Goober Pyle

Falcons Roundtable: Assessing blame for everything that has gone wrong with 2019 season

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https://theathletic.com/1433274/2019/12/04/falcons-roundtable-assessing-blame-for-everything-that-has-gone-wrong-with-2019-season/

 

It has felt like a much longer season than usual, even if the same 13 weeks have elapsed for every team across the NFL.

When it comes to the Falcons, it has been daunting for everyone associated with the franchise. At 3-9, the Falcons have been eliminated from postseason contention. Much has been discussed about the future of the franchise, whether it be with the expensive contracts it is locked into or whether Dan Quinn will return as head coach in 2020.

To describe Atlanta’s season as a disappointment almost feels like an understatement. Atlanta was a potential playoff hopeful. And this isn’t like last year, when the Falcons were able to finish 7-9 despite a five-game losing streak during the middle of the year. Atlanta was simply outplayed and out-coached in six of the nine losses this year. Going from potentially winning the Super Bowl in 2016 to, well, this in such a short period of time shouldn’t sit well with anyone.

But what are we to make of Atlanta’s fall?

To go through a few of these pressing questions, I was fortunate to have columnist Jeff Schultz and NFL features/enterprise reporter Lindsay Jones join me for a Falcons roundtable.

We’ll start with a broad leadoff question:

In your estimation, what is the most obvious reason the Falcons’ season has turned out the way it has?

Schultz: There are so many things have contributed to this year’s collapse: coaching, staffing decisions, a leadership void in the locker room (which has been the case for three years now), regrettable economic decisions like picking up Vic Beasley’s contract and also giving lucrative extensions to some players who perhaps hadn’t earned them yet. But if I had to rank them, coaching would be the No. 1 reason the Falcons are 3-9. The team has underachieved relative to the level of its talent, even if the overall depth of talent was probably overrated.

Dan Quinn has made poor decisions filling spots on his offensive and defensive staffs in the last three offseasons. His No. 1 mission this season was to fix the defense, and as a former defensive coordinator, he failed to do that. Former Falcons great Roddy White said in an interview with The Athletic this week that the lack of leadership in the locker room is the team’s No. 1 problem, and there’s a case to be made for that. But the head coach theoretically should be the No. 1 leader on the team. I also believe there has been a lack of accountability. That generally stems from the top.

Jones: I was concerned in the offseason that the Falcons, outside of focusing on the offensive line in the draft, largely didn’t do anything to address their roster deficiencies. They seemed to look at the guys who were on injured reserve in 2018 and say, “We’ll get these guys back; we’ll be fine.” And that wasn’t the case at all. I think that, combined with a defensive scheme that had become predictable and stale, kept the Falcons from being competitive, almost from the very beginning of the season.

Butt: There could be an argument for just about any scenario. The coaches must have everyone prepared each week. The players must hold each other accountable at the first appearance of something going awry. The front office must do a good job of evaluating its personnel to ensure that it has a great blend of talent that fits the scheme and leaders in the locker room. Blame can, and should, be spread everywhere. But in the end, I agree with what Roddy said in Jeff’s interview this week. I feel like players must feel a greater sense of responsibility than anyone else.

As I wrote earlier this season, there has been a leadership void that has grown since the 2016 Super Bowl run. There have been four players in particular who stand out as leaders — Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Ricardo Allen and Grady Jarrett. As far as the glue-guy leaders, they have been noticeably absent. In 2016, players like Tyson Jackson, Paul Worrilow, Dwight Freeney and Patrick DiMarco did their part to ensure everyone was on the same page and giving their best effort. That piece of the locker-room puzzle has been absent from Atlanta this year.

So while the coaches and front office deserve a great deal of blame — and scorn from the fan base — the players are the ones tasked with winning on game day. This year’s group just hasn’t had enough of the right kind of intangible leadership from within the team.

Schultz: Moving Raheem Morris to defensive coordinator would have helped from a coaching standpoint. Not assuming young players like Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell and cornerback Desmond Trufant would grow into leaders for the defense also would’ve helped. The front office should’ve tried to add at least two veterans to the defensive mix. Players like Freeney and Jackson helped immensely in 2016. On the offensive side, bringing back Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator should have been considered a fallback candidate, at best. The team should have more heavily pursued Gary Kubiak. I believe the effort to make Ryan happy was more important to them than hiring the best candidate. The Beasley decision also made a difficult salary cap situation even worse.

