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The Problems Before The Problems.....?


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Many of us, including me are very excited with our off season moves and are hopeful that we've not only fixed the problems that hallmark the 2013 season but strengthened those weaknesses across the board. However, in our hoping for a rebound I see almost zero discussion on he issues that hobbled us before the injuries, namely.

  1. Lack of red-zone efficiency (in-spite of leading the league in red-zone visits for the first half of the 2013 season).
  2. Giving up Leads in Q3
  3. Play calling that puts us in 3rd and long was to often whether we are healthy or not.

I'm a believer that our offense could open up and become more explosive without Tony G. I believe that this will be necessary because we won't be able to rely on that clutch catch for a first down/touch down far less with him gone, because we don't have anyone else that's shown to have his caliber of hands. It the explosion shows up it could removed some of the concerns above however, if they stay are we good enough to beat the top teir while carrying those issues? If not, how do we fix them?

Edited by The O.D.B
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Bottom line, you just cannot lose your two starting WRs and RB for most of the year an expect o have a winning season. In addition , losing a starting DE/LB , DT and 2 OTs will almost guarantee 4-12. Point is, it was not that the FO and Smitty suddenly turned stupid . It wasn't the play calling or the scheme. It was the result of a perfect storm of injuries and inexperienced players. Relax, we have good leadership and a core of good players. With our new additions, we are a lot closer to being competitive again than some would imagine.

What the heck? what op mentioned isn't a " just started last year" problem this team has been blowing leads since 10 and the red zone issue also isn't a last year thing. And you're right when it comes to coaching Smitty didn't just turn inept he has been inept the entire time
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OP is right. We have been dealing with most of those issues since this regime took over. We absolutely HAVE to find a way to consistently turn our many redzone trips into TDs and NOT FGs if we want to ever get to the SuperBowl and win.

We can't be satisfied with kicking FGs and playing the field position game. Mike Smith has to grow a pair and be pro-active with his play calling. So far he's been timid and when he has taken risks, they were ill-timed and poorly thought out.

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The issues mentioned were sub-problems to bigger ones. Additions along the offensive line and at RB will improve the running game and red zone/3rd down yardages with it. The better run stoppers will help put opponents into more predictable passing situations and thus make it tougher to surrender the lead.

I do believe Freeman will contibute but, I don't see him solving any problems per say. I think a healthy and invigorated Jackson could help pickup the slack for what we'll miss in Tony G. I think if Matt is protected we'll have to go down field a lot to keep defenses spread so we can open the run game.

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These are valid areas of concern. The Falcons have not maximized their visits to the Red Zone lately, mainly due to the anemic OL. TD's should be up at least marginally with better pass and run blocking this year, even without TG in the line-up.

Sitting on leads/going into hibernation in the third quarter should no longer be an option for Mike Smith or Koetter. I would hope to see a more determined effort to actually score points in the 3rd quarter rather than continue to simply grind up clock and punt. We have to figure out how to hand the ball to a RB and get first downs on 3rd and short for Smittyball to generate more than TOP stats in the second half. I'm almost afraid a much-improved defense will make Smith even less inclined to focus on scoring more points because he is very comfortable with the game being up for grabs with a minute left and the Falcons trailing.

Needless to say the defense also has to be able to get a stop when the game is on the line. The defense has to be good enough to checkmate the other teams' best offensive players. It's been years since we've had the talent level on defense to be able to match up with and physically out-play top-tier offenses. We won't be top 10 on defense this year either I suspect, but we should be somewhere in the upper half in the major stat categories. Much will depend on the DL, and there is reason for optimism on that situation.

All in all I think we're going to see more progress in at least two of these areas of concern than we've seen since 2008.

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I do believe Freeman will contibute but, I don't see him solving any problems per say. I think a healthy and invigorated Jackson could help pickup the slack for what we'll miss in Tony G. I think if Matt is protected we'll have to go down field a lot to keep defenses spread so we can open the run game.

Freeman is Ray Rice lite. Provided we don't get sucked into feeding the ball to SJax, Freeman, with the help of new faces along the line, could be an important piece.

