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Falcons Team Report


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Falcons Team Report

Yahoo! Sports 6 minutes ago

INSIDE SLANT

On draft-day, the Falcons made headlines with a bold 5-for-1 trade with the Cleveland Browns.

In the deal, the Falcons moved up 21 spots in the first round to select Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones(notes). The big receiver who surprised with his explosiveness at the Scouting Combine was expected to add fuel to their attack as a complement to Roddy White(notes) and Tony Gonzalez(notes).

In the Falcons’ season-opener, Matt Ryan(notes) elected not to throw any deep pass in the sub-4.4 receiver’s direction.

Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson, in a column on foxsports.com, called for the Falcons to stop throwing the ball underneath.

“I don’t think the Falcons can keep throwing the ball underneath like they did against the Bears and expect to win in the long run,” Jones wrote. “They have to find a way to get Roddy White deep and find more ways to create something big.”

Falcons’ offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey defended his attack. He clearly doesn’t want quarterback Matt Ryan forcing the ball into coverage.

“I don’t know what that means,” Mularkey said when asked if they offense could be more aggressive. “When they’ve got guys down there and they are taking away the deep ball; you throw it underneath. You can force it down there and turn the ball over more possibly, which we obviously don’t want to do.”

Mularkey did say he was surprised about the number of check-down passes that quarterback Matt Ryan threw.

“There were a number of times where we tried to get the ball deep, but that’s Tampa-2,” Mularkey said. “That’s the scheme of things and that’s probably the most check downs that I can remember that I’ve ever been involved with.”

Mularkey thought running back Michael Turner(notes), who caught four passes for 40 yards, did a job when he was the check-down receiver.

The Falcons are going to remain selective when throwing deep passes.

“We are trying to get them down there, but we are not going to force the issue,” Mularkey said.

NOTES, QUOTES

The defense finished 22nd against the pass last season and gave up 312 yards to Jay Cutler(notes). There were way too many breakdowns in coverage. Wide receiver Roy Williams was left wide open on one early third down. He led the Bears with eight catches for 61 yards. If the Falcons couldn’t account for Williams in coverage, what are they going to do this week with Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson(notes)?

The Falcons missed several tackles against the Bears. The unit’s yards after contact numbers are normally very low, but the Bears rambled through the entire defense on two screen pass plays.

The team doesn’t practice tackling much and is allowed only one padded practice a week.

Running back Michael Turner caught a career-high 12 passes for 85 yards last season. Against the Bears, he caught three passes for 40 yards, including a 20-yarder.

It was the second-longest pass play of his career. He caught a 30-yarder back in 2006 when he was with the San Diego Chargers.

Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury(notes), who was inactive for 10 games last season, played a lot in the second half against the Bears and registered a sack.

He almost had a sack and safety, but Bears quarterback Jay Cutler barely got the pass off.

“I had a good shot at him,” Sidbury said. “It was a good call. I wish he would have held it a little bit longer. That would have been a big play to help the team out. It didn’t happen so I just had to move on.”

Sidbury, who was slowed by an ankle injury during the exhibition season, is hoping to take the snaps in the defensive end rotation that used to go Chauncey Davis(notes), who was released.

“Coach (Brian) VanGorder and coach (Ray) Hamilton like to keep guys fresh so all of us are going to play,” Sidbury said. “When it’s my time to go in, I have to make something happen.”

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

Player Notes

WR Roddy White led the team with eight catches for 61 yards in the season opener at Chicago.

TE Tony Gonzalez led the team with 72 yards on five catches at Chicago. He became the NFL’s active leader in career receptions with 1,074.

WR Julio Jones made his first career start and caught five passes for 71 yards at Chicago.

QB Matt Ryan completed 31 of 47 pass attempts for 319 yards at Chicago, marking the fifth time in his career that he has throw for more than 300 yards.

RB Michael Turner had 10 rushes for 100 yards against the Bears.

FB Ovie Mughelli(notes), who became the first fullback in team history to be selected to the Pro Bowl, left the game against the Bears with a knee injury.

DT Jonathan Babineaux(notes) is out three to five weeks with a partially torn MCL ligament in his knee. The injury will not immediately require surgery, but he may want to have one after the season.

DT Corey Peters(notes), who missed the opener with a knee injury, may return this week. He’s been out for four weeks.

C Brett Romberg(notes) has played in 46 career games with 19 starts. He saw action in 10 games with the Falcons in 2009 on special teams and as a reserve center and right guard.

