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Discussion about QB's is moot, if the OLine is weak....


PappyDawg
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Falcons history is littered with QB's who could have done more, IF the talent up front with the big uglies was better.

I first became a fan of the Falcons in the late 60's, and remember poor Randy Johnson running for his life through most of the rest of his career with Atlanta. Only a couple of years later, he was gone and guys like Bob Berry and Bob Lee were given shots at the job. Johnson was just too beat up and too gunshy to ever be effective.

Bartkowski at the start of his career spent all his time on his back, and the damage done to his knees had debilitating effects throughout his career, but eventually, turned him into a stationary target for speed rushers.

Same was true for Chris Miller. Great talent, and a Pro-Bowl alternate the year the Falcons traded away Brett Favre. Almost anybody who was close to the team at the team never questioned the move, because Miller was so talented, and clearly on the rise.

But, with a porous line in front of him, the poor guy took the same beatings Johnson and Bartkowski before him did, and the repeated concussions ended his career way too prematurely.

The point is this: The Falcons have an obvious need to replace Mike Vick at quarterback, and the performance of the offensive line last year, while ravaged by injury and caught in a transition from a rollout/mobile bunch to a pocket crew, left a lot to be desired.

Some of the injuries will have healed, and the Falcons have serviceable guys on the roster to play the QB position. But both needs still have to be addressed.

So, with one pick in the first round and three in the second, which is the priority? Draft a quarterback high (Ryan) and hope you can keep him alive long enough for the offense to develop around him? Or, build a stronger offensive line this season with two or more draft picks (to go with one significant FA signing already), and live with whatever QB we can add in a later round, or one already on the roster?

I think the answer's obvious. There's a short-term 'warm-n-fuzzy' solution, and there's a long-term foundation of bricks. Looking at history with Falcon's quarterbacks, I'd say we've head enough fuzzies for awhile.

Pro-Bowler Steve Bartkowski in 1980 had THREE Pro-Bowl starters on his offensive line, PLUS a Pro-Bowl tight end. Was that just coincidence? Nope. The man could finally stand tall in the pocket and deliver those long bombs he became known for.

Whomever serves as the Falcons' QB this season, even if by committee, simply MUST have a strong(er) line in front of him, or it won't matter if his name is JoeDan ElwaMarinontana. If not Jake Long with the third pick, then PLEASE, one of the other mashers like Albert or Williams or Clady in the first round, and add a couple more later.

Oh, the humanity!

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I know what your saying. A great O-Line makes every QB a little bit better and it makes the better QB's Great! However, isn't it possible to get a Quality QB in the 2nd round and still address the OL issues. I would be surprised if we drafted more than 2 OL in the draft anyways.

You either Draft Jake Long at 2 and another one in the 2nd, 3rd or later or you draft 1 in round 2 and one in the 2nd, 3rd or later.

You can still draft a QB in round 2 since we have 3 2nd round picks.

It is also possible we trade down and pick up another 2nd and a future 1st. If we do that we can draft a QB later in the 1st and then we have 4 picks to pick up a couple of OL, DL and a CB. We still would have 2 3rd round picks after that to beef up the DL and any other position too!

There is no doubt we have to improve our OL, but to do that and not address the QB issue might be a little neglegant!

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NCFalcon52 (4/5/2008)

You can still draft a QB in round 2 since we have 3 2nd round picks.

It is also possible we trade down and pick up another 2nd and a future 1st. If we do that we can draft a QB later in the 1st and then we have 4 picks to pick up a couple of OL, DL and a CB. We still would have 2 3rd round picks after that to beef up the DL and any other position too!

There is no doubt we have to improve our OL, but to do that and not address the QB issue might be a little neglegant!

I never meant to imply that the QB spot be left unaddressed. I don't doubt that one will be drafted this year. My hope - and hopefully, my point - was that to spend a high pick on a quarterback and hope to patch an OLine in front of him would be the bigger mistake.

It's a question of priority. I believe the higher priority would be to build the line first, with the top pick this year and/or several more. I'm convinced that a QB will be selected..... I'm wishing he goes later in the draft (maybe with one of the 2nd rounders, or even later if TD and Smith have a guy they like available later).

The line this year will benefit greatly from a scheme change also. I played on the OLine in HS and college and can tell you it is MUCH more fun to blow out and drive on somebody in a successful running attack than it is to stand up, fall back, and try to get in the way of some freakazoid trying to hurt your quarterback while he looks for somebody to throw to.

