After Sunday’s 31-27 loss to the Saints, Falcons center Todd McClure took issue with the idea that poor blocking was the sole place to point blame for the team’s lackluster showing in short yardage near the New Orleans end zone.
“It is in every aspect of it,” McClure said. “But we get the ball on the one, we are expected to get it in. I just get frustrated sometimes the past couple years. There’s more to it than just lining up and blocking the guys wherever they line up. And that’s it. I can’t talk about it anymore.”
One imagines that two of the things that McClure refers to when he says “there’s more to it” are the running back and the play calling. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is the guy calling the plays and he doesn’t think that Michael Turner was to blame for the team’s inability to punch the ball into the end zone. He also doesn’t think that it would have made any difference if the team went with Jacquizz Rodgers in those situations because whoever was running the ball wouldn’t have had a chance.
“We only ran the ball 18 times. We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn’t matter who the runner is,” Koetter said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “When you look at the tape on the majority of Mike Turner’s runs in the game the other day, he had no chance. We had free runners at the point of attack.”
Koetter wasn’t pointing the finger solely at the offensive line as he cited multiple reasons, including coaching, for the team’s failure to produce in short yardage. He didn’t mention Turner specifically, although it isn’t hard to notice that he isn’t the same back that he was a few years ago.
Pointing fingers isn’t going to fix the problem all by itself, though, especially when there seem to be no shortage of places to point them in Atlanta.