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  1. The implication of that statement from AB to his GM and Coach is that he has high expectations. We have the core talent, but we are missing a few players. This is why the Falcons are not going to draft a QB. They need players right now to win with Matt Ryan & Co. If you draft a QB, then how is he going to help you with a franchise QB who cannot really be moved for the next 2 year? Plus, AB has indirectly or directly told them that he would like for Matt Ryan to be here- this is why they restructured so they can create more Cap space. What does Matt Ryan need? Better OL and a Running game to balance the offense even if Julio is injured and cannot play. This is why it makes sense to drop a few spots and get more draft capital to fill the holes. Don’t get me wrong by adding Kyle Pitts, it is going to give us another playmaker that is going to have a huge impact for the offense and scoring in the Red Zone. But, OL and a Running game will be the key to get the offense balanced. My Priority: OL- Sewell at 6 or 8 or 10 will be a perfect pick up. RB- Drop back to 15 (Patriots) and pick the top RB in the draft (Najee Harris). If we drop to 15, I expect Falcons to move again and pick up another BPA in the 1st round. TE (if Pitts is available if we drop 2-4 spots). AS loves TEs and he will be perfect for the schemes and AS’s playbook. Pitts is like another Julio that will stretch the opposing defenses allowing Matt Ryan with more options. CB- if we drop, we got the top CB still there, then we can go for that position as well to fix the secondary. So, I will trade back, and then pick up some more draft capital. Pitts is a playmaker and it will pivot the offense to score more points. Drafting a QB will be the stupidest decision for this regime and something AB is probably not keen when you have a franchise QB with the team needing to fill holes to win. A back-up QB collecting dust is not going to make an impact for the next 2 years or so. Mark my word- Matt Ryan will retire as a Falcon and he will be around for a few years. We just need to fix the holes. AB wants to win now, and he doesn’t want a QB that needs to be babysit for the next 2 or 3 years. It defeats the purpose of this franchise and where they stand. Protect Matt Ryan and give him a Running game and then you are set to win more games and be one of the top teams even with an average defense.
  2. "My mentality is that no one can bring me down, and the offensive line's mindset is that they aren't going to let anyone touch me," Freeman said. "When they do their jobs it makes everyone look good. It starts with them." http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000555525/article/freeman-on-falcons-we-turned-this-around-together
  3. Just wanted to say KUDOS to the FALCONS offensive line vs. the sAint's on sunday!!!!!!!!!! They really stepped it up, especially after their number one pick Jake Mathews went down with an injury. They done a really great job in my opinion. Yeah Matt Ryan was sacked ONE TIME but considering last year and this year that's a great improvement!!!!!!!! GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. Any remotely half-decent offensive linemen in free agency we can pick up? Or are we just stuck with what we got? The line killed us today. If they were even half decent we would have handily won that game. We're not gonna win a playoff game this year if they don't get their crap together.
  5. Falcons: Offensive line play doesn't go unnoticed in Sunday's win By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com December 17, 2012 2:08 pm ET Falcons RB Michael Turner had plenty of room to run on Sunday thanks to the offensive line. (US Presswire) The interceptions, the fourth-down stops and Matt Ryan's three touchdown passes are what everyone will remember about the Falcons ' 34-0 win over the New York Giants on Sunday. But one group of guys who won't get much credit for the dominating performance was the Falcons' offensive line. Without its outstanding protection, Ryan doesn't complete 82 percent of his passes -- the second-highest mark of his career -- and the running backs don't rush for 133 yards -- 43 more than their average -- and a touchdown. Of course, Ryan, who suffered just one sack and directly benefitted from the O-line's play, noticed. “I thought our offensive line played fantastic today,” he said. “[The Giants] have one of the better front fours in the league and our guys really stepped up to the challenge.” The Giants' defense came in averaging 2.3 sacks per game and linemen Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Linval Joseph (combined 19.5 sacks) largely couldn't touch Ryan. In 67 offensive plays, New York was credited with just three quarterback hits. “Obviously, nothing we did worked,” Umenyiora said. “They put 34 points on the board. I'm tired of saying what happened and making excuses. Whatever they did worked.” What “they” did was routinely engage the Giants' linemen and finish plays. Right guardPeter Konz did a superb job on New York's tackles and consistently drove them backward.Michael Turner had 16 carries for 52 yards, but it was the fact Atlanta could count on him to gain positive yardage that kept the Falcons calling his number. Turner's slow acceleration, coupled with inconsistent protection, has left him with a 3.7 ypc average, the lowest in his career. But even though he only averaged 3.3 yards per carry on Sunday, only one of his rushes resulted in a loss of yards. The Falcons wasted little time building their rushing attack -- and their presence in the trenches -- after Asante Samuel intercepted Eli Manning's pass on the second play of the game. With the ball at the Giants' 16-yard line, Atlanta called four straight rushes from Turner -- three behind Konz -- and powered 16 yards for the first score of the game, his fifth consecutive game with a touchdown run. On the following drive, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter rotated eight straight plays of rushing and passing, keeping the Giants' line on its heels. The ten-play drive ate up 5:42 of the clock as the Falcons drove 80 yards to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. “I think that the run game was really crucial for us,” Ryan said. “Getting that going early, and making their defensive line have to defend both, having to rush the passer and defend the run and the draw was crucial. I thought Dirk did a great job of mixing it up and making it difficult for their defensive line to get into a rhythm.” The most telling aspect to the Falcons OL dominance, was that it forced the Giants to respect the run, and thus inch closer to the line of scrimmage. The two biggest passing plays of the game -- the 37-yard completion to Harry Douglas and the 40-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones -- were preceded by substantial runs. Though it won't get much notoriety, the offensive line had as much to do with Sunday's rout as Ryan's three touchdown passes.
