this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; 1-5 start sparking frustrations By LARRY HOLDER Posted on Thu, Oct. 18, 2007 Bobby Petrino never thought leaving Louisville for the Atlanta Falcons would have taken such a neverending downward spiral. The Michael Vick dog fighting fiasco probably ruined Petrino's ...
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|10-19-2007, 12:41 AM||#1|
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Petrino's Falcons spiral downwards
1-5 start sparking frustrations
By LARRY HOLDER
Posted on Thu, Oct. 18, 2007
Bobby Petrino never thought leaving Louisville for the Atlanta Falcons would have taken such a neverending downward spiral.
The Michael Vick dog fighting fiasco probably ruined Petrino's chances to make this season salvageable.
"I don't think anyone would have been (prepared for the Vick saga)," Petrino said.
That's as much as Petrino wanted to elaborate concerning one of the more publicized falls for the quarterback he figured he'd be coaching.
The public relations hit to the team aside, Petrino based his offensive scheme around Vick. But the Falcons had all of training camp to prepare without Vick, with Joey Harrington taking the vast majority of the snaps this season.
It hasn't helped, though, as the Falcons can point to a slew of other issues to point to in their 1-5 start.
Harrington hasn't done much to help in the passing game as the Falcons are 27th in total offense. His receivers' inability to consistently catch passes has plagued Harrington's growth in the offense.
The Falcons signed Byron Leftwich on Sept. 18, and he will start against the Saints on Sunday in the Louisiana Superdome.
A quarterback conundrum isn't the only frustration in Atlanta. Poor play nearly all around along with a splash of boneheaded actions and player criticisms of Petrino add up to a volatile start to the 2007 season.
The Falcons habitually led the NFL in rushing yards until this season. They sit 21st in the league running the ball, averaging only 93.5 yards per game. The usually efficient Warrick Dunn only gains 3.2 yards per carry.
It's probably only a matter of time until Jerious Norwood sees more touches as he's tallied only 30 less yards (234) than Dunn (264). And Dunn has twice the carries with 82 compared to Norwood's 41.
Former Saints left tackle Wayne Gandy will miss the rest of the season for the Falcons with a knee injury. Petrino said right tackle Todd Weiner could miss at least three more weeks with another knee injury. Tyson Clabo and Renardo Foster will replace the two for the second consecutive week.
"Our run game has been a problem all around," Petrino said. "We haven't been able to get it as established as we need to. We're making a little transition in the types of schemes. Of course with the injuries, it's not where it needs to be."
The one anomaly is the Falcons' turnover ratio. Atlanta holds a plus-4 ratio with 11 takeaways and seven giveaways. Normally a team with a positive ratio would have more than one win through six games.
Joe Horn asked for his release from the Saints earlier this year, but he didn't ask for all this drama. The vocal wide receiver has seen his fair share of craziness in the locker room while in New Orleans. Horn said there's no dissention among the players with the rough start.
"When it comes down to a team winning games, I think a locker room is important. The guys in this locker room, we stand together," Horn said. "The defense, the offense, the special teams; we all stay together. Right now, we know we're going through some bumps in the road. As long as the players stay together, we are going to come out of this."
Now confidence in Petrino, that could be a different story.
All the disappointments came to a head in Week 3 when Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall earned 61 yards in penalties on one drive in a loss to Carolina. Petrino removed Hall from the game, and Hall was seen berating the coaching staff including Petrino. The Falcons fined Hall $100,000 for his actions and tantrum.
Veteran tight end Alge Crumpler ripped Petrino's "agenda" and said that the Falcons were the worst offense in the NFL. Crumpler accused Petrino of phasing out the older players in favor of younger faces.
"I haven't caught the ball one time since this regime has been here, in practice or anything," Crumpler said in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "So, I'm scratching my head. I'm trusting, OK? I'm trusting. But 1-4 (currently 1-5) makes you think about a lot of things."
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|10-19-2007, 12:46 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Re: Petrino's Falcons spiral downwards
Of course Petrino has an "agenda". He's the new head coach you knuckleheads. Get with the new program or go somewhere else. Like Vick was BP's his future plans....RIGHT. That's why he drafted Redman. It's obvious none of you have been performing under your old coach/system, why would the new guy want to keep you.
Look, if you want seniority to count for something then sign on with the Saints. lol