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Matt Ryan And The Falcons' Offense Make Strides


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Following article was published over the weekend, but I couldn't see where it was ever posted on this Message Board:

Atlanta Falcons 6:33 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2012

Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offense make strides

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FLOWERY BRANCH — For the first time in Matt Ryan’s NFL career he faces a major fundamental change in how the Falcons will operate on offense.

Some applauded the departure of former coordinator Mike Mularkey, but it’s hard to argue that he presented Ryan with a formula that led to instant success, three trips to the playoffs, one trip to the Pro Bowl and a franchise-record passing mark last season.

Under Mularkey, Ryan posted a 43-19 regular-season record, but 0-3 in the playoffs.

That’s part of the reason why coach Mike Smith was extremely careful in selecting a new coordinator in Dirk Koetter. He believes that if the quarterback/coordinator relationship doesn’t work, the entire operation and possibly the team could implode.

It also must be noted that in 2012, Ryan will work with his third position coach. After working with quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave for two seasons, he had Bob Bratkowski last season. Glenn Thomas was promoted to the spot this season.

“Matt is going through a process,” Smith said. “The relationship between the coordinator and the quarterback is one that probably needs to be the strongest one on the football team. I know that Dirk has worked with Matt as well as with Glenn.”

Upon conclusion of the offseason program Thursday, Smith was pleased with the first steps taken by Ryan and Koetter, who coached for one year (2007) with Smith in Jacksonville.

“Matt, I think, has really progressed,” Smith said. “I think you can see it physically that he’s bigger. I think his arm strength is much-improved from the first four years.”

Koetter and Ryan have spent a lot of time together in order to make sure that they get on the same page with the new offensive attack.

Some of the major differences in the passing attack will be more vertical routes with an emphasis on getting the ball to receivers on the move. Also, the team will implement a package heavy in screen passes.

Koetter and Ryan’s meetings have been fruitful.

“Matt will look you in the eye and tell you how he sees it ...,” Koetter said. “By the same token, I can tell him what I think, what I see and what the coaching staff sees. He takes coaching well, but he also gives good feedback.”

Ryan notes that there are some key differences from Mularkey’s attack.

“We are still so early in the installation part of it that we are still on the basics,” Ryan said.

“We are ironing out some things that he likes and things that we’ve done well here in the past.”

On the first day of minicamp, the offense struggled as the defense, under new coordinator Mike Nolan, unleashed a flurry of stunts and blitzes. They offense was bogged down and there were signs of frustration.

In part, that was by design.

“It hasn’t been like the last few years, where Matt knows when he comes out here that the defense is going to install this coverage,” Smith said. “It’s been a little bit more of a chess match between the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator because it’s the first time that they’ve worked together in terms of how we install our offense and defense. This is the first sequence that we had to do it as a new staff.

“That’s always an interesting dynamic, not only for the coaches, but for the players.”

Koetter welcomed the assortment of looks from Nolan.

“Coach Nolan has been giving us a bunch of tough looks defensively — a lot of the problems that you’re going to face during the season, our defense has been showing us those problems,” Koetter said. “That’s great when you see it in practice, so now you’re not seeing it for the first time live.”

During the second minicamp practice Wednesday, the offense was on fire. Ryan was drilling passes to wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. He was cutting up the defense with shots to backup tight ends LaMark Brown and Tommy Gallarda.

It was a dizzying passing display that drew raucous roars from the crowd on the hill and caused White to contend that it was the best practice in the past three seasons.

“I feel good,” Ryan said. “I’ve worked hard this offseason. I feel like I’m in good shape and I felt really good out there during OTAs and minicamp. There is still some time before training camp. There is still time to work hard, to improve ourselves, and I think that everybody has got that mindset.”

Despite tight end Tony Gonzalez missing minicamp because of a death in his family, Ryan felt the offseason workouts were very important in order to help Jones continue to develop.

