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 Post subject: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:19 pm 
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You know i'm one of the least negative people on the board and try to stay upbeat unlike some people (Fun Gus, Pudge, cough). That being said, the offense had me really made me want to drink more wit their poor play. It seems like its a common theme for 3 years now that Saints defense always gives Ryan problem at home but I don't like that excuse. It seemed like the offensive line once again struggled, which is still a concern even though that first drive with the holes were insane. Those holes were so huge that T.J..I mean Michael Turner was actually looking like he was in 2008-2010 form. My question is that does the offense start to make you worried a bit or it was just one game to forget about. The third down drops were too frequent and it seemed Ryan was too hesitant. I'm happy he didn't throw an interception but throwing under 200 yards against the Saints is inexcusable.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:23 pm 
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The Falcon offense has been having problems for much longer than tonight.

It's been a tale of two seasons for the Falcons offense thus far.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:27 pm 
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The offensive problems are simple, the center and right guard can't do their jobs. Since teams have figured that out, they have been bringing all kinds of pressure up the middle. Ryan can't step up, he has to dodge or get rid of the ball quickly. There's no easy fix here. McClure should be gone already, and we don't have a RG on the roster that can do what's required. The Falcons are just going to have to deal... Although, if Koetter felt like experimenting, he could try Clabo at RG, and let Holmes or Johnson try their hand at RT.


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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:51 pm 
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From what I saw, Ryan was under distress most of the night. The o-line did not pass protect well at all. That is a concern. Also, I saw Julio, Rowdy, and Gonzo all drop catchable balls...more than once. I'm not sure we can fix the line and we probably will get exposed again in the playoffs....but when Ryan does deliver the ball, these guys need to catch it.


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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:07 pm 
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I am stoked to be 11-1. I think we are fine on offense. But it is odd that Matt has struggled in the Dome this year on offense. Historically, he has been a beast in the Dome. Off the cuff, I'd say over his career his passer rating is 20+ points higher in the Dome. Even though we are 6-0 this year, look at this log:

Denver = Lethargic Offense outside of the 1st Quarter. Let Denver back in the game.
Carolina = Offense was ok. Matt's best home game by far this year. But we still gave up a 10-pt lead in the 2nd half, and it took luck to win.
Oakland = Simply horrific performance by the offense. Took an Abe sack/Edwards return to the 1 yard line & Asante 'pick 6' to win.
Dallas = Held on ok on offense. Missed some fg's, but very underwhelming.
Arizona = Words can't describe our offense in this game.
New Orleans = We did what we had to do to win. But we were very bad. 5 straight '3 and Out's' is unnaceptable.

I mean, We've only had 7 passing TD's in 6 home games. That is not good.

We still have NYG and Tampa coming up. But this begs the question...Do we even want to be at home in the playoffs? I think we do, but we have got to get it cleaned up at home. My worry is that we may not even be in a position to play for anything in the NYG/Tampa games. If we beat Carolina, we have an outside shot at having the NFC wrapped up at 12-1. My guess is that we will need to win the NYG game to lock up the #1 seed, but you never know.

My concern is that we have to clean up our play at home. Our first 6 games at home this year have not gone well on offense. We have a great opportunity to have every playoff game in our Dome, and then the Super Bowl in a Dome that we are very familiar with. The proverbial 'cards' are stacked in our favor this year for a run. We just have to clean it up. We could raise the Lombardi without playing in a game below 70 degrees after this next game with Carolina. We'll be potentially indoors as deep as we go in the playoffs.

That being said, I am not a hater. We have 11 Wins right now, and the NEXT BEST NFC team has 8 wins as I type this post. We have a lot to be happy about. I am hopeful that we have something to play for in the NYG game, and that we clean it up. I'd love to be 13-1 at that point, lock down the NFC, and rest our guys. We are beat up and we need the rest. I wouldn't hurt my feelings to not see Asante until the playoffs. He's a pro and he'd be ready (not worried about 'rust' with him). We need his shoulder to get right. I'm also glad Julio and Spoon have made it through a few weeks with no set backs. But i'd like them to get rest too, as well as Harry and Abe.


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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Definitely you should be concerned. When push comes to shove and the playoffs get here teams like the Giants,Bears and 49ers should have their way with our off line. The rest of the teams don't have the def lines to make our off line look bad. The Saints not sure why our off line couldn't hold up but it is troubling since the Saints are supposed to have one of the worst defenses.

There how's that for being positive? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:38 pm 
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thescout wrote:
Definitely you should be concerned. When push comes to shove and the playoffs get here teams like the Giants,Bears and 49ers should have their way with our off line.


And the Giants just showed the world what happens when a good D-Line meats a bad/banged up O-Line against the Packers. They dominate and crush the pathetic O-Line.

