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Five steps the Falcons can take to improve the offensive line in 2020


Goober Pyle
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https://theathletic.com/1516057/2020/01/07/five-steps-the-falcons-can-take-to-improve-the-offensive-line-in-2020/

Giving up 50 total sacks in a season is generally a recipe for missing the playoffs.

This season, six of the seven teams that surrendered 50 or more sacks failed to reach the postseason. The Falcons were among that group with a round number of 50.

More concerning, however, is the fact the rushing attack averaged 85.1 yards per game — 30th in the NFL — and 3.8 yards per carry — tied for 25th. The Falcons tied for 29th in total carries with only 362 in 16 games.

This offseason, the Falcons must figure out how to improve up front. While much of it will be player-driven, the coaches must adjust accordingly to ensure everyone is in the best possible position to succeed.

With that in mind, here are five steps the Falcons need to take this offseason to improve the offensive line’s performance in 2020.

Step 1: Do what’s necessary to keep Alex Mack 

While the Falcons have some tough internal decisions to make regarding the salary cap, letting Mack go to save $8 million against the salary cap would be a bad idea. If the $8 million is a problem when it comes to roster construction, perhaps the Falcons should spread the $8 million owed to him for 2020 — $2.55 million is already on the books in dead money, hence a savings of $8 million if released — to 2021 in a restructured deal. Ideally, the Falcons wouldn’t want to restructure Mack since he will be 35 next season. At the same time, Mack is still playing at a high level. His intellect allows him to make certain checks to his fellow linemen before plays, which speeds up the pre-snap process for quarterback Matt Ryan.

While a simple clearing of the books would aid the salary cap, the Falcons would then have to figure out who Mack’s replacement would be. As it stands, there isn’t another lineman under contract who can play center. Wes Schweitzer, Mack’s backup in 2019, just finished his rookie contract and is set to be a free agent. By letting Mack go, the Falcons would need to have a replacement ready to take over. As of now, that’s not the case.

If the $10.55 million cap figure is too high for 2020, adding a year to Mack’s existing contract in a restructure is an easy way to alleviate this problem. The Falcons can convert the $8 million salary into a bonus to be prorated into the 2021 season. That would reduce his 2020 cap figure to $6.55 million, saving $4 million.

Mack is too valuable at his position to let go. The first order of business to improve the Falcons’ offensive line is to make sure Mack is with the team and good to go for the 2020 season.

Step 2: Sign a left guard for competitive purposes in free agency

While the Falcons struggled up front, the good news is that four players — assuming Mack is back — are returning to the unit. Joining Mack are left tackle Jake Matthews, right guard Chris Lindstrom and right tackle Kaleb McGary. Entering the 2019 season, only Matthews and Mack were returning starters. Having four linemen in place instead of two, with a full offseason to work alongside each other, should pay off once the 2020 season starts.

That stated, the Falcons do need to find a left guard, perhaps in free agency, to plug into the spot. Regardless of who Atlanta brings in, it would be advisable to create a competition among more than two players. Head coach Dan Quinn preaches the value of competition throughout each work day. So why not make it a battle between more than just two players?

Under contract, the Falcons still have Matt Gono, James Carpenter and Jamon Brown. Brown became a healthy scratch near the end of the season so his chances for the job seem slim. Gono is someone the Falcons have been working on developing the past two seasons. Perhaps it’s time to primarily place him as an interior lineman since the two tackles are set for the foreseeable future. Atlanta could also bring back Schweitzer on a short-term deal, considering his knowledge of the system.

While the Falcons probably won’t be able to make a major splash in free agency, an interior lineman of note could be Graham Glasgow, who just finished up his rookie contract with the Detroit Lions. Glasgow played left guard and center before moving to right guard in 2019. With that kind of experience, Glasgow could add to the competition at left guard and then also be a potential backup at center. His market value, according to The Athletic’s Chris Burke, could be an estimated $18 million for three years. There are ways to sign him to such a deal while keeping the first-year cap hit low. And as Burke explained, Glasgow may want out of Detroit due to how he was used during the 2019 season.

