DriveHomeSafelyAtlantaWins

I think I might understand wth went wrong

70 posts in this topic

Like many on here, I've been puzzled over how things could have gotten this bad. It sure looks like DQ _used_ to know how to coach! So how can we be so horrible, especially on defense?

I think I might be starting to figure it out. At least I have a theory that makes some sense.

I think DQ, TD and Blank (and we fans) don't fully realize the extent to which every year in the NFL is a brand new year. We all believe that we're "building something." This leads us to think incorrect things like:

  • "We should be about as good as we were last year, and if we make a couple of improvements, we'll be even better."
  • "We're set at position x because so-and-so played well there last year."
  • "We need to make so-and-so a Falcon for life, because they've been outstanding."

See, what really happens is, a player's motivation, level of focus, set of distractions, etc., all change every year. And team chemistry changes. The hunger to prove oneself changes. The coach's message gets stale. Injuries change players' capabilities. Age kicks in and players drop off a cliff. All of these are forms of decay.

There is relentless decay in the NFL, and therefore, you can't count on jack shtt from last year. Every year, you need to re-assess every single player you have and actually be ready to make a change if needed.

This is one thing BB does that few teams have the courage to do. He will let superstars go if they cost too much, or if he is not sure they'll keep playing at the same level. He's always active adding non-superstar but key pieces at every level.

Seattle had to break up the "legion of boom" because the coach's message got stale -- another form of decay. Can you imagine realizing you had to break that core of talented players up, even though they were still excellent, simply because the message got stale? But they had to, because decay is real and you can't count on automatically getting to keep the good things you had last year. Good stuff from last year just flat out evaporates, and you have to detect it early and deal with it.

But Blank and DQ feel like "we need to get the right group, and then keep that group together."

And by that logic, we should be a good defense and a good team this year. But the logic is flawed -- prior years guarantee nothing. Campbell doesn't have it this year. Trufant is no longer anything more than JAG. Vic fooled us with the one great year. Even Deion Jones is not what he used to be. That may be sad (it is sad), but it is reality. I think BB would've seen this in the offseason and dealt with it (that's hard to do, yes, but DQ didn't even see it).

It also maybe helps explain why DQ keeps doing the same thing. He truly, deeply believes that you get a good core, you instill the "brotherhood" in them, and that will result in great play on the field. And he has done all that ... but it's not causing good play to occur. But he believes that is the formula, so all these problems must be some strange anomaly, and he just needs to keep applying the same formula.

So you have to expect decay, detect it early through hard practices with competition and open eyes, and then adjust to the new reality. It's not a game of "building the core." It's a game of "not being blinded by or shackled to last year."

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Oh, another example -- we're still trying to run Shanny's offense, but he's been gone for 2+ years and his replacements don't know his system.

I know it set records in 2016, and we have many of the same players -- but it just won't work without Shanny or one of his disciples. It might not work with his disciples either.

So the opportunity for us to run that same offense is gone, evaporated. It may feel like it is "so close," but really, it is gone. You have to stop living in the past and face it.

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Nobody predicted anything like this. There's something else that goes beyond just players and coaches not performing well. As much as everything in 2016 was a perfect storm of everything going right, this is that, just the opposite way. Like all of sports, you shuffle the deck a bit and it all will circle back around (unless you are the Browns, Dolphins or Jets).

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Great thread and excellent writing. I like the term “decay” to describe the nature of operating an NFL organization. This is why we need a head coach that is not status quo. We need a forward thinker, a strategist, a CEO on the sidelines. . . . . No sacred cows shouldn’t just be a sound good feel good mantra. It should be reality. 

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2 hours ago, DriveHomeSafelyAtlantaWins said:

Like many on here, I've been puzzled over how things could have gotten this bad. It sure looks like DQ _used_ to know how to coach! So how can we be so horrible, especially on defense?

I think I might be starting to figure it out. At least I have a theory that makes some sense.

I think DQ, TD and Blank (and we fans) don't fully realize the extent to which every year in the NFL is a brand new year. We all believe that we're "building something." This leads us to think incorrect things like:

  • "We should be about as good as we were last year, and if we make a couple of improvements, we'll be even better."
  • "We're set at position x because so-and-so played well there last year."
  • "We need to make so-and-so a Falcon for life, because they've been outstanding."

See, what really happens is, a player's motivation, level of focus, set of distractions, etc., all change every year. And team chemistry changes. The hunger to prove oneself changes. The coach's message gets stale. Injuries change players' capabilities. Age kicks in and players drop off a cliff. All of these are forms of decay.

