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 Post subject: Immediate needs vs secondary needs for the Falcon's
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:48 pm 
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I was thinking last night what Mckay will do with the falcon's and how he will approach this off season knowing that there are must needs to be filled and secondary needs to make them a better team.Let me explain immediate needs are when you a player simply not performing even average at his position he must be replaced this upcoming year to get better. Secondary needs are you have a player that is performing and still has another year under contract thus byeing your team more time and to be addressed next year. Immediate needs I see are safety,off tackle, guard and def tackle.Secondary needs are def end,linebacker,corner,recevier.Now I know receiver has been criticized alot but given the money tied up and draft pick of jenkins I can see nothing being done about this this upcoming year.Will Mckay approach this off season as I just mentioned?

Def tackle - Can Lavalias start full time.I don't think the falcon's take the chance and for the future there doesn't appear to be any quality free agents without overpaying.Expect a draft pick here
Safety - Cory Hall doesn't seem to be on the field half the time.I expect at least a 2nd or 3rd round pick here to answer the need
Off line tackle - Weiner and Shaffer while good at run blocking just don't cut when it comes to pass blocking for the future.Since Vick roll s left being a left handed QB it is essential to get a tackle in the draft high pick but knowing gibbs it will be 4th round
Guard - another big need.I cannot understand why the falcon's like Garza unless they plan to use him at center.Against strong defenses we see the def tackles on the other team just puush back the falcon's off line.A guard is another must need

Secondary needs

Recevier - already mentioned above
Def end- Brady Smith is coming back for one more year and we know that a better player is needed but could live with it one more year
linebacker - Draft neds to be replaced with a linebacker that can cover and be a terror v s the run and I don't get that with Draft.Even if we move him to another linebacker position can he cover? Will have to probably live with it one more year
Center -Mcclure seems to always be around and he needs replaced more than the others on the secondary list but you only have so many draft picks
corner - Webster is iffy since he gets injured alot maybe use a 4th or 5 rounder but since the falcon's spent so much money on webster they will probably let him play one more year before a high pick is used the next
running back - with duckett going into his final year and dunn plus Griffith maybe a 4th rounder is used but not a high need

I wonder if Mckay sees the falcon team like this? The old adage take the best player to fill a need is the philosphy Mckay should use so even though he may have alist of immediate vs secondary needs it may be thorwn out the window if a player becomes available that he did not expect.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:52 pm 
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The way I look at it, depending on how much cap space we have, I would really only expect the Falcons to use that to re-sign our own players (guys like Ulmer, Eric Johnson, Mathis, etc.) and to bring in a few bargain basement players.

Well of course, I would like us to pursue one of the top OGs on the market this year. I prefer DeMulling and Wahle, but I have the feeling that we will sign Ben Hamilton, which I think is a mistake unless we plan on employing Hamilton at OC. He's in the same category as Garza, good enough at G to get the job done, but he'll never be more than below average starter at that position.

I'd also like to see the team sign a veteran #3 QB. I've suggested Tony Banks. Someone that is actually going to give Schaub a run for his money as teh #2. But my expectations is that the team will let Detmer walk and simply bring in 2 marginal prospects to fight over the #3 spot (which is only setting up the team for disaster).

Then I'd also see us add a veteran at DT. I've suggested Rodney Bailey (Pats) in the past, and I think he's probably a good upside signing. He could really turn out to be a solid addition to this roster. They just need to find out how healthy he is. He's coming off a torn Achilles he suffered in early August. But from what I know about that injury, he should definitely be 100% by May or June.

