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  1. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Week 3 "R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me." By: richardcNile Just a little respect is what Aretha says she wants. She goes on to tell you"I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone" and she "aint gonna do you wrong 'cause she don't wanna;" but she is asking... for just a little respect. She wants you to believe in her. Have some faith man. She continues on to even beg you saying: What you want, Baby I got it. What you need Do you know I got it? She's challenging you when she sings "Don't you know I got it?" C'mon man, give her just a little respect. Believe. We are in uncharted territory. Our Falcons have NEVER been in this situation, so it makes sense that our fans are not comfortable with giving 'her' or in this case our Falcons some respect. We've struggled through hard times, horrible seasons, rebuilding, failed coaches, the loss of superstar players and the list goes on and on and on. I don't need to tell you; you know that the struggle is real. So it makes sense that we don't know how to handle being 3-0 after the season we had last year. We've been 3-0 before, but we've never been in THIS situation. Not in THIS scenario. Not after the season we had last year AND the season we are having this year. This is a first. Virgin territory is what they call it because no matter how smooth you think you are or were, we all know that the first time you found yourself with a girl ready to get busy; no matter how much porn you've seen or how many times you had thought about it, you were at least a little unsure or nervous about how this is going to go down. We're 3-0 and heavily favored at home against the Bills. We're all a bit nervous. We're all a bit unsure and so some of us go to what's normal and comfortable. What's normal and comfortable for Falcons fans is to not believe it. Falcon fans are not used to getting respect, so we are not accepting that respect. If feels odd. It feels uncomfortable. We remember those times before where we thought 'it' was gonna happen and it didn't happen so now... now we don't think it will happen. We've been let down too many times in so many different ways, so we don't believe it. We say stuff like "we're lucky to be 3-0" or "We should have lost those games" or "We didn't win big enough." Have some respect. Allow yourself to believe. Enjoy it. If you still don't completely believe the respect we are getting, read on to find out the good, the bad and the ugly of our win over the Lions that put us atop the NFC at 3-0. The Good: Run Game - Free is playing out of his mind right now. From ripping off 8-10 yard runs and catching bullets from Matt in heavy traffic. He's always been the lightning, but he's also bringing some thunder choosing to run over defenders and knock a 6'1 220 LB Safety 2 yards through the air and out of bounds. Coleman seems to be seeing the blocking much better and they better respect him because he's close to getting completely loose on a run-away TD. The offensive line is crushing defenders at the LOS and the WR's are doing a job few wide receiver corps in the NFL would do consistently. #inbrotherhood The pattern here seems to be a focused, deliberate and consistent effort by the HC, OC and Offense to not only put up points, but to be able to run the ball and control the game. We did that in the first half to perfection having a 2:1 time of possession and score lead. Future opponents now know they must respect the run. Effort - In a game on the road where things started going really against us, it would have been easy to let up, they didn't. The effort on offense, defense and special teams in the 4th quarter was commendable. The team believed in themselves and made the Lions respect them by calling 3 consecutive time-outs in the 4th quarter for fear we would run the clock out on them. This ultimately lead to their demise as the clock was expired on the 10 second rule. Special Teams - Finally we didn't have penalties on kick returns. This allowed us to return a kick off for 38 yards. Our kick coverage was good as well allowing only 1 KO returned and 1 punt returned for 10 and 11 yards respectively. Play calling - I like where Sark is headed. He seems to be using the offensive weapons more and using one or two plays to setup three or four other plays. After the second interception and the Lions tied the game at 23 in the 3rd quarter, the Falcons offense needed to make a statement as the clock ticked into the 4th quarter. Freeman wide left for 8 yards, Freeman left tackle for 11 yards, Freeman right tackle for 16 yards (wait for it, wait for it). Play action fake right to Freeman and Matt throws the bubble screen to Gabriel who burns to the goal line with his signature stretch dive for a TD. When we make them respect the run, it opens up the rest of the field and players. End Game - The team is playing for the end game. The end game is not just the game they are playing but the game at the end of the season. The Superbowl. They are setting things up now. They know they can pass the ball, they know our RB's can catch out of the backfield and make plays. They know our TE can take it to the house, but what we need is control of the game. We need to be able to win in a multitude of ways. On special teams, by controlling the game through our run game and a controlled passing game and solid defense. The Falcons are training for the post season right now. They are practicing all the skills they know they will need come January and February. We may lose a game here and there, but remember, they are preparing for the end game. they are working to get that ultimate respect. Confidence - Our defense is getting more confident each week. They were put in some horrible situations this week and they came up big. Campbell is still balling out and Jones had a huge game with some brutal, punishing hits on the Lions that paid dividends in the 4th quarter. Alford is finally playing the football instead of panicking and he should have had an INT at the end of the game to ice it and almost had one on a deep pass he defended perfectly in the first half. Confidence is contagious. Time of possession - At the end of the first half it was a 2:1 Time of Possession advantage for the Falcons and our Defense had only given up 3 points. Obviously the pick 6 wasn't part of the plan and if it hadn't happened we would have been at least 20-3 and possibly 24-3. We finished the game with about a two