If the blocking goes unchanged and we get any of the 3 teams mentioned above we are going to get bludgeoned again and waste another season of awesomeness.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:41 pm 
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A few positives from a poor offensive night was that for the 3rd straight week the Falcons score near the goal line by running the ball. Still long way to go in convincing me they can score on short yardage runs but they are starting to do it consistently again. Another thing is that Saints played a lot of Cover 2 and that always seems to frustrate Ryan taking the deep ball away.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:32 pm 
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some call it being 'pessimistic', I choose to believe it's being 'pragmatic'. :mrgreen:

Look, we better damn well be concerned. Outside of that first drive, Ryan looked awful . I dont blame him for the entirity of it: Koetter has to step up and make some damn changes.

McClure is just awful now. Between him and Konz, Ryan had pressure on him all night long, many times with a 3 man rush from one of the lower rung defenses in the league. We get Konz, the #1 center in the draft: and we put him in at guard. That's just freekin' genius. We keep a bad center, and play the best option at guard. Then we get a guy who can play guard ( Mike Johnson) and we put him at RT or TE. Imagine this against the Giants. One thing I dont want for Christmas is a replay of the Giant Fiasco(tm) in three weeks.

We have some time right now to fix this. But Koetter has got to man up and make some changes, just like he has concerning Quizz and Turner. It's well past time to sit McClure and put Konz in his natural position. He is going to be playing there next year, anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:52 pm 
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The O line is worrisome! Hope the coaching staff can come up with some quick fixes or we could be in trouble. Still I am really proud of the way this team just doesn't give up. Win against NO had some very satisfying moments!

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:34 pm 
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McClure is not awful. He's played maybe 2 bad games this year, and is still the same Todd McClure he's been for the past 3 years, which is a pretty decent to good center. I know many people think McClure is the catalyst to a bad O-line over the years, but it's funny that he gets blamed for the fact that Kevin Shaffer, Sam Baker, Wayne Gandy, Peter Konz, Joe Hawley, Justin Blalock, Matt Lehr, Calvin Collins, Travis Claridge, Robert Garza, Bob Whitfield getting old, etc. not being very good or underwhelming.

Matt Ryan and the offense played not to lose. They got tight and basically didn't want to make a mistake to give the game away. Ryan will get the brunt of that blame or whatever, but Dirk Koetter, the poor O-line, the lack of the running game, the missed opportunities of the WRs, and just pretty good play by the Saints defense are also part of the equation.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
McClure is not awful. He's played maybe 2 bad games this year, and is still the same Todd McClure he's been for the past 3 years, which is a pretty decent to good center.



Pudge, you have lost your damn mind. :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:37 am 
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OK, he is on the decline but he's still at least decent, which was my main point. He's not a bad center nor is he awful. He played well last week and was the only one of our 5 O-lineman that I thought had a good game.

Again, for whatever silly reason people like to hold McClure somehow responsible for this line's shortcomings and the mistakes of others. You're saying McClure needs to be benched because Thomas Dimitroff foolishly thought that putting a natural center at a position he had not played in 4 years would somehow upgrade the offensive line?...

Yep plugging in a rookie center is going to work wonders for continuity up front for a team vying for a Super Bowl. And despite McClure's awfulness, the Falcons had the most success they had on the ground all season last night. Yep, Koetter really needs to be making wholesale changes right now or else the Falcons are doomed. And I've lost my damn mind. :up:

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:54 am 
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Pudge wrote:
OK, he is on the decline but he's still at least decent, which was my main point. He's not a bad center nor is he awful. And I've lost my damn mind. :up:



no. he is JAG. And you cant have that at the position who touches the ball first. I am simply not going to agree on this. We must be watching different games, because the last game ( Saints ) he did not play 'decent'. He was getting pushed back into Ryan all day long, by a pretty weak defense rushing three. That is not decent.

I'm sure you will conjure up some cute stats to dispute this. 8-)

Now, you make a good point about tossing a rookie in there. He may be a bust, or JAG. Or, he may play as well or better then what were 'getting' from McClure in there. But we will not know until we try.

Keeping McClure in there because he is wise and has chemistry with Ryan doesn;t work so well when Ryan has defenders in his face all day long. :snooty:

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:56 am 
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I simply don't understand this fascination with McClure. Near as I can tell, he has been less than average for his whole career. He certainly hasn't been, "good." He is one of the weakest centers in the NFL. He's undersized, and he gets pushed around. He might be a fairly smart guy, and might be able to call blocking assignments, but even in that regard, we have sucked for the past couple of years. Unblocked defensive linemen have regularly been in the backfield. Ryan has taken several full speed hits this year because we don't get our blocking assignments right. We end up with OT's blocking DT's, and Guards waving around at air, looking for someone to block.

