Falcons vs. Saints


Rookie WR Roddy White, December 12, 2005 – Falcons 36, Saints 17 – #84 gets 54 yd TD

Stay tuned for Dewey’s roster analysis, multi-part series, posted soon!

299 thoughts on “Falcons vs. Saints

  1. gman

    Good point from Schofield that last of season was a puzzle piecing process and THIS offseason requires some chemistry building:

    “I think the most important thing is that chemistry,” Schofield said. “I think we were so focused on football we didn’t really get that time to spend together outside and away from the game. When you have that brotherly love, that chemistry that takes you a little bit further in the game. It changes the dynamic and the meaning of why you are playing. The chemistry, the team-building this off season is going to be huge.”

    1. Grits Blitz

      gman – Interesting, but Mr. Schofield seems to be speaking in wishful terms of an established team and not realistically accepting there SHOULD be much turnover of players who simply don’t have the talent presently in Atlanta to consistently get the job done. Can’t team-build with guys who won’t (shouldn’t) even be here next year unless he’s got a crystal ball or has DQ on speed-dial to “know” which guys to develop this comrade kinship.
      Question for Scho – Does “chemistry” result from playing together in games and seeing who can be trusted in tough times to excel or does it result from “hanging out” with fellow players on days off/in the off season? Getting to know a person and knowing a fellow player’s skill set/tendencies in a given game situation seem to be two different things…

  2. Dewey

    I’ve read a lot about Quinn’s final word on the 53 man roster. Either I’m misunderstanding exactly what that means, I’m misunderstanding what other people are saying, or others are misunderstanding. So here’s what I think happens, now this is only my opinion based on what I’ve heard/read.

    Quinn has set forth parameters, characteristics he’s looking for in certain positions. Olinemen who are more agile than brute, DB’s with loose hips and long arms, etc. Now, just to be clear, I’m not saying this is what Quinn is actually looking for, they’re just examples of what he “might” look for.

    So anyway, Quinn sets these parameters and our scouts, led by Pioli, go out and scout during the season where you get the real feel for how a player performs. Quinn can not do this during the season himself because he’s busy coaching.

    The season ends, Quinn meets with King Arthur and Dimwitt to go over the current roster to discuss which players he wants back and which players need to be let go (not re-signed, released, traded, whatever). Before anyone starts yelling that Dimwitt is not part of this process, I assure you he has to be, he is in charge of the salary cap and needs to explain the repercussions of cutting a player, trading a player, or the cost of re-signing a player. That’s what he was mainly kept on for, contracts and salary cap.

    Anyway, once that has been accomplished, Quinn sits down with Pioli, Dimwitt and King Arthur and goes over the potential list of FA signees. Pioli brings his recommendations to Quinn, Quinn sifts through the potentials and probably makes a few different lists. I really want player “A”, but if we can’t get him, I settle for player “B”, if not him, player “C”. If we can’t get any of those 3 for this position, then we’ll look at addressing this position in the draft or stage 2 FA. These lists are then brought before King Arthur and Dimwitt for their approval. Yes, once again Dimwitt needs to be a part of this because he needs to let them know what he thinks it will cost to attract each player. Now, I should point out here that King Arthur is probably here just in body alone. Thinking about his new wife, what they’re going to have for lunch, whether or not he’s got anymore of that 45 year old scotch left in his desk drawer. Probably just blurts out the occasional, “can we afford that?”, or “if that’s the guy you want”. So, they come up with their list of FA targets and go to work.

    Now we move onto the draft. Once again, Pioli has his draft board, he and Quinn go over it, trying to see who they want and who might be available when we pick. This draft board goes before AB and Dimwitt as they go over strategies on how to go about getting the players they really covet and what their fallback plan is should they need it. Heading into the draft, this is a collaborative effort, Dimwitt, Quinn and Pioli come to a consensus on the picks. But Dimwitt makes the pick. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean the choice is his, but he calls the pick into the desk at the draft table so there is no confusion. One voice says who we take.

    Towards the end of the draft, a list starts being made of who’s on their board that probably won’t get drafted so the calls to the UDFA’s can be made quickly. I’m not positive, but there is probably the standard UDFA contract, put forth by Dimwitt that every player is offered. There are probably 2-3 preferred UDFA’s that get a little bump to better entice them.

