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keeponbucn

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« : October 16, 2006, 08:11:51 AM »

The Bucs won and Falcons got smashed at home after a bye. Love it, and now the entire franchise is coming apart because they've invested $130M in a scrub who hasn't progressed......


Something seriously wrong with Falcons
By Mark Bradley | Sunday, October 15, 2006, 09:01 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

We saw this game last year in Carolina and Chicago. We weren’t supposed to see it again, but here it was: Matched against a brawny opponent of playoff caliber, the Falcons got manhandled. And from that we’re left with one conclusion:

Something’s wrong.

Something’s wrong when a team that makes noises about the Super Bowl can’t manage a first down for 23 minutes in a second half that can only be described as revelatory. Something’s wrong when Michael Vick, who used to be able to throw the ball to great effect, can accomplish nothing via the forward pass. Something’s wrong when an NFL team of first-rank talent is reduced to being the equivalent of Oklahoma in the ’70s.

The Falcons don’t employ the wishbone offense, but they might as well. They’re fine so long as they can run the ball and get ahead, but the minute they fall behind they’re in panic mode. (The Giants, by way of contrast, trailed by 11 points Sunday but won by 13 because they struck a balance.) The Falcons panic because they know their passing attack is an attack in name only. They panic because Vick, who under Dan Reeves seemed the ultimate comeback quarterback, is now no threat to bring a team from behind.

Something’s wrong when Vick, a pro since 2001, looks more confused than he did as a younger man. There might not be an ideal offense for this quarterback and his unique skill set, but clearly this one isn’t it. “This loss hurts more than any loss I’ve had,” Vick said, and at first that seemed a harsh pronouncement for any October game. But the Falcons had invested much in this test of legitimacy, and on Sunday they were unmasked.

They can’t throw the ball. They have a Pro Bowl quarterback and a Pro Bowl tight end and three wideouts who were first-round picks, and they can’t throw it the way an NFL team must. There was a time when the Falcons’ entire offense was Jamal Anderson pounding the middle and Chris Chandler throwing deep off play-action, and that was enough to get them to a Super Bowl. But the Falcons under Jim Mora/Greg Knapp lead the league in rushing — and still they get little off play-action. Either Vick overthrows somebody or somebody drops the ball or Vick gets sacked and fumbles (he took seven of the former and had four of the latter Sunday).

Something’s wrong when a team that spent big money to bolster its run defense yields 259 rushing yards. (Of the prized front four, three were hurting by game’s end.) Think of it this way: The Falcons netted 90 yards on one snap, and still they were outrushed by New York. “There were times we did,” said Mora, asked if his team had gotten pushed around. “I don’t like to admit that.”

No coach likes to admit what was blatant Sunday: that the beefed-up Falcons couldn’t stand up to the beefier Giants. “They definitely put it to us the second half,” said safety Lawyer Milloy, acquired for his ferocity. “It doesn’t feel good, but we know what happened. Any team in the NFL wants to be the aggressor, and we weren’t today.”

Something’s wrong when the broad-shouldered promise of September falls to pieces in one afternoon 16 days shy of Halloween. The Falcons took this game so hard because it undercut every notion they’ve formed about themselves: That they’re tough, that they’re resourceful, that they’re as good as anybody in the league. “Instead of progressing,” Vick said, “we regressed.”

Eleven games remain, and if a coaching staff knows its business that’s sufficient time to figure things out. But what happened Sunday makes us wonder, not for the first time, if these coaches are indeed the ones for these players. Something’s wrong when a team this gifted seems to have run out of ideas so soon.




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« #1 : October 16, 2006, 08:26:00 AM »

Damn, this writer is just now figuring out that Vick is okay as a runner, but sucks as a QB??  Just realizing that Vick overthrows his receivers a lot?  For the first time he thinks Vick is confused?? 

This guy must have had an extended stay under a rock somewhere.

But I do LOVE the article!!    ;D

keeponbucn

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« #2 : October 16, 2006, 08:40:15 AM »

The Falcons offensive game-plan is well, offensive. They are so boring and have little to no creativity. Knapp reminds me of Jeff Bowden the way he calls plays, no adjustments......nothing. That entire coaching staff isn't able to make in-game adjustments and I love it.

I taped the Falcon game and watched it late last night, they gave up late in the game. Vick looked lost, the defense gave up huge runs to Tiki...

Abe is hurt, Kerney is hurt, and Coleman is hurt and now they play the Steelers.......I love it.

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« #3 : October 16, 2006, 08:49:54 AM »

I do not know why I am about to do this but Vick is not entirely the problem with the offense.  As mentioned by keeponbucn Knapp is not that good of an offensive coordinator.  He is an extension of Marriuci except a lot more conservative.   Their wide receivers are not that good and they do not help out in making a game changing plays (I am wondering where Lelie is?).  Their offensive line can not pass protect at all which really compounds the problems Vick has in the passing game. 

Defensively they have the talent to play defense but Donatell is too conservative.  Playing soft coverage is okay once and while but eventually you have to try to blitz or force a team to beat you over the top.  Instead Tiki Barber had a complete game which really put Atlanta's defense on their heels.


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« #4 : October 16, 2006, 08:52:17 AM »

AJC has always been critical of Vick and the Falcon's horrible passing game. What Atlanta fan woudn't be. 130 mil for a glorified running back. Not to mention that garbage of an OC they have in Gnapp.