For as long as I can remember, we've been having issues in the middle of our line. We often blamed someone else for those issues... For a while, even though he had a mean streak, we blamed Dahl. We blamed Blalock. We are now blaming Reynolds and Konz. Why in the world doesn't anyone want to look at the guy in the middle... The guy who has consistently been there throughout all of these problems with the middle of our line?

We should have replaced McClure about 7 years ago. It has been pretty clear for a pretty long time that he's not pulling his weight. Somehow, this team has convinced the fans that McClure is the second coming or something. Outside of Atlanta, I never hear his name mentioned at all. At the very best, he's average.

Secretly, the team has known for a long time that McClure isn't all that. We've drafted several centers over the years to replace him. However, because this front office was not willing to use high picks on the line, we've ended up with 3rd rounders or later, and those guys don't have quite enough talent to unseat the long-time veteran. (Garza, Datish, Hawley... All drafted later in the draft with the intention of replacing McClure.) Does that speak to how great McClure is? Not really... We tried finding another McClure to replace McClure. We should have been looking for better players. That said, it does appear that Dimitroff finally decided to address the situation properly with Konz. Time to address the guard position in a similar fashion.


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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:46 am 
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fun gus wrote:
must be watching different games, because the last game ( Saints ) he did not play 'decent'. He was getting pushed back into Ryan all day long, by a pretty weak defense rushing three. That is not decent.

I was referencing his performance vs. the Bucs, when I spoke of his play "last week." As for how he looked against the Saints, I didn't notice much. It was Konz that I noticed early on that was struggling. Maybe McClure did play poorly, I'll see when I review the game. But even if he did, I don't think that means the Falcons need to make a move.

RobertAP wrote:
I simply don't understand this fascination with McClure. Near as I can tell, he has been less than average for his whole career. He certainly hasn't been, "good." He is one of the weakest centers in the NFL. He's undersized, and he gets pushed around. He might be a fairly smart guy, and might be able to call blocking assignments, but even in that regard, we have sucked for the past couple of years. Unblocked defensive linemen have regularly been in the backfield. Ryan has taken several full speed hits this year because we don't get our blocking assignments right. We end up with OT's blocking DT's, and Guards waving around at air, looking for someone to block.

Such ignorance... :snooty:

Yep, McClure is undersized. Average size of a starting NFL center is 6-3/305. McClure is 6-1/296. Yep, those 2 inches and 9 pounds make all the difference in the world. It means he doesn't know how to use his hands or get leverage. If you actually watched tape, you would realize he does that very well, which is why he's succeeded in this league despite his shortcomings for 13 years. :roll:

Unblocked defenders in the backfield on a regular basis? What are you talking about? The blitz has been largely ineffective against the Falcons for years even dating back to the times when Matt Ryan wasn't our QB. Do you think that no defense ever is successful at blitzing? You have 5 or 6 guys pass protecting every play, sometimes, teams figure this out and will bring 6 guys, and sometimes guys miss an assignment. I'm sure the examples that stick out in your mind is 4 weeks ago when Ware got into the backfield unblocked 1 or 2 times, or when Biggers came free off the edge to strip Ryan last week. So now because of 3 examples in 800 plays, it's now become a "glaring" issue? :roll:

RobertAP wrote:
For as long as I can remember, we've been having issues in the middle of our line. We often blamed someone else for those issues... For a while, even though he had a mean streak, we blamed Dahl. We blamed Blalock. We are now blaming Reynolds and Konz. Why in the world doesn't anyone want to look at the guy in the middle... The guy who has consistently been there throughout all of these problems with the middle of our line?

The offensive line is a unit. You do realize that? If that logic applied to another unit, it wouldn't make any sense. That's like saying because Grimes plays cornerback, and the Falcons haven't had good nickel CB play when he's been on the field, then he's culpable for the problems at nickel cornerback. Guess what? Grimes got hurt this year, and all of a sudden we've gotten very good nickel corner play this year? It's all connected!!! :shock:

McClure is not at fault for the fact that Garrett REynolds is too tall to be an effective guard and cannot get leverage. McClure is not at fault because Konz is not a natural guard, and lacks the bulk to push the pile consistently nor the feet to match up well in pass protection in 1 on 1 situations. Nor is he responsible for Blalock's inconsistency over the years, Matt Lehr being a center masquerading as a guard, or Harvey Dahl being an underwhelming athlete.

RobertAP wrote:
It has been pretty clear for a pretty long time that he's not pulling his weight.

Why is that clear? You mean the center that Pro Football Focus has graded as a Top 10 or 15 center 4 straight years prior to this year?

RobertAP wrote:
However, because this front office was not willing to use high picks on the line, we've ended up with 3rd rounders or later, and those guys don't have quite enough talent to unseat the long-time veteran.

