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Mike Mularkey: Falcons Won’T Force Deep Passes


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Mike Mularkey: Falcons won’t force deep passes

6:57 am September 14, 2011, by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson, in a column on foxsports.com, called for the Falcons to open up their offensive attack.

“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,” Johnson wrote. “They have to find a way to get Roddy White deep and find more ways to create something big.”

The Falcons also made a big 5-for-1 draft-day trade to move up 21 spots to draft the fleet Julio Jones with the hopes of adding more explosive plays to the offense. In the 30-12 defeat against the Chicago Bears, the Falcons did not challenge the Bears cover-two zone defense deep down the field.

The tried to attack by throwing underneath. The Falcons were hoping their receivers could take the short passes and then beat defenders up the field. The Bears did a good job of tackling and keeping the Falcons in front of them.

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

Falcons offensive coordiantor Mike Mularkey and quarterback Matt Ryan opened the game against the Bears in the no-huddle attack.

“I don’t know what that means,” Mularkey said when asked if the 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 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, who caught three 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.

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I don't understand.

Supposedly we have this awesome ground attack that makes teams put 8 in the box.

There are teams like the GB Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, SD Chargers, all of which have crappy run games, and they get it down the field regularly.

The Falcons have a Pro Bowl QB, WR, TE, RB, FB, and a guy apparently worth an entire draft of picks, yet we aren't gonna force the issue?

Oh gawd.

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Force the issue, you SOB! We traded away half a draft worth of picks for Julio, got rid of Jenkins, and added another RB; yet, you say we don't want to force the issue? In essence, take what they give us? We may as well have held onto those picks and kept Jenkins.

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I don't understand.

Supposedly we have this awesome ground attack that makes teams put 8 in the box.

There are teams like the GB Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, SD Chargers, all of which have crappy run games, and they get it down the field regularly.

The Falcons have a Pro Bowl QB, WR, TE, RB, FB, and a guy apparently worth an entire draft of picks, yet we aren't gonna force the issue?

Oh gawd.

We may have just witnessed the beginning of the end for Mularkey.

If that's true then I'm happy Mularkey just admitted that he will now be wearing a frilly sun dress on game day.

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Well he's absolutely right that you take what the defense gives you. If it's Cover 2, the underneath and the out routes are vulnerable. If you're chewing up yards, the defense has to adjust, the safeties have to come in, and the deep passing game opens up. That said, Mularkey is not showing much imagination in the playcalling to make that happen. With Roddy/Julio/TD/Douglass on the field, there should always be a play so long as the OLine doesn't completely collapse.

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This offense was fading the second half of last season. People didn't much care because the Falcons were winning, but this contraction of the field is gonna kill this offense.

....and if Mularkey's supposed justification is that in opening up the offense it will result in more turnovers.....This just in Mularkey....Matt Ryan only-last 2 games-1 TD pass, 5 turnovers.......

Old golfing cliche-"Never up, never in."

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I'll wait and see how this plays out but I'm starting to think all this "explosive" chest thumping talk the Falcons did all off season combined with a offense that absolutely refuses to throw the ball more than 10-15 yards down the field won't sit well with the fans.. Listening to the comments on the radio every single person asked "What about this explosive offense we were supposed to have."

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I'll wait and see how this plays out but I'm starting to think all this "explosive" chest thumping talk the Falcons did all off season combined with a offense that absolutely refuses to throw the ball more than 10-15 yards down the field won't sit well with the fans.. Listening to the comments on the radio every single person asked "What about this explosive offense we were supposed to have."

You know what else Mama? The smart azz cynic in me thinks that part of this "explosive offense" crap being spouted by the Falcons was done hand in hand with the Marketing Dept. to generate a little more excitement and interest in the Falcons....

Think about it....flameout against the Packers, lockout......hmmmmm, what can we do/say to get interest back up in the Falcons?

EXPLOSION! Everybody loves explosion!

I'll believe it when I see it. Mularkey's comments don't exactly make me think it's coming anytime soon.

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Well he's absolutely right that you take what the defense gives you. If it's Cover 2, the underneath and the out routes are vulnerable. If you're chewing up yards, the defense has to adjust, the safeties have to come in, and the deep passing game opens up. That said, Mularkey is not showing much imagination in the playcalling to make that happen. With Roddy/Julio/TD/Douglass on the field, there should always be a play so long as the OLine doesn't completely collapse.

Agreed. The answer here is somewhere in the middle ground. Mularky is completely correct and justified in saying that they do not want to force the ball. While this is true there certainly needs to be more imaginative play calling to adjust for what the D is doing. The O was clearly looking for a jump start.

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I'll wait and see how this plays out but I'm starting to think all this "explosive" chest thumping talk the Falcons did all off season combined with a offense that absolutely refuses to throw the ball more than 10-15 yards down the field won't sit well with the fans.. Listening to the comments on the radio every single person asked "What about this explosive offense we were supposed to have."

I'm in a wait and see mode as well since this is only week two but, improvements to the offense simply must happen or we won't make the playoffs. The offensive line was horrible last week and forced Matt to run for his life most of the game giving Chicago a physical edge. Mularkey has to find a way to get our receivers into space where they can do some damage. We simply cannot repeat the same effort offensively and hope to win against Philly and if Mularkey's seat isn't hot enough already it will be if we lose this Sunday.

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