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Falcons RB Situation


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A few random thoughts on our run game. Please chime in:

  • Play Action – Matt Ryan is a boss with a decent play action game. Short, mid and long range. We owe him that game plan. He earned it and deserves it. He will absolutely need it to get what we want.
  • Free – Get healthy bro. Even if you need to come back next year. TATF is hatin but I got you at third on my All Time Falcon RB list right now behind WA31 and The Burner. Be a leader and show these young guys how to read a stretch run.
  • Big Back – We really haven't had one since Dimi cut the Burner in 2013. SJax was big but he was so gone. Put Brian Hill on the active roster and give him some carries. We will need some 4th and ones, red zone runs and clock killin drives a big boy can bring.
  • Sark – Keep running that ball bro. Stay balanced. Don’t fall in the pass happy trap. NFL 2018 Flag Football defenses aint really ready to stop a serious run game. If we’d stayed smash mouth after the Smitty regime I think we would have gotten rest. Got explosive instead.
  • Dimi – You got some real decisions comin up at RB bro. Teco headed to FA. A huge Free health and cap decision in the balance. Passed up on DeMarco Murray, LeVeon Bell and Todd Gurley. Criminal. Who’s next? Roster turnover year comin up. Who you got?

 

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No offense but yall talk about Freeman like he is a savior . Unless he can run and block at the sametime then he wont do any better than the other two. No one is running behind this ol at this point. I thought that was already made clear ?? 

Edited by caponine
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We need a big thumper. Free will be here next year because the thinking behind it is - he will be 100% healthy after the off season and too much money owed to him to let him go or trade him. He’s awful little in stature to be a featured back.... TD gambled on Free by paying him lots of $$$ with the verdict coming next year....so far not good. Ito is a keeper. The OL needs upgrading and next year’s draft will be paramount to an improved the running gm. B. Hill must proved his worth

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I think our run game is meh and has been for the past few years.  I think what is finally happening is the coaching staff is putting the game on Ryan's shoulders and using the run game as a tool.  We haven't done this before, it's always been run game to support Ryan.  I actually like what Sark has been doing the last few weeks and I am not a Sark supporter.  Ryan is completely capable of running this offence just as effectively as Bree's and Brady run theirs.  The difference has been that Ryan has not been let loose.  I think the coaching staff is finally letting him go and I really think we might start seeing some truly magically seasons from number 2. 

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1 hour ago, Peyton said:

I think one area where Kyle Shanahan really was a boss as an OC is in getting this run game going.  I think that is where this team misses him the most.  I don't think it is the players as much as it is the commitment and details.

Its definitely a strength of that entire Shanahan tree. The ability to fashion a decent+ run game regardless of circumstance. 

Although its worth pointing out that SF is only 22nd in rushing DVOA this year. They were 13th last year. 

Honestly, I think its an issue of playcalling at this point. Whether that means its a diversity issue, I'm not sure. All I think I know is that we run that garbage toss play super frequently with results that are mostly awful and occasionally good. We're also a mortal lock to call a run play on 2nd and 10 after an incompletion. Our splits on 2nd and 10 have to be like 80/20 run/pass. Its infuriating. 

I'd have to go back and look at run snaps on a play by play basis to have a better feel for whats going wrong. 

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1 hour ago, schwarzenegger321 said:

I think our run game is meh and has been for the past few years.  I think what is finally happening is the coaching staff is putting the game on Ryan's shoulders and using the run game as a tool.  We haven't done this before, it's always been run game to support Ryan.  I actually like what Sark has been doing the last few weeks and I am not a Sark supporter.  Ryan is completely capable of running this offence just as effectively as Bree's and Brady run theirs.  The difference has been that Ryan has not been let loose.  I think the coaching staff is finally letting him go and I really think we might start seeing some truly magically seasons from number 2. 

Our run game was the 6th best in the league in 2016 and 16th best in 2017. That's not "meh."

Our run game is currently 31st. That's not "meh" it's garbage. And needs to be better. 

