Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Falcons coordinators: Expectations not met
By Vaughn McClure
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Coordinators Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan are far from satisfied with the performance of their respective units as the 3-10 Atlanta Falcons prepare for their final three games of the 2013 season.
Koetter, who is a candidate for the head-coaching position at Boise State, realizes the offense hasn't met expectations coming off last season's 13-3 campaign. Losing top receiver Julio Jones to a season-ending foot injury hasn't helped the cause. Koetter hasn't had Roddy White and Steven Jackson at 100 percent for the entire season. Plus the coach has had to work around poor play along the offensive line.
"Personally, it's tough on everybody when you don't live up to your own expectations," Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said.
"Personally, it's tough on everybody when you don't live up to your own expectations," Koetter said. "I know (coach Mike Smith) tells you guys all the time that nobody has higher expectations for the Falcons than the players and the coaches do. So, we haven't lived up to expectations. We have not played as well as we're capable of on offense. And when you're a football player or football coach, losing -- whether you like it or not -- it works on your ego side.
"But basically, life is good. I'm a football coach in the NFL. I'm doing what I love to do and I'm working with great, great guys; players and coaches. But we need to win more games, plain and simple."
The Falcons offense is 20th in red zone percentage, 29th in scoring, 24th in goal-to goal, and 30th in rushing going into Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.
Defensively, the Falcons have surrendered too many explosive runs and pass plays. Nolan's unit ranks 30th in rushing defense, 29th in scoring defense, and 26th in total defense.
"It's been a difficult (season), but I think it's been difficult for everyone for a lot of different reasons," Nolan said. "You know, the injuries that you face, there have been other seasons -- I've been in it 27 years, so I'd be lying to tell you I haven't had others years that were difficult.
"But I have thought that during the season we've had -- it would not show -- but I really think there have been some game plans that I've really been pleased with as far as giving our players a chance. And so going down the road, there are some things that we did that, I think, we'll be able to utilize in the future. And maybe good they didn't go so well because other people won't be expecting us to use them thinking, 'Well, that couldn't have been anything they wanted to carry over.' "