There is relentless decay in the NFL, and therefore, you can't count on jack shtt from last year. Every year, you need to re-assess every single player you have and actually be ready to make a change if needed.

This is one thing BB does that few teams have the courage to do. He will let superstars go if they cost too much, or if he is not sure they'll keep playing at the same level. He's always active adding non-superstar but key pieces at every level.

Seattle had to break up the "legion of boom" because the coach's message got stale -- another form of decay. Can you imagine realizing you had to break that core of talented players up, even though they were still excellent, simply because the message got stale? But they had to, because decay is real and you can't count on automatically getting to keep the good things you had last year. Good stuff from last year just flat out evaporates, and you have to detect it early and deal with it.

But Blank and DQ feel like "we need to get the right group, and then keep that group together."

And by that logic, we should be a good defense and a good team this year. But the logic is flawed -- prior years guarantee nothing. Campbell doesn't have it this year. Trufant is no longer anything more than JAG. Vic fooled us with the one great year. Even Deion Jones is not what he used to be. That may be sad (it is sad), but it is reality. I think BB would've seen this in the offseason and dealt with it (that's hard to do, yes, but DQ didn't even see it).

It also maybe helps explain why DQ keeps doing the same thing. He truly, deeply believes that you get a good core, you instill the "brotherhood" in them, and that will result in great play on the field. And he has done all that ... but it's not causing good play to occur. But he believes that is the formula, so all these problems must be some strange anomaly, and he just needs to keep applying the same formula.

So you have to expect decay, detect it early through hard practices with competition and open eyes, and then adjust to the new reality. It's not a game of "building the core." It's a game of "not being blinded by or shackled to last year."

I believe you are 100% correct.  I've heard it said regarding professional teams, if the coaches don't hold them accountable, the guys will literally, for a lack of a better term, goof/slack off and not take care of business.  I think the reason why Alabama is SOOOOO successful is because all the guys know, Saban will get you where you want to go, but you better not cross him.  Belichick has the Patriots on notice.  No matter how good you are, you can go, no individual bigger than the team or the system.  I think the Falcons do give out money too quickly.  Think about it, has Matt Ryan ever had to wonder where his next contract was coming from?    

I said the same thing about Jones.  He doesn't seem to be running to the ball and making plays like he did in the past.  Not sure if its just "when it rains it pours" and it effects everyone.  I hope its not "I have my money, so the push to be the best is over, I can relax."  I think players need to "Always" work like they are the 53rd man on the team and they may be cut.  If guys get comfortable, it breeds contentment.  

Blank needs to look at his approach.  We need to mix up our guys.  I see too many tendencies I just don't like that show on the field.  We don't really have any "Dogs" on D.  Our OL always seems to get pushed around.  We can't get a 3rd and 1.  Everything about this team seems to be about "finesse." 

 

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Nah.....OL sucks, RB sucks, DE sucks, CB sucks...combination of those things = bad team. TD can’t do it but like M Smith DQ gets the blame. That’s just how it works around here.

its time to hold spiky hair accountable 

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If you're watching Falcon's games, you would already know we aren't running Kyle offense. There are no crossers, no pick plays. The TE throw back was the first Shannahan play we have seen all season. This is Dirks offense, 4 verts, and you don't even need all-22 to see it.

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2 hours ago, DriveHomeSafelyAtlantaWins said:

Like many on here, I've been puzzled over how things could have gotten this bad. It sure looks like DQ _used_ to know how to coach! So how can we be so horrible, especially on defense?

I think I might be starting to figure it out. At least I have a theory that makes some sense.

I think DQ, TD and Blank (and we fans) don't fully realize the extent to which every year in the NFL is a brand new year. We all believe that we're "building something." This leads us to think incorrect things like:

  • "We should be about as good as we were last year, and if we make a couple of improvements, we'll be even better."
  • "We're set at position x because so-and-so played well there last year."
  • "We need to make so-and-so a Falcon for life, because they've been outstanding."

See, what really happens is, a player's motivation, level of focus, set of distractions, etc., all change every year. And team chemistry changes. The hunger to prove oneself changes. The coach's message gets stale. Injuries change players' capabilities. Age kicks in and players drop off a cliff. All of these are forms of decay.

There is relentless decay in the NFL, and therefore, you can't count on jack shtt from last year. Every year, you need to re-assess every single player you have and actually be ready to make a change if needed.

This is one thing BB does that few teams have the courage to do. He will let superstars go if they cost too much, or if he is not sure they'll keep playing at the same level. He's always active adding non-superstar but key pieces at every level.

