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Atlanta's potential moves & impact on future

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Joined: 07 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:14 am    Post subject: Atlanta's potential moves & impact on future Reply with quote


Right now, the Falcons are talking to Mike Tice and Mike Mularky about signing on as offensive coaches in certain capacities. For those that don't know, Mike Tice was a 6'8" Tight End for a number of teams in the NFL, and Malarkey was the head coach of the Bills who would help out on the offense. Also being interviewed is Greg Olsen, former 49ers & Lions QB coach. Each would have the following impact:

Mike Tice - could change the O line completely and help McKay draft the right linemen (McKay's 1st round Tackle = Kenyatta Walker, Tice's = Bryant McKinnie), since Tice has an obvious eye for that sort of thing. This could be huge because Vick needs a power running game to compliment his speed & ability. Power running is essential for winning in the NFL postseason and would help us to close out more regular season games. Of the 3 I am most excited about this one & hope we bring him in.

Mike Malarky - the Bills head coach showed a world of courage when he decided to pack it in & leave Buffalo. For those who do not know, he had 3 years left on his $1million/year contract & decided to leave because the ownership & most of the higher up executives lived nowhere near Buffalo. He felt this showed a general lack of interest from the people who matter the most and walked away from his contract. I am luke warm on him. While it is good to have coaches who have experience, I am not sure how he would directly help the team.

Greg Olsen - could be an interesting pickup as he coached Jeff Garcia back when Jeff was a great QB for the 49ers. He may be able to work with Vick, but I think the bigger problem with Vick is the line & the playcalling more than anything. I'm still not sure how you could run the ball 60% of the time when you're paying your QB $130mil. Anyhow, I digress.

This could take the offense in a whole new direction in the long term, and it could mean the end for Knapp. If Tice doesn't get a Coordinating job, then I expect he will sign on with the Falcons & the Gibbs' system might be nearing an end in Atlanta. Tice knows first hand how good Vick really is and he will do whatever it takes to make sure Vick has everything around him he needs to make plays.

Defensively, it seems like we are kind of writing last year off to injuries & lack of experience. Expect to see Webster on the field in one position or another as Mora holds him in high regard and trusts him to be solid. Also, expect us to replace the Safeties through FA & the draft of course. I think the staff feels it would serve everyone to have DeMo move to Safety because of his tackling skills and speed. You can't put a talent like DeMo on the bench and I doubt they really are ready to ship off Boley after the kind of rookie year he had. Also, I don't expect us to draft another DT high in this draft after we just picked up one in the 2nd round last year. The only way that would happen is if Ngata dropped and he won't. We may be willing to take Bunkley, Mahelona, or another top DT if one of them dropped to the 2nd round though; mainly because I don't see the same philosophy change going to the defense that I see on offense as far as needing more size up front. Obviously, we will need a new RDE or a solid backup for Smith and, to me, Brock from Indianapolis is the perfect fit. He is slightly undersized but has shown the abilty to consistenly penetrate against the run & bring a solid pass rush. That is exactly what the McKay/Kiffin defensive scheme wants and Brock, or one of a few others, will probably be here next year.

The problem we have in Atlanta is that we have about 4 different philosophies controlling 2 aspects. The emphasis on each persons' scheme is overuling the other's and it is creating a chaotic environment where nobody is quite sue what we really need or how it will work. McKay/Kiffin's scheme is directly contradicting Donatell's in some ways as Don always had a big body in the middle to chew up blocks. He also likes speed, but he really knew that with speed you become vulnerable to power so he brought some power to the middle. We've already started this by bringing in Hartwell to the MLB position, but someone is going to have to bend here and it should be McKay. We need a huge DT and we may just sign a vet for the job.

Drafting linemen is a funny thing because when you take a 21, 22 yr old young man and line him up accross from a 28-30+ yr old man you start to see difference. These guys get eevn stronger in the NFL and it take time for the young guys to get up to snuff in that regard, which is one reason we got pushed around all year. If we do draft linemen early it will mean we are looking to build towards 2007 or 2008 rather than immediately get back to the NFLCCG next year, so keep an eye on that during the draft.

An important thing to consider when looking at the draft is that you want to look for the hotbeds in FA. This means that you don't want to have to sign the high dollar FA's to fill holes in your roster. Positions like corner, QB, WR, LT, & DE are all top dollar positions. They are positions where the best players are amongst the highest paid players in the league. There are always certain exceptions to this idea, like when a team has a major need to fill (Pittsburgh taking Polamalu or Seattle taking Tatupu), but in general terms teams will be looking for these positions. The other general exception is if there is a player sitting there, such as a RB, that isn't one of those money positions but is far & away the best player available. The Falcons could fall into that scenario this year if DeAngelo Williams is sitting there at pick 15. They could also be looking to fix the pass protection problem though this draft while fixing the defense through FA. Either way, this will be a difficult draft to call beforehand as I'm not even sure the Falcons know where they're going in this whole thing. Rest assured though, come draft day Rich McKay is money and he will take us in one direction or another depending on how the picks fall.

Props to Scar for the sweetest sig on the site!
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