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Something I've noticed over the last 20+ years or so.....


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When stuff doesn't work, it's because the "playcalling is vanilla," or "the route combinations are bad," or "routes take too long to develop."  Or on defense "we only play soft zone with no pass rush." Or whatever.  And we know it's wrong because we saw Dan Reeves run very dynamic offenses here, and very vanilla offenses here.  Same with Quinn and the defense.  Same with Shanahan in 2016 versus 2015.  We know these guys know what they're doing, but there are times when things get scaled back and everything gets worse.

What I'd ask folks to consider is that when you don't have guys who can run complex schemes to their fullest potential, it's hard to execute the entire system as it's designed.  And coaches tend to fall to vanilla stuff because the more complex stuff can really hurt you.  On offense, if you're constantly running motion and asking guys to change their routes on the fly, when they already don't know how to line up, you're just setting the entire offense up for disaster.  Look at 2015 when we went I think 5-1 out of the gate and then floundered.  Why did we flounder?  Because Shanahan was adding to the playbook.  All that 21 personnel, shift and motion base WCO stuff gave way to empty sets and read options and all this stuff the team didn't run efficiently.  And it got worse, not better.  But in 2016 it paid dividends.

If you look at what Quinn is doing in Dallas, he didn't forget how to run a defense.  He just has the guys to run it now.  I think the same is true with Smith and Pees.  They want to run a more complex, less vanilla scheme.  They just can't do it with the guys they have.

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Agree... these things take time. When you inherit players who don't fit, it doesn't usually work right away and we need some patience there.

As far as Quinn, he had every opportunity to morph the roster to his scheme and failed.

The example that comes to mind is Mike Martz's offense for the Rams. Those guys got it and the greatest show on turf is legend. The Lions couldn't grasp it and they were horrible under it. Football IQ can be as important, if not more, than talent alone

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Isn’t it also the coaches job to teach the players?

Should a coach try to run a scheme the players can’t run? Isn’t that the sign of a bad coach?

The Falcons problems have been a combination of players and coaching because the NFL is always changing.

Teams and coaching staffs have to constantly adapt.

We’ve seen this many times. Mike Smith was the most successful coach but failed to adapt and was fired after 2 losing seasons.

Quinn had some success but failed to adjust after the staff lost the true innovator. Also he kept trying to run the Legion Of Boom scheme without the Legion Of Boom.

Same thing will happen to AS if he keeps trying to run the same thing he did with the Titans. Other teams will adjust, will he?

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2 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Isn’t it also the coaches job to teach the players?

Should a coach try to run a scheme the players can’t run? Isn’t that the sign of a bad coach?

The Falcons problems have been a combination of players and coaching because the NFL is always changing.

Teams and coaching staffs have to constantly adapt.

We’ve seen this many times. Mike Smith was the most successful coach but failed to adapt and was fired after 2 losing seasons.

Quinn had some success but failed to adjust after the staff lost the true innovator. Also he kept trying to run the Legion Of Boom scheme without the Legion Of Boom.

Same thing will happen to AS if he keeps trying to run the same thing he did with the Titans. Other teams will adjust, will he?

It's a coaches job to teach it and it's a players job to execute it. If the player can't execute what the coach is teaching, the options are limited

Goes both ways. It's on both players and coaches

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4 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Isn’t it also the coaches job to teach the players?

Should a coach try to run a scheme the players can’t run? Isn’t that the sign of a bad coach?

The Falcons problems have been a combination of players and coaching because the NFL is always changing.

Teams and coaching staffs have to constantly adapt.

We’ve seen this many times. Mike Smith was the most successful coach but failed to adapt and was fired after 2 losing seasons.

Quinn had some success but failed to adjust after the staff lost the true innovator. Also he kept trying to run the Legion Of Boom scheme without the Legion Of Boom.

Same thing will happen to AS if he keeps trying to run the same thing he did with the Titans. Other teams will adjust, will he?

Not disagreeing with you at all here. It's just really hard for me to determine whether or not it was Smith's scheme or one of the worst offensive lines in the league that caused the offense to sputter. I personally don't think Kyle Shanahan or LaFluer could scheme their way out of that OL. 