I also disagree with the notion that the offense hasnt been on Matt Ryan throughout his career. Ryan's been "let loose" since pretty much Y3 when he had 571 attempts. 

 

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7 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Its definitely a strength of that entire Shanahan tree. The ability to fashion a decent+ run game regardless of circumstance. 

Although its worth pointing out that SF is only 22nd in rushing DVOA this year. They were 13th last year. 

Honestly, I think its an issue of playcalling at this point. Whether that means its a diversity issue, I'm not sure. All I think I know is that we run that garbage toss play super frequently with results that are mostly awful and occasionally good. We're also a mortal lock to call a run play on 2nd and 10 after an incompletion. Our splits on 2nd and 10 have to be like 80/20 run/pass. Its infuriating. 

I'd have to go back and look at run snaps on a play by play basis to have a better feel for whats going wrong. 

I agree 100%. I mean I have nothing against running a toss every now and then but we run at least a half dozen tosses a game and at least two of them go for a net -10 - 15 yards and it's ridiculous. Those plays are worse than penalties. I think Sark has done a good job overall, especially compared to last year, but the run game is failing in all facets. From the RBs, to the blocking, and not least of all to the play calling. 

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31 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Its definitely a strength of that entire Shanahan tree. The ability to fashion a decent+ run game regardless of circumstance. 

Although its worth pointing out that SF is only 22nd in rushing DVOA this year. They were 13th last year. 

Honestly, I think its an issue of playcalling at this point. Whether that means its a diversity issue, I'm not sure. All I think I know is that we run that garbage toss play super frequently with results that are mostly awful and occasionally good. We're also a mortal lock to call a run play on 2nd and 10 after an incompletion. Our splits on 2nd and 10 have to be like 80/20 run/pass. Its infuriating. 

I'd have to go back and look at run snaps on a play by play basis to have a better feel for whats going wrong. 

I agree completely. That toss play needs to be tossed, pardon the pun. And the mandatory run call on 2nd and 10 is I'm sure underlined and bolded on every DC's scheme sheet when they play us.

Which begs the question, is there no one in Flowery Branch going over tape to check our tendencies, to see what plays are working and which are total failures?

It seems there are at least two things going wrong instead of one ~ we're continuing to make the same dumb play calls, and we have no one to do any quality control to stop us from continuing to make these dumb calls. What's Gregg Knapp's job again?

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Our run game is awful this season. Previous seasons it was good to great. I think a lot of this has to do with the RB usage. Since we run an RBBC, we like to rotate RBs in and keep them fresh.

People seem to forget that Freeman is hurt, our oline is mediocre at best, and we usually play from behind. None of these factors lend itself to having a serviceable running game. 

That being said trying to find an RB in the draft isn’t impossible, especially in the later rounds. For us, there really isn’t a need to ever burn a 1st round pick on an RB, it’s pretty dumb to think that it is. For other teams that need a bellcow for their system it’s not the case.

Right now we’re in a RB Renaissance. The good thing about that is that there are no “generational”/must have players in the bunch. So we can find incredible value in mid to late rounds with minimal drop off. However top tier RBs will move the proverbial bar and we then need to pay more for mid-tier RBs. 

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18 minutes ago, Dr Long Shot said:

 

I agree 100%. I mean I have nothing against running a toss every now and then but we run at least a half dozen tosses a game and at least two of them go for a net -10 - 15 yards and it's ridiculous. Those plays are worse than penalties. I think Sark has done a good job overall, especially compared to last year, but the run game is failing in all facets. From the RBs, to the blocking, and not least of all to the play calling. 

Yep. The blocking definitely hasnt been great. But I think a lot of that has been linked to the OL trying to block "too many" guys due to playcalling. 

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7 minutes ago, Sidecar Falcon said:

Our run game is awful this season. Previous seasons it was good to great. I think a lot of this has to do with the RB usage. Since we run an RBBC, we like to rotate RBs in and keep them fresh.

