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Rich Gosselin interview on 790thezone w/ Brandon Adams about Falcons


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Rich Gosselin may be the most knowledgeable NFL sportswriter in the country - He writes for the Dallas Morning News.

Link to Podcast:

Brandon-Wovy Podcast - Rich Gosselin Interview

This is some snippets of what I recall that Gosselin said:

  • Falcons will win NFC South
    Matt Ryan is the key for Falcons
    Matt Ryan is a franchise QB
    Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco were not asked to do much rookie year
    Both were asked to do more 2nd year and struggled
    Ryan/Flacco both can shoulder production now and will flourish
    1st time Superbowl winners very hard to repeat(Saints)
    mentioned Steelers recently winning SB and missing playoffs the next year
    30+ year old QBs have harder time being successful in playoffs (Brady/Brees mentioned)
    Manning is different
    Jerry Hughes was perfect pick for Colts
    Colts will be better in 2010 than 2009
    Cowboys/Romo emerging
    Cowboys got the no playoff win thing off their back
    Cowboys expect to go to SB this year

Edited by g-dawg
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Brandon Adams punked the Falcons a bit w/ this question for Rich Gosselin:

Adams: "How can you be so confident that the Atlanta Falcons would be ranked ahead of Saints in your power poll when Falcons have a lack of big-time playmakers?"

Gosselin: "Falcons have Matt Ryan who I believe is a franchise QB"

lack of playmakers?

Michael Turner

Roddy White

Tony Gonzalez

Harry Douglas

Jerious Norwood

Hello McFly?

Edited by g-dawg
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Hardly a newsflash since QB is most important position in NFL, but Falcons will go as far as Matt Ryan will take them this year. If Matt plays at level of last two years, the Falcons will not go very far. However, if Matt steps up to be a real threat along the lines of Aaron Rogers, Phillip Rivers, etc - Falcons could go all the way!!!

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Hardly a newsflash since QB is most important position in NFL, but Falcons will go as far as Matt Ryan will take them this year. If Matt plays at level of last two years, the Falcons will not go very far. However, if Matt steps up to be a real threat along the lines of Aaron Rogers, Phillip Rivers, etc - Falcons could go all the way!!!

Matt Ryan made some mistakes, but it wasn't our QB that was holding this team back last year. How about..defense?

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Matt Ryan made some mistakes, but it wasn't our QB that was holding this team back last year. How about..defense?

Yes, I'm not blaming 2009 on Matt Ryan but we were not even close to "ultimate success" last year - and yes the defense will/should be better in 2010.

For Falcons to be an ELITE team, Matt Ryan will have to play at a higher level. I don't even think that's arguable. I do think he will play at this higher level and I do think he is capable - but he must RISE UP - I'm a fan, everyone in my 5 person household has a Matt Ryan jersey.

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Matt Ryan made some mistakes, but it wasn't our QB that was holding this team back last year. How about..defense?

exactly what I was about to say.+1. The defense held us back in 08, and injuries and defense in '09.

Matt is coming along fine, it's not like he has to make leaps and bounds in his play.

Edited by JKH5785
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exactly what I was about to say.+1. The defense held us back in 08, and injuries and defense in '09.

Matt is coming along fine, it's not like he has to make leaps and bounds in his play.

the defense will have to be better - no doubt.

However, this whole "dominant defense" to get to a SuperBowl stuff is ridiculous. Just look at SuperBowl winners and who their QBs are. 85%+ of the time its a team with a flat-out DOMINANT Quarterback. You don't get to 'Da Bowl without a QB playing at an extremely high level. PERIOD.

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the defense will have to be better - no doubt.

However, this whole "dominant defense" to get to a SuperBowl stuff is ridiculous. Just look at SuperBowl winners and who their QBs are. 85%+ of the time its a team with a flat-out DOMINANT Quarterback. You don't get to 'Da Bowl without a QB playing at an extremely high level. PERIOD.

I'm not sure where in this thread you got the idea that people were saying we needed a dominant defense. I didn't say we needed a dominant defense, **** a defense in the top half of league would go far for us. I think Matt is playing alright, he is coming along fine. Matt needs a defense that can put the ball back in his hands and get off the field on 3rd down.

