the defensive line is undersized and getting pushed around.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:25 am 
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First and foremost, the team as a whole has to get healthy. We are not New England, the "next man up" experiment has failed. Going forward, I'm not so worried about the offense. The line will be better next year, whether it's just experience, a FA or whatever, it will improve. S-Jax, White and Julio are playmakers. Just gotta keep 'em on the field.


The defense is the real shitshow. Only 8 take-aways this year. Only 14 sacks. Still can't stop anyone, giving up 45.8 % third down conversions. Opposing QB's have a 100.5 quarterback rating against us. The list goes on. To me, that is where the problem lies, on the defense.

When Jones, White and S-Jax went down, the defense had to step up and carry this team. it didn't.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:10 am 
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call me cray-cray, but I didn't think the defense as a whole played terrible yesterday..They kept us in the game until Ryan started trying to force the ball and they started making us pay for it. That, and just plain weird bad luck.

Think about this for a minute..As depleted as our defense is, AND with Corey Peters going out, our defense yesterday kept us close 17-10 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter..against THAT team, in their house, and they were loaded for bear with revenge in mind. Actually, that is pretty spectacular, if you think about it..

If that wierd ball bounce after Samuels punches out was jumped on in time By Alford, we win that game yesterday, no doubt. But the ball bounced strange, and Alford, being a rookie didn't realize it in time.

And when I look at the job NOlan has been doing with these backups is pretty convincing to me that the issues we have on defense can be fixed next year, but I am afraid he will be gone. he will be the sacrficial lamb..

Look at Worrilow. He played his a$$ of yesterday! I think he leads the teams in tackling? Bartu didn't look completely lost, either. Both these guys ( and others like Massy, who seemed to pick up his play yesterday, too) are going to be much better next season.

For me, here's what I would do., if I were in TD and Smitty's shoes.

First thing, beg,borrow,steal,plead or even blackmail him but we absolutely HAVE to keep Nolan here. Absolutely must have.


I would also give him more latitude. NO more 'Nolan running Mike Smith's defense', actually let the man do the job himself. If he wants to switch shemes, let him do it.


Fire the s and c coach we have now, and poach a better one from someone else..

Then, if I am TD I spend countless hours with ther scouting dept, and I use the first two picks to find OL help. No more of this stuff like journeymen JAGS and broke down Polynesians. Get two circus beasts with a mean streak ( not a team captain ).

Now Im sure I will hear 'how will we replace TG? What about our non-existant pass rush?' All good points.
BUt I would 'hope' that Nolan can take some of our hurt guys next year, and with some of these kids getting reptime can get it done. Were seeing backups like HD and Johnson stepping up, so we can make due with what we have on the roster..

I know some people will see someone like Clowney and say 'if he falls to us you HAVE to get him because he is an impact player, and will be a defensive foundation for years to come, yada yada...' And I see the reasoning there, and it is sound. But I think the most glaring issue we have is our pathetic OL. That has to be the focus with our early picks, IMO.

your milage may vary :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:33 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
The line will be better next year, whether it's just experience, a FA or whatever, it will improve. S-Jax, White and Julio are playmakers. Just gotta keep 'em on the field.


You do need to worry about the offense though. White has one season left under contract and while yes Jackson is signed through another 2 years his cap number makes it unlikely the team is going to keep him around the full length of that contract. Especially after missing significant time with a thigh injury this year. The Falcon's rented Jackson primarily for this year and next year.

Jackson has cap hits of $3 and $4.166 million. You don't keep a back around at Jackon's age at that price unless he has been producing like a beast which Jackson hasn't.

Also the Falcon offensive line isn't going to fix itself. The Falcons need to invest even more into the O-Line if they don't want Matty Ice on his back every game and the so whomever is at running back can actually run the ball.

I do think in this coming off season Atlanta needs to finish the offense off. Which means getting better on the right side of the line, finding a TE of the future, and adding depth to receiver. That alone is a full off seasons worth of changes.