Edited by dirtybirds233
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21 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

When stuff doesn't work, it's because the "playcalling is vanilla," or "the route combinations are bad," or "routes take too long to develop."  Or on defense "we only play soft zone with no pass rush." Or whatever.  And we know it's wrong because we saw Dan Reeves run very dynamic offenses here, and very vanilla offenses here.  Same with Quinn and the defense.  Same with Shanahan in 2016 versus 2015.  We know these guys know what they're doing, but there are times when things get scaled back and everything gets worse.

What I'd ask folks to consider is that when you don't have guys who can run complex schemes to their fullest potential, it's hard to execute the entire system as it's designed.  And coaches tend to fall to vanilla stuff because the more complex stuff can really hurt you.  On offense, if you're constantly running motion and asking guys to change their routes on the fly, when they already don't know how to line up, you're just setting the entire offense up for disaster.  Look at 2015 when we went I think 5-1 out of the gate and then floundered.  Why did we flounder?  Because Shanahan was adding to the playbook.  All that 21 personnel, shift and motion base WCO stuff gave way to empty sets and read options and all this stuff the team didn't run efficiently.  And it got worse, not better.  But in 2016 it paid dividends.

If you look at what Quinn is doing in Dallas, he didn't forget how to run a defense.  He just has the guys to run it now.  I think the same is true with Smith and Pees.  They want to run a more complex, less vanilla scheme.  They just can't do it with the guys they have.

Dallas had to 28th ranked defence last year AND Quinn had 5 years to build a defence while here. There's more to the story than system.  

If a scheme is too complicated for professional athletes to understand, it's too complicated. These are guys ehove been playing football for 10+ years of they life

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15 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

It's a coaches job to teach it and it's a players job to execute it. If the player can't execute what the coach is teaching, the options are limited 

True but when it comes to the bottom 1/2 of the roster how secure are their jobs?

How many players are untouchable on a roster? 5-7?

This is the NFL and it is cutthroat. 2/3 of any roster is replaceable at any time.

If the player can’t execute then that player will be replaced. But the evaluation that the player can’t execute ideally would happen In training camp.

And that was part of the downfall of Mike Smith. He had cupcakes doing cupcake things so when they had to line up another team…. Reality was not kind.

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1 minute ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

True but when it comes to the bottom 1/2 of the roster how secure are their jobs?

How many players are untouchable on a roster? 5-7?

This is the NFL and it is cutthroat. 2/3 of any roster is replaceable at any time.

If the player can’t execute then that player will be replaced. But the evaluation that the player can’t execute ideally would happen I guess training camp.

And that was part of the downfall of Mike Smith. He had cupcakes doing cupcake things so when they had to line up another team…. Reality was not kind.

I can only speak on this seasons roster. Them boys had trouble executing on both sides. Pees made it clear he couldn't do what he wanted to do because he didn't have the players to do it with.  With tight cap space, there isn't much releasing and replacing you can do. 

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7 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

I can only speak on this seasons roster. Them boys had trouble executing on both sides. Pees made it clear he couldn't do what he wanted to do because he didn't have the players to do it with.  With tight cap space, there isn't much releasing and replacing you can do. 

I agree. With the cap problems this was always going to be a wasted season. With Ryan or without him the Falcons weren't doing anything this year.

I'm not sure how much cap space they're going to be able to generate next season either.

Players age. Soon they'll have to think about replacing Jarrett & Matthews as well as Ryan.. although I hope they would think about moving Matthews around on the oline before letting him go. After all his dad played forever and at multiple spots on the line.

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27 minutes ago, Spongebob said:

Dallas had to 28th ranked defence last year AND Quinn had 5 years to build a defence while here. There's more to the story than system.  

If a scheme is too complicated for professional athletes to understand, it's too complicated. These are guys ehove been playing football for 10+ years of they life

Sometimes it isn't a matter of understanding.  I can understand not to play trail technique when the receiver is in a tight split.  But he's still going to catch the ball because I can't cover him anyway.

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Just speaking in general strategy terms , vanilla works and works quite well. Establish a basic threat develop counter punches so the other side can’t key off on tendencies with out leaving themselves vulnerable rinse repeat.  The more complicated a scheme the more points it can break down. Flashy doesn’t mean better 

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I think this is true to a degree, but I also think that playcalling/systems look more dynamic when dynamic players are running the plays. 
 

Matt Schaub knew all our plays but he could not rollout like peak Vick or, in the later years, throw a 20 yard out route like a young Ryan. And Pees might be able to scheme a 1:1 matchup for Fowler, but he can’t beat the man like Dumervil could. 

