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Mike Smith: Falcons will stay aggressive on fourth downs


The question wasn’t out of the reporter’s mouth before Falcons coach Mike Smith laughed. Yes, Smith has thought a lot about Atlanta’s fourth-and-short strategy going forward.

“We’re going to remain very aggressive,” Smith said Saturday at the Combine. “Unfortunately, it’s been well documented on fourth down we were not as efficient as we needed to be. In our first three years, we were. I still have a strong belief in short yardage that you should be able, statisically you should be able to convert. We didn’t.”

It’s a great answer. Teams should be able to pick up fourth-and-short. The Falcons weren’t good enough to pick up the key fourth downs last season because they weren’t good enough. They need to play better, but that doesn’t make the play calls wrong. Atlanta is supposed to be a team that wins the line of scrimmage and that simply didn’t happen enough last season.

“We do a critical analysis of everything we do,” Smith said. “Fourth-and-one was at the top of my list this year, I assure you.”

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18 Responses to “Mike Smith: Falcons will stay aggressive on fourth downs”
  1. domeinate says: Feb 25, 2012 12:47 PM

    The New Orleans Saints Fans thank you for your aggressive stance!!

  2. domeinate says: Feb 25, 2012 12:50 PM

    May want to help Mattie’s ice not get so very rattled when playing a top tier team away from the Georgia Dome.

  3. cakemixa says: Feb 25, 2012 12:55 PM

    Mike Smith: Falcons will stay out of any place deeper than the first round of the playoffs.

  4. scomibord says: Feb 25, 2012 1:06 PM

    Please stay aggressive Mike!!

  5. riverhorsey says: Feb 25, 2012 1:17 PM

    may want to rethink those 4th and 5’s at your own 26 in OT this year.

  6. sfm073 says: Feb 25, 2012 1:22 PM

    I don’t agree with that style of play. You play good defense, take the points when u can get them and play field position.

  7. druppel52 says: Feb 25, 2012 1:25 PM

    Going for it on 4th is SMART! Haven’t we all seen the documentary on the HS Coach who never punts and onsides every time? Its AWESOME

  8. goawayeverybody says: Feb 25, 2012 1:48 PM

    Mike Smith: Falcons will stay predictable on fourth downs.

  9. raiderlyfe510 says: Feb 25, 2012 1:50 PM

    Bill Walsh predicted the next evolution of football would be teams increasingly not punting on 4th downs.

  10. jdandcoke says: Feb 25, 2012 1:58 PM

    druppel52 says:Feb 25, 2012 1:25 PM

    Going for it on 4th is SMART! Haven’t we all seen the documentary on the HS Coach who never punts and onsides every time? Its AWESOME

    these are the two reason he’s still a HS coach.

  11. packattack1967 says: Feb 25, 2012 2:04 PM

    I don’t think he’s a very good coach.

  12. southcakpanther says: Feb 25, 2012 2:19 PM

    Hey, thanks Mike!! Maybe you should tell your O-line to be more aggresive. Why don’t you and Dimitroff trade away this years and next years draft to move up for DeCastro.

  13. cmack21 says: Feb 25, 2012 2:37 PM

    its because they just arent that good. the coach knows it. look at the playoff losses. at home.

  14. mikeockizard says: Feb 25, 2012 3:26 PM

    If you think that Mike Smith is a bad coach it is probably because you are an idiot. The man has won almost 70% of his games in the first 4 years coaching. That is impressive. How many of you critics can say that you have enjoyed the equivalent of that success in your own lives?

  15. db105 says: Feb 25, 2012 3:43 PM

    Scoring is up in the NFL. Not punting in certain situations makes more sense as teams don’t want to give up a possession. Field position is not as important in high scoring games.

  16. tropboi11 says: Feb 25, 2012 7:11 PM

    He is a good coach who made one very bad mistake going for it on 4th and 5 but the Falcons have been a good team since he has been there, you can be a good team and not win a super bowl or even get to one, as long as you have a good season and keep your fans happy by having a chance to make it to the super bowl cause in the end there can only be one (in my highlander voice)

  17. jkaflagg says: Feb 25, 2012 9:56 PM

    Make it and you’re a god, get stopped and you’re a fool….it’ s really that simple

  18. thinwhiteduke76 says: Feb 26, 2012 3:07 PM

    LOL keep staying “aggressive” on 4th downs, it’s pretty damn predictable at this point. Especially when you are deep in your own territory in an OT game in which your defense had already forced back to back 3 and outs, but you’d rather trust your offense than a defense that is doing a good job, or giving Brees 70 yards to drive instead of 30 to win the game.

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