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“No limitations” on what Falcons will ask of QBs may be an overzealous approach


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Originally posted on SportsTalkATL  |  By Alex Lord  |  Last updated 7/23/22

The Falcons made sweeping changes this offseason when they traded Matt Ryan to the Colts. Atlanta’s quarterback situation is shaky at best following the trade, after signing Marcus Mariota and drafting Desmond Ridder in the third round.

The Falcons will likely head into the season with Mariota as the starter, given his experience advantage over Ridder, but the offense that Arthur Smith builds will complement the skillsets of both candidates.

[Matt] Ryan is the more cerebral, experienced, and accurate quarterback. But one characteristic the other two have that makes them superior is their mobility. Ryan has long been knocked for his inability to scramble, despite being an excellent pocket passer. It’s one skill that Arthur Smith should be able to leverage, regardless of which player starts this season.

In a radio interview with Andy Bunker on 92.9 The Game, Smith spoke on the subject, stating the offense will look a bit different with the mobility of the quarterbacks on the team. The Falcons’ offense will look more similar to those in Tennessee under Smith — zone rushing attack with play action rollouts built off the run. With Mariota and Ridder in Atlanta, the Falcons will continue to stress the focus of getting their passers out of the pocket.

It will also give Smith the ability in short-yardage situations to use the quarterback as an additional runner, something he did sparingly last season with the far-less-mobile Ryan. It’ll be interesting to see what Smith can accomplish with Mariota and Ridder.

The Falcons were at the bottom of the league in designed rollouts last season, but Falcons fans can expect them to be near the top in 2023. It’ll look like a much different offense, and it’s up to Smith to help cover up the deficiencies of Mariota and Ridder through play design and calling.

The Falcons obviously took a step back, going from Ryan to Mariota and Ridder. He’s a savvy veteran that covered up many of the team’s deficiencies for years, even if he isn’t the most mobile quarterback. However, that hasn’t stopped the coaching staff from setting expectations high, even if they are overzealous.

“There are no limitations on the quarterbacks and what we are going to ask them to do,” Dave Ragone said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re going to try to grow with them and evolve with what we think makes the most sense. We’ll get the feedback from them and more importantly, when you watch the film, seeing where they are most comfortable. Obviously, that’s what we’ll do.”

The Falcons might want to limit what their quarterbacks do because they aren’t capable of nearly the amount Ryan is. Mariota is a backup-caliber signal caller who wouldn’t start on the vast majority of NFL teams. Ridder is only a rookie, which comes with obvious shortcomings, namely a lack of experience.

It’s just another case where the Falcons’ organization displays zero self-awareness. |

 

I've started to laugh at articles like this.. How is it that a writer feels that he's knows better than Arthur Smith what he should be asking of his QB's and if what Smith is asking of them is too daunting of a task??? LOL You'd think this guy was a five time Lombardi winning coach the way he so smugly dismisses Dave Ragone's statement. Another question I have is.. How is it a bad idea to play to your QB's strengths? lol  I'd think it'd be a more prudent idea to do what they're comfortable doing as apposed to trying to make them stand in the pocket and pretend they're the same type of QB as Matt Ryan. The original poster goes on to said Mariota wouldn't start on most teams in the NFL yet the likes of Jacoby Brissett, Davis Mills and Drew Lock are running offenses in the league. Saying the organization has zero self-awareness is just a pompous remark with little to credence giving how productive this offseason has been. These dudes continue to have these baseless and uninformed takes on the Falcons but I think I'll trust the professionals, there's a reason Arthur Smith is coaching in the NFL and  Alex Lord is writing about him lol.

 
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22 minutes ago, Tribal Chief said:

Remember that conversation you and I had last week? This is exactly why I refuse to take anyone without credibility serious.

You’re right not to, I just see these articles and I’m like WTH are these guys even talking about?? I just don’t get what they’re looking at.

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Basically, if you want to boil the dude's point down, it's "you have to know your QB's limitations and scheme around them."

Well, yeah, and literally every coach does that.  When they say there are "no limitations" on what they're going to ask the QBs to do, they mean only that IN CAMP they're going to open the whole playbook.  They aren't restricting them to what the staff thinks they can or can't do.  I mean, Ragone came out and said it:

“We’re going to try to grow with them and evolve with what we think makes the most sense. We’ll get the feedback from them and more importantly, when you watch the film, seeing where they are most comfortable. Obviously, that’s what we’ll do.”