I'm not saying the offense is fine, but I think Matt is maturing well.

Edited by JKH5785
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I'm not sure where in this thread you got the idea that people were saying we needed a dominant defense. I didn't say we needed a dominant defense, **** a defense in the top half of league would go far for us. I think Matt is playing alright, he is coming along fine. Matt needs a defense that can put the ball back in his hands and get off the field on 3rd down.

I'm not saying the offense is fine, but I think Matt is maturing well.

fair enough JKH - your right you did not say defense had to be dominant. You said basically that defense has to be better - and your right, it does.

My point is simply that Matt Ryan has to be better - a lot better - for Falcons to take the next step. I think Matt is poised to take that next step. Bottom-line, Matt has to take his game to another level for Falcons to be SuperBowl contenders - and I think he will do just that.......Matt Ryan must RISE UP.

Combo for most Superbowl teams is a "top 15" defense and a "top 6" QB. Generally if the QB is not dominating, you won't get very far in the postseason. That is my main point.

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fair enough JKH - your right you did not say defense had to be dominant. You said basically that defense has to be better - and your right, it does.

My point is simply that Matt Ryan has to be better - a lot better - for Falcons to take the next step. I think Matt is poised to take that next step. Bottom-line, Matt has to take his game to another level for Falcons to be SuperBowl contenders - and I think he will do just that.......Matt Ryan must RISE UP.

Combo for most Superbowl teams is a "top 15" defense and a "top 6" QB. Generally if the QB is not dominating, you won't get very far in the postseason. That is my main point.

I think your putting way too much emphasis on Matt Ryan having to make a drastic improvement by saying that he has to be "a lot better" and that he "has to take his game to another level for the Falcons to be SuperBowl contenders."

Considering the amount of injuries last year, and the poorer play of some surrounding players, I thought Matty did very well taking his lumps and adjusting to our situation. Winning season with a team that had a below average defense, many injuries, and one of the toughest schedules, I thought Matt played well.

With some of the surrounding players stepping up ie: Jenkins, and the return of HD and a healthy Turner, and hopefully some more creative playcalling, I think he will be fine maturing just as he has.

In 2008 as a Rookie Matt Ryan almost led this team to playoff Victory over the team who ended up being in the SuperBowl. I mean, I think that Matty has to improve, I think that there is always room for improvement when talking about a QB, but I don't think he needs to improve by leaps and bounds. I think he is maturing fine, and with a stronger defense that will put the ball in his hands more every game, I think he we will have a very strong team.

Edited by JKH5785
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I think your putting way too much emphasis on Matt Ryan having to make a drastic improvement by saying that he has to be "a lot better" and that he "has to take his game to another level for the Falcons to be SuperBowl contenders."

Considering the amount of injuries last year, and the poorer play of some surrounding players, I thought Matty did very well taking his lumps and adjusting to our situation. Winning season with a team that had a below average defense, many injuries, and one of the toughest schedules, I thought Matt played well.

With some of the surrounding players stepping up ie: Jenkins, and the return of HD and a healthy Turner, and hopefully some more creative playcalling, I think he will be fine maturing just as he has.

In 2008 as a Rookie Matt Ryan almost led this team to playoff Victory over the team who ended up being in the SuperBowl. I mean, I think that Matty has to improve, I think that there is always room for improvement when talking about a QB, but I don't think he needs to improve by leaps and bounds. I think he is maturing fine, and with a stronger defense that will put the ball in his hands more every game, I think he we will have a very strong team.

I kind of agree with both of you, actually. I don't know that he has to take an extreme leap in progression, but there does seem to be a "wall" between him and the elite quarterbacks. He has to get through that wall and enter the conversation with at LEAST guys like Rivers, Rodgers, Romo, and Schaub.

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fair enough JKH - your right you did not say defense had to be dominant. You said basically that defense has to be better - and your right, it does.

My point is simply that Matt Ryan has to be better - a lot better - for Falcons to take the next step. I think Matt is poised to take that next step. Bottom-line, Matt has to take his game to another level for Falcons to be SuperBowl contenders - and I think he will do just that.......Matt Ryan must RISE UP.

