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Posts Tagged ‘Clabo’

Moneyball 2011 – Week 15 Review

December 20th, 2011 Comments off

A pretty outstanding performance in this game for the Falcons. The Jaguars basically failed to show up for this one, and the Falcons took full advantage of their no-show.

Matt Ryan had little issue moving the ball through the air, with Roddy White having an outstanding game. Julio Jones also made some really nice plays and catches, but this really was all about Roddy. Tony Gonzalez had a very quiet game. MIchael Turner was solid on the ground, as were Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers in spots. The Falcons offensive line had their struggles trying to get push against the Jaguars front, but they were able to get the job done.

The best performance up front was probably by Clabo, as well as McClure and Blalock having solid games. Hawley had his good moments as well as his bad ones. He gave up a hit that should have been a sack had Ryan not quickly checked it down to Turner. But he continues to show that he’s filled in ably for Harvey Dahl as the team’s dirtiest blocker. He was able to draw a personal foul penalty on Nate Collins by virtue of getting away with horse-collaring Collins down the field away from the ball. Then when Collins retaliated after the whistle, that drew the flag, giving the Falcons a first down instead of punting. The next play, Ryan hit White on an easy 29-yard touchdown pass to put the Falcons lead to 41-0. Jeremy Mincey gave Will Svitek and the others fits throughout the night. Honestly watching this game, I would have to say that Jacksonville’s front seven is really potentially good. The Falcons missed 12 blocks because they got overwhelmed at the point of attack. But their secondary was really bad in this one, but thats understandable when you’re starting third string corners.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Roddy White$0$0$13$0$0$0$13.00
Matt Ryan$13$0$0$0$0-$1$12.00
Michael Turner$0$10$0$0$0$0$10.00
Julio Jones$0$1$6-$1$0$0$6.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$4$0$0$0$0$4.00
Jason Snelling$0$3$0$0$0$0$3.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2.5$0$0$2.50
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$1.5$0$0$1.50
Mike Cox$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Chris Redman$1$0$0$0$0$0$1.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Reggie Kelly$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0-$1$0-$1-$2.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0-$2$0$0-$2.00

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 10 Review

November 15th, 2011 Comments off

A really tough outing for the Falcons as they had multiple opportunities to win this game, but could not take advantage. This is traditionally how the Falcons have played the Saints over recent years, and why they have lost most of those games. A dropped ball here, a penalty there, a blown assignment there, and it all adds up to the Falcons coming up short at the end of the day.

Personally, I think the decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime was the right call. If you can’t get 8 inches, then you probably don’t deserve to win. I didn’t agree with the play call on that play though, with less than a foot to go I think you just sneak it up the middle rather than handing it off to Turner.

For the most part, Matt Ryan had a really good game. He continues to struggle with throwing the ball downfield, as 6 of his 8 poor throws were deep (20+ yard) passes. He does a good job on the majority of his throws from 15-20 yards, but once you start pushing his throws to 25 yards or more, he tends to struggle. I’m still not in love with the Falcons overall play-calling and design of their passing plays, although there were several calls during this game that I think are good ones from Mularkey. I just want to see the Falcons use those plays more. Getting 4 or 5 options on the field at the same time, and running more vertical routes with clear outs worked very well for this team in the fourth quarter. We should be doing more of those plays earlier in the game, and particularly on first downs rather than running the ball into the pile for 1 or 2 yards.

Michael Turner had a strong start to this game, earning $7 of his $13 on the first series. But after that, he was pretty non-descript. Had a few more nice runs, but he didn’t do much. Part of that was because of the blocking. The blocking was solid early on, but as the game wore on the Falcons could not get any push.

Cameron Jordan was punking Tyson Clabo throughout this game. Will Svitek doesn’t really seem to be an improvement over Sam Baker in pass protection, although his run blocking is much better. But Ryan’s interception is probably just as much on him giving up the pressure to Will Smith as it is on Roddy White for dropping the ball. Joe Hawley is probably our meanest offensive linemen, but he’s miscast as a guard because of his inability to get consistent push. McClure is clearly starting to slow down, and Blalock is solid, but that doesn’t bode well for your offensive line when he’s your best blocker. He’s the type of player that should be your third best blocker.