  6. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/21380346/falcons-turner-didnt-expect-such-a-reduced-role FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Michael Turner used to be Mr. Reliable for the Atlanta Falcons. Hand off the ball and watch him churn out the yards. But the big back's production is way down this season, a change of direction that was planned from the start but has been more pronounced than anyone expected. Even Turner conceded Wednesday he didn't expect his carries to be reduced so significantly. "It's a mental challenge" he said. "But there's not anything I can do about it. Just go out there and play my role, do whatever it takes to help this team win." To his credit, Turner hasn't complained at all about having a lesser role in the offense, at least not publicly. But, at age 30, he scoffs at those who say he's all washed up. "I don't feel any older," he insisted. "I still feel fresh. I probably feel fresher that last year, actually." Even so, there's no denying that Turner is no longer regarded as one of the NFL's elite running backs. He's on pace to gain about 900 yards, far off the what he did his first four seasons in Atlanta. Turner rushed for a career-best 1,699 yards in 2008, and more than 1,300 yards each of the last two seasons. The only time he was held to less than 1,000 yards in Atlanta was 2009, when he missed five games and parts of two others with injuries. Coach Mike Smith made it clear at the beginning of the year he wanted to reduce Turner's workload, especially with a new offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter, coming on board. The Falcons knew they had to do a better job taking advantage of their myriad weapons in the passing game: quarterback Matt Ryan, receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, not to mention Hall of Famer-to-be Tony Gonzalez at tight end. In addition, Atlanta wanted to expand the role of second-year back Jacquizz Rodgers, who at 5-foot-6 and 188 pounds is more of a darting, breakaway threat than the plodding Turner. Still, Turner has admittedly been caught off guard to some degree. He's averaging just over 14 carries a game, down from nearly 19 a year ago and far off the pace he set during his Atlanta debut in `08, when he carried the ball a staggering 23.5 times per contest. Asked if he knew what was coming, Turner chose his words carefully. "Uhh, maybe not as much," he said. "But it's been talked about for months. It's not like this is a total surprise or they caught me off guard with it. I've just to deal with it. Plus, we've got a good weapon in Jacquizz. They want to get him on the field as much as possible." Rodgers has rushed for 295 yards, averaging 4.1 per carry, and he's more of a threat as a receiver (43 catches, 327 yards). Turner has rushed for 689 yards, but his yards per carry are down to 3.7 - and, more troubling, he's averaged less than 3 yards in six games. There are times when the 247-pound back looks downright glacial getting to the hole, which has exposed the weaknesses of the guys up front, a group that has never been ranked among the NFL's top lines. Turner always felt he was at his best when he ran the ball at least 20 times. Last week, he got it seven times for 14 yards in a 30-20 loss to Carolina. "I think I get more of a rhythm" with more carries, Turner said. "Not just me, but the offensive line and the fullbacks, too." Despite Turner's drop-off, the Falcons (11-2) have already clinched the NFC South and hope to move a step closer to home-field advantage when they host the New York Giants (8-5) on Sunday. The success of the team has made his disappointing season - which also included a DUI arrest - a little easier to take. "I've just got to go out there and grind," Turner said. "One team, one goal. The main thing is winning a Super Bowl. This is the way the coaches feel is the best chance for us to win the Super Bowl." With only one year left on his contract, Turner's tenure in Atlanta could be winding down. It's certainly not farfetched to envision the Falcons going after another running