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My Big Question Today---


Big Rob 64
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TD and AB and MS seem to think that we have the talent to make noise in the playoffs, but the coordinators were holding us back.

That has been a very popular sentiment here for a long time.

I know what our record is, but our defense is not playing up to the talent's ability. We seem to suffer breakdowns defensively which our offense then bails us out of. I do not think that the players are the problem: Van Gorder is. Sloppy tackling is a result of coaching. Lax schemes are the result of coaching. Soft 3-man rushes in clutch situations are inexcusable.

Our defense is far less effective than our talent would indicate it is capable of being. I am not claiming that our defense sucks: an 11-2 record clearly indicates that it is getting the job done for now. But I am very fearful of what a playoff-focused offense may be able to do. Our offense is efficient, effective, versatile, and usually gives our defense a lead to hold--- just barely.

We have the talent. We need--- we deserve--- a better, more aggressive Defensive Coordinator. I would love to see Marvin Lewis take over once he is done in Cincinnati. There are other good candidates. Van Gorder is an ok, an adequate DC. We need better than ok, or adequate.

Look at the date of that post: that was my observation before the Green Bay Debacle. If I could see that the coordinators were a problem in December 2010, why did it take MS, TD, and AB so much longer to see it?

Furthermore, I now have to admit that it is not just the coordinators: our players were coached poorly, and are just not as talented as we believe that are. We have all seen them being physically whipped: that's not just coaching.

Again: if the coordinators are to blame for where we are, why did it take so long for that to be recognized and addressed?

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Guest Gritz

Again: if the coordinators are to blame for where we are, why did it take so long for that to be recognized and addressed?

I think there's a fairly simple and easy answer for this question:

Mularkey and Vangorder were integral parts of a coaching staff that turned an absolute mess of a 2007 Falcon team into a playoff team in the rebound year of 2008.

That resurrection of the Falcons bought both coordinators time. Whether or not it bought them unwarranted or unearned time (and scrutiny) can be honestly and fairly debated.....but I believe that's the answer.

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Gritz, your theory hits the nail on the head. I also believe that since the team wins were increasing, the less consistent players were likewise buying time. Hope it doesn't take so long next season to get off the pot and correct things.

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I think there's a fairly simple and easy answer for this question:

Mularkey and Vangorder were integral parts of a coaching staff that turned an absolute mess of a 2007 Falcon team into a playoff team in the rebound year of 2008.

That resurrection of the Falcons bought both coordinators time. Whether or not it bought them unwarranted or unearned time (and scrutiny) can be honestly and fairly debated.....but I believe that's the answer.

While you're probably right, this rationale is (and was), I believe, a huge mistake.

Also Gritz, you were very critical of me in calling out BVG at that time. Looking back, do you believe we should have cleared out BVG and Mularky after the Green Bay Debacle?

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Guest Gritz

While you're probably right, this rationale is (and was), I believe, a huge mistake.

Also Gritz, you were very critical of me in calling out BVG at that time. Looking back, do you believe we should have cleared out BVG and Mularky after the Green Bay Debacle?

Well yeah, with hindsight you were correct and I was wrong. I have no problem admitting that.

I pretty much consider that 2011 was a wasted year.

Speaking just in practical terms though (about the 2010 season and it's aftermath) it would have been awfully hard to sell getting rid of a coordinator after compiling a 13-3 record and HFA throughout the playoffs.

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Well yeah, with hindsight you were correct and I was wrong. I have no problem admitting that.

I pretty much consider that 2011 was a wasted year.

Speaking just in practical terms though (about the 2010 season and it's aftermath) it would have been awfully hard to sell getting rid of a coordinator after compiling a 13-3 record and HFA throughout the playoffs.

A hard sell to whom?

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Guest Gritz

A hard sell to whom?

C'mon, you know how it goes Rob. If you go 13-3, win your division and get HFA throughout the playoffs how are you going to rationalize to anyone (the sports press, the other coaches on your team, other NFL executives throughout the league, your fans, your players......) getting rid of one or both of your coordinators?

It would have made TD/Blank look like they were mentally ill....or Al Davis/George Steinbrenner......(maybe same thing).

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While you're probably right, this rationale is (and was), I believe, a huge mistake.

Also Gritz, you were very critical of me in calling out BVG at that time. Looking back, do you believe we should have cleared out BVG and Mularky after the Green Bay Debacle?

You don't fire playoff coordinators - even if you are unhappy with them - unless you are sure there are better coordinators available. You sound like we should have just dropped BVG and Mularkey and then started looking around for who they can be replaced with. The reality is the other way around - you look for their replacements first. If no one is available that you think would be better, then you have to hang on to them, right?

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Good post.

I think, just like Gritz, that the answer to your question is, they stayed this long because the really helped build our team to what it is now..