I've criticized the front office for a lot of things, but one of them is not going to be not using 1st or 2nd round picks on centers. It's unnecessary because you don't need a special talent at the position to have a good O-line, especially when you play in the NFC which doesn't have a lot of good 3-4 nose tackles, contrasted to the AFC which has a bunch of them.

RobertAP wrote:
Somehow, this team has convinced the fans that McClure is the second coming or something. Outside of Atlanta, I never hear his name mentioned at all. At the very best, he's average.

Oh, I'm sure you're also hearing a ton about John Sullivan, Chris Myers, Scott Wells, Kyle Cook, Brian De La Puente, or Jonathan Goodwin outside their respective cities. And that of course should be the litmus test we should go by...The RobertAP Buzz Test...by which centers are really good. :roll:

Probably thinking, wow Pudge, must have hit a nerve huh? Yeah, and you have because I've seen and heard this song and dance before. It happens all the time on this forum, and others, because for years, I've heard ignorant Falcon fans talking about something that they don't really have a clue about.

That Todd McClure is responsible for other players not being able to block. That in order to have a good O-line or interior, you need some 320-pound center.

If/when you really watch the games and evaluate the play of the O-line, which most of the people that have made these "McClure sucks" claims do not, then you realize that McClure is carrying his weight just fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Probably thinking, wow Pudge, must have hit a nerve huh? Yeah, and you have because I've seen and heard this song and dance before. It happens all the time on this forum, and others, because for years, I've heard ignorant Falcon fans talking about something that they don't really have a clue about.

That Todd McClure is responsible for other players not being able to block. That in order to have a good O-line or interior, you need some 320-pound center.

If/when you really watch the games and evaluate the play of the O-line, which most of the people that have made these "McClure sucks" claims do not, then you realize that McClure is carrying his weight just fine.


Hey, I didn't say diddlysquat about McClure being 'responsible' for Konz' weak play. I blamed him for what he is directly responsible for: getting pushed back into Ryan. I blamed Konz' poor play on playing out of position: which goes directly to Koetter.

I would caution against using terms like 'ignorance', Sir Pudge. Just because someone's opinion doesn't match yours, or cutestats.com, does not make thier opinions 'ignorant'. Biased, maybe.

I am simply not going to agree that McClure is playing 'just fine' this year. He is not. At this point: he isn't 'decent'. Now maybe throwing a rookie in there doesn't solve the problem, but at least give it a try. Soon enough, McClure will be injured anyways, and he is going to sit. Why wait? Because a rookie may struggle where MudDuck will not? IMO they probably will both struggle, but it's better to give the reps to the rookie.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Not going to quote that text wall Pudge, but I'll agree to disagree on this. I've been evaluating our line just fine for many years. I took quite a bit of time to document the play of the line back in the Vick days. I posted my findings/reviews either here or on AFMB. It was during that time that I determined that McClure wasn't that great, and the past several years haven't changed my mind. McClure does not use his hands well, but he does a good job with setting his feet and establishing himself. His lateral speed isn't that great, especially since he has a disadvantage in size. He has a tendency to lose leverage because of his weak hand work, letting people get inside of him. This is why he gets pushed back into Ryan. His major asset is supposed to be that he is good at reading defenses and setting up a good blocking scheme.


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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Look, I'll say this. I haven't broken down the Saints game. Will probably check it out Monday and post my thoughts then.

But RobertAP's original assertion was:
RobertAP wrote:
The offensive problems are simple, the center and right guard can't do their jobs.

Again, I cannot speak for the Saints game specifically, but the 2012 as a whole, I can say that's not true.

The offensive problems stem from the fact that the team cannot reliably run the ball. That is due to the 5 players as a whole not being able to create push. Now McClure and Konz are culpable in that certainly. But when you figure that McClure has never been a pile mover, yet in past years the Falcons have been a very good run blocking team while he was on the roster, means that his abilities in that realm are not a major factor of the team's rushing success/failure. Essentially, even if he's deficient there, it does not hold this team back.

Koetter is not responsible for the decision of plugging Konz at right guard. That is above his pay grade. He is merely executing the plan of those above him (Smith & Dimitroff).

Not to mention the issues the team has at RB in regards to their inability to run the ball.

And because of that, they are unable to "win" on 1st & 2nd down, and thus get into too many 3rd & long situations, thus putting extra pressure on the QB and the WRs to have to play at a higher level, and the team overall becomes one-dimensional. And it's extremely hard for the team to excel when it's one-dimensional.

The idea that McClure and/or Konz are primarily responsible for the one-dimensionality is foolish.

RobertAP wrote:
McClure should be gone already,

fun gus wrote:
We keep a bad center,

And these statements are exactly where the bias comes forth.

