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 Post subject: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:42 pm 
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Matt Ryan, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, had a very good rookie season in 2008 (this was before we knew that rookie quarterbacks could do great things, a la Cam Newton, and we only expected them to be so-so). He looked like he could be, if not the face of next-gen quarterbacks in the league, one of the new wave’s envoys.

In Atlanta, he was responsible for scrubbing away the rotten stink of the Michael Vick dogfighting era. In his rookie season, it looked like he would do that and so much more.

So what’s happened since then?

Let me stop for a moment to talk about the deception of athletes' numbers versus performances witnessed with the naked eye. I’ve long struggled with which one I trust more, and it differs from sport to sport.

However, I believe that in football, a guy that passes the eyeball test is legitimately good, and if the numbers back it up, that’s fine too.

Here’s an example: Ndamukong Suh doesn’t put up great sack numbers, but if you just watch him play, you’ll know just how much he affects the outcome by drawing double teams, clogging running lanes and so forth. His worth on the field doesn’t always show up in numbers.

Baseball players, to provide a counterexample, can be entirely defined by their statistics. If a hitter ekes out a measly .200 batting average, he’s just that: an average player. But back to Matt Ryan.

Matt Ryan puts up great statistics. Last season, he threw for 4,177 yards and 29 touchdowns while only throwing 12 interceptions. He also completed an okay 61.3 percent of his passes. By all numerical measures, he had a very good season.

But did you see him?

No professional athlete I’ve ever watched inspires less confidence in the viewer while he’s playing.

When he drops back into the pocket, my mind immediately races to negative outcomes for the play. I picture lost fumbles, sacks, interceptions, under-thrown balls. This isn’t a conscious response; his physical presence on the field brings these visceral, negative thoughts to mind. How do you account for that?

And I know I’m not the only person who feels this way about Matt Ryan’s career.

His nickname, Matty Ice, has become something of a derisive joke, along the lines of Mark Sanchez’s disastrous “Sanchise” nickname. He and the Falcons have been called overrated plenty of times, but they’ve never done anything to disprove the brand. Last year’s 24-2 defeat at the hands of the New York Giants in the playoffs was one of the most embarrassing losses I’ve ever seen.

In a way, Matt Ryan has come to symbolize this entire era of Atlanta Falcons football. They’re good, but not great. They do just enough, but never more. They’ll get to the playoffs, and get embarrassed. If an NFL team only goes as far as their quarterback can take them, as the conventional thinking goes, than what does that say about Matt Ryan?

If he’s ever going to, this season must be the one in which Matt Ryan can mesh together these two strands of his career: the raw numbers versus what we actually see happening on the field. This will be the fifth year of his career, and he can only stay part of the echelon of “promising young quarterbacks” for so long.

Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and (probably) Robert Griffin III are all knocking quite loudly at the door. It’s time for Matt Ryan to decide if he belongs in the club. If not, he’ll be escorted out very shortly.

The numbers look great on paper, but football games aren’t played on paper. In fact, only one football stat carries weight in the record books, and it’s the one Matt Ryan so crucially lacks: postseason wins.


http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1301 ... ans-talent

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:45 am 
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Quote:

No professional athlete I’ve ever watched inspires less confidence in the viewer while he’s playing.

When he drops back into the pocket, my mind immediately races to negative outcomes for the play. I picture lost fumbles, sacks, interceptions, under-thrown balls. This isn’t a conscious response; his physical presence on the field brings these visceral, negative thoughts to mind. How do you account for that?


I guess I account for it with the thought you must be one whacked dude (:

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:40 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Quote:

No professional athlete I’ve ever watched inspires less confidence in the viewer while he’s playing.

When he drops back into the pocket, my mind immediately races to negative outcomes for the play. I picture lost fumbles, sacks, interceptions, under-thrown balls. This isn’t a conscious response; his physical presence on the field brings these visceral, negative thoughts to mind. How do you account for that?


I guess I account for it with the thought you must be one whacked dude (:

I think he has him confused with our previous franchise QB. I'm sure that the Philly fans have visions of lost fumbles, sacks, interceptions, and under-thrown balls. I absolutely do not have those fears with Ryan under center. I've felt that Ryan, and the rest of our offensive talent, has been misused for the past several years. If we continue to have an aggressive passing attack with Ryan, and end the season out of the playoffs, I'll eat my crow. But for the moment, I think folks like this have enough talent evaluation skill to fill a thimble.


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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:20 pm 
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I disagree. I think Matt Ryan looks very confident and plays well on the field, barring a few performances. Think about the game on the road last season against Carolina. And the year before that at home against San Fransisco.