    Now we move onto the secondary FA period which starts sometime after the draft ends and goes all the way through pre-season. There’s lists here too, but they change on a daily basis, so Pioli and his crew really need to be on top of their game to make sure no one slips through the cracks. And yes, as he is in charge of player contracts and the salary cap, Dimwitt is a part of this process as well.

    Training camp begins, and this is where Quinn’s “final say over the 53 man roster” comes into play. There’s typically around 90 players vying for 53 spots. Quinn gets to cut who he wants. I find it hard to believe no one has any influence on this, because some contracts are just too crippling to get rid of. But supposedly if Quinn says they’re gone, that’s it, they’re gone.

    This is a bit of a simplistic view, I cut out all the hours of watching video, the days measuring, recording, interviewing at the combine, meetings with position coaches and what they think of certain players, etc. But this is how I see the basic FO breakdown.

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Vaughn McClure explained the process at espn.com Sunday… TD has no say so in evaluating the players including draft picks, the 53 man roster and UFA’s – not even who is cut. This is determined by a collaboration of Dan Quinn, the assistant coaches and Scott Pioli. I repeated McClure’s article word for word earlier today – or was it Monday? TD is in on contract negotiations after it is determined by Quinn & Pioli who they want or don’t want. However the final decision on contracts can be overridden by AB after he talks to DQ – who reports directly to AB (not TD). It’s complicated but that’s the way McClure explained it.

    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      TD calls in the pick but doesn’t necessarily make the pick? That’s what Vaughn McClure said – he doesn’t make the pick – he has no influence. Running to the podium with DQ/Pioli’s pick won’t effect who they choose – unless he screws up and doesn’t get there in time.

    3. Grits Blitz

      Dewey – I find your take very logical. Arthur has proven he prefers 1)the corporate way of consensus decision-making and 2)shuns all controversy unless totally unavoidable. And, until he severs the cord with T.D., the fungus will continue to infect the (new?) “culture”. (By the time DQ realizes that, it may be too late for him, as well.)

    4. ajarnbangkapi

      Dewey – Outstanding realistic insights. I think you are dead on correct on the realities of the business of running the Falcons business model, the “production” side of the business, as it were.

      They really should hire you (and me, of course 🙂 )

  3. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Shocked by the photo I saw of Matt Ryan leaving the falcons facilities with his bags. He’s 30 or so but looks 45. I really believe he has some kind of health issue.

  4. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Roddy White not interested in taking a pay cut despite his reduced role in the offense. Would prefer to remain a Falcon but won’t sacrifice his salary to do so. Of course not…. why should he? (espn.com)

    Babineaux wants to play one or two more years and is signed through 2016. (espn.com)
    Babs was a contributor to an improved defense and should return for one final season – 2016.

    Vaughn McClure’s top 3 needs for Falcons:
    #1 LB
    #2 WR
    #3 C

    Falcons were 32nd in the NFL in turning the ball over and 28th in turning the ball over in the red zone. (ajc.com)
    Falcons improved from 28th to 18th in the NFL in rushing and JJ attributes that to aiding his “monster” year. (ajc.com)
    JJ says Falcons should be vastly improved on offense in 2016 – it’s about continuity.
    Vic Beasley is considering shoulder surgery. (ajc.com)

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Paddy 0 —- I’m with you on RW. This was McClure’s opinion. What do I think will happen with RW? He’s got about a $6 mill cap in ’16 and ’17 and he’s going to be age 34 soon. AB has great respect for RW or he wouldn’t have given him a big long term contract at age 32 – which is up there for a WR. Don’t think AB would even ask RW to take a cut so don’t know why RW would bring it up – if he did. RW got bonus for performance so I wouldn’t say he was underpaid. He got what he agreed to sign for and rookies are unproven when they sign their first contract. He was well paid. He’s set for life even if he quits tomorrow. I see AB blocking any talk of a trade or cutting him in ’16 but his performance will decide if he stays in ’17 – as it should be. He’s worth keeping but hell soon be age 34. We all get older.

  5. ajarnbangkapi

    Taking Deweys insightful realistic analysis of roles a step further, I started thinking of the Falcons like a multi-million corporation rather than a sports team generating “fan porn” so to speak (food for thought – if the Falcons ARE a fan porn generator, how would it be categorized? S&M? teasing? Is the draft really just fan Viagra? Get THAT out of your head).

