Falcons: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - Printable Version
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Mike Smith may shake up O-line - mdrake34 - 09-26-2011 07:32 PM
The video on the website is interesting too. They make a good point in the video - and yes, it's a simple, almost stupid statement but no one else has said it yet: yesterday, Turner had 11 touches, and Blount had 24. If our O-line isn't very good, why not hand it off more early and let Turner take those licks instead of Ryan.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Mike Smith, alarmed by the beating quarterback Matt Ryan has taken in the Falcons' first three games, may make changes on his offensive line this week.
Smith said Monday he is looking first at the Falcons' scheme and then at the players following Atlanta's 16-13 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. He said it is the continuation of his trend of "competition on all positions."
"We've done it earlier in the season at other positions on the team, and we'll do it at the offensive line as well," Smith said.
Yasinskas: Changes On Falcons' Line?
Yasinskas It's obvious that the Falcons' offensive line is struggling. Good thing that Mike Smith finally caught on, writes ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas. Blog
"We'll let that play out during the week and try to put the best guys out there. That's our job as a coaching staff, to make sure we have the best guys out there to give us what we feel is the best opportunity to win."
The Falcons (1-2) have allowed 13 sacks in three games, the third-highest total in the NFL through Sunday's games. Chicago and Seattle each have allowed 14 sacks, according to STATS LLC.
Ryan was sacked four times by the Buccaneers.
"We are very disappointed with the way we have protected our quarterback in the first three ballgames," Smith said.
Smith says the line also struggled in run-blocking as Tampa Bay held Michael Turner to only 20 yards rushing on 11 carries. He had seven carries for nine yards in the first half.
"We probably didn't run effectively enough in the first half to keep going with it and so we went to the pass game and I thought Matt did a fairly good job of distributing the ball," Smith said.
Ryan finished with 330 yards passing with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez in the fourth quarter. It was the Falcons' first touchdown on offense in two road games this season -- losses at Chicago and Tampa Bay.
The Falcons face another road game at Seattle this week.
Ryan also was sacked four times in the Falcons' only win, a 35-31 home victory over Philadelphia. Ryan was sacked 23 times last season. He's on pace to top that total in only six games this year.
Smith acknowledged he has no quick answers for the sudden problems in pass protection.
Lack of continuity could be one issue. The Falcons lost guard Harvey Dahl, who signed with St. Louis as a free agent. Center Todd McClure missed the first two games after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Clabo Obviously, we'd love to run the ball more but when you're down by 10 for what seems like the entire game, it makes it difficult to establish your run game.
” -- Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo
McClure returned to start against Tampa Bay.
"He came back and fit right back in and for the most part I felt he played a pretty consistent game," Smith said. "We really had a struggle in terms of controlling the line of scrimmage, especially there in the first half, not only in our pass protection but in our ability to run the football."
Right tackle Tyson Clabo said the line has been forced into more pass-blocking assignments this season because the team has often trailed.
"We've been behind pretty much all season," Clabo said Monday, when he was the only offensive starter to make himself available for interviews in the locker room. "Obviously, we'd love to run the ball more but when you're down by 10 for what seems like the entire game, it makes it difficult to establish your run game."
Roddy White had nine catches for 140 yards with a key drop. Rookie Julio Jones had six catches for 115 yards.
Smith called the passing production "a positive" but he said he wasn't happy with the imbalance of passing and rushing yards.
Clabo acknowledged the running game wasn't effective even early in the game.
"I'm not real sure why our runs weren't going for more than a couple yards a pop," he said. "I don't know. They made tackles. We didn't make blocks. It's really a pretty simple equation. They did better than we did so we didn't run the ball very well. I wish that there were some magical formula that I could give you guys, but there's really not.
"We're going to work hard and try to get this thing fixed so we can play better and win football games."
Left tackle Sam Baker has given up sacks in every game and was beaten by rookie right end Adrian Clayborn for a sack on Sunday.