But to be fair, he seemed a bit shaken against NYG last season. But contrary to popular opinion, I think he faired well against Arizona and Green Bay.

Look at the differences in the games and how close they were early on. A fluke handoff in 08 at the start of the second half helped the Cardinals blow the game open. Beyond that, our sub-par linebacking core bit on a play fake to help the Cards seal that game with a first down. Ryan's numbers weren't great, but he did play well enough to keep us in that game.

Against Green Bay, that game was close as well despite horrible defensive play.
True enough, Ryan threw a bad pass on a pick 6 to Tramon Williams, but another one of his INTs came when his receiver slipped and fell.

I'm certainly not making excuses for Matt Ryan. But facts are facts.

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Before I'm crucified for saying this, let it be known: Matty is my mofo, and I'm proud to call him my QB any day of the week. But...

I do feel much more confident with him in the regular season as opposed to the playoffs. He just seems different when the playoffs roll around, and I'm not just talking record or stats. I can't really put into words. Something just seems off. It's weird.

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Something is off---- Up till now the opponents have just had better teams and better Qbs!!

Ryan is just going into his 5th year,I just don't buy that anyone has held him back; it just takes Qbs with average lines time
to get it..... I thought Mularkey brought Ryan along nicely until last year. I thought Ryan was ready for more last year; but remember his
rookie year, against good defenses; he's improved a lot!!

Ryan has been improving every year and we've expected more every year; that's why a new Coordinator with no history with Ryan will
prove a great thing for Ryan.

The playoffs are more on a coach than a Qb IMO; unless the Qb really stinks the joint up. It takes a lot of Qbs 5 years to develop!!

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:21 am 
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one8swayze, we went into the Giants game last year with NO GAMEPLAN. Mularkey made comments after the year that suggested that he wasn't ready to play against the Giants, that he had no answers for their defense. If you wonder why Ryan looked, 'different,' out there, perhaps it was because his OC had checked out before the game started.

Mularkey being gone is a good thing for Atlanta. As long as Mike Smith allows our offense to be more aggressive, I think that by the end of this year, you'll agree with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:35 am 
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I think it stands to reason if we are playing more wide open in preseason then it will continue that way. Ryan needed the change to either
become the Qb we have hoped for; or be whatever. I think he will continue to improve; one thing Pudge mentioned earlier is if Ryan should start throwing extra interceptions; we need to hang with the wide open play and let him have some bad stretches if necessary; but let him
keep playing wide open. We need to give him every chance!!

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:17 am 
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Exactly Cyril. And I know you said that you liked the way that Mularkey brought Ryan along, but I contend that trying to develop a QB by making him play mistake-free football is not the way to go. I think that your frustration, and others, with Ryan, is largely due to how he was brought along.


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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:37 am 
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Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt the dude's ability for one second. I feel supreme confidence in almost any passing situation, and that's a good f**** feeling! I was one of the people here who was originally against drafting him, but I immediately double-forked face first into a big steamy crow potpie, and have had a huge birdshit-eating grin on my face ever since. I want and trust Icee as my QB. What I mean by "something seems off", is that his demeanor in general seems weird and different in the playoffs, and I just don't get it. When the camera zooms in on his line calls, his facial expressions look different. When he breaks the huddle or walks off the field, his body language looks different. It almost reminds me of (f*** me for saying this...it makes me hate myself) playoff Lebron. Maybe Matty will pull a BronBron and piss in everyone's hater-ade.

p.s. Don't get it confused: I still HATE Lebron. I do respect the douche's skills though.

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:23 am 
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[quote="RobertAP"]one8swayze, we went into the Giants game last year with NO GAMEPLAN. Mularkey made comments after the year that suggested that he wasn't ready to play against the Giants, that he had no answers for their defense. If you wonder why Ryan looked, 'different,' out there, perhaps it was because his OC had checked out before the game started.
[quote]

Interesting. I dont recall the comments by Mularkey...? I agree with you that MM checked out. But why just the Giants? He (Mularkey OR Ryan) didn't check out vs Arizona, and it was Matt that 'checked out' vs Green Bay after the pick 6.

I said last January something wierd was up concerning out coordinators. BVG stepped off the Falcons airplane and into a waiting car to take him to college, and if I recall correctly, Mularkey left shortly after... I postulated that after the Saints game, something happened.

Now, I dont 'know' what occurred. Perhaps Smith or Blank dropped the hammer. Maybe they saw the handwriting on the wall, and began thier new job search on their own? But it's going to be hard to convince me that the run up to the Giant Fiasco (tm) that both our coordinators were solely gameplanning, and not job searching. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Anyone that has been in any kind of 4 year long relationship, be it work or personal, knows that you can 'read' people. Maybe Ryan picked up on the fact that his coordinators were not as committed to winning in the postseason, and checked out as well. He made some comments about the old coordinators and his new ones that may validate this theory.