Butt: I have to agree with Jeff on this one when it comes to roster construction. There needs to always be a good balance of veteran leadership and young talent. The main problem following the 2016 Super Bowl run was that after those locker-room leaders left, many of the young up-and-coming stars didn’t know how to step into those roles.

Schultz: The most disappointing thing — and maybe what Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff least saw coming — was the number of players from the 2016 Super Bowl team who did not grow into leadership roles. There has been a lack of maturity and accountability that should have been expected. The Falcons were believed to have a talented young core, and a number of those players from 2016 were rewarded with lucrative extensions: Desmond Trufant, Devonta Freeman, Jake Matthews, Deion Jones and Grady Jarrett, as well as the big deals of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The result is likely to cause some salary cap problems in the next couple of years, even assuming the cap goes up.

Jones: Maybe we should have all been more concerned when Quinn overhauled so much of his coaching staff in the offseason, rather than be encouraged that Quinn was taking over the defense (coaching/teaching defense is supposed to be his strong suit, right?). It was a sign that Quinn thought just by being more hands-on in practice and in meetings the Falcons would be a better defense. The problem is that outside of Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones and maybe, Desmond Trufant, the Falcons lack elite defensive players. You can play good defense without a loaded roster like the Seahawks had when Quinn was DC, but you better have a creative, disruptive scheme and the Falcons never seemed to have that.

Organizationally, I do still question the approach in the years since the Super Bowl loss. There never seemed to be any real reckoning for why that game ended the way it did; for years the Falcons seemed to have assumed that since they got there once, they could do it again, ignoring major losses (Kyle Shanahan) and regression from important players (like Vic Beasley).

If you could pinpoint why the Falcons’ offensive line, which has started four former first-round draft picks for much of the year, has allowed 40 sacks, what would it be?

Schultz: I’ve never been blown away by things like, “Four former first-round draft picks.” We’ve all seen examples of how that often doesn’t mean much in the NFL, particularly on the offensive line, where chemistry, work ethic and toughness is so key and perceived “talent” sometimes is overrated. As for the Falcons, problems have resulted from injuries, youth and coaching deficiencies. Tackle Kaleb McGary had early medical issues that caused him to miss some time. Guard Chris Lindstrom was lost to an injury early in the season.

Those are two first-round draft picks and two starters. Matthews and center Alex Mack have been solid, but that’s two guys out of five. All of that depth Dimitroff and Quinn acquired in the offseason hasn’t provided help. Some of that is on the players, but offensive line coach Chris Morgan also deserves blame, particularly for the slow development of McGary. It’s also worth asking how much the hiring of Koetter and the intent to try to marry two offensive schemes has messed with the blocking.

Jones: I have not done in-depth study on the Falcons’ offensive line, but I will say generally that offensive line draft picks are exceedingly difficult to scout. Offensive linemen have the steepest learning curve of any position coming into the NFL right now, and it’s only getting more significant, because of the differences in college offenses and the NFL and rules limiting practice time and contact in the offseason. Those rules help protect linemen’s bodies and will be especially beneficial for their long-term health, and coaches have not found a way to coach young linemen better with those restrictions. So it’s not as easy as just saying, “We drafted a lot of offensive linemen early, we’ve solved it.”

Butt: I can’t help but wonder whether Koetter’s offense and Morgan’s background has been an issue. It could be me just speculating, without any tangible information, but it’s something I’ve wondered about recently. Morgan had great success in 2016 when coaching under Kyle Shanahan’s offensive staff. His group has had some bumps in the road since, with the last two years being especially turbulent. And then you factor in that Atlanta spent a large sum of money — through the draft and free agency — to fix the offensive line and prevent a large drop-off if injuries occur.

Yet here the Falcons are, allowing Matt Ryan to get hit repeatedly, even with the depth put in place to guard against injury. And Lindsay’s right, offensive linemen are the toughest to identify and to develop, especially in the post-2011 collective bargaining agreement era where practices can’t get as physical as they used to. So while I stated my case that the players were more to blame for this season than the coaches or front office, I do have to wonder if the offensive coaching staff isn’t doing enough to help this beleaguered offensive line.

Who deserves most of the blame for this season — Dan Quinn or Thomas Dimitroff?

Schultz: Since I listed coaching as the No. 1 issue in the first question, I have to say Quinn, in concert with the rest of his staff. But in my view, Quinn and Dimitroff should very much be linked at the hip. They cast themselves as co-franchise builders in good times. So the division of responsibility and blame shouldn’t change now in bad times.