People seem to forget that Freeman is hurt, our oline is mediocre at best, and we usually play from behind. None of these factors lend itself to having a serviceable running game. 

That being said trying to find an RB in the draft isn’t impossible, especially in the later rounds. For us, there really isn’t a need to ever burn a 1st round pick on an RB, it’s pretty dumb to think that it is. For other teams that need a bellcow for their system it’s not the case.

Right now we’re in a RB Renaissance. The good thing about that is that there are no “generational”/must have players in the bunch. So we can find incredible value in mid to late rounds with minimal drop off. However top tier RBs will move the proverbial bar and we then need to pay more for mid-tier RBs. 

I think the notion that a RB can "save" a running game is one of the most fundamentally broken narratives in all of football. 

I also think "RBBC/bellcow" stuff is speaking a language that made far more sense 15 years ago than it does now. I dont think any system needs a "bellcow" although an offense generally benefits from having a RB that is competent+ in all three phases of the game. But a lot of that is more peripheral....hiding tendencies, being able to ramp up tempo, etc. 

We dont have much of a problem with RBs limited in dimensions....moreso now because Free is hurt but not as a baseline. Both Freeman and Coleman are competent+ in all three phases. Like you said, keeping the rotation fresh is a nice option to have. Unfortunately, we arent quite there yet with Ito. And in any event, I think the decision making in the run game has left a lot to be desired. 

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22 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

I agree completely. That toss play needs to be tossed, pardon the pun. And the mandatory run call on 2nd and 10 is I'm sure underlined and bolded on every DC's scheme sheet when they play us.

Which begs the question, is there no one in Flowery Branch going over tape to check our tendencies, to see what plays are working and which are total failures?

It seems there are at least two things going wrong instead of one ~ we're continuing to make the same dumb play calls, and we have no to do any quality control to stop us from continuing to make these dumb calls. What's Gregg Knapp's job again?

One of the things I've always thought is that teams that dont have specialized focused coaches/consultants dedicated to this sort of stuff are doing themselves a great disservice. There's no salary cap on coaching staffs. So if your coaching staff struggles with game management issues, you should 100% hire a guy who works on that stuff and that stuff alone. 

I'd like to think we do self-scouting for tendencies, etc. Whether we do or not, I don't know but we absolutely should be. But from there, the question would be how do we implement that feedback? Somethings are "tendencies" because they're sorta built into our brain. They arent necessarily things that can just be shut off in the heat of the moment. 

IDK....tough issue. 

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2 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Also, "big backs" arent any better at those situations than other backs. You dont need "big backs" you need good backs, good blocking, and good playcalling.

Big backs aren’t problem for this team. Falcons are top 1-2 in short yardage conversions. I personally love the big backs but that’s least of the problem for this team.

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2 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

One of the things I've always thought is that teams that dont have specialized focused coaches/consultants dedicated to this sort of stuff are doing themselves a great disservice. There's no salary cap on coaching staffs. So if your coaching staff struggles with game management issues, you should 100% hire a guy who works on that stuff and that stuff alone. 

I'd like to think we do self-scouting for tendencies, etc. Whether we do or not, I don't know but we absolutely should be. But from there, the question would be how do we implement that feedback? Somethings are "tendencies" because they're sorta built into our brain. They arent necessarily things that can just be shut off in the heat of the moment. 

IDK....tough issue. 

Excellent point. Even if the Falcons do have someone scouting our offensive tendencies, it doesn't necessarily mean that will translate into effective feedback.

Sark loves those toss plays and I assume has always used those plays in his schemes where ever he goes. He might not be receptive to feedback that seems to cramp his personal style.

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50 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Our run game was the 6th best in the league in 2016 and 16th best in 2017. That's not "meh."

Our run game is currently 31st. That's not "meh" it's garbage. And needs to be better. 

I also disagree with the notion that the offense hasnt been on Matt Ryan throughout his career. Ryan's been "let loose" since pretty much Y3 when he had 571 attempts. 

 

Well, this is your opinion.  I think it's wrong, but you are entitled to it.

 

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