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Are we using old games to justify new moves?


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The date is January 13th 2018 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Falcons receive the ball from their 24 yard line and drive all the way down the field to the Eagles 18 yard line. Its 2nd and 3 when Tevin Coleman takes a hand off for 9 yards to the 9 yard line. The Falcons call a time out. It seems like the game is well in hand. Since that moment, not many things have gone right for the Falcons. 

From that moment, the offense has been really inconsistent and struggled to convert. It would seem our moves this off-season are geared towards fixing that problem more than anything. In theory it's a good move. But I worry about over compensating for past deficiencies and not adapting to the current issues this team faces. I think in the aforementioned situation, being on the opponents 9 yard line with 1st down and goal to win, as presently constructed we'd be in an ideal position to win. However we have both starting safeties coming off season ending injury, we lost two starting CBs and didn't improve our LB core. 

The first issue, 2 starting safeties coming off injury, should be obvious. We simply didn't invest at this position with the hope that both will come back and play at their previous level. This can turn out to be a big time mistake if either have lingering issues or re-injury occurs. At the very least we can reasonably expect conditioning and cohesion issues for them as they re-acclimate themselves within the defense. Next we have the issue of losing 2 starting CBs. Yes we have Kazee who we plan on playing at the NCB position and Oliver for Alford's role, but Kazee will be switching for the second time in 2 seasons and we're putting a lot on Oliver's shoulders. Maybe it pans out, but again acclimation issues can reasonably be expected. Finally we have the biggest problem, the LB core. I know some folks have faith in our LBs with the return of the unit's leader and Pro-Bowl caliber player Deion Jones. And for good reason. He's an impact player without a doubt. But there are limits to his impact. He can't single-handedly change the position from bottom of the league to a top 5-10 unit. No one player can move the needle that far. Campbell and Foye would have an uphill battle finding a starting role anywhere else. The Falcons had the 5th most missed tackles last season. That's a huge issue. Our defensive scheme depends on good tackling. When we don't have that we give up huge chunks of yardage underneath. That more than any injury killed us last year. Teams ate us alive with short dump downs that always seemed to get 8-15 yards every time. 

I fully understood the need to protect Matt and get bigger on the Offensive front. It was needed. I even have grown to like the players we brought in through draft and FA. I think those additions fix our old issues on offense. But they came at the expense of neglecting deteriorating situations that will become our new biggest issues. Last 2 seasons it was short yardage on offense that plagued us. I think the offense will be fine, but the defense will have it's struggles again. LB play is a necessity with our scheme and when it's bad the defense is bad. Our 4 of our D-Line players are in the last year of their deals in Crawford, Beasley, Jarrett and Davidson. Our DB depth is shallow. We're one injury to Trufant away from both starting CBs being in their first season as a full-time starter. Just a lot of uncertainty at different positions. 

I get that no team is perfect. But I'm a little worried we're still chasing ghosts of games lost and not planning for the future or fixing issue that hurt us last season. 

Thoughts?

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First & foremost, look at it this way. The OL still sucked even way after that Eagles playoff moment that was mentioned. The sucky OL was still a problem until hopefully this past draft and free agency. That wasn’t a ghost problem. That was still a current problem and a huge glaring one.

Don’t get too worried about Rico and Keke’s health coming back. Getting injured is just as likely for someone else who wasn’t injured last year. JJ Wilcox and Afolabi Laguda are both already better than Jordan Richards last year, and I wholeheartedly mean that. We have several young defensive question marks in Senat, Foye, Oliver, Cominsky, Miller, and Sheffield. Let’s see what we have in them. That’s part of it. Senat, Foye, and Oliver all showed flashes last year. I don’t expect Cominsky to do much in year 1, I believe Sheffield has so much potential based on his athletic profile, and I’ve been beating the Miller drum by saying he will at worst become #2 CB starter quality. 

Sure, we have our young question marks on defense. Not everyone will pan out, but surely some will. Next year will receive an influx of attention on the defense. Some of next year’s holes will be solved this year as well. 

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We haven't used high draft capital on the O-line in forever. That was long overdue.

We drafted 2 CB's and we have another 2nd year player that we think is ready. We also resigned Wilson for additional depth.

We have 2 safeties coming back from injury, and another who stepped up last year and can be moved back over there if need be. We also signed 3 safeties in FA and it's better to expect someone with experience to step in rather than rookies.

We get Debo back and we had Foye step up last year as well, and he will be better in 2019.

We've also done a lot to improve the rush which will help the pass coverage.

I think we did a lot to address the issues that hurt us last year. A lot more has gone on than just who we drafted, and you can never address almost every position on the field on draft day.

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Yeah it's definitely an issue.

We needed to fix the OL badly.  Needed some DL talent.  Needed a starter at corner or a corner/safety hybrid.

They chose to fix the OL, put in stop gaps at DL, and try to develop people at CB.  That definitely leads to question marks at CB particularly, and DL.

