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Fringe Benefits: How The Falcons Offense Improves After Gonzo


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To begin, this post is only and ARGUMENT for how the offense can improve minus Tony G.

There is truly no real way any team gets better losing a HOFer --especially one that has been such as security blanket over the years....

1) At a minimum, Harry Douglas is an obviously more explosive 3rd option in the offense. The trade off is that his hands are not nearly as consistent.

Still, with Gonzo, we very rarely attacked the deep middle with him simply because he no longer had the speed to do so on a consistent basis.

Anytime he lined up inside, his portion of any route combination was almost sure to be either a stick route or an 5-8 out. Move him outside and you may add the occasional slant or post to the list of possibilities.

Assuming Harry gets more of the snaps than Toilolo, the full gambit of route combos will be on the table. That's a small thing they may prove bigger as teams game plan for us.

2) Much like defense, it's kind of hard to get a grasp on exactly what our offense plan seems to be.

Going into the offseason and all the talk of toughness, I think most of us assumed/assume that there would be a recommitting to the run game and somewhat of a change in offensive identity, perhaps.

As best as I can deduce from, we seem to be doing just the opposite, by DOUBLING DOWN on Matt Ryan and our passing game.

Why do I say this? Our off season moves seem to suggest as much. Instead of pursuing a road grader like Geoff Schwartz, we signed the guy whose job he took, Asamoah, the more competent pass protector. Even though the cap hit was only a little over a million this year, we essentially gave Hester 3per to return punts--- an unlikely scenario. More likely, he will see a few touches a game on O, too.

We've been linked to OTs like Jared Leno from Boise State, who is considered a pretty solid pass pro guy, but fairly un impressive in the run game.

Finally, we worked out DeAnthony Thomas and have persistently been involved in the Chris Johnson rumors. The pursuit of speed in the backfield reeks of trying to create matchup problems and using the screen game as an extension of the run game even moreso than we have in the past.

Explosiveness was the key word a few off seasons ago.... Seems that without Tony, we are seeking more aggressive ways to be explosive

3. Without Tony, I think we'll see more obvious passing formations....more corners in the field, less LBs and safeties in the box.... Those are more favorable looks to run against--- especially with the potential addition of speed backs like a DAT or a CJ2K.

4. This doesn't have anything to do with Tony, but I have to mention it.

The offense not having to work around Garrett Reynolds being walked into the backfield in 8 out if every 10 plays will be immeasurable. Although I think he will be far better than competent at RG, if Asamoah is simply competent at RG, our offense will be fine. We had so many plays that put us behind schedule last year, in terms of down and distance, with sacks and 0 yard runs or negative yard runs,--- if we only cut those in half, we are probably at least 3points better on offense. And that's before factoring in better health, better field position courtesy of Hester and a defense that gets off the field sooner, and FA/Draft additions

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There's ups and downs. I agree that, at times, it seemed like we were limiting our play calling, by throwing too much to TG. I'll also agree that his run blocking was, for a long time, mediocre to bad, and last year was just atrocious. However, I also don't think that we should fool ourselves into thinking that his presence won't be missed, on and off the field. While, we sometimes threw to him too much, he still made some amazing catches, that I'm not sure anyone else on this roster could make. That will have to be replaced. Hopefully, we can scheme better, on offense, to cover the difference.

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Not having Tony leaves a gaping hole on offense. I personally believe, however, Matt will flourish because of it. He leaned on Tony. Without him, Matt will be forced to make better decisions. Hopefully we can get the run game going again. Matt has such a beautiful play action and I love seeing him step up to bomb one to Julio or Roddy.

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a few years back they had Crumpler and he was a big part of the O yet he was not the--move the chains---possession receiver----- that job was Finneran's.

point-- they need a good 3rd down move the chains receiver --it does not have to be a TE

Yes I know most teams are using TEs for that job today but it can be done by a WR or RB

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Roddy becomes our third down move the chains receiver. No brainer there. But not having Gonzalez will open up the offense. Having him here the last few seasons made us timid. Time to open it up.

the QB decides who to throw to. The TE doesn't throw to himself . Perhaps the QB is the timid one. It is the QB that ultimately pulls the trigger. If he constantly throws to the same person, that is his decision. How is the TE at fault?
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the QB decides who to throw to. The TE doesn't throw to himself . Perhaps the QB is the timid one. It is the QB that ultimately pulls the trigger. If he constantly throws to the same person, that is his decision. How is the TE at fault?

He isn't necessarily. But when you have the GOAT, you throw to the goat. Last year we almost had no choice. I think without that constant safety net, Ryan will rediscover.the gunslinger.from 2008 and 2009. We need him back.

