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  1. There are four aspects of football that I wanted to get opinion on in regards to our preseason record. State your opinions. No one will be totally wrong or right. Just looking for more insight. Scouts: Is our scouting department to blame for not providing our roster with the necessary depth that the coaches need to be able to win in the preseason? How much of a factor is it if our scouting staff identifies better players (perceived) but FA’s/UDFA’s choose to go elsewhere. Will we ever know that answer? Coaching: Is it our coaches responsibility to be able to coach up the players that were provided to them via the front office/coaching staff and develop real depth that we can contribute to our roster? Are the coaches not calling the right plays to help our depth succeed in preseason games? If so are other teams able to coach and call plays better than us in preseason? Players: Does it ultimately fall on the players fault if they are indeed getting coached properly and the plays are called to the players strengths? Is it difficult because not much of game planning goes into preseason making it more on the players fault for whatever reason why they can’t succeed? Do other teams have better players/depth than us in general? Luck: Is this all a crapshoot and our preseason record is indicative of just very bad luck with the ball not necessarily going our way? Whether it be that final missed last tackle, the freak injury, that wrong route, or that forgotten play? What say you? Oh and before anyone says it.. preseason wins don’t matter.
  2. Some of you guys need to take the chill pill. Stop acting like the firing squad and being on hyperbole drugs. —Preseason is all about practice and no schemes or playbooks. It is about giving the young guys to fill 3-4 opening spot and finding talent for the practice squad. —Jets were far more aggressive on the defense by blitzing a lot. The Falcons were putting their vanilla package. We didn’t had all the players playing and Alex Mack hardly played. The OL will get much better before the season starts and getting all the starters. —Defense looks aggressive and looks like they are going to get a lot of pressure and sacks on the opposing QBs. I see them as one of the better teams in causing turnovers. This is primed to be a Top 10 defense. - The Offense looks good when you know most of the starters are not even playing much. I really do see them as a Top 3 in passing and Top 15 in rushing (much improved from #27 in 2018). Preseason wins don’t mean jack. It is all about finding the next talent and allowing new guys to get acclimated. They are not running their playbook or schemes. Relax!!!
  3. You know what I'm worried about the most at this point? Since our loss to the Chargers in 2016, we've literally lost every AFC game in the preseason and regular season except for the Jets on the road in 2017. Seriously. Since the 2016 Chargers, that's 10 AFC losses out of our last 11 AFC games, and if you throw in our 11 straight preseason losses (only one of those was against a NFC team) so that's 10 AFC preseason losses added on. We've lost a total of 20 of our last 21 games to AFC opponents in the preseason and regular season combined. YIKES, and the 2019 version of the AFC South will be tougher than the 2011 and 2015 AFC South divisions we faced. You already know it. Road games against the Colts and Texans will be brutal, but the Titans and Jaguars shouldn't be hard right? Oh wait, we've lost all of our home games vs AFC opponents since 2013 except for the 2015 Texans. In order for the Falcons to win the Super Bowl they have to beat an AFC opponent right?
