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Falcons to 'Roll Out' New Offense with QB Marcus Mariota?


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Originally posted on FanNation Falcon Report 
By Jeremy Brener  |  Last updated 7/20/22

With Matt Ryan out and Marcus Mariota in, the Atlanta Falcons offense will look a little different in 2022.

Ryan has been the Falcons' franchise quarterback since he was drafted in 2008 and played a very traditional quarterback style of staying in the pocket and finding receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones on the outside, or Tony Gonzalez at tight end on the inside.

But now ... the Falcons are set to operate more like they did before Ryan got to Atlanta.

The main reason the Falcons plummeted in the standings to land Ryan with the No. 3 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft was the downfall of Michael Vick and his dogfighting scandal.

 

With Vick under center, Atlanta's offense had a large emphasis on the run game. While Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder won't run the ball like prime Vick, the offense's goal of running the ball remains the same.

“I think you’ll see us move the quarterback a little bit more," coach Arthur Smith said in an interview with 92.9 The Game earlier in the offseason. "Hopefully that gives us an edge.”

The Falcons ranked near the bottom of the leaguein designed roll outs in 2021, but those plans are expected to change with a more mobile quarterback under center this season.

The designed roll outs were a massive part of the Tennessee Titans' success with Mariota and Ryan Tannehill while Smith was the offensive coordinator there. And now, Smith is ready to put his stamp on the offense in Atlanta.

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I think we're going to have an offense that's heavily based on timing. No way Mariota is taking 7-step drops and waiting for guys to run free downfield. I expect a lot of passes to our backs and crossing routes. I'll be shocked if we throw 15 yards downfield more than 5-8 times per game. I think Arthur is going to drill Mariota and Ridder to make a quick read and dish with confidence to the first guy available. One thing I don't expect is for him to trust his OL or receivers as much as Matt did by standing in a collapsing pocket for ~4 seconds.

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I want to see Smith's offense with an above-average RB and a much better OL to go with our TE and giant WR's. What little I saw of his offense last year was sad. It had no chance to be a threat. Things should be better this year, but that's assuming the OL is much better. If not it's going to be a long and painful season regardless of having more and better weapons. 

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13 hours ago, Realsurfin said:

What we are going to find out is how durable Mariota Is compared to Matty Ryan.  Cause our O-line is not all that great.  We lost Superman.  Now we see if we have another Christal Chandlier... remember those days...

🤣

Yep, 1998 NFC Champs on the Vikings home turf.

Chris Carter looking mad hurt after that loss

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Herr Doktor said:

One thing has to take place for any offense we want to run efficiently is that the line has to play better in pass protection.  Cannot have an entire section of the line fail 90% of the time.

This must improve… absolutely!

If they can improve on their own & elevate their individual roles as pass protectors, then the added utilization of roll outs & QB mobility to the scheme should add to their success.

Fingers crossed.

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Pro offenses aren’t defined by plays or personnel. You can find a little of each type of offense in every pro playbook. Pro offenses are defined concepts and priorities. We are a zone run team designed to stretch a defense horizontally so we can hit bigger targets in one one matchups  downfield.  A key point is to keep the defense protecting the back side of the play  which can be done with jet sweeps, counter, bootlegs or qb option plays. Sure we couldn’t execute option with Matt  but there was more than enough other methods to create that backside pressure that it didn’t prevent us from running our key concepts. 

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I believe the line will be better this year. Not great but better. I am certain JM will not be the weak link up front. He has the size and awareness, just had his confidence rattled as a rook. 
 

A marginally stronger line makes our RBs better. But for me, as always, TEs who can catch up front on a few steps will get us those early conversions. Our WRs look promising this year but there’s only so many big plays. Short game keeps MM or Ridder standing all season. 

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13 hours ago, JayOzOne said:

I think we're going to have an offense that's heavily based on timing. No way Mariota is taking 7-step drops and waiting for guys to run free downfield. I expect a lot of passes to our backs and crossing routes. I'll be shocked if we throw 15 yards downfield more than 5-8 times per game. I think Arthur is going to drill Mariota and Ridder to make a quick read and dish with confidence to the first guy available. One thing I don't expect is for him to trust his OL or receivers as much as Matt did by standing in a collapsing pocket for ~4 seconds.

I think they HAVE to play that way for us to be successful. They know they won’t really be able to upgrade the trenches the way they want to until next season. That’s likely the whole point of having big bodied receivers that are able to get YAC. Then they’ll take their shots downfield with OZ, CP, Pitts or whoever when they can. We’ll have the threat of Mariota taking off from under center as well as CP and Allgeier able to break off chunks of yardage at a time if defenses commit to stopping the passing game. An Arthur Smith with the ability to run his complete offense is definitely going to keep defenses honest.

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13 hours ago, Killing Floor said:

I believe the line will be better this year. Not great but better. I am certain JM will not be the weak link up front. He has the size and awareness, just had his confidence rattled as a rook. 
 

