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Kyle Shanahan Already Excited About Next Year With Falcons


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Kyle Shanahan already excited about next year with Falcons
Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has taken his share of criticism from the outside world this season while his players struggled to adjust to the new scheme.

Shanahan, who is confident in his system, isn't worried about such perception. He just wants the offense to keep making strides going into next season.

Maybe Dan Quinn will make some coaching changes after the season concludes Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. But Shanahan, in the first year of a three-year contract, sounded confident about continuing to build his relationship with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and the rest of the offense.

The 8-7 Falcons enter their final game Sunday ranked ninth in total offense at 371.4 yards per game, but 21st in scoring at 21.5 points per game, an indication of their struggles in the red zone. They rank 17th in rushing yards per game at 101.3, with Freeman carrying the bulk of the load, 20 yards shy of 1,000 for the season. But the offensive balance Shanahan has desired all season hasn't been consistent.

"I think we have accomplished some things this year, but we definitely didn't accomplish what we set out to do," Shanahan said. "And I've never been looking forward to an offseason so much to where I think we can improve in a lot of ways, and I know we're going to. And I really look forward to getting this started next year."

Shanahan was asked about his biggest regret this season.

"Not getting a chance to go to the playoffs," Shanahan said. "You know, that's everyone's goal, to get into the playoffs so you have a chance of reaching the goal that everyone has, and that's winning the Super Bowl. Anytime you don't make the playoffs, that's a big disappointment. And usually, when it's all said and done, there's usually only one team at the end that's happy. I'm pretty much upset every year because I haven't been a part of winning a Super Bowl yet."

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I think there's a lot to be optimistic about going into year 2 of Shanahan. Yes we had some growing pains, but we also saw the potential we have in that 5-0 start. With another offseason and a whole year of film to work with, I think they can grind out a lot of the problems we had this year and become a solid consistent offense.

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I think there's a lot to be optimistic about going into year 2 of Shanahan. Yes we had some growing pains, but we also saw the potential we have in that 5-0 start. With another offseason and a whole year of film to work with, I think they can grind out a lot of the problems we had this year and become a solid consistent offense.

Exactly. There's no need to change yet again and start over completely anew on offense yet again. That would be silly right now.

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I don't know whether this guy has the personal make up to produce a winning offense or not. I do know that it was a mess his 1st year here. Says he "learned" late in the season to incorporate some of the things Matt does well, and it showed in the offensive performance in the Jacksonville and, particularly in the Panther games. As said before, I have no doubt he knows offensive football, but it took a 6 game loosing streak which featured a pathetic offense to get him to "see the light" (or more likely it was shown to him!) We'll see what happens in the Saints game coming up and if the offense looks good again, he likely stays another year but he needs to be on a very short leash.

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I don't know whether this guy has the personal make up to produce a winning offense or not. I do know that it was a mess his 1st year here. Says he "learned" late in the season to incorporate some of the things Matt does well, and it showed in the offensive performance in the Jacksonville and, particularly in the Panther games. As said before, I have no doubt he knows offensive football, but it took a 6 game loosing streak which featured a pathetic offense to get him to "see the light" (or more likely it was shown to him!) We'll see what happens in the Saints game coming up and if the offense looks good again, he likely stays another year but he needs to be on a very short leash.

A short leash? I think some of you have unrealistic expectations in life. We have the opportunity to finish 9-7 in a season where most "experts" predicted us to have a losing season. Rome wasn't built in one season.

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Perhaps I do have unrealistic expectations in some areas of life but I've lived a good deal of it, and, like most everyone, have been through my share of "rough patches" which I have accepted to best of my ability. A diversion has been following the Falcons for many decades, which I admit, have very seldom lived up to my 'hopes or expectations'. It's just that, one more time, when changes were made there was renewed hope that finally with a 'soft' schedule maybe we could reasonably expect a good season. You are right, however, it's just a game which ,at this time in my life, should not create ANY expectations.

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