If you’re a fan that’s pulling for the tank and wants to be in on the “top five draft pick sweepstakes,” this is not the article for you. We’re going to talk about some realistic fixes for our Atlanta falcons in 2019. Draft classes, cap space, and new faces of management (potentially) are not a priority. Right now, it’s the 2019 Atlanta Falcons.
First-order get competitive again, they have to protect our field, General. Regardless of how you feel about Matt Ryan, that man needs protection; he is paid a lot of money, and the priority has to be protection. Four first-round draft picks are in front of him, and they need to work together. I will say it does take some time for that process to materialize, but it’s imperative for success. How do you mask this in order to allow time for development? Keep reading.
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has been caught devising old, tired long developing plays, and it has to stop; if you took notice of Schaub’s performance against the Seahawks you would see pretty much identical numbers to what Ryan. Now that’s not to take anything away from a seasoned veteran like Schaub, which by the way, is why he is on our team, but Matt Ryan and Bob Sutton had play sheets and microphone headsets, hint; hint they know what is going on in modern-day offenses.
Schaub read the defense just like Ryan, but the game plan was taking quick three-step drops and quick routes, simple dump-offs, etc. Getting the ball out quickly and BOOM, our offense made very little errors, they put up points, and kept us alive. Playing that kind of ball while our offensive line is getting acquainted fulfills the need. You still have to take your shots, of course, but that comes from not abandoning the run. Even if your run game isn’t working well, teams have to respect play-action and rollouts, which we do very well. Unfortunately, It has been done much this season, which circles back to Koetter.
Defensively mixing up coverages is going to be the way to go. Although once again we had a rough go of it against Seattle in the first half, man coverage has been our bread-and-butter. Every defensive back will undoubtedly get burned once in a while, but the corners are shining, especially Oliver and Sheffield, with their improvements. Just a couple weeks ago in the win against Philadelphia, we played a lot of man coverage with safety zones, and that game was aggressive and physical.
Contesting catches is our game! You can’t scrap zone altogether, but man-to-man is our ticket, while sending a blitz here or there along the way. If we’re going to get beat, we might as well assert the pass rush by sending Kazee or Neasman at the QB. Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal when healthy, dominate patrolling the field in the zone scheme at safety. Communication and delivering the hit were so clear in that game.
A point on the pass rush, I’m aware it hasn’t shown up this season, but we’re consistently rushing three and dropping eight. We have to send those safeties and roll the dice or draft and develop a lineman, but again, in the Philadelphia game, we had major pressure because of strong man coverage with safeties lurking. Do that again!
We have a young nucleus of players and a talented core of veterans. Most of our core players have been paid except Austin Hooper. He will likely be signed big this offseason. We have prime years left in our franchise players like Ryan, Jones, and Matthews. Promising talent like Ridley, Gage, Jarrett, D. Jones, Oluokun, and Oliver are constantly improving, and our up and coming stars like McGary, Sheffield, and Lindstrom haven’t disappointed. The point is, it will come together! Regardless of how our record turns out, it’s much more respectable to have our boys finish strong, knock a few teams playoff hopes down, and show that we don’t quit. Who says whoever we draft will become a superstar? Is there a guarantee? Rise up, In brotherhood.