I really don't see the team being very active in free agency this year, and McKay has indicated that as such. I really see this as the first of many off-seasons where the team really focuses on building through the draft. I know that can be boring at times since those 6 or so weeks of free agency go by without much happening, and you see other teams going out and signing top players, but it really is the right thing to do. We're really not at that point. A team like Cleveland could/should go and throw around some cash as they are bringing in a new coach, probably a new system, and haven't had much success over the past few years, so they can try and do a complete overhaul. McKay should really be thinking not about whom we can add that will put us over the top in 2005, but which players we can add that can do so in 2007, 2008, 2009, and years beyond, and keep us up there.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:42 pm 
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Center -Mcclure seems to always be around and he needs replaced more than the others on the secondary list but you only have so many draft picks


This is one that I truly think needs to be in the must category and here's why:

He does make great line adjustments BUT when it comes to pass-blocking he simply isn't physically gifted enough to handle one on one blocking assignments thus creating the constant need for double-team help from a guard. This causes a problem because if you had a center that could handle one on one assignments it frees up the double teaming guard to help out on a strong DE or pickup a LB which essentially means that an opposing defense would have to send 6 or 7 guys to have a shot at a sack a majority of the time.

Long story short: A bad center creates a domino effect which makes tackles look worse than what they really are...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:45 pm 
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agree the center is the leader of the O-Line and we must upgrade there.

We need better protection for Vick so he can be a drop back passer and let plays develope, however we need better timin in routes so the WR
and QB are NSYC


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:56 am 
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Cap, you make some very good points. And although I agree we could upgrade over McClure, I really don't think it's a dire need.

I look at Tom Nalen in Denver, who has an almost exact identical build as McClure. Nalen has gotten by in Denver so well because he's super-smart, and compensates for his lacking strength and size with his intelligence. Sure, Nalen had a 5-year head start on McClure, and benefitted from getting his early tutorials directly from Gibbs (McClure had to "suffer" through Shell and Mangurian), but I really think Gibbs has the capabilities to McClure into a "poor man's" Nalen.

Should we just sit idly and not try to push McClure? No, but I do think center is one of those underappreciated positions on the field. It's simply not a position where you can just give the job to somebody. We learned this the hard way back in 2000 when we gave the job to Calvin Collins, without him earning it. McClure has basically earned his job since taking over for Collins at midseason that year.

Garza has worked far too much at guard during his career, and one his one legit chance to beat out McClure (2003), he didn't impress enough. Yes, McClure had a 2-year head start on him as well. I think since Garza is a stronger player, he can be a better center than McClure, but he doesn't have the smarts and unfortunately, he may be as much as 2 or 3 years away from matching (or coming close to it) McClure's smarts.

And as you say, McClure is a liability in pass protection, etc. due to his lacking size. But I hate to break it to you, but most centers in the league are, that's why they are centers and not guards. Typically, your center is your most mobile linemen, typically because he's the smallest and he needs to be able to move quickly in order to transition from the snap into blocking position. But also, what goes with this, is he's usually your weakest. I would less than a dozen centers in the league are good at blocking one-on-one, meaning they are strong enough to hold their own if they were moved to OG. Many guards have been moved to center because they weren't holding their own (Brad Meester, Mike Flynn, etc.) and have had much greater success.

It's really one of those instances, where I think the Falcons should stay vigilant if the right guy becomes available for us (after all, it might just be Garza), but I don't think we need to put a heavy emphasis on the center position. I think considering McClure's experience, I think we have much more glaring deficiencies on the O-line at LT and LG. And until we get those fixed, I think we can hold off on changing the guy that is the fulcrum of the unit: McClure.

IMHO, center is another one of those "finesse" positions, like QB, K, P, where experience can eventually make up for the lacking physical attributes.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:23 pm 
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I completely agree with you about McClure. I think there is more issues at LG than anything else. Every time they would announce Garza at LG, I would cringe because I know he is a sub-par OG. He really would do better at C and perhaps will move there after McClure is done. He just doesn't have it at OG though. Forney has been fantastic but probably needs to work on his pass blocking too. Weiner is ok. Shaffer is not quite ok, so if a better option presents itself, we should take it. I really feel that upgrading LG would make a world of difference for the entire OL. Probably will require a high draft pick like Elton Brown from UVA or a good FA to fix this problem.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:37 am 
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Pudge wrote:
Cap, you make some very good points. And although I agree we could upgrade over McClure, I really don't think it's a dire need.