Jones was all over the field catching passes on the run, putting his hand down on grass to balance himself at times, while still running near top speed.

“He’s had an opportunity to work with our receivers coach Terry Robiskie without the stress of a week during the season and without a game plan,” Ryan said. “He can really just work on technique. Work on route-running and try to understand our offense a little more in depth.”

White has witnessed the give-and-take between Koetter and Ryan and believes that the relationship is headed in the right direction.

“Dirk has made it easy,” White said. “He has things that he’d like to do. We have some things that we like to do, and he just put it together and we’re rolling. Everybody has brought into the system. We are going to just keep rolling.”

http://www.ajc.com/s...he-1463314.html

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I hope the change in philosophy on both sides of the ball really does focus on the strengths of our players. I am one of the biggest Mularkey haters in the world, but not because he's a terrible coach, it's because he's stubborn as heck. A good coordinator gets the most out of the players he has, not squeeze the players he has into some "canned" scheme. Mularkey was way too caught up on running the plays that had worked in the past and never seemed to value player input as much as he should, resulting in a pretty predictable offense that at times felt like it was successful despite itself.

Van Gorder... we'll let's just say his porno 'stashe was his best attribute - he was in over his head.

Here's hoping that all the things we're hearing from Koetter and Nolan about focusing on the "strengths of the players we have" really does pan out, because while this team does have some roster flaws, it's pretty dang talented across the board - we have a scary amount of speed on both sides of the ball... Should at the very least be an exciting year!

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From the article:

" Also, the team will implement a package heavy in screen passes."

I knew Atlanta was finally incorporating screen passes into its offense, but I didn't realize that screens might become a big part of the Falcons offense.

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great read thanks. i gave up on Mularkey when he was asked during a press conference why dont we run more screens.

His reaction "Well we dont do screens in games because we are not very good at them"

Thats what practice is for u freaking moron!

I believe he also has said "That's not what we do."

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From the article:

"Some of the major differences in the passing attack will be more vertical routes with an emphasis on getting the ball to receivers on the move."

Sure will be good to see some slants and crossing-paterns, rather than all the curls, come-backs, and sideline passes that we've been seeing.

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Can we see a game or two first, before planning the parade route?

Did anyone say ANYTHING about winning a Superbowl, or even how many games we'll win this year?

Just basic comments above about how things might be different....nothing to deserve the typical dookie downer attitude you love to play.

Take a seat on this one MF, go get laid or something.

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Did anyone say ANYTHING about winning a Superbowl, or even how many games we'll win this year?

Just basic comments above about how things might be different....nothing to deserve the typical dookie downer attitude you love to play.

Take a seat on this one MF, go get laid or something.

Is it true your birth certificate is a lawsuit against a condom manufacturer?

Maybe you should stop fretting over what someone else is saying and offer a few ideas of your own. Pretty phoney to come down on someone over your perception of their being a downer.

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This is the part that's going to elevate the players game, especially Matt's,

“It hasn't been like the last few years, where Matt knows when he comes out here that the defense is going to install this coverage,” Smith said. “It’s been a little bit more of a chess match between the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator because it’s the first time that they've worked together in terms of how we install our offense and defense."

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I just have a feeling we are going to surprise the the NFL, and change the tune of many naysayer's. This is a process, and I for one like the direction the team is headed.

Nolan is going to make the D better, and @ the same time the O.

I know I'm a homer, but I try to be objective in my views of where we are as a team. I feel something special is going to happen this season, very special.

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Is it true your birth certificate is a lawsuit against a condom manufacturer?

Maybe you should stop fretting over what someone else is saying and offer a few ideas of your own. Pretty phoney to come down on someone over your perception of their being a downer.

You didn't answer my question. Who said anything to warrant your parade comment? Nobody....that's why you're a downer. Oh...that and the other 2000 downer posts from muskokas whiniest.