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« #5 : October 16, 2006, 08:56:24 AM »

Honestly, I think Vick IS the issue there.  He has had these same problems since he came into the league. 

Ask yourself, how long does Vick need to be given a pass (no pun intended) on how to NOT consistently overthrow his WR's??  This has been an issue for him since day one.  If he hasn't gotten it down by now, you have to wonder if he will ever get it.  While Knapp may have his own faults, he is not the one hanging his WR's out to dry....Vick is.  My wonder is how much longer it will be before one of his receivers gets jacked up.

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« #6 : October 16, 2006, 09:01:58 AM »

Vick is an issue as well but I strongly feel he is not a fit for what Knapp wants out of a QB.  What Knapp wants to do is run, run, and run and then expect the QB to be able to make a throw here and there.  Problem is Vick is not a WCO QB and he would be best suited in an offense that plays to his strengths. 




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« #7 : October 16, 2006, 09:09:37 AM »

Kinda like Simms is not the guy for Gru's offense??


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« #8 : October 16, 2006, 09:16:53 AM »

And McKay extended Mora before the season.  Priceless.

keeponbucn

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« #9 : October 16, 2006, 09:17:23 AM »

Honestly, I think Vick IS the issue there. He has had these same problems since he came into the league.

Ask yourself, how long does Vick need to be given a pass (no pun intended) on how to NOT consistently overthrow his WR's?? This has been an issue for him since day one. If he hasn't gotten it down by now, you have to wonder if he will ever get it. While Knapp may have his own faults, he is not the one hanging his WR's out to dry....Vick is. My wonder is how much longer it will be before one of his receivers gets jacked up.



Agree 100%. Over the past 5 years has there been any progression? Does Vick look any different than he did 5 years ago? No, we're talking about the same thing over and over. Vick comes in every year saying, "I'm mature, know the offense, etc" but then the season starts and it's the same old Vick.

It's all on Vick, they've spent 2 #1 picks on WR's, have another 1st round pick in Lelie but look, it doesn't matter. There's a common variable in all of this and it's Vick, he's the problem. They could have C Johnson, Moss, and TO on that offense and it wouldn't matter. Vick is incapable of getting WR's the pill in stride, can't anticipate a route, and has massive problems reading coverages.

If you go on the Falcon MB they're saying that Grads looks more polished than Vick does......I LOVE IT!!!

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« #10 : October 16, 2006, 09:26:40 AM »

I'm glad they have have Mr. Mexico, it increases our chances of getting a "W".

alldaway

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« #11 : October 16, 2006, 09:28:05 AM »

Vick is a variable but you can not say with a straight face those two first round pick WR's have stepped up to the plate.  And you can not say the Falcons have invested in brining OL that can pass protect either. 

If they had C Johnson, Moss, or TO Vick would look a lot better but pass protection is an issue.  Vick is not an accurate QB but Eli Manning is not either.  But what they both excell in is the deep ball.

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« #12 : October 16, 2006, 09:49:19 AM »


 Â The Falcons do have more problems then Vick.  Their O-line is built for a quick hitting running game and their D-line is below average against the run. Throw in the lack of discipline and control that Mora brings as a head coach and you have enough problems. But Vick is the main culprit here, and I'm not saying that just because of my bitter hate of the Falcons.

 Â Both his contract (Thanks Richie !!!) and lack of a QB's basic skills are killing that whole franchise. He may put together a game or two of good passing performances but even those games are filled with erratic passes and stuttering offense, and are usually against teams that are either piss poor at pass coverage or have so much trouble against Vicks running ability that they have to sarifice men up front to stop him.

 Â  I'm not saying Gradkowski is "the answer" but you can see whats wrong with M. Vick and most of the bad QB's in the league just by comparing Grads and Simms. When its there Grads will step up in the pocket and slide around with it instead of just running right or left, or worse falling back. Feels the pressure and moves upfield from it, not laterally. Moves through progressions quick and understands the timing/pace of the NFL passing game. Throws with accuracy leading recievers.  

 Â Most importantly is a quality that cant be shown in numbers ar stats but you have to see in gametime. Good QB's are running the offense and bad QB's are just out there throwing passes. Gradkowski fell into a little bit of that in the preseason and a little bit of it yesterday too. I'm confident he can get away from that with more playing time.  His deep accuracy concerns me though.

keeponbucn

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« #13 : October 16, 2006, 09:49:59 AM »

Vick is a variable but you can not say with a straight face those two first round pick WR's have stepped up to the plate. And you can not say the Falcons have invested in brining OL that can pass protect either.

If they had C Johnson, Moss, or TO Vick would look a lot better but pass protection is an issue. Vick is not an accurate QB but Eli Manning is not either. But what they both excell in is the deep ball.



shlt, you're right on the WR's ADW. It all boils down to coaching as well. Mora rode Vick's talents in 2004 but didn't create a good foundation for success. He isn't capable of developing talent and it's becoming more and more evident.

Vick won't be the starting QB in 2007, you can bank on it. Your QB has to be a leader and Vick has proven to lack that intangible. If you watch any Falcon game it's clear as day the team doesn't respond to Vick and the $130M project has now fizzled out.

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« #14 : October 16, 2006, 09:56:18 AM »



   Thanks keepon, I left out leadership. Vick doesnt have that either.
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