Roddy White really struggled in this game, and without even checking I’m sure this is by far his worst earning since I started doing Moneyball in 2009, and probably is one of his worst games since his rookie year. One of his penalties was a ticky tack call (the offensive P.I.), but his blocking was bad in this game, and he just didn’t really seem to have his head in the game. Speaking of officiating, this game was pretty sloppy in that realm. The Falcons got some calls, the Saints got some calls, but I feel like the refs missed some calls. There was a hold on Jonathan Babineaux late in the game, that I felt they missed. There was a block in the back on Martez Wilson that I thought they missed on Sproles one good punt return. And the pass to Roddy in the endzone at the end of the game that could have won it, I thought it was certainly debatable if Greer got there too early for a pass interference. But I tend to cut the refs some slack, but I’m not sure this is going to get a lot of positive grades for Terry McAulay & Co. when it comes time to picking who officiates in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Tony Gonzalez was money in this game, but the Falcons just didn’t get him the ball enough. Harry Douglas had an outstanding game, and when the Falcons spread the field, that’s where most of his plays were made. It was also nice to see the Falcons get Eric Weems involved as well. And this is another knock on Mularkey, but why can’t either of these two players get involved in the offense unless Julio Jones is out of the game. They combined for 11 catches, and I would say probably on 9 or 10 those plays, they were good play calls and designs. Yet, they never seem to run those same plays when Jones is on the field, and thus both players essentially disappear whenever Jones is in the lineup.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$13$1$0$0-$1$13.00
Matt Ryan$12$0$0$0$0$0$12.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$8$0$0$0$8.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$4$1$0$0$5.00
Jason Snelling$0$1$4$0$0$0$5.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$4-$1$0$0$0$3.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Mike Cox$0$0$0$2$0-$1$1.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0$2$0-$1$1.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Julio Jones$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Reggie Kelly$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$1$0$0-$4-$3.00
Roddy White$0$0$3-$3$0-$4-$4.00

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 6 Review

October 18th, 2011 Comments off

Michael Turner had a solid game, and looked like the old Michael Turner throughout this game, breaking tackles and getting yards after contact. Ovie Mughelli looked back to be in his old form. Granted, it did come against a horrible Panthers run defense, but it’s still somewhat promising for the rest of the year. The Falcons dominated a run defense that they should have dominated. Despite this however, I think the Falcons still need to get Jacquizz Rodgers more involved on offense.

Matt Ryan had a nice solid game managing the game, although he continues to struggle throwing the ball down the field with 3 of his 4 poor throws being deep passes.

Tyson Clabo’s negative score is the result mainly of Charles Johnson getting the better of him in the second half several times. It was nice to see Harry Douglas have a solid game catching the ball and even contributing as a blocker. If Ryan had hit him with two of those deep passes, we might be saying Who?-lio today (yes, I know a very bad pun).

Mularkey’s play-calling on 1st down needs some tweaks. Throughout the second and third quarters the Falcons force fed Turner the rock on first downs, and it netted almost no positive results. He needs to do a better job keeping this team on schedule on first down and needs to do a better job mixing up his play-calling then. Maybe if he’s that intent on running the ball on first down, that would be an excellent time to switch things up by feeding Rodgers instead? But other than that, the Falcons did an excellent job executing the rest of his game plan and he did make a couple of very good play calls (34-yard catch & run to Douglas on 3rd & 12 was one of them) today, so he deserves some credit. And Mughelli and Michael Palmer also made some plays in the passing game, so they were more involved this week than past games.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$22-$1$0$0$0$21.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$1$3$5$0$0$9.00
Matt Ryan$6$3$0$0$0$0$9.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$4$1$0$0$5.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Michael Palmer$0$0$1$1$0$0$2.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$2$0$0$0$0$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Jason Snelling$0$1$0$0$0$0$1.00
Roddy White$0$0$2$0$0-$2$0.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0-$2$0$0-$2.00

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Why is the Falcons Offense Struggling?