The defense needs a lot of help but this team needs to fix the offense first as it is a decidedly easier task to accomplish vs. gutting the defensive line and line backing units.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Fun Gus, you're not Cray Cray. The defense did step up a bit yesterday. More specifically, the new guys stepped up. Worrilow had 19 tackles (9 solo). Trufant and Alford each had a pick. When all is said and done, they still gave up 24 or 27 points. (probably could have been 34 pretty easily if Rivera had wanted to run up the score)

With regards to the offense first mindset, I'm there with you. However, I see potential to fix our major issues on both sides of the ball in the upcoming off-season. Our big free agent move should be to pick up one of the top OT's, of which there will be several in free agency. I think our best draft moves would be to trade down to the 10-15 range in the first round and grab Louis Nix. (perhaps trade with Cleveland, who needs a QB, and has an extra 1st round pick) Then in the 2nd round, grab David Yankey, Gabe Jackson or Cyril Richardson. (two of these will probably be gone)


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:33 pm 
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You're right fun gus, the defense did play well on Sunday.

RobertAP wrote:
If we decide to go to a 3-4, we need to acquire a 3-4 nose tackle.

The Falcons don't need a 3-4 nose tackle. Have you not been watching Corey Peters this year? As I said last year, Peters is perfectly fine for that role.

I've said it 1000 times before, but I'll say it again for 1001st time. The 3-4 nose tackle is the most overrated position in all of pro football. Here's a simple test for how you know I'm right:

WHo are the starting nose tackles for the Texans, Steelers, Cardinals, Saints, and 49ers?

If you can name all 5 of them off the top of your head, then firstly you are a top-level football nerd (I'll show you the secret handshake and you can come to the meeting on Thursday).

But I'll ask you to name 1 starting DE on those respective teams. And I'll bet you that you can get at least 4 without having to spend more than 60 seconds. Scroll down for the answers…




If you named Earl Mitchell, Steve McLendon, Dan Williams, John Jenkins, and Glenn Dorsey, then you named all the nose tackles.

The DEs are J.J. Watt/Antonio Smith, Cameron Heyward/Brett Keisel/Ziggy Hood, Darnell Dockett/Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan/Akiem Hicks, and Justin Smith/Ray McDonald.

I like the Falcons hybrid scheme. The problem they'll have is to find a DE/DT that can replace Babineaux and be that J.J. Watt/Calais Campbell/Cameron Jordan/Justin Smith type.

They need to find another OLB/DE that can be that LaMarr Woodley, John Abraham, Junior Galette, Aldon Smith type off the edge.

They need to replace DeCoud at FS next year. Maybe in free agency with Jairus Byrd or Malcolm Jenkins.

With the play of Worrilow, Bartu this year, the Falcons should be OK at linebacker. Maybe add another coverage guy late in the draft that is sort of a hybrid LB/S.

I'll hold off on the offensive changes needed til we have a few more games to be played. Still a lot to evaluate there.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:52 pm 
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I could go on for quite a bit for how much I dislike our hybrid scheme, but I doubt that I'm going to change your mind on the issue. I blame the hybrid scheme for our defensive line's inability to generate consistent pressure, and for it's inconsistency in the run game. The only way that we generate pressure is to send 5 or 6. If we picked either the 3-4 or 4-3, we could go about getting the players necessary to make one of those two work well on a consistent basis. As it stands, our defensive line is a hodge podge, and it's largely ineffective. 22nd against the run, 22nd against the pass. Biermann and Spoon wouldn't improve those numbers significantly, as they haven't done so in previous years.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:25 pm 
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If you can't get Clowney or Barr go for an O-lineman. Hopefully this season has shown the front office that this team has no depth and they get rid of all these fringe NFLers at key back up roles. I don't think they should switch the entire defensive scheme because I think they would have too many holes to fill. I really think the way to go would be to get out of the TD business, I mean after five seasons of building a roster this is what the Falcons are putting out there? They still have the same issues they had in 08. s***ty pass rush, shoddy secondary play, LB depth, and now you an add pass protection and the running game is in shambles.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:47 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
I could go on for quite a bit for how much I dislike our hybrid scheme, but I doubt that I'm going to change your mind on the issue. I blame the hybrid scheme for our defensive line's inability to generate consistent pressure, and for it's inconsistency in the run game. The only way that we generate pressure is to send 5 or 6. If we picked either the 3-4 or 4-3, we could go about getting the players necessary to make one of those two work well on a consistent basis. As it stands, our defensive line is a hodge podge, and it's largely ineffective. 22nd against the run, 22nd against the pass. Biermann and Spoon wouldn't improve those numbers significantly, as they haven't done so in previous years.