Yeah, like literally every other coach in the league.

HOWEVER, y'all will remember that Matt Ryan didn't like turning his back to the QB.  When Shanahan was here, he was taught to do it anyway, not because he COULD NOT do it and Shanahan was stubborn, but because he did not LIKE to do it and Shanahan was smart enough to know "it's going to make you better."  And it did.  It was always my main gripe about Koetter -- he only wanted to run the plays the QB preferred.  He gave the QB too much say in what's on the table instead of pushing him.

This staff isn't going to kneecap the QBs in camp by saying "oh, you don't like play action -- well, we'd better just scratch that right out."  They're going to teach them the full playbook and then pare it down on game day not to what the QB likes, but what he's good at.  Look at the language.  "we'll get the feedback from them and more importantly, when you watch the film, seeing where they are the most comfortable."  If these guys are good at something but they prefer not to do it, they'll be pushed.  If they like to do something and the film shows they can't, they'll be restrained.  But the point Ragone was making was simply "we aren't going to decide before we see them take a snap whether they can or can't do something."  That's just good coaching. 

This clown turns it into them being oblivious to the limitations of their personnel.  His problem is, that isn't what Ragone said.  They didn't have Matt Ryan running designed keepers, and they won't have Marcus Mariota doing things he's incapable of doing.  The main difference is Mariota is physically capable of nearly anything, so his only limitations will be whether he can do a thing consistently enough to put it in heavy rotation in the playbook, and whether too many things clutter his decision-making (something Shanahan worked to eliminate coming in after Koetter, mostly by getting a competent o-line so Matt could just play).  Arthur Smith is a master of de-cluttering the QB's head, so I think people are going to see an offense that appears complex and forward-thinking, but from the QB's perspective is actually a lot simpler and therefore more effective.

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18 hours ago, TheRisen999 said:

I've started to laugh at articles like this.. How is it that a writer feels that he's knows better than

Exactly. Pretty much anything from this sportstalkatl group is horsepucky.

You dont get to the NFL being a #2 over all by being a limited QB, or DE or WR or anything. Are there things MM has strength in versus other things? Sure but to think its some sort of overall limitation is just dumb dumb dumb.

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1 hour ago, runshoot said:

Exactly. Pretty much anything from this sportstalkatl group is horsepucky.

You dont get to the NFL being a #2 over all by being a limited QB, or DE or WR or anything. Are there things MM has strength in versus other things? Sure but to think its some sort of overall limitation is just dumb dumb dumb.

The biggest misconception out there is that the man just woke up one and was terrible at the game of football. He got injured and didn’t trust his body when he came back so he wasn’t himself. Then he lost confidence and got benched. When he played for the Raiders, the few times he got into game I saw a guy that was going all out. That’s the guy we have on our team now.

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1 hour ago, TheRisen999 said:

The biggest misconception out there is that the man just woke up one and was terrible at the game of football. He got injured and didn’t trust his body when he came back so he wasn’t himself. Then he lost confidence and got benched. When he played for the Raiders, the few times he got into game I saw a guy that was going all out. That’s the guy we have on our team now.

It's also a very fine line between winning and losing in the NFL.  A whole lot of Tom Brady's Super Bowl wins hinged on one play.  The Edelman catch against us.  The pick at the end of the game against the Seahawks.  Adam Vinatierri's foot in that first one.  In an alternate universe, Tom Brady is best known for never being able to win the big one.

Same in converse -- that ridiculous helmet catch Eli threw up that ended up beating the Patriots.

People put these magical qualities of "beast" or "bust" on guys that just don't fit.  Football is a team sport.  It's all symbiotic.  I have no expectation that Mariota is going to revive his career here and turn into a perennial contender.  But I don't discount the idea that he could, and frankly, if he manages to win just one, everyone will talk about what "he" did when in fact it is a team win (or loss).

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Pffffft

We're gonna win more games than ESPN and CBS think. And both our QBs are better than Aints or Panthers!  

Trolls can just stop sentencing us to lose just because we changed quarterbacks.  Say goodbyes to the best Falcon ever and wish him success elsewhere if you want. No hard feelings or ill will and thanks for rocking the team for a long time. 
 