These statements stem a long-term bias against McClure when he has given one no reason to hold that bias. McClure has been a Top 15 center for the past five years, so that idea that he's "bad" or when willing to play for the veteran minimum, results in a "bad investment" is foolish notion.

fun gus wrote:
I would caution against using terms like 'ignorance', Sir Pudge. Just because someone's opinion doesn't match yours, or cutestats.com, does not make thier opinions 'ignorant'. Biased, maybe.

The reason I say ignorant is not because you disagree with me. But because of a long-held belief among this fan base that McClure is the primary reason why this team hasn't had a good OL over the past 10-15 years and/or has not been a good player for that number of years.

That belief IMO is built around ignorance. Because regardless of how dismissive fun gus is of sources like Pro Football Focus, when they grade him as one of the Top 10 centers in the league over the past 3-4 years, would cause an objective, unbiased person so think, "Well maybe McClure isn't that bad."

But what we have here is fun gus and RobertAP having the long-held beliefs that McClure stinks. And so when you have an allegedly subpar performance like he has against the Saints, then it's just a sign of what they have believed for a long time in that he's a liability.

But if people were unbiased and objective, they would perhaps consider the fact that McClure was our best OL on the field the previous Sunday, and thus conclude maybe we shouldn't make rash decisions based off 1 game.

When you're dismissive of highly-respected site such as Pro Football Focus that 7 NFL teams officially source because it doesn't fit to your worldview is what I call ignorance. You don't have to take their stats as gospel or hold 100% agreement with them, but at the same time to dismiss a highly valuable source in forming your own opinion is the very definition of ignorance.

Ignorance is lacking awareness, information, knowledge or education.

The conclusion people make is that because the Falcons interior hasn't been a strength, since the common denominator is McClure, that means he stinks.

That is ignorant IMHO because it shows a lack of awareness, knowledge, and education on how OL play works.


And for the record Robert, I think the reason why McClure has had the success he's had over the past 13 years is because he has very good hands, which overcomes any deficiencies he has in the size department.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:32 am 
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Again, I'm ok with agreeing to disagree in this case. We see eye to eye often enough. That said, I'll again reference the number of center prospects that the Falcons have brought in to replace McClure. They obviously thought that they could do better. That none of them panned out doesn't automatically make McClure a great center.


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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:45 am 
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Pudge wrote:
Koetter is not responsible for the decision of plugging Konz at right guard. That is above his pay grade. He is merely executing the plan of those above him (Smith & Dimitroff).



that is just plain silly. Why do we have an OC then? He is playing a guy out of position, and you think TD and Smith are 'making him do that'?

:naughty:

Konz' problem besides playing out of position is he is playing almost completely upright. He is not settling down into a stance at a level that will provide him with leverage. The problem isn't strength: the problem is technique.

With all of our offensive linemen struggling at times this year, I have to really wonder about this Pat Hill. No one has looked better than they did under Boudreau. Yes, that includes Baker. When Baker wasn't sitting out or struggling due to a phantom injury, he was just as moderately adequate as he is now. I was wrong to call McClue a 'bad' center, I was meaning 'bad' in that it seems like a 'bad idea' to keep him in when we have 2 other options...BTW, Lamar Holmes should be given an MD degree for the miracle-healing he provided Sam Baker's back "injury". :mrgreen:

McClure struggles with bigger DTs like Hicks, etc. No amount of handwork/technique is going to fix this. He just gets pushed back and with the rookie next to him playing out of position, the pocket collapses. The Aints dont have the DE to get the job done. When Canty/JPP collapse the pocket - the Giants have Tuck/Umenyoura to finish Matt off. The Buccs have a better D then the Saints, and in that game McClure did not look as bad as he did Thursday...Not really understanding why we struggle one week, and look good another week. :?:

Maybe ProFootballFocus can 'splain it. Obviously, since 7 of the 32 NFL teams use them, they cannot be questioned 8-)


It is clear to me that Nolan has the authority and the access to plan the defense as he 'sees it'. The turnaround on D was not above his 'pay grade'. No one is going to convince me otherwise. :rofl:

Let the nuthugging and cute stats reign! Viva La MudDuck :beef:

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:40 pm 
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fun gus wrote:
that is just plain silly. Why do we have an OC then? He is playing a guy out of position, and you think TD and Smith are 'making him do that'?

You mean, you actually believe that Dirk Koetter makes the decisions on who starts for the Falcons each and every game?

You actually think that on a weekly basis, Mike Smith walks into Dirk's office full of pep, carrying two coffees:

Smitty: "Hey Boss, who are we starting this week?"
Dirk: "Konz is going to start at right guard. Mud Duck at center. Do you have a problem with that?"
Smitty: "No sir! Whatever you say sir! I'm just hear to fetch your coffee. Four sugars right boss?"
Dirk: [accepts coffee, sips it and tussles Smith's balding white hair playfully]

Because if Koetter makes the decisions who plays where, then wouldn't that mean he makes the decisions on who plays at all, and ultimately holds sway over the entire roster, at least the offensive half?