Jones: Ultimately Quinn has final say, right? In 2015, the Falcons were praised for bringing in “DQ guys” — the type of players Quinn wanted. So when DQ guys aren’t performing, that should be largely on him, too. Quinn made the sweeping changes to the coaching staff, he took over the defense (and it got worse).

Butt: You can’t have one without the other, as they say. Branded as co-team builders, Quinn and Dimitroff constructed this roster together. But if they, along with Arthur Blank, signed off on every player personnel move with the belief that these guys could get them over the hump and into a deep playoff run, then the onus falls more so on Quinn. He fired his offensive and defensive coordinators and somehow saw regression from both of those units. Many of the players they believed in haven’t produced the way they thought they would. Quinn went all-in on turning Beasley back into 2016 form and hasn’t seen that happen. He said this offseason that Takk McKinley would have a big year, only for McKinley to have 1.5 sacks in 12 games. Considering there doesn’t appear to be any traces of front-office infighting over certain players — that we know about, at least — Quinn bears the most responsibility for the 2019 season.

What can be done to fix the current situation Atlanta is in, whether it’s on-field performance or with its salary cap situation? And can Atlanta turn things around in 2020 without making major changes, whether it be in player personnel, coaches or the front office?

Schultz: There are going to be some difficult roster decisions after this season, and that’s even if the Falcons don’t re-sign tight end Austin Hooper because he will command too much as a free agent. I suspect the list of players not brought back next season will include some combination of Hooper, Trufant, Beasley, Campbell and Freeman, if not all five. Mack also is a possibility for cap reasons. Depending on what the salary cap is, this could mean filling key starting positions with a lot of young players or street free agents.

Jones: The Falcons will have the highest percentage of the cap (nearly 18%) devoted to quarterbacks next year, and while Matt Ryan’s salary is actually affordable, the $33 million cap hit he carries makes things pretty difficult; that along with the new deals Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett just signed. There is probably some restructuring that can be done with Ryan’s contract to save a bit of space, but ultimately the Falcons are going to have to slash salaries elsewhere and get more out of the players on rookie deals.

Butt: Atlanta almost certainly has to restructure some deals. But at some point, the Falcons have to live with the contracts they’ve created and get through them. Or find someone who will take on remaining years of certain deals while eating the guarantees that have already been paid out. But on the field, I come back to the point that many of these players need to be more accountable with one another. You saw the change after the bye on defense. After struggling through eight games, defenders finally held some player-led meetings and began communicating more. Now that the offense is going through a tough stretch, perhaps something similar needs to occur on that side of the ball.

Schultz: Roster changes will be mandated simply because the cap numbers of Matt Ryan ($33.55 million) and Julio Jones ($20.417 million) will be astronomical, and there will be a ripple effect. As far as whether the Falcons could turn it around in 2020 without coaching staff changes, that would assume a level of success that’s even more unlikely than the team’s fall to 3-9 this season. But the NFL is a strange league so nothing can be said with 100 percent certainty.

Jones: I think change is necessary, and Arthur Blank needs to look at the entire football operations staff.

Butt: I don’t envision a scenario where change doesn’t occur. But as for what that is, I don’t think anyone truly knows at the present time — even Blank himself.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, vafalconfan said:

Thanks for posting!. Having said that.. we are screwed for the next 2-3 years due to these untradeable contracts and players in decline. Even with the coaching change fans better get used to 4-12 seasons.

I disagree. Even with the current cap situation, there's winning talent on the team. In the 2 games after the bye week we actually witnessed exactly what this team could be and do. Apparently they went back to the early season game plan last week and looked like **** again. With better coaching and scheming, this very roster could be a playoff contender. I won't say super bowl but they could very well be a playoff team right now IMO

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13 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

I disagree. Even with the current cap situation, there's winning talent on the team. In the 2 games after the bye week we actually witnessed exactly what this team could be and do. Apparently they went back to the early season game plan last week and looked like **** again. With better coaching and scheming, this very roster could be a playoff contender. I won't say super bowl but they could very well be a playoff team right now IMO

The defense was solid, holding the Saints to 280 yards.  And the offense was on a bond without Julio or Hooper.  Should see a different offense this week.  I expect the defense to continue playing well

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14 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

I disagree. Even with the current cap situation, there's winning talent on the team. In the 2 games after the bye week we actually witnessed exactly what this team could be and do. Apparently they went back to the early season game plan last week and looked like **** again. With better coaching and scheming, this very roster could be a playoff contender. I won't say super bowl but they could very well be a playoff team right now IMO

In the article, they list 5-6 players not likely to be back...Hooper, Beasley, Trufant, Campbell, Freeman and maybe Mack.  That’s not an insignificant amount of talent, albeit underperforming in some cases.