September 26th, 2011 Comments off
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Ryan is sacked

Through the first three games of the 2011 season, the Falcons offense has been a disappointment. Things that the Falcons did very well in 2010, they have not done very well in 2011. Last year, the Falcons were 3rd in the league when it came to converting third downs. This year, they are currently tied for 13th. A year ago they were 2nd in the league in time of possession, this year they are 27th. They were the least penalized team in the league in 2010, and now they are the 9th most penalized team. The Falcons were last in the league in generating explosive pass plays, and now have made a minimal improvement to 27th ranked in that regards.

The Falcons seem to have only had success scoring points when they are operating in their no huddle attack. That has caused many fans to levy blame upon offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for the team’s struggles when he’s calling plays. And rightfully so, but it should not be forgotten that one of the reasons why the no huddle is so effective for the Falcons and other NFL teams is because it forces defenses to play vanilla against you. It’s much easier to execute an offense when you don’t have to worry about exotic blitzes, very basic coverages, and the defense playing on its heels and out of breath.

Of course Matt Ryan seems at his best in the no huddle. Any quarterback worth his salt should be.

But what has gone wrong in Atlanta? Are we witnessing a sluggish start for the Falcons, or is this essentially what we’re going to see the rest of the way?

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Falcons re-sign Clabo and Bryant

July 28th, 2011 Comments off
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Tyson Clabo

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Falcons have come to terms with free agent offensive tackle Tyson Clabo. Pat Yasinskas of ESPN also reportsthat the team has re-signed fellow free agent kicker Matt Bryant as well.

Negotiations with Clabo had been ongoing since teams were allowed to begin to contact free agents on Tuesday. Clabo had been pursued by the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks according to reports, with talks with Buffalo picking up on Wednesday after the Seahawks signed free agent Robert Gallery.

Terms of the deal with either party were undisclosed. It is likely the Falcons reached a long-term deal with Clabo, while settling for a short-term deal with the 36-year old Bryant. Bryant’s re-signing likely ends any possibility that punter Michael Koenen returns to the team. Sixth round pick Matt Bosher, who signed earlier today, pulled double duty as a kicker and punter while at the University of Miami will likely focus solely on punting with Bryant in the fold.

Bryant was perfect on 13 tries in the Georgia Dome last year, and made three game-winning field goals. The Falcons first picked up Bryant late in the 2009 season after struggles with Jason Elam.

UPDATE: NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reports that Clabo signed a five-year deal worth $25 million, including $11.5 million guaranteed. The deal can max out at $27 million.

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Falcons to pass on signing Edwards

July 25th, 2011 Comments off

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons will reportedly pass on signing Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards when free agency begins in the coming days after the end of the NFL lockout. Ledbetter cites rumors and gossip discussed among NFL beat writers that were in Atlanta during last week’s owners meetings. The Falcosn will also be unlikely to sign Carolina Panthers end Charles Johnson, as he will be the top priority for the Panthers to keep.

Ledbetter also indicates that the Falcons will prioritize re-signing their own free agents, and at the top of that list will be offensive tackle Tyson Clabo. And also that guard Harvey Dahl will take precedent over Justin Blalock, as the Falcons plan to re-sign at least two of their three starting offensive linemen.

It is also expected that linebacker Stephen Nicholas will leave for greener pastures, by joining the New York Giants.

