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Pay Close Attention To Our Lines In Training Camp....


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Last season, well into our team stinking up the season, Alge Crumpler made an interesting observation about our big weakness, our lines. He said, that when teams have about the same level of talent on both sides of the line, when they practice, it can be very hard to know just how good any of them really are.

Smitty and TD have both said, they realized there "might be a problem" with our lines when the Bengals came here and manhandled our linemen. Talk about a huge understatement....

TD has succeeded in finding three starting caliber D linemen for our uneven fronts. But...our O line has had just two upgrades. C, LG, and LT are the same as what we opened last season with. This is not good. Even with a new O line coach like Tice.

I am looking forward to our new D line schooling those guys a bit. TD needs to come to the realization that our O line needs more work on the left side. Baker needs to be sent packing, and after a steady dose of Hagemen in TC.....that might happen. TD also needs to see what he has at center, before it becomes too late to get a decent vet in here.

Most of all, TD needs to face the very real prospect that his previous O line draftees are more than likely a waste of roster spots. Maybe our new D line can prove that to him. So we don't have another season like 2013.

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Tommy derserves criticism for not building better lines. However, he made significant changes along the DL. Soliai and Jackson are quality players that fill the need for stout guys that can clog up lanes. The drafting of Hageman will pay off big. Ra'Shede is a great athlete with the size and toughness to earn a pro bowl bid in the near future. Additional depth is needed along the DL, but right now, that unit looks a lot better. Who knows, maybe after a year, Peters can enter the rotation and help us.

The rebuilding of our OL is a project that has been long over due. The additions of Matthews and Asamoah are clear upgrades, but there is obviously more workt to do. The focus belongs at the OC position. The interior OL is essential for sustaining offensive drives. We won't move the ball on the ground with a Center that can't run block. I have absoulutely no idea who deserves to start at Center. Hawley seemed to be the better candidate, but honestly, his play is a major concern. Stone is all the talk now, but his is a rookie and I doubt that he will out-play either Konz or Hawley.

So, yes, we need to pay close attention to our lines. Goodness knows, Tommy and Smitty have ignored them for too long.

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Last season, well into our team stinking up the season, Alge Crumpler made an interesting observation about our big weakness, our lines. He said, that when teams have about the same level of talent on both sides of the line, when they practice, it can be very hard to know just how good any of them really are.

Smitty and TD have both said, they realized there "might be a problem" with our lines when the Bengals came here and manhandled our linemen. Talk about a huge understatement....

TD has succeeded in finding three starting caliber D linemen for our uneven fronts. But...our O line has had just two upgrades. C, LG, and LT are the same as what we opened last season with. This is not good. Even with a new O line coach like Tice.

I am looking forward to our new D line schooling those guys a bit. TD needs to come to the realization that our O line needs more work on the left side. Baker needs to be sent packing, and after a steady dose of Hagemen in TC.....that might happen. TD also needs to see what he has at center, before it becomes too late to get a decent vet in here.

Most of all, TD needs to face the very real prospect that his previous O line draftees are more than likely a waste of roster spots. Maybe our new D line can prove that to him. So we don't have another season like 2013.

How do you know more than TD and Mike Smith without even seeing these guys in person? Fans need to understand that they are fans. Our opinion is always going to be a less-informed opinion than the guys that see these players on a daily basis. Several of the O-linemen didn't need to be completely replaced. We were never going to complete rebuild both lines in one offseason, but we came **** close. And our upgrades coupled with new coaching by our new, nasty Linemen coaches can make all the difference.

As a fan you are thinking with your heart. You want change for the sake of changing. You're missing the fact that too much change is detrimental to continuity. This isn't Madden.

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Guest MikeKennHOF

Maybe it's just me but I thought Joe Hawley played pretty dang good when he took over.

You're absolutely right: it IS just you.