A marginally stronger line makes our RBs better. But for me, as always, TEs who can catch up front on a few steps will get us those early conversions. Our WRs look promising this year but there’s only so many big plays. Short game keeps MM or Ridder standing all season. 

I hope you’re right. I’d like to see what JM has been doing in the off-season to improve. There’s no way he didn’t hear what people were saying. That had to light a fire under the kid.

Edited by TheRisen999
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18 minutes ago, Killing Floor said:

I believe the line will be better this year. Not great but better. I am certain JM will not be the weak link up front. He has the size and awareness, just had his confidence rattled as a rook. 
 

A marginally stronger line makes our RBs better. But for me, as always, TEs who can catch up front on a few steps will get us those early conversions. Our WRs look promising this year but there’s only so many big plays. Short game keeps MM or Ridder standing all season. 

The Patriots used their TE's in a short game to compensate for a weaker running game.  We could do the same, which then makes running the ball easier.  Lots of ways to make the ball move.

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The season before Smith came here I spoke about how Tennessee’s offense utilized Tannehill’s mobility to maximize their offense output. I suggested that if we did hire him he may want a similar archetype. Needless to say I was lambasted for even suggesting that Ryan wasn’t mobile.

Fast forward to today and turns out I was right. Utilizing roll outs is going to keep the defense honest and allow us to have a more dynamic offense. My hope is that we can be creative enough on offense to put up consistent points and keep DCs guessing. 

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On 7/20/2022 at 6:10 PM, Jesus said:

I keep wondering what if Matt gets hurt behind the better line in Indy?

But seriously tho it doesn't matter if the QB moves around if they aren't accurate. Matt was accurate in the pocket and on the run. He wasn't the reason why the team struggled since 2017. That was always bad coaching.

Yeah, two of his roll outs were deadly, both moving right. The first was under Shanny, when he'd roll out and throw it all the way back to Hoop/TE/RB on the far sideline. The second was his  rolling out and lobbing a soft touch pass over that front bracket defender and hitting a receiver 8-10 yards downfield. 

 

 

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On 7/20/2022 at 6:57 PM, JayOzOne said:

I think we're going to have an offense that's heavily based on timing. No way Mariota is taking 7-step drops and waiting for guys to run free downfield. I expect a lot of passes to our backs and crossing routes. I'll be shocked if we throw 15 yards downfield more than 5-8 times per game. I think Arthur is going to drill Mariota and Ridder to make a quick read and dish with confidence to the first guy available. One thing I don't expect is for him to trust his OL or receivers as much as Matt did by standing in a collapsing pocket for ~4 seconds.

I think this is exactly what I think will happen. Marcus will drop, get that foot in the turf, and get rid of it. I it's not there, then he's going to be drilled to get out make something with his legs, and get out of bounds.

I'm sure they'll still take their shots, but deep passing is definitely not how this team is built. 

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On 7/21/2022 at 9:13 AM, TheRisen999 said:

I hope you’re right. I’d like to see what JM has been doing in the off-season to improve. There’s no way he didn’t hear what people were saying. That had to light a fire under the kid.

Hopefully he spent a lot of time at the gun show with McGary getting stronger! I hope that his work this offseason to incorporate fitness and strength is a sign he's getting serious about his work. If he can get to the next level, it'd be nothing but a positive for us.

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32 minutes ago, thanat0s said:

I think this is exactly what I think will happen. Marcus will drop, get that foot in the turf, and get rid of it. I it's not there, then he's going to be drilled to get out make something with his legs, and get out of bounds.

I'm sure they'll still take their shots, but deep passing is definitely not how this team is built. 

I'm extremely interested in seeing the blocking scheme for both rushing and pass plays. I have a feeling Arthur will do something to "cheat" with the OL. We ran 44% of our plays out of shotgun last year but I bet we push that up to well over 50%.

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34 minutes ago, thanat0s said:

Hopefully he spent a lot of time at the gun show with McGary getting stronger! I hope that his work this offseason to incorporate fitness and strength is a sign he's getting serious about his work. If he can get to the next level, it'd be nothing but a positive for us.

I cannot shake the feeling that McGary has mental issues.  Physically, he should be able to handle game.  He really lacks in the mental aspect of the game.  

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On 7/20/2022 at 6:57 PM, JayOzOne said:

I think we're going to have an offense that's heavily based on timing. No way Mariota is taking 7-step drops and waiting for guys to run free downfield. I expect a lot of passes to our backs and crossing routes. I'll be shocked if we throw 15 yards downfield more than 5-8 times per game. I think Arthur is going to drill Mariota and Ridder to make a quick read and dish with confidence to the first guy available. One thing I don't expect is for him to trust his OL or receivers as much as Matt did by standing in a collapsing pocket for ~4 seconds.

We're back to the stretch/boot thing we had with Vick and Dunn, aka.. Mike Shanahan's offense. That's what a lot of these WCO versions have evolved into. It's a solid offense if you can execute it.

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