This roster is simply so ripe for a rebuild...I hope we don’t delude ourselves into thinking success is right around the corner.  Not to mention that if the roster was built with ‘DQ Guys’...we’ll, DQ gone...new coach will want ‘his guys’...

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Dan Quinn's inability to correct issues (shouldn't take multiple losses to fix), hire his incompetent buddies, and ensure/demand player consistency (accountability) is at the root of the problem.  Finally, roster building is an issue and that's on TD and DQ (they think players are better than they actually are).

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Just now, TheDirtyWordII said:

In the article, they list 5-6 players not likely to be back...Hooper, Beasley, Trufant, Campbell, Freeman and maybe Mack.  That’s not an insignificant amount of talent, albeit underperforming in some cases.

This roster is simply so ripe for a rebuild...I hope we don’t delude ourselves into thinking success is right around the corner.  Not to mention that if the roster was built with ‘DQ Guys’...we’ll, DQ gone...new coach will want ‘his guys’...

I read the article. I already knew who the potential scared cows could be. That's pretty much common knowledge. My post was more so saying that the talent isn't the biggest issue, it's coaching. 4-12 the next few years only happens with garbage coaching. Even in a rebuild proper coaching can go a very long way. Hopefully they stay within the NFL for the coaching search and not look to college. 

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5 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

I read the article. I already knew who the potential scared cows could be. That's pretty much common knowledge. My post was more so saying that the talent isn't the biggest issue, it's coaching. 4-12 the next few years only happens with garbage coaching. Even in a rebuild proper coaching can go a very long way. Hopefully they stay within the NFL for the coaching search and not look to college. 

Coaching may be the biggest issue past/present...what’s done is done.

But 2020 and beyond?  If Freeman goes, who is our best RB?  If Trufant goes, who is our best CB?  If Hooper goes, who is our best TE?  Mack goes...our OL consists of Matthews (who has not been good this year), McGary whose looked out of his depth doing a Gabe Carimi impression, Lindstrom who has yet to play a full NFL game and two OG’s we signed in FA to realize why 2 OL needy teams didn’t pursue resigning them to modest contracts.

Come January, we’ll blow smoke up the new GM/HC’s bunghole only to realize our salary cap situation is horrible, our talent is thin and we’re building around a 35 year old QB so that come time for our roster to be in good shape, he can go Philip Rivers on us.

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6 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Coaching may be the biggest issue past/present...what’s done is done.

But 2020 and beyond?  If Freeman goes, who is our best RB?  If Trufant goes, who is our best CB?  If Hooper goes, who is our best TE?  Mack goes...our OL consists of Matthews (who has not been good this year), McGary whose looked out of his depth doing a Gabe Carimi impression, Lindstrom who has yet to play a full NFL game and two OG’s we signed in FA to realize why 2 OL needy teams didn’t pursue resigning them to modest contracts.

Come January, we’ll blow smoke up the new GM/HC’s bunghole only to realize our salary cap situation is horrible, our talent is thin and we’re building around a 35 year old QB so that come time for our roster to be in good shape, he can go Philip Rivers on us.

All that is to be determined when the new coach is hired and free agency begins. Does no good to attempt to predict who will and wont be on the roster right now because we don't even know what type of philosophies are coming on both sides of the ball. As I said, there is winning talent on the team right now. No one can deny that. Even with this current roster and I've been very vocal, good coaching would have this team sitting pretty with a winning record. 

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1 hour ago, ya_boi_j said:

I disagree. Even with the current cap situation, there's winning talent on the team. In the 2 games after the bye week we actually witnessed exactly what this team could be and do. Apparently they went back to the early season game plan last week and looked like **** again. With better coaching and scheming, this very roster could be a playoff contender. I won't say super bowl but they could very well be a playoff team right now IMO

And there's the rub.  This isn't going to be the same team next season.

They're going to have to let go of a few talented guys and will have to find cheap replacements and then there's the question of scheme changes and scheme fits that happens with a new coaching staff.  They could very well lose 3-4 guys from the dline they would need to replace with draft picks or cheap free agents.

