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Antone Admits His Blocking Needs Work


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A guy this physical who is a ST beast, I just do not get why he can not be trained to block well. Is it his fault, the coaches or what ? This one flaw in his game may have cost him a starters career and relegated him to being buried on an NFL depth chart. I just do not get it. This is the first time I have ever heard him admit this flaw in his own words.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Steven Jackson's latest hamstring injury is giving Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith a chance to fill the void at running back for the Atlanta Falcons.

It's a tough assignment considering how far the run game has fallen, dropping from 17th in 2011 to 29th in 2012 to worst in the NFL last season.

Jackson, the NFL's active career leading rusher, missed four games with a left hamstring injury and finished his first year as a Falcon with 543 yards rushing and 3.5 per carry - the lowest numbers of his 10-season tenure.

For the past several days, Jackson has been nursing a right hamstring injury, putting his three backups in competition for snaps.

Rodgers and Freeman are splitting work with the starters while Smith is working with the second and third teams.

There's no immediate timetable for Jackson's return, but Rodgers says the team is prepared to move on regardless.

''In this league, you've got to always be ready,'' Rodgers said Saturday. ''You've got to practice like you're ready to play in a game and when your time comes, you've got to prove what you've got.''

Over the past three years, the Falcons used the 5-foot-6, 188-pound Rodgers as a change-of-pace option to veteran power backs such as Jackson and Michael Turner.

Rodgers will have the first chance to claim the starting job until Jackson is ready to return, but coach Mike Smith likes the punch that Freeman, who last season helped Florida State win the national championship, brings to the offense.

Another step in Freeman's growth will come Monday and Tuesday when Atlanta hosts the Tennessee Titans for joint practices.

''They'll present some different rushes and some different blitzes, but he's on a fast track to help us,'' Mike Smith said. ''We know what he can do with the ball in his hands. In this league, you've got to be able to protect the quarterback, and the running backs are an integral part of that.''

The Falcons struggled in keeping Matt Ryan clean last year as the former Pro Bowl quarterback suffered a career-high 44 sacks and was pressured 203 times, most in the NFL.

Antone Smith is hoping to earn snaps with the first-team offense, but he acknowledges the need to improve his blocking skills. The team already knows what he can do on special teams as Smith spent his first four years mostly working on punt and kickoff returns and coverages.

Blocking in the backfield, however, has been harder to master.

''That's always been an issue for me,'' Antone Smith said. ''Every game you have to calibrate that pass protection, and you want to be an artist at that. Everybody can run the ball. If you can't run the ball, you wouldn't be here.''

Coming off a 4-12 season, the Falcons can't return to respectability with a one-dimensional offense that last season averaged 20.1 run attempts per game, lowest in the league, while leading the NFC and ranking second overall with 42.2 pass attempts.

Freeman hopes to help lighten the load on Ryan and his receivers and give the rushing attack some traction.

''I feel like nobody can stop me but me, and when the opportunity is there, you have to seize the moment every time,'' Freeman said. ''I feel like I was going to eventually get to this point where the coaches throw me in the fire. It happened to be during camp, so I can get reps now. When live action comes in the games, I can try to be good at everything.''

Notes: FS Kemal Ishmael, a seventh-round pick last year from Central Florida, began training camp with the third-team defense, but he's now working with the starters as Dwight Lowery and rookie Dez Southward nurse injuries. Lowery left Friday's scrimmage after hitting his head. Southward, a third-round draft pick from Wisconsin, hurt his knee earlier this week. Neither has an immediate timetable to return.

---

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/jacksons-backups-prepping-quickly-falcons-230532644--nfl.html

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Blocking is all about technique. If you don't have the correct technique you will lose more often than not. Antone obviously doesn't lack the stones to block.

That is what I am saying, a guy that hits the hole as hard as he does and sees the field like he does and his speed, it is a crying shame that no one has taught him I guess that is on the coaches....
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Blocking is all about technique. If you don't have the correct technique you will lose more often than not. Antone obviously doesn't lack the stones to block.

I don't know if it's technique (easily taught, one would think), or recognition/knowing where the extra rusher is likely to come from. I am not saying that Smith is dumb; I have no idea. I am just trying to think of reasons why his blocking wouldn't be fixed now after 2-3 years?

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I don't know if it's technique (easily taught, one would think), or recognition/knowing where the extra rusher is likely to come from. I am not saying that Smith is dumb; I have no idea. I am just trying to think of reasons why his blocking wouldn't be fixed now after 2-3 years?

Exactly what I am trying to figure out. I mean if he can fly down the field at full speed and take a guy down, he should be able to make a fkng blitz pickup ....wacko.png
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That is what I am saying, a guy that hits the hole as hard as he does and sees the field like he does and his speed, it is a crying shame that no one has taught him I guess that is on the coaches....

Nah it's not always in the coaches. I was a small back like him and I hated blocking. Just hated it but I did it because it would keep me on the field. He was probably a guy that hated it like me but wasn't as willing to do it or didn't have to go it much depending in the systems he was in in high school and college. Maybe he came out on pass plays in college.