I think you're blaming the scheme for what ostensibly is a personnel issue. The Falcons weren't generating consistent pressure when they were strictly a 4-3. And the 3-4 is typically predicated on the ease at which it is to send 5-6, because it's easier to disguise blitzes in that scheme than it is in a strict 4-3. If there is an argument to be made why the 3-4 > 4-3, it is pretty much based on that fact alone: blitzing is easier.

So I don't really understand why you're blaming the scheme here. The problem is personnel. It almost always is with defense.

Osi is done. He was done last year, it's why the Giants got rid of him. He just doesn't have the 1st step anymore. That has nothing to do with the scheme. You could play him in a strict 4-3 and put him in Wide 9, and it still wouldn't change that his first step has gone from what used to be an 8 or 9 a few years back to what is probably only a 6 nowadays. Which means he only gets sporadic pressure against any starting OT that is mildly competent.

Babs is old. In fact I think the scheme has somewhat reinvigorated him but he's almost 32 and typically disruptive DTs lose it at 31.

Corey Peters is not a pass rusher. This is what I've always said about Peters, and when I've been critical of him when people talked him up like he was the next Babs. Peters doesn't have the first step to be a disruptive force like Babs has been in the past. His first step is good enough that it means he can get leverage and occasionally put heat on the QB, but he never had Babs' ability. He has found his footing as a run defender and hole clogger. And as I said 9 months ago, Peters is more than capable of manning the NT spot: viewtopic.php?p=114870#p114870

And I feel somewhat vindicated that Peters is the 10th highest-rated run defender on Pro Football Focus' DT grades, with higher grades than Paul Soliali, Haloti Ngata, Steve McLendon, Geno Atkins, Aubrayo Franklin, etc.

Massaquoi is Massaquoi. A nice rotational DE but he shouldn't be starting. We'll see if this year will make him into a better player next year. DEs typically don't hit their stride until Year 3, so we'll see.

And Jerry has taken to his new role well. He's way more disruptive than he has ever been in the past. ANd playing the DT/DE hybrid spot is a good fit for him. So much so that if the Falcons offered to re-sign him for a veteran minimum deal, I think that would actually be a smart move. :shock:

He's lacking as a run defender, but he is a capable pass rusher, and arguably has been our most consistent guy in the front 4 this year. But again, that's relative to the fact that the team doesn't really have anybody that can consistently beat 1 on 1 blocks, which is basically what pass-rushing is.

The Falcons need to revamp their personnel, not their scheme.

Next year's FA class is going to be stacked with DL talent. We'll see what the draft brings, but unlike most I'm not going to really say anything about that since we have a long way to go there.

But if they hit the open market, I would pursue Lamarr Houston and/or Greg Hardy hard if I was the Falcons. I'd also pursue Willie Young to be an OLB. I'd also dump Osi. If Babs is amenable to a 1-yr. deal worth $3-4 million, then I'd happily re-sign him. If he's not, then he can go. Obviously, if Washington lets Orakpo hit the open market, I'll slit my grandmother's throat to sign him. And depending on price tag, I'd go hard on Wes Woodyard, like we should have done in 2012.

Can the Falcons afford these players? Maybe. If they're willing to cut bait on some of their more recent signings like Osi, S-Jax. If Tony retires, and they cut Nicholas, Baker, DeCoud, Douglas, give Julio his long-term deal, and ask Roddy and Ryan to restructure, maybe by lowering ROddy's salary and adding 1 more year to his contract, and they could easily slash $5-8 million off Ryan's cap hit as well by lowering his base salary.

