There should be no doubt to anyone that the Falcons have to manage somehow to get more explosive on offense. The team ranked last in the league in terms of how many of their pass attempts resulted in 20+ yard completions, even behind the Carolina Panthers. On the opposite end of the spectrum, teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers were among the league leaders in that area on offense, so one certainly sees how it can be beneficial to an offense.
One of the issues the Falcons face however is the fact that quarterback Matt Ryan isn’t known for his arm strength. Ryan isn’t weak-armed, it’s just that in comparison to passers like Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, there are just throws that he’s not going to be able to make on a consistent basis. Case in point is the big 58-yard bomb Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown on in the Steelers-Ravens matchup that set up the Steelers go-ahead touchdown for the Steelers in the final minutes of that game. Not to say that Ryan is completely incapable of making that throw, it’s just unlikely those types of plays are going to be a big part of the Falcons offensive repertoire with Ryan at the helm.
So the Falcons will likely have to find other ways to create “splash” plays in the passing game without relying on the 40 and 50-yard bombs. More likely, the Falcons should probably focus on getting more vertical plays between 20 and 30 yards, which is right up Ryan’s alley as far as arm strength is concerned.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the Tennessee Titans have been granted permission to interview Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for their vacant head coaching position.
Mularkey interviewed last month for the Cleveland Browns gig, and was also on the Denver Broncos’ radar before declining to interview. The Falcons have already lost quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to the Minnesota Vikings, and have yet to hire his replacement. Losing Mularkey to the Titans could be a huge loss for the Falcon offense.
ESPN reports that Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey has been contacted by both the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos to interview for their vacant head coaching spots. Mularkey is set to interview with the Broncos on Friday and the Browns at an undisclosed time later this week as well. The Falcons are off this weekend due to a first round bye in the playoffs.
Mularkey has been the Falcons offensive coordinator the past three seasons and has been instrumental with the development of quarterback Matt Ryan. The Falcons offense ranks 5th in the league in scoring offense this year, and have two Top 10 finishes during Mularkey’s stint running the offense. He has previous experience, serving as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2004-05, where he compiled a 14-18 record.
This is not the first time that Mularkey has been on other NFL teams radars since he’s been the Falcons offensive coordinator. He turned down an opportunity to interview with the Detroit Lions two years ago.