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“Coach Nolan has been giving us a bunch of tough looks defensively — a lot of the problems that you’re going to face during the season, our defense has been showing us those problems,” Koetter said. “That’s great when you see it in practice, so now you’re not seeing it for the first time live.”

During the second minicamp practice Wednesday, the offense was on fire. Ryan was drilling passes to wide receivers Julio Jones and

Roddy White

. He was cutting up the defense with shots to backup tight ends LaMark Brown and Tommy Gallarda.

It was a dizzying passing display that drew raucous roars from the crowd on the hill and caused White to contend that it was the best practice in the past three seasons.

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This notion that the Falcons never got receivers the ball "on the move" before is kind of funny to me. There is a reason Julio Jones averaged 17.8 per catch last year, and it's not because he was catching curls.

The good news is that this offense is a Ferrari, there is very little that Koetter could do to mess it up as long as Roddy and Julio catch the ball more consistently than they did last year.

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You didn't answer my question. Who said anything to warrant your parade comment? Nobody....that's why you're a downer. Oh...that and the other 2000 downer posts from muskokas whiniest.

Perhaps you should get your nose out of other peoples message board experience and try to find one of your own.....other than your current role as resident a$$ muncher.

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This notion that the Falcons never got receivers the ball "on the move" before is kind of funny to me. There is a reason Julio Jones averaged 17.8 per catch last year, and it's not because he was catching curls.

The good news is that this offense is a Ferrari, there is very little that Koetter could do to mess it up as long as Roddy and Julio catch the ball more consistently than they did last year.

The car could be a Ferrari and it could be fast, save for excessive interference from a little white-haired old lady in a pith helmet.

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After last season ended, i was pretty skeptical about the immediate future of the Falcons.

I figured it was going to take some time to regroup and rebuild schematically.

The attitude of the team needed a makeover.

But things are falling into place quickly, and everything coming out of Flowery Branch has been very positive.

Fact is, 2012 doesnt have to be an extension of last season.

I am starting to believe.

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This notion that the Falcons never got receivers the ball "on the move" before is kind of funny to me. There is a reason Julio Jones averaged 17.8 per catch last year, and it's not because he was catching curls.

The good news is that this offense is a Ferrari, there is very little that Koetter could do to mess it up as long as Roddy and Julio catch the ball more consistently than they did last year.

Julio averaged 17.8 yards a catch more because he was the lone deep threat, not because of YAC. Julio was #23 in terms of YAC with 415 yards. Roddy was #29 with 364. That's behind guys like Roy Helu, Mike Tolbert, Brent Celek. HeIl Roddy was behind LT in terms of YAC.

It's funny that the players bring up how Koetter is going to get them the ball on the move more often. If it was so often, they wouldn't bring it up. Everything the players bring up what Koetter is going to do (ball on the move, utilize more players, RBBC, play to strengths, screens) they are things MM didn't do. You can laugh all you want but I bet Julio and Roddy and Harry all rank at least top 35 in the NFL. Harry was #40 in just the NFC. Please don't act like our WRs got the ball in space and on the move.

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Julio averaged 17.8 yards a catch more because he was the lone deep threat, not because of YAC. Julio was #23 in terms of YAC with 415 yards. Roddy was #29 with 364. That's behind guys like Roy Helu, Mike Tolbert, Brent Celek. HeIl Roddy was behind LT in terms of YAC.

It's funny that the players bring up how Koetter is going to get them the ball on the move more often. If it was so often, they wouldn't bring it up. Everything the players bring up what Koetter is going to do (ball on the move, utilize more players, RBBC, play to strengths, screens) they are things MM didn't do. You can laugh all you want but I bet Julio and Roddy and Harry all rank at least top 35 in the NFL. Harry was #40 in just the NFC. Please don't act like our WRs got the ball in space and on the move.

Dude, Julio Jones averaged 7.9 YAC per catch. That is an insane number. I bet it was d*mn near the best number in the entire league for a WR.

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