  4. In 2018 the Falcons are being heavily favored by the media to win the Super Bowl this year based off the way our seasons ended in 2016 and 2017, and we deserve that praise, however, that is VERY DANGEROUS at the professional level, most teams who win their first Super Bowls had a mediocre campaign the previous season and nobody believed in them coming into the season. The Falcons are getting way too much hype and it worries me. Throughout my time being a Falcons fan, our best seasons have always come when you didn't expect much from the team coming into the season, and they overachieved the expectations we had before the season went on. Look at the years we've won the division throughout our history and tell me what our records were the years before? What was the record of the 1997 Falcons and the 2015 Falcons before our Super Bowl appearances in 1998 and 2016? Why did the past 3 teams in the Super Bowl out of the NFC had a record of 8-8 or worse the previous year? Based off the preseason performances, the Panthers and Saints have shown better depth than the Falcons right now (2 teams who were 11-5 last season which were better than our Falcons). Here's all the teams 0-3 in the preseason so far. The Eagles, who just won the Super Bowl so that's understandable, and they were 6-10 in 2005 after their previous 13-3 campaign in 2004 losing the Super Bowl to the Patriots. The last time the Eagles started 0-3 in the preseason was 1999, and they were 5-11 that year. The Seahawks, who we all know have been on huge decline the last couple years and they might get worse as the Rams and 49ers become the class of the West the next few years. The Cowboys, because they are the Cowboys who are only good once in awhile. The Dolphins because that's who they usually are, always inconsistent. The Titans because they'll probably take a step back after miraculously making the playoffs as a wildcard last year at 9-7. Then of course, our Falcons. Notice how outside of the Falcons and Eagles, every other team who's 0-3 right now clearly has struggles. Bottom line, whether people want to deny this or not, teams in NFL history who have gone 2-2 or 3-1 in the preseason playing their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stringers for even amounts of time have a better chance of making the playoffs, getting to the conference championship, or getting to the Super Bowl than teams who have gone 0-4 in the preseason. No team who's gone 0-4 in the preseason has won the Super Bowl in a full 16 game season, and only 2 have been to the Super Bowl. You have the 1982 Redskins I get that, but that was a strikeout year with 6 less regular season games so that made the season chaotic. Keep in mind, the 1998 Falcons were 2-2 in the preseason while the 2016 Falcons were 3-1. I hear a lot of people saying those teams were 0-4 when that wasn't true, do your research. The preseason reveals your depth across the roster and your coaching. The Redskins and Giants' depth had no trouble beating the Jets depth, but the Falcons got shutout in New Jersey not having a single 1st down until the end of the 1st half and getting shutout. The Falcons offense did well against the Chiefs, however, the Chiefs had the 28th ranked defense last year and we still gave them their only preseason win so far in the 2nd half. The Jaguars defense was a good test for our offense and while it wasn't all on Matt Ryan, he still could have done a little bit better, and our STARTING receivers were still dropping balls and making mental errors just like last year. Our O-line is still okay but very vulnerable, can't afford any injuries whatsoever. Our D-line however, has clearly taken a step back, I saw the Jets running on us easily and so did the Jaguars with solid running backs such as Leonard Fournette. Deion Jones, Desmond Trufant, and Ricardo Allen being out shouldn't have made our D-line struggle like that. I think we should have kept at least one of Poe or Clayborn. So here's the story of the Falcons upcoming season to me, if our offense is still inept making the same mistakes as last season and our D-line takes a step back, we miss the playoffs this year. We aren't going to be as lucky as last season. Our defense carried us to the playoffs last season more than our offense unlike 2016. Don't think year 2 for Sarkisian is going to go exactly like year 2 for Shanahan, a lot of people are totally mistaken by this assumption. Shanahan in year 1 with LESS talent still had better play calling than Sark in year 1 with MORE talent, and even on the defensive side of the ball the 2017 Falcons were way better than the 2015 Falcons. I think our defense is still a year or 2 away. Get better at the interior and then we'll have veterans across our defensive roster by 2019 or 2020. The best defenses in Falcons history are 1977 and 1998, which is in a 21 year span, and 2019 is almost here, so we're getting there. A lot of people including myself have said that the Falcons have always been an even numbered season team, and I get that, but not every even year has been good for the Falcons. 2006 and 2014 weren't good, but in 2002 we did make the playoffs but we were 9-6-1. Since we've been in the NFC South, the even years we played a western division (AFC West and/or NFC West) we had double digit win seasons, usually 11 wins or 13 wins in seasons such as 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2016. However, in 2002, 2006, and 2014, we didn't play a western division and we either missed the playoffs or barely made it. The Falcons do not play a western division in 2018. The Falcons are 0-3 in the preseason so far still having execution problems on offense, D-line issues, and finishing out games. The Super Bowl is in our home stadium this year and no team has ever done that, the teams who have hosted Super Bowls have always come up short or done really bad. Matt Ryan is the highest paid QB in the league, which means he's in the top of the salary of all QB's across the league, and last time I checked, highest paid QB's tend to not play well historically (including Matt Ryan in 2013). I hope Julio Jones holding out of practice all that time doesn't affect his play throughout the season. People are saying that our window is now or never, but I disagree, I believe we will still have a shot with Matt Ryan in 2019 or 2020, even if the 2018 Falcons don't do well. If having a disappointing or absolute bust season motivates us to win a Super Bowl over the next couple of years with the media doubting us, I'd rather take that. I see a lot of holes in this current Falcons team so far. Hope they prove me wrong throughout this upcoming season. I'm just ready for Thursday Night in Philly to begin.
