Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/12/12
Some would call it passing the buck. Others would call it ducking responsibility. But somehow, the Falcons’ offensive line has nothing to do with the team’s short-yardage woes, according to Falcons center Todd McClure. He doesn’t want to hear about how Atlanta’s failure to convert short runs for first downs against the Saints Sunday paralleled their inability to do the same in the 2012 playoffs against the Giants. But even Falcons coach Mike Smith said the offensive line was not getting a “surge” in run situations. The Falcons couldn’t convert a third-and-short run in the fourth quarter against the Saints and then opted to try three straight passes at the 1-yard line with a chance to win the game. McClure bristled at the suggestion that there were similarities to the Giants game. “That’s two totally different ballgames,” McClure said. “That’s what (ticks) me off more than anything is you guys are going to write about how bad we are up front and that we can’t get in the end zone. But there’s more to it than just blocking up front, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. “I get really frustrated when I hear things and read things knowing there’s more to it than five guys up front but we take the brunt of the blame. I don’t want to talk about that anymore because I don’t want to say anything I regret.” Who is supposed to create holes in short-yardage situations? The wide receivers? The Falcons managed 46 yards on just 18 carries against the Saints, who were the worst team in the league against the run entering the game. Atlanta running back Michael Turner, who was dropped for a loss of one yard on third down during the penultimate possession, gained just 15 yards on 13 carries. McClure didn’t elaborate on the issues in the running game but said the struggles are about the offense overall not just the line. “It is in every aspect of it,” he said. “But we get the ball on the 1, we are expected to get it in. I just get frustrated sometimes the past couple years. There’s more to it than just lining up and blocking the guys wherever they line up. And that’s it. I can’t talk about it anymore.”
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