minute advantage, but those turnovers really made us work to keep that TOP lead. The Bad: Pass Blocking - This was mostly from the right side of the line, but it was still bad. We have a new guard growing into the position and a tackle that just joined the team a few weeks ago so it's not surprising. Penalties - I realize you are on the road and it's noisy, but we had like 3 offsides penalties that put us in difficult situations and likely stalled a few drives. I have respect for what DQ coaches and believe this will get dialed in. Refs - I noticed it, the game announcers noticed it and you likely noticed it. Lots of ticky-tack calls against the Falcons all game long. A holding on Justin hardy to nullfy a long run by Coleman, an unnecessary roughness for a shoulder hit to a 'defenseless receiver' who is coming over the middle. NoCalls on several plays were our D-Lineman were about to sack the QB. On one play the right tackle literally had Tak in a bear hug and no flag. The ultimate bad call of the game for me was the 'defensive holding' on Tru in the 4th qtr on 2nd and 30 where Alford got the interception that would have iced the game. Thanks to the league doing all reviews remotely, the last bad call (the go ahead TD) was reversed. The Ugly: Lion's Tears - I love Lion's tears. They are so darn tasty. You gotta respect a fan base like that. A fan base who can look at the replay over and over and see he was clearly down and yet still proclaim with a straight face that the game was handed to Atlanta by the refs. Lions never held a lead and were only in that position due to the ref's bad calls. I tell ya, I get no respect MR2 - Ya, I'm putting him in the Ugly group. Hey, he threw 3 interceptions and a pick 6. I rewatched the game with the coaches clicker and there were several plays where he had guys open, but either didn't see them or in some cases looked right at them and decided not to throw it. Clearly this was an 'off' game for him. After the 2nd INT, I think he was a bit shaken and that somewhat lead to the 3rd INT. I respect his work ethic and am confident he will brush it off and get things in sync.
  2. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000765396/article/position-rankings-matt-ryan-leads-mvp-candidates Finally some respect for Matt, good job by Chris Wesseling.
  3. By Chris Vivlamore - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  It wasn’t what Mike Budenholzer said. It was what he did. He listened. Sure, the to-do list was long when the first-year head coach assumed control of the Hawks. There were systems to implement, player evaluation and development work to be done and new time constraints that vastly differed from those of a long-time assistant. There was so much organization and detail involved in establishing a system-based style for the franchise. At the top of that list was getting buy-in from players. They had to trust the new style if the Hawks were to have any level of success. Budenholzer had a certain amount of credibility coming from a Spurs organization that collects NBA titles with regularity. However, this was his show. “I always say you learn so much from the players,” Budenholzer said this week after the completed season. “It’s amazing, as an assistant coach and now as a head coach, you watch and observe them. Obviously, we have to be leaders and we have to give them direction, but if you are observant, you learn a lot from them and, hopefully, you can incorporate that into your system and into your direction and your vision.” Players took notice. Each player asked about Budenholzer during exit interviews with the media had high praise for the work Budenholzer and his staff did. The Hawks battled injury and finished the regular season 38-44, good enough for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They pushed the top-seeded Pacers to a Game 7 after missing a prime opportunity to win the series in six games. Add that to the steep learning curve — for coach and players. “He did a great job of letting us have a voice and letting us if we wanted to guard the pick-and-roll a different way or if we saw something on the court,” Kyle Korver said. “He encouraged that. We could talk it through. But we all respected him enough when he made the decision of this is what we are going to do, that was the way we were going to do it. “I think sometimes it’s difficult for a head coach to get that kind of credit in the locker room. He had everyone’s respect.” One of the things players said they appreciated most was Budenholzer’s communication skills. There were tough decisions to be made over the course of the season. Players moved in and out of the lineup or the rotation. Early in the season Paul Millsap was removed from the starting lineup for one game. Lou Williams sat seven games as the team took a look at younger players. Elton Brand did not play in eight of the first 15 games. Budenholzer talked with each player to explain his decision and to remind them that the greater good of the team was always central. “That goes a long way with players,” Korver said. “Those are not always fun conversations for coaches to have. But he did them, and it went a long way.” Injuries were a big factor in Budenholzer’s first campaign. Al Horford was lost after only 29 games. When the team finally adjusted to the loss of its starting center, a revolving door was seemingly installed on the infirmary. One player after another, including every other starter, was hit with a malady that resulted in lost time. The team slogan could have easily been ‘The Atlanta Hawks: Come see who isn’t injured.’ Players credited Budholzer with keeping the team positive and motivated during the difficult stretch. The Hawks’ average margin of defeat in their 44 regular-season losses was 9.7 points. Only 17 of the losses were by 10 or more points — 11 of which came in the injury-riddled stretch when the Hawks won only six of 26 games. “His confidence was there,” Millsap said. “He stuck to what he believed. There is nothing more you can ask of a coach, especially a rookie coach, to do but to respect himself and respect what he is capable of doing. We stood behind him. He rallied us. He’s been a great leader for us. The sky is the limit for him.” General manager Danny Ferry said this week he believes it wasn’t just those in the Hawks organization that took notice of the job Budenholzer did. Players from other teams, and their agents, got a glimpse of the future of basketball in Atlanta. “I think he gained some respect throughout the league,” Ferry said.