Paying 2 guards big money last offseason and then to turn around and draft a guard in the top 15 was a terrible idea from the cap perspective alone.  Add in the fact that one didn't make it through a game and the other two have been sub par most of the year...  And they can't throw any more money at the oline without serious consequences to other parts of the team.... 

Maybe it's a Mike Smith immediate success type of year next year.  Maybe it's a Quinn situation where it takes a year or two before they have a winning season.  Getting your hopes up with this team will always lead to disappointment. 

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6 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

And there's the rub.  This isn't going to be the same team next season.

They're going to have to let go of a few talented guys and will have to find cheap replacements and then there's the question of scheme changes and scheme fits that happens with a new coaching staff.  They could very well lose 3-4 guys from the dline they would need to replace with draft picks or cheap free agents.

Paying 2 guards big money last offseason and then to turn around and draft a guard in the top 15 was a terrible idea from the cap perspective alone.  Add in the fact that one didn't make it through a game and the other two have been sub par most of the year...  And they can't throw any more money at the oline without serious consequences to other parts of the team.... 

Maybe it's a Mike Smith immediate success type of year next year.  Maybe it's a Quinn situation where it takes a year or two before they have a winning season.  Getting your hopes up with this team will always lead to disappointment. 

Each year guys will be lost. Right now there's absolutely no reason to go into next season thinking 4-12 is the outlook for the next few years without even having a clue who the coaches will be. It's easy to say the Falcons will only lead to disappointment due to history, I get it. 

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This part right here:

 

"Jones: I have not done in-depth study on the Falcons’ offensive line, but I will say generally that offensive line draft picks are exceedingly difficult to scout. Offensive linemen have the steepest learning curve of any position coming into the NFL right now, and it’s only getting more significant, because of the differences in college offenses and the NFL and rules limiting practice time and contact in the offseason. Those rules help protect linemen’s bodies and will be especially beneficial for their long-term health, and coaches have not found a way to coach young linemen better with those restrictions. So it’s not as easy as just saying, “We drafted a lot of offensive linemen early, we’ve solved it.”

 

Is what I was trying to tell @Geneaut about linemen.

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3 minutes ago, Flying Falcon said:

This part right here:

 

"Jones: I have not done in-depth study on the Falcons’ offensive line, but I will say generally that offensive line draft picks are exceedingly difficult to scout. Offensive linemen have the steepest learning curve of any position coming into the NFL right now, and it’s only getting more significant, because of the differences in college offenses and the NFL and rules limiting practice time and contact in the offseason. Those rules help protect linemen’s bodies and will be especially beneficial for their long-term health, and coaches have not found a way to coach young linemen better with those restrictions. So it’s not as easy as just saying, “We drafted a lot of offensive linemen early, we’ve solved it.”

 

Is what I was trying to tell @Geneaut about linemen.

Worked for the Colts ... just saying.I'm not claiming it's easy, but it must be easier than drafting a new QB and still ignoring the OL.

Edited by Geneaut
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I made a post awhile back about maybe the players should shoulder more of the blame. Seems like some of the gents in this article believe that to be the case.  If it is true, than they need to bring in more "glue" guys, who can lead.  Maybe guys at the end of their careers that can provide some veteran leadership.  When I think of the Pats, I don't usually think of the most talented guys.  I usually think about their veteran leadership, teamwork, cohesiveness as units, etc.  Part of that is culture that comes from the top and is instilled in the team.  Some of it is just having the guys with the right mentality that put the team first.  We need to scout better in order to find what Chris Petersen calls, "OKG's".  (Our Kind of Guys)

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3 minutes ago, Boise Falcon Fan said:

No way.  Fans, especially Message Board Fans, are just idiots. At least that's what some of the more prevalent posters on this board will tell you.

I've been told myself that I don't have a clue about football when I prove that ignorant comment wrong daily so it's all a manner of personal opinion of the poster. Nothing more, nothing less

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1 hour ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

In the article, they list 5-6 players not likely to be back...Hooper, Beasley, Trufant, Campbell, Freeman and maybe Mack.  That’s not an insignificant amount of talent, albeit underperforming in some cases.

This roster is simply so ripe for a rebuild...I hope we don’t delude ourselves into thinking success is right around the corner.  Not to mention that if the roster was built with ‘DQ Guys’...we’ll, DQ gone...new coach will want ‘his guys’...

Zero.chance Hooper isn't extended. Trufant will be back for 2020. Other than Mack the rest are easily replaceable.

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6 minutes ago, Boise Falcon Fan said:

No way.  Fans, especially Message Board Fans, are just idiots. At least that's what some of the more prevalent posters on this board will tell you.