I look at Tom Nalen in Denver, who has an almost exact identical build as McClure. Nalen has gotten by in Denver so well because he's super-smart, and compensates for his lacking strength and size with his intelligence. Sure, Nalen had a 5-year head start on McClure, and benefitted from getting his early tutorials directly from Gibbs (McClure had to "suffer" through Shell and Mangurian), but I really think Gibbs has the capabilities to McClure into a "poor man's" Nalen.

Should we just sit idly and not try to push McClure? No, but I do think center is one of those underappreciated positions on the field. It's simply not a position where you can just give the job to somebody. We learned this the hard way back in 2000 when we gave the job to Calvin Collins, without him earning it. McClure has basically earned his job since taking over for Collins at midseason that year.

Garza has worked far too much at guard during his career, and one his one legit chance to beat out McClure (2003), he didn't impress enough. Yes, McClure had a 2-year head start on him as well. I think since Garza is a stronger player, he can be a better center than McClure, but he doesn't have the smarts and unfortunately, he may be as much as 2 or 3 years away from matching (or coming close to it) McClure's smarts.

And as you say, McClure is a liability in pass protection, etc. due to his lacking size. But I hate to break it to you, but most centers in the league are, that's why they are centers and not guards. Typically, your center is your most mobile linemen, typically because he's the smallest and he needs to be able to move quickly in order to transition from the snap into blocking position. But also, what goes with this, is he's usually your weakest. I would less than a dozen centers in the league are good at blocking one-on-one, meaning they are strong enough to hold their own if they were moved to OG. Many guards have been moved to center because they weren't holding their own (Brad Meester, Mike Flynn, etc.) and have had much greater success.

It's really one of those instances, where I think the Falcons should stay vigilant if the right guy becomes available for us (after all, it might just be Garza), but I don't think we need to put a heavy emphasis on the center position. I think considering McClure's experience, I think we have much more glaring deficiencies on the O-line at LT and LG. And until we get those fixed, I think we can hold off on changing the guy that is the fulcrum of the unit: McClure.

IMHO, center is another one of those "finesse" positions, like QB, K, P, where experience can eventually make up for the lacking physical attributes.


I just watch other centers and they don't become human speed bumps near as much as McClure. However, I realize that Gibbs loves him for whatever reason and he'll most likely be here much to my dismay.....lol


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 Post subject: Re: Immediate needs vs secondary needs for the Falcon's
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:59 am 
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thescout wrote:
Immediate needs I see are safety,off tackle, guard and def tackle.Secondary needs are def end,linebacker,corner,recevier.

Now I know receiver has been criticized alot but given the money tied up and draft pick of jenkins I can see nothing being done about this this upcoming year.

I don't feel guard is in as much of a need as center. As Cap alluded to, McClure just isn't strong enough to compensate for technique. When he needs help on a defender the majority of the time it's leaving Shaffer left to block by his lonesome and that is never a good thing. I think Garza's biggest problem is his "smarts". I'm not gonna say he's a dolt or anything like that, but I'm pretty sure he's got quite a difficult decision to make on every snap. Help McClure, or help Shaffer. I know I wouldn't be able to figure that out :lol:

I like McClure, and would like to see him stay around as a backup. But I don't feel comfortable with him being a starter for another year.

LT needs an upgrade because, bluntly, Shaffer sucks IMO. He's our weakest link, but since our QB is a lefty and not a rightly like most teams we don't have the same need for a LT as most teams do.

That brings me to the RT, who blocks Vick's blindside and any mistake his makes gets maginified. Weiner is alright, IMO, but not on the QB's backside. I don't know, if Turley doesn't return to StL next year, maybe we can trade him there?

I think if we do that, pick up Barnes or Brown in the draft to be our RT, and address LT via FA, our line would be much improved. I don't really put either of those two areas above or below finding a substitute for McClure, as I think they're all equally important to upgrade.

