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Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title?

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Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#1 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:02 pm

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Head coach: Dan Quinn (29-19)

Key assistants: Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel

The Atlanta coaching staff missed departed offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in 2017. It had the league's highest-scoring offense with Shanahan in charge in 2016, but that unit ranked just 15th in that category under Sarkisian's tutelage last year.

That's ridiculous considering how much talent the Falcons have on that side of the ball.

Don't worry about Manuel because Quinn essentially runs the defense, and he deserves credit because that young unit took a major step forward in a quietly strong 2017 campaign. He also has a stellar career win-loss record, but he deserves a lot of blame for that unforgettable collapse in Super Bowl LI.

Put it all together, and this is a below-average staff.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#2 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:04 pm

I'm mixed on Dan Quinn being good enough to out-scheme top coaches. He has the horses/players to compete with anyone.

I think he got out coached against Philly in the playoffs last year.

I think he let K Shanahan get too cute in the SB the year prior with a massive lead.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#3 » by HMFFL » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:22 am

Out coached is probably accurate.
I might be the only one that noticed a problem here, but I didn't like seeing Julio Jones, and his sidekick controlling our offense.

Matt Ryan needs to take more control of his offense. It's not any WR's offense .

Spread the ball around!

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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#4 » by Bucketgetter » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:22 am

Jamaaliver wrote:I'm mixed on Dan Quinn being good enough to out-scheme top coaches. He has the horses/players to compete with anyone.

I think he got out coached against Philly in the playoffs last year.

I think he let K Shanahan get too cute in the SB the year prior with a massive lead.

Eh, you guys got really unlucky. If it wasn't for your really good safety literally kneeing the ball to other team for a free 3 points, you would have had a chip shot attempt to win the game at worst. Also would have won if Julio was even one bit of a red zone threat. And this comes after Philly had a bye and you guys pummeled the Rams in LA. If you really want to see a team get outcoached by Philly, check the Super Bowl or NFC championship game. You guys had them beat, and they needed a couple of incredibly unlikely bounces to go their way.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#5 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:56 pm

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Quietly, this has become a very good defense. But, in Year 4 under Dan Quinn and with its nucleus having been in place for multiple seasons, it’s now to the point where anything short of greatness would be disappointing. Every level of this D has flashed before, but never have they all shined unceasingly.

  • In the secondary, corners Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford are bona fide stoppers, both on the perimeter and, when need be, in the slot.
  • At linebacker, Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell look like the next Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, though they must become a tick more consistent at tackling and covering.
  • Up front, edge rusher Vic Beasley led the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016 but disappeared for stretches last year. As strictly a pass rushing specialist, he must bounce back. Opposite Beasley, 2017 first-rounder Takk McKinley came alive in the playoffs; can he blossom into a true three-down player?



Atlanta’s offense averaged 11.7 fewer points per game in 2017 than in 2016. Schematically, it used the same ingredients as 2016, but those ingredients just didn’t produce meals as tasty. A bounceback is in the hands of chef Steve Sarkisian. Now with a year of NFL game-planning and play-calling under his belt, the offensive coordinator must find the run-pass harmony that his predecessor, Kyle Shanahan, mastered. Atlanta’s scheme is conducive to this. With an outside zone running game, a savvy veteran QB like Matt Ryan and scary outside receivers, throwing out of running looks comes naturally.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#6 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Sep 7, 2018 5:10 pm

We've seen Matt Ryan under 3 (or is it 4?) different O-Coordinators. This is the worst he's looked other than his first year under Kyle Shanahan.

Bad coaching. Bad scheme. Not playing to the QB's strengths.


Matt Ryan Is a Long Ways From His 2016 MVP Form

The Falcons QB made poor throws and worse decisions against the Eagles

as similar as Atlanta’s red zone struggles felt, the games were completely different. Ryan, who signed a contract with $100 million in guarantees in May, looked atrocious throughout Thursday night’s contest, and whether it was a blip for the 2016 MVP could determine the Falcons’ season.

It started on the Falcons’ very first drive, which also ended in a goal-line stand, when Ryan missed running back Devonta Freeman on a makeable pass in the end zone.