Our linemen, backups and starters alike all shared the same problem from the day Hill took over o-line coaching: playing too tall with no leverage. Look at pre-Hill Justin Blalock. His play went to crap IMMEDIATELY and OVERNIGHT with Pat Hill's arrival. And he wasn't old enough for age or wear to be blamed.

A blind monkey with a dartboard couldn't draft ONLY suckfest linemen. There has to be talent there. Because they all shared the same flaw (horrible fundamental technique), it is logical to assume that the problem was mostly coaching.

Watch Konz and Blalock and Holmes in pre-season. I'll bet they play lower, with better leverave, and provide much better results.

Edited by MikeKennHOF
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You kind of answered your own post by saying " when teams have the same amount of talent on both sides of the ball it is hard to know how good they are "

Well like you said we upgraded 3 positions on our D line. I think with our O line going up against better players then it will make them a better unit. I think that is part of the reason why our young DB's were so good. Look who they went up against in practice. Gonzo, Roddy, Julio, and Ryan at QB.

Yes we upgraded only RG and RT, but you have to give consideration to a new O line coach, the growth/health of some players after another year in the league, and practicing against better competition daily, and possibly even Hawley being at Center

I'm not saying Holmes or Konz will be pro bowlers, but both of them have potential. Holmes as alot of potential to me. And it was blatantly obvious that him being tired caused him to play terrible.

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How do you know more than TD and Mike Smith without even seeing these guys in person? Fans need to understand that they are fans. Our opinion is always going to be a less-informed opinion than the guys that see these players on a daily basis. Several of the O-linemen didn't need to be completely replaced. We were never going to complete rebuild both lines in one offseason, but we came **** close. And our upgrades coupled with new coaching by our new, nasty Linemen coaches can make all the difference.

As a fan you are thinking with your heart. You want change for the sake of changing. You're missing the fact that too much change is detrimental to continuity. This isn't Madden.

The bolded statement is very much true. So if our GM is so informed and knowledgable, then how did he allow the disaster that was our O and D lines last season to happen in the first place? We knew, we ALL knew, our line was subpar way back during the Green Bay playoff game. We lost Dahl, which wasn't a bad thing. But then we never adequately replaced him until this offseason? Ridiculous. And we re-signed Baker! Isn't TD supposed to know better?

And how many GMs could still be around without addressing the lack of a pass rush? My gosh, Abe WAS our pass rush for five years. And now he is gone. TD is the guy in charge. When things go good, he gets credit, but when the crap hits the fan....he deserves to get that too.

I have a mind that can reason and eyes that can see. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that our team is seriously talent deficient. Yes that is true even after all the moves made this offseason. I would really like to endorse TD because he is doing a jam up job? But he isn't, so I won't.

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How do you know more than TD and Mike Smith without even seeing these guys in person? Fans need to understand that they are fans. Our opinion is always going to be a less-informed opinion than the guys that see these players on a daily basis. Several of the O-linemen didn't need to be completely replaced. We were never going to complete rebuild both lines in one offseason, but we came **** close. And our upgrades coupled with new coaching by our new, nasty Linemen coaches can make all the difference.

As a fan you are thinking with your heart. You want change for the sake of changing. You're missing the fact that too much change is detrimental to continuity. This isn't Madden.

While the bolded part seems to be true, can you tell me why is it that Dimitroff/Smith thought that offensive line was going to be decent last year when it was apparent to most of us after two pre-season games that we were screwed?

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C is not the same as we opened last season. Konz started. Hawley is pegged as the starter right now. We've upgraded C, RG and RT. With Blalock being able to settle down hopefully, that's four out of 5 positions stronger than last year. If healthy, Baker is good. We all know that. It's just a matter of how long and if Holmes is capable to step in when he goes down.

But I get a sense that this thread isn't a matter of logic but ignorant emotion. I'll bow out here.