C Rob Bruggeman(notes), who spent the entire 2010 season on the Falcons’ practice squad, was waived.

CB Kelvin Hayden(notes), who didn’t play in the opener against the Bears, is expected to be put on the fast track this week.

Report Card Vs . BEARS

Passing Offense: C—The offense move the ball through the air, but three drives were stoped by turnovers. The Falcons had four plays that went for 20 yards or more. Rookie wide receiver Julio Jones had receptions of 32 and 28 yards. Tight end Tony Gonzalez had a 30-yard catch and running back Michael Turner had a 20-yard reception. Roddy White led the team with eight catches.

Rushing Offense: C—RB Michael Turner had a 53-yard run and amassed 100 yards on 10 carries. But the running game was rendered moot as the Bears built a big lead.

Pass Defense: F—Players were out of position and could not get off the field on third downs. Look for the team to speed up the integration of recently acquired cornerback Kelvin Hayden and safety James Sanders(notes).

Rush Defense: C—Chicago’ Mo Forte was held to 68 yards on 16 carries, but had a long run of 27 yards. Overall, the Bears were held to 88 yards on 27 carries. However, there were several missed tackles in the open field.

Special Teams: B—Rookie Matt Bosher(notes) averaged 38.4 yards on five punts. He kicked two of his four kickoffs into the end zone and had one touchback. The coverage units bottled up Devin Hester(notes).

Coaching: F—The team was not prepared to play some good old-fashioned Black and Blue division football. The defense’s tackling was simply abysmal. The offensive line got man-handled when the Bears went on the attack and the secondary blew too many coverages. The coaches have to share some of the blame for the team not being ready for the opener.

Edited by falcon057
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“We are trying to get them down there, but we are not going to force the issue,” Mularkey said.

Which is exactly how they should play it.

If it is there go deep but if its not hit the open receiver.

You keep getting good gains on short passes eventually it will open up down field if your qb has time to get it down field.

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What's that word for doing the same thing over and over expecting different results? <_<

Insanity...

In the Falcons’ season-opener, Matt Ryan(notes) elected not to throw any deep pass in the sub-4.4 receiver’s direction.

Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson, in a column on foxsports.com, called for the Falcons to stop throwing the ball underneath.

“I don’t think the Falcons can keep throwing the ball underneath like they did against the Bears and expect to win in the long run,” Jones wrote. “They have to find a way to get Roddy White deep and find more ways to create something big.”

Falcons’ offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey defended his attack. He clearly doesn’t want quarterback Matt Ryan forcing the ball into coverage.

“I don’t know what that means,” Mularkey said when asked if they offense could be more aggressive. “When they’ve got guys down there and they are taking away the deep ball; you throw it underneath. You can force it down there and turn the ball over more possibly, which we obviously don’t want to do.”

Mularkey did say he was surprised about the number of check-down passes that quarterback Matt Ryan threw.

“There were a number of times where we tried to get the ball deep, but that’s Tampa-2,” Mularkey said. “That’s the scheme of things and that’s probably the most check downs that I can remember that I’ve ever been involved with.”

Mularkey thought running back Michael Turner(notes), who caught four passes for 40 yards, did a job when he was the check-down receiver.

The Falcons are going to remain selective when throwing deep passes.

“We are trying to get them down there, but we are not going to force the issue,” Mularkey said.

We did turn the ball over MM and it was on your vintage roll-out play.

What the heck does it mean to have one of the best WR in the game and you don't allow him nor the QB to take a chance?

But MM is surprised about the number of checkdowns?

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My positive outlook:

The Falcons missed several tackles against the Bears. The unit’s yards after contact numbers are normally very low, but the Bears rambled through the entire defense on two screen pass plays.

The team doesn’t practice tackling much and is allowed only one padded practice a week.

That's a terrible fact to deal with but I think an area that will improve. Spoon is inexperienced and DRob missed a lot of practice so some of the bad play can be explained and improved. Ray Edwards is still trying to find his way w/o much practice as well.

My only concern in the game was the missed ints...the "D" has to be opportunistic and reward their good play.

Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury(notes), who was inactive for 10 games last season, played a lot in the second half against the Bears and registered a sack.

He almost had a sack and safety, but Bears quarterback Jay Cutler barely got the pass off.

Very positive game I thought from the front 4. ABE led the way, but impressed by the play of Sid and KB, who will be effective in rotation.

The "D", the running game, and receptions by MT were the positives I took away from Sun. loss to Chi.