The end of the game was far worse. With first-and-goal from the Eagles’ 10-yard line, Ryan threw four passes –– two to Jones –– and none were particularly close to staying in bounds. Those throws were all ugly.

Ryan underthrew Jones on a deep pass so badly that Jones stopped running as soon as he saw the ball. In addition to underthrowing Julio vertically, Ryan also threw behind his receivers.

Not everything about this loss can be put on Ryan. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian called some good plays but didn’t string together enough to call any good drives until the team’s two-minute drill at the end of the game. Atlanta’s aggressiveness on fourth down to open the game was smart, but the call to run from a heavy formation was questionable when putting more receivers on the field is both statistically a better idea and better suited to Atlanta’s personnel in that situation.

Yet it doesn’t matter if Sarkisian’s play-calling improves if Ryan does not.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#7 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Sep 7, 2018 5:36 pm

There was nothing solid to ride with on Thursday night. Power runs were slammed shut. Runs out of spread formations didn’t work. Throws to Jones, often forced, were fruitless. Flares to the backs missed, just like tosses inside to other targets. In the trenches, they were over-powered in the one-on-one matchups. This is no way to establish bread-and-butter confidence to get it done at crunch time.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#8 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:49 pm

Hall of fame quarterback Kurt Warner rips Steve Sarkisian’s offense

Warner paints the portrait of a man unaware of doing what’s needed to win in the NFL


Falcons fans spent the offseason crossing their fingers that Steve Sarkisian would put it together. But in Game one, the result was the same. The players looked uncomfortable, passes were off, passes were dropped, and the red zone remains a disaster. The “wrinkles” promised only days ago appear to be forcing previously failed formations to work.

Hall of Fame quarter Kurt Warner found smaller, more serious problems with the offense. He explained what he saw on the Jim Rome show. Warner compares what he saw in Kyle Shanahan’s offense to what he saw on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. When asked if he believed this was an execution issue or a coaching issue, Warner focused on two themes:


(1) players are not being used to their strengths; and
(2) the small intricacies are missing.


He points out that the routes have been sloppy, and suggests they are not emphasized by coaches. It sounds like Sarkisian may still not be sure what it takes to win in the NFL.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#9 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Oct 2, 2018 1:14 pm

Credit where it's due. The falcons offensive coaches have picked it up the last couple of weeks. Even though it was a pair of losses, the offense did their part.

I still have reservations about Sarkisian, but the results are undeniable.

Atlanta scored a touchdown on just 50 percent of its red zone opportunities in 2017 (23rd in the league) and converted just one of its five red zone drives in a Week 1 loss to the Eagles. But since then, Atlanta has found success from inside the 20: The Falcons went 8-for-8 in the red zone in weeks 2 and 3 and scored a touchdown in three of their five red zone trips on Sunday, including all three first-half opportunities.

Atlanta’s offense has always been good, and with rookie WR Calvin Ridley, they are consistent for the first time since 2016.

In the future...Ridley will require increased attention from safeties, opening up the middle of the field for Jones and underneath routes for Tevin Coleman and tight end Austin Hooper. The Falcons’ red zone woes look to be cured, but now the other side of the ball has become a major concern.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#10 » by Jamaaliver » Wed Oct 3, 2018 3:31 pm

A small blurb makes me wonder about our assistant coaches next season:

— When I think of bad defense, many teams come to mind, but the Tampa Bay Bucs (2-2) are the worst of the worst. They cannot stop anyone and Sunday in their second road game of the year, they allowed the Bears to put up 40 points on them, bringing them to a grand total of 139 points allowed in four games.

The Bucs are not good enough when it comes to talent, scheme or coaching on defense to win, and this will ultimately cost head coach Dirk Koetter his job.
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My first thought: that defense is (was?) run by former Falcons coach Mike Smith. Sounds like he'll be out of a job sooner than later. Best of luck to him.


My second thought, if Koetter is indeed let go as HC of that Bucs team...I'd love to see Dirk Koetter reunited with Matt Ryan here as our Offensive Coordinator. He could definitely get the best out of our passing game and he seems unlikely to be up for any head coaching spots anytime soon. Meaning we could finally get some sweet stability at the OC position.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#11 » by Jamaaliver » Wed Nov 7, 2018 3:55 pm

Giving credit where it's due:

Blame Sark No More: The Falcons Offense Is Back. Will That Be Enough?