Will Svitek is the team's top backup at tackle. Joe Hawley, who started the first two games at center, and guard Mike Johnson are the other top backups.
Smith said OLB Mike Peterson was a surprise starter after Stephen Nicholas "tweaked" his calf in Friday's practice. Smith said Peterson was "solid." Nicholas was inactive for the game. ... Rookie punter Matt Bosher is last in the league with his average of 35.7 yards per punt, according to STATS LLC. His net average of 32.4 yards ranks 29th. ... Backup running back Jason Snelling has a concussion, and his status is uncertain.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - phocis850 - 09-26-2011 08:34 PM
Yep. That article and video summed it all up. Our Oline is the issue. If we don't fix it, there is no point in having are hopes set high.
If we could fix at least one of the holes then we have something to work with. Currently we have 2 holes and that isn't something we can win with.
Though... it's amazing that MM never calls screen plays to help these guys. How many times have we seen a screen play where the line purposely lets the defenders through so they can block downfield? We are good at letting the defenders through. Let's call a screen every play
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - Nuccah - 09-26-2011 08:41 PM
Switch Reynolds with Johnson (who clearly was more consistent although in limited time in the PS) and consider a shakeup with the 3 OTs. Tryout Clabo at LT in practice, and if that doesn't work out, put in Svitek.
Lastly, if none of the works, take a look at Jared Gaither. Chiefs don't seem intent to play him even though he was one of PFFs highest ranked LT in 08 and 09.
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - mdrake34 - 09-26-2011 08:54 PM
(09-26-2011 08:41 PM)Nuccah Wrote: Switch Reynolds with Johnson (who clearly was more consistent although in limited time in the PS) and consider a shakeup with the 3 OTs. Tryout Clabo at LT in practice, and if that doesn't work out, put in Svitek.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why Reynolds is starting over Johnson. I know Johnson got the late concussion in training camp, but that's healed by now. Garrett simply isn't a G, he's freakin 6'8''. He needs to back up Clabo, end of story. If we can fix the hole at RT, maybe Mularkey's dumb ass can figure out to have Kelley next to Baker and Matt can actually stand up for more than 1.5 seconds.
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - Statick - 09-26-2011 09:04 PM
Why am I suddenly picturing Smitty violently shaking Baker with his hands around his throat?
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - Paulitik - 09-26-2011 10:22 PM
Wah, wah , wah we are playing from behind and we don't run enough. Pass blocking is your job too. Block dammit!
I don't care if we throw every down, the OL has 2 jobs, open holes for the run game, protect the QB for the passing game. Do your goddamn job and be happy about it. Try being the freaking QB behind his line.
"Forced into more pass blocking assignments". Did his resume say heonly run block? Ridiculous.
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - illmusic - 09-26-2011 10:30 PM
(09-26-2011 08:34 PM)phocis850 Wrote: Yep. That article and video summed it all up. Our Oline is the issue. If we don't fix it, there is no point in having are hopes set high.
we ran a screen to Snelling, I think that was the play he got injured on...it was for a loss. with a screen, you're supposed to sell the pass block first, these scrubs let everybody through automatically at the snap and, I think Price, made the stop behind the LOS
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - Radical - 09-26-2011 11:06 PM
A screen play only works when the defensive line is selling out to rush the passer, and even then it isn't really effective in the LBs are playing off.
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - illmusic - 09-26-2011 11:25 PM
(09-26-2011 11:06 PM)Radical Wrote: A screen play only works when the defensive line is selling out to rush the passer, and even then it isn't really effective in the LBs are playing off.
RE: Mike Smith may shake up O-line - Jesus - 09-26-2011 11:38 PM
I've been thinking. Is it the personnel or the scheme. They protected well enough last year and before. Then the GB game and it was jailbreak city. Since then each team has had their way with the line. Did GB figure out our scheme opening it to the world? It's not possible that they all went bad at once. It has to be something more, right?