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Falcons Get Tough With Chippy Titans


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Falcons get tough with chippy Titans

Aug 24 12:25AM ET

By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- Roddy White couldn't help but laugh as he reflected on all the confrontations on the field Saturday night.

The Atlanta Falcons receiver can talk trash with the best of them, but even White didn't understand what was going with the opponent in the Titans' 24-17 preseason win over the Falcons. Much of the heated conversation occurred in the first half, when White and the first-team offense jumped out to a 17-3 lead.

Jones and the Atlanta offense burned Tennessee's chippy defense for 17 first-half points.

"Those guys were chirping all night and getting in everybody's face," White said. "I guess they were upset. I don't know why: We just practiced with the guys like two weeks ago. And they were getting on Harry [Douglas]. They were 'jibber-jabbering' all night."

The primary culprit was Titans safety Bernard Pollard, the same guy who repeatedly called the Falcons "pretenders" during the joint practice between the teams.

"They did a lot of talking, but they didn't do a lot of scoring," White said. "I really didn't care. I just didn't want any guys to get kicked out the game."

Well, one Falcon did when rookie outside linebacker Jacques Smith was ejected for unnecessary roughness in the fourth quarter. But the Falcons tried their best to get tough with the Titans within the lines.

Case in point came when quarterback Matt Ryan took a hand in the face mask from Titans linebacker Zach Brown after a scramble. Several offensive linemen rushed over to defend their quarterback. Unfortunately, tackle Ryan Schraeder couldn't avoid a penalty for unnecessary roughness, although it was offset by the same call on Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard.

Falcons coach Mike Smith didn't like the penalty, of course. But Smith was asked if he was OK with his players trying to send a message to the Titans following the play against Ryan.

"Absolutely. There was a punch to the quarterback's face," Smith said. "I absolutely have no issue with that. Not at all. That is our quarterback, and their job is to protect our quarterback."

Remember, these were some of the same Falcons that had their toughness questioned by owner Arthur Blank for not standing up for Ryan following last year's illegal hit by Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro.

Tackle Lamar Holmes was the one player who seemed to say something after the Vaccaro hit. Holmes definitely got involved after Saturday's play.

"I'm going to protect Matt until the bitter end," the right tackle said. "Whatever I've got to do to protect my quarterback, I mean, that's my guy. I'm going to do it.

"You think about (the Vaccaro play) all the time because the attention that it brought. It's something that we learned from. We know what we need to do. Now, we just have to go out there and do it."

Said left guard Justin Blalock, "Obviously, the Saints game was something that was brought up a lot last year. It's something that's not going to fly now. We've got guys, within the rules of the games, that are going to take care of that as well as we can and make sure that people get the message that all the extracurricular stuff, there's really no place for that here. We're going do our best to get that message out there."

Ryan, of course, downplayed Saturday's incident and said the game was just physical. But no doubt he appreciated seeing his teammates come to his defense.

The Falcons preached getting stronger and tougher all offseason. With the regular season around the corner, it's time to live up to the talk.

Saturday was a good start in the toughness category.

"Well, we don't need to get penalties and put ourselves in bad situations,'' White said, ``but it's always good when you display toughness and things like that. We always want to play on the edge. That's always been our (approach). We just have to get back to where it's more consistent.

"I feel like now, with Mike (Smith) yelling from the sidelines, we'll be more consistent with it."

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Per Warren Sapp: In the who's the softest game of the night, Falcons win again #StaySoft

His scrub azz disgust me

I don't see how the networks let these guys display their bias during their analysis. I mean if its so then OK. But Sapp and Evans are clearly biased and its a pretty tired act.

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Per Warren Sapp: In the who's the softest game of the night, Falcons win again #StaySoft

His scrub azz disgust me

I will never-ever-forget the game where the secondary broke up a pass and passed the magic

and got penalized. Later Sapp the sap make a routine tackle and ran all over the stadium flapping his wings

and it is okay. No penalty for him. This was in the Ga. Dome. But that is no surprise, the zebras alwasy

handle the Falcons like that at home.

