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Found 9 results

  1. Falcons were unimpressed with Matt LaFleur’s work, and let him walk before hiring Steve Sarkisian Now that the wheels have completely fallen off of the Falcons offense, we’ve been wondering why Dan Quinn didn’t just promote Matt LaFleur. by Matthew Chambers@FalcoholicMatt Oct 23, 2017, 5:53pm ED https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2017/10/23/16527676/falcons-were-unimpressed-with-matt-lafleurs-work-and-let-him-walk-before-hiring-steve-sarkisian Thanks to their long Super Bowl run, the Atlanta Falcons did not have a whole lot of options for offensive coordinator. They knew they were losing Kyle Shanahan. In fact, the only two names from outside of the organization that popped up were Chip Kelly and Steve Sarkisian. It was odd the Falcons did not seem to seriously consider promoting Matt LaFleur, the quarterback coach for Matt Ryan’s MVP season. He spent years with Shanahan running the offense, and honestly, was the most sensical replacement for Shanahan. LaFleur may not be calling plays in Los Angeles, but is the offensive coordinator for another prolific offense. Yikes. How did the Falcons let him get away? LaFleur was under contract with the team, and could not leave the Falcons for any position but a head coach job without the team’s blessing. The team, of course, allowed the move. And now we know why. It would be tough to bungle a situation worse than this. The Falcons happily let the offensive staff leave for other positions so they could hire Sarkisian, who never coordinated in the pros. It is tough to say what the team did not like about LaFleur, but I don’t think it could be worth the offensive drop off. The offense has imploded so quickly that you have to blame the decision makers, starting with Dan Quinn.
  2. Link: https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2017/10/5/16425616/a-closer-look-evaluating-matt-ryan-with-qb-guru-derrik-klassen?utm_campaign=thefalcoholic&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter For the second consecutive week, Matt Ryan had a subpar performance. He looked unsettled against an outstanding Bills’ defense. It wasn’t surprising, considering Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu were injured. Missing both of your starting wide receivers for an entire half in a close game is going to create problems. The real issue is Ryan’s troubles started long before both players were sidelined. He is missing far too many throws and not making enough plays for a player at his level. To examine his issues, Football Outsiders’ Derrik Klassen joins me to break down what went wrong against Buffalo. Derrik is constantly watching quarterback film and writing informative pieces. I wanted to bring on a great football mind to add another perspective. This is something I’m planning to do at least once a month. Derrik also writes for Bleacher Report and Optimum Scouting. I always rewatch the previous Falcons game and post GIFs on Twitter of the most impressive and disappointing plays. One specific player, positional group, or topic is excluded from the film review to be saved for this piece. Here are four of Ryan’s biggest errors, as Derrik and I analyzed each play. First Quarter: 1st and 10 at ATL 49 Klassen: It appears Ryan got a tad lazy with his mechanics on this one. The flat side of his back foot is pointed toward the middle of the field behind the target, rather than toward the target area. Ryan also fails to drive on the throw properly. He instead lofted or pushed the ball through the air, when he needed to bring his torso into the throw and get some "pop" as he released the ball. Strk: When using play action, the Falcons love utilizing Jones on deep over routes. His ability to shift past opposing cornerbacks and explode upfield makes him a lethal option for these designs. This is an excellent play call from Sarkisian. It’s not easy to create big plays against McDermott’s disciplined defense. You must take your chances against them. Ryan fails to do so on this play. Derrik makes an excellent point about Ryan lofting the ball. It’s one of his most frustrating tendencies. Not putting more touch on his deep throws has translated into missed opportunities. According to Pro Football Focus, Ryan has only completed three out of 15 pass attempts on throws 20 yards or more this season. That is an alarming stat, considering the plethora of weapons at his disposal. There has been some debate about Ryan’s poor game correlating with Ryan Schraeder’s absence. While Ty Sambrailo is a significant downgrade, the criticism has been slightly exaggerated. Ryan receives good protection here. This is simply a bad miss, as the ball doesn’t even hit Jones’ fingertips. First quarter: 3rd and 9 at 50 Klassen: If I'm not mistaken, Ryan is trying to throw back shoulder on a wheel route to Sanu. Once again, Ryan's footwork is out of sorts. He swings his entire body too wide when he turns to Sanu. His shoulders are already open before he begins to throw, making it difficult for him to get any drive on the ball and control the release point. Ryan misses high and wide, as a quarterback often does when he opens too wide to his left. Strk: There seems to be a growing sentiment that Steve Sarkisian is holding back the offense. Although his play calling can be conservative at times, you can’t say he isn’t putting Ryan in favorable situations. The former Washington head coach is starting to use more trips and rub route concepts. It can create confusion and (most importantly) space when properly executed. They create enough room for Sanu to make a routine catch. This