Their normal M.O. is to do the minimum possible in the off-season. But we'll see what Arthur Blank demands. And who knows, maybe there will be a new regime calling the shots in the front office come March... :?:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
I'll hold off on the offensive changes needed til we have a few more games to be played. Still a lot to evaluate there.



evaluate what? Im sorry, but I dont see 'alot' to 'evaluate', and even then, it's pretty apparent our FO and Smith have not been exceptional at OL 'evaluation' thus far.

were going into the hard stretch, with only two wins, on a two game losing streak. We will be facing even harder tests, like another revenge filled Seahawks beat down , and a nice home Thursday night national beatdown two weeks later. Maybe if the Succs get the NInja, we can make a game of it on the 17th...

We have a guy who the FO and current staff could not adequately see was not 'in shape' by the first game on the line!

I can see where maybe you think 'well, were screwed now anyways, let just pick the brightest spot in this dark, dismal season and *see* if some of these clowns can "gel"..But isn't that akin to the 'tanking philosophy'?

I say we have painted ourselves into such a corner we absolutely must use out first two picks, and gamble that those guys, our other assclowns, and a possible FA could actually give Ryan a chance to anything but checkdown and force passes because his dick has been knocked in the dirt so much now he not only has 'happy feet' but 'happy eyes' as well.

I cant see what relevation can happen to change this? :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:07 am 
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Our offensive line needs a road grater and some attitude, one guy out there has both, yup we need to go Incognito!!! :drugged:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:36 am 
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fun gus wrote:
evaluate what? Im sorry, but I dont see 'alot' to 'evaluate', and even then, it's pretty apparent our FO and Smith have not been exceptional at OL 'evaluation' thus far.

I touched on some of the issues in my previous post, I'll talk about the things I'm looking for in the 2nd half of this season on offense, that I think need to be evaluated:

1. Quarterback

Matt Ryan has not played well. He needs to step up up his play, or else the Falcons need for a quality backup QB increases. They already need a better backup QB than Davis IMO, but how imperative that is rests largely on Ryan. The worse Ryan is, the more the need for a better backup goes up.

2. Running Back

Steven Jackson is playing for his job next year. ANd the Falcons need to know how much Quizz can carry the load. Is he just a good 3rd down back, or is he a legit 15-carry RB. I doubt with Jackson on the roster, Quizz will get that opportunity, but it's something to keep an eye on. Snelling's status is largely dependent on Jackson. If Jackson goes next year, then Snelling's chances of staying increase dramatically. If S-Jax plays well enough to stick around as a situational rusher next year, then Snelling is a goner unless the Falcons are willing to dump Bradie Ewing. :fingersx:

3. Wide Receiver

Roddy is gonna be back next year. But how he plays over the 2nd half of the season will determine whether or not he gets that 1-year extension or the Falcons use a Day 2 pick on a WR next year to find his replacement. If Roddy plays well, then the Falcons can move forward by renegotiating his deal to add a year and buy them potentially another year before they have to find his replacement. If not, then the Falcons need to be prepped to move on.

Harry Douglas is also playing for his job. How well he plays as a No. 2 the rest of the way with Roddy on the field will determine if he's brought back at the $3.6 million cap hit. If he plays well, then he can return for that price. If not, and we see a lot of games like we saw the past 2 weeks, then he should be a goner, and Roddy's eventual replacement can replace him as the No. 3 Wr.

Obviously, Davis and Johnson also will have an opportunity to play for the 2014 season as well. How much of a rapport they can build with Ryan and how much play-making ability they show will also be a factor in Douglas' future. If a player like Johnson shows that he can do many of the same things that HD does, and the fact that he will make 1/7th of his contract next year, will be the other potential nail in the coffin for HD.

4. Tight End

We really need to see more of Toilolo. The Falcons need to be doing a better job finding out what they have in this young TE. Is he a viable starter or is he just Rob Housler 2.0? But this 8-10 snaps a game isn't cutting it. If Koetter can't revamp his scheme to get Toilolo more looks, then he can go screw himself. There's absolutely no reason why Toilolo is only playing 8-10 snaps per game, yet Johnson and Davis are playing 50. It's ridiculous. The Falcons also need to get a longer look at Chase Coffman to see his potential status next year. He's a FA.