  5. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/_mobileview/news/falcons-at-jaguars-five-things-to-watch-including-calvin-ridley-s-role-and-right Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 10:16 AM Falcons at Jaguars: Five things to watch, including Calvin Ridley’s role and right guard battle Kelsey Conway ATLANTAFALCONS.COM REPORTER JACKSONVILLE -- As the Falcons get ready for their final “dress rehearsal” game on Saturday night in Jacksonville, there are a number of things Atlanta’s coaching staff will be looking to see. The starters are likely to play between anywhere from three-to-five series, so we’ll get a good look at how the Falcons’ starting units match up against Jacksonville’s. The Falcons have also announced the following players will not play: Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Ricardo Allen, Deion Jones, Marvin Hall and Ben Garland. Here are five storylines to watch in preseason game No. 3: 1. Will rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley lock up the starting kick returner spot? One of the main position battles during training camp and through the first two preseason games has been at the kick and punt return position. So far, we’ve seen Calvin Ridley, Marvin Hall, Ito Smith and Isaiah Oliver all get opportunities, but it appears Ridley could be the favorite after his electric 34-yard return against the Kansas City Chiefs. Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong wouldn’t necessarily say Ridley has won the job, but he did say he is a “natural” at the position. Will he solidify that role on Saturday night? 2. Right guard battle between Brandon Fusco and Wes Schweitzer should be settled After a strong performance against Kansas City, Falcons head coach Dan Quin said Brandon Fusco has “earned the right” to start against the Jaguars. Fusco and Wes Schweitzer have been battling for the starting spot at right guard since Fusco was signed in free agency this spring. Schweitzer was listed as the starter when the team’s first unofficial depth chart was released before preseason game No. 1, but it appears that could change. Quinn said he wasn’t ready to declare Fusco as the starter this week, but after this game he’s likely to make the decision. 3. Ricky Ortiz should lock up fullback battle Ricky Ortiz appears to be in the lead to win the fullback battle after an impressive training camp. The team recently signed veteran Jalston Fowler with two preseason games left to play, but Ortiz looks to have won the job. “The fullback spot for us, Ricky (Ortiz) is clearly in the lead for us, but Fowler was somebody we definitely had interest in,” Quinn said. Will he solidify his spot in these last two games after a strong performance with the starting unit on Saturday night? 4. Damontae Kazee will be running with the starting defense ****tae Kazee has shined in both preseason games. He led the team in tackles against the Jets with 11 total (nine solo stops) and recorded an interception last Friday against the Chiefs. With Ricardo Allen not playing against the Jaguars, we’ll get a chance to see how Kazee looks with the starting defense. 5. Will Isaiah Oliver show growth? The Falcons are excited about what rookie cornerback Isaiah Oliver brings to their defense – speed, athleticism, length and ball skills. But, as it is for most rookies, there’s a transition process that takes place. Sometimes the way a player bounces back from a missed opportunity, can reveal a lot about who that player is. That was certainly the case with Oliver after giving up a touchdown last weekend against Kansas City. Oliver didn’t use the proper technique and it cost him. And rather than make excuses for what happened and that’s exactly what Quinn wants to see. “When you play on the line of scrimmage like we do, people are going to try you,” Quinn said. “On that one, he got beat. There were no excuses which I like, right away tried to test him like hey, what happened there. He didn’t offer any excuse to say what happened, and he responded right away. I don’t like that it happened but, in some instances, you have to have some on the job training and no better place than out on the field, especially in the exhibition season.”
  6. In the time Quinn has been here one thing has been constant. The Falcons look BAD in preseason game #3. Even in 2012 they looked bad in preseason game #3. Everyone should do themselves a favor. Go ahead and get ready for it. Look forward to it. Remember the most successful seasons the Falcons have had recently have been preceded by a bad showing in this upcoming game. So think of it as good luck if it happens again.