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He isn't necessarily. But when you have the GOAT, you throw to the goat. Last year we almost had no choice. I think without that constant safety net, Ryan will rediscover.the gunslinger.from 2008 and 2009. We need him back.

So you are saying that Tony Gonzalez came to the team and literally forced the QB to change his game?

Did Gonzalez threaten Ryan if he didn't throw it to him?

That Ryan would be a gunslinger but Gonzalez forces him to instead throw primarily short passes?

Weird. I thought the QB ran the offense...not a TE.

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So you are saying that Tony Gonzalez came to the team and literally forced the QB to change his game?

Did Gonzalez threaten Ryan if he didn't throw it to him?

That Ryan would be a gunslinger but Gonzalez forces him to instead throw primarily short passes?

Weird. I thought the QB ran the offense...not a TE.

When you have a legend at TE and he literally catches everything you throw his way.. He becomes your favorite target in sticky situations.

Its not rocket science.

Edited by PriMeTiiMe
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So Matt Ryan will be more like Brett Favre and less like Alex smith this season? Solely because Gonzalez retired? I will reserve judgment until I actually see that happen.I have my doubts.

Not Brett Favre but more like a better version of Ryan before he had Gonzo. He will go down field much more.

Their will be drawbacks of course. While we will have more big plays we will likely also have more interceptions and incomplete passes.

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I think the more likely scenario is you guys will long for those clutch 3rd down conversions Gonzalez provided.

Anyone who says we won't miss him hasent watched the Falcons the last few years.

That is not the point of this thread though. We understand the negatives that we will lose w/o Gonzo.

We are listing the positives that can come from it.

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Between having the big 3 and an Oline that didn't give him time to make his reads, Ryan was, of course, going to throw to the big 3.

Fix the Oline- Asomaugh & Tice are a good start- give Ryan a consistent pocket to throw from, he'll be fine.

Ryan has regularly hit 6-8 different receivers a game through his career. It's just that options 4-8 only caught one or two passes a game. Give Ryan a more consistent pocket, they'll start catching 2-4 passes a game. Makes the O more diverse and makes up for TG's contributions.

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Ryan has never been a gunslinger. His career attempts over 20 yards are as follows:

2008

55

2009

35

2010

38

2011

47

2012

53

2013

34

The 55 in 2008 obviously stands out. That might seem like a lot compared to the ultra low attempts in subsequent years. Until you see a guy like Luck had 91 deep attempts his rookie year. Cam Newton had 80 deep attempts his rookie year. Those make 55 attempts seem paltry.

Ryan has never been nor will ever be a downfield gunslinger. Even the addition of Julio Jones did nothing to substantially change the deep attempts. But feel free to blame Gonzalez if you choose.

Edited by bt12483
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When you have a legend at TE and he literally catches everything you throw his way.. He becomes your favorite target in sticky situations.

Its not rocket science.

But here is the thing: Gonzalez being on the field did not preclude the ability to challenge downfield. They are not mutually exclusive.

You can both target Gonzalez at the short-intermediate distance AND challenge downfield. The simple fact is the Falcons have not done that in the past 5 seasons.

There is no reason why it is one or the other. You don't HAVE to throw to Gonzalez OR throw downfield. You don't have to choose one or the other. You can easily incorporate both.

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Anyone who says we won't miss him hasent watched the Falcons the last few years.

That is not the point of this thread though. We understand the negatives that we will lose w/o Gonzo.

We are listing the positives that can come from it.

Thank you Prime. Well said sir. Roddy is going to be the safety net, as is SJax out of the backfield. I'm hoping with three or four wide sets we can mix it up. Its all on the oline getting their collective **** together however.

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Ryan has never been a gunslinger. His career attempts over 20 yards are as follows:

2008

55

2009

35

2010

38

2011

47

2012

43

2013

34

2 different coordinators. Addition of Julio. Changes.

Yet no major change in attacking downfield. Likewise no change at QB.

Perhaps it is time to stop blaming the coordinators and Tony for not attacking downfield and start looking at the QB.

If Ryan has 65 deep attempts this year then I will agree he is being more aggressive. Until then....the 6 seasons of numbers speak for themselves.

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persistently been involved in the Chris Johnson rumors.

For my two cents, this is a product of the national media seeing that the Falcons had a bad year running the football, without realizing that the offensive line play was the primary reason. While Jackson was hurt, and may not be the Jackson of three years ago, he was not the problem with our running game. For that matter, Quizz is more than serviceable as a change of pace back.

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