I don't criticize the opinion of getting a WR early in the draft provided better options don't show themselves and we get Price to a lower contract. I'm not too comfortable spending a first round pick, essentially, three years in a row on the same position. However, if that's the best position available, then I say we go for it.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:41 pm 
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It basically comes down to this in my head:

Shaffer had 8 pretty solid games in 2003. Garza has never had a stretch in his career like this. because of that, Shaffer has shown me that he can be an adequate starter in the NFL. For the same reason, Garza has not. Again, I don't think Shaffer is going to revolutionize the LT position, but I think if we upgrade the LG position, his play will be better. I don't think however if we upgrade the LT position, we'll get better play from Garza. I think he will always be average on his best days as a starting guard in this league. His future is at center, and I think the best thing the team can do is get a veteran OG that can facilitate his move to C, which as you guys say will help improve the team.

I also think that a guard will help us better in the run game, because it should free up McClure more to get after linebackers downfield, and not have to worry so much about blocking DTs up front.

I agree that Shaffer needs to be upgraded, but as I said before, I think he's the lesser of two evils on the left side, and a quality rookie can replace him by 2006. I really don't think the FA market, whether you like Diem or who else is going to solve our problems at LT.

I think this team if it's going to be spending $5-7.5 million in bonus money on an O-lineman it needs to go to the better player, and I think DeMulling and Wahle are that instead of Diem.

I think it's a better move and a much stronger possibility to sign a FA guard and draft a OT. There aren't many guards in this draft that I feel are good fits for Gibbs scheme, and/or are good enough to be starters by 2006. I think there are quite a few OTs that fit that bill. Also considering, Diem is really the only FA target. While we have both DeMulling and Wahle at OG, and if we are forced to we can go after Ben Hamilton as well.

As for McClure, I agree an upgrade is something to strive for in future years, but I think it's more important to have a capable LT and LG that can block one-on-one because its very hard to find a center that can handle 300-pound DTs alone. Very few teams in the league have this, so its not really realistic to expect us to find one IMO...

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 Post subject: I agree LT and Left Guard need upgraded
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:09 pm 
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I agree Pudge I was high on Diem but I think it is the Colt's system that doesn't allow for sacks more than the talent of there players.Let me explain having Manning back there he has a quick release and can find the open recevier quickly causing less sacks than normal.In the Falcon attack vick does not read defenses as well so a lineman who can hold his ground longer will be needed.The Falcon's have to get a good guard as you said in free agency and get the tackle in the draft.Left tackle is needed more than right tackle only because Vick rolls out to the left side and protection is needed more from the left side of the line.I still can not undestand why the falcon's like Garza is it at guard or center? A center is needed but can Vince Carter handle the 330 pd def tackles in the league?

From what I have read Barnes needs more polish but has a great amount of potential.He should be there come no27 pick and certainly won't last till the second round pick.Who knows maybe Brown slides it is a question whether falcon management wants to spend a high pick or do they go the Gibbs route and draft a lower round player?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:41 am 
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Pudge wrote:
Shaffer has shown me that he can be an adequate starter in the NFL. For the same reason, Garza has not. Again, I don't think Shaffer is going to revolutionize the LT position, but I think if we upgrade the LG position, his play will be better. I don't think however if we upgrade the LT position, we'll get better play from Garza. I think he will always be average on his best days as a starting guard in this league. His future is at center, and I think the best thing the team can do is get a veteran OG that can facilitate his move to C, which as you guys say will help improve the team.

Shaffer never showed me that. What he did show me was that he was, much more often than not, a huge liability in pass protection. I literally lost track of how many times I saw Rice come around the edge untouched in our second game against Tampa. Say all you want about Rice being a top tier end in the league; bottom line, you have to get a hand on a defender to even have a chance to block him. Since we face this guy twice a year, we have to do what we can to make sure it doesn't happen.

Garza, IMO, is ill-placed at center. He just doesn't seem to have the technique or the ability to be the "brain" of an offensive line like a center should be. If we could combine him with McClure, however, we'd probably have the ultimate Gibbs centers :lol:

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I also think that a guard will help us better in the run game, because it should free up McClure more to get after linebackers downfield, and not have to worry so much about blocking DTs up front.