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Wow, this article just reinforces why i'm not sold on Mike Smith's ability to lead this team to a Superbowl.

Why did Mike Smith need Arthur Blank to come out publicly and voice his displeasure with how Matt Ryan was disrespected before he addressed it with the team. it seems like Mike Smith struggles to clearly define this teams identity and attitude without making it a marketing tag line.

His demeanor on the sidelines reeks uncertainty and nervousness. Instead of staying engaged with his team he reaches for his notebook and writes notes to himself.

No one can take away the success he has had over the past 6 years but he does not look the man to get the Falcons to the next level.

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Wow, this article just reinforces why i'm not sold on Mike Smith's ability to lead this team to a Superbowl.

Why did Mike Smith need Arthur Blank to come out publicly and voice his displeasure with how Matt Ryan was disrespected before he addressed it with the team. it seems like Mike Smith struggles to clearly define this teams identity and attitude without making it a marketing tag line.

His demeanor on the sidelines reeks uncertainty and nervousness. Instead of staying engaged with his team he reaches for his notebook and writes notes to himself.

No one can take away the success he has had over the past 6 years but he does not look the man to get the Falcons to the next level.

I have to admit that lately, I am seeing MS in a different light. He always seems to be a step behind the situation. Every two years, we hear a different mantra that is based on a major fault.

MS is the most successful coach in Falcons history, but I am wondering whether he is the man to get us to the "next level."

You are right. Why in he world does the owner have to publicly denounce the softness of this team? Why in the world does getting tough have to become a mantra? This is not the sort of thing that is talked about. This it the sort of thing that has to in the DNA of a team.

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I agree. It's almost embarrassing to hear the coaches harping to the national media about needing to get tougher, and, like you said, making it this season's mantra. Seriously? This is NFL football. If you have to make a point to tell guys to be tough, you're way behind the 8 ball starting out of the gate. You don't hear any other teams harping on their players about being tough. This is football, for the love of all that's holy!

SMH.

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Why did Mike Smith need Arthur Blank to come out publicly and voice his displeasure with how Matt Ryan was disrespected before he addressed it with the team. it seems like Mike Smith struggles to clearly define this teams identity and attitude without making it a marketing tag line.

His demeanor on the sidelines reeks uncertainty and nervousness. Instead of staying engaged with his team he reaches for his notebook and writes notes to himself.

No one can take away the success he has had over the past 6 years but he does not look the man to get the Falcons to the next level.

When did you start watching the Falcons? Mike Smith is not the OL coach. Mike Smith's actions since day 1 has been to not take any crap. He coached some great defenses in Jax and Balt, and "soft" is not anything he has ever coached. He has been in multiple sideline incidents getting in opposing players faces and never once tucked tail from anybody. When Paul Boudreau was coaching the OL, there was no leash on guys like Dahl, Clabo, or McClure. Other teams used to call us dirty because we played with an attitude through the whistle, but we never once backed down from anybody. IMHO, it was Pat Hill.

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For the record, I think positional coaches are the one's that mold the attitudes of the players. Have our WR's ever played soft? No. We had a WR coach preaching toughness, preaching blocking, preaching physicality, and preaching confidence. When Roddy was f'ing around, he got in his @$$ and then got his momma in his @$$. The head coach doesn't have enough one on one time with each player to instill it across 53-90 guys. If you don't believe me, look at Julio's transition. He came out of college quiet with a lunch pale workman-like mentality, just doing his job. When I see him on Hard Knocks and during games this season, he's not quiet, he's yapping away letting people know he's a bad@$$ while backing it up. That first season, Julio didn't get in DB's faces after a PI call, or proclaim nobody can stop him, or straight up buck like he does now. Everybody used to whine about our WR's coach emphasizing blocking, but I didn't hear anybody complaining about it on Julio's TD last night (HD's block) or the way Roddy has always laid folks out. And that's part of the mentality he has preached to our WR's. You are going to win in everything you are asked to do, whether the ball is in your hands or someone else's.