We were either going to have questions at OL or DL.  They chose to leave it at DL.  I still think we'll get a vet corner/S before it's all said and done, but I've been wrong before.  We have a ton more young talent on D that should improve through coaching (whereas the offense is almost all vets, so they are what they are), so they went with that bet.  

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No team fixes both sides of the ball in a single off season; it's impossible.

Matt Ryan is the Falcons engine, period.  We don't have a chance without him.

He spent the last couple years running for his life, getting knocked around and sacked, and (somehow) getting passes completed with barely one second to drop back, read, find, and hit a receiver.  

There can be zero debate that the front office made the absolutely most necessary moves they had to make in that regard. 

And that's all without even mentioning (till now) how horrible the run game was.  Of 100% team need, O-line I would put at 85% of it. 

The only move I might question is picking a wr/rb late instead of a linebacker...but at that point, how many good linebackers were left anyway?

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We've been pretty fortunate and lucky to have only have Matt Ryan miss only two games in his NFL career. There have been several times the past couple of years I don't know how he scraped himself back up off the field and continued to play so we not only owed it to him but also owed it to ourselves to fix our turnstile offensive line into a unit providing a significant amount of protection. We have some great impact players on offense and having time for MR2 to get them the ball can make the difference between a sack-fumble/interception or a TD to whoever he finds open.

Now with that said, it's obvious that when one area gets addressed, other areas cannot be but you can bet that if we have shored up our OL (and RB) positions for the next few years, that we can finally get back to addressing the defensive shortcomings that most people wanted addressed (again).  I think we have some good talent on the D, just not as much depth in several areas that needs to be addressed soon.  I think we'll be okay if we can get around the injury bug that hampered what could've been a pretty good season. 

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1 minute ago, falcons007 said:

OP is using the old games to justify same thing in multiple threads.

Please show me one thread that I ever made saying this. If you don't want to comment then don't but please don't smear my name and liken me to some of the troll posters. I get some folks do this. But I NEVER do and only ask genuine questions. 

So this goes for @athell @hjerry and yourself. Please stop confusing me with someone else. I don't do that. I wasn't a fan of the draft, but I've grown to like it. I'm talking the logic of trying to win games we've lost instead of trying to win for the future. Our moves seem geared to succeed in the aforementioned situations. I'm concerned that they aren't geared to fix new issues/lingering issues we're likely to encounter this season like short to mid field coverage or things we're going to have to fix going forward like long term DE/DT depth. 

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Just now, MD-FalconFan13 said:

Please show me one thread that I ever made saying this. If you don't want to comment then don't but please don't smear my name and liken me to some of the troll posters. I get some folks do this. But I NEVER do and only ask genuine questions. 

So this goes for @athell @hjerry and yourself. Please stop confusing me with someone else. I don't do that. I wasn't a fan of the draft, but I've grown to like it. I'm talking the logic of trying to win games we've lost instead of trying to win for the future. Our moves seem geared to succeed in the aforementioned situations. I'm concerned that they aren't geared to fix new issues/lingering issues we're likely to encounter this season like short to mid field coverage or things we're going to have to fix going forward like long term DE/DT depth. 

I was genuinely asking how many days til the regular season because this offseason has been B-A-D

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5 hours ago, TheUsualStuff said:

We haven't used high draft capital on the O-line in forever. That was long overdue.

We drafted 2 CB's and we have another 2nd year player that we think is ready. We also resigned Wilson for additional depth.

We have 2 safeties coming back from injury, and another who stepped up last year and can be moved back over there if need be. We also signed 3 safeties in FA and it's better to expect someone with experience to step in rather than rookies.

We get Debo back and we had Foye step up last year as well, and he will be better in 2019.

We've also done a lot to improve the rush which will help the pass coverage.

I think we did a lot to address the issues that hurt us last year. A lot more has gone on than just who we drafted, and you can never address almost every position on the field on draft day.

Thank you...but because we didn't sign any big name players it doesn't matter what the team did? Great Off-season all around. Let's gel and play ball win a Lombardi.

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You made a thread about not liking the first two picks. This thread is about the first two picks basically. But to answer your question yea they are. Matt Ryan is the most important player on the football team. They have to protect him. You can't fix every issue in one offseason 

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1 hour ago, youngbloodz said:

You made a thread about not liking the first two picks. This thread is about the first two picks basically. But to answer your question yea they are. Matt Ryan is the most important player on the football team. They have to protect him. You can't fix every issue in one offseason 

This thread is not about the first 2 picks anymore than your post is about reading comprehension. 

I mentioned LB concerns,  starting caliber DB depth and the long term DL outlook but all you see is the "first 2 picks". This DEPSITE me explicitly saying I've grown to like the draft.

It would be funny if it weren't sad. Im questioning the offseason approach in general not just the draft and certainly not exclusively the first 2 picks. You still have the 3rd through 7th round AND pre and post draft FA. I'm questioning if our moves are only geared for succeeding in a situation we've failed in 2017. 

Smh.... 