You see this?

 

Schultz: Roster changes will be mandated simply because the cap numbers of Matt Ryan ($33.55 million) and Julio Jones ($20.417 million) will be astronomical, and there will be a ripple effect. As far as whether the Falcons could turn it around in 2020 without coaching staff changes, that would assume a level of success that’s even more unlikely than the team’s fall to 3-9 this season. But the NFL is a strange league so nothing can be said with 100 percent certainty.

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should be an interesting off season:

I have been ambivalent but now I am firmly saying I dont think firing DQ is the answer. There are too many parallels to what happened to Mike Smith here to what we are seeing from DQ. Mike Smith WAS a good coach. DQ WAS a good coach. They dont forget how to coach. 

Changing coaching staffs yet again will do nothing long term if we dont figure out what the problem is higher up. I'd like to see us ride this storm out a bit and spend more time focusing on what is happening above DQ rather than sending him and coordinators packing yet again. I see that as perpetuating the problem and we'll be in the same spot in 5 years.  

We made a decision on a coach based on research. Stick to your decision. Keep the coordinators (however DK is still a dumb choice but its done) and lets move forward. 

I think another major change is going to bring back some dark times for this franchise as our stars phase out and we settle back to the mean. 

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44 minutes ago, Flying Falcon said:

This part right here:

 

"Jones: I have not done in-depth study on the Falcons’ offensive line, but I will say generally that offensive line draft picks are exceedingly difficult to scout. Offensive linemen have the steepest learning curve of any position coming into the NFL right now, and it’s only getting more significant, because of the differences in college offenses and the NFL and rules limiting practice time and contact in the offseason. Those rules help protect linemen’s bodies and will be especially beneficial for their long-term health, and coaches have not found a way to coach young linemen better with those restrictions. So it’s not as easy as just saying, “We drafted a lot of offensive linemen early, we’ve solved it.”

 

Is what I was trying to tell @Geneaut about linemen.

The problem isn't just drafting OL. Scheme is a big part. 7 step drops with mismatch OL trying to gel is leaving them out to dry. We all knew McGary's biggest weakness was speed on the edge. Well if Matt's last foot is hitting 7 yards back, the DE doesn't have much of an arc to run because he can just pin his ears back and beat the OT. Jake has look just as bad at points because of this too. 

Koetter is leaving his OL out to dry on passing plays and isn't running the ball enough to send the fight back to the DL. 

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45 minutes ago, Geneaut said:

Worked for the Colts ... just saying.I'm not claiming it's easy, but it must be easier than drafting a new QB and still ignoring the OL.

In the Colts situation though, they drafted one of the best OG prospects the NFL has ever seen coming out of college, and invested in Ryan Kelly 2 years before. Braden Smith wasn't a slouch as a 2nd round pick. Castonzo was a first round talent that's been there since 2011. The only other vet was Glowinski, and he just meshed in being surrounded by some pretty talented guys at the other spots. The Colts got some pretty good value with their OL selections. Nelson being the most obvious one.

It hurts not having your better first round selection in Lindstrom being out for most of the year, while the other missed a lot of camp and preseason dealing with heart issues. Our investment in having a strong offensive line, flopped with not having those 2 consistently on the field and developing. 

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21 minutes ago, vel said:

The problem isn't just drafting OL. Scheme is a big part. 7 step drops with mismatch OL trying to gel is leaving them out to dry. We all knew McGary's biggest weakness was speed on the edge. Well if Matt's last foot is hitting 7 yards back, the DE doesn't have much of an arc to run because he can just pin his ears back and beat the OT. Jake has look just as bad at points because of this too. 

Koetter is leaving his OL out to dry on passing plays and isn't running the ball enough to send the fight back to the DL. 

Agreed. Koetters scheme relies to much on protection, and having a rookie, who struggles with speed, and no run game just makes it worse.

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58 minutes ago, ATLSlobberKnockers said:

Zero.chance Hooper isn't extended. Trufant will be back for 2020. Other than Mack the rest are easily replaceable.

A rebuilding team with salary cap issues extending a TE at $10M+/year when they have Julio (highest paid WR in the NFL) and Ridley already?  I sure hope not.

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Liked Schultzs comment when dealing out the blame as in co team builders lol.

TATF version everything bad TD always has been always will be.

Reality your HC and GM are joined at the hip but the good aswell as the bad are a joint issue who’d have thought that nnnnooooo how can this be.

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