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ESPN Chat, Mailbag, and Final Word


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Chat with Pat Yasinskas

dwayne (atl, ga)

hi pat, i wanted to know what you thought about dunta robinson's first performance with the falcons against pittsburgh. in my perspective, although he wasnt flashy or dominant, he did hold his own with the exception of a few crucial receptions by hines ward. also, what needs to be the falcons biggest ajustments coming into week two against arizona. I think the offense, specifically matt ryan and michael turner need to raise it up a notch or two or even three. roddy white was spectacular as usual. thanks for your incite pat.

Pat Yasinskas (12:56 PM)

On Robinson, I'm with you. He did all right. As for the offense, that's the real issue. Falcons have too much offensive talent not to get more production out of it. They've got to establish Turner and let him get his confidence and rhythm back. Also, wouldn't hurt to let Ryan take more shots downfield -- mainly to Harry Douglas.

Matt (Atl)

Is Eric Coleman going to be able to play sunday? His injury may have been the best news I heard all week. He doesnt seem like he can cover plus he was to slow to stop mendenhal.

Pat Yasinskas (1:01 PM)

Haven't heard today's injury update yet. But the fact Coleman's missed some practice could be a sign he won't play. This might be William Moore's chance to step in and claim that job.

J> White (Albany, GA)

It seems as if the Falcons have experienced a role reversal of sorts. The defense played the Steelers tough ( except for Mendenhall play), while the offense looked anemic. Expect anything different against the

Pat Yasinskas (1:09 PM)

I expect Atlanta offense to bounce back in a big way this week. Nobody there is happy about what happened in Pittsburgh. Too much talent for this offense to not be more productive.

Evan (Durham, NC)

Pat, Who is the best coach at rebounding from a loss (in NFCS)?

Pat Yasinskas (1:24 PM)

Let's see what Mike Smith does this Sunday. I suspect Falcons bounce back nicely.

Don (New Orleans)

Is Matt Ryan really an elite quarterback? I know that we are only one week into the season but he looked horrible last week?

Pat Yasinskas (1:32 PM)

He did look bad last week. But it's only one game. The guy has tremendous upside. Let's see how he bounces back.

CC (Atlanta)

Pat -- do the Falcons really have that much offensive talent? We have one threat at WR. Gonzalez has lost a step. Turner looked slow againts Pitt which was his problem last year. Norwood is a tease and the OL is mediocre at best. All this talent you speak of is grossly overrated.

Pat Yasinskas (1:37 PM)

Well, after what we saw last week, you might be right.

Ryan (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Pat, do you think Blank (my boss) was disappointed in my play last week and I'm starting to feel the pressure to perform at an elite level?

Pat Yasinskas (1:58 PM)

I know the real Matt and I'm sure he's putting plenty of pressure on himself.

Atlanta Falcons Fans (Georgia)

Why all the tough love for the Falcons as of late?

Pat Yasinskas (2:00 PM)

They lost an ugly game. I'm not paid to be a cheerleader. If they had won, I would have been singing their praises. I can only work with what they give me

Saturday morning mailbag

September, 18, 2010 Sep 18 7:30 AM ET By Pat Yasinskas

Rum in Avondale, La., writes: After reading your Falcons mailbag -- did you catch Inside The NFL (on Showtime) last night? The guys on the show were ripping Matty Ice and the Falcons for their pitiful performance against the Steelers. You might want to let the Falcon fans know about it so they'll see what others are saying about losing to a 3rd-string QB.

Pat Yasinskas: No, I didn’t happen to catch it, but I’m sure the Falcons got their share of criticism throughout the media. I’m also pretty sure Mike Smith and his staff weren’t going around the building this week saying, “You guys were great in Pittsburgh’’. I’m sure the Falcons took a lot of heat from within this week, and it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back with a strong performance against Arizona.

________________________________________

Amit in Atlanta writes: When will Jerious Norwood get the carries he deserves? He seems to be healthy this year and the few touches he got against the Steelers were more positive than the touches Michael Turner got. Is there any chance Norwood will get at least 10 carries a game that he deserves?

Pat Yasinskas: Norwood is healthy at the moment. But the problem is he’s never been able to stay healthy for very long. I’d like to see him get at least a few more carries, too. But I don’t think the Falcons are ready to give up on Michael Turner and suddenly make Norwood a feature back.

Final Word: NFC South

September, 17, 2010 Sep 17 3:37 PM ET By Pat Yasinskas

The pressure is on Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Mike Mularkey. The Atlanta Falcons finally have put together a respectable defense, so that unit is no longer any easy target for blame after a loss. The offense simply did not get the job done in the season-opening loss to Pittsburgh. When you have players such as Ryan and Turner, there is no excuse for not scoring touchdowns. It’s up to Mularkey, Atlanta's offensive coordinator, to put his guys in position to make big plays. He must play to Ryan’s strengths a bit more and let the quarterback throw the ball downfield. He also must find a way to get Turner, who had 42 yards on 19 carries against the Steelers, going against Arizona. If Atlanta’s offense doesn’t show up for this game, a once-promising season is suddenly going to be in big trouble.