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15 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I agree. With the cap problems this was always going to be a wasted season. With Ryan or without him the Falcons weren't doing anything this year.

I'm not sure how much cap space they're going to be able to generate next season either.

Players age. Soon they'll have to think about replacing Jarrett & Matthews as well as Ryan.. although I hope they would think about moving Matthews around on the oline before letting him go. After all his dad played forever and at multiple spots on the line.

That's the bad part about remaining loyal to players, especially quarterbacks. They get paid. Hopefully that doesn't get twisted by anyone saying I think Ryan should be cut. That's just the cold hard fact. His cap hits are killers. 

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Definitely agree. You’re limited to what you’re able to do when you don’t have “your guys”. Quinn had a chance to improve his talent and get the players he needed, but failed to do so. Hopefully Arthur can be different. 

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I only expect flashes of what could be first year until everyone grasps the system or players can be brought in that fit the system. Al a 2015 Shanahan and the addition of Alex Mack at center. 
 

and I think it is to intertwined to blame system, coaches, or players singularly. 

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1 hour ago, JDaveG said:

What I'd ask folks to consider is that when you don't have guys who can run complex schemes to their fullest potential, it's hard to execute the entire system as it's designed.  And coaches tend to fall to vanilla stuff because the more complex stuff can really hurt you.  

I think this is what gets lost in the discussion. If you put a couple of 1992 Toyota Tercel's on the track in an F1 race, the results are going to be disastrous if everyone has the pedal to the floor.  You need some type of consistency in personnel if you want to max out the schemes, both in the type of player executing the play and their knowledge base of the scheme. 

Smith and Pees are running systems that are dramatically different than Dan Quinn's defense or the version of Kyle Shanahan's offense that was Frankensteined for a couple years after he left by inept retreads. The roster was constructed for the long-term around the previous concepts, and absent some obscene cap room there was no way to simply flip a switch day one. Even with a lot of cap space, it still takes time to install the concepts. The only way forward is to scale back expectations and concepts, or try to force square pegs into round holes and hope it doesn't spectacularly implode.

One of the reasons that I liked the hire of an offensive coach this time is that it seems that a unique offensive play-caller/scheme for a team is much harder to replace and almost requires a large reworking of the personnel. I just hope that Smith and Fontenot have success by year three, because I think Blank is getting less patient. I am not optimistic that the 2022 Falcons will be drastically different given the lack of flexibility. In fact, I would be happier with a similar season in 2022 than an improvement that is bought by a lot of roster moves that will just kick the can down the road on cap **** rather than giving the team a lot more flexibility in 2023. I am optimistic long-term though. Arthur Smith seems creative and competent and he has the team winning the close games. Everyone came in here thinking Smith was going to try to make Mike Davis into Derrick Henry light, and that may have been the plan. But when that didn't work, he was able to get more out of a career journeyman in Cordarrelle Patterson than any prior coach in his 8 year career. That tells me he can coach, I just hope he gets the time and the players to do it right. 

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15 minutes ago, Return of the Gaucho said:

I think this is what gets lost in the discussion. If you put a couple of 1992 Toyota Tercel's on the track in an F1 race, the results are going to be disastrous if everyone has the pedal to the floor.  You need some type of consistency in personnel if you want to max out the schemes, both in the type of player executing the play and their knowledge base of the scheme. 

Smith and Pees are running systems that are dramatically different than Dan Quinn's defense or the version of Kyle Shanahan's offense that was Frankensteined for a couple years after he left by inept retreads. The roster was constructed for the long-term around the previous concepts, and absent some obscene cap room there was no way to simply flip a switch day one. Even with a lot of cap space, it still takes time to install the concepts. The only way forward is to scale back expectations and concepts, or try to force square pegs into round holes and hope it doesn't spectacularly implode.

One of the reasons that I liked the hire of an offensive coach this time is that it seems that a unique offensive play-caller/scheme for a team is much harder to replace and almost requires a large reworking of the personnel. I just hope that Smith and Fontenot have success by year three, because I think Blank is getting less patient. I am not optimistic that the 2022 Falcons will be drastically different given the lack of flexibility. In fact, I would be happier with a similar season in 2022 than an improvement that is bought by a lot of roster moves that will just kick the can down the road on cap **** rather than giving the team a lot more flexibility in 2023. I am optimistic long-term though. Arthur Smith seems creative and competent and he has the team winning the close games. Everyone came in here thinking Smith was going to try to make Mike Davis into Derrick Henry light, and that may have been the plan. But when that didn't work, he was able to get more out of a career journeyman in Cordarrelle Patterson than any prior coach in his 8 year career. That tells me he can coach, I just hope he gets the time and the players to do it right. 

