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If the Falcons are going to make the playoffs, here is what has to happen


Rev_Hal
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If this team is goiong to truly contend for a championship, here is what has to happen.

1. The pass rush has to improve.

The Falcons pass rush last season was like a group of prarie dogs. Every now and then, it wouls show up for a few seconds. This is the one area that had the greatest impact on our defense last season, and it is the 1 area that the Falcons did not address this offseason. I believe in Dimitroff and Smith, but it make me nervous going into this season with basically the same DL we had last year. I hope Jerry comes back strong.

2. A true #2 receiver has to emerge.

Jenkins was disappointing last season, and no one stepped up to fill the hole created when Douglas got hurt. Our receiving options are White and Gonzo. If we are going to have any real momentum in the passing game, we need to see someone step up and claim that #2 spot. If Douglas is 100% healed from his injury, my money is on him.

3. The running game has to be consistant.

We don't necessarily need 2000 yards out of Turner, but we need to have better consistancy in running the ball. Hopefully Turner's ankle is finally back to fuill strength. Norwood needs to get out of the Chris Chandler mode of constantly being hurt and produce. Snelling has shown that he is a solid backup, and is good enough to give Turner some snaps off in a game if needed. As long as those 3 can stay healthy, we will be fine, but who are we kidding? Norwood can't stay healthy.

I think the secondary and the LB corps are already greatly improved, and hopefully Jerry can make an impact on the DL. If we can perform well in these aspects, I think this team can go deep in the playoffs. We have the capacity for it all to come together, now we need some luck from the Health Fairy.

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I (obviously) agree with number one.

I sort of agree with number two. Jenkins ability to block is great, just wish he caught more balls. That being said, I think having a competent number three is very important. Douglas should do this well (maybe he can emerge as a number two later, just think he needs a full year on the field to prove it, first) which will also take pressure of Gonzo.

As for three, I love norwood, but think he is best utilized in a number of positions from kick returns to slot receiver to wild-cat back (not over-used there, but I think it is a viable strategy) to occasional RB. I think Snelling, while in the same build and style as turner is a great number two back. If anything, fresh legs are always nice. He seems a little more "head down, straight forward" than turner. Not sure he really looks for holes, but instead makes them.

Just my two cents.

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Guest Gritz

I know that you mentioned it towards the end of your post, but the main thing that has to happen is that this roster needs to remain healthy in key spots.

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Preach it Rev!

Pass rush- I do remember too many times hearing the announcers say about opposing QBs " He steps up in the pocket". Falcons have said all along that it was lack of interior pass rush that hurt. Not only have they said it, their actions speak volumes.No new DEs, but DRob to bolster the secondary, Spoon to provide LB coverage/blitzing and Peters for quality Dline depth. I don't think Smith/BVG have had the roster to play the aggressive D they've wanted to; this may be the year.

Lewis is the wild card here- if he can regain the quick first step he had in 07, then the interior Dline is rock solid.

#2 wide receiver- completely agree that HD taking this spot is the best thing for the Falcons. Douglas has an elusiveness that Jenkins just doesn't have. There'd be a lot more YAC with HD, a lot more worried D coordinators with Douglas in that spot.

Would love to see some late round/UDFA magic ala Colston or Welker for the Falcons.

Running game- just stay healthy and everything is fine. Falcons drafted for quality Oline depth the last couple of years- Reynolds, Hawley and Johnson may be the true keys for the running game.

Would love to see Turner catch more passes out of the backfield. It would diversify the O, make DCoordinators even more worried, and lessen the pounding on Turner. He'd be getting tackled by LB & CBs rather than DL and LBs.

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1) You mirrored my opinion on the subject too well. See the hundred posts during the draft.

2) Jenkins-The guy has quite a few thread dedicated to him. He's holding down the fort but after 7 years what you see is what you get. Giving Jenkins a pass because he's a great blocker is like saying Jamarcus Russell is a great place kick holder.

3) As long as the run game does not start out slow I feel very good since Snelling filled in quite well.

4) I am very hopeful that the pass coverage is finally settled but honestly I can't say that I know anything about it until game day. Sure we can all speculate in vanilla training camp offense and preseason but until Week 1 it's just good optimism.

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This is a serious question. I really am interested in knowing.

Many, many poster want to upgrade our #2WR position from Jenkins to someone else.

Different teams have different passing schemes, Dallas goes to the TE first, Baltimore goes to the RB first, etc.

On the Falcons it's WR#1, TE, WR#2.