Atlanta is looking like their 2016 self, but at 4-4 and with one of the NFL’s worst defenses, can they claw their way back into playoff contention?


Image

If you wrote the Falcons off after their disastrous 1-4 start, you probably weren’t alone. But over the past month, the Falcons have overcome their injury-decimated defense, dug themselves out of the cellar, and gotten back to .500 on the back of their high-flying offense. Led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who’s posting MVP-caliber numbers, and narrative-busting play-caller Steve Sarkisian, who’s solved the team’s red zone woes, the Falcons’ offense is quietly humming along at a clip that comes close to its incredible 2016 performance. In a season that’s been dominated by the NFL’s most unstoppable offenses, the Falcons have put together a juggernaut of their own—and that group makes this team a dark horse playoff contender in the season’s stretch run.

The nucleus of the team’s passing game hasn’t changed all that much since its record-breaking campaign under then-coordinator Kyle Shanahan in 2016. Ryan is still under center, Julio Jones is still unguardable, Mohamed Sanu is still an effective possession receiver, and Tevin Coleman is still a dangerous pass catcher out of the backfield. But there’s plenty of moving parts in any scheme, and it took Sarkisian a while to fully implement his playbook.

Sark’s play-sequencing is more refined this year than last, and he’s done an excellent job of using the team’s complementary players, mixing in more counters and misdirection plays into the slowly improving run game while utilizing an effective play-action passing attack off that.

Image

As Sarkisian said this week, the difference we’ve seen in his second season at the helm comes down to “an overall comfort level—with our players, our style of play—to put our players in the best position to be successful.”
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#12 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 3, 2018 5:21 pm

Quinn appears to still have Blank's faith.

But i expect new coordinators/assistants:

RealGM Wiretap wrote:Arthur Blank Hasn't Lost Faith In Dan Quinn, Thomas Dimitroff

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The Atlanta Falcons have lost four straight games and sit last in the NFC South.However, it doesn't appear as though Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff are on the hot seat."We\'re sitting here at 4-8," owner Arthur Blank said. "When there was chatter that we were Super Bowl contenders, and then this ... it's difficult to go through. It's tough on everybody. We have a lot of injuries. That's not an excuse, but ... it's reality. They\'re fighting the best that they can. The Falcons were a popular playoff pick in the NFC.

"I haven't lost any faith in Coach Quinn or Thomas," Blank said. "They'll do the evaluations that's needed."

Via Herbie Teope/NFL
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#13 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 3, 2018 8:13 pm

I expect both top assistants to be gone.

I'm hoping either Jim Caldwell or Dirk Koetter becomes our OC next season.

Mark Bradley wrote:The Falcons are broken. Major repairs required ASAP

Image

I’d seen it before, several times in different sports. A new coach arrives with a new message. The players like him because he’s not their old coach, who got fired for losing, and the thing pro athletes hate most is losing. The team starts winning. The players begin to think, “Hey, this stuff is OK.” (They “buy in,” as the argot has it.) They win even bigger. Now they LOVE their coach. To his many bromides, they ascribe the ring of greater truths. All for one, one for all, hip hip hooray.

And then, a few years down the road, they stop listening.

Some will read this as another criticism of Quinn as coach, and I suppose it is. But it’s not meant as a dismissal of the methods that brought this team to the Super Bowl. To reach the Super Bowl in the span of two years, you must do everything right. This is, however, to note the Falcons’ record since that infamous night in Houston is, counting playoffs, 15-15.

They have the same record as the Giants, who started dumping players in October. They have a worse record than the Buccaneers. The Falcons believed this could be another Super Bowl team. If the season ended tomorrow, they’d be drafting sixth come April. Absolutely no one saw this coming, and there’s absolutely no excuse for it.

Back in September, the Falcons were losing shootouts. They’ve since been reduced to shooting blanks. Their point totals in these latest four losses – 16, 19, 17 and 16. That cannot happen, but it has happened four weeks running.