But I’m cheering for whoever is in our hat. MM/Ridder don’t have to be Matt Ryan. And our offense doesn’t have to be Matt’s offense without Matt. Ok to be a little sad but move on by game day. 
 

FWIW I still really love Bartkowski. He’s still my favorite. But I’m not trolling for other teams just because he’s gone. 

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Yeah if I'm a HC or OC you'd hear me in interviews saying crap like 'we doubled the playbook' or 'I called my college coach up and got 20 new play-action plays from him'. If my QB couldn't throw to RBs in the flat I'd have the RB declare in the next presser how tired he is of catching passes since it's all the QB likes to throw.

 

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By the way, the notion of "de-cluttering" the QB's decisions is nothing new.  Bill Walsh basically invented the WCO around the concept.  The idea is you want the QB to get to the open man quickly, and so you design an offense where his decision-making is not tied to a billion option routes and "if this, then that" chess moves, but rather to timing and reading keys.  Nearly every NFL offensive coach follows this same philosophy these days, whether they're running a WCO, a Coryell system, an E-P system or some variant of a college system.  They're all trying to let the QB work through his reads fast, because in today's NFL, if you aren't playing the Falcons' defense, you just don't have time to "let the play develop."  You either make the right reads pre-snap and the right decisions post-snap or you are going to be incomplete at best, sacked or intercepted at worst.

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6 hours ago, runshoot said:

Exactly. Pretty much anything from this sportstalkatl group is horsepucky.

You dont get to the NFL being a #2 over all by being a limited QB, or DE or WR or anything. Are there things MM has strength in versus other things? Sure but to think its some sort of overall limitation is just dumb dumb dumb.

Not only that, but he was thrown in the fire immediately. Some players just can't respond as well to that as others can. We'll see what a few years sizzling on the back burner has done for him.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, JDaveG said:

Basically, if you want to boil the dude's point down, it's "you have to know your QB's limitations and scheme around them."

Well, yeah, and literally every coach does that.  When they say there are "no limitations" on what they're going to ask the QBs to do, they mean only that IN CAMP they're going to open the whole playbook.  They aren't restricting them to what the staff thinks they can or can't do.  I mean, Ragone came out and said it:

“We’re going to try to grow with them and evolve with what we think makes the most sense. We’ll get the feedback from them and more importantly, when you watch the film, seeing where they are most comfortable. Obviously, that’s what we’ll do.”

Yeah, like literally every other coach in the league.

HOWEVER, y'all will remember that Matt Ryan didn't like turning his back to the QB.  When Shanahan was here, he was taught to do it anyway, not because he COULD NOT do it and Shanahan was stubborn, but because he did not LIKE to do it and Shanahan was smart enough to know "it's going to make you better."  And it did.  It was always my main gripe about Koetter -- he only wanted to run the plays the QB preferred.  He gave the QB too much say in what's on the table instead of pushing him.

This staff isn't going to kneecap the QBs in camp by saying "oh, you don't like play action -- well, we'd better just scratch that right out."  They're going to teach them the full playbook and then pare it down on game day not to what the QB likes, but what he's good at.  Look at the language.  "we'll get the feedback from them and more importantly, when you watch the film, seeing where they are the most comfortable."  If these guys are good at something but they prefer not to do it, they'll be pushed.  If they like to do something and the film shows they can't, they'll be restrained.  But the point Ragone was making was simply "we aren't going to decide before we see them take a snap whether they can or can't do something."  That's just good coaching. 

This clown turns it into them being oblivious to the limitations of their personnel.  His problem is, that isn't what Ragone said.  They didn't have Matt Ryan running designed keepers, and they won't have Marcus Mariota doing things he's incapable of doing.  The main difference is Mariota is physically capable of nearly anything, so his only limitations will be whether he can do a thing consistently enough to put it in heavy rotation in the playbook, and whether too many things clutter his decision-making (something Shanahan worked to eliminate coming in after Koetter, mostly by getting a competent o-line so Matt could just play).  Arthur Smith is a master of de-cluttering the QB's head, so I think people are going to see an offense that appears complex and forward-thinking, but from the QB's perspective is actually a lot simpler and therefore more effective.

You hit it Dead On! No coach is going to sabotage his own team by hamstringing his signal caller. 

Edited by TheRisen999
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