  7. Looks like Oliver, Foye, and Kazee will get plenty of time with the 1’s tonight. Duke will be back at MLB. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/_mobileview/news/falcons-matt-bryant-to-kick-vs-jaguars-desmond-trufant-ruled-out Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 05:28 PM Falcons' Matt Bryant to kick vs Jaguars, Desmond Trufant ruled out Will McFadden ATLANTAFALCONS.COM JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Falcons announced that kicker Matt Bryant will be active for the first time this season as they face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night for their third preseason game. While Bryant will be on the field, Falcons starting cornerback Desmond Trufant will not be. Trufant will be held out of action, becoming the seventh Falcons player to be declared inactive for this game. The other six players who will sit out Saturday night's game include Ricardo Allen, Devonta Freeman, Ben Garland, Marvin Hall, Deion Jones and Julio Jones.
  8. I just read this piece on the falcaholic: Matt Ryan The 2016 NFL MVP has been out of sorts. He’s been missing throws he made with ease last season, namely deep balls. He added two more interceptions to his total, although one was a tipped pass by Nick Williams — the third tipped passed turned interception in the last two games. Still, we expect better and we’ve certainly seen better from Ryan. Does anyone else think this goes back to the preseason where Julio was virtually held out of practice and game action for almost all of the reps? Timing is everything and I think he needs more reps with these recievers in order to get into a rythmic convergence with his targets!
  9. LAST PRESEASON PREVIEW AND OFF TO REGULAR SEASON!!! http://atlantasportspage.org/preseason-preview-jacksonville-jaguars-vs-atlanta-falcons/
  10. So I took a brief hiatus from the message boards while I left to go to New Orleans and then sail away to Central America. I'm back now and refreshed but I did miss both the second and third preseason games. That being said, I went back and read a lot on what happened. Seems to me like a lot of you guys are a little too worked up. Has our first team offense struggled? Yeah, but I think you guys keep forgetting one very important detail....there is no game planning for your opponent. You are just running basic and simple plays and all the defense has to do is read and react. You're not trying to fool them or outsmart them. Preseason can make really bad defenses look pretty good. It seems like this happens every year when everyone freaks out over preseason results when during the regular season, things often go the opposite of how you would expect. It's why the Titans and Jags win a lot of preseason games and the Pats may go 0-4. I wish more people would watch the preseason for the real reason...watch the roster bubble guys to see if they can make plays and make the team. Those are the only guys on the field who are playing as hard as they can and giving it their all. I literally couldn't care less if MR and the boys scored 30 points in the first quarter. It doesn't mean we are going 16-0. The opposite is also true. Looking at the roster I will say this. I don't see us being a great team yet. There is just too much mediocre talent all across the roster. We have a good secondary, OL, QB, and RB and ONE good WR. Everything else is just bleh. Reed, Upshaw, Shelby, Beasley, Hags, Jones, Campbell, Worrilow, Jarret, Clayborne, Spoon, Tamme, Sanu, Hardy, and Coleman are all just average (or below average players) or unproven. As an optimist I like to think we will have Beasley, Hags, Shelby, Hardy, Coleman, Jarret, and Campbell all step up and become good players but I think we all know it's unrealistic to think they will all shine. I see us having a middle of the pack defense that still struggles to get to the passer and an offense that will be potent but will have trouble staying out of it's own way. Add the potentially tough schedule and I see us going 7-9 this year give or take one game. If the schedule plays out to be as tough as it looks, we could be an improved team at 7-9 though. I'll be watching how we play more than the win/loss record this year. How do you see us as a team right now?