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You kind of answered your own post by saying " when teams have the same amount of talent on both sides of the ball it is hard to know how good they are "

Well like you said we upgraded 3 positions on our D line. I think with our O line going up against better players then it will make them a better unit. I think that is part of the reason why our young DB's were so good. Look who they went up against in practice. Gonzo, Roddy, Julio, and Ryan at QB.

Yes we upgraded only RG and RT, but you have to give consideration to a new O line coach, the growth/health of some players after another year in the league, and practicing against better competition daily, and possibly even Hawley being at Center

I'm not saying Holmes or Konz will be pro bowlers, but both of them have potential. Holmes as alot of potential to me. And it was blatantly obvious that him being tired caused him to play terrible.

Bolded statement is a really good observation. Lets hope our CB continue developing.

I am really down on Holmes. I mean....the guy shows up out of shape, he KNOWS he is out of shape. He even admitted it, saying he needed to play his way into shape during the season! What does Holmes think this is, small college ball? That tells me Holmes is lacking something upstairs. I seriously question his heart too.

I think TD is really rolling the dice with our incumbent O linemen. A good center is pivotal (pun intended :)) to the success of any O line. Yet no real competition was brought in. I would have liked to see a center\guard brought in, someone who could play if Hawley or Konz falter. Or Asamoah got hurt.

Because all those LBs will do us no good if our offense cannot get back to running the ball down the other teams throat and avoiding all those three and outs.

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C is not the same as we opened last season. Konz started. Hawley is pegged as the starter right now. We've upgraded C, RG and RT. With Blalock being able to settle down hopefully, that's four out of 5 positions stronger than last year. If healthy, Baker is good. We all know that. It's just a matter of how long and if Holmes is capable to step in when he goes down.

But I get a sense that this thread isn't a matter of logic but ignorant emotion. I'll bow out here.

vel, there is a lot of things that are ignorant about our Falcons right now, but this thread sure isn't one of them. TD needs to learn to cut bait with his unsuccessful drafted players when they show they cannot play. We do not need them hanging around for five years, like Reynolds did, only to see them stink up the field when they finally get out there to play.

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I hope that Mike Tice will be a difference maker on offense. Konz was far from ready to go as C and Lamar Holmes seemed to be out of shape and that was something Pat Hill should have seen and dealt with. Hopefully Tice will have a healthy line to work with, and with the added talent, he should have a fair chance to make the line better.

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Bolded statement is a really good observation. Lets hope our CB continue developing.

I am really down on Holmes. I mean....the guy shows up out of shape, he KNOWS he is out of shape. He even admitted it, saying he needed to play his way into shape during the season! What does Holmes think this is, small college ball? That tells me Holmes is lacking something upstairs. I seriously question his heart too.

I think TD is really rolling the dice with our incumbent O linemen. A good center is pivotal (pun intended smile.png) to the success of any O line. Yet no real competition was brought in. I would have liked to see a center\guard brought in, someone who could play if Hawley or Konz falter. Or Asamoah got hurt.

Because all those LBs will do us no good if our offense cannot get back to running the ball down the other teams throat and avoiding all those three and outs.

Let me ask you something on the bolded part: How is a player able to get through TC and the conditioning test out of shape? Is that not a matter of the coaches being too soft? I think so. Holmes was able to get by doing that at Southern Miss. It was the coaches job to make him realize this is no longer Southern Miss.

vel, there is a lot of things that are ignorant about our Falcons right now, but this thread sure isn't one of them. TD needs to learn to cut bait with his unsuccessful drafted players when they show they cannot play. We do not need them hanging around for five years, like Reynolds did, only to see them stink up the field when they finally get out there to play.

Who should be cut? Holmes and Konz I'm assuming. I disagree. Yes, they both had terrible seasons. But even Blalock took a large step back. Why am I cutting a third year 2nd/3rd round pick? Holmes has shown he is good...when he's not tired. That gets you to maybe halftime. His issues don't start until he gets tired and his technique goes out the window. That's fixable through good coaching and toughening up TC and the conditioning test. Konz was weak. We saw this in his 18 reps at the combine. It was obvious, but never address. That's, again, poor soft coaching.