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Falcons Weekly Round-Up 7/15

July 15th, 2011 Comments off

Recapping the news and headlines involving the Atlanta Falcons from the week of July 10…

Clabo trying to end the lockout

Tyson Clabo flew to New York along with the player representatives of all 32 teams in this latest (and hopefully final) slate of negotiations between the players and the owners to end the NFL lockout, which as of this morning reached its 125th day. But Clabo has a more prominent role, as he has been in the room with other top player reps as part of actual negotiations. Joining Clabo, are Colts center Jeff Saturday, Ravens and former Falcons corner Domonique Foxworth, retired players Sean Morey, Don Davis, and Pete Kendall, along with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and counsel. Clabo was invited to represent the face of the hundreds of impending free agents that will be directly affected by the end of the lockout. Recent reports indicate that progress is slow, but steadily being made. Reports indicate that a breakthrough was made on Thursday in terms of the rookie wage scale. (Source: Pro Football Weekly)

Falcons 35th most valuable team in the world

Forbes did a ranking of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the entire world, and the Falcons rated 35th among them with an estimated value of $831 million. All 32 NFL teams were represented on the list and the Falcons placed 26th among them. At the top of the list was the world famous soccer team, Manchester United being valued at over $1.8 billion. They were followed by the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. Making the list were two NBA teams, two Formula-1 racing teams, 8 soccer teams, and 6 MLB teams. (Source: Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes)

Falcons somewhat difficult to root for

The Business Journals did a study rating the fan difficulty of all the pro sports teams in the four major sports in North America and the Falcons placed 15th among the 32 NFL teams. Their methodology included rating each team’s success over the past ten years and their overall success since their inception to find out which teams are most disappointing to their fan base. The Detroit Lions rated as the most disappointing NFL franchise, while the New England Patriots followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers were the least disappointing. The Falcons did better than other Atlanta-based teams, with the Atlanta Hawks placing 4th most disappointing among NBA franchises, and the Winnipeg Jets (nee Atlanta Thrashers) were 7th among NHL teams. The Atlanta Braves did much better as they were the only Atlanta-based team to earn a negative grade, which in this study indicated a relative ease in rooting for them. They placed 20th among the 30 Major League Baseball teams. (Source: G. Scott Thomas, The Business Journals)

White becomes spokesperson for USA Wrestling

USA Wrestling has started a new campaign which is urging high school athletes to compete in both wrestling and football, as both sports have historically competed for the same players. And to do so they tapped Falcons receiver Roddy White. White was a two-time state champion at James Island Charter High School in his native South Carolina and played both sports at the time. White invited ten wrestlers and the school’s coach with him to Colorado Springs to USA Wrestling’s Olympic Training Center this week to get a brand new experience and see Olympic champions work out. Four of the wrestlers play both sports just as White did. (Source: Jeff Hartsell, Charleston Post and Courier)

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Where could Clabo land?

July 14th, 2011 Comments off
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Tyson Clabo

While Tyson Clabo’s plate is already full as he is in New York trying to end the league’s labor crisis, he may find himself asking for seconds as a direct result shortly thereafter if he is then able to hit the open market as a free agent.

While I think it’s still probable that the Falcons will retain their best offensive linemen, recent reports indicate that the Falcons have a contingency plan in case that does not happen. Hopefully that contingency never goes into action.

Looking around the league, I’m not sure the market will be huge for Clabo. He is a right tackle after all, and teams traditionally reserve the big bucks for left tackles. But there still are several teams out there that could have their eyes on Clabo and be significant challengers to the Falcons in having his services next season. Here, I will discuss four such teams.

One noteworthy team is the Baltimore Ravens. The team moved Michael Oher to the left side to mixed results last year, but seem intent on him being their left tackle of the future. Last year’s right tackle, Marshal Yanda is penciled in as the teams’ long-term option at right guard, leaving right tackle vacant. They did draft Jah Reid this past April, but adding a veteran makes a lot of sense instead of starting a rookie.

The Ravens recent success could make them a draw to Clabo, as it would be a lateral move from one championship contender to another. However, the Ravens do not have a ton of cap space with some estimates putting them at around $118 million in terms of money on the books this year. That’s considerably more than the projected $103.5 million estimated to be on the Falcons books, especially when one considers that several estimate this season’s cap limit to be around $120 million.

