Goober Pyle

Dwight Freeney Interview - Comments on Super Bowl Loss to Pats

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I've just included the comments pertaining to the Super Bowl loss. Sorry to reopen old wounds, but it's eye opening coming from a player. 

 

https://theathletic.com/1324549/2019/11/06/kravitz-18-holes-of-golf-and-18-random-topics-discussed-with-former-colts-great-dwight-freeney/

 

After that decision was made, the Colts had to reach the Super Bowl, which they did. But Freeney was injured in the AFC Championship Game against the Jets and was deeply limited in the Super Bowl loss to the Saints …

“You know how that happened?” Freeney said. “It was on a screen pass and I was trying to avoid the quarterback because if I’m remembering correctly, that was the year they put in all those rules on how not to hit a quarterback. So, I was trying to avoid him, so I jumped over him and somehow somebody hit him from the other side and he rolled on my ankle. And that was in the fourth quarter when we were up (13 points).

“Dealing with that ankle was horrible. It was non-stop rehab. I’d wake up at 8 a.m., do beach stuff, chiropractic work, soft tissue, acupuncture, muscle activation, electrical stim, hyperbaric chamber. Every day we did that. …

“When the Super Bowl started, I was good. But halftime destroyed me. Believe me, I did everything I could to keep on going, but when I got back out there, it was a flat tire. I had nothing. And they (the Saints) changed the game plan. It was all three-step throws, some five-step. Even if (Drew Brees) was holding onto the ball, I don’t know if I could have gotten there (to the quarterback). Now, it doesn’t trump what I experienced in Atlanta (when the Falcons blew a 28-3 Super Bowl lead to the Patriots). For that one, I still wake up in cold sweats.”

Well, since you brought it up …

“We forgot, from an offensive perspective, that we had the clock on our side,” Freeney said. “Those three-and-outs were killing our defense. We were out there for 90 plays, and they’d pass every play. That’s draining. The Patriots were taking out their starting receivers and putting in backups to run routes, then pulling them and putting the starters back in, so they’re fresh. Still, that whole game, I’m thinking, ‘We have this game. We have it. All we’ve got to do is run the ball and the game is over.’”

Freeney takes a moment, collects his thoughts, stabs a chunk of stone crab.

“And we don’t (run the ball). After Julio (Jones) made that catch, we had it at the (New England) 22-yard line, now, all we’ve got to do is run the ball and the game is over. And we decide to pass it. I couldn’t believe it. (After a Devonta Freeman run that lost 1 yard on first down), we take a freaking sack that pushes us out of field goal range. Then we pass again and we get a (holding penalty on Jake Matthews).

“I couldn’t believe it. What were we doing? That’s the one Super Bowl that will haunt me forever, absolutely forever. Thank God I won one, right? After that game, it was hard for me to eat, drink. … I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was thinking, ‘Maybe if we win this Super Bowl, I’ll retire on top.’ Nope. It didn’t happen.

 

:bang:

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I still can't believe they blew that Super Bowl. It really pisses me off that KS couldn't just do what you do with an expiring clock and a lead. It really pisses me off that DQ couldn't see the obvious himself.  The Falcons may never get that close again. **** YOU DAN QUINN, and **** YOU KYLE SHANAHAN!!!! **** You.

Edited by 4dabirds

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He's writing exactly what we all have been saying on here for 2.5 years. Interesting, though not at all suprising, to hear that he was having those exact thoughts ("Run the ball, and it's over ... wait, what the **** are we doing?) IN the moment. 

I'll never be able to truly wrap my head around that game. It doesn't hurt like it did right afterward anymore, but it will NEVER stop being absolutely bewildering to think about. We had it. WE HAD IT. Run on every single play after 28-3 to bleed the clock and you probably win it even if you do go 3 and out every time. Run on the 3 plays after Julio's miracle catch and you certainly win it. The '16 Bryant wasn't missing that thing.

Shanahan got arrogant and cute, and Quinn should have overruled him and didn't. "Play aggressive, that's what got us here." Great. We did play aggressive. We had a 25 point lead over the freaking New England Patriots. You don't have to be aggressive after that. You have to be smart.

Just mind-boggling.