back - perhaps in the draft - to pair with Rodgers. But Ryan, for one, believes that Turner still has some effective days ahead of him. "Mike has been a great player here for a long time," Ryan said. "He's still had some unbelievable runs this year. He's just not done it as routinely as he's done it in the past. That can be for a lot of different reasons." Smith agreed, stressing that Atlanta's troubles running the ball - especially in short-yardage situations - aren't entirely the fault of Turner. The Falcons rank a dismal 28th in rushing, averaging just under 87 yards per outing. "I don't think there's a marketable difference in terms of what Mike has been able to do," the coach said. "We've just been very inconsistent running the football. When we've had to run it, we've been able to run the football. But we've been inconsistent in blocking and in executing the run game. I think that's one of the reasons our numbers are down." For now, there's no going back to the way things used to be. "We're in transition right now," Turner said. "People are used to the way we did things in the old days here. But it's new now. Everybody needs to adjust. Not just me. Everybody." Notes: S William Moore missed another day of practice. He has been sidelined since injuring a hamstring in the home win over New Orleans on Nov. 29. ... CB Asante Samuel, who dressed but didn't play in Carolina because of a right lingering shoulder injury, took part in practice on a limited basis. ... Also sitting out practice were DT Jonathan Babineaux (ribs) and WR Roddy White (knee), but both are expected to play against the Giants.
  7. Thomas Dimitroff has been focusing on turning us from a running team to a passing team and has done a decent job. But as far as making us a top offense and the greatest show on turf 2.0 he has failed. After week two we have a below average offense ranked 21st overall. Despite his only focus being passing we are still only ranked 12th, And between releasing our best blocking offensive and or pro bowl full back we have dropped from having a top 5 running back to being the 26th ranked rushing offense. All three of our running backs average 2.6 yards per carry or less. Keep in mind last year we lost to the Giants because we couldn't run the ball to convert a 3rd and short. This year we have given up completely passing on 3rd and shorts. Dimitroff has had two years to fix this problem and has not brought in a single player to help improve the situation. The Greatest Show on Truf had a 1000+ yard rusher in Marshal Faulk, however if things continue at this rate not only won't we be able to convert 3rd and short Turner will fall short of 1000 yards. Thanks to New Orleans being targeted by the NFL they are no longer a threat this year. So we have a good chance of making the playoffs but not a good chance of winning our first playoff game. Thomas Dimitroff has turned us not into the Greatest Show on Turf but the Colts with Manning who used to be god but took a decade to get a Super Bowl Win. Not to mention or defense falls short of the Colts. Our Defense doesn't have the pass rush that the Colts have had with Freeny and Mathis. Dimitroff also cut are best defensive player and pro bowl line backer i Curtis Loftan, and as he typically does he released him without even having a replacement. Loftan is a constant top ten linebacker in the league. Meanwhile his replacement previous backup Akeem Dent has only one tackle this season. We basically don't even use him just sticking with our outside linebackers. So it;s no surprise we have a below average Defensive this season. So with an average offense and below average defense I don't see how we will be able to match up with the top teams in the playoffs. Assuming we can manage to get there. I think we need to replace Thomas Dimitroff he has caused more harm than good to this team. But, since that won't happen I hope we can make some trades or free agent moves to help our running game, bolster our defense and possibly get a decent number two tight end so our passing offense can move up into the top ten.