  11. Under-the-radar rookies who can earn significant playing time in 2016 http://atlantasportspage.org/3509-2/
  12. Good evening all. I've been on the boards for a little bit now and every year since my join someone (Tandy comes to mind) usually starts a thread that we the fans can pick players to give evaluations on after each preseason game. If someone could assist me by posting the depth chart in vertical format that would be great. I sit at home every evening and read through what I missed throughout the day and I gotta say right now I cannot contain my excitement. Here are the rules: Each poster is limited to 2 players on the team, 1 offensive and 1 defensive player. Within the first 24 hours following the game the poster must submit the strengths, weaknesses, and overall evaluation of their player's performance. Finally, list a grade you would assign the player for their performance. You may pick a player someone else has already chosen only once all players have been selected. Prior to posting the synopsis, list the players name/position played that game/and number. So I'll start with my selections. Devin Hester and Ricardo Allen. From you posters who know what I'm trying to accomplish please provide some input.
  13. Through the looking glass Have you ever looked into the future? Many of us spend most of our day trying to predict the future. How will someone respond to this or that. What will happen next. Will that car stop in time? While driving up I-85 one afternoon stuck in the middle of a Carolina roadblock, I saw a good ol' boy speed past me in the right lane, then push his way between me and the 18 wheeler in front of me that was driving 67 MPH. The car was kinda ratty and something didn't seem right when suddenly the ratty car in front of me had a blow out and twisted and skidded almost flipping over as he struggled to maintain control. I didn't foresee a blowout, but I did know something was going to happen because I had already lifted the gas and had my foot on the brake when it happened. It is said that most people can actually see ia few seconds into the future. The Falcon's Preseason game 2 was more than a few second look into the future; it told us a lot about what we will see this season and like all Looking Glasses it showed the good, the bad and the ugly. The Good: Run Defense - the TV crew listed Babineaux at Defensive End, not sure if that was a mistake or a fact. I also heard earlier in the week that Kroy Biermann, would be playing some Outside Linebacker. If these things are true, it would suggest moving some players around to solidify the run defense by moving our DT Babineaux to DE and DE Kroy Biermann to outside Linebacker. The result of this move was that Baltimore's starting RB Ray Rice only got 10 yards on 8 carries or a 1.3 yard average, when his career average is 4.5 yards per carry. Passing Game - Ryan was on target. Our second string QB Davis seemed to have calmed down and was able to make some plays. Julio is picking up right where he left off a few months ago. Roddy looks focused. We seem to have some serious depth at WR with Davis, Cone and others. Running Game - It was great to see Steven Jackson find some seams and get some yards, but what I really loved seeing was his pass catching and YAC. Rodgers was solid and some of his cutbacks were impressive. Vaughn looked excellent finding a seam or bouncing to the outside and turning on the speed to get 44 yards on 8 carries. Worrilow showed up again leading the defense with 6 solo tackles, 1 for a loss, a QB sack and QB pressure. I'd love to see him get some time next week with the 1st string Defense. If you haven't read the article Ignored Hen about Worrilow, I recommend reading it. This guy could become a playmaker for the Falcons going forward, but he still has to prove he can be impressive with the big boys of the NFL. The Bad: Right Tackle - Holmes just looked bad I watched and rewatched him on each play. It looked like he was in the midst of a 24 hour stomach virus, the kind where you end up dehydrated with zero energy and your hair hurts. He was slow off the snap cadence, he didn't move his feet, he would stand straight up and chicken fight with DE on most plays. On other plays he was getting pushed back into the backfield or lunging to get a hand on the DE as he ran past him to the QB, on run plays I saw him get pushed to the ground. We need some help here or Matt may not make it through the season. My looking glass showed things Breaking Bad at Right Tackle. Once some DE's get some film on him... it will be all over. The Ref's - Not sure how after starting on the 20 we ran 3 plays and had 3 penalties 2 against us and 1 against the Ravens and we were 1st and 10 on the 20 again.... WTF? On the play that Roddy twisted his ankle on in the endzone the DB had ahold of his chest plate of his shoulder pads pulling him down. How is that NOT a Pass Interference call? Seeing the Baltimore Defense take late cheap shots on Ryan in the Preseason with no penalty is unbelievable. I wanted our O-line to go all out and bend some knees into pretzels... but then I remembered we had