    Corporations(in the production world at least) in general, have divisions that fall roughly into certain categories:

    Based on that model, where would Dimitroff fall? McKay? Quinn? Cannon? Pioli?

    Coordinators/players are clearly operations, Quinn I suspect is wearing two hats as head of operations and at least co-head of engineering if not in outright control.

    McKay and Cannon are sales/Marketing with some finance and accounting authority.

    Dimitroff is Finance /accounting (more accounting, McKay is more finance) with a key role in Engineering

    Pioli is Engineering, with responsibilities in accounting and operations.

    Scouting dept is part of engineering (call it research).

    Remember, Blank IS, at the end of the day, a corporate animal relying on instincts rather than innovation at this stage of his life.


    1. Dewey

      And if I ever become fortunate enough to have my own business one day, you will certainly be on my speed dial until I can coax you to come work with me.

  6. SG

    Well, sadly, it looks like we didn’t get this wish.

    The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter reports Arthur Blank is leaning towards retaining GM Thomas Dimitroff.

    Coach Dan Quinn has publicly supported Dimitroff, who had a significant portion of his former role picked up by assistant GM Scott Pioli last offseason. Quinn, Dimitroff and Pioli seem to be happy working together, and Blank will likely let that arrangement play out for at least another offseason.

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      In other words – if TD stays he will NOT be your typical GM as he will have no authority in drafting, signing or trading players on the 53 man roster. He’s a paper pusher and “figure head”. We need a real GM – not a “figure head”. Pioli and Dan Quinn are closer to being the GM than TD is. Guess DQ will end up being the GM and HC eventually – or he may already be.

  7. Wabe

    One win at Carolina salvaged people.

    I mean honestly, had we not won those games vs Jacksonville and mainly vs Carolina, then I’m assuming there would’ve been more of a likelihood of seeing someone take the fall. Whether it would’ve been Shanahan or Dimitroff.

    Dimitroff being here makes no sense. And retaining him reinforces my lack of confidence in this organization. We learned this season that this wasn’t solely a coaching problem. Getting rid of Mike Smith and bringing in a coach with a new vision means nothing. Mike Smith was never the architect of the former regime. It was always Dimitroff’s vision. You don’t bring in a new guy with a new vision (Quinn) while retaining the old guy that had his own vision.

    I mean, in how many ways does a guy have to get demoted before he is canned. And if his role is diminished as everybody keeps suggesting, then why does his name always pop up with the rest of the leadership figureheads.

    He has to go. If he doesn’t, they still don’t get it.

  8. Arno

    The confusion Blank generated through Dimitroff’s role was survivable. But now, Blank’s failure to solidify the needed culture change by keeping Dimitroff is inexcusable. From a marketing, fan-side perspective keeping TD in place is costly. From an administrative perspective, keeping Dimitroff is a silly luxury.

    After the exhausting way the season concluded on the field, I’m not happy with the added insult.

  9. ajarnbangkapi

    Dimitroff – contrarian view:

    If he REALLY deserves to be fired, it would be because he substantially underperformed HIS duties. Did he?

    Query – what were his duties/assigned responsibilities THIS YEAR?

    Perhaps he resigned who he was asked to, managed the salary cap minute and reported all issues to whoever made the final decisions on the roster (like dead money for high salaried cuts), reported what he needed to report to who he needed to report to, attended the promotional functions he was supposed to, and did all he was supposed to.

    Was he REALLY responsible for the folks on the roster performing or not if he wasn’t responsible for assembling this years roster?
    Was he REALLY responsible for schematic, preparation, or training deficiencies that resulted in less than optimal results on the field?

    Did he handle HIS responsibilities adequately in 2015?
    We don’t truly know what his job description entailed this year, so we don’t know if he underperformed. You shouldn’t fire a man for doing what he was asked this year because of decisions he made a few years ago, he already paid for that with a reduced role/reduced responsibilities.

    You shouldn’t get lose your job because your superiors didn’t get it done, or other departments didn’t get it done, or if you’re not considered to have exceeded expectations at any time (just met them), much less in a year that was the best pefformance wise in 3 years.

    This was a new year, new job responsibilities, and you can’t realistically (in the corporate world) fire someone that did what they were told because you think you maybe should have fired them last year, if you are still unhappy at what they did BEFORE this year.