  8. http://bleacherrepor...-to-playoff-win let's hear what y'all think. my projected starting lineup for the Falcons by the end of the 2012 season. LT - Holmes/Baker LG - Blalock/Johnson C - Hawley/McClure RG - Konz/Johnson RT - Clabo/Svitek
  9. I was poking around on ESPN and saw a link to this article in The Wall Street Journal. I didn't see it posted anywhere on AFMB and it is worth a look, so I thought I'd share. Since I didn't look in every forum, if I missed that it was posted somewhere, I apologize. Linkage Falcons' McClure Is Vital As Center of Attention By Mike Sielski FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.—The most important player for the Atlanta Falcons' offense turns 35 next month, had surgery on his right knee in August and is as sturdy as a 6-foot-high bag of groceries. Todd McClure doesn't move as well as he once did, but his football mind, full with the accumulated wisdom of 13 years as an NFL center, has never been sharper. It's as vital to the Falcons as Matt Ryan's arm, Michael Turner's feet or Roddy White's hands. "I'd like to think so," McClure said. If the Giants' pass rush—their ability to disrupt an opposing offense by sending waves of swift, powerful defensive linemen after the quarterback—is the key to beating Atlanta in Sunday's NFC wild-card game, then no Falcons player bears a greater burden than McClure. He's in charge of making sure every breach in the Atlanta offensive line is sealed, that no one misses a blocking assignment. He's among the best in the league at this job. After starting 144 consecutive games for the Falcons—a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 1999, he's spent his entire pro career in Atlanta—McClure missed three of this season's first four games with a knee injury. Of the 26 sacks that the Atlanta offensive line allowed this season, 10 came in the three games that McClure missed. According to the statistical analysis group Pro Football Focus, the Falcons' running backs averaged 0.8 more yards per carry when McClure was in the lineup. "When a guy like that leaves," Falcons left tackle Will Svitek said, "there's a comfort level that's gone." McClure attributed the line's improved play upon his return to the cohesion that develops in such a unit over time, but he acknowledged that "the thing I think I do well—I'm not tooting my own horn—is get us lined up and get us on the right people." His experience, he said, helps him recognize the subtleties that reveal what a defensive player or a defense as a whole might do. "You make up for some loss of athletic ability or speed with slowing the game down in your mind," McClure said, "anticipating where the defensive guy is going to be, and you're there waiting on him before he gets there." The Giants' defense will present a challenge for McClure and his teammates. The Falcons' offensive line, thanks in large part to McClure, is at its best when it has to pick up a blitz: Opponents blitzed Atlanta 177 times this season, and only six of those plays resulted in a sack. "Todd is an integral part in identifying protections," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. But because of the talent and depth on their defensive line, the Giants don't have to blitz to generate pressure on a quarterback. Of their 48 sacks, 35 came on either a three- or four-man rush. In fact, McClure said, the Giants' base defensive alignment is among the simplest he's seen. "We try to block the most dangerous guy, and they have a lot of them," he said. "They don't have to do much because of the personnel they have." In this regard, the Giants stand in contrast to a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, who line up safety Troy Polamalu in unorthodox places to disguise whether he will blitz or drop into coverage. "It can screw up everything," McClure said. Even if the Giants don't blitz much Sunday—and their track record says they won't—the Falcons will still have to fend off Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and the rest of the Giants' pass-rushers. The tactics that Atlanta's linemen might use have been the subject of gamesmanship this week. Tuck told reporters Monday that most people considered the Falcons' linemen to be "dirtbags," implying that at a minimum they skirt the line between fair and dirty play. But no one on Atlanta's offensive line was flagged for any personal-foul penalties this season, and McClure was the only NFL center who played at least 700 snaps in 2011 and didn't commit a penalty of any kind, according to Pro Football Focus. McClure's contract expires at season's end, but he wants to play at least two more years. "You slow down a little bit," he said, "but I think I bring some things to the table other than pure athletic ability." The Falcons' season may hinge on them.