Edited by MD-FalconFan13
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21 minutes ago, MD-FalconFan13 said:

This thread is not about the first 2 picks anymore than your post is about reading comprehension. 

I mentioned LB concerns,  starting caliber DB depth and the long term DL outlook but all you see is the "first 2 picks". This DEPSITE me explicitly saying I've grown to like the draft.

It would be funny if it weren't sad. Im questioning the offseason approach in general not just the draft and certainly not exclusively the first 2 picks. You still have the 3rd through 7th round AND pre and post draft FA. I'm questioning if our moves are only geared for succeeding in a situation we've failed in 2017. 

Smh.... 

Sure whatever you say. You posted the same bs and just rewording it. Stop getting in your feelings. It's not that serious. You started talking about liking the two first picks. And then you started talking about how Ryan and the offense would be fine. Reading comprehension basically says you are talking about the offense and those two first picks. Perhaps you meant something else. I would suggest improving your writing skills if that's the case

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10 hours ago, TheUsualStuff said:

We haven't used high draft capital on the O-line in forever. That was long overdue.

We drafted 2 CB's and we have another 2nd year player that we think is ready. We also resigned Wilson for additional depth.

We have 2 safeties coming back from injury, and another who stepped up last year and can be moved back over there if need be. We also signed 3 safeties in FA and it's better to expect someone with experience to step in rather than rookies.

We get Debo back and we had Foye step up last year as well, and he will be better in 2019.

We've also done a lot to improve the rush which will help the pass coverage.

I think we did a lot to address the issues that hurt us last year. A lot more has gone on than just who we drafted, and you can never address almost every position on the field on draft day.

 I think you’re on point with everything except “done a lot to improve the rush”. I miss that one...besides Clayborn and he’s average where is the rush coming from.

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7 hours ago, Atl Falcon said:

 I think you’re on point with everything except “done a lot to improve the rush”. I miss that one...besides Clayborn and he’s average where is the rush coming from.

Well DQ is confident in his ability to fix Beasley. We signed Odom who had looked pretty good in pre-season for us. Hageman has a real chance to be solid depth. Clayborn was solid in our system previously.

You're right though that we possibly should have done better on working to improve the pass rush, but again; you can't address every single position on the team in the draft. The overall point I was making in contradicting the OP still stands.. especially since a big point of his opinion was about DB's and linebacker.

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19 hours ago, hjerry said:

How many times are you going to make this thread this offseason?

Right because nickname threads are soooo much better right? Or maybe a post about a draft lottery which is stupid. Or some thread about trading for a aging TE? Or a happy Birthday thread or a thread that is literally titled "based on nothing".  Horrible posts.

At least the OP is starting a post about FOOTBALL with actual FOOTBALL in it. Dude makes a legit post and you **** on it. Get a life dude.

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18 hours ago, MD-FalconFan13 said:

Please show me one thread that I ever made saying this. If you don't want to comment then don't but please don't smear my name and liken me to some of the troll posters. I get some folks do this. But I NEVER do and only ask genuine questions. 

So this goes for @athell @hjerry and yourself. Please stop confusing me with someone else. I don't do that. I wasn't a fan of the draft, but I've grown to like it. I'm talking the logic of trying to win games we've lost instead of trying to win for the future. Our moves seem geared to succeed in the aforementioned situations. I'm concerned that they aren't geared to fix new issues/lingering issues we're likely to encounter this season like short to mid field coverage or things we're going to have to fix going forward like long term DE/DT depth. 

Don't sweat them man. They would rather have threads about nicknames and other stupidity. NICKNAMES!? I mean is this middle school? God forbid we actually talk about the Falcons and football.

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Campbell is not the bad player you make him out to be, and Foye was a rookie. Not to mention they were both having to compensate for Duke and Richards being absolute liabilities around them most of the year. Our LB'ers are thin in depth but assuming those three stay healthy they'll be a good group.

Also our tackling issues did not stem from those two on defense. Campbell was top 3 in the entire NFL for his position in tackling efficiency last year. 

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18 hours ago, falconfansince66 said:

We've been pretty fortunate and lucky to have only have Matt Ryan miss only two games in his NFL career. There have been several times the past couple of years I don't know how he scraped himself back up off the field and continued to play so we not only owed it to him but also owed it to ourselves to fix our turnstile offensive line into a unit providing a significant amount of protection. We have some great impact players on offense and having time for MR2 to get them the ball can make the difference between a sack-fumble/interception or a TD to whoever he finds open.

Now with that said, it's obvious that when one area gets addressed, other areas cannot be but you can bet that if we have shored up our OL (and RB) positions for the next few years, that we can finally get back to addressing the defensive shortcomings that most people wanted addressed (again).  I think we have some good talent on the D, just not as much depth in several areas that needs to be addressed soon.  I think we'll be okay if we can get around the injury bug that hampered what could've been a pretty good season. 

This. I'm still trying to get my head around how we are having to reinvest in CB, it looked like we were set there, at least on the outside. And even after doing so, the outlook for me at least, is a bit sketchy.

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