Step 3: Draft an interior lineman no later than the second day

Like last year, adding another interior lineman is a must to this year’s draft class. But given the team’s needs elsewhere, finding one in the first round probably isn’t in the cards. Plus, it also doesn’t seem like any of the available linemen — at least this early in the process — have first-round grades. So that may make Atlanta’s decision easy from that perspective.

As it turned out, Atlanta won its trade with the New England Patriots, which returned a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu. The Falcons will now have two second-rounders and a third-rounder, all within the first 100 picks. With those three selections, there should be a sound interior offensive lineman available to take.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked the top five interior offensive linemen for this year’s draft class in this order: Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey, LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry, Tennessee’s Trey Smith, Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz and Temple’s Matt Hennesy. One of those players figures to be there during Atlanta’s three picks on the second day, especially if this draft class ends up seeing interior linemen fall out of the first round.

If one of these potential draft picks hits, then you have Mack’s long-term replacement at center. If not, you at least have a depth addition who surely can’t be any worse than Peter Konz turned out to be after his selection in 2012.

“It’s an interesting draft, as well,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We have some young guys there that are, of course, of interest to us. We’d like nothing better than to continue to, again, build both sides of our lines, and back to what Dan said about the toughness and setting the tone, we know where that’s going to start.”

Step 4: Marry the offensive line’s scheme with Dirk Koetter’s preferred play calls

Once the player personnel is set for the season, fixing the production is where the focus then turns. Giving up 50 sacks in 16 games is unacceptable. A quarterback like Ryan should never take 48 of those sacks in a single year. Sure, in some instances the game flow produced more passing situations, which led to more sacks. Football Outsiders actually ranked the Atlanta pass protection 13th in the NFL, with an adjusted sack rate of 6.6 percent for the season. The NFL average was 7 percent. This obviously has to do with the fact that Atlanta led the NFL in passing attempts with 684, which was 51 more than the team that finished second — Carolina.

At the same time, there were instances of linemen missing their one-on-one blocks too often. Combine that with a rushing attack that didn’t execute well — with the argument that the coaches didn’t commit to it often enough — and it’s understandable why Ryan was under duress so often during the 2019 season.

Judging Koetter’s career, it’s evident he wants to put the offense in the quarterback’s hands more often than not. After Koetter was hired a year ago, Quinn said Koetter would adjust to the Falcons’ style of offense, which has an end goal of being a balanced attack. This was also meant to mean the wide zone runs would still be the focal point of the offense, with the inside zone used as a counter. It’s unknown whether this coaching adjustment period played into the up-and-down nature of the offense.

Regardless, offering the threat of running the ball successfully must be an offseason priority.

“We want to make sure that we have the same type of efficiency in the running game,” Quinn said. “It doesn’t have to be X number of plays, it doesn’t have to be 30 runs per game, but it does have to be efficient, and we do have to stay committed to it. That is one of the things that we’re going to work really hard at to make sure that part comes together.”

Going into 2020, all of the moving parts on offense must be on board for how Koetter envisions the offense to look. If the game-planner and play-caller is forced to adjust to something he’s not as familiar or comfortable with, chances are the results won’t come in a favorable manner. Looking around the league, it’s hard to argue that Atlanta doesn’t have enough talented players along the offensive line. Therefore, coaching must also improve across the board to ensure the line’s scheme and the in-game calls are married together.

Step 5: Further develop the 2019 first-round picks 

This offseason should be a big one for Lindstrom and McGary. Lindstrom looked the part of a first-round offensive lineman during the final four games of the season following his return from a broken foot. While McGary had his share of growing pains as a rookie, he still had a solid first season.

If the Falcons can continue to work with McGary’s technique in pass protection, the belief inside team headquarters is that he will be fine for the long haul.