Seattle had to break up the "legion of boom" because the coach's message got stale -- another form of decay. Can you imagine realizing you had to break that core of talented players up, even though they were still excellent, simply because the message got stale? But they had to, because decay is real and you can't count on automatically getting to keep the good things you had last year. Good stuff from last year just flat out evaporates, and you have to detect it early and deal with it.

But Blank and DQ feel like "we need to get the right group, and then keep that group together."

And by that logic, we should be a good defense and a good team this year. But the logic is flawed -- prior years guarantee nothing. Campbell doesn't have it this year. Trufant is no longer anything more than JAG. Vic fooled us with the one great year. Even Deion Jones is not what he used to be. That may be sad (it is sad), but it is reality. I think BB would've seen this in the offseason and dealt with it (that's hard to do, yes, but DQ didn't even see it).

It also maybe helps explain why DQ keeps doing the same thing. He truly, deeply believes that you get a good core, you instill the "brotherhood" in them, and that will result in great play on the field. And he has done all that ... but it's not causing good play to occur. But he believes that is the formula, so all these problems must be some strange anomaly, and he just needs to keep applying the same formula.

So you have to expect decay, detect it early through hard practices with competition and open eyes, and then adjust to the new reality. It's not a game of "building the core." It's a game of "not being blinded by or shackled to last year."

I am in complete agreement w most of this.   That’s the reason I’ve said we need to instill a professional philosophy top to bottom that believes anything less than a Lombardi on our shelves is a “total failure”......no more being happy to have a few stars and to have “played a good season and even won a playoff game or we got to SB......but it just wasn’t our year”.......,you evaluate mercilessly w no personal attachment and one goal top to bottom.....”take it to the field and MAKE IT OUR SEASON”.......when you get to big game.....“GO OUT THERE AND TAKE IT FROM BRADY AND PATS”.   Anything else is really more of same ole loserville mentality we’ve had since ‘66.  

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What went wrong is what went wrong with Smitty, same exact to the T process. Anyone remember the year before Smitty was fired they hired a coach to help him manage the clock, same thing with Quinn. Anyone remember when Smitty was hired he said he wanted to build a run first team the resembeled the Baltimore Ravens, yet the year he was fired Koetter was running the offense and it was a pass first offense. In come Quinn a younger d-line coach with a defensive back ground just like Smitty, repeat same process. Smitty came in with no coaching staff, Quinn came in with no coaching staff. McKay is hiring people around these jr. level coaches and McKay and all his OLD Tampa Bay cronnies need to be kicked out. If Blank would fire McKay, Ruston Webster, Steve Sabo, Joel Collier, TD, and Phil Emry and hire Ed Dodds and let hm rebuild the coaching staff and scouting department, I guarantee you we will be in the Super Bowl in three years. McKay hired Koetter, McKay hired TD, McKay hired Webster, McKay brought in Phil Emry, the whole Falcons front office oozes of OLD former fired GMs and light weight scouts. We need new direction up top. Blank needs to do what a owner needs to do and put friendship aside. What's going to happen is the Falcons are going to fire Quinn, fire TD, go hire some light weight GM that McKay can control and then they will go hire some light weight coach that doesn't come in with his own people and repeat the process and we as fans will be going thru all of this again in four or five years. 

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26 minutes ago, Atl Falcon said:

Nah.....OL sucks, RB sucks, DE sucks, CB sucks...combination of those things = bad team. TD can’t do it but like M Smith DQ gets the blame. That’s just how it works around here.

its time to hold spiky hair accountable 

But DQ got all the credit for personnel decisions here on TATF. TD was always a bum, but Falcons did well because of DQ. I want both of them gone..

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At the end of the day our defensive “playmakers” are not making the same plays they made as rookies.. dieon jones? What happened? Wheres the ints and forced fumbles. Jarrett wheres the finishing on sacks, goes double for you takk. Have we even forced a fumble this year? Trufant has our only ints.. how ironic is that

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I think you're overlooking one of the key components to all of this, but I definitely agree with a lot of what you're saying. 

The one thing I really think killed Quinn this year was taking over the defense.  He has been so distracted trying to fix the dumpster fire of a defense (which your hypothesis explains pretty well) that he has left the team leaderless.  He essentially removed himself from being head coach, leaving the team a headless corpse of itself with independent parts flailing around with no brain in control of the the whole body.

It explains why everything is so completely disjointed this season.  There is no cohesion.  No unified vision.  And it really feels like there is no accountability either. 