Right now, Holmes and Konz are back ups, which is a good thing. I've got faith that Tice won't let that softshit slide like it has been. That has nothing to do with TD, which I think the blame is being misplaced. Konz was a borderline first round talent and the best C in his draft. It was a good pick. It's up to the coaches to make him realize that potential. We've had poor OL and DL coaching for 6 years and it shows in our talent over those years.

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Guest MikeKennHOF

I hope that Mike Tice will be a difference maker on offense. Konz was far from ready to go as C and Lamar Holmes seemed to be out of shape and that was something Pat Hill should have seen and dealt with. Hopefully Tice will have a healthy line to work with, and with the added talent, he should have a fair chance to make the line better.

Agreed. I believe Pat Hill was the bulk of the problem. The blocking schemes were poor, the entire line had horrible technique, players failed to improve and progress--- and some actually REgressed---while workung under him.

Smitty and Koetter should not be given a pass, however. As the head coach and the offensive coordinator, they were Pat Hill's bosses. Being oblivious to such a glaring problem is as much on them as it is Hill. Smitty, especially, needs to learn that one can delegate authority, but not responsibility.

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The reason Holmes can get away with it in training camp is in large part because we don't play full games. Not saying the coaches don't have blame because they do, but that is mostly on Holmes himself. He has to prepare himself better. And yes it's absolutely absurd that he played out of shape in my opinion

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I hate the idea that we expect players to be perfect and not make mistakes.

For example, Holmes came in out of shape. It was a terrible mistake and people should definitely be concerned about him.

But to call into question his intelligence or that he is missing something upstairs is nonsense.

Players get lazy...it happens. Roddy was lazy coming out of college and was able to turn it around. He wasn't missing anything upstairs. You don't cut 2nd and 3rd round draft picks in their 3rd year. The 3rd year is universally considered the year it clicks for most players.

I think it's perfect for Holmes to be a backup now. Same for Konz. Some people don't hit the ground running.

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Maybe it's just me but I thought Joe Hawley played pretty dang good when he took over.

No it's not just you, Hawley played well when he was in the lineup.

There are people who automatically decided hawely sucked because the rest of the line sucked without actually watching Hawley

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No it's not just you, Hawley played well when he was in the lineup.

There are people who automatically decided hawely sucked because the rest of the line sucked without actually watching Hawley

Exactly or because Hawley sucked in the past. There's just no way possible he could be better right? Or that he could develop or grow as a player...

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The reason Holmes can get away with it in training camp is in large part because we don't play full games. Not saying the coaches don't have blame because they do, but that is mostly on Holmes himself. He has to prepare himself better. And yes it's absolutely absurd that he played out of shape in my opinion

No, they haven't played games yet. But there is a conditioning test. Every team has it. Clearly ours was easy. No way an out of shape 330 pound man should be able to get through an NFL conditioning test in my opinion. Jacoby Jones failed the conditioning test for the Ravens just last year.

Yes, Holmes is responsible for being in shape. But what's the point of the conditioning test if it doesn't punish those who aren't in shape?

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No, they haven't played games yet. But there is a conditioning test. Every team has it. Clearly ours was easy. No way an out of shape 330 pound man should be able to get through an NFL conditioning test in my opinion. Jacoby Jones failed the conditioning test for the Ravens just last year.

Yes, Holmes is responsible for being in shape. But what's the point of the conditioning test if it doesn't punish those who aren't in shape?

Huge difference in conditioning test and being conditioned to play an entire game. There's no amount of training that will be able to duplicate a full nfl game besides a full nfl game.

And conditioning tests are basically just running sprints. Or atleast that was the test the ravens gave Jones. He had to run a certain amount of suicide type sprints in a certain time to pass. And if that's how the majority are then yeah there's no way that is even close to playing a full game on an offensive or defensive line.

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