Chaz, JDaveG, m2Falcons and 17 others like this

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2 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

HA. These are my feelings for that man exactly. 

Would take him back in a heartbeat lol. We would have been right back in the mix in 2017 if he had stayed. 

PokerSteve, JDaveG and Statick like this

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Just now, tl;dr said:

Would take him back in a heartbeat lol. We would have been right back in the mix in 2017 if he had stayed. 

I wrote this in a thread about a month ago. I was SO furious with him right after the Super Bowl that I had a "good riddance" reaction to his departure. But it didn't take very long to gain a bit of perspective and realize we never would have been in that game in the first place without him.

(And that's only become more abundantly clear with each passing season. So many are asking how Quinn could be failing so spectacularly just 2 years removed from taking the team to the Super Bowl. The answer to that question is sitting undefeated in California.)

PokerSteve likes this

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Just now, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I wrote this in a thread about a month ago. I was SO furious with him right after the Super Bowl that I had a "good riddance" reaction to his departure. But it didn't take very long to gain a bit of perspective and realize we never would have been in that game in the first place without him.

(And that's only become more abundantly clear with each passing season. So many are asking how Quinn could be failing so spectacularly just 2 years removed from taking the team to the Super Bowl. The answer to that question is sitting undefeated in California.)

Yep... Shanahan was a big reason for our success. I am pulling for them right now to come out of the NFC. I don't really like the 49ers much at all, but they are almost a recreation of the 2016 Falcons in some ways

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19 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

He's writing exactly what we all have been saying on here for 2.5 years. Interesting, though not at all suprising, to hear that he was having those exact thoughts ("Run the ball, and it's over ... wait, what the **** are we doing?) IN the moment. 

I'll never be able to truly wrap my head around that game. It doesn't hurt like it did right afterward anymore, but it will NEVER stop being absolutely bewildering to think about. We had it. WE HAD IT. Run on every single play after 28-3 to bleed the clock and you probably win it even if you do go 3 and out every time. Run on the 3 plays after Julio's miracle catch and you certainly win it. The '16 Bryant wasn't missing that thing.

Shanahan got arrogant and cute, and Quinn should have overruled him and didn't. "Play aggressive, that's what got us here." Great. We did play aggressive. We had a 25 point lead over the freaking New England Patriots. You don't have to be aggressive after that. You have to be smart.

Just mind-boggling.

Even if they ran the ball it's not a given.

There could have been a holding call but running it would have been the right choice.

What has always gotten me was the 25 points. Bleed the clock.  Make ONE play on the defense. Stop just ONE of the TWO 2 point conversions.

People forget before THIS season that may have been the last game where Quinn called the defense.  In the last quarter of that game the Falcons couldn't stop anything and they have looked the same this year.

I've always blamed Quinn more for that loss than Shanahan.  People focus on the one play Shanahan botched but forget the 20+ from Quinn

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1 minute ago, tl;dr said:

Would take him back in a heartbeat lol. We would have been right back in the mix in 2017 if he had stayed. 

if he had stayed we would have won the first one. As soon as it was announced he was taking the SF job in the middle of playoff run I knew some bs was gonna happen. His mind wasn't in Atlanta, it was in SF. Shanahan didn't attack NE's defensive weaknesses like he did all the defenses prior. Remember the media day fiasco with the his bag with the game plan in it going missing? You think that happens if he wasn't a pending head coach elsewhere? heck no. smh i'm still pissed about that rule.

I understand we got Quinn the same way but trash teams shouldn't be able to poach coaches from successful teams while they are still playing.

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29 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

He's writing exactly what we all have been saying on here for 2.5 years. Interesting, though not at all suprising, to hear that he was having those exact thoughts ("Run the ball, and it's over ... wait, what the **** are we doing?) IN the moment. 

I'll never be able to truly wrap my head around that game. It doesn't hurt like it did right afterward anymore, but it will NEVER stop being absolutely bewildering to think about. We had it. WE HAD IT. Run on every single play after 28-3 to bleed the clock and you probably win it even if you do go 3 and out every time. Run on the 3 plays after Julio's miracle catch and you certainly win it. The '16 Bryant wasn't missing that thing.

