Falcons O-line coach admits they will be a pass-heavy team again this season


Falcons O-line coach admits they will be a pass-heavy team again this season

The Falcons called the fewest run plays in the league last year, and quarterback Matt Ryan @M_Ryan02 launched a career-high 651 passes. Atlanta ended up with a 4-12 record, but it's wholly inappropriate to draw a straight line from those statistics to the Falcons' poor season -- injuries and an awful defense played a sizeable role in that failure, too.
But you shouldn't expect the Falcons to change their offensive philosophy.
"We're not going to be a run-first football team, by any means, with those two great receivers and that great quarterback," offensive line coach Mike Tice said recently.

Fantasy Analysis:

Nor should they be. I like rookie back Devonta Freeman a lot, but Steven Jackson @sj39 is still the Falcons' lead runner, and he is turning 31 years old next month. The Falcons' aerial attack remains their best weapon, especially if Julio Jones @juliojones_11 can rebound from his broken foot, Roddy White @roddywhiteTV avoids the nagging injuries that slowed him last season, and the team fixes an offensive line that had Matt Ryan running for his life way too often. Ryan was pressured on 204 of his dropbacks in 2013, the most in the league.
Replacing Tony Gonzalez won't be easy, but Ryan will produce better numbers if those aforementioned wideouts stay on the field. Don't forget that there were some games last season when Harry Douglas @HDouglas83 was his No. 1 WR. Douglas played well when called upon to step up, but having him in the No. 3 role again will make this pass offense that much more powerful.
Ryan is being drafted as a low-end QB1, a testament to how deep the position is with talent. But health to those around him could very well lead to a stat line similar to what he posted in 2012. Jackson, also coming off an injury-marred season, is just a flex RB.

Vaughn McClure via ESPN.com

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