I don't know. Our biggest problem with the OL this season was holding the pressure off of Vick for 2-3 seconds on any kind of consistent basis. Duckett and Dunn combined for roughly as many yards as Dillon got, about the same average per carry, and did it without the consistent passing game that New England has. We can run the ball successively, especially when our passing game is a decent threat. If we can give Vick time, keep him from panicing, and allow him to begin to trust that his OL has his back... just maybe he'll learn to be patient and our passing game will develop. Besides, when we gave Vick a contract with 37 million of fully guaranteed money, we made a vow to protect him, our investment.

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I think this team if it's going to be spending $5-7.5 million in bonus money on an O-lineman it needs to go to the better player, and I think DeMulling and Wahle are that instead of Diem.

Wahle would be awesome, and on the assumption Green Bay lets him go, is a player I'd love to have on the team. I didn't see enough of DeMulling or Diem to form the same opinion, so I won't comment on them.

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There aren't many guards in this draft that I feel are good fits for Gibbs scheme, and/or are good enough to be starters by 2006.

What do you think of Chris Myers, Jake Anderson and Jeff Berk?

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As for McClure, I agree an upgrade is something to strive for in future years, but I think it's more important to have a capable LT and LG that can block one-on-one because its very hard to find a center that can handle 300-pound DTs alone. Very few teams in the league have this, so its not really realistic to expect us to find one IMO...

I honestly don't find you're gonna find but maybe one or two players every five years who fit well into a Gibbs scheme that can block a player one-on-one consistenly from an interior position. Denver got pretty lucky with finding Nalen. Neil certainly had the talent at Texas, but dropped due to size concerns.

I'm not saying to go OL with every pick here, but I think there are a few different guys we can look at during each round:

1st - Jammal Brown (probably gone before the 20th pick IMO) and Khalif Barnes (a good combine showing should put him late 1st, early 2nd. He may be available during our 2nd pick if he isn't on his game that day)

2nd - Vince Carter (if he weighs in around 295-300) Mike Munoz (Khalif could be here, as I stated)

3rd - Greg Eslinger if Carter is gone, Chris Myers maybe? Nick Kazcur

4th - Drew Hogdon, Alex Herron, Jake Anderson, Rian Melander

5th and lower (any of the 3rd-4th rounders could drop here, IMO)

In the 6th, if he's there, I would be willing to take a chance on Richie Incognito. Yeah, the guy's got all kinds of personality questions. However, in the 6th and 7th rounds, you're mostly looking for guys who are either special teams contributors, training camp fodder, or people to push other guys for their spots.

Richie, if he gets his head right, could challenge for any one of our starting OL spots IMO. I think he could fit in at back-up at every spot this year, and possibly start at any position in 2006 we didn't address otherwise this offseason.


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 Post subject: Falcons
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:21 am 
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I believe Garza is our center of the future; maybe even next year!! The year he had a chance to go head to head with McCLURE HE WAS INJURED. As far as I know Garza and Forney are the only two linemen Gibbs has said he liked. I've talked with Garza and he prefers center Much more than guard.Garza is passionate about his better ability at center!! He considers center his natural position.(all college years) I think he was given the guard position last year to get him battled tested. I never understood it; but if Garza is moved to center they can go with Michael Moore; who surprised me that he even got in the line-up; and even more surprising I don't think he would have been pulled from the lineup if it weren't for his injury!! As for Shaffer; I believe he's the one replaceable; and I believe the easiest to replace.(well maybe not the easiest) but the guy I see us replacing with another body!!

Now here's where I don't think many will agree; but I look for us to go running back very early; maybe even #2. Dunn played great last year but his cap hit starts to get just worth more than he is. I wish first we'd get Travis Henry from Buffalo; he wants out and is a very strong and fast runner. He'd come cheap because Buffalo is ready to get rid of him too.Restructuring Dunn justs puts off our problem with his cap. Remember; McKay has already once let him go; with solid 1,000 yard rushing yards; just like this year. If he took a pay cut fine; but with the year he had I don't see a pay cut!!