Our team had been consistently good throughout the regular seasons with these coordinators, but it took a couple of years and most importantly, some terrible losses in the playoffs, for the FO to truly recognize that we needed to go in another direction.. Our coordinators helped make this team relevant once again, but as the playoff losses piled up it became more and more apparent that they couldn't take the team any further, regarding the talent level of our players.. Just look at what talent TD provided MM with, when trading up for Julio, yet we saw no real improvement in the offense - instead we actually regressed when it counted the most.

IMO, the next question then becomes: Since we have been saying that the coordinators were more of the problem than the talent of the players, then why are so many people going nuts about not bringing in a big name FA this offseason?? We have already brought in our biggest difference makers, and that is Nolan and Koetter. I understand the worry of loosing both Lofton and Abe, but some signings are still to come. I don't understand why people are panicking just yet..

Edited by niels petersen
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C'mon, you know how it goes Rob. If you go 13-3, win your division and get HFA throughout the playoffs how are you going to rationalize to anyone (the sports press, the other coaches on your team, other NFL executives throughout the league, your fans, your players......) getting rid of one or both of your coordinators?

It would have made TD/Blank look like they were mentally ill....or Al Davis/George Steinbrenner......(maybe same thing).

Know what other message it sends to the players and other coaches? Because those are the only ones that matter. It tells them that results matter, but so does the process. It sends the message that this team cares about playoff wins and championships.

Tell him to quit or be fired--- let him take a college job first then spin it like he is parlaying his "success" into another opportunity. This happens all the time.

But our defense was badly mismanaged at the time, and continued to be mismanaged. Making things right should have been prioritized over an effort make it look like a big ol' happy family.

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Guest Gritz

Gritz, do you always have to make so much freaking sense?? laugh.png

Ask my wife.

When she quits laughing I think you'll have an answer.

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Since we have been saying that the coordinators were more of the problem than the talent of the players, then why are so many people going nuts about not bringing in a big name FA this offseason?? We have already brought in our biggest difference makers, and that is Nolan and Koetter. I understand the worry of loosing both Lofton and Abe, but some signings are still to come. I don't understand why people are panicking just yet..

I didn't want Mario (not that I didn't want him, but I knew he would be too pricey for his production), but rather Nicks or Grubbs, whichever came cheaper.

I also haven't worried or complained about losing Abe and Lofton per se, but rather losing them without having adequately prepared for losing them. That is a lack of planning and preparation that I find inexcusably incompetent.

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Guest Gritz

I also haven't worried or complained about losing Abe and Lofton per se, but rather losing them without having adequately prepared for losing them. That is a lack of planning and preparation that I find inexcusably incompetent.

Well, that ship hasn't sailed out of port completely yet.

In all honesty though I don't have much faith that a Tatupu coming off of major injuries and quite a few seasons from being effective is going to be an adequate substitute for Lofton.....one dimensional as Lofton might be....

and Abraham....crap, who knows? He may very well end up back in Atlanta for a year or two...I must admit the prospect of that doesn't exactly make me tingly with excitement since all that does is kick the can down the road a few more yards....(I.e......possibly no closer to finding his replacement).

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Guest Gritz

That reminds me of the stand up comedian in...well it was either Goodfellas or Scarface when he says "Take my wife.....PLEASE!" laugh.png

Henny Youngman.....one of the all time greats.....

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1) Well, that ship hasn't sailed out of port completely yet.

2) In all honesty though I don't have much faith that a Tatupu coming off of major injuries and quite a few seasons from being effective is going to be an adequate substitute for Lofton.....one dimensional as Lofton might be....

3) and Abraham....crap, who knows? He may very well end up back in Atlanta for a year or two...I must admit the prospect of that doesn't exactly make me tingly with excitement since all that does is kick the can down the road a few more yards....(I.e......possibly no closer to finding his replacement).

1) That ship sailed a long time ago. TD should have already had an adequate replacement plan in place for these two. Did he wake up a couple of weeks ago, get a status report, and suddenly find out that Lofton and Abe were free agents? Their replacements should already have been on last year's roster, if for no other reason than THEY MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN HURT DURING THE SEASON!

2) I have complete faith that Tatupu is done, and that this is yet another in a long line of horribly stupid TD signings.

3) Abraham is on the downside of the hill, and picking up steam as he goes down. I don't particularly want him back, but we should have already had an impact rusher to replace him with.

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What's really funny is that neither MM or BVG were fired and either improved(HC) or in essence made a lateral move(DC/top NCAA program).

Yet, people see the Koetter/Nolan signings(in error) as foresight by TD/MS...or was TD/MS just forced because the cord. bailed on us, not the other way

around. We only fired position coaches.

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What's really funny is that neither MM or BVG were fired and either improved(HC) or in essence made a lateral move(DC/top NCAA program).