Combo for most Superbowl teams is a "top 15" defense and a "top 6" QB. Generally if the QB is not dominating, you won't get very far in the postseason. That is my main point.

Here are some interesting stats. Over the last 10 Superbowls - the league rankings averaged:

SB Winner

QB Ranking = 10.2

Defense Overall = 10.1

Defense Scoring = 5.4

SB Loser

QB Ranking = 7.1

Defense Overall = 9.9

Defense Scoring = 7.8

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I think your putting way too much emphasis on Matt Ryan having to make a drastic improvement by saying that he has to be "a lot better" and that he "has to take his game to another level for the Falcons to be SuperBowl contenders."

Considering the amount of injuries last year, and the poorer play of some surrounding players, I thought Matty did very well taking his lumps and adjusting to our situation. Winning season with a team that had a below average defense, many injuries, and one of the toughest schedules, I thought Matt played well.

With some of the surrounding players stepping up ie: Jenkins, and the return of HD and a healthy Turner, and hopefully some more creative playcalling, I think he will be fine maturing just as he has.

In 2008 as a Rookie Matt Ryan almost led this team to playoff Victory over the team who ended up being in the SuperBowl. I mean, I think that Matty has to improve, I think that there is always room for improvement when talking about a QB, but I don't think he needs to improve by leaps and bounds. I think he is maturing fine, and with a stronger defense that will put the ball in his hands more every game, I think he we will have a very strong team.

JKH, I think our thoughts are on the same planet but not in the same zip code B)

True, with better offensive line play, better running game production, better play out of WRs not named Roddy White, a healthy Michael Turner, a healthy Jerious Norwood and a healthy Harry Douglas - those things right there should help enhance what Matt Ryan does on the field.

My point is, you don't win SuperBowls w/ 20 TDs passing and 13INTs. You just don't. Here are SuperBowl QBs over last 10 years:

44-Saints(Brees)/Colts(Manning) - 2 dominant QBs

43-Steelers(Rothlisberger)/Cards(Warner) - 2 dominant QBs

42-Giants(E. Manning)/Patriots(Brady) - 1 dominant QB, 1 good QB

41-Colts(Manning)/Bears(Florida Boy) - 1 dominant QB(won), 1 awful QB(lost w/ dominant D)

40-Steelers(Rothlisberger)/Seahawks(Hasselbeck) - 1 good QB(now great), 1 good QB

39-Patriots(Brady)/Eagles(McNabb) - 2 dominant QBs

38-Patriots(Brady)/Panthers(Delhommo) - 1 dominant QB(won), 1 average QB(lost)

37-Bucs(B. Johnson)/Raiders(Gannon) - 1 avg QB w/ great defense(won), 1 dominant QB(that year - lost)

36-Patriots(Brady)/Rams(Warner) - 2 dominant QBs

35-Ravens(Dilfer)/Giants(K. Collins) - 1 avg QB w/ dominant defense(won), 1 avg QB(lost)

34-Rams(Warner)/Titans(McNair) - 1 dominant QB(won), 1 good QB

33-Broncos(Elway)/Falcons(Chandler) - 1 dominant QB(won), 1 good QB

32-Broncos(Elway)/Packers(Favre) - 2 dominant QBs

that is 24 Superbowl participants and 16 of them had dominant QBs the year they went to Superbowl - or basically 2/3 (66.67%). If I go back more years and start including Aikman, Steve Young, Joe Montana - those ratios should go higher....

my point is it takes a dominant qb putting up dominant numbers to win superbowl most years.

Edited by g-dawg
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I kind of agree with both of you, actually. I don't know that he has to take an extreme leap in progression, but there does seem to be a "wall" between him and the elite quarterbacks. He has to get through that wall and enter the conversation with at LEAST guys like Rivers, Rodgers, Romo, and Schaub.

the world is coming to an end - g-dawg is agreeing w/ Sting - LOL! :lol:

I like the way you put this Sting.....right now, Matt Ryan is not at level of those 4 guys and some others - he needs to get there for Falcons to be Superbowl contender. I think he can but he has not done it yet. +1 to Sting.