I don't believe (regardless of what the fans think) that our coaches even consider Duckett a guy that could carry the team. I understand that he often looks unstopable; and I also know two different staffs both Reeves and Mora just wouldn't buy into him. I almost feel like Duckett might be happy continuing to work at #2. Unless Blank personally stands in the way of moving Dunn I think we won't be able to accept his contract. Again; McKAY let him go before with 3; 1,000 YARD SEASONS under his belt!!

As for Defense I think we must once again draft a defensive linemen or get one in free agency. No pressure equals diaster. I thought LaValis's play dropped off tremendously toward the end of the season. With his older age I don't see the big improvement you might normally get from a rookie. I believe when all is said and done Demorrio Williams may be our best pick in the 2004 draft!! I firmly believe Draft must be replaced; a Middle linebacker needs to make his precense know; and I ALSO THOUGHT HE HAD A TERRINBLE 2004. McKAY himself has said our defensive speed must improve; and it starts with Draft; then Stewart and Brooking has about two years left; when Brooking hits the ten year mark; I think he's done!! The off season should be interesting almost more about who we don't keep than any new blood we bring in. Dunn's figures just go to high for an over 30 back...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:26 pm 
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LO wrote:
Our biggest problem with the OL this season was holding the pressure off of Vick for 2-3 seconds on any kind of consistent basis

I still believe that the WRs are more to blame for our passing problems than the OL. I also believe that Vick's lack of field vision and a lacking presence in the pocket also are to contribute for these "protection problems." I'm not going to say that the OL was awesome and always gave Vick plenty of time, because there were many instances were they did not. But I think that with another QB with a bit more poise in the pocket, you would have seen the Falcons perform better. I think AT LEAST A THIRD of the 46 sacks the O-line gave up this year were the direct cause of Vick and/or the wideouts, and not the O-line's fault.

I think our OL is pretty average. We lack any top blockers, but this unit overachieves a bit and plays pretty well together.

LO wrote:
Garza, IMO, is ill-placed at center. He just doesn't seem to have the technique or the ability to be the "brain" of an offensive line like a center should be

I think this is the direct cause of Garza spending much more time at guard than at center. Really only 2 summers in his entire career (which is half his career) has he actually gotten the majority of his work at center, and each time when the regular season began, he had to be moved to LG because of injuries to other players (Claridge in previous years, Moore this past year). How can he develop at center if he's only spent half his career there?

LO wrote:
Shaffer never showed me that

I'm referring to the second half of 2003. And although I never thought Shaffer was great during that time (I recall other Falcon fans did), I did respect his play to a degree. During that 8 game stint, he did not allow a sack (according to STATS, Inc.). I really only expect that from Shaffer. I don't expect him to be outstanding performing against guys like Rice, Rucker, or even James Hall, but I do expect him to not give up a lot of sacks (8.5 were attributed to him this year).

Would I like to replace Shaffer? Yes, but I think if you look at who is the weakest link on the roster it is not Shaffer, despite his play last year. Shaffer earned his starting his starting position with his play down the stretch in 2003. Garza has never done that. If re-signed, he'll likely enter 2004 as the starter, but the fact is, he was 3rd string LG at the beginning of the season behind guys like Steve Herndon and Mookie Moore. Both of whom are backups on 95% of other NFL teams. Which IMO, means Garza is in the exact same boat. Garza can start in this league at center, IMO, but he's a big liability at the guard position because he does not have the strength nor size to play guard. Neither do Herndon or Moore. We have nobody at that position. Shaffer at the least, has played well for a few games (going back to 2003), which indicates that he can at least play the position arguably well. Neither Garza, Herndon, or Moore have proven that. Despite what Gibbs said during the summer, Moore was terrible from what I saw in the preseason games.

For the same reasons I'm not ready to give up on other players on the roster, I must give guys the benefit of the doubt and think that maybe, just maybe some of our starters struggled in their transition to Gibbs blocking scheme. It wasn't going to be fluid.