Not for nothing, but why would the OL get called out by one of our players if it was a "team" mentality Smith was preaching? Other people on our team were pissed the OL didn't step up.

Blame Smith for hiring the wrong OL coach. Fine. No problem with that. But saying he's the source of soft play? You obviously haven't been watching the Falcons for more than last season. He'll get on you for dumb penalties, as he should, but he never once tried to pull Dahl/Clabo/McClure/Roddy/etc when they played with an attitude and he let his own temper go in several other instances.

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For the record, I think positional coaches are the one's that mold the attitudes of the players. Have our WR's ever played soft? No. We had a WR coach preaching toughness, preaching blocking, preaching physicality, and preaching confidence. When Roddy was f'ing around, he got in his @$$ and then got his momma in his @$$. The head coach doesn't have enough one on one time with each player to instill it across 53-90 guys. If you don't believe me, look at Julio's transition. He came out of college quiet with a lunch pale workman-like mentality, just doing his job. When I see him on Hard Knocks and during games this season, he's not quiet, he's yapping away letting people know he's a bad@$$ while backing it up. That first season, Julio didn't get in DB's faces after a PI call, or proclaim nobody can stop him, or straight up buck like he does now. Everybody used to whine about our WR's coach emphasizing blocking, but I didn't hear anybody complaining about it on Julio's TD last night (HD's block) or the way Roddy has always laid folks out. And that's part of the mentality he has preached to our WR's. You are going to win in everything you are asked to do, whether the ball is in your hands or someone else's.

Not for nothing, but why would the OL get called out by one of our players if it was a "team" mentality Smith was preaching? Other people on our team were pissed the OL didn't step up.

Blame Smith for hiring the wrong OL coach. Fine. No problem with that. But saying he's the source of soft play? You obviously haven't been watching the Falcons for more than last season. He'll get on you for dumb penalties, as he should, but he never once tried to pull Dahl/Clabo/McClure/Roddy/etc when they played with an attitude and he let his own temper go in several other instances.

Best read of the day. All you youngsters need to heed these words.

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Per Warren Sapp: In the who's the softest game of the night, Falcons win again #StaySoft

His scrub azz disgust me

Yeah you can't even justify that comment. The number of former NFL South rivals who take every opportunity to take a **** on us is making that network unwatchable. I wanna say itd be nice if we had a former Falcon to stand up for us but while Deion does alright Jamie Dukes chooses to lead the "lets hate the Falcons" jack@ss parade. (is he even still on there?)

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This team is fraudulent. The fact Arthur Blank had to say something that should have been 2nd nature and all of sudden it's " of course I've got to protect him that's my guy" " of course I don't mind that penalty they've got to protect the qb"

There is nothing natural about this team. They are insecure. It almost seems that any skirmish you see a Falcon get into now is forced

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This team is fraudulent. The fact Arthur Blank had to say something that should have been 2nd nature and all of sudden it's " of course I've got to protect him that's my guy" " of course I don't mind that penalty they've got to protect the qb"

There is nothing natural about this team. They are insecure. It almost seems that any skirmish you see a Falcon get into now is forced

http://boards.atlant...ost__p__8713694

^^^

>>>>>>> http://lmgtfy.com/?q...awks Fan Forum#

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Yeah you can't even justify that comment. The number of former NFL South rivals who take every opportunity to take a **** on us is making that network unwatchable. I wanna say itd be nice if we had a former Falcon to stand up for us but while Deion does alright Jamie Dukes chooses to lead the "lets hate the Falcons" jack@ss parade. (is he even still on there?)

Deion never used to stand up for us either. At best he'd remain silent or be slightly negative. But he has a whole new attitude now that he's in the Ring of Honor.