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JKH, I think our thoughts are on the same planet but not in the same zip code B)

My point is, you don't win SuperBowls w/ 20 TDs passing and 13INTs. You just don't. Here are SuperBowl QBs over last 10 years:

My point is that his numbers last year reflect our injury situation and really hard schedule, I don't believe Matt Ryan regressed at all, he had to overcome injury to himself and others, and a really hard schedule.

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Here are some interesting stats. Over the last 10 Superbowls - the league rankings averaged:

SB Winner

QB Ranking = 10.2

Defense Overall = 10.1

Defense Scoring = 5.4

SB Loser

QB Ranking = 7.1

Defense Overall = 9.9

Defense Scoring = 7.8

stats are stats - i listed out the QBs over last 12 SB. Found that basically 67% (2-of-3) superbowl bound teams had dominant QBs. Many of the teams that did not have dominant QBs had dominant defenses that helped overcome average QB play. Quickest/Easiest way to the SB is to have slightly better than average defense and a dominant QB.

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I kind of agree with both of you, actually. I don't know that he has to take an extreme leap in progression, but there does seem to be a "wall" between him and the elite quarterbacks. He has to get through that wall and enter the conversation with at LEAST guys like Rivers, Rodgers, Romo, and Schaub.

Why does he have to make a leap to Elite in his third year for us to have success?

I wouldn't say Romo is Elite, he finally made it to the playoffs and won a Wildcard game. I definitely wouldn't say Schaub is Elite either, he hasn't taken the Texans to the playoffs at all. So why would say that Matt Ryan has a wall b/t him and those guys???

What's wrong with the board, people are throwing around the word "elite" like it's a frisbee!?

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My point is that his numbers last year reflect our injury situation and really hard schedule, I don't believe Matt Ryan regressed at all, he had to overcome injury to himself and others, and a really hard schedule.

ok.....but my point in not one thread that I have posted here says that I don't think that Matt Ryan can do it "rise to elite QB" - my point has always been that he "has not done it yet" and will have to do so (raise game to higher level).

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I agree that Matt has to improve, he's throwing a few too many INTs for my liking, I also agree that he doesn't have far to go to get up to the next level. I think the biggest thing we need to do is open up the playbook and use the no-huddle a lot more, which from reports is what exactly Mularkey is planning.

Matt's numbers suffered for a number of reasons. While Snelling was great, D coordinators didn't have to gameplan for him, losing Turner and Norwood really changed coverages making it harder for our WRs to get open. losing HD, our speedy slot threat didn't help either. I believe the lack of a homerun threat in the running game made Matt have to force more throws, which in turn caused More INTs. Not having to account for Turner, the coverage caused our WRs to get smothered, leading to all those throwaways that killed Matt's comp percentage. It was a perfect storm of injuries, predictable playcalling, and the inability to make the big play that really hurt our O, and yet we still managed to pull out 9 wins. We have a lot to look forward to.

Edited by paulitik
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I agree that Matt has to improve, he's throwing a few too many INTs for my liking, I also agree that he doesn't have far to go to get up to the next level. I think the biggest thing we need to do is open up the playbook and use the no-huddle a lot more, which from reports is what exactly Mularkey is planning.

Matt's numbers suffered for a number of reasons. While Snelling was great, D coordinators didn't have to gameplan for him, losing Turner and Norwood really changed coverages making it harder for our WRs to get open. losing HD, our speedy slot threat didn't help either. I believe the lack of a homerun threat in the running game made Matt have to force more throws, which in turn caused More INTs. Not having to account for Turner, the coverage caused our WRs to get smothered, leading to all those throwaways that killed Matt's comp percentage. It was a perfect storm of injuries, predictable playcalling, and the inability to make the big play that really hurt our O, and yet we still managed to pull out 9 wins. We have a lot to look forward to.

sweet avatar paulitik...

agree w/ a lot of what you say here. Injuries, max protection, one man routes, inability to protect Matt in the pocket, lack of homerun threat in running game, Matt's injury - there were many factors that contributed to Matt's "so-so" sophmore year.