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“We are trying to get them down there, but we are not going to force the issue,” Mularkey said.

Which is exactly how they should play it.

If it is there go deep but if its not hit the open receiver.

You keep getting good gains on short passes eventually it will open up down field if your qb has time to get it down field.

So are you implying that the deep ball is never there? Last season we were piss poor in plays over 20 yards and it looks like itll be much of the same this season. What a crock. Sometimes you just have to let the receiver go up and get it, you know, how Brady does...

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The offense looked a lot different against the Bears. I feel like this is a similar situation to when a team changes offensive coordinators. It usually takes some time to get used to the new system. Obviously(and hopefully), it shouldn't take as long to adjust because hasn't been a change of coordinators. But it does seem like we're in for a few games worth of growing pains.

As long as everything starts clicking quick enough to make th playoffs then I'm happy. It's just unfortunate we don't play any pushover teams early on to help us work out the kinks.

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The offense looked a lot different against the Bears. I feel like this is a similar situation to when a team changes offensive coordinators. It usually takes some time to get used to the new system. Obviously(and hopefully), it shouldn't take as long to adjust because hasn't been a change of coordinators. But it does seem like we're in for a few games worth of growing pains.

As long as everything starts clicking quick enough to make th playoffs then I'm happy. It's just unfortunate we don't play any pushover teams early on to help us work out the kinks.

That's the same "O" we've run since MM got here. :huh:

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I hate the quote from Mularkey about not forcing the issue.

To me that means he doesn't trust Ryan, White, Jones or Douglas to make a play.

It also means that all of this talk about more "explosion" on offense is a load of bullsh*t.

....and Mularkey's questioning of Jimmy Johnson's comments:

One question for ya Mularkey...How many rings do you have and how many does Jimmy have?

That's what I thought.

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I hate the quote from Mularkey about not forcing the issue.

To me that means he doesn't trust Ryan, White, Jones or Douglas to make a play.

It also means that all of this talk about more "explosion" on offense is a load of bullsh*t.

....and Mularkey's questioning of Jimmy Johnson's comments:

One question for ya Mularkey...How many rings do you have and how many does Jimmy have?

That's what I thought.

No Nutz No Glory.

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I hate the quote from Mularkey about not forcing the issue.

To me that means he doesn't trust Ryan, White, Jones or Douglas to make a play.

It also means that all of this talk about more "explosion" on offense is a load of bullsh*t.

....and Mularkey's questioning of Jimmy Johnson's comments:

One question for ya Mularkey...How many rings do you have and how many does Jimmy have?

That's what I thought.

Mularkey only wants to take what defenses give him...

He wouldnt know how to impose himself or the offense as a whole on the other team. I dont think he trusts Ryan and i think its starting to show through in Ryans play.

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Rush defense and rush offense both deserve A grades. 100 yards rushing on 10 carries against the Bears, a top ranked rush d from last year, is an A performance. And limiting the Bears to 88 yards on 27 carries is an A as well. They averaged just over 3 yards per carry.

Pass D, coaching, and ST's were horrible.

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Even against Tampa 2 there are opportunities to throw it deep.

Impose your will on the other team by forcing the throws deep, even if only to get a PI on thier defense.

Back thier defensive rush off by running screens.

Try more 7 step drops instead of these 3 and 5 step drops which usually lead to quicker released short passes anyway.

We've got great athletic, fast receivers in White and Jones, give them some cleared out underneath routes where matt can hit them on the run, thereby creating more YAC and the explosive plays we've been looking for.

Sigh....Mularky is playing checkers. I'm not sure if there's any hope for him.

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Rush defense and rush offense both deserve A grades. 100 yards rushing on 10 carries against the Bears, a top ranked rush d from last year, is an A performance. And limiting the Bears to 88 yards on 27 carries is an A as well. They averaged just over 3 yards per carry.

Pass D, coaching, and ST's were horrible.

I'll agree with you about the rush defense and rush offense, but I thought the special teams played very well also. Bryant nailed both his field goals, Bosher had a decent punt and kickoff average, and the special teams coverage units contained Hester fairly well. The B grade given was pretty spot on. Yes, Weems, made several poor choices, but I don't know if that drags the entire ST unit down to "horrible."

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The Falcons missed several tackles against the Bears. The unit’s yards after contact numbers are normally very low, but the Bears rambled through the entire defense on two screen pass plays.

The team doesn’t practice tackling much and is allowed only one padded practice a week.

WTH :o is this normal ? We are playing football not taking ballerina lessons.

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