5. Offensive Line

Holmes is improving. Konz may improve. If they do, then they can be counted on to start next year. Baker also needs to prove that he's worth keeping with solid play the rest of the way. He also needs to stay healthy. He needs to start these final 8 games. Blalock also needs to maintain his level of play if not improve. We also need to see about Reynolds as well and whether or not he gets better.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't necessarily see that it is a priority that the Falcons go out and revamp their OL, especially if they play like they have the past 2 weeks for the next 8. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that the Falcons must make strides to improve, but I don't see it as quite necessary (yet) that they have to devote the bulk of their off-season plans to making significant changes up front. It may just wind up being that the Falcons use a 3rd or 4th round pick and sign 1 midlevel FA, and that could suffice.

That will depend on what we see over the next 8 games.

As far as 2014 goes, at this juncture the defense is far more concerning issue for the Falcons than the offense. It's not crazy to me to imagine the Falcons opening up 2014 with 10 of the 11 same starters, with Tony Gonzalez being the lone goner.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:17 am 
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First I hope we have players get better, , But I expect to finish 3=13. (now)

Look it really starts with a good defense. Stay 4-3....... draft or use a free agent to improve
for Osi; or Babs. I really think Massaqui well improve enough to be a great defensive lineman.
He's the best prospect that we've had in a while. Some of the younger players are getting tired just because its a long season, especially for the new starters; and second year players.

Why does anyone think Nolan is going anywhere?? I think he's good, but teams like ours just show up some years..... This puts Everyone on Go for next year.....

On Offense:
Holmes has the left tackle position and is getting better, Konz keeps improving. Baker should move to the right side, then according who's there when we draft; we either go for the best running back on the board. Or best defensive end....# 75 Pudge has been right about; he's playing better....

This whole awful season is mainly a result of injuries; and the front office getting lazy.....
Look we're really close; Our draft choice will be a better number than I thought before.

Yes we must pick right; bit its easier when your picking 3-5.

Yes we do need more time to see how the rookies or second year players do; on the offensive line.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:08 am 
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Are you saying use our first pick on the best RB, Cyril? I don't see that at all. Reynolds has been pretty bad but who knows if Johnson will be back next year. He was a fairly high pick and has never been able to stay healthy enough to get a good look. DL, OL and LB are the biggest areas of need to me but I guess the best player available approach has to be weighed.

P, are you saying that you consider benching Ryan with bad play and starting a back up...after two bad weeks? Once you give a guy a contract like the one he is given he pretty much has to burn a church or kill a baby on the field to get the bench....kinda like Matt Schaub?

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:03 am 
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Quote:
1. Quarterback

Matt Ryan has not played well. He needs to step up up his play, or else the Falcons need for a quality backup QB increases. They already need a better backup QB than Davis IMO, but how imperative that is rests largely on Ryan. The worse Ryan is, the more the need for a better backup goes up.


This almost sounds like you're suggesting benching Matt Ryan.


Quote:
ANd the Falcons need to know how much Quizz can carry the load. Is he just a good 3rd down back, or is he a legit 15-carry RB. I doubt with Jackson on the roster, Quizz will get that opportunity


He got his opportunity earlier this season. And failed. He's averaging 3.3 yards a carry, a number inflated by his Miami performance earlier this year. As a matter of fact, he has averaged 2.0 and under per carry in 4 of his 8 games.
That being said, i still think he has value to this team, but not as an everydown back, which is too bad, I for one was hoping he could shoulder the load.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:18 am 
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So this offensive line, that can't protect the QB, and can't consistently open holes for our RB's, and who certainly can not open holes on 3rd and short, or on the goal line... They're just fine?

I'm gonna take a break for a few days.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:25 am 
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RobertAP wrote:
So this offensive line, that can't protect the QB, and can't consistently open holes for our RB's, and who certainly can not open holes on 3rd and short, or on the goal line... They're just fine?

I'm gonna take a break for a few days.



I think Pudge's point is he 'hopes' that these clowns may get to the point of being 'fine', but he needs to see them a couple more games to see if they 'improve'. For me the jury is already out.