is another glaring miss from Ryan. Despite rarely attempting back shoulder throws, every quarterback should be able to make them. Ryan leans far too wide to make an accurate throw. These footwork issues are concerning for such an established quarterback. He spent countless hours working on his footwork during the summer. It’s an integral part to his success. For Ryan to suffer from these lapses without facing much pressure is worrying. As a true student of the game, most would assume that he makes the necessary adjustments. You don’t expect a former NFL MVP to let fundamentals derail them. Third quarter: 2nd and 1 at ATL 39 Klassen: Taylor Gabriel wasn’t open here. Maybe had Ryan pulled the trigger immediately and done a better job of driving on the throw, Gabriel gets a real chance at the ball, but that was not the case. Ryan made a late throw beyond the range of his arm talent. A rare, careless mistake from Ryan. Strk: Many people focused on criticizing the throw rather than the decision. While nobody will applaud the throw, it wasn’t the sole reason behind Ryan’s first interception. Buffalo was well-prepared for the deep ball. With only two receivers running routes, they were able to handle their coverage assignments and prevent any potential big play. Not having Jones and Sanu certainly didn’t help when trying to stretch the field. Micah Hydewas in excellent position to cover Gabriel. Ryan found success hitting Gabriel on vertical routes last season, when the speedy playmaker got behind the defense. That wasn’t happening on this occasion. Ryan threw up a near 60-yard prayer and paid for it. Fourth quarter: 2nd and 17 at BUF 49 Klassen: This is the most confusing play of the bunch. I'm not entirely sure whether Ryan is late pulling the trigger or if Ryan expected the receiver to cut that route off shorter and stop. Both are entirely possible, but given that Atlanta was down their two top receivers at that point, I'm leaning toward putting blame on Justin Hardy for this one. Without knowing the play call or route specifications, it's tough to tell one way or the other, but Ryan does not often have communication issues like this with his top guys. Strk: Although Hardy is the fourth wide receiver, he has a strong rapport with Ryan. Jones is the only wide receiver that has been with the Falcons longer than Hardy. It’s hard to see the timing being off. As Derrik mentioned, Hardy may have possibly ran the wrong route. It seems unlikely based on previous experience. Ryan’s recent performances gives more of an indication that he is at fault here. They desperately needed a decent gain to put themselves in a manageable third down situation. Running a quick-hitting pass play made complete sense. On such a critical drive, Hardy’s route should be designed to gain at least eight yards. Sarkisian couldn’t risk calling a long-developing play, especially with the limitations at wide receiver. This appears to be another notable miss from Ryan. Instead of picking up a solid gain, his poor throw leaves them needing to pick up 17 yards. That miscue led to Ryan’s second interception on the very next play. Not converting these opportunities can come back to haunt any team. The Falcons learned that in a cruel way, as their star quarterback failed to elevate a decimated offense in a winnable game.
  3. https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2017/8/3/16092038/devin-fuller-has-been-waived-injured-wr-ucla-bruins-kr-pr-atlanta-falcons-out-of-permalink-ideas https://twitter.com/TheFalcoholic/status/893206679680110592 The Atlanta Falcons were hoping their 2016 7th-round pick could replace Eric Weems as a returner. There was a lot of expected competition, then Devin Fuller tore his ACL last week. The team made it official, giving fuller the waived/injured designation. He will almost certainly pass through waivers and end up on Atlanta’s injured reserve. Man, it’s a tough way to go out. Typically, late round picks that end up on injured reserve in both of their first seasons don’t make it to year three with that team. The Falcons may finally cut Fuller once healthy, and hopefully give him a chance to catch on elsewhere. Best of luck to Fuller in his rehab and hopeful return to the NFL.
  4. Atlanta Falcons OTAs: DT/OL hybrid Ben Garland gets early first team snaps at right guard 10 NEW, 10 Fact: Ben Garland first grew a beard when he was four months old by James Rael@falcoholicjames May 31, 2017, 9:52pm PDT TWEET Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports The Atlanta Falcons have quite the renaissance man in Ben Garland. He plays a little defensive tackle. He can play center and guard. He will cook you up a delicious egg white omelet and pair it with some fresh strawberries, if you ask nicely. So when Chris Chester formally announced his retirement earlier in the offseason, no one at Flowery Branch hit the panic button. Garland will battle it out with second-year player Wes Schweitzer and rookie fourth round draft pick Sean Harlow. The first couple days of OTAs aren’t all that telling long-term, but for what it’s worth, Garland is getting the first team reps. View image on Twitter Again, this is really not something anyone should read into too extensively. That said we know Garland is, at a minimum, a solid football player. With Alex Mack on his left and Ryan Schraeder on his right, one would think Garland could get the job done. Heck, if his career trajectory to date is any indication, he may be a Pro Bowler before we know it! Seriously though, I’m definitely curious to see what Garland can do. I’m glad the team intends on throwing him into the fire from the outset. Your thoughts?