Quinn took the Falcons to the Super Bowl, which merits the benefit of every doubt. He must, however, find help. The past month has reinforced what was obvious last season: If Steve Sarkisian can’t muster more points with this offense, he’s not a top-shelf coordinator. Quinn had to wrest the defensive controls from Richard Smith to make the Super Bowl happen; Marquand Manuel has done little to suggest he’s much better than his defrocked predecessor.

Pro Football Focus rated the Falcons’ roster the NFL’s second-best. That roster, admittedly missing some key pieces, cannot have a winning season. For the Falcons under Quinn, this is the nadir. For anything to get better again, he’ll need better assistants, better technicians.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#14 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 3, 2018 8:16 pm

And for the record, if we had a legit shot to bring in Mike McCarthy this off-season, I'd fire this entire coaching staff in a heartbeat to bring him in here.


Five areas the Falcons must address before the 2019 season begins

All bets are off when it comes to Atlanta’s assistant coaches

In seasons like this, assistants must be evaluated for their performance. And as owner Arthur Blank said following the loss Sunday, this will be something Quinn and Dimitroff do at the end of the season.

Whether it is fair or not, seasons like this typically produce scapegoats. But more importantly, seasons like this require new energy for the future. While Quinn and Dimitroff are safe, you can bet that all of Atlanta’s assistants will have some trepidation heading into the offseason. While the Falcons have dealt with numerous injuries, more so on the defensive side of the ball, it is always on the coaching staff to overcome those problems.

Early in the year, Quinn maintained confidence that his coaching staff would be able to develop the young players forced to see extra game action. And to a degree, some players have come along nicely. It took some time, but the Falcons were able to replace Keanu Neal with a serviceable rotation in Sharrod Neasman and Jordan Richards. Foye Oluokun has developed quicker than many would have anticipated.

But in total, the Falcons have not been able to get the job done on the field, evidenced by their 4-8 record. Therefore, you can bet some business decisions will be needed when it comes to certain assistants.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#15 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:37 pm

Schultz: As Falcons flounder, some thoughts on who should stay and who should go

Head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, both of whom are safe, have several decisions to make even before deciding who to pursue in free agency (March 13) and the draft (April 25-27).

He’s gaining clarity on his players’ character (or lack thereof). Is the season also providing clarity on his coaching staff?

“Yes. I think if you’re at four wins at this time, then you have not met expectations.”

Is there any coach who’s safe?

“I’m not going to get into who is and who isn’t. I’ll just get into that when we look at everything and we evaluate everything, we’ll do what’s best for the team moving forward.”



Offensive staff: It would be surprising if offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is kept. That’s not to suggest all the failures are his fault — no scheme or play works when few can block. But Sarkisian has shown little creativity in failing to come up with a successful alternate plan to minimize the offensive line problems. I’m not sure where this leaves quarterback coach Greg Knapp or offensive line coach/running game coordinator Chris Morgan. That might depend on who takes over play-calling. Another question: Would a new OC necessitate an entirely new scheme, and if so, is that something the Falcons want to put quarterback Matt Ryan through again?
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#16 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:03 pm

Michael Cunningham wrote:Falcons need fast fixes before their window closes

More important is that when it’s time for Quinn and Dimitroff to assess this season, they resist the human urge to blame their failures on bad luck. They’ll need to honestly evaluate the roster they’ve built. They’ll have to admit to their mistakes and, best they can, mitigate the damage those errors caused while also not overreacting to small samples.

Then there’s Quinn’s coaching. He must figure out which parts of his methods and messages no longer work, discard them, and come up with new elements that do work. I’m still not sure he can do it, but that’s his challenge.

Quinn may have to admit that hiring a college coach to run an all-time great NFL offense set the Falcons back, and that Steve Sarkisian isn’t the one to move them forward.
Quinn will have to take a more critical look at the defensive approach he honed while in Seattle and be more willing to change it up when necessary.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#17 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:56 pm

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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#18 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:05 pm

Oh, boy...

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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#19 » by macd-gm » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:08 pm

At what point do we fault Quinn? It's time for him to go.
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Re: Is Falcons Coaching staff adept enough to win a title? 

Post#20 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:10 pm

macd-gm wrote:At what point do we fault Quinn? It's time for him to go.



I still blame him for the SB loss.

I suspect this is a make or break season for the HC.

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