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And get the FO play calling...that's not the problem

So here we have the internet tough guy routine again. Listen kid , maybe its time you shut your mouth your not impressing anyone....take a hike shorty, people are entitled to their opinions here, you act like you own the place.

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Anyone who says fire Smitty, Koetter and Dimitroff needs to pull for another team.

To be clear on my stance, I don't believe our coaches are perfect but, I'll root for them everytime. The idea of the post was to hear suggestions on how we've already addressed the issues I outlined above or to hear tweaks we can make to get rid of the issues outlined above.

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These are valid areas of concern. The Falcons have not maximized their visits to the Red Zone lately, mainly due to the anemic OL. TD's should be up at least marginally with better pass and run blocking this year, even without TG in the line-up.

Sitting on leads/going into hibernation in the third quarter should no longer be an option for Mike Smith or Koetter. I would hope to see a more determined effort to actually score points in the 3rd quarter rather than continue to simply grind up clock and punt. We have to figure out how to hand the ball to a RB and get first downs on 3rd and short for Smittyball to generate more than TOP stats in the second half. I'm almost afraid a much-improved defense will make Smith even less inclined to focus on scoring more points because he is very comfortable with the game being up for grabs with a minute left and the Falcons trailing.

Needless to say the defense also has to be able to get a stop when the game is on the line. The defense has to be good enough to checkmate the other teams' best offensive players. It's been years since we've had the talent level on defense to be able to match up with and physically out-play top-tier offenses. We won't be top 10 on defense this year either I suspect, but we should be somewhere in the upper half in the major stat categories. Much will depend on the DL, and there is reason for optimism on that situation.

All in all I think we're going to see more progress in at least two of these areas of concern than we've seen since 2008.

I can't put out Redzone issues on the OL fully. I believe when Matt exclaimed "You can't Fing stop it" the only differences in the line were Clabo and Mudduck. So, not so long ago we could get in. The difference is then we didn't get as many trips as we do now, we were just better at it then for some reason. I really hope we can get the "you can't Fing stop it" back with our team this year..

Sitting on leads: I agree wholeheartedly. It seems like close games stay close but, if we jump out to a lead it's time to pop a lipitore and drink a bottle of pepto because you know it's going to be a nail biter. Hopefully, our coaches butts being warm will inspire them to ingrain a carnivorous attitude in the team so they'll keep hunting all game long..

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Freeman is Ray Rice lite. Provided we don't get sucked into feeding the ball to SJax, Freeman, with the help of new faces along the line, could be an important piece.

Eeeesh! I wish people would stop making comparisons with Freeman to players who are already proven. I understand it's human nature but, Eeeesh, Let's see what he can do at the next level first. Freeman was my first choice for an RB in the draft so don't think I'm one of his detractors. Fingers crossed let's hope he's the guy that can take over and take the NFL by storm.

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Guest captfalcon

Those were past yr problems..our biggest problem now is paying a lot for SB tickets.

Coach smith will finally be great with the pressure on. Do or die. SB baby!

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Eeeesh! I wish people would stop making comparisons with Freeman to players who are already proven. I understand it's human nature but, Eeeesh, Let's see what he can do at the next level first. Freeman was my first choice for an RB in the draft so don't think I'm one of his detractors. Fingers crossed let's hope he's the guy that can take over and take the NFL by storm.

I wish people would stop thinking it's Steven Jackson of 2009 suiting up for us.

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Bottom line, you just cannot lose your two starting WRs and RB for most of the year an expect o have a winning season. In addition , losing a starting DE/LB , DT and 2 OTs will almost guarantee 4-12. Point is, it was not that the FO and Smitty suddenly turned stupid . It wasn't the play calling or the scheme. It was the result of a perfect storm of injuries and inexperienced players. Relax, we have good leadership and a core of good players. With our new additions, we are a lot closer to being competitive again than some would imagine.

NE lost way more players on offense and didn't miss a beat. The Aints lost more players on defense and ended up in the top five. Rise bro.
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