Mike Mularkey was much-reviled by the time he left Atlanta for many reasons. I would argue that the best was his reluctance to acknowledge that he had the necessary weapons for a deep passing game and use them.
The Mularkey brand of offense was predicated on grinding it out, chewing up the clock, eating up yardage and wearing down a defense. When it worked well, it looked brilliant. When it failed, the Falcons were completely and utterly doomed, because their willingness and ability to dial up intermediate and long plays was suspect at best.
Enter Dirk Koetter. The Falcons will be asking him to get the passing game up to code, use Julio Jones effectively and just generally enable this team to score points in gobs. I'm not going to spend any more time weighing in on this, because some of you would remain unconvinced even if I produced a future film of the Falcons scoring 900 points net season, and you're not going to convince me that the Falcons will suddenly score only 100 points in 2012.
It's more interesting this way.
Will he do it? Words are words, as I said yesterday, but this is still encouraging:
"It’s not like you’re in 2×2 and you’re throwing quick outs to the outside and stick routes to the inside. You might complete that concept 67 percent of the time, but you’re only getting six yard plays. However, you may complete four verticals 48 percent of the time but you’re getting 18 yard gains, those are the kinds of plays I like better. I don’t like to work hard for four yard gains."
Koetter's legacy in Atlanta will depend on how closely he adheres to that quote. If he's as aggressive for the Falcons as he says he likes to be, the team should be able to squeeze a better performance out of its offense in 2012, and everyone will forget how hysterically angry they were yesterday. If he doesn't...yikes.
How will Koetter fare?