Cyril wrote:
I don't believe (regardless of what the fans think) that our coaches even consider Duckett a guy that could carry the team.

Although I somewhat agree with that, I also don't think it was a mere coincidence on how much Duckett saw his touches increase down the stretch of the season. I expect Dunn to return next year, because I disagree Cyril in that I believe that McKay does like him. And I don't think he ever wanted to be rid on him in Tampa, but salary demands ended that marriage. I don't expect Duckett to supplant Dunn as the #1 guy next year, but I do expect to see his workload increase by probably 3-5 carries per game. I also think it's interesting to note that in games where Duckett received 10 or more carries, the Falcons were 6-0 last season. So I think the coaching staff realizes that if it came get Duckett the ball, it will have success.

Cyril wrote:
I thought LaValis's play dropped off tremendously toward the end of the season. With his older age I don't see the big improvement you might normally get from a rookie.

I think part of that was conditioning. I think Lavalais played at about 310 last year, and if he can get down to a weight of 295 or less this season, you will see his play will improve. I don't think Lavalais is quite ready to be a starter yet, but I'm not against throwing him to the wolves in order to find out.

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 Post subject: Is there any other reason than they were bad??
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:24 am 
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Speaking of "benefit of doubt" I it hard to suggest our recievers were such a problem.

When you've got a guy in Price who has had a season of 90 catches in the NFL and consistently 70 every season. When you have Brian Finneran who led the Falcons in receptions in 2002 with 62; then you take Dez White from the Chicago Bears who was always catching 50 passes a season; then just to to top it off; you have a #1 draft pick in Michael Jenkins; I find it hard to blame four recievers; who have done well in the NFL.

I understand their's explanations why Price isn't a NO1 and Why Finneran might have been lucky in 2002' but come on; when you've had that kind of production from three recievers at different times on different teams; when you cut ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTION 30% FROM OTHER SEASONS; plus you don't give your #1 pick Jenkins much of a chance; I believe their must be other reasons why our recievers were never thrown too. I really like Dez White.... I was bitterly disappointed the staff acted like they couldn't get open as Vick bought often five or six seconds to throw. In 2002 before he was hurt Vick had 6 games where he had a single reciever make catches for over 100 yards. Twice it was Finneran. Is there any other theory to our recievers than just being bad??? A drop off from Price is one thing; but a 30% drop off from all three recievers seems like their could be more exploring what went wrong on the passing game; than just our recievers...... I will admit I DON'T HAVE THOSE ANSWERS??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:08 am 
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Cyril, I think you are simply overlooking those factors that you have pointed out. I do give Price the benefit of the doubt, believe it or not because I think he's proven he's a starting-caliber receiver in this league. I don't think Finneran and White are. Finneran did put up good numbers in 2002, but recall that we threw the ball 20% more in that season than we did this past year, and Finneran also played at least twice as much in 2002 than he does now. I've been a Finneran fan for longer than most Falcon fans, but after these past two seasons, I no longer believe that he can be a top notch #2 receiver in the NFL. I think he can be a decent #2 if he has a solid #1 beside him, but he makes an even better #3 because he causes great mismatches.

White's production in Chicago was really nothing more than the product of a pass-happy offense. They threw the ball 13% more than the Falcons over that two year span in which White caught 100 passes. White has been and never will be an NFL starter in my opinion. He started in Chicago because they had no one else better, and I felt that he started this past year in Atlanta because the team liked his speed and YAC ability more than Finneran. But basically, I think both are equal players. I think Finneran is a bit more reliable (which isn't saying much), but White presents a better big play aspect than Finneran.

I'm not holding my breath for either of these guys to step up and put up 50 or 60-catch seasons in the near future.

And I think it's pretty sad that Michael Jenkins is our best hope. I thought Jenkins was an underachiever at OSU, and I don't think he's ever going to be a top notch NFL receiver. I think he's more likely to follow the same path as Finneran & White as a player that will start because the team has no one else better.

