The Heated Debate
The next play is the major point of contention amongst fans of the Atlanta Falcons. Shockingly a pass play was called and disaster ensued. I will spare you guys, as well as myself the pain of any further details.
There is a large contingent of the Falcons fan base, that blames quarterback Matt Ryan for not calling an audible prior to that play. However to understand why Matt Ryan did not call an audible, you must understand how the Atlanta offense was designed.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt Lafleur w,as the Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach during the 2016 season. The team had a franchise record-setting offense that year. He will now run the same offense in Green Bay.
One issue that Matt Lafleur is having as a new NFL head coach, is the possibility of adjusting his offensive and allowing more freedom to All Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. NFL.com columnist Michael Silver spoke with Lafleur earlier this summer about that challenge and detailed the discussion in this article.
Matt Lafleur gave some interesting quotes that provide great insight for Atlanta Falcons fans, on why Matt Ryan wasn’t given much freedom at the line of scrimmage under Kyle Shanahan. Lafleur admitted they did tailor the offense to Ryan’s strengths though.
"“We did a lot of that, too, with (Falcons quarterback) Matt Ryan. It just took a year of working together to make it our offense in Atlanta. It did take some time figuring out not only the quarterback, but it’s everybody else too — it’s everybody else learning the details of the play. Because the beauty lies in the details, and those nuances can take you from just average to great.”"
Matt Lafleur proceeded to admit that quarterbacks on his previous teams that ran the Shanahan offense, did not have the full ability or authority to audible.
"“I guess from what you consider the true standard of ‘audibles,’ you’re right — we have not had that. Because, you know, we pride ourselves on having concepts that have answers for whatever. Now, it might not always be the best answer, but you have an answer.”"
Matt Lafleur also cited the fact that the offense uses a lot of motion along with personal packages, that make it difficult to change plays at the line of scrimmage.
"” There’s a lot more motion. There are a lot more moving parts. And so if you just let the quarterback have that freedom to just get to whatever, I’m afraid it would slow our guys down.”"
Lafleur again confirmed that the previous teams he was a coach on, had not allowed quarterbacks the complete freedom to change plays.
"“We’re running a system I first picked up while working with Kyle (Shanahan) in Houston a decade ago, and we’ve never really had a quarterback who’s had complete freedom to change plays at the line, because that’s not really the way the offense is set up.”"
The quotes by Matt Lafleur should effectively put an end to the heated debate among Atlanta Falcons fans, about Matt Ryan not calling an audible in Super Bowl 51. He simply did not have the full freedom to.