Yet, people see the Koetter/Nolan signings(in error) as foresight by TD/MS...or was TD/MS just forced because the cord. bailed on us, not the other way

around. We only fired position coaches.

I really don't believe we would have brought back MM.. This was just the best and most respectable way to part with him.. Our FO aren't ungrateful for what they did to contribute to our teams success, but the situation to for both the Falcons and MM/BVG to go in opposite directions just presented itself, and the Falcons used it to everyones advantage..

BVG said he wanted back to college because he wanted to develop boys - which means he was out of his comfort zone when his group of players here were grown men. That's a challenge he failed to succeed with.. I really don't think he would have been brought back either.

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C'mon, you know how it goes Rob. If you go 13-3, win your division and get HFA throughout the playoffs how are you going to rationalize to anyone (the sports press, the other coaches on your team, other NFL executives throughout the league, your fans, your players......) getting rid of one or both of your coordinators?

It would have made TD/Blank look like they were mentally ill....or Al Davis/George Steinbrenner......(maybe same thing).

Exactly... and who is going to stupid enough to come here when a 13-3 records and HFA gets you the sack?

Any respectable OC or DC wouldn't come anywehere near the franchise if that's how we treat our staff.

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TD and AB and MS seem to think that we have the talent to make noise in the playoffs, but the coordinators were holding us back.

That has been a very popular sentiment here for a long time.

Look at the date of that post: that was my observation before the Green Bay Debacle. If I could see that the coordinators were a problem in December 2010, why did it take MS, TD, and AB so much longer to see it?

Furthermore, I now have to admit that it is not just the coordinators: our players were coached poorly, and are just not as talented as we believe that are. We have all seen them being physically whipped: that's not just coaching.

Again: if the coordinators are to blame for where we are, why did it take so long for that to be recognized and addressed?

You should save and export your Madden franchise, and send it to Flowery Branch as your resume for building winning teams. Don't forget to mention how you went undefeated every single year and signed every pro bowl player available. I'm sure it would be impressive. I'd love to see you build the most awesomest franchise in the world. Oh, and since you're also clairvoyant, can I get the powerball numbers from you?

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I really don't believe we would have brought back MM.. This was just the best and most respectable way to part with him.. Our FO aren't ungrateful for what they did to contribute to our teams success, but the situation to for both the Falcons and MM/BVG to go in opposite directions just presented itself, and the Falcons used it to everyones advantage..

BVG said he wanted back to college because he wanted to develop boys - which means he was out of his comfort zone when his group of players here were grown men. That's a challenge he failed to succeed with.. I really don't think he would have been brought back either.

Classy if true, but in all honesty speculation...other than the BVG part. I can understand your point, but this is my take on that idea.

I agree that MM was not vunerable after the 2010 season but he was in the hunt for a HC job...BVG arguably should have been fired then.

So in retrospect, we went into last season with 2 cord. that were professional about their task but had opportunities waiting almost immediately.

Therefore, TD made the JJ move because of our impending F/A situation and eventual loss of cord. TD went for the homerun last season.

Seems to me we put ourselves in a position to work around our cord. rather them for us.

Boudreau got fired and he didn't draft those players. Likewise, does anyone believe that MS was unhappy with MM/BVG...they did essentially what he

wanted. AB's constituency, the fans, needed to know that they(F/O) knew that MM/BVG were the problems...or are bigger problems still here?

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C'mon, you know how it goes Rob. If you go 13-3, win your division and get HFA throughout the playoffs how are you going to rationalize to anyone (the sports press, the other coaches on your team, other NFL executives throughout the league, your fans, your players......) getting rid of one or both of your coordinators?

It would have made TD/Blank look like they were mentally ill....or Al Davis/George Steinbrenner......(maybe same thing).

It would have also been hard to sell to other coaches coming in for interviews that going 13-3 and being a part of 24 wins versus 8 losses isn't good enough.

The coordinators should have been given another year. When Mularkey continued to run Turner up the middle on 75% of the plays and BVG continued to play Bend don't Break D with the corners off the receivers by 20 yards, it made it apparent that these guys were not going to change to move us forward.

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You should save and export your Madden franchise, and send it to Flowery Branch as your resume for building winning teams. Don't forget to mention how you went undefeated every single year and signed every pro bowl player available. I'm sure it would be impressive. I'd love to see you build the most awesomest franchise in the world. Oh, and since you're also clairvoyant, can I get the powerball numbers from you?

Never played Madden.

I was right. And if you read the linked 2010 thread, I explained exactly why I was right. I didn't just grouse and complain; I explained exactly and specifically why BVG was wholly inadequate to building a winning postseason defense.

I'm not clairvoyant; but unlike your sorry, ignorant know-nothing self, I actually know WTF I'm talking about.

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