I didn't quite get to this yesterday in any detail—hat tip to Jason for his coverage—but it's so encouraging that I thought you'd all delight in reading more about it.
We knew that the Falcons were likely to use the screen pass more after Mike Mularkey left. Mularkey's aversion to the play has been a meme around here for months, and it's especially baffling when you realize he had weapons like Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers to run it with.
Well, Dirk Koetter says he's a fan of screens. Even more than that, though, he's been ordered to use more screens. Seriously. Like, on a stone tablet.
The Falcons have been the worst screen team in the NFL under Mularkey, and it hasn't been particularly close. He spent a lot of time talking about how the Falcons were not a good screen team and very little time correcting that issue, so the Falcons simply didn't have that element to their offense. That made the offense more predictable, which was a terrible thing indeed. It also took away one of the few plays the Falcons had to discourage an opposing pass rush.
This tells me two things, if the team makes good on its promise. The first is that the Falcons will be looking to execute the occasional screen without totally sucking at it. The second is that the Falcons actually recognized a gaping flaw in the team and are committing to fix it. I'm cautiously optimistic.
In other news, Koetter has also indicated he tends to use the no-huddle more often. When informed of the news, Matt Ryan wept tears of pure joy.
I'm increasingly encouraged by the small changes that the Falcons are looking to make going into next season. Koetter has a lot of work ahead of him, naturally, but these are baby steps in the right direction. I'll take that, for now.
Add one more to the list. What would you like to see the Falcons commit to on offense?