Anybody watch MNF last night? That could be a preview of us any day now. They give thier QB a huge contract ( at least he got a ring) they have not upgraded thier OL, and they lost Aaron Rodgers in the first drive. Besides all that, they still kept in the game with a dusty Seneca Wallace at the helm. They had a RB they could lean on. We dont have that. They had an old QB that could hand off the ball. We dont have that. When Ryan goes down, these decisions not to adequately address backup QB are going to be exposed for all to see.... :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:00 pm 
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I'm not suggesting that we bench Ryan. But I'm not sure Ryan is clearly a notch above all the 2nd tier QBs in the league right now. The Staffords, Romos, Lucks, Cutler, Flacco, etc.

If Ryan is reverting back to being a 2nd tier QB, then so be it. But if so, then they need to pursue a player like Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel, Rex Grossman, Chad Henne, Shaun Hill, or Josh McCown this off-season.

AngryJohnny51 wrote:
He got his opportunity earlier this season. And failed. He's averaging 3.3 yards a carry, a number inflated by his Miami performance earlier this year. As a matter of fact, he has averaged 2.0 and under per carry in 4 of his 8 games. That being said, i still think he has value to this team, but not as an everydown back, which is too bad, I for one was hoping he could shoulder the load.

Here are the individual rushing numbers since that Dolphin game:

Rodgers - 36 att., 118 yds, 3.28 avg, 33.3% success rate
Jackson - 24 att., 63 yds, 2.63 avg, 29.2% success rate
Snelling - 22 att., 53 yds, 2.41 avg, 40.9% success rate

I've said in the past that I don't think Quizz is a starting RB. But he's been a 5-8 carry guy for the past 2 or so years largely because lesser veterans have been ahead of him. Could he be more? I think it would be smart for the Falcons to find that out. When are they going to get a better chance than now?

Both Quizz and Snelling are signed thru 2014. Quizz will be 25 when he hits free agency in 2015, while Snelling will be 31. Jackson is signed thru 2015, but I think most would agree there's a slim chance he lasts beyond 2014. And he's already 30.

The Falcons have Quizz for another 24 games, that's all we know. And I think now they are in a good situation to try and find out what they have. Jackson has been getting 3-4 times as many carries the past 2 weeks. Does he deserve that workload? I'm not sure he does.

RobertAP wrote:
So this offensive line, that can't protect the QB, and can't consistently open holes for our RB's, and who certainly can not open holes on 3rd and short, or on the goal line... They're just fine?
fun gus wrote:
I think Pudge's point is he 'hopes' that these clowns may get to the point of being 'fine', but he needs to see them a couple more games to see if they 'improve'. For me the jury is already out.

Again, I want to stress that it's not because I believe that the OL is fine. But the defense is a much bigger priority going into this off-season. With a healthy Julio and Roddy, and shoring up their depth, this team could get away with 10 of the current 11 starters returning next year on offense.

The defense however has its 3 DTs hitting free agency, a DE that looks old, another DE that is coming off an Achilles injury, a starting FS that is about to be overpaid, a No. 1 CB that is probably going to get cut.

The holes to fill on defense are going to be huge. You Robert have complained about this team's so-called lack of killer instinct, and a big part of that inability to finish games is because of the lack of talent on that side of the ball.

The Falcons aren't going to fix all of their problems in 1 off-season. They need to prioritize the defense this off-season.

Again, the other issue that you're ignoring Robert is that the OL is in fact improving. If you've been paying attention this year, you would notice that. But of course, that would require you to open your eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
The Falcons aren't going to fix all of their problems in 1 off-season. They need to prioritize the defense this off-season.

Again, the other issue that you're ignoring Robert is that the OL is in fact improving. If you've been paying attention this year, you would notice that. But of course, that would require you to open your eyes.



good grief. They are 'improving' but they still suck donkey balls. 'cute stats' aside :roll: do you deny this Falcons OL is amongst the worst in the league? Well, if they are, then that needs to be addressed,

Look, we need to figure out our identity. You dont make plays like getting Julio, Tony and Roddy without figuring you are going to try to 'outscore' your opponent. When they pulled the trigger on that, they committed to being an 'offense first' team, like the old Colts or the current Saints. Those teams had O.K. defenses, and spent thier capital on offensive weapons...So, I want to see them put a decent OL in front of Ryan, not an 'okay' one, and definitely not one like we have now.