Plus, once Lindstrom returned to the starting lineup, the right side of the line seemed much more in sync. While the Falcons’ line gave up six sacks in the finale against Tampa Bay — four in the first half and two in the second — the previous three weeks saw four combined sacks allowed.

Assuming the Falcons won’t be forced to play catch-up as much as they did in 2019, the hope will be that the passing attempts can decrease, which will in turn keep Ryan off the turf.

“I love where we are with our developing young guys, and those guys got some serious reps right away,” Dimitroff said. “They’re tough dudes who work hard, who are really driven.

 

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Step 1: Hire Callahan:tiphat:

???

Profit

Ps: many have pretty much said everything in this article. Agreed throughout...but honestly if Gono is the dude to also compete inside.... the interior Day 2 would be future C. Not sure what we can do in FA without overpay. Glasgow was another one we mentioned here.

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@Rings @FalconsIn2012

Some of this rings true...no pun...us running wide zone with Dirk tho? What?

But ya apparently the OL wasn’t SO bad we just couldn’t run the ball well/enough/efficiently.

27 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

Step 4: Marry the offensive line’s scheme with Dirk Koetter’s preferred play calls

Once the player personnel is set for the season, fixing the production is where the focus then turns. Giving up 50 sacks in 16 games is unacceptable. A quarterback like Ryan should never take 48 of those sacks in a single year. Sure, in some instances the game flow produced more passing situations, which led to more sacks. Football Outsiders actually ranked the Atlanta pass protection 13th in the NFL, with an adjusted sack rate of 6.6 percent for the season. The NFL average was 7 percent. This obviously has to do with the fact that Atlanta led the NFL in passing attempts with 684, which was 51 more than the team that finished second — Carolina.

At the same time, there were instances of linemen missing their one-on-one blocks too often. Combine that with a rushing attack that didn’t execute well — with the argument that the coaches didn’t commit to it often enough — and it’s understandable why Ryan was under duress so often during the 2019 season.

Judging Koetter’s career, it’s evident he wants to put the offense in the quarterback’s hands more often than not. After Koetter was hired a year ago, Quinn said Koetter would adjust to the Falcons’ style of offense, which has an end goal of being a balanced attack. This was also meant to mean the wide zone runs would still be the focal point of the offense, with the inside zone used as a counter. It’s unknown whether this coaching adjustment period played into the up-and-down nature of the offense.

Regardless, offering the threat of running the ball successfully must be an offseason priority.

“We want to make sure that we have the same type of efficiency in the running game,” Quinn said. “It doesn’t have to be X number of plays, it doesn’t have to be 30 runs per game, but it does have to be efficient, and we do have to stay committed to it. That is one of the things that we’re going to work really hard at to make sure that part comes together.”

Going into 2020, all of the moving parts on offense must be on board for how Koetter envisions the offense to look. If the game-planner and play-caller is forced to adjust to something he’s not as familiar or comfortable with, chances are the results won’t come in a favorable manner. Looking around the league, it’s hard to argue that Atlanta doesn’t have enough talented players along the offensive line. Therefore, coaching must also improve across the board to ensure the line’s scheme and the in-game calls are married together.

Dirk could also...you know get on board with “Kyle’s playbook” instead of forcing HIS vision on everyone ala 2019 mold ;)

But really, to be fair could the run game have been a task others; see OGs and falling behind often weeks 1-8 (sans weeks 2?) did him no favors?

I’m so conflicted on Dirk but all the more reason this team is dumb settling on Morgan when he hasn’t proven to generate a solid ground game...

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10 hours ago, Schwarzwald said:

@Rings @FalconsIn2012

Some of this rings true...no pun...us running wide zone with Dirk tho? What?

But ya apparently the OL wasn’t SO bad we just couldn’t run the ball well/enough/efficiently.

