KingJBaby Posted October 4, 2010 Share Posted October 4, 2010 Mark Bradley blogGreat read!Mike Mularkey is getting the big heat from a certain segment of Falcons fans. They say he runs the ball up the middle on first down every time. They say he never lets Matt Ryan throw it deep. They say his conservative coordination will keep this team from true greatness.I say this: Mike Mularkey is calling the game pretty much the way Mike Smith wants it called. And Mike Smith is the boss.I went back and checked: In yesterday’s game, the Falcons ran the ball 15 times and attempted to pass 15 times on first down until their final possession started with 1:22 remaining, at which point they were obviously in passing mode. That’s not quite “running up the middle every time.” That is, on the contrary, a pretty fair balance. And let’s also note this:Mike Smith, the boss, is a defensive coordinator by trade. When he and Mularkey consult, isn’t it safe to assume that the boss would say to his deputy, “As a defensive coordinator, this would give me the most trouble?” And isn’t it safe to assume that the thing that most troubles every defensive coordinator is an offense for which there’s no real pattern? (An offense in balance, in other words?)The Falcons ran the ball 29 times against the 49ers. Of those 29, three were Ryan scrambles, meaning called passes. Three more were sacks. Of their 75 offensive snaps, 49 were designed as pass plays. Yes, the Falcons were behind for most of the game, which means they were throwing more. But I fail to see how a coordinator who orders a pass 65.3 percent of the time in a game that ends 16-14 can be labeled a stick-in-the-mud.Do the Falcons want to run the ball? Yes. Is Mularkey a fan of power running? Yes again. But let’s not confuse the Falcons with Georgia Tech. Let’s also note that the Niners were blitzing like mad, and one way to slow the blitz is to run at it. (Another way is to throw a screen pass, but it’s pretty clear Mularkey isn’t a fan of those. Can’t have everything, I guess.)Let’s note that the Falcons are sixth in the NFL in total offense and first in time of possession. Let’s also note that this team is 3-1 this season and 23-14 in Mularkey’s time as coordinator. It might not be the most stylish football you’ve ever seen, but it’s working. And I would think that if fans of any team would be happy to see a return to basics, it would be those who suffered through the four-wideout reign of Jerry Glanville and June Jones.Opinions? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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