    1. Arno

      What if their job description was ill-conceived, or if the job description doesn’t currently fit the company goals?

      1. ajarnbangkapi

        Arno – THAT would fall on ownership in what is effectively a sole proprietorship. He sets goals, direction.

        But I think he just hired Cannon to take over that part of it. Blank appears to be in full blast legacy mode (fair, to be honest, at 74).

        1. Arno

          There are legit reasons to let TD go that do not fit the underperformance of duties criteria. If Cannon will be setting the goals, then why is Blank still making the decision on TD? Confusion continues. The culture change is in disarray.

          1. ajarnbangkapi

            Arno – I think you just provided a spot-on succinct evaluation of the Falcons- Jan 2016-
            “The culture change is in disarray”.

    2. SG


      This post fits your MO of usually bringing a different, often deeper, always appreciated perspective. And your contrarian view could very well be spot-on. But it still boils down to why wasn’t his incompetent butt s%^* canned last year – instead of – AB rewarding said incompetence by stripping him of everything he was originally hired to do except contracts and calling in draft picks? I mean if that’s all he does now, no small wonder he could consider this year a success.

      Per Arno above: “From a marketing, fan-side perspective keeping TD in place is costly. From an administrative perspective, keeping Dimitroff is a silly luxury.”

    3. Dewey


      Very compelling. And if Dimwitt has half the brain you do, that’s exactly what he’ll tell King Arthur when they sit down.

      I still want Dimwitt gone though.

  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Good News:

    Paraphrasing DQ interview with Vaughn McClure today (espn.com)

    DQ’s philosophy is that the trenches are of GREAT importance in winning and that is where his emphasis will be in the upcoming draft/UFA period.
    The starting OT’s are “keepers” and Schraeder is likely to be signed to an extension as he is a RFA in ’16. Improvement needs to be made on the interior of the OL where they need to get BIGGER. Chester, Levitre and Person were “stop-gap” measures for 2015 but they are undersized. Chester played with use in one arm due to injury for about half the season. DQ did not say this but McClure said Levitre could be cut – has an escalating three year contract but has not performed up to what DQ wants.

    On the defensive side DQ wants another pass-rusher to pair with Beasley. Falcons are likely to approach Clayborn for a contract extension. Clayborn performed well and had a team high 15 hits on the QB. DQ also wants improvement at DT and needs to decide what to do with highly paid vets Soliai and Jackson. He likes Grady Jarrett’s future and says Hageman has the ability but needs to get more disciplined with his gaps as he sometimes get out of position.

    This sounds like what many in The Cage want – including me. Emphasis on the DL/OL and getting bigger/stronger on the interior OL but still have the necessary agility.

    DQ did not discuss WR, TE, LB or SS – this was all about the DL/OL

    I like it.

  11. Flo-Ri-Duh

    According to McClure, DQ also said that “proper” emphasis on the OL/DL had NOT been made in the past [an indictment of TD obviously] but would be made in in ’16 and going forward – as long as DQ was IN CHARGE. We shall see in a few months just who is in charge when the UFA/DRAFT arrives. Pioli was brought in solely to evaluate OL/DL because TD did not get the job done. Pioli is an improvement over TD. AB made that decision. He knows TD failed to evaluate and draft successful OL/DL. The guys TD did draft/sign on the OL/DL for the most part were miserable failures. Don’t have time to list them all here.

    Certainly would prefer TD gone and a real GM brought in – one that would be asset. If that is done I see both TD and Pioli gone.

  12. Flo-Ri-Duh

    AB – maybe- has seen the light. He FINALLY recognized the need for and decided to do something about the miserable failure to draft/sign OL/DL. He realized that was the down fall of the Falcons. That’s why he brought Pioli on board in 2014. That wasn’t enough however. He saw the need for further change. Smith out- DQ in. DQ said al the right things – emphasis needs to be made on OL/DL and that is a major philosophy that AB has come to agree on. Now this could all be “lip service” – talk is talk – we shall see if DQ walks the walk.

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        I had lasik in 2000 and went from -10 to 20/20 in one minute! To God I give all the praise and glory.

        I’m used to ridicule. In the year 2012 I called for TD’s replacement. (Seminole Warrior will back me up on that call] In 2013 I was calling for Mike Smith’s replacement. Others disagreed. Now they are on board but still disagree with my outlook. One thing for sure – time will tell if I’m right or wrong. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all thought alike or – went along to get along? 🙂

        1. SG

          Flo – you misunderstand my smart arsedness.
          I like the good news you shared today and truly hope your rose colored view IS right.