Dirk could also...you know get on board with “Kyle’s playbook” instead of forcing HIS vision on everyone ala 2019 mold ;)

But really, to be fair could the run game have been a task others; see OGs and falling behind often weeks 1-8 (sans weeks 2?) did him no favors?

I’m so conflicted on Dirk but all the more reason this team is dumb settling on Morgan when he hasn’t proven to generate a solid ground game...

We tried to marry our personnel with Dirk’s run blocking scheme last offseason.  I have no doubt that Brown, Carpenter & Stocker were a Koetter additions to add size got his inside zone & gap scheme.  That basically ruined outside zone until Wes/Lindstrom took over inside

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I'm really getting tired of this. A good offensive line shouldn't need more than 3 good linemen. If you have 3 good linemen, a good QB, and a good OC, you're supposed to be able to get by with 2 league average linemen at the other spots. 

If the Falcons need more than 3 good linemen, it means the linemen they think are good aren't actually very good, the QB isn't good, or the OC isn't good. 

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My steps to fix the OL

0. Fire Morgan and hire Callahan

1. Extend Mack and create cap space

2. Draft Mack's eventual replacement (Matt Hennessy) and let him play LG in 2020

 

 

3. Cut Sambrailo and keep Gono as the number 1 backup at RT and RG in 2020.

4. Better play calling

5. Last one since 0 will unlikely happen. Continue developing the young guys.

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11 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

Step 4: Marry the offensive line’s scheme with Dirk Koetter’s preferred play calls

Once the player personnel is set for the season, fixing the production is where the focus then turns. Giving up 50 sacks in 16 games is unacceptable. A quarterback like Ryan should never take 48 of those sacks in a single year. Sure, in some instances the game flow produced more passing situations, which led to more sacks. Football Outsiders actually ranked the Atlanta pass protection 13th in the NFL, with an adjusted sack rate of 6.6 percent for the season. The NFL average was 7 percent. This obviously has to do with the fact that Atlanta led the NFL in passing attempts with 684, which was 51 more than the team that finished second — Carolina.

At the same time, there were instances of linemen missing their one-on-one blocks too often. Combine that with a rushing attack that didn’t execute well — with the argument that the coaches didn’t commit to it often enough — and it’s understandable why Ryan was under duress so often during the 2019 season.

Judging Koetter’s career, it’s evident he wants to put the offense in the quarterback’s hands more often than not. After Koetter was hired a year ago, Quinn said Koetter would adjust to the Falcons’ style of offense, which has an end goal of being a balanced attack. This was also meant to mean the wide zone runs would still be the focal point of the offense, with the inside zone used as a counter. It’s unknown whether this coaching adjustment period played into the up-and-down nature of the offense.

Regardless, offering the threat of running the ball successfully must be an offseason priority.

“We want to make sure that we have the same type of efficiency in the running game,” Quinn said. “It doesn’t have to be X number of plays, it doesn’t have to be 30 runs per game, but it does have to be efficient, and we do have to stay committed to it. That is one of the things that we’re going to work really hard at to make sure that part comes together.”

Going into 2020, all of the moving parts on offense must be on board for how Koetter envisions the offense to look. If the game-planner and play-caller is forced to adjust to something he’s not as familiar or comfortable with, chances are the results won’t come in a favorable manner. Looking around the league, it’s hard to argue that Atlanta doesn’t have enough talented players along the offensive line. Therefore, coaching must also improve across the board to ensure the line’s scheme and the in-game calls are married together.

Step 5: Further develop the 2019 first-round picks 

This offseason should be a big one for Lindstrom and McGary. Lindstrom looked the part of a first-round offensive lineman during the final four games of the season following his return from a broken foot. While McGary had his share of growing pains as a rookie, he still had a solid first season.

If the Falcons can continue to work with McGary’s technique in pass protection, the belief inside team headquarters is that he will be fine for the long haul.

Plus, once Lindstrom returned to the starting lineup, the right side of the line seemed much more in sync. While the Falcons’ line gave up six sacks in the finale against Tampa Bay — four in the first half and two in the second — the previous three weeks saw four combined sacks allowed.