The thing is we don't need as much on offense as people think.  We need a solid WR, another competent WR, a good RB and one o-lineman.  We could use more, sure, but we can be a good offense with just those pieces.  And one of them (Ridley) might actually be on the team.

Defense is dicier because there are just so many holes.  Fowler at the very least needs a stablemate.  We need LB help.  We badly need help at corner.  We need to hope Grant steps up, and we need at least 1 more safety (whether that's Hawkins or someone else remains to be seen).  And a lot of these are starters -- we still just need competent players, but we do need at least that at multiple positions on defense.  And unlike on offense, some of them are pretty key positions.  Oliver is a FA and he's the only competent nickel corner we have on the roster.

Still, between FA and the draft, we ought to fill a lot of those holes, and if you have fewer holes, you can minimize their impact. The 2021 Falcons just had holes everywhere, and especially at WR and on the o-line, the holes just kept getting deeper.  So the staff is trying to scheme around multiple deficiencies instead of 1 or 2.  You can't win like that, and it's a minor miracle we won 7 games.  

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1 hour ago, Mister pudding said:

Agree... these things take time. When you inherit players who don't fit, it doesn't usually work right away and we need some patience there.

As far as Quinn, he had every opportunity to morph the roster to his scheme and failed.

The example that comes to mind is Mike Martz's offense for the Rams. Those guys got it and the greatest show on turf is legend. The Lions couldn't grasp it and they were horrible under it. Football IQ can be as important, if not more, than talent alone

I think with Quinn there was a general lack of accountability after the Super Bowl season and players really stalled in their development.  That and poor decisions made on the coaching staff. 

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15 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

The thing is we don't need as much on offense as people think.  We need a solid WR, another competent WR, a good RB and one o-lineman.  We could use more, sure, but we can be a good offense with just those pieces.  And one of them (Ridley) might actually be on the team.

Defense is dicier because there are just so many holes.  Fowler at the very least needs a stablemate.  We need LB help.  We badly need help at corner.  We need to hope Grant steps up, and we need at least 1 more safety (whether that's Hawkins or someone else remains to be seen).  And a lot of these are starters -- we still just need competent players, but we do need at least that at multiple positions on defense.  And unlike on offense, some of them are pretty key positions.  Oliver is a FA and he's the only competent nickel corner we have on the roster.

Still, between FA and the draft, we ought to fill a lot of those holes, and if you have fewer holes, you can minimize their impact. The 2021 Falcons just had holes everywhere, and especially at WR and on the o-line, the holes just kept getting deeper.  So the staff is trying to scheme around multiple deficiencies instead of 1 or 2.  You can't win like that, and it's a minor miracle we won 7 games.  

I agree to an extent on offense, though I think we will end up needing 3 competent receivers, hopefully bring back Gage and Zaccheaus on reasonable deals, and a replacement for Ridley. A good RB can be found in the draft, and I would hope we find a way to bring in a center like Ben Jones to shore up the line. I may be in the minority, but I think Mayfield still has a chance to pan out.  On defense, we have maybe 3 or 4 starters who are at or above league average. Essentially we have 50% of the starters that would need to change to give the coaches what they need to fully run their systems. That is a multi-year task, and the concepts still need to be installed after the talent gets here. 

I still see a lot of deficiencies next year, and similar issues trying to scheme around the gaps, but I have more patience now thanks to the Braves...

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“Coach them up” is the most overused phrase.   It makes it sound like every player can be all-pro if the coaches would just try harder.  If that’s the case, why worry about draft position so much?  Allegedly coaching up can turn anyone into a pro bowler.  
 

A teacher friend of mine once said ‘I do what I can, but some kids are just stupid.’  Some players just aren’t good.   Get better players and the more imaginative play calling will follow.  
 

 

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1 hour ago, ya_boi_j said:

That's the bad part about remaining loyal to players, especially quarterbacks. They get paid. Hopefully that doesn't get twisted by anyone saying I think Ryan should be cut. That's just the cold hard fact. His cap hits are killers. 

What you got against Ryan.....you think they should cut him huh??

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