  5. Dan Quinn talks about Jack Crawford’s role, disruptive ability 25 NEW, 25 In a brief film session posted on the team’s Twitter feed, Dan Quinn dives in on his newest defensive tackle. by Dave Choate May 21, 2017, 9:00am PDT TWEET The Jack Crawford signing was kind of big news earlier this offseason, and at the time, it only seemed like big news because the Falcons had one of their quieter free agency periods in recent memory. As Dan Quinn sits down and talks a little bit about him, though, you get a better picture of why the team liked him and what they’ll expect him to do. The team put out a short video film session with Quinn on Twitter, and it’s a cool mini-glimpse at how Quinn is evaluating his players. It also further confirms, as the team has suggested before, that Crawford will primarily be playing defensive tackle after splitting his time between end and tackle over the last few seasons. Crawford should be behind several players in the pecking order, but if he’s exclusively playing defensive tackle, there should still be plenty of snaps available for him behind Grady Jarrettand Dontari Poe. Hopefully he’ll be a force for good in this growing Falcons defense. http://www.atlantafalcons.com/media-lounge/videos/Film-Study-Quinn-Breaks-Down-Poe-Signing/dd529a35-5969-4b04-911a-6e5cfe1eb2ae ^^^^film study on Jack Crawford - looks like he will be a situational DTackle in passrush. G-Dawg: While I certainly am not predicting "break-out stardom" for a 28 year old journeyman DE/DT, it does say something that Dan Quinn targeted Jack Crawford very early in free agency and gave him a 3yr, $8.8mm deal which raised some eyebrows. I see him as a NASCAR package type of rotational passrushing defensive tackle capable of 3-5 sacks per year(with limited snaps) but lots of interior pressure and an ability to get upfield and collapse the pocket for opposing QBs that thrive on a clean pocket up the middle - especially short guys like Drew Brees. Dan Quinn is, at his core, a Defensive Line coach - and when he puts his name on a defensive lineman, I'm going to pay attention. We may even be overstocked on the defensive line right now - there is going to be a lot of competition - iron sharpens iron.
  6. Report: Falcons traded up for Takkarist McKinley to leapfrog Dallas Cowboys Dallas was also thirsty for a pass rusher. by Dave Choate May 12, 2017, 8:00am EDT TWEET The Atlanta Falcons needed a pass rusher pretty badly, as we repeatedly argued in the run-up to the draft. To ensure they got the one they liked, they had to swap up a few spots, and now we have our most concrete reports that indicate why they felt they had to go up. It was the Dallas Cowboys, of course. Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram reports that the Cowboys were strongly interested in Takkarist McKinley. Atlanta either figured that out or had a strong hunch that caused them to move up. Dallas took Taco Charlton two picks later. The Cowboys also had first-round interest in UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinely, but the Falcons jumped the Cowboys and picked him at No. 26. The Cowboys selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton at No. 28 and were satisfied with the choice. McKinley is a better fit for Atlanta’s defense than Charlton, given his athleticism and pass rushing ability, so it’s little surprise the Falcons made him a priority. The Falcons have faced questions every time they trade up about whether they actually needed to do so, so hopefully this will help set a few minds at ease.
  7. Matt Ryan is the greatest Falcons draft pick ever, per your votes There’s no question that #3 is #1. by Dave Choate Apr 5, 2017, 12:00pm EDT TWE Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images Ever since we launched our polling for the best Falcons draft pick ever, the final result has been pretty obvious. I thought we might have a twist or turn here that turned the whole thing upside down, but instead, Matt Ryan coasted to victory. In his final matchup against Julio Jones, Ryan took close to 75% of the votes. He’s fresh off an MVP season and a Super Bowl run, as we’ve noted many times, and put together easily the best season of his career. He’s still young enough to think there’s several great seasons ahead, too, and he’s already make his mark on the record books. Matt Ryan career franchise ranks (NFL ranks) Passing Attempts: 1st (24th) Passing Completions: 1st (18th) Passing Yards: 1st (21st) Passing Touchdowns: 1st (25th) Passer Rating: 1st (11th) Considering quarterback is widely regarded as the most important position on the field, and considering Ryan’s place in both the team’s and NFL’s record books, there is no question he’s a deserving choice for this honor. Two teams passed on one of the best quarterbacks of the last decade, and the Falcons were only too happy to capitalize on that particular mistake. Ryan will be dogged with questions until he gets his first Super Bowl ring, unfortunately, but if he plays another five years he’s going to have a Hall of Fame-caliber resume whether he gets one or not. Julio Jones can take some solace in the fact that he is regarded with awe by every sentient, decent human being who doesn’t have a hot take about Odell Beckham or Antonio Brown, and that he’ll likely go down as the greatest receiver this Falcons team has ever seen. Thanks, everyone, for voting. Congratulations to Matt Ryan!
  8. http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2017/3/28/15103164/thomas-dimitroff-hoping-to-ink-contracts-desmond-trufant-devonta-freeman-contracts-by-training-camp Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff isn’t the novice he once was. He’s been there, he’s done that, he’s burned through truckloads of hair product. So even when faced with a substantial challenge, Dimitroff isn’t backing down. Successfully re-signing both Desmond Trufant and Devonta Freeman is one such challenge. Dimitroff sat down with Alex Marvez and Vic Carucci on SiriusXM NFL Radio today and he had some interesting things to say about those contract negotiations. (Spoiler alert: you’re going to like his confidence in getting both deals done.) **Rest of the article on the link above.**
  9. May have already been posted, but I thought it was a good article. Feel like there are a few obvious answers here, but mine would have to be Antone Smith. He made a few home run plays but didn't do much else other than that. Loved that guy...