Assuming the Falcons won’t be forced to play catch-up as much as they did in 2019, the hope will be that the passing attempts can decrease, which will in turn keep Ryan off the turf.

“I love where we are with our developing young guys, and those guys got some serious reps right away,” Dimitroff said. “They’re tough dudes who work hard, who are really driven.

 

These two items are where the rubber meets the road to me.  Bringing Mack back on a restructure is a good idea, and getting more pieces in the draft and FA is fine, but if the blocking scheme is still opposed to the passing scheme, we're going to have issues.  That plus committing to the run and making it a huge focus for both installation and game planning are my number one priority.

Lindstrom and especially McGary need to focus on technique in the offseason.  Both are plenty strong enough -- they need to get the wrinkles down and work on proper technique.

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The sack total  will also go down  just by virtue of  having everyone in the system for a couple of years.

When the young receivers get more comfortable in it and   read the defense within the system better  then that is going to help a lot. There were times where Ryan wanted to throw the ball but the receiver was not where he thought that they would be so he ended up eating it.

 

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36 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

I'm really getting tired of this. A good offensive line shouldn't need more than 3 good linemen. If you have 3 good linemen, a good QB, and a good OC, you're supposed to be able to get by with 2 league average linemen at the other spots. 

If the Falcons need more than 3 good linemen, it means the linemen they think are good aren't actually very good, the QB isn't good, or the OC isn't good. 

OH OH OH!!! PICK ME PICK ME

 

 

I'm going with it being the OC

 

:tiphat:

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Just now, falconsd56 said:

The sack total  will also go down  just by virtue of  having everyone in the system for a couple of years.

When the young receivers get more comfortable in it and   read the defense within the system better  then that is going to help a lot. There were times where Ryan wanted to throw the ball but the receiver was not where he thought that they would be so he ended up eating it.

 

That's an excellent point.  It all works together.  Just like when we tightened up the back end of the defense the 2nd half of the season, the pass rush started to get home, when the back end of the offense is working right, it's harder for the opposing team's pass rush to get home.

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12 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

https://theathletic.com/1516057/2020/01/07/five-steps-the-falcons-can-take-to-improve-the-offensive-line-in-2020/

Giving up 50 total sacks in a season is generally a recipe for missing the playoffs.

This season, six of the seven teams that surrendered 50 or more sacks failed to reach the postseason. The Falcons were among that group with a round number of 50.

More concerning, however, is the fact the rushing attack averaged 85.1 yards per game — 30th in the NFL — and 3.8 yards per carry — tied for 25th. The Falcons tied for 29th in total carries with only 362 in 16 games.

This offseason, the Falcons must figure out how to improve up front. While much of it will be player-driven, the coaches must adjust accordingly to ensure everyone is in the best possible position to succeed.

With that in mind, here are five steps the Falcons need to take this offseason to improve the offensive line’s performance in 2020.

Step 1: Do what’s necessary to keep Alex Mack 

While the Falcons have some tough internal decisions to make regarding the salary cap, letting Mack go to save $8 million against the salary cap would be a bad idea. If the $8 million is a problem when it comes to roster construction, perhaps the Falcons should spread the $8 million owed to him for 2020 — $2.55 million is already on the books in dead money, hence a savings of $8 million if released — to 2021 in a restructured deal. Ideally, the Falcons wouldn’t want to restructure Mack since he will be 35 next season. At the same time, Mack is still playing at a high level. His intellect allows him to make certain checks to his fellow linemen before plays, which speeds up the pre-snap process for quarterback Matt Ryan.

While a simple clearing of the books would aid the salary cap, the Falcons would then have to figure out who Mack’s replacement would be. As it stands, there isn’t another lineman under contract who can play center. Wes Schweitzer, Mack’s backup in 2019, just finished his rookie contract and is set to be a free agent. By letting Mack go, the Falcons would need to have a replacement ready to take over. As of now, that’s not the case.