They spent the first two picks last year on defense. They need to spend this years first two picks on offense, IMO. :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:08 am 
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Yes, this Falcons OL is probably among the 5 worst in the league today. By the end of the year, they might improve to be among the 10 worst. Is that good enough? No, but I can live with that more than another year of this defense.

OK defenses? This team's poor defensive play has been masked by the fact that their offense is so good and they get turnovers. Well, guess what. Turnovers are sporadic and mostly random. You can't build a defense on the principle of turning the ball over in order to get stops. It's an unreliable way of building a defense.

Instead, you must build a defense that gets stops on 3rd downs. This team is currently 30th in 3rd down conversion allowed. Did you see how easily the Panthers were able to convert 3rd and longs against us? Don't you remember all those games against the Saints that we've lost because they get to 3rd & 11 and they convert on us. These are the reasons why this team can't get over the hump. Not because their OL stinks. Look, I want to improve the OL. But it should not be the priority over the defense.

If the right OL is there, then I'll be more than happy to take him. If there's a Jake Long type of OT at the top of the draft or a Chance Warmack at OG, then by all means snap him up. If there's a Cordy Glenn or Andy Levitre type in Round 2, then take him. But I'm not going to draft OL just for the sake of drafting an OL especially if that player winds up being Jason Smith or Rodger Saffold.

But if not, then I'm taking the best defensive player on the board. This team NEEDS a pass rush. It doesn't need a good offensive line.

Here are the facts:

* History tells us that 2 things about draft position. Most of the Top QBs in the league were taken in the first 11 picks of the draft. And most of the good edge rushers were taken in the Top 16 or so picks. There is a high premium on both of those positions at the top of the draft more than anything.

There is also a high premium on franchise LTs, but most people recognize that with good QB play, you don't need an elite LT to be successful. Look at Bushrod in NO, Charlie Johnson in IND, Sam Baker here in ATL, Newhouse in GB as evidence for this.

Sam Bradford has seen roughly a 10% increase in his passing numbers this year. But is that because of the added presence of Jake Long, or the fact that they made changes at the WR position? How has the addition of Long impacted their rushing attack? It's actually regressed from a year ago. They spent all that money on Long, and how much improvement have they made?

Denver has downgraded from one of the league's premier LTs in Ryan Clady to a career backup in Chris Clark and the Broncos still have the league's most effective OL.

Look, I more than anyone want to get rid of Sam Baker and get a new LT in here that is both an upgrade in pass protection and can also move the pile as a run blocker just like Long can. I'd love to get a Josh Sitton/David DeCastro type of guard to replace Garrett Reynolds.

But if the trade-off for getting those things is that the Falcons continue to get burned on 3rd & 11, and continue to give up leads in the 2nd half because they don't get any pressure on the QB when they get a lead, then no thank you.

If the trade-off is getting that sort of pass rush, and adding a ballhawking FS that can also tackle as well as make plays in the secondary and still have to live with another year of Sam Baker and Garrett Reynolds starting for this team, I'll take that.

In an ideal world, you'd be able to do both. But you have a finite amount of resources. You can spend money, but you can't spend frivolously. You don't have a bunch of 1st or 2nd round picks that you can work with. And you have a 3rd and 4th round pick. But what's more likely to happen if you use those 3rd/4th rounders on needs, that you find the next Justin Houston/Jared Allen in those rounds, or you find the next Kraig Urbik/Anthony Collins?

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:52 am 
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I see your point, Pudge but I still disagree. The 1st pick absolutely has to be OL. Perhaps LT or RG. Now, I would be 'okay' if they use the 2nd pick on D only if two things happen: someone like Clowney falls ( which I doubt ), or if were switching schemes, and we can get a centerpiece DT. Now before you start saying "...but...but..Corey Peters! " , I like him alot, but I do not think he has what it takes to be a dominant NT. Competant? Perhaps. But 'competant' is not worth a #2 pick.