How does Jenkins stack up against the #3 guys on the other teams?

I knows that if you add #1,#2,#3 together the Falcons place quite high, so if the total is really good why mess with it?

Still I wonder how Jenkins compares to the #3 guys on a one to one basis. They won't all be WRs some will be TEs and some RBs.

Edited by delaigle
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1) Secondary needs to play better

2) We need a better passing attack which means better offensive line plan and better play from Matt Ryan

1)The entire defense must play much better. With the run first attack of the Falcons it will do no good

to eat up 6 minutes marching down the field to score if the other team can throw 4 or 5 passes in 2 minutes and score at a much faster rate.

2) Yes the O-line needs to run block and pass block better. I think Ryan will be OK if they can just give him another second to get the pass off. I think most of his problem has been lack of time due to less than adequate protection. In 08 the defenses the O-line faced were not as good as those in 09 and the O-line did quite well in 08 and so did Ryan. That is why I think just a little more time will do the trick.

Edited by delaigle
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im sorry, but to make the excuse that we should have better play from mj12 to make the playoffs is ridiculous. The times that we have made the playoffs, we got the same or if not close to the same production from jenkins and no one said a word. With the addition of gonzo last year, that took alot of passes away from mj12, and now hopefully with a healthy hd83, thats gonna take even more passes away from mj12 along with everybody else, so mj12's play has nothing to do with us making the playoffs. He could have the same numbers he did last year, and we could end up being 15-0..The whole offense needs to play better. Matt needs to make crisp passes unlike he did last year (miami game) when he underthrew roddy for a sure wide open touchdown. Lets not bash one player without calling out everybody who needs to step up their game.

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im sorry, but to make the excuse that we should have better play from mj12 to make the playoffs is ridiculous. The times that we have made the playoffs, we got the same or if not close to the same production from jenkins and no one said a word. With the addition of gonzo last year, that took alot of passes away from mj12, and now hopefully with a healthy hd83, thats gonna take even more passes away from mj12 along with everybody else, so mj12's play has nothing to do with us making the playoffs. He could have the same numbers he did last year, and we could end up being 15-0..The whole offense needs to play better. Matt needs to make crisp passes unlike he did last year (miami game) when he underthrew roddy for a sure wide open touchdown. Lets not bash one player without calling out everybody who needs to step up their game.

I actually like this

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im sorry, but to make the excuse that we should have better play from mj12 to make the playoffs is ridiculous. The times that we have made the playoffs, we got the same or if not close to the same production from jenkins and no one said a word. With the addition of gonzo last year, that took alot of passes away from mj12, and now hopefully with a healthy hd83, thats gonna take even more passes away from mj12 along with everybody else, so mj12's play has nothing to do with us making the playoffs. He could have the same numbers he did last year, and we could end up being 15-0..The whole offense needs to play better. Matt needs to make crisp passes unlike he did last year (miami game) when he underthrew roddy for a sure wide open touchdown. Lets not bash one player without calling out everybody who needs to step up their game.

So, would you rather have HD or Jenkins as the number 2 wideout?

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If this team is goiong to truly contend for a championship, here is what has to happen.

1. The pass rush has to improve.

The Falcons pass rush last season was like a group of prarie dogs. Every now and then, it wouls show up for a few seconds. This is the one area that had the greatest impact on our defense last season, and it is the 1 area that the Falcons did not address this offseason. I believe in Dimitroff and Smith, but it make me nervous going into this season with basically the same DL we had last year. I hope Jerry comes back strong.

2. A true #2 receiver has to emerge.

Jenkins was disappointing last season, and no one stepped up to fill the hole created when Douglas got hurt. Our receiving options are White and Gonzo. If we are going to have any real momentum in the passing game, we need to see someone step up and claim that #2 spot. If Douglas is 100% healed from his injury, my money is on him.

3. The running game has to be consistant.

We don't necessarily need 2000 yards out of Turner, but we need to have better consistancy in running the ball. Hopefully Turner's ankle is finally back to fuill strength. Norwood needs to get out of the Chris Chandler mode of constantly being hurt and produce. Snelling has shown that he is a solid backup, and is good enough to give Turner some snaps off in a game if needed. As long as those 3 can stay healthy, we will be fine, but who are we kidding? Norwood can't stay healthy.

I think the secondary and the LB corps are already greatly improved, and hopefully Jerry can make an impact on the DL. If we can perform well in these aspects, I think this team can go deep in the playoffs. We have the capacity for it all to come together, now we need some luck from the Health Fairy.