Lofton’s rising. The one positive I took from Atlanta’s opening loss was the play of middle linebacker Curtis Lofton. He said he wants to be more of a leader and make some big plays this year. He showed signs of both against the Steelers. The Falcons will take big plays any way they can get them.

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When you have players such as Ryan and Turner, there is no excuse for not scoring touchdowns. It’s up to Mularkey, Atlanta's offensive coordinator, to put his guys in position to make big plays. He must play to Ryan’s strengths a bit more and let the quarterback throw the ball downfield.

Pat Y. may not be my favorite sports writer, but he's no dummy.

He's spot on with the Mularky criticism.

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I totally agree with Pat! - The Offense has to step up! - MM needs to stop calling BS plays that will only get us 5 yards or less and Matt needs to stop eying down receivers and spread the ball around more!

Like seriously if I see the same stuff we did last week I'm gonna flip the **** out!

From an AJC article:

"1) Has Offense Flat-Lined?

Yes, half the teams in the NFL are 0 and 1 and the panic coupled with overreaction has set in. The Jets, Cowboys, Eagles, and even the Colts joined the Falcons in hitting the Big O’fer in Week 1. However, its hard to imagine a team’s offense with so many wide and deep doubts. A common theme was to blame quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw a terrible interception to one of the best safeties of all time when he had a chance to drive the field and win the game. Upon further review, especially after watching Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez, Ryan didn’t fair that terrible against the Steelers completing over 60% of his passes. Although Ryan may not be solely to blame, he didn’t get it done plain and simple. Michael Turner looked like the best 2009 version with pennies in his cleats and looking in slow-motion. The offensive line did extremely poorly in run blocking and the offense became one dimensional. A common theme keeps coming back to offensive Mike Mularkey. The offense has completely regressed since 2008. After adding Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and having Matt Ryan gain more experience, the offense is stale, predictable, and overall pretty pathetic. In fact, the offense has gotten worse by the minute. Not many teams have a defense on the level of the Steelers, but a serious question remains: has the Falcons offense peaked under Mularkey?"

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We need to find an OC with a killer instinct. Plan and simple. Has Mularkey won any Super Bowls? No and he was with the winningest SB franchise. I'm sorry but you can't point the blame anywhere else. How many of us know the plays called before they are ran? I mean we are your average fan, not professional DC's. When you can stretch the field with players like White, Douglas, and Norwood but you persist on bottling yourself up and pounding Turner, then you get stuck with 9 points and no TDs. The problem in preseason was real and I hope Smitty and TD get in Mularkey's ASSS because this is entirely unacceptable.

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Pat Yasinskas is a tool. All he does is scavenge the AJC and the AP to write his articles.

It's clear that Yasinskas reads widely from various sources, including team beat writers and national sports writers. However, I think he has and can provide insightful information not obtained elsewhere. It's obvious that he has contacts with NFC South team officials and insiders, and that also impacts his opinions and comments. For one example, he said the Falcons were not all that pleased with Eric Coleman's play last season, and were hoping that Moore could claim the starting SS position. He has rather strong opinions about the various players and will voice those opinions clearly, if asked. I think its somewhat refreshing to see negative opinions expressed, when and if merited, rather than always voicing the standard sugar-coated opinions.

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one thing i really agree with pat on is getting the ball to HD more. it is no secret that ryan looks to white and gonzalez every pass play, but we need to target douglas more and then go back to the other guys when they start keying on HD.

more than anything we need to hit the ground running against the cards who gave up yards to a very talented steven jackson last week.

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one thing i really agree with pat on is getting the ball to HD more. it is no secret that ryan looks to white and gonzalez every pass play, but we need to target douglas more and then go back to the other guys when they start keying on HD.

more than anything we need to hit the ground running against the cards who gave up yards to a very talented steven jackson last week.

I'm not saying that ryan dosent go to white and TG a little to much, but he hasent had much to work with either and really is just developing his familiarity with the players around him. HD, I think will definitely help the passing game and the deeper threats. So will having MJ to some extent. The play calling is really an issue as well. When we run max protect with 8 guys protecting, two receivers in routes is not enough. Especially when Matt still dosent have time to throw downfield.

We need more creative offensive playcalling. This offisive system we run is too heavily dependent on the run, now we have to run so I'm not saying that we don't need to. But you can establish a running attack and take shots down the field. MM is treating us like the mid/late 90's steelers that had to run the ball to win. We don't have to run the ball to win. Although running is very important.

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