If the $10.55 million cap figure is too high for 2020, adding a year to Mack’s existing contract in a restructure is an easy way to alleviate this problem. The Falcons can convert the $8 million salary into a bonus to be prorated into the 2021 season. That would reduce his 2020 cap figure to $6.55 million, saving $4 million.

Mack is too valuable at his position to let go. The first order of business to improve the Falcons’ offensive line is to make sure Mack is with the team and good to go for the 2020 season.

Step 2: Sign a left guard for competitive purposes in free agency

While the Falcons struggled up front, the good news is that four players — assuming Mack is back — are returning to the unit. Joining Mack are left tackle Jake Matthews, right guard Chris Lindstrom and right tackle Kaleb McGary. Entering the 2019 season, only Matthews and Mack were returning starters. Having four linemen in place instead of two, with a full offseason to work alongside each other, should pay off once the 2020 season starts.

That stated, the Falcons do need to find a left guard, perhaps in free agency, to plug into the spot. Regardless of who Atlanta brings in, it would be advisable to create a competition among more than two players. Head coach Dan Quinn preaches the value of competition throughout each work day. So why not make it a battle between more than just two players?

Under contract, the Falcons still have Matt Gono, James Carpenter and Jamon Brown. Brown became a healthy scratch near the end of the season so his chances for the job seem slim. Gono is someone the Falcons have been working on developing the past two seasons. Perhaps it’s time to primarily place him as an interior lineman since the two tackles are set for the foreseeable future. Atlanta could also bring back Schweitzer on a short-term deal, considering his knowledge of the system.

While the Falcons probably won’t be able to make a major splash in free agency, an interior lineman of note could be Graham Glasgow, who just finished up his rookie contract with the Detroit Lions. Glasgow played left guard and center before moving to right guard in 2019. With that kind of experience, Glasgow could add to the competition at left guard and then also be a potential backup at center. His market value, according to The Athletic’s Chris Burke, could be an estimated $18 million for three years. There are ways to sign him to such a deal while keeping the first-year cap hit low. And as Burke explained, Glasgow may want out of Detroit due to how he was used during the 2019 season.

Step 3: Draft an interior lineman no later than the second day

Like last year, adding another interior lineman is a must to this year’s draft class. But given the team’s needs elsewhere, finding one in the first round probably isn’t in the cards. Plus, it also doesn’t seem like any of the available linemen — at least this early in the process — have first-round grades. So that may make Atlanta’s decision easy from that perspective.

As it turned out, Atlanta won its trade with the New England Patriots, which returned a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu. The Falcons will now have two second-rounders and a third-rounder, all within the first 100 picks. With those three selections, there should be a sound interior offensive lineman available to take.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked the top five interior offensive linemen for this year’s draft class in this order: Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey, LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry, Tennessee’s Trey Smith, Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz and Temple’s Matt Hennesy. One of those players figures to be there during Atlanta’s three picks on the second day, especially if this draft class ends up seeing interior linemen fall out of the first round.

If one of these potential draft picks hits, then you have Mack’s long-term replacement at center. If not, you at least have a depth addition who surely can’t be any worse than Peter Konz turned out to be after his selection in 2012.

“It’s an interesting draft, as well,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We have some young guys there that are, of course, of interest to us. We’d like nothing better than to continue to, again, build both sides of our lines, and back to what Dan said about the toughness and setting the tone, we know where that’s going to start.”

Step 4: Marry the offensive line’s scheme with Dirk Koetter’s preferred play calls

Once the player personnel is set for the season, fixing the production is where the focus then turns. Giving up 50 sacks in 16 games is unacceptable. A quarterback like Ryan should never take 48 of those sacks in a single year. Sure, in some instances the game flow produced more passing situations, which led to more sacks. Football Outsiders actually ranked the Atlanta pass protection 13th in the NFL, with an adjusted sack rate of 6.6 percent for the season. The NFL average was 7 percent. This obviously has to do with the fact that Atlanta led the NFL in passing attempts with 684, which was 51 more than the team that finished second — Carolina.