I agree with all 3 points.. Especially # 1.. We need that D-line to get more pressure and actually get the QB down at key times..

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anyone who criticizes matt ryan has to be on drugs, some of you people seem to forget he was on his second year, let me say that again: SECOND YEAR for a qb who had to step in and play since day 1 he is an amazing player, he will continue to get better

for matt ryan is not that he has to step up his game, he just will continue to grow. Those are 2 very different concepts

why are you making excuses for underthrown wide open passes??I understand your fanhood and everything, but dont act like just because matt is in his second year, he gets a free pass for not making passes that a high school QB could make and complete.

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So, would you rather have HD or Jenkins as the number 2 wideout?

its not about who is #2. Its a team game. HD83 will benefit more in the slot anyway, and lets say we do put hd83 in the #2 spot, and he gets the same amount and same yards and same td's as mj12 has done throughout his career, will he get beat down also like mj12 is now?? People fail to realize all the talent we have on the offensive side of the ball, and everyone is not going to get 10 passes per game thrown their way. Roddy will always be first option, Then gonzo..That leaves the scraps for mj12 and hd83..

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:o

I think Ryan will be OK if they can just give him another second to get the pass off. I think most of his problem has been lack of time due to less than adequate protection. In 08 the defenses the O-line faced were not as good as those in 09 and the O-line did quite well in 08 and so did Ryan. That is why I think just a little more time will do the trick.

I am going disagree with the notion that the line was the primary reason Ryan was off target last year. Re-watching all of the games last year revealed an inaccurate Ryan beyond 15 yards and a Ryan that made some bad decisions at times. One such bad decision was in that Washington game when both White and Jenkins were running down the field without a defender within 10 yards of them but he threw into double coverage to Marty Booker. And the notion that we should be a running team is just hog wash. We have the weapons to be a top notch passing offense but we just don't function like one.

Some of this is related to our offensive coordinator but much of it is Ryan. Ryan must realize that you don't have to make a big play on every passing down particularly if you are passing on 1st down. Hopefully Ryan now will effectively use his check down routes to get that 4-5 yard gain as oppose to a sack or incompletion more this year than last year. Norwood and Snelling should have 35-40 catch apiece and the fullback position should have over 20 catches this year.

Edited by peoriabird
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I disagree. We were **** near a playoff team last year with all of the problems that you just mentioned. The only thing that kept us out was our health issues as a team. I think if we stay healthy we will be a playoff team this year and if we manage to do all the things that you listed we just might be a superbowl team.

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every QB underthrows and overthrows some passes, not excuses idiot,why dont u focus on the great passes he made this season? u ignorant critic

sure, im a ignorant critic for pointing out the truth, when you want to cover it up because u let your fanhood get the best of you. Get it through your head, matt was not the most accurate, most stronged arm QB last year. Stop defending the truth. Sure with experience, it will make his game better, but he also needs to work on his game to get us into the playoffs, (which is what this thread is about)..When mj12 drops passes, do u defend him by saying every reciever drops passes??

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im sorry, but to make the excuse that we should have better play from mj12 to make the playoffs is ridiculous. The times that we have made the playoffs, we got the same or if not close to the same production from jenkins and no one said a word. With the addition of gonzo last year, that took alot of passes away from mj12, and now hopefully with a healthy hd83, thats gonna take even more passes away from mj12 along with everybody else, so mj12's play has nothing to do with us making the playoffs. He could have the same numbers he did last year, and we could end up being 15-0..The whole offense needs to play better. Matt needs to make crisp passes unlike he did last year (miami game) when he underthrew roddy for a sure wide open touchdown. Lets not bash one player without calling out everybody who needs to step up their game.

Wait wait wait.... I never said ANYTHING like we missed the playoffs because of Jenkins. I never said anything remotely close to that. What I said is that one of the factors is getting to the playoffs is getting better production from our #2 receiver, which is true.

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Wait wait wait.... I never said ANYTHING like we missed the playoffs because of Jenkins. I never said anything remotely close to that. What I said is that one of the factors is getting to the playoffs is getting better production from our #2 receiver, which is true.

i understand what u said rev, and my response was not related to us missing the playoffs because of jenkins..I was saying that mj12 could have the same exact numbers he had last year, and we could easily go 15-0. If a healthy hd83, jenkins reception total might take a hit, along with roddy and gonzo, so even if mj12 steps up his game, if we are all healthy and everyone is on the field, it wont matter who steps up their game because im sure matt will try to spread the ball out as evenly as he can.

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