I'm very, very bullish on Matt Ryan - his future, and his ability to become an elite player. My main point though is because Matt has gotten so many accolades - especially his rookie year - many of us sometimes forget that Matt really has not dominated yet on the NFL level. We all have "seen enough" in this kid's poise, his work ethic, his smarts, intangibles that we think he will become elite - and I think it - but he's not there yet - that comes w/ results on field and consistency. As hopefully the team stays healthier, the protection gets better and Mike Mularkey opens up the offense(hope this happens!!!) - then Matt will have his chance to shine like we all think he can.

I would like to see 28TDs,10INTs, 66% completions with 4,000 yds. Statistically that is what I think a dominant QB should produce. That would mean this would be an average stat-line per game:

QB standard for Elite Play (G-Dawg's Opinion)

20-30, 250yds, 1.8TDs, 0.625Ints per game......

Obviously most importantly when the game is on the line Matt has to produce but I think the above is what a dominant QB should be able to produce on average. I'm not expecting Matt to perform at Brees/Manning levels right now but those levels are higher than the above.

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Brandon Adams punked the Falcons a bit w/ this question for Rich Gosselin:

Adams: "How can you be so confident that the Atlanta Falcons would be ranked ahead of Saints in your power poll when Falcons have a lack of big-time playmakers?"

Gosselin: "Falcons have Matt Ryan who I believe is a franchise QB"

lack of playmakers?

Michael Turner

Roddy White

Tony Gonzalez

Harry Douglas

Jerious Norwood

Hello McFly?

3 out of 5 aint bad...theres no way norwood has been a big time playmaker,he should be,but he hasnt,and hd has promise but, hasnt proven anything as far as being consistent since hes only played one year,and it wasnt last year...i like your posts,but i had to call you out on this one :o

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sweet avatar paulitik...

agree w/ a lot of what you say here. Injuries, max protection, one man routes, inability to protect Matt in the pocket, lack of homerun threat in running game, Matt's injury - there were many factors that contributed to Matt's "so-so" sophmore year.

I'm very, very bullish on Matt Ryan - his future, and his ability to become an elite player. My main point though is because Matt has gotten so many accolades - especially his rookie year - many of us sometimes forget that Matt really has not dominated yet on the NFL level. We all have "seen enough" in this kid's poise, his work ethic, his smarts, intangibles that we think he will become elite - and I think it - but he's not there yet - that comes w/ results on field and consistency. As hopefully the team stays healthier, the protection gets better and Mike Mularkey opens up the offense(hope this happens!!!) - then Matt will have his chance to shine like we all think he can.

I would like to see 28TDs,10INTs, 66% completions with 4,000 yds. Statistically that is what I think a dominant QB should produce. That would mean this would be an average stat-line per game:

QB standard for Elite Play (G-Dawg's Opinion)

20-30, 250yds, 1.8TDs, 0.625Ints per game......

Obviously most importantly when the game is on the line Matt has to produce but I think the above is what a dominant QB should be able to produce on average. I'm not expecting Matt to perform at Brees/Manning levels right now but those levels are higher than the above.

I agree, Matt isn't quite elite yet, but he is clearly on the path. He definitely has the intangibles: the work ethic, the determination to win, clutch play ability. That's what these rival fans don't get, they look at the numbers. We look at the first pass, 11 seconds against Chicago, the game winner against the Jets amidst a flurry of snowballs.

I'm with you on the TD to INT ratio. around 3-1 would be ideal. But honestly, if he can stay a little above 2-1, 30 TDs, 14 INTs, and at least a 60%-63% completion rate, I will be pretty pleased. I think 66% completion is a little high to expect in Mularkey's system. I think if we had a conventional West Coast Offense, I think we'd see numbers similar to that. It's ironic, I think the system we used for Vick, Matt would have thrived in, and I think Vick's talents would have been great for Mularkey's system (if he had a work ethic).

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I think people would agree you need a top 10 QB to compete, regardless of your definition of elite.

Top 10 last year was basically 95 QB rating, 8 yards per attempt, 4200 yards, 30 TD, 10 INTs.

Top 8 was similar, with higher yards, and QB rating of 98.

So, if most agree he needs to be top 10 for competitiveness, it looks roughly like

4200-4500 yards, 65+% completion percentage, 30 TD, 10 INT, 8+ yards per attempt.

I think he can come in slightly under that, but the bar is high for modern day QBs. What seems like an "elite" year, just gets you into 8th or 7th place.

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