Holmes over there and that wouldn't happen. There was a play where they called Alford for PI when it was just some arm jockeying as the ran down the sideline. There were another 4 or so plays that I won't mention. Cloherty (#81) - Two drops that could have changed the game and should have been catches. Hate to be him when cut time comes around. The Ugly: kick Coverage - Wow, two Touch Down's returned on us in two weeks. Who is our Special Teams Coach again? Nobody in there lanes, nobody breaking down to make a tackle. I see this as something that could change our season... and by change i mean bad things. Kick Returns - How do we not have someone who can return a kick worth a crap. Last week we signaled fair catch with no opponents within 10 yards. This week we got one decent return in the forth quarter, but overall, our returns seem to have no real designed play. Can we get Dan Reeves son-in-law in here? What Good, Bad and Ugly did you see in your looking glass? Also, since the next game is Saturday night, I'm planing to do some entertaining and wanted to know what your favorite (besides beer) thing to make/serve for football games. Thanks for reading, Richard C. Nile
  14. Title says it all. I honestly thought our D was ok, then run blocking/mobile QB is still our biggest problem area. What made us lose that game so badly, however, was because as soon as Dom Davis went on the field, he walked right back off in 1 minute or less. Our D was a bunch of rooks who had to essentially play all game because we turned over the ball or punted so many times. It was pathetic. I think Renfree needs to get a lot of coaching and step it up or we will have to sign a QB. Davis sucked, bad. I hope he or Renfree can put it all together soon.
  15. Ok guys, I have sat and watched and been a pretty active poster for a while here. I took some days off the board, because the lunatic fringe was in full force for a couple of days, after we sheet the bed against the Texans. I don't think it is one player on this team that is to blame. I also don't think ANYONE gets a pass this season. I will say that in my head a good bit of our problems trace to one certain area: NO Offseason: Yes, this was a problem for lots of teams, and yes, the Pack, the 49ers, Saints, Ravens, Steelers etc seem to be unaffected, but I contend that this team was hurt a lot by not having an offseason. We all knew Julio was raw in some spots, and polished in others. With a full offseason, he could have been a lot more prepared. Also, I think the lack of an offseason didn't allow Roddy time to warm up to the idea of having a viable #2. The Offensive Line lost a leader in Dahl, no matter how much we as fans didn't see it, this guy was apparently the glue holding the line together. He's a Ram now, so there is nothing to be done there, but not having a full offseason, didn't allow this unit to gel into a cohesive unit. Also having Baker play LT, and imitating a swinging kitchen door didn't help. Which leads us to: Matt Ryan...he has not had a good season. We have seen some highs (better ball distribution, flashes of hitting guys in stride, and the money accuracy he shows in the 10-15 yard passes)...we have definitely seen some lows (consistently over/underthrowing receivers [if it's a strength thing, I got $5 on pitching in for a Bowflex for the guy...maybe the ShakeWeight] making poor reads due to perceived pressure, whether real or not, and just being OFF), but the man is clearly not in sync. I will not say he "hasn't gotten better since his rookie season" because that is a fallacy, but he has taken a big step back in his progression this year. We all saw his sophomore slump...what is this, a senior year slump? The offseason could have given him time to settle in with the new pieces (Julio, the line, Quizz etc) and perhaps given him time to work on deep balls with the coaches. Mularkey and Van Gorder (the Stache) are both playing schemes that worked when people wore leather helmets, and TV's had no color, but this is a new age. The rules have changed, and you either change with them, or you can go coach at West Texas Christian Polytechnical Universty College. I don't care, as do most of our fans. I think changes are coming in the coaching staff. I don't want Smitty to go, because I believe he is the guy, but I also don't want to be sitting here next year and thinking "just wait until next year". I fear if MM is left in his current role...we will be in the same spot. Not sure if the offseason would have helped this much, because this looks like "08 season, rinse-repeat, 09 season...rinse-repeat, 10 seaspm rinse-repeat" and on and on. I couldn't care less if I get flamed, because I am tired. I am happy we are 7-5. I am happy that we are heading towards 4 seasons in a row of winning, but I was and am a Braves fans. Division titles, playoff appearances are always nice, but nothing compares to the feeling of winning the big one. This team has miles to go before it sleeps to get to a Lombaridi, and hopefully this Sunday can be that first step in that progression. /end rant
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