Dealing With Bulletin Board Material, Turnovers & Getting Matt Ryan Back To Form

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.— In case you haven’t heard by now, there’s a report out of the Bay Area that the San Francisco 49ers changed their starting quarterback this week from Colin Kaepernick to Blaine Gabbert because the Falcons have a “weak” defense. 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula says that report is not true.

That said, the Falcons do currently have the 11th ranked defense in the NFL. When it comes to bulletin board material, head coach Dan Quinn isn’t a huge fan of it.

“I heard it,” Quinn said on Wednesday. “What I can say is that we don’t allow anybody else to help get us ready. We’ll be ready to rock.”

Quinn admits that he’s hung up material like this in the past. But, it sounds like he will refrain from doing so this week.

That said, Quinn does think that there is a place for bulletin board material in the NFL.

“I think there is, for sure because all of us at some point in time have been affected by the things that are said outside,” Quinn said. “One of the things that we try to just keep establishing is the people we have to answer to is our own room, and how we play, the style that we play, and the attitude that we play with.”

The Falcons will travel to Santa Clara on Friday, after they go through practice. Needless to say, it sounds like the “report” from the Bay Area will be long forgotten about by then.


The Falcons are currently 6-2 in the 2015 regular season as they hit the road this weekend. Three constant themes have reared their heads in the losses.

In those games, the Falcons have turned the ball over multiple times, not caused any turnovers and lost to NFC South opponents.

This week it is an NFC West team and they’re trying to reverse those other two trends.

In the loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons lost three fumbles. In the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, they turned it over four times (twice in the red zone).

Quinn realizes full well that these have been a huge problem for them, especially in those two games.

“There can be uncomfortableness. In this case, I don’t think that was where it was not drilled or practiced. For us, we know we’re going to be at our best, in terms of the execution, so whether it’s more practice or different opportunities to going through it we’ll be ready, and the amount of work that we put in about the football will swing, in terms of the mindset and effort to go do it.”

Again, another trend in these less than desired performances has been the defense getting shut out on that stat. The Falcons had chances last week to do that, the nearly intercepted ball by Robenson Thereze comes to mind.

When it comes to trying to cause turnovers, Quinn has shown that he is a coach for the details. That is exactly what he says have to be put to work when trying to get the football back from your opponent.

“We’re trying to create those opportunities for a really good turnover team” Quinn said. “Yeah, there’s some that an unforced error happened and you’re able to scoop it, but when we’re at our best it’s the ones that we’re forcing. It’s the opportunities to go rip the ball out when you’re hitting the quarterback. To go attack his elbow when the receiver’s in transition turning to get up field, and now you’re striping at the ball. Those are the opportunities that we don’t want to waste. Each game we can keep getting better and better at it.”

The 49ers are currently +1 in the turnover ratio this season. New quarterback Blaine Gabbert has thrown 24 interceptions in his career and that could be the exactly what this team needs at this time.

Getting Matt Ryan Back To Being Matt Ryan

The last three out of the last four game weeks have been rough on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the interception department. So far this season he has thrown seven picks, with five of those coming in the games mentioned.

The Falcons are 2-2 in those games and have also struggled in the red zone. Turnovers reared their head against them in that part of the field in both their losses.

When it comes to Ryan, he believes they can turn their luck around and he can get better play out of himself.

“I think the biggest thing is to make sure that we take care of the ball,” Ryan said. “I think when we have opportunities, and we’re driving the football and we’ve got it in that positive territory and we’ve got a chance to put points on the board you have to put points on the board. That’s the biggest thing. I don’t think there’s a scheme change or anything like that. We’ve been very productive and we’re close.”

When it comes to his play, the numbers mentioned earlier show that he has hit the skids in the recent games. Aside from last week/Saints game, Ryan has pulled in a QBR of less than 100 in two of his last four games.

When it comes to trying to get things right, Ryan says that like a pitcher in baseball you need a short memory.

“I think part of being a professional is being able to move on, whether positive or negative and put things behind you,” Ryan said. “I’ve learned from them, of course, but be able to put it behind you and go out and compete the next time that you’re able to. That’s part of this league and there’s going to be weeks where it doesn’t go your way and you’ve got to go back to practice, correct things, and keep moving forward.”

The 49ers have forced seven interceptions and two forced fumbles this season. Maybe this could be the week that the turnover’s become a thing of the past.

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