Straight from the Beek

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SFTB: Thoughts on how Falcons can turn it around, relying more on the offense, Eric Berry, more

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Welcome to Straight from the Beek! A forum where you can ask (or comment about) anything Falcons-related. The Falcons are out in Arizona for the week preparing for a showdown with the Cardinals on Sunday – and hoping to end a three-game losing streak. My inbox is flooded with questions and comments, so let’s get to them now. Just remember that all opinions here are mine unless otherwise noted.

And away we go.

Ronald from Port Orange, FL
Wow, disappointing to say the least. After Arizona, straight uphill battle. I'm seeing maybe two, three more wins for this Falcons team at the most. Am I right?

Matt: Well, if I knew the answer to that, Ronald, I’d be picking lottery numbers right now and not sitting here. Maybe they will, maybe they’ll win many more. That said, the Falcons are currently a 1-4 football team and desperately need a win on Sunday. I don’t think anyone is looking ahead at the Rams and Seahawks games that follow, either. This team just needs to start stacking some wins together.

Marcus from Atlanta, GA
Sit Matt Ryan down. He is no good. OK.

Matt: Stop. Matt Ryan is not the problem with the Falcons. If you want to see for yourself, hit this link – and look at the stats for yourself. He’s in the top 10 of virtually every single statistical category that matters. And, once again, those are not opinions. Those are facts. And Falcons fans should relish every snap Ryan takes under center ... because it'll be a long time before they get another one as good as Ryan. Thanks for writing in.

Ken from Ellenwood, GA
Sup Beek? There IS a lot of football still to be played. It seems as if the defense is overthinking and not trying to have fun. Oh yeah, they are missing a lot of tackles. My question is can we flip the script on offense and do a pass/run option? Everybody knows we have great receivers. Let’s make teams stop our passing game first. Then with the look of a pass gash them with a run.

Matt: While there is a lot of football left to be played, the Falcons have dropped four of their first five games and need to right the ship now – and start stacking some wins together. I agree with your point – they might as well rely heavily on their offense because that’s where most of their best players are right now. I wrote about this in my postgame column Sunday. Matt Ryan says he wants to get back to be a scoring machine and, if you look at the scores during their 2016 season, the Falcons were in a LOT of shootouts that could have gone either way. They pulled them out, though. And if you remember, Dan Quinn took over the defense in the second half of that season and they improved heading into the postseason. Is that the formula for this team? Seems like a logical thought.

Tré from Ohio
What’s up, Beek? No question, just statements. First-time writing here besides the occasional tweet I tag you in with Aint's fans or 28-3 haters. I hope the desert does them some good as well, they need to find themselves because there is a serious disconnect. I believe in Q and the Brotherhood but the staff, players, and fans need to all rise up and come together. "W's" from here on. Let's keep faith.

Matt: Thanks for writing in, Tre, and glad to have you contributing to SFTB. Look, every single person who loves and roots for the Atlanta Falcons is down right now – and I get it. They should be. It stinks when your team – the team you ride or die with – drops four of its first five games, especially when expectations were so high heading into 2019. But the thing that makes the NFL great is that anything can happen on any given Sunday and, man, it’s a long season. There is time and I hope for the sake of Dirty Bird Nation and everyone associated with the Red and Black that things turn around starting Sunday. All we can do is take it one game at a time. Thanks for writing in, Tré. The Falcons are lucky to have fans like you.

Willie from Killeen, TX
Not so much as a question, but a request. I love my Falcons and know we will Rise Up, however there is a time and place. I love our young talent on defense, butttttt … Hey Straight to the Beek, get a word to Coach Quinn, get a word to Mr. Blank: spend the money and go get Eric Berry, point blank. Now is the time!!! Let’s make this push to sit on top of the NFC!!!

Matt: Hey, Willie. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m not totally sure why Eric Berry still has not been signed by a team, but I imagine there are reasons (money, age, health, etc.). Berry was once a very good safety in this league and his personal story of overcoming cancer is an incredible one. Since playing all 16 games back in 2016, Berry has only played one game in 2017 and two games in 2018. The Chiefs eventually cut ties and released the 30-year-old Berry and he’s been a free agent since. I’m sure the Falcons have considered the idea of at least looking at him, especially when they lost both starting safeties last season. But there’s so much more to consider, Moe. Is Berry a good fit for this defense? Has he lost a step? Does he still want to play? What are his salary demands? Is he truly healthy? Are there better options out there? Finally, I don’t think one player is a fix-all to what’s happening on defense. The Falcons need to get some things corrected, and in a hurry – regardless of who is playing safety.

Anthony from Fort Mill, SC
The offense seems to be coming around, but the defense is another story. Which shocks me because defense is supposed to be Dann Quinn's calling card. Do you think that Coach Quinn has hacked someone or several players off on the defensive side of the ball? Remember, what Quinn said, that Vic Beasley would either love him or hate him? The lack of effort on the field is terrible. What say ye?

Matt: If someone isn’t putting forth the right kind of effort, I don’t think Dan Quinn would tolerate it for a second. Too much is at stake. Look, I don’t really know if a player (or several players) are mad at their coach, but it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t, anyway. Guys are playing for the jobs, for their careers. What a player puts on tape is seen by everyone – not only their own coaches and teammates, but by every other general manager in the league. I don’t think that’s something I’d want associated to my name, that’s for sure. If they really aren’t trying, well, then they shouldn’t be playing.

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