Shanahan got arrogant and cute, and Quinn should have overruled him and didn't. "Play aggressive, that's what got us here." Great. We did play aggressive. We had a 25 point lead over the freaking New England Patriots. You don't have to be aggressive after that. You have to be smart.

Just mind-boggling.

BC, it's worse than that.  If all things were equal, and I realize that they wouldn't be, but if they were.  All we had to do was run the ball four more times the whole second half and the time it takes off the clock would have won the game.  Even if we didn't make a yard on any of those runs.  Now, NE would have played more up tempo if they were running out of time, but if any of those four runs lead to a first down and we had a new set of downs, we win easily.  If we ran say eight more times and got two first downs on any of those three and outs, we would have won by two scores.

I lost all faith in DQ after that game.  I always new Shanahan was a great OC, but still thought he was an *******.  That game confirmed it.  I also lost a lot of respect for Ryan that game.  He should have been able to feel the shift in momentum and knows the game as well as anyone on the sideline.  Just call a running play.  He knew the playbook well enough to figure out a run that would have been effective.  Going into the fourth quarter, everyone knew that Shanahan was on a ego trip.  They weren't going to pull Ryan out of the game and even if they did, we would have had to run anyway.  Ryan should have manned up and called his game.  It's his team.

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4 minutes ago, schwarzenegger321 said:

BC, it's worse than that.  If all things were equal, and I realize that they wouldn't be, but if they were.  All we had to do was run the ball four more times the whole second half and the time it takes off the clock would have won the game.  Even if we didn't make a yard on any of those runs.  Now, NE would have played more up tempo if they were running out of time, but if any of those four runs lead to a first down and we had a new set of downs, we win easily.  If we ran say eight more times and got two first downs on any of those three and outs, we would have won by two scores.

Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall.

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2 minutes ago, schwarzenegger321 said:

BC, it's worse than that.  If all things were equal, and I realize that they wouldn't be, but if they were.  All we had to do was run the ball four more times the whole second half and the time it takes off the clock would have won the game.  Even if we didn't make a yard on any of those runs.  Now, NE would have played more up tempo if they were running out of time, but if any of those four runs lead to a first down and we had a new set of downs, we win easily.  If we ran say eight more times and got two first downs on any of those three and outs, we would have won by two scores.

I lost all faith in DQ after that game.  I always new Shanahan was a great OC, but still thought he was an *******.  That game confirmed it.  I also lost a lot of respect for Ryan that game.  He should have been able to feel the shift in momentum and knows the game as well as anyone on the sideline.  Just call a running play.  He knew the playbook well enough to figure out a run that would have been effective.  Going into the fourth quarter, everyone knew that Shanahan was on a ego trip.  They weren't going to pull Ryan out of the game and even if they did, we would have had to run anyway.  Ryan should have manned up and called his game.  It's his team.

You lost me at not running the ball is somehow Ryan's fault. I don't think people realize how much is on the QB's shoulders before plays and during games. I am sure there are articles out there that explain what a QB goes through when they are getting the play, calling the play in the huddle, reading the defense, and making adjustments. The NFL is not like madden where you press a button to change a play and everything works magically. Teams have specialized personnel groupings which can limit your ability to audible.

We are the only fan base I have ever seen who blames our QB for bad play calling and coaching. We have how many coaches on staff who their sole job is to coach and call plays? But let's blame the QB who had one of the highest QB ratings in the history of Super Bowls.

People also forget that Schraeder injured his ankle so bad that he was taken out in the 4th quarter. Mack had a cracked fibula and struggled in the 2H. Matthews had back spasms which made him vulnerable. This led to the Pats getting way too much pressure on Ryan in the 2nd half and this is how they slowed us. We still had our chances though. If Freeman doesn't miss that black on the sack/fumble, Robinson has Malcom Butler toasted for a TD. That play would have been the game. It was a shot play that Shanny was waiting for all game and we got the look. It sucks that Coleman was hurt on the previous play because that was probably his play.

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Huge penalties drive killing mistake from Free poor decision making from the sideline and it is what it is.This narrative has played out on a consistent basis over Quinns tenure.You see it week in week out from his teams here in Atlanta.

Just for that reason alone I just don’t see how the owner can keep Quinn here.I just don’t see a scenario for him.The decline has been trending bad the last 2 seasons.

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