It's a head scratcher for sure. :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:07 pm 
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The reason why Ryan checked out of the Giants game is a simple answer. The Falcons had lost twice before in the playoffs, and the minute the game turned, the entire team went, "Oh no, here we go again!"

That's why it's imperative for this year, when this team plays good teams in the regular season and hopefully subsequently in the playoffs, they cannot let the game get ahead of them. If so, then you're going to have the same situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:54 pm 
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I think that speaks to the idea of a, "conservative," offense. If you design your offense around ball control and limiting mistakes, and you do not prepare yourself for the adversity of falling behind, you do not have the skill or experience to address it when it happens. Our offense in years past was not built to take advantage of Ryan's abilities. The idea was to keep the game close till the end and let Ryan win it. Well, if you fall behind by 2 scores, that goes right out the window. The thing is, Matt Ryan has the skill. He has proven time and time again that if you give him the ball in crunch time and he needs x yards, or a TD to win, he's going to go get it for you.

What has driven me crazy for the past several years is that we know that Ryan is capable of doing this... Why hasn't he been the centerpiece of our offense? Why, if he can drive the team down the field at any time, have we insisted on, 'keeping it close,' with Turner, when we could have been putting teams away with Ryan? People look at our crappy points per game, and immediately blame Ryan, and that's bull crap. Our low points per game was directly because of Mularkey's ball control offense.


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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:53 am 
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Robert here's where we'll just have to agree to disagree...... I thought in year 1&2 that Ryan showed that he was young and I've seen Qbs
spirit broken by being given too much to early. I thought Mularkey handled him perfectly.

I can't exactly tell you when I felt Mularkey was holding him back but I thought for sure some last year!!

It doesn't really matter as long as Ryan uses this opportunity to his advantage. I think Mike Smith let Mularkey call his game; and now
I think he's letting the new Coordinator play things his way....I believe the first two years of a Qbs career can make him or break him....

"Robert Wrote"
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Why, if he can drive the team down the field at any time, have we insisted on, 'keeping it close,' with Turner, when we could have been putting teams away with Ryan?


I've never felt Ryan could do that!! Since he wasn't given the chance we'll never know but this being his 5th year I do expect more points
but I also expect more interceptions. I certainly think Ryan is good enough to win with; but I just don't see him being great as you do. I hope your right and I did want Ryan drafted; and he's mostly met my expectations; I just never saw greatness in him although I see a darn good Qb.

Being a great Qb is just for a few Qbs; but of course I'm just guessing; missing deep open receivers needs to not happen often; and although I have high expectations their just not as high as yours....You sound like you already think he could have been great if we let him; and I think he's getting better every year. That's the main difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Raw Meat!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:21 am 
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We agree to disagree often, so I'm totally cool with that. ;)

I actually didn't want us to take Ryan. I wanted that DT who turned out to be a bum. (I've never been a good judge of college talent) I also wanted to give Redman a shot at being, "the guy." I felt that Redman had the skills to be a decent 2nd or 3rd tier QB in the NFL. I never thought that he was going to be a top 5, or even top 10. But he could have gotten us by while we built our team.

I was also very much against Starting Ryan his rookie year. Again, I felt that Ryan could learn more behind Redman in his first year rather than learning about taking hits behind our crappy OL. So even though I was against Ryan starting, I was happy with the way that we were bringing him along. I was also happy with how well he was playing. But then, year 2 arrived, and Mularkey decided to go ultra-conservative after Ryan had considerable success in his rookie year. I almost wonder if Mularkey hates good QBs.

Despite Mularkey going ultra conservative, Ryan impressed the heck out of me. His mechanics, his ability to read a defense, and his ability to make his progressions are as good as anyone I've seen in the NFL. Ryan has been at his best when he's running the show. Whether it's our goofy no-huddle, or the actual 2 minute drill, Ryan has some of his best moments in these situations.

There have been a few games here and there over the course of Ryan's career when the coaching staff has asked Ryan to lead the team for the entire 60 minutes, but those have been VERY RARE cases. A couple that stand out were back in 2010... Cincinatti and Baltimore... In the weeks leading up to the Cincinatti game, the players had started complaining about how vanilla our team was. So we opened things up a bit, and things looked REALLY GOOD. But then we went right back to being ultra-conservative. We still won a ton of games after that, but it was the old, conservative way.

I am firmly convinced that Matt Ryan can be one of the premier passers in the NFL, provided the team designs the scheme to maximize his performance.


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