We came into OTA season telling you to be wary of overhype. We have kept our guard up for the most part, however, we have to admit that we're falling for one recent theme:
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We aren't saying this because Roddy White believes this is the best Falcons offense he's seen. It's not because Matt Ryan has been lifting weights. There are a lot of tangible reasons to believe Atlanta's passing attack really will take it to another level.
1. Julio Jones: Our thoughts on Jones are well documented. (By well documented, we mean that there was an ATL post on it last week and we're too lazy to repeat the point.)
2. Receiver depth:Roddy White can be the best "No. 2" receiver in football. Harry Douglas, now another year removed from surgery, is one of the most dangerous No. 3 wideouts in the league. Tony Gonzalez remains a big weapon and will get single coverage at tight end.
3. Coordinator change:Mike Mularkey did a nice job developing Matt Ryan. New coordinator Dirk Koetter should bring a needed fresh approach. We're most excited about Koetter's preference for vertical passing game. In general, Koetter should recognize the strength of this offense does not lie with Michael Turner.
4. More no huddle: Look, it's nice that coach Mike Smith says Matt Ryan's arm is stronger. We'll see. The real key to Ryan's game is sitting on his neck.
NFL Films' Greg Cosell pointed out recently that Ryan's best attribute might be his growing comfort in the no huddle. He can win before the snap. The team allowed Ryan to make more decisions last year. Look for him to take the next step as the true orchestrator of this offense.
Between a pass-happy attack and Mike Nolan taking over the defense, this shouldn't be the same old vanilla Falcons team we've grown used to since Ryan arrived.