At the same time, there were instances of linemen missing their one-on-one blocks too often. Combine that with a rushing attack that didn’t execute well — with the argument that the coaches didn’t commit to it often enough — and it’s understandable why Ryan was under duress so often during the 2019 season.

Judging Koetter’s career, it’s evident he wants to put the offense in the quarterback’s hands more often than not. After Koetter was hired a year ago, Quinn said Koetter would adjust to the Falcons’ style of offense, which has an end goal of being a balanced attack. This was also meant to mean the wide zone runs would still be the focal point of the offense, with the inside zone used as a counter. It’s unknown whether this coaching adjustment period played into the up-and-down nature of the offense.

Regardless, offering the threat of running the ball successfully must be an offseason priority.

“We want to make sure that we have the same type of efficiency in the running game,” Quinn said. “It doesn’t have to be X number of plays, it doesn’t have to be 30 runs per game, but it does have to be efficient, and we do have to stay committed to it. That is one of the things that we’re going to work really hard at to make sure that part comes together.”

Going into 2020, all of the moving parts on offense must be on board for how Koetter envisions the offense to look. If the game-planner and play-caller is forced to adjust to something he’s not as familiar or comfortable with, chances are the results won’t come in a favorable manner. Looking around the league, it’s hard to argue that Atlanta doesn’t have enough talented players along the offensive line. Therefore, coaching must also improve across the board to ensure the line’s scheme and the in-game calls are married together.

Step 5: Further develop the 2019 first-round picks 

This offseason should be a big one for Lindstrom and McGary. Lindstrom looked the part of a first-round offensive lineman during the final four games of the season following his return from a broken foot. While McGary had his share of growing pains as a rookie, he still had a solid first season.

If the Falcons can continue to work with McGary’s technique in pass protection, the belief inside team headquarters is that he will be fine for the long haul.

Plus, once Lindstrom returned to the starting lineup, the right side of the line seemed much more in sync. While the Falcons’ line gave up six sacks in the finale against Tampa Bay — four in the first half and two in the second — the previous three weeks saw four combined sacks allowed.

Assuming the Falcons won’t be forced to play catch-up as much as they did in 2019, the hope will be that the passing attempts can decrease, which will in turn keep Ryan off the turf.

“I love where we are with our developing young guys, and those guys got some serious reps right away,” Dimitroff said. “They’re tough dudes who work hard, who are really driven.

 

Much much better article than than the regurgitated gobly-gook you get from the AJC or Falchoholic!

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Just now, JDaveG said:

That's an excellent point.  It all works together.  Just like when we tightened up the back end of the defense the 2nd half of the season, the pass rush started to get home, when the back end of the offense is working right, it's harder for the opposing team's pass rush to get home.

tenor.gif

 

That is the thing that gets lost around here.. It is what  makes Football so great.

No one player or position group does it alone.

 

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2 minutes ago, falconsd56 said:

tenor.gif

 

That is the thing that gets lost around here.. It is what  makes Football so great.

No one player or position group does it alone.

 

It's also why the best coaches, like Bellichick, find an opponent's weakness and pick on it like a scab until they bleed out.  If you have one thing you aren't very good at, a good coach will tear you to pieces by attacking it.

We did that against the Saints the first game, and the Niners.  But we need to do it more consistently and across the board (we have too many games where one side of the ball plays well just in time for the other to crap the bed).

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1 hour ago, Summerhill said:

I'm really getting tired of this. A good offensive line shouldn't need more than 3 good linemen. If you have 3 good linemen, a good QB, and a good OC, you're supposed to be able to get by with 2 league average linemen at the other spots. 

If the Falcons need more than 3 good linemen, it means the linemen they think are good aren't actually very good, the QB isn't good, or the OC isn't good. 