The thing with the nfl is defenses are so good they can diagnose what kind of play it is by who's in the game if he's a one trick pony. Antone in the game? It's a run for sure. Quizz in the game? Could be run, could be pass. Defense on their toes.

Edited by TheFatboi
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Blocking is all about technique. If you don't have the correct technique you will lose more often than not. Antone obviously doesn't lack the stones to block.

technique yes but do you expect Harry Douglas to block a linebacker? My point is that size plays a big role too, and while Quizz is not tall, he's got the mass to attack blitzers (and he chop blocks like you are saying, has the stones).

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technique yes but do you expect Harry Douglas to block a linebacker? My point is that size plays a big role too, and while Quizz is not tall, he's got the mass to attack blitzers (and he chop blocks like you are saying, has the stones).

Warrick Dunn was a very good blocker and was smaller than Smith. Everything is technique and attitude in football. Everything.

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Nah it's not always in the coaches. I was a small back like him and I hated blocking. Just hated it but I did it because it would keep me on the field. He was probably a guy that hated it like me but wasn't as willing to do it or didn't have to go it much depending in the systems he was in in high school and college. Maybe he came out on pass plays in college.

The thing with the nfl is defenses are so good they can diagnose what kind of play it is by who's in the game if he's a one trick pony. Atone in the game? It's a run for sure. Quizz in the game? Could be run, could be pass. Defense on their toes.

I don't know Fat, he don't seem to have much problem getting physical on special teams. If he is willing to sacrifice his body like he does on ST, why would he be so averse to learning how to block ?
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Again, that makes me wonder if it is something else?

I played D line in college and the bigger backs who tried to block me I could usually move with my hands and forearms or just straight bullrush ...it was the short compact guys like Antone and Fat that I had problems with....they would just take my fkng legs out from under me ....wacko.png

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Warrick Dunn was a very good blocker and was smaller than Smith. Everything is technique and attitude in football. Everything.

I'm willing to admit that Antone Smith has the same height and weight as Warrick Dunn, but to say that technique and attitude are everything really is not true. There is an abundance of evidence that measurables are benchmarks by which players are initially judged by teams and GM's such as height, weight, arm length, speed. To say that measurables can be overcome entirely by just using "technique and attitude" would be false. The measurables need to be there to, look at Hall of Famers such as Michael Strahan just inducted.

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I played D line in college and the bigger backs who tried to block me I could usually move with my hands and forearms or just straight bullrush ...it was the short compact guys like Antone and Fat that I had problems with....they would just take my fkng legs out from under me ....wacko.png

I never played, but I could imagine a big difference between ST blocking where you are in the open field with an obvious assignment in front of you versus moving around in the backfield figuring out who's coming.

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I don't know if it's technique (easily taught, one would think), or recognition/knowing where the extra rusher is likely to come from. I am not saying that Smith is dumb; I have no idea. I am just trying to think of reasons why his blocking wouldn't be fixed now after 2-3 years?

reading the blitz is like reading the coverage for qbs....some get it....some don't
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I don't know Fat, he don't seem to have much problem getting physical on special teams. If he is willing to sacrifice his body like he does on ST, why would he be so averse to learning how to block ?

Tackling is different from blocking tho bro. I'd rather tackle a guy than block a 250 pound LB. sounds funny I know. Lol. But I can control the way I tackle a guy verses a one on one confrontation. I played the gunner just like him on special teams and it's easy for me to run down field as fast as I can while the returner is looking at the ball and hit him before he has a chance to locate me.

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I'm willing to admit that Antone Smith has the same height and weight as Warrick Dunn, but to say that technique and attitude are everything really is not true. There is an abundance of evidence that measurables are benchmarks by which players are initially judged by teams and GM's such as height, weight, arm length, speed. To say that measurables can be overcome entirely by just using "technique and attitude" would be false. The measurables need to be there to, look at Hall of Famers such as Michael Strahan just inducted.

It's been proven. The greatest running backs are the smaller guys. Emmitt smith 5'9, Walter Peyton 5'10, Barry Sanders 5'8 etc...measurable a are just what grabs your attention. You STILL have to have technique and attitude because you're not gonna muscle your way thru the NFL. There's ALWAYS somebody bigger,stronger, faster. Jerry rice great because of technique and his attitude toward the game. Same with ray lewis(small MLB) Mike Singletary(small MLB) Drew Brees(short qb). John Randle(small DT) I've seen plenty big strong guys get abused because their technique sucks. Some big guys are cookie dough because their attitude towards the game is just soft. It's not just about the measurables. The game is played from the neck up.

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Tackling is different from blocking tho bro. I'd rather tackle a guy than block a 250 pound LB. sounds funny I know. Lol. But I can control the way I tackle a guy verses a one on one confrontation. I played the gunner just like him on special teams and it's easy for me to run down field as fast as I can while the returner is looking at the ball and hit him before he has a chance to locate me.

I hear ya LOL.....
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