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  1. 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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