If I could like this all day I would.

@vel

@JDaveG

 

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2 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

It's also why the best coaches, like Bellichick, find an opponent's weakness and pick on it like a scab until they bleed out.  If you have one thing you aren't very good at, a good coach will tear you to pieces by attacking it.

We did that against the Saints the first game, and the Niners.  But we need to do it more consistently and across the board (we have too many games where one side of the ball plays well just in time for the other to crap the bed).

Agreed,

 

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1 hour ago, Summerhill said:

I'm really getting tired of this. A good offensive line shouldn't need more than 3 good linemen. If you have 3 good linemen, a good QB, and a good OC, you're supposed to be able to get by with 2 league average linemen at the other spots. 

If the Falcons need more than 3 good linemen, it means the linemen they think are good aren't actually very good, the QB isn't good, or the OC isn't good. 

Yeah, I think this year we had 2 good lineman (Mack, Jake) and 3 league average/below league average.

I'd say best case next year is we have 3 good ones (Mack, Jake, Lindstrom).  From there, the hope is Kaleb is league average, and that we have someone at LG that is league average.  2 average and 3 good players will definitely be able to get it done.  2 subpar guys (especially pass protectors) will sink your line.

 

But definitely the OC has to make the scheme make their jobs easier.  No two ways on that.

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11 minutes ago, falconsd56 said:

tenor.gif

 

That is the thing that gets lost around here.. It is what  makes Football so great.

No one player or position group does it alone.

 

It’s why I hate the idea of trading up for “our guy” every year.  No defense is one player away.  It’s a unit.  Lawrence Taylor wouldn’t have made much of a difference with our defense Weeks 3-6.  You need 11 players working as 1

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Just now, vel said:

It's really that simple. Koetter does nothing to help his OL. 

Not exactly true.

Ryan did not do  the O-line favors   by holding on  to the ball more than he should have.

 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/san-francisco-49ers/0ap3000001088402/Nick-Bosa-wraps-up-Matt-Ryan-for-sack

Great example of this.... He had  Freeman AND Gage open underneath.... He did not pull the trigger  so  he was sacked

And this was not an isolated incident.. this happened more than people think

 

Too much of the   failures   get put onto DK and the offensive coaching staff

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2 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

It’s why I hate the idea of trading up for “our guy” every year.  No defense is one player away.  It’s a unit.  Lawrence Taylor wouldn’t have made much of a difference with our defense Weeks 3-6.  You need 11 players working as 1

True.... but " our guy" can make that unit better.

 

NO team is ever one  guy away... but 1 guy can make a big big difference

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6 minutes ago, falconsd56 said:

Not exactly true.

Ryan did not do  the O-line favors   by holding on  to the ball more than he should have.

 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/san-francisco-49ers/0ap3000001088402/Nick-Bosa-wraps-up-Matt-Ryan-for-sack

Great example of this.... He had  Freeman AND Gage open underneath.... He did not pull the trigger  so  he was sacked

And this was not an isolated incident.. this happened more than people think

 

Too much of the   failures   get put onto DK and the offensive coaching staff

Because his primary read was a deep/kill shot that wasn't there because the receiver wasn't open?

#koetterball

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1 minute ago, athell said:

Because his primary read was a deep/kill shot that wasn't there because the receiver wasn't open?

#koetterball

 

Every offense has reads first reads that are not open... that is why there are multiple reads.

There was enough time  for him to take  the short pass that probably would have been for a big gain.

Ryan not going through his reads is not on the OC.

 

 

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Just now, falconsd56 said:

 

Every offense has reads first reads that are not open... that is why there are multiple reads.

There was enough time  for him to take  the short pass that probably would have been for a big gain.

Ryan not going through his reads is not on the OC.

 

 

That is the staple of the DK offense tho.  It wants to push the ball down the field at every single opportunity and even when the opportunity isn't there.

Check downs aren't DK's thing.

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