I get the idea of brotherhood and accountability to each other... but there still needs to be a leader who ultimately everyone is accountable to as well.  And right now, this team has none... and it shows.

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My thougts are nobody on the team really believes in the defense.

I know DQ has been doing thos for a minute, but if i was in meeting rooms discussing assignments and they were talking about Tak and Vic covering backs and tight ends downfield i dont think i would believe in the system. 

He has lost the team before thw season even started. They domt BELIEVE they can win with this scheme.

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Early success can be just as tough as early failure. 

Similar to Mike Smith, our team has been living in the illusion that we are 1 or 2 steps from getting back to the superbowl and focusing on filling in some gaps rather than doing what worked in the first place, which was continuing to build and progress and develop new talent. It clearly didnt work. 

Its 2019 and we are building a team to go win the 2016 superbowl. 

 

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The one thing I disagree with is dismissing the idea of building a core.  Yes, decay plays a role in how you build it and for how long, but you need cohesion.  You need core guys who carry the purpose from season to season.  Yes, that core can (and should) change over time, but there should be at least some guys that you hold on to for as long as you can.   

For all the stuff about BB and swapping out star players, he still keeps a core group spread out across the roster.  They don't even have to be "star" players, but you need some continuity.   

https://www.patspulpit.com/2019/7/1/20677242/list-of-longest-tenured-new-england-patriots-positions-brady-edelman-hightower-gronkowski-mason

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I think DQ underestimated how much of an impact MM had on defense as a leader. Go watch some of the micd up vids from 2016-17, he was always in the middle of the huddle. Or perhaps he knew which is why he got rid of him cause players were starting to turn to Manuel instead of Quinn. Just a conspiracy theory.

Edited by tldr

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Nobody will ever be able to crack the code of the Falcons. This has been happening for 50+ years. The entire team is never on the same page! The offense could be playing great, the defense takes a dump.... They fix the defense, then the offense falls apart.

I've seen this story with many new faces many times! The stars will never seem to align just right for this organization!

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Which is why since 6-2 to 8-8 I’ve never believed in Quinn.  He doesn’t know how to adjust in the thick of a downward slide. 

Sure we get tired of hearing about them, but the Patriots do not play the same brand of football year in and year out.  They are able to not only adjust, but project and most times innovate where the league is headed.  They don’t rest on laurels or live off if it-then statements.  

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45 minutes ago, Refried Beans said:

What went wrong is what went wrong with Smitty, same exact to the T process. Anyone remember the year before Smitty was fired they hired a coach to help him manage the clock, same thing with Quinn. Anyone remember when Smitty was hired he said he wanted to build a run first team the resembeled the Baltimore Ravens, yet the year he was fired Koetter was running the offense and it was a pass first offense. In come Quinn a younger d-line coach with a defensive back ground just like Smitty, repeat same process. Smitty came in with no coaching staff, Quinn came in with no coaching staff. McKay is hiring people around these jr. level coaches and McKay and all his OLD Tampa Bay cronnies need to be kicked out. If Blank would fire McKay, Ruston Webster, Steve Sabo, Joel Collier, TD, and Phil Emry and hire Ed Dodds and let hm rebuild the coaching staff and scouting department, I guarantee you we will be in the Super Bowl in three years. McKay hired Koetter, McKay hired TD, McKay hired Webster, McKay brought in Phil Emry, the whole Falcons front office oozes of OLD former fired GMs and light weight scouts. We need new direction up top. Blank needs to do what a owner needs to do and put friendship aside. What's going to happen is the Falcons are going to fire Quinn, fire TD, go hire some light weight GM that McKay can control and then they will go hire some light weight coach that doesn't come in with his own people and repeat the process and we as fans will be going thru all of this again in four or five years. 

 Totally agree with op. To your opinion, right on. I'd also add that a huge problem with this team is the owner. Be it Mckay or TD advising him or his own fantasies, there's little reality happening at the top. You can't fire the owner so we're kind of stuck unless he gets better input from a new GM and replace a lot of the top people.

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The problem is the Falcons don't have a disruptive person on the line that calls for two o-linemen to block them that frees up either a DE or LB to get to the QB, I love Grady Jarrett and he is awesome but he is too light to fill this role, the Falcons need a strong fat body to put in the middle of the line that absolutely wrecks havoc and then they need 1 DE to be a beast. Neither Tak nor VB are a beast. VB and Tak are fast and do great when o-line is focused on blocking the fat body in the middle and the DE on the other side wrecking havoc AKA Freeney/Abrahams. 

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