One positive for the Falcons is if the Ravens pursue free agent corner Nnamdi Asomugha, then it’s highly unlikely they will be able to afford him and Clabo in the same off-season.

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Falcons not expected to make splash in free agency

July 13th, 2011 Comments off

NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora cited league sources indicating that the Falcons have contingency plans in place to deal with the potential departures of free agent offensive linemen Harvey Dahl and Tyson Clabo, who are expected to be hot commodities on the open market if/when free agency occurs after the end of the lockout. LaCanfora also writes that the Falcons may not be big players in free agency as some sources expect with the pursuit of either Nnamdi Asomugha or top defensive ends like Ray Edwards or Charles Johnson.

Per LaCanfora, the Falcons brass may opt to play a wait and see game in regards to free agency, letting this year’s market play itself out in order to get a better foothold and grip on what to expect next off-season when things should return to normal.

It has been previously mentioned that the Falcons’ contingency plans along the offensive line include the possibility of replacing starters like Dahl and Clabo with current backups like Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson. Also players such as veteran tackle Will Svitek and Jose Valdez might also be in the mix to replace Clabo at right tackle.

Camp Battles 2011: Offensive Line

July 13th, 2011 Comments off

Like the running back position, this unit could be heavily influenced by free agency. The Falcons will have to make important decisions on three of their starters: Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, and Justin Blalock.

Clabo is likely to be a high priority for the team to retain. And if they do so, it will go a long way to solidify their front line and maintain some continuity. It remains to be seen whether the Falcons will prefer to keep either Dahl or Blalock, although it seems likely at least one will remain. Dahl is probably the safer bet since he appears to be a favorite of position coach Paul Boudreau.

Ideally, the Falcons will be able to keep all three players. If they are successful in achieving that goal, then competition during camp at this position won’t be particularly compelling. The most interesting battle will likely then be between Jose Valdez and Will Svitek for the swing tackle position. Valdez’s practice squad eligibility is likely to expire this season, so if the Falcons want to continue to develop him, they will probably need to do so by giving him a regular roster spot.

However, if even one of those free agents depart, it will make things a lot more interesting. If all three depart, it’s likely to be a free-for-all.

The most likely candidate to replace Blalock at left guard is Mike Johnson. He got the majority of reps there last summer, and he’d be the front runner. Johnson didn’t have a great summer a year ago, but the team was high on him when they drafted him in the third round and will give him every opportunity to win the vacant position.

His most likely competition will come in the form of Garrett Reynolds, who is also the primary reserve at right guard behind Dahl. Reynolds also adds the value of playing right tackle as well, although his primary position in inside. His chances of earning a starting job will increase if Dahl is the one that departs, although Johnson would probably be the top candidate there as well for reasons mentioned previously.

If Clabo isn’t kept, then Svitek is likely to be the front runner to replace him and he’ll be pushed by both Reynolds and Valdez. Svitek is the more known commodity and proven run blocker, making him a good fit at right tackle. Valdez is an intriguing dark horse, showcasing his superior athleticism last summer.

Left tackle Sam Baker is unlikely to be pushed in camp, as the Falcons will likely want to retain as much continuity as possible. The same goes for veteran center Todd McClure. Second-year pro Joe Hawley is his heir apparent. Hawley also garnered reps at guard last season, but probably won’t be a serious contender to become a starter there unless Johnson and/or Reynolds struggle.

The Falcons drafted Andrew Jackson to bolster depth and competition. But he’ll be hard-pressed to make his way into the likely to be nine roster spots unless at least two of the Falcons free agents depart. He is most likely to be competing for a practice squad spot, although a solid summer may convince the team to keep ten blockers instead of the typical nine.

Also on the roster is Rob Bruggeman, although he remains a long shot unless there is an injury to one of the centers. The Falcons probably will sign a few undrafted or street free agents to fill out the roster here, with all just being camp bodies competing for a chance to make the practice squad.