So you actually believe that Dirk Koetter was the primary decision maker in the Falcons roster, and Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff, both of whom make 3-5 times as much as Koetter, are just executing his decisions?


You're saying that back in May, when the Falcons held their mini-camps and Konz was working as the 3rd string right guard behind Garrett Reynolds and Vince Manuwai, that it was Dirk Koetter that made that decision? That Mike Smith, Pat Hill, and/or Thomas Dimitroff showed up that day to camp, and Koetter had already said, "This is how it is and this is how it will be." And they just said, "Ok Dirk, whatever you say. You're the offensive coordinator, and thus you control everything."

You think that when the organization within hours of drafting Peter Konz have publicly released statements and comments to the media that "We intend to have Konz compete right away at right guard," that it is the offensive coordinator that is the onus behind this statement/decision, and now the GM, his front office, and/or the head coach who jointly makes these big draft decisions?

It's a thrilling combination of fascination and astonishment that you don't think the head coach of the team makes these types of decisions. Like I'm now curious as to what you think the head coach actually does?

Sounds like he is just their errand boy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxowohyf7ww

:lol:

fun gus wrote:
I haven't seen such a case of nuthugging over a medicore player since the days of MV7. :rofl:

It's not nut hugging, nor is he mediocre.

Todd McClure has started 191 games in his career. When game starts has been regular kept since the 70s, roughly 25 or so years before McClure's career began and the 13 years since, only 93 players have started more games than he has.

That's 93 out of say at least 15,000 that over that 40-year time span probably suited up and played in the NFL. That could be a very low estimate, as the number could have easily been twice that. But let's say it's only 15,000. Even so, that would mean that in terms of NFL longevity, that number of starts would put Todd McClure in the 99th percentile.

There's nothing mediocre about that.

RobertAP wrote:
I simply don't understand this fascination with McClure.

This is why you fail.

People honestly believe that a guy could dupe 4 different coaching staffs into playing him without having some sort of skill?

RobertAP wrote:
hat said, I'll again reference the number of center prospects that the Falcons have brought in to replace McClure. They obviously thought that they could do better.

This sort of logic is ridiculous. The Falcons have drafted 4 centers in 11 years: Garza, Datish, Hawley, and Konz.

Matt Birk, who was drafted by the Vikings in 1998 and played with them through 2008, managed to play in 6 Pro Bowls and was widely considered to be one of the elite centers in the league and may have a chance to be in the HOF one day. Do you know how many centers the Vikings drafted during the 11 years he played with that team?

3. Mike Malano in 2000. Ryan Cook in 2006. And John Sullivan in 2008.

One less than the Falcons, who according to you were playing with a below average center for that entire time, while the Vikings were playing with one of the best there ever was.

You do realize that sometimes teams will draft players for depth and insurance right? Like we didn't draft Charles Mitchell because we thought we could do better than William Moore at strong safety. We drafted him because we needed depth at the position, and in the event that Moore leaves the team following this year, we have at least a body on the team that could possibly replace him (where the insurance comes in).

Here's something you might find interesting. I suggest at this point if you want to continue to revel in ignorance you stop reading here. If you want to have your mind blown, then keep on reading... :hihi:
























Still here? OK, let's go...

In 1999, the Falcons drafted Todd McClure and signed him to a 3-yr. deal that expired after the 2001 season.

In 2001, the Falcons drafted the first of several attempted replacements for McClure in Roberto Garza. He was signed to a 3-yr. deal as well, through 2003.

Following the 2001 season, the Falcons tendered McClure as an RFA to a 1-yr. deal. In 2002, Garza got his first and only shot at competing against McClure in training camp for the starting job. He lost.

The following year McClure became a UFA and signed a 2-yr. deal with the Falcons. Presumably because the Falcons weren't still convinced he was the long-term solution at center.

His deal voided after one year, and both he and Garza were free agents in 2004. McClure as a UFA signed a 3 year deal on the first day of free agency (March 3, 2004). Garza, being a RFA 3 weeks later signed a 1-yr. deal.

After the 2004 season, Garza would depart Atlanta and join the Bears. He would go on to start 6 seasons at guard and upon the sudden retirement of Olin Kreutz in 2011, would be moved inside to center.

Meanwhile, McClure is chugging along, and is good enough that the team decides to give him a contract extension in December 2006, a month before his contract is due to expire. It's a brand new 5-yr. deal that will keep him a Falcon through 2011.

The coaching staff is cleaned out a few weeks later. Bobby Petrino comes in with a brand new blocking scheme. He wants bigger, more physical blockers up front.