Im not so sure TD and co can adequately pick a second round DE that can come in and make a difference with what were doing, and if we get a dominant DT, we have the personell to switch schemes. If were staying with our current scheme, maybe we address the DE pass rush in FA. Pay up, Arthur. :snooty:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:01 am 
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Quote:
The 1st pick absolutely has to be OL


Sam Baker part two. Everyone says we stretched on Baker, but back then we needed a LT and TD took one. Been catching hell ever since. Now, you of all people are asking history to repeat itself.

I agree, the OL needs help. But we have lots of holes to fill and unless the "real deal" is available at OT in the draft, we shouldn't be spending our first pick on a tweener and hoping he pans out.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:43 am 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
Quote:
The 1st pick absolutely has to be OL


Sam Baker part two. Everyone says we stretched on Baker, but back then we needed a LT and TD took one. Been catching hell ever since. Now, you of all people are asking history to repeat itself.

I agree, the OL needs help. But we have lots of holes to fill and unless the "real deal" is available at OT in the draft, we shouldn't be spending our first pick on a tweener and hoping he pans out.


wait. we 'might' have a bottom 10 OL THIS year ( and I doubt that, were probably going to be a bottom 5 team considering the rest of our schedule..) and you think we should 'stand pat'? Or, if we don't go OL with our early picks, the only thing left is FA, which as far as the OL goes, TD hasn't shown alot of promise there.

Pudge has said it before, and it is common knowledge that the one thing that you need in today's NFL is a great QB. There are probably only 10 'great' QB's in the league, and despite the last two games, we have one. Why in the wide wide world of sports would you put this putrid OL in front of him?

Image

This is not an 'outlier', this is a standard. We have never had anything close to a 'dominant' OL for the entire time Ryan has been here. We have been 'okay' at best. If by using 2 picks, we upgrade our OL from 'squadoo' to 'okay' that is 'worth' the picks. And there is a slight possibilty we actually might find two guys, and use what we have left, to become a 'good' OL. Considering who we have behind this line, ignoring it this long is borderline criminal. :snooty:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:37 am 
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wait. we 'might' have a bottom 10 OL THIS year ( and I doubt that, were probably going to be a bottom 5 team considering the rest of our schedule..) and you think we should 'stand pat'? Or, if we don't go OL with our early picks, the only thing left is FA, which as far as the OL goes, TD hasn't shown alot of promise there.


Nope. Never said we should stand pat. Just saying there are a lot of holes within this team as a hole. We're gonna have a top ten pick. TD needs to hit a homerun whether it's OL, DL or whatever. The point I'm trying to make is we should reach on a LT if a better player at a different position is available. We need some talent, especially on the D side of the ball.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you right this ship? 2014 and beyond
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:46 am 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
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wait. we 'might' have a bottom 10 OL THIS year ( and I doubt that, were probably going to be a bottom 5 team considering the rest of our schedule..) and you think we should 'stand pat'? Or, if we don't go OL with our early picks, the only thing left is FA, which as far as the OL goes, TD hasn't shown alot of promise there.


Nope. Never said we should stand pat. Just saying there are a lot of holes within this team as a hole. We're gonna have a top ten pick. TD needs to hit a homerun whether it's OL, DL or whatever. The point I'm trying to make is we should reach on a LT if a better player at a different position is available. We need some talent, especially on the D side of the ball.



but, to use your example, we 'reached' on Sam Baker, but we did it at a time when we really did not know anything about Matt Ryan. We 'know' what we have now. Going for OL with one of the first two picks is not 'reaching'. It's 'fixing'. :snooty:

if we were picking TODAY, we would get the #5 pick:

http://www.gbnreport.com/weeklydraftorder.html

so let's just go with that. Tampa, Jax, Minn and Pittsburgh.

I would think the first three would go QB., unless Mike Glennon shows up. So lets say Clowney is there at #5. Do you take him over Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, Cyrus Kouandjio,Antonio Richardson, or James Hurst? I dont. I think the boom/bust on Clowney to be bigger then those guys....

That's why I think it's important to address the most glaring hole we have, the OL :whistle:

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Last edited by fun gus on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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