Draft a big bulldozer at one tackle, assume a healthy Weiner at the other, Blalock and possibly Clabo at the guards (or a drafted guy, if we get lucky, with Clabo an adequate backup at several positions), and Stepanovich maybe in the middle...... that's not a bad set to run behind.

And a good start to success to build on.

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PappyDawg (4/5/2008)
Falcons history is littered with QB's who could have done more, IF the talent up front with the big uglies was better.

I first became a fan of the Falcons in the late 60's, and remember poor Randy Johnson running for his life through most of the rest of his career with Atlanta. Only a couple of years later, he was gone and guys like Bob Berry and Bob Lee were given shots at the job. Johnson was just too beat up and too gunshy to ever be effective.

Bartkowski at the start of his career spent all his time on his back, and the damage done to his knees had debilitating effects throughout his career, but eventually, turned him into a stationary target for speed rushers.

Same was true for Chris Miller. Great talent, and a Pro-Bowl alternate the year the Falcons traded away Brett Favre. Almost anybody who was close to the team at the team never questioned the move, because Miller was so talented, and clearly on the rise.

But, with a porous line in front of him, the poor guy took the same beatings Johnson and Bartkowski before him did, and the repeated concussions ended his career way too prematurely.

The point is this: The Falcons have an obvious need to replace Mike Vick at quarterback, and the performance of the offensive line last year, while ravaged by injury and caught in a transition from a rollout/mobile bunch to a pocket crew, left a lot to be desired.

Some of the injuries will have healed, and the Falcons have serviceable guys on the roster to play the QB position. But both needs still have to be addressed.

So, with one pick in the first round and three in the second, which is the priority? Draft a quarterback high (Ryan) and hope you can keep him alive long enough for the offense to develop around him? Or, build a stronger offensive line this season with two or more draft picks (to go with one significant FA signing already), and live with whatever QB we can add in a later round, or one already on the roster?

I think the answer's obvious. There's a short-term 'warm-n-fuzzy' solution, and there's a long-term foundation of bricks. Looking at history with Falcon's quarterbacks, I'd say we've head enough fuzzies for awhile.

Pro-Bowler Steve Bartkowski in 1980 had THREE Pro-Bowl starters on his offensive line, PLUS a Pro-Bowl tight end. Was that just coincidence? Nope. The man could finally stand tall in the pocket and deliver those long bombs he became known for.

Whomever serves as the Falcons' QB this season, even if by committee, simply MUST have a strong(er) line in front of him, or it won't matter if his name is JoeDan ElwaMarinontana. If not Jake Long with the third pick, then PLEASE, one of the other mashers like Albert or Williams or Clady in the first round, and add a couple more later.

Oh, the humanity!

I agree 100%.. I'am with you Pappy. I've watched the Falcons from day one and thats exactly the way it has always been. I beleive the super bowl is a prime example of a weakend OL and look what happened to Brady.

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Good Post!  I too remember the old days and seeing QB after QB leave due to injury.  We almost lost Bart too before he got the OLine he deserved and finally started showing us why he was the first pick of his respective draft.  It's very important to have the protection BEFORE you get the star QB or he could be gone (and end up needing yet another one) before getting the protection in place.

I won't be disappointed at all if we don't select a QB with the picks we have this year as long as we're fixing an O-Line that's always been for the most part: Pathetic and Aweful

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In this day and age of free agency you should be able address both needs. Back then there was no free agency and you were pretty much stuck with what you had until the next draft. i think we should pick up a QB early if there is one worth getting. Im not going to be so presumptous as to say we need this QB or that one but if the GM hs his eye on one grab him in the first round. A good O-line will not make good reads or pinpoint passes. All it can do is provide the protection to do those things. If you dont have the QB who can make plays will have just a nice running game and alot of third downs not getting converted. besides the rookie probably wont even start this year unless he really shows out in the preseason. Get your QB then build your line to suit him.

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Charley (4/5/2008)
I'am with you Pappy 100%. I've been a Falcon from day one and thats the way it has always been. The superbowl is a prime example. The OL didn't supply adequate protection and not even Brady could save the Pats.

AND WITH NO O.L. BRADY COULDN'T EVEN SAVE HIMSELF.

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However, isn't it possible to get a Quality QB in the 2nd round and still address the OL issues.

In 2000 New England drafted an Offensive Tackle with their 1st & 3rd picks and picked up some young QB with a Compensatory pick - Mom Grady or something like that. His name eludes me at the moment - Lol.

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So whats your point, take jake long, i hate to break your heart but he will be gone by the #3 pick. Even if he's there, this guy can run block like you would not believe. but pass block not as great especially against speed rushers.

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