  10. Well if you were semi-coherent after yesterday you know this team has a lot of HOLES, and it all starts at the top. So that's where we will be starting here aswell. The Falcons first move after the season is over will be to fire both OC Mike Mularkey, and Defensive Coordinator Brian Van Gorder. Their are a slew of great candidates for both spots. Let's start at the with DC spots and my personal top 5. 1.) Romeo Crennel; style is 3-4, Great coach who has success everywhere he goes, we'll have to change schemes but he's a proven coordinator. 35% Chance of happening 2.) Mel Tucker; Style is 4-3, A younger coach for the Jaguars, he had them playing great D earlier in the year but it faded as his D took many many hits. 75% chance of happening 3.) Manny Diaz; Style is 4-3, A young but up and coming college coach has had great success with his variation of D which is know for preventing Big plays and generating pressure with exotic blitz packages. 60% chance of happening 4.) Steve Spagnola; Style is a 4-3, He is a great coach who is a victim of circumstances at St. Louis, always puts out great Ds, and would undoubtley be a good pick here. 50% chance of happening 5.) John Chavis; Style is a 4-3, Another great collegiate coach who has put together one of the best D's in collegiate history this year, could be an under the radar hire for some team. 60% Chance of happening Now let's look at my top 5 for the Offensive side. 1.) Josh McDaniels; if Spags is fired in St. Louis then McDaniels is likely out of a job as well. Has a very impressive track record, and was the OC for the greatest offensive team to ever play the game. 75% Chance of happening 2.) Norv Turner; Considered by many to be an offensive genius, he's a rather incapable head coach though. However his perfect spot is at the OC spot, where he would be a perfect compliment to Matt and the no huddle. 80% chance of happening 3.) Gary Patterson; Head coach of TCU, where he has put together a plethora of great offenses, he is another under the radar coach, but may not want to leave TCU. 35% chance of happening. 4.) Tom Clements; The QB coach for the Packers, has done a great job tutoring Aaron Rodgers, and seemingly knows a lot about offense, he would be great for Ryan's maturation. 65% chance of happening 5.) Brian Billick; He led the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, Mike Smith is his brother-in-law, however he seems to enjoy the booth and might only come out for a HC job. 25% chance of happening Now onto FA, we'll resign our usual guys with Grimes, Lofton, Douglas, etc. We go into FA/Resigning period with around 28 Mil in cap space. After the resigning period and dumping Dunta Robinson, Baker, and Jerry we will go into the signing period with around 17 Mil in cap space available. (Gonzalez Resigned for 1 Year Deal for 3 Mil) (Abraham resigned for 2 year for 8 Mil) (Brent Grimes resigned for 6 years at 48 Mil) (Curtis Lofton resigned for 6 Years at 35 Mil) (Harry Douglas resigned for 4 Years at 15 Mil) (Kroy Biermann is allowed to walk) (Weems is resigned for 3 years at 7 Mil) (Todd McClure is allowed to walk) (Jason Snelling is resigned for 3 Years at 8 Mil) (Chris Redman is allowed to walk) (Joe Zelenka is allowed to walk) (Palmer signs a future/reserve contract; EFA) (Thomas Decoud is allowed to walk) (Mike Cox is allowed to walk) (Gartrell Johnson is allowed to walk) (Antone Smith is allowed to walk) (Vance Walker is resigned to a tender) (John Parker Wilson is resigned to a tender) (Sam Baker is cut) (Peria Jerry is cut) (Dunta Robinson is either cut or traded, or worst case has his contract sold to another leauge) So I predict us going and making these accquisitons Cortland Finnegan, CB. Finnegan is a great bump and run man, he also can ball hawk in zone. He's known for his dirty play and on field antics, even though they haven't shown up this year, he still brings an edge of toughness, mental fortitude, and emotion to any defense. Signed to a 6 year 42 Million Deal. Chris Myers, OC. Myers has had a great year with Houston, and unfortunately for Houston he isn't a top priority for tagging with Arian Foster and Mario Williams as FAs, so he could fall through the cracks. He would bring solidification to the center of this Oline. 5 Year deal worth 32 Mil. Trade 2012 6th rounder to Pittsburgh Steelers for RB Johnthan Dwyer. Onto the draft. 2nd Round 56th Overall pick. Kelechi Osemele OG, Iowa State, 6'5 350 LBs. Suprisingly athletic for his size, he played LT in college, but projects as a RG in the pros, he has a questionable motor and nagging ankle injuries, but when he's motivated he can destroy whoever lines up opposite of him, he also plays with a mean streak. This pick along with the Myers signing would be another step in solidfying the line, after those two we will only need to get a LT next year, that is excluding if the staff ever gives Valdez a shot to make a play. 3rd Round 88th overall pick. Baccari Rambo* FS, UGA. 6'1 225 LBs. Rambo is a ball hawking FS who can play man well on TEs and WRs. He also is a hard hitter. He does blow coverage and gamble a lot on interceptions as well he has a bit of an injury history, but overall is a solid player and a steal here if he declares. 4th Round (Comp). Ladarius Green, TE ULL. 6'6 230 LBs. A huge bodied TE who has good speed and mobility, was ULL's go to guy in critical situations, he is a very good pass catching TE, but can't block at all. He could be a potential late riser, and getting him here would be great value. 5h Round. Omar Bolden, CB ASU. 5'10 195 LBs. Bolden was primed to be one of the top 10 corners in this years draft until he tore his ACL, he is a very quick and dangerous return man as well. As well as being a high character guy and leader in the ASU lockerroom. You can never have to many corners. 7th Round. Codrarro Law, DE/OLB USM. 6'2 260 LBs. Cordarro Law is a high motor guy with good moves, he added additional playing weight to solidfy himself as a DE this season at USM. Has been one of the leaders there, he is either going to be a late riser or a guy that falls through the cracks into the 6th or 7th round, if so he could be a steal here. Thank you for reading all future comments and criticisms appreciated.
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