  4. Unlike most of the fans at the dome yesterday, I stayed till every player was off the field. I pay good moey for seats in section 114, and I walk to the games so not worried about traffic. I stuck around through the seahawks fan takeover of the dome in which our guys can not defend . I wished most of them good luck for the playoffs, in hopes of them or san fran containing the swamp rat TAINTS. I made sure the more arrogant fans knew that they were not getting "revenge" on the same team from last year. Made sure they knew this team only is playing maybe half the team from last year, a team that can't hold a candle to last years squad. After everyone prayed @ mid field, Sherman and Tony met up and swaped a few words, swaped jerseys, and gave each other "bro hugs" (SIdeways five, pull in, one arm around quickly). The moment seemed like an emotional one for Tony, maybe becaue he is on his farewell tour with these last 7 games. I thought it was a classy move on Sherman's part for a change... Maybe he just has a deep respect for Tony and his game, as Tony does his. Also sherman possibly could be digging @ roddy by doing it.... IDK... Probably just 2 great players respecting each other @ the end of one of their careers. Here is what espn wrote about it: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/52259/mutual-respect-for-gonzalez-sherman-with-swap
  5. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1675387-power-ranking-every-nfl-roster-midway-through-the-offseason/page/31 Previous 31 of 34 Next 3. Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports The Falcons are, easily, one of the most talented teams in football. Really, it isn't even in question. With a talented quarterback inMatt Ryan, a terrific receiving corps in Julio Jones and Roddy White and the return of Tony Gonzalez, this team was ready to remain at the top of the NFC. By eliminating their Achilles heel with the addition of running back Steven Jackson, the Falcons didn't just improve—they scared the daylights out of every defensive coordinator on their schedule. That said, the Falcons are not No. 1 on this list because they still have questions against the best teams in the league. They have not "been there," as it were, and though it sounds cliche, no one outside of Atlanta is betting on a team that has wilted under fire in the past. The talent is there. It's long past time for the Falcons to finally prove every single one of their doubters wrong.
  6. Now let me start by saying that I'm not trying to preach to anyone. I'm just giving you my point of view. When I was driving home from my brothers house after the game, a gentleman called the local radio station to voice his displeasure about something he heard during the game. I heard it as well. I heard Matt Ryan scream "g_ddamnit" and the microphones picked it up. If you want to know why we lost the game look no further. I know some of you may think that is crazy but I do believe in the almighty and I do believe he cares about us. Apparently, Kaepernick did have an ace up his sleeve.
  7. http://www.denverbro...4e-79416a48bb75 Showing some serious respect to Matt Ryan.
  8. In my opinion I think that BVG's rah rah college style of coordinating had worn thin on the minds of our defense. I Think that the INSTANT credibility of a Mike Nolan is EXACTLY what this team and defense needed. Players will listen to him. Players will immediately respect him. And I look at Houston with Wade Phillips as a great example of how that can help your team. They were an ABYSMAL defense....but the respect and credibility of Phillips IMO had a lot to do with him getting the results out of that defense he got. In ONE off season, nonetheless. The sense of accountability on this defense will be raised through the roof. I think that with his familiarity with Smitty a big bonus as well, (Which is why I preferred him over Spags) we'll see an exponential improvement in our defense this year. Nolan will put our play makers in position to make plays. And I for one, can't wait to see what the results will be. I'm a realist, but I also know that this defense HAS TALENT. We just needed a NFL veteran, respected DC to come in here and get the most out of it. And now we have him.
  9. So I peruse the other teams boards from time to time, not as a member, but as a lurker and found the following: http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/mike-smith-taken-off-plane-chest-pains-216641/ In the thread 95% of these guys state that while we are hated, bitter rivals, they still had nothing but well wishes for Coach Smith. Even though, we hate them, and they hate us...it was refreshing.
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