For the record, I'm fairly confident that Warner will at some point get into the Hall of Fame. It's going to be hard for the cmmittee to keep out a guy that won 2 MVPs. But I do think along with Jim Kelly and Warren Moon, if/when Warner gets in, he'll have the weakest resume of at least the modern QBs. I think Warner is in that Esiason/Ken Anderson/Donovan McNabb range of QBs that were good, but not great and right on the cusp.
I suppose like with Eli this year you just have to have your good Qb play big in the biggest games, and
that's mostly not making mistakes, and taking advantage of what your given
I agree. But I do think people have this tendency to think that these QBs playing well just sort of spring out of nowhere. And in the case of Eli in 2007, you could probably say that his solid to good play in January sort of appeared from nothing. But that was not the case this year.
Evidenced by the uptick in production we've seen from Eli in the past 3-4 years vs. the first 4 years of his career: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/p ... nnEl00.htm
But I think those teams that get their QBs hot down the stretch and playing well in January, it's not something that magically comes from the aether. It's those teams putting the pieces around those QBs so that they have the best chance to succeed. It's a platform for success as Trent Dilfer likes to refer to it.
I think you see evidence of this is that when teams try to take out Victor Cruz, it means Hakeem Nicks and/or Mario Manningham step up and make plays. And the same works vice versa. It's rare to see that in Atlanta, where if one of our guys is contained, the other guys step up and make the plays necessary. And I don't think that falls on Matt Ryan's shoulders, I think that is a very strong indicator of the very basic/vanilla-ness of the offense, that it has good pieces on their own, but the coaching staff didn't really quite know how to put them together that they all complemented each other.
And that's something I see when I watch those teams with those better QBs like the Giants, Patriots, Packers, or Saints. And it's definitely to varying levels, but it's something I rarely see when I watch the Falcons.
And that's my beef with Mike Smith and Mike Mularkey, is that I don't think they've put a system/platform for success around Ryan that will really allow him to blossom and have the potential to take his game to the next level like we've seen Eli do on occasion.
And my hope is that with Koetter now in the mix, and their plans to install a more vertical offense (which did not work last year because of Ryan's inability to throw the deep ball), they aren't going to hold back. And I want to see them commit to that system. I don't want to see them settle for a Harry Douglas/Kerry Meier as the backup WRs that don't fit that scheme. Go out and try to get Mario Manningham/RObert meachem, or try the the next versions of them in the draft. They do fit that scheme.
Stop playing scared with Matt Ryan. Teach him how to throw the deep ball, and INTs be damned. If Ryan has a season where he throws 30 TDs and 20 INTs, then that's perfectly fine. Because it's not the 20 INTs that matter, it's the 30 TDs. There's so much focus on limiting your mistakes, that I think too often this team plays not to lose as opposed to playing to win. And I think that's been their problem more often than not in the bigger games against the better teams, with a few exceptions.
This team jumped from #32 in terms of big plays passing last year (20+ Yard Completions per attempt) to #18 this year. Now I want to see this team strive to jump 14 more spots to #4.
And I don't think this team can be that team with Michael Turner is their starting RB. I don't think the ball control ground game is really compatible with the explosive vertical passing game. Now, I say that understanding that was exactly the team we were in 1998. But first off, Jamal Anderson at that point was way better than Turner is now. And Chris Chandler was a much better vertical passer than Ryan is now. So I think you have to do it a little differently than we did in '98, because of rule changes and just the passing game has evolved a bit more than it was then. We didn't even have a No. 3 WR or a good receiving TE back then. And I don't think that
offense could work as well nowadays unless you had Adrian Peterson and a QB like Cam Newton at the helm. Which we don't have, and we're probably not ever going to have for the foreseeable future.
So that's why I put so much stock in whether we keep Turner or not. Because IMHO, Turner represents this comfort zone for Smitty, that I think is limiting this offense/team. I want to see him show the gall and willingness to get out of his comfort zone. That to me is a stronger indicator of a good coach than a guy that once upon a time went to the Super Bowl.
Because if the coach is very one-note in his approach/philosophy, and can only win one way. Then ultimately the team's success isn't really dependent on his coaching ability, but more on the GM and front office's ability to find the right players to win with that approach/philosophy.