          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            SG – No problemo – I like a debate every now and then but I don’t just make up stuff to be different. If someone has a different opinion I’m willing to listen but not necessarily agree. To change my mind I need to see EVIDENCE and not just theory. I’m not that thin skinned that everyone has to agree with me.

            I’ve given my piece on TD and why he should go – everyone else can feel free to disagree. Won’t hurt my feelings one bit. This hash and rehash of TD over and over again is getting tiring. AB will make his decision in due time. Even if TD stays he’s no longer in charge of forming the roster – that’s a good thing.

    1. Chop Buster

      I believe Arthur is part of the problem. Leadership begins at the top. A leader that fails to be decisive and allows personal relationships get in the way of what’s best for his business (I.e., moving McKay and Dimitroff’s responsibilities when they failed in the job for which they were initially hired) is not a strong leader.

      Arthur needs to step back and be an owner and hire great football people who have a history of successfully building a winning team. AND hold people accountable when they fail to deliver!!!

        1. Chop Buster

          Huh? I think you’re trying to say we can’t change the owner? If so, true. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been behind the scenes causing issues with his GM. Arthur kept Dimitty for a reason. I don’t know if it’s just being soft-hearted or TD was really doing what Arthur and Smitty asked him to do. Just me speculating of course.

      1. Seminole Warrior

        Chop, we are of the same belief. The Financier in Chief is becoming more and more a liability. Perhaps it is time for him to step aside. Perhaps maybe it is time to sell the franchise.

        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          SW- Excuse me for interrupting but I like AB as owner – he’s willing to spend the money to get better and he’s got plenty of it. If the owner of the Braves bought the Falcons we would have a fire sale of anyone that is half way decent. Let’s just keep AB and talk him in to getting a “football” man to run the team. Someone that can work with DQ to actually MAKE THE TEAM A SUCCESS.

  13. Flo-Ri-Duh

    NFL Calendar of Events:
    Jan 23rd East-West Shrine Game
    Jan 23rd NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
    Jan 30 Senior Bowl
    Jan 31 Pro Bowl
    Feb 8 Waiver system begins for NFL
    Feb 23-29 NFL combine
    ***March 1 – Deadline for teams to designate franchise or transition players
    *March 7-9 Teams are permitted to contact agents of free agents to enter negotiations
    * March 9 prior to 4 pm teams must exercise option on all players that have option clauses in their 2015 contract
    *March 9 Prior to 4 pm – All teams must be under the 2016 salary cap
    *March 9 all 2015 player contracts expire at 4 pm NYT
    *March 9 The NFL 2016 year and free agency signing period begins at 4 PM
    *April 16 deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
    * April 28-30 Draft Chicago
    * April 30 At conclusion of draft Teams may begin signing undrafted free agents
    * June 1 deadline for prior club to submit a tender (counter offer) to URFA’s (unsigned restricted free agents) who received a qualifying offer for a “Right of first refusal” (an offer above prior teams original minimum offer)
    * June 15 Deadline for RFA signing to a multi year contract – after that they can only be signed to a 1 yr contract with prior club

  14. SG

    Matt Ryan admits OC Kyle Shanahan’s system was “too much” for him at times this season.
    “I think that’s for everyone, when you’re learning something new and it’s different, at times there’s too much, right?” Ryan said. Ryan went on to say he thought the team finally had some “good plans” the final 5-6 weeks of the season, specifically the last three.
    via espn

    It’s a curious admission from a veteran quarterback who probably shouldn’t be overwhelmed by any system at this point in his career. Of course, it’s also odd Shanahan insisted on something his quarterback evidently wasn’t comfortable with. The sides need to get on the same page this offseason. The Falcons’ offense, which needed to carry the team, wasn’t close to good enough in 2015.

    via rotoworld

      1. JB Falcon

        I guess Shanahan thinks it would be a good idea to hook a racehorse up to a plow. I idea came from a Jackass.

    1. JB Falcon

      Kyle Shanahan has carried the title of Offensive Coordinator for “Eight” years and “None” of his teams have ranked higher than 46% effectiveness on Offense. That fact can be googled and was known when DQ hired him.