So in 2007, he drafts Doug Datish in the 6th round thinking he'll be that guy. Of course, Datish is not. He gets hurt his rookie camp, and just isn't that good a player (very few Ohio State OL have been in the post Mangold era), and he's cut the following summer without ever really challenging McClure for his gig.

Petrino is gone after 13 games, and a new group take over in 2008. But McClure keeps chugging along.

So 2010 rolls around, Todd McClure is now 33 years old. Centers have been known to play until they're 35, but clearly McClure is on his last legs. He's got 2 more years left of his contract, and so the time seems right to draft his heir apparent and replacement. Don't forget we've heard some retirement rumors swirling around the Mud Duck either that off-season or the previous one (I can't recall which).

They take Joe Hawley in the 4th round in 2010. And he sits back and he's waiting for McClure to retire or hang it up.

Then 2012 rolls around, and McClure is a FA again. Now the time for Hawley has seemingly emerged. But guess what, Todd McClure is willing to come back for 1 more year at the veteran minimum.

And thus the team makes the decision that while they planned for Hawley to take over, given their high aspirations, if they can get the Mud Duck back for practically nothing, it makes sense to give him one last shot.

But then April rolls around, and the league's top center in the draft that almost everyone thought the Ravens would take in Round 1 is still on the board. FYI, the center for the Ravens is Matt Birk, who most believe is going to retire. But the Ravens pass on Konz and trade back into the draft. But in Round 2, when the Ravens take Courtney Upshaw instead, Konz now falls in the draft.

Patriots come on the clock at #48, they need a center to replace Koppen. Nope, they take DB Tavon Wilson instead. Hey maybe the Titans will take him at #52 because they've been looking for Mawae's replacement for years. Nope, they prefer the super athletic LB Zach Brown.

And so the Falcons come on the clock at #55. They see Konz on the board, when they like most "experts" figured he'd go somewhere in the Top 30, Top 40 at worst. They have a 1st round grade on him, and there's nobody else on their board that is graded as high as them.

At this point, the team isn't all-in on Hawley. If they were, they would not have re-signed McClure. They also have an opening at RG, and Konz is big and physical enough that most experts agree he can play guard in the NFL (in fact, those same experts thought the reason why the Ravens would draft him is because of their need at LG, and ultimately move Konz to C a year or so later when Birk retired).

And the Falcons are thinking the exact same thing. We'll plug Konz immediately at RG, where he'll compete with Manuwai. Best case scenario, Konz is a world-class OG, Hawley solidifies the OC spot, and alongside Blalock and Clabo, we've now solidified 4 of our 5 OL positions for the next 3-5 years. Worst case scenario, Konz and Hawley will compete for the open OC in 2013, and we know that we'll find a pretty decent center out of it.

So of course the Falcons send in their card to draft Konz.

What you have to understand is that the Falcons drafting all of these others centers is not an indicator that they lacked trust in McClure. Garza was drafted before McClure had really solidified his status in the league (2 yrs. in), and Konz & Hawley were drafted when McClure was on his last legs. There's basically 8 years where the Falcons made little to no attempt to replace McClure.

Sure, you think they drafted Doug Datish . But what you should find most interesting about Datish is that he played 4 different positions while at Ohio State. He only played center as a senior out of necessity. They weren't drafting Datish as a referendum on McClure to replace him immediately, it was primarily to add depth with a utility backup that could potentially be groomed down the line to play center. Datish in his initial camp was 3rd string C behind McClure and P.J. Alexander.

Instead, what you should be paying attention is all of the indicators that showed the Falcons had the utmost faith in McClure. That is illustrated from the nearly $16 million in contracts that the Falcons handed him from 2003 to 2012. The fact, that twice during his career they prioritized re-signing him (on the first day of FA in 2004, and before he hit the mark in 2006).

See what has happened here, is that people, in this case RobertAP and fun gus hold the opinion: "Todd McClure sucks!" and thus are only looking at (flimsy) evidence that supports their opinion.

If they looked at all of the evidence, then even the most stubborn person should come away with thinking, "Eh, he's pretty decent."

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm 
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this is how I think it works.

The assistants and Pat Hill give thier input to Dirk. Dirk takes that, and what he sees and he gives his input to Coach Smith.

Now on defense, and I could be wrong, I am of the beleft that Nolan is calling who will be starting and what type of defense we are going to run, and Smitty 'trusts him', and gives him free reign...Which is what Nolan brought to the table in the first place. Nolan was not going to come here and run Mike Smith's defense.

I am aware that Smith is the final arbiter. But I was under the impession the HC took the input he gets from his coordinators, and either does what they recommend, or veto it. Right?

So either Pat Hill and DK think McClure at center and Konz at guard is the best option and that's what they are telling Smith, or he is calling the shots. Right?


Because it is clear something is not working. No matter about McClure's past and his contracts, it's not getting done anymore. Period.