I'm not giving the WR corps the benefit of the doubt because these guys (excl. Jenkins) have underachieved for 2-3 years now, if you count White's days in Chi-town. I don't see the same from Shaffer, when it's just been a year. It was his first season as the full-time starter, and I do expect his play to be improved next year. I expect the same from the WRs, but I don't think the change will be signficant.

I think it basically boils down to us having a very overrated offense. We all see the big play potential, but that's all it rests on, and too many players aren't making those plays. Crump disappeared down the stretch of the season. Vick had great games and then he had bad ones, and it basically came down to the Falcons relying on his feet to win us games down the stretch. And that my friend only sets up for disaster. Playoff teams aren't going to be beat by Vick, let's face it. The Rams were not a playoff team. They should have been 6-10 this past season and lucked up with those wins down the stretch. Any good disciplined defense is going to bottle up Vick, and we have to assume that any team we face in the second round or later of the playoffs is going to have that.

And everybody on the offense is accountable. And I think there seems to be amongst Falcon fans too much blame put on a few or one entity. It's Knapp's fault! It's Price's fault! It's Shaffer's fault! He's an idiot! He's a coward! He's a joke! etc., etc.

But I think if you look at it unit-by-unit, I think besides RB, the O-line is #2 behind them in terms of playing to their ability. And I say that because I think this unit only has the talent that it's going to give up 2-3 sacks on a weekly basis, and I think it did that (50 sacks this year, 3.1 per game) on the general sense.

But I don't see why people aren't against replacing Garza as the #1 priority. He's not even the true starter. He was the #3 guy at the beginning of the season. Doesn't anybody see anything wrong with that? Do people actually think Garza's play this past season earned him the starting job? Shaffer at the least earned his job and beat out Whit this summer, and outplayed him 2003. Pardon my french, but the LG position all season long was a huge clusterf**k. With it moving from Beverly, to Moore, to Herndon, to Garza. None of these players ever came out and played like, "This is my job and nobody is taking it from me!"

I think with the O-line cohesion is a very big factor. IMO, the LG position doesn't factor into that cohesion because we had a replacement at that spot the entire year. I have no qualms about going out and signing a guy like Wahle or DeMulling and saying, "Here the job is yours." But I do have that issue with the LT position in giving it to a guy like Diem, or anybody else. Someone needs to be brought in here to beat out Shaffer.

It is the interior of the line that must be the strongest, not the OT positions, just based on Vick's style of play. If the interior of the unit is not strong, then his running lanes are cut off. And I'm positive it will show up on the tapes, Vick gets his happy feet the most when guys like Shaun Rogers, Kris Jenkins, Corey Simon, Booger McFarland, etc. get inside pressure.

This is not to say that we should just leave Weiner/Shaffer alone and that quick DEs don't pose problems, because they definitely do, but I think if you prioritize, you have to say LG (as odd as it may seem to conventional NFL wisdom) is the bigger priority than LT.

I just don't see why Garza is more deserving than Shaffer to keep his job this upcoming season.

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 Post subject: General Thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:57 am 
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I kinda disagree about our recievers; but the facts show otherwise!!

I'am with you on Garza. I don't know if you read it but at the 2003 draft party I talked with GARZA. Great guy with great personality; he flat out told me he was a much better center; that center is where he played in college; he's passionate about center. If he can't beat out McClure I agree he can go; I felt they were glad to get him game action; because this year is the year he should either play center; or leave. I agree he's a weaker link than Shaffer. I expect Gibbs to do the right thing!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:50 pm 
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Man it's great to have a place where we can all disagree and not namecall!! :lol: :lol:

However, I would still look at McClure as the goat. He's got to be in the bottom 5 centers in the league. I know we could do better and I guarantee the rest of the line would look better. Here's to Garza proving himself at center or us getting Vince Carter!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:01 pm 
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Capologist wrote:
I know we could do better and I guarantee the rest of the line would look better.

Agreed. It all starts in the trenches, from the inside out. As an example, Hartings had a much better year this season than last, and Pittsburgh's O-line played much better as a unit. About the only guy who didn't get better was Faneca, and there's not much room left for him to get better :lol:


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