      1. Chop Buster

        Amen JB! Quinn needs to stop talking to us fans as though we’re stupid enough to believe everything that comes out of his mouth.

        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Chops- Look at this from DQ’s prospective. His BOSS, AB, hired TD and DQ can’t fire TD – only AB can. If DQ were to say publicly Shan sucks, TD sucks, the team sucks, our talent level is high school and I can’t work these guys it would cause a media frenzy and turmoil within the organization. He must keep the peace in the work place while behind the scenes get rid of who he wants gone. Only DQ and AB are privy to these conversations and Leadbelly isn’t on their speed dial. AB hates turmoil and controversy. AB loves peace and tranquility. DQ has to be like a politician that says one thing to get your vote while doing behind the scenes what is his true agenda.

  15. Dewey

    Interview with DLed on 92.9 this afternoon……..
    RW84 had trouble understanding/digesting Shanahan’s playbook. Was sometimes lost on what he was supposed to do. Came from sources inside the locker room.

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Same on TD returning- DLed is the source of this rumor – I’ll wait for the facts. Earlier he said Falcons would draft 15th – no it’s factually 17th.
        Wouldn’t take a bet on Leadbelly’s accuracy of facts.

      2. Chop Buster

        Julio said it during his final interview. Something to the effect of “Roddy has been playing better because he understands the playbook now.”

      1. gman

        Certainly if RW was having an issue AND made mention of it in usual RW fashion, would explain why his number wasn’t called to receive throws. having said THAT..If That was indeed true, then Shame on Matt. I would expect a little more ball sack from our team leader.

  16. Seminole Warrior

    The TRUE reason why this offense had so much trouble in the first year of this season as seen through the eyes of Jon Gruden.

    “They haven’t run the ball very well in a long time. They didn’t run it well in the three preseason games I’ve looked at. And they haven’t been committed to running it, either. And their offensive line right now has a lot to prove,” Gruden said on a conference call this week. “Those are two big ifs, but if they can pass block and run block and run the ball, Matt Ryan and these receivers can rip you. They’re very talented.”

    Take a look at weeks 4-8 when the offense was committed to rushing the ball. Look at the average yards per carry and the balance that the rushing game provided for our offense. Then notice how the rushing game literally died when Freeman went out with his concussion for two weeks.
    And notice the steep decline in the rushing yards as well as the average yards per carry in the fourth quarter of the season; a time frame in which we know now that our offensive line consisted of several players that were literally “walking wounded” or simply, washed up for the year.


    Person – benched: Stone – IR; Levitre – underachiever and penalty prone; Schraeder and Matthews; efficient; Chester: One arm bandit

    OL depth: Missing in action.

    The main theme here: an offensive line that simply fell apart during the last half of the season; a quarterback that was totally battered under relentless pressure from pass rushes, inconsistency at the center position, a weakened rushing attack, and a known dependence on a single facet of the offense by other teams (excessive reliance on JJ11).

  17. Seminole Warrior

    Let me be clear..

    What the Falcons machine fails to realize is that there are some fans out here that pay VERY close attention to the ENTIRE year and all facets of what goes and comes. Some of us are very focused on the consistent use of scapegoating within this organization when things come apart.

    Simply admit that this team is a mess, it needs a major overhaul that is going to take time, and then go about a realistic approach to doing so.
    So far, the ONLY person that has been honest is Dan Quinn who admits that the OL and DL need to be MAJOR focal points in the offseason.

  18. Seminole Warrior

    The Tee Pee Sports team is hard at work breaking down film as we get ready for the Senior Bowl later this month. Have several offensive line targets in sight (excellent value picks) that could be key pieces of an overhaul of our ZBS themed offensive line. Given our limited pick for 2016, I am not reaching for a OL member with the first pick; instead the Tee Pee is re-assessing given the injury to my desired linebacker choice, Jaylen Smith of Notre Dame.


    To a young up and coming scout from the NY Giants organization that is mentoring under the watchful eye of Tee Pee Sports and Sensei Ozzie; a young man that I have had to teach the secrets (and talents) of MAC football – a young man whom has opened my eyes to a potential incredible talent that actually got past TPS due to my “man crush” on Smith. Major kudos to this young man and his eye for this find; Tee Pee Sports will share the credits when the name is released in coming weeks. Great work, JBP.

