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Mike Tice: Falcons' O-Line 'won't Be Punked'


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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000386597/article/tice-falcons-oline-wont-be-punked-over-by-anybody?campaign=Twitter_atl

Pro Football Focus graded last year's Falcons line as a bottom-10 run-blocking machine and the third-worst pass-protecting outfit in all of football.

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Atlanta was pushed around at the line of scrimmage from wire to wire, but the early returns on this year's overhauled group have assistant Mike Tice encouraged.

"I'd lose a lot of sleep if we were getting our *** kicked in pass protection, but we're not," Tice said, per ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure. "We're not going to be a run-first team, so we'll get the runs cleaned up. We've just got to keep protecting that quarterback."

Losing veteran bookend Sam Baker to a season-ending knee injury didn't help, but Atlanta held opponents to just two Matt Ryan sacks over 79 pass attempts in August. That came after Falcons blockers allowed Ryan to suffer a career-high 44 takedowns last season.

Atlanta's linemen set an ugly precedent last September when they did little to aid Ryan after he was walloped by Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro on a slide in the regular-season opener. Set to face New Orleans on Sunday, Tice already likes what he sees from first-round pick Jake Matthews at left tackle and free-agent addition Jon Asamoah at right guard.

Both are physical movers with a mean streak, giving the Falcons a better chance to hold off a Saintspass-rushing group led by Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette. Atlanta's run-blocking has been a work in progress all summer, but Tice is confident he'll see improvement after New Orleans allowed eight sacks and 16 hits on Ryan in a pair of losses to the Saints in 2013.

"The one thing they won't be, they won't be punked over by anybody," Tice said of his line. "That's encouraging."

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The media took the Vacaro hit and ran with it to the point it took hold with the team. That's seem something more like you discuss on watching film and the coaches calling it out then it being in every other article making it a mission statement for a team. It will go away by next offseason when there is a new theme but that hit is getting up there with the Vick/Petrino rebound storyline. Tired of hearing bout it

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The media took the Vacaro hit and ran with it to the point it took hold with the team. That's seem something more like you discuss on watching film and the coaches calling it out then it being in every other article making it a mission statement for a team. It will go away by next offseason when there is a new theme but that hit is getting up there with the Vick/Petrino rebound storyline. Tired of hearing bout it

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Don't get me wrong I wanted somebody to smack Vaccarro but it's crazy it took the media to make a big deal about it to address that. That's just something that comes natural in football. Somebody tries something dirty you make em pay for it. Not make it an offseason theme to get tougher lol. I agree though the team getting too caught up in storylines. They might be true what the talking heads say who knows

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That's what happens when the team is ran by the media's impressions of them. This is similar to the "no identity" argument that made us go get Julio.

But so far, both responses in those instances have been helpful. Not saying the team should go with whatever direction the media is steering them, but sometimes it wasn't too off. But I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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I think people don't see the fire from Smitty that he had before the heart scare and take it as he isn't a leader. You don't go from 4-12 to 11-5 if guts don't believe in you. I think they believe in Smitty. He addresses the weakness of the team every year but I hope he gets a jump on the "theme" for next year to avoid it bring our Achilles heel and downfall

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Guest facelessman07

I think people don't see the fire from Smitty that he had before the heart scare and take it as he isn't a leader. You don't go from 4-12 to 11-5 if guts don't believe in you. I think they believe in Smitty. He addresses the weakness of the team every year but I hope he gets a jump on the "theme" for next year to avoid it bring our Achilles heel and downfall

If his heart scare is affecting his "ability" to coach then he needs to step away from football. Getting your azz whipped certainly isn't healthy for you

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You don't gotta be all rah rah for guys to follow you. I think gets his point across still without throwing hooks at dudes on the sideline. It's crazy a Smitty led team would let Vaccarro slide when he personally went at D Hall for the same thing though. I think they needed that wake up call in all honesty. Just crazy the media had to point it out first

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You don't gotta be all rah rah for guys to follow you. I think gets his point across still without throwing hooks at dudes on the sideline. It's crazy a Smitty led team would let Vaccarro slide when he personally went at D Hall for the same thing though. I think they needed that wake up call in all honesty. Just crazy the media had to point it out first

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You guys are crazy. You don't retaliate. You win the game. Blank singled out that moment because it was an example of the lack of fire and passion in the team. Everyone just casually walked away. I doubt he meant he wanted to see brees get whacked or a fight break out.

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I can't speak for anyone else, but when I saw that hit it literally ( and yes, I do mean literally) made me sick to my stomach. Maybe if we could have pulled out the win it might have been different, but that hit was the beginning of the end of our season last year.

I agree...I remember yelling & cussing bout that soon as it happened last year like if this is what our line is going to allow vs our MOST hated rival we're in effing trouble. I mean I was po'ed bout it. I only played high school ball, but even then I knew u do not let that pass at all so as far as I'm concerned this is one story line that I was glad did get all the attention it got. I was doubly glad when I realized I wasn't the only one upset bout that and Blank even called the team out on it. It needs to be rubbed in our face over and over cause that was the most pathetic thing to let the Aints of all teams do us like that.

THAT MUST NEVVVVVVVER HAPPEN AGAIN...thank u ESPN!

Edited by The Vent King
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That's what happens when the team is ran by the media's impressions of them. This is similar to the "no identity" argument that made us go get Julio.

I don't think that's true in this case...this became a story because author blank said something about it. This media story is driven by the owners impression of the team, not the other way around.

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I can't speak for anyone else, but when I saw that hit it literally ( and yes, I do mean literally) made me sick to my stomach. Maybe if we could have pulled out the win it might have been different, but that hit was the beginning of the end of our season last year.

I was pissed off at Vaccaro for the blatant late hit, but I got way more pissed at our OL for just standing there like puzzies doing nothing about it. That lack of reaction was and still is one of the reasons I have a problem with the super-careful, introverted, penalty-obsessed style of Mike Smith. It produces a team that plays flat, tight and scared of doing something wrong, including not even defending the most important player on your team after a brutal cheap shot.

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