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When did you start watching the Falcons? Mike Smith is not the OL coach. Mike Smith's actions since day 1 has been to not take any crap. He coached some great defenses in Jax and Balt, and "soft" is not anything he has ever coached. He has been in multiple sideline incidents getting in opposing players faces and never once tucked tail from anybody. When Paul Boudreau was coaching the OL, there was no leash on guys like Dahl, Clabo, or McClure. Other teams used to call us dirty because we played with an attitude through the whistle, but we never once backed down from anybody. IMHO, it was Pat Hill.

This is not about questioning Mike Smith's personal passion towards the Atlanta Falcons football organization.

As I stated no one can take away what Mike Smith has done in the PAST to help return the Falcons to relevance, after the Mike Vick/ Petrinio fiasco.

As stated, I question his ability to LEAD the falcons to the Superbowl!

He has stated personally the coaching staff did not maintain a sense of urgency last season and it was evident watching practice film from previous years . Isn't his JOB to stress urgency and execution standards to a team that was 10 yards away from the Superbowl.

I agree position coaches have their place but the head coach is responsible for maintaining expectations and standards of the organization.

Arthur Blank has stated he wants to build a Superbowl caliber team and this is what Mike Smith should be preoccupied with obtaining not giving speeches on toughness and football 101 like defending your teammates.

Edited by insight
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When did you start watching the Falcons? Mike Smith is not the OL coach. Mike Smith's actions since day 1 has been to not take any crap. He coached some great defenses in Jax and Balt, and "soft" is not anything he has ever coached. He has been in multiple sideline incidents getting in opposing players faces and never once tucked tail from anybody. When Paul Boudreau was coaching the OL, there was no leash on guys like Dahl, Clabo, or McClure. Other teams used to call us dirty because we played with an attitude through the whistle, but we never once backed down from anybody. IMHO, it was Pat Hill.

Actually Smith hasn't been that Smith since the heart scare.

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I will never-ever-forget the game where the secondary broke up a pass and passed the magic

and got penalized. Later Sapp the sap make a routine tackle and ran all over the stadium flapping his wings

and it is okay. No penalty for him. This was in the Ga. Dome. But that is no surprise, the zebras alwasy

handle the Falcons like that at home.

You are surprised because you don't know the rules. One guy showboating is not illegal*, while passing the magic constitutes 2 or more players participating in a choreographed celebration, which is illegal.

*Although now, there are some instances of a single player showboating which will get flagged, if a player chooses to mimic the usage of some prop; things like Steve Smith's "row your boat", or "burying the QB" ( pretending you have a shovel, digging a hole, and putting the QB in it after a sack).

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This is not about questioning Mike Smith's personal passion towards the Atlanta Falcons football organization.

As I stated no one can take away what Mike Smith has done in the PAST to help return the Falcons to relevance, after the Mike Vick/ Petrinio fiasco.

As stated, I question his ability to LEAD the falcons to the Superbowl!

He has stated personally the coaching staff did not maintain a sense of urgency last season and it was evident watching practices film from previous years . Isn't his JOB to stress urgency and execution standards to a team that was 10 yards away from the Superbowl.

I agree position coaches have their place but the head coach is responsible for maintaining expectations and standards of the organization.

Arthur Blank has stated he wants to build a Superbowl caliber team and this is what Mike Smith should be preoccupied with obtaining not giving speeches on toughness and football 101 like defending your teammates.

Mike Smith is a head coach that owns up to his own mistakes and takes corrective measures to make sure it gets squashed and never happens again. And that is somehow a negative? For some of you, you expect a head coach to be perfect. No HC is perfect and sometimes things don't go as planned. How people respond to adversity is how they should be judged.

Mike Smith does have the responsibility you mention. We had a lot of success and faultered one season, where we had a ******** number of injuries, but also had some weaknesses exposed. He responded by getting rid of Hill and Ray. He replaced them with Tice and Cox. By all accounts, he is doing what he can in order to fix his past mistakes.