    1. bigblue

      I appreciate it sir. I’ve sat back this season , read all the posts from you guys. Learned alot from you! All of you. I’m ready to engage in some awesome conversation’s with all. I finally understand how to look at the bigger picture!

  19. Greg Mendel

    Good stuff, Warrior. It is a team, after all. IMO, it’s foolish to simply react (or overreact) game to game. I must confess that I was shocked by the applause the team got after overwhelming the undefeated Panthers — almost solely engineered by a wounded Matt Ryan, followed by calling for Matt’s head (what’s left of it.)

    The Falcons O-line is crap. Even a homer like me can see that. Dan Reeves said it. Everybody in the business has said it. A crap O-line leads to the kinds of exponential mistakes made in 2015. Fix the O-line and stop blaming everything on Shanahan, Quinn, Ryan, and Arthur Blank.

    I’m talking to you, TD.

    1. Seminole Warrior

      Totally concur with you my brother. The front office has failed immensely and STILL has not been held accountable for its actions. We continue to wait.

      Yet this front office continues to fuel these “scapgoat” excuses for why this team continues to underachieve. Here are the facts……

      Matt Ryan’s numbers this season were almost identical to his totals over the TWO seasons except for THREE key areas:

      1) Touchdown passes were down 25% in 2015.
      2) His number of fumbles were up a staggering 140% from 2014 and 2013.
      3) His number of LOST fumbles was up 60% in 2015 from both 2014 and 2013.

      The MOST noticeable difference: Look at the inconsistent nature of the offensive line configuration. Note the limited consistency thereof as well.

      2013 – LT: Holmes, LG: Blalock, C: Hawley/Konz, RG: Reynolds/Konz; RT: Trueblood (Line allowed 44 sacks)
      2014 – LT: Matthews, LG: Blalock, C: Hawley/Stone, RG: Asamoah; RT: Schraeder/Carimi (Line allowed 31 sacks)
      2015 – LT: Matthews, LG: Levitre, C: Person/Gradkowski; RG: Chester; RT: Schrader. (Line allowed 30 sacks)

      Add to the fact that we had THREE offensive line coaches over that same three year period; Hill in 2013, Tice in 2014, and Morgan in 2015.

      Yet, despite this three year travesty, the Falcons offense has been a top 15 TOTAL offense in each of the past three years. It has been a top ten passing offense each of those years which means that the arm of Matt Ryan CARRIED this team in the midst of a total meltdown defensively and in other areas.

      But where this team improved dramatically in 2015, behind this flawed offensive line, is that we went from being the 32nd ranked rushing attack in 2013 to being the 18th ranked attack in 2015. As a matter of fact, the Falcons rushing production improved by some 25% each year over the last two, moving from 32nd to 24th in 2014 and from 24th to 18th in 2015.

      Considering what they had to work with upfront, Koetter and Shanahan’s desire to achieve offensive balance has been masterfully worked. But again, where is the issue?

        1. Seminole Warrior

          And I wish that most people would take a look at those turnovers.

          How many botched center to QB exchanges were there? You would be surprised.

          How many times did MR2 simply lose the ball trying to manuever in a pocket that collapse way too often and fast?

          How many interceptions were “forced” as he attempted to make a play to JJ11 when others were available as check downs?

          Yes, this was a very bad year for our quarterback. But it was a bad year for an offensive team that we all knew was riddled with issues and concerns.


    2. Seminole Warrior

      “I must confess that I was shocked by the applause the team got after overwhelming the undefeated Panthers — almost solely engineered by a wounded Matt Ryan, followed by calling for Matt’s head (what’s left of it.)”

      I was not shocked, my brother. I was pissed. How many times have Matt Ryan and Matt Bryant saved this team’s @$$..? The true is out there.

      Just saying…..but you already know the truth.

  20. Dewey

    Looking for extra draft picks this year? There could be a bit of an unconventional way, would cost a few players who many would want to see retained with the Falcons, but it could be worth it in the long run……RESTRICTED FREE AGENCY.

    This is unconventional in that it rarely happens the way you’d like, but if you have players who might be desired by other clubs, you could cash in. We have 3 such players this year…..