Michael Turner ranks 38th out of 45 qualified running backs in yards per rush this season and isn’t getting yards after contact like he used to. Turner averaged 2.0 yards per rush after contact from 2009 to 2011 but just 1.6 this season.

Turner has been contacted in the backfield on 22.6 percent of his rush attempts this season, behind only LeSean McCoy for the highest percentage in the NFL ..

I was under the impression that what the coordinators DID. They figured out what is working, is not working, who was going to start, what type of scheme to run, and they take that to the HC who is responsible for 'running the ship' in game, and signing off on who will start and where, but doing so on the recommendation of the coordinators..

Is think line of thinking misguided? :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:16 pm 
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fun gus wrote:
I was under the impression that what the coordinators DID. They figured out what is working, is not working, who was going to start, what type of scheme to run, and they take that to the HC who is responsible for 'running the ship' in game, and signing off on who will start and where, but doing so on the recommendation of the coordinators..

Dirk Koetter is the offensive coordinator. That doesn't make him the "boss of the offense" or the coordinator of the offensive assistant coaches. It means he calls plays. That's it.

I think you got the gist of it. But the part about deciding who to start, really isn't Koetter's decision. I don't think Koetter really even cares who starts on the O-line, as long as they can execute his protections, assignments, and plays, then it really doesn't matter. It's up to Pat Hill, who is specifically in charge of evaluating the play of the linemen, and also getting them to execute those protections, assignments, and plays. Hill is basically in charge of evaluating the OL. But also I believe the head coach is responsible for evaluating the play of every single player/unit on the roster, so he's equally culpable.

The decision to re-sign McClure, and draft Konz was made by the front office. They determined back in March that McClure gave them a better option at center than just Hawley. They also determined during their scouting work that they felt Konz could play guard as well as center (and presumably Hill signed off on that as well since it'd be on him to make that a reality). McClure outplayed Hawley & Konz in camp, and thus won the starting center job. That wasn't at the behest of Koetter, it was likely a collective coaching decision, but likely spearheaded by Hill & Smith. Konz almost beat Reynolds for the gig at RG, but ultimately the same parties likely opted for Reynolds being their job. Then when Reynolds got hurt, it made the most sense to put Konz in there at RG because that was the original plan way back in April, he was Reynolds' primary backup, and they likely felt would have little to no dropoff, if not improvement.
fun gus wrote:
Because it is clear something is not working. No matter about McClure's past and his contracts, it's not getting done anymore. Period.

Michael Turner ranks 38th out of 45 qualified running backs in yards per rush this season and isn’t getting yards after contact like he used to. Turner averaged 2.0 yards per rush after contact from 2009 to 2011 but just 1.6 this season.

Turner has been contacted in the backfield on 22.6 percent of his rush attempts this season, behind only LeSean McCoy for the highest percentage in the NFL ..



Is think line of thinking misguided? :ninja:

Again, but why is the immediate leap to: "Let's bench McClure" then?

If the reason for that is because he's gonna be gone next year, might as well as cut him now and get it over with, that doesn't solve the issues today. You say that Hill/Koetter have to fix this now, as in within the next 4-6 weeks. What is going to happen to McClure in March 2013 is completely irrelevant to that.

The problem is not just McClure. It has to do with all 5 starters up front. You have a LT that doesn't fit your blocking scheme. You have a RG playing out of position. You have a declining C. You have an inconsistent LG that on his good days isn't all that good anymore. And you have an underachieving RT. It also has to do with the fact that the Falcons TEs aren't also very good blockers. It also has to do with the fact that the stable of RBs is underwhelming. It also has do to with having below average FB play. This is a systemic problem that the Falcons have, not one that will likely get fixed by benching/scapegoating McClure. Especially at this point in the season.

The point I'm trying to make is the factors that are contributing to why the Falcons can't run the ball and the OL stinks, isn't just a recent development. It's a coalition of factors that have occurred over the course of months/years. This is a bed they've made a long time ago. Making rash decisions at this point, isn't going to solve those problems. This is why I constantly stress good off-season decision making, which the Falcons haven't had in particular with their O-line in recent years. It's a feedback loop.

The "Let's dump McClure" solution IMO is not a good solution. Because it's based around false perception that McClure has always been a liability. So when you're basing a solution on flawed information, more than likely your solution is equally flawed.

Because whether you believe it or not, the Falcons 5 best O-linemen are currently in the lineup.

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 Post subject: Re: Should We Be Concerned About Offense?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
Because whether you believe it or not, the Falcons 5 best O-linemen are currently in the lineup.



thats where we disagree.

I think Konz would be better at C then McClure. But it wont matter: McClure will be injured before the season ends. Count on it. :ninja:

You would have to admit: Nolan runs his defense here, and not Mike Smith's. correct?

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