Bill B seems to be the standard for HC's. How many Superbowls has he won since they stopped recording opposing teams? People love them some Sean Payton. How many Superbowls has he won when they weren't stealing painkillers and paying under the table bonuses for bounties?

I don't think this question will exist much longer. We have had a lot of success with a lot of different coaches while Smith at HC has been the only constant. Questioning his ability because of one bad season is nothing short of ignorance. He's not perfect by any means. But he's a **** good head coach and he'll get us a Superbowl when we have all of the right pieces in place.

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Mike Smith is a head coach that owns up to his own mistakes and takes corrective measures to make sure it gets squashed and never happens again. And that is somehow a negative? For some of you, you expect a head coach to be perfect. No HC is perfect and sometimes things don't go as planned. How people respond to adversity is how they should be judged.

Mike Smith does have the responsibility you mention. We had a lot of success and faultered one season, where we had a ******** number of injuries, but also had some weaknesses exposed. He responded by getting rid of Hill and Ray. He replaced them with Tice and Cox. By all accounts, he is doing what he can in order to fix his past mistakes.

Bill B seems to be the standard for HC's. How many Superbowls has he won since they stopped recording opposing teams? People love them some Sean Payton. How many Superbowls has he won when they weren't stealing painkillers and paying under the table bonuses for bounties?

I don't think this question will exist much longer. We have had a lot of success with a lot of different coaches while Smith at HC has been the only constant. Questioning his ability because of one bad season is nothing short of ignorance. He's not perfect by any means. But he's a **** good head coach and he'll get us a Superbowl when we have all of the right pieces in place.

Thank you for being the voice of reason!
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He could be the next Marty(sandiego)

Just couldn't get the chargers over the top.. 11 win season and still hot fired...

So it's possible to happen again

He would be the next Marty if we fired him like the dumbass Chargers did with Marty. What have they done since getting rid of him? How many Superbowl or Playoff wins since?

How long did it take Cowher to win a Superbowl in Pitt? They didn't fire him when he had down seasons because they knew he was a good coach that was going to fix their problems. They didn't fire him when he failed in te Playoffs because they knew he was giving them a chance. Marty was a **** good coach and SD was dumb for not giving him more time.

P.S. To the poster above about Smith not being the same since the heart problem. He still slams his headset and gets pissed like he always has. He's very aggressive going for it on a LOT of 4th downs (some say too many). That is not behavior you see from a "soft" coach.

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Mike Smith is a head coach that owns up to his own mistakes and takes corrective measures to make sure it gets squashed and never happens again. And that is somehow a negative? For some of you, you expect a head coach to be perfect. No HC is perfect and sometimes things don't go as planned. How people respond to adversity is how they should be judged.

Mike Smith does have the responsibility you mention. We had a lot of success and faultered one season, where we had a ******** number of injuries, but also had some weaknesses exposed. He responded by getting rid of Hill and Ray. He replaced them with Tice and Cox. By all accounts, he is doing what he can in order to fix his past mistakes.

Bill B seems to be the standard for HC's. How many Superbowls has he won since they stopped recording opposing teams? People love them some Sean Payton. How many Superbowls has he won when they weren't stealing painkillers and paying under the table bonuses for bounties?

I don't think this question will exist much longer. We have had a lot of success with a lot of different coaches while Smith at HC has been the only constant. Questioning his ability because of one bad season is nothing short of ignorance. He's not perfect by any means. But he's a **** good head coach and he'll get us a Superbowl when we have all of the right pieces in place.

You sir are an island of clarity and sanity in a sea of utter madness ...these mofos hate Smitty because he has a bland personality LMFAO ...never mind he is a very solid coach with a couple flaws...
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@pzummo. Bill Cower also got to the AFC championship game in his 3rd year and a super bowl in his fourth. That will give fans a definite reason to keep supporting him. Smith hasn't done that. Dude is garbage and should have been canned after that Giants play off loss. He won't win a super bowl and he's just wasting years off of players and wasting the fans time

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