    OT Ryan Schrader
    LB Paul Worrilow
    LB Nate Stupar

    The way this works is you have 3 choices of 1 year tenders you can offer each player (if I’m not mistaken, you’re only allowed to tender up to 3 players this way).
    The first level, is a 1 year, $2.879 million contract.
    Level two, 1 year, $2.023 million
    Level three, 1 year, $1.323 million

    If you offer a player one of these 1 year tenders, at the start of free agency, they can negotiate with other teams. If another team offers that player a contract equal to or exceeding the 1 year tender, we have a decision to make. We can match the offer made by the other team, thereby retaining the player’s service at a contract essentially negotiated by another team, or we can choose not to match the offer, in which case the player becomes property of the team that offered him the contract. Once another team offers one of our restricted FA’s a contract, we have 10 days to match the offer or give up the player. Also, at any time, we can retract the tender to the player, making him an unrestricted FA, free to sign with anyone.

    Here’s how it can turn in our favor…..
    If you offer a player a level 1 contract, and he’s offered by another team and you chose to let him go, you get that teams 1st round draft choice.
    2nd level gets you that teams 2nd round draft choice.
    3rd level gets you a draft choice of the round that player was drafted in. If the player was an UDFA, then you get nothing as compensation.

    So here’s what I would do. All 3 players this year had contracts of $585,000. So re-signing all 3 of them would probably push the sum of their contracts to $5-6 million anyway. So I would look at all 3 players and decide what I would hope for in return.

    1-Nate Stupar was a 7th round draft choice. If we have no interest in re-signing him, I would offer a level 3 contract in hopes someone would grab him and we’d get a 7th round pick for a player we didn’t want anyway. However, I think Stupar proved how valuable he could be to our club, not just as a ST player, but as a situational player and even spot starter. So I would offer him the level 2, and if someone wants him bad enough, we get a 2nd round pick for him. And remember, if it starts to look like no one will bite and we’re not comfortable paying Nate $2 million for a year, we can always remove our tender and make him a free agent and try our luck signing him back on the open market

    2-Paul Worrilow was an UDFA, so the level 3 would be wasted on him, as we would get nothing in return. I doubt anyone would give up a 1st round pick for him, so level 1 would be out. So I would offer Worrilow a level 2, and hope someone loves him.

    3-Ryan Schrader is a little tougher situation. 1st of all, he too was an UDFA, so level 3 is out, this part is easy. But then, level 2 or 1? Our oline is weak at best, and Schrader was our 2nd best lineman. So if we lose him, we’ve made the weakest part of our team even weaker. So that might tend to level 1, where if we lost him, at least we’d get a 1st rounder for him. But if the objective is to gain draft picks, then you’d want to give yourself the best chance to lose him, which would point to the 2nd level.

    Me? I offer each of them a level 2 contract. If any are snatched up, we gain a 2nd round pick. If no one goes after them, I pay them the $2 million for 1 year (they gave Bierman $2 million last year) then deal with them as free agents next year when hopefully our team doesn’t have as many holes as it does this year.

    There is a 4th, even less likely scenario. Years ago, the compensation on level 1 was a 1st AND 3rd round pick. Miami was going to tender Wes Welker as a level 1, knowing New England wanted him. But New England didn’t want to give up that much. So they got together and worked out a trade, since Miami didn’t want Welker anyway (morons!).

    There’s a 99% chance none of them would get offered by another team, but how cool would it be if all 3 got signed and we had 4 -2nd round picks in the upcoming draft.

    Like I said, with as many upgrades as we need to our roster, we’d better be looking at every possibility and every angle to improve the team.


    1. ajarnbangkapi

      Dewey – Great GM’ing there. Get draft picks anyway you can.

      I haven’t really looked at the additions and subtractions, but do you have any feel/optimism on compensatory picks 2016? Just off the top of my head I am skeptical as most of our losses were outright cuts rather than getting outbid, and we brought in a LOT of new players via FA (Leonard Hankerson, Jacob Tamme, Brooks Reed, Justin Durant) – understanding that compensation of players coming in and out slot the draft round.

  21. Grits Blitz

    Lots of banter about T.D. doing and not doing his current “job” – whatever that is – and cultural disarray!
    All boils down to this for me:
    1. If he stays, it’s all a corporate con job by Arthur that will continue to yield limited results with very little hope of lasting significant change.
    2. If he goes, Arthur has finally decided it indeed is time for a culture change and does care about the future direction of his team.
    3. If Arthur can’t or won’t make a strong leadership decisions, I welcome a change of ownership to somebody who can/will.


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