Tag Archives: thomas dimitroff

The Current State of the 2-3 Atlanta Falcons

It's gut check time for the Falcons. (Seth Wenig)

It’s gut check time for the Falcons. (Seth Wenig)

We’re only entering Week 6 of the 2014 NFL season and while there is plenty of football left to be played, there are glaring issues with the Atlanta Falcons that prompt questions as to whether or not this team will advance to the postseason.

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Falcons Extend Smith, Dimitroff, McKay

The extensions reiterate Arthur Blank's support in Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff. (Paul Abell)

The extensions reiterate Arthur Blank’s support in Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff. (Paul Abell)

The Atlanta Falcons have extended the contracts of head coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, and CEO Rich McKay.

Smith and Dimitroff both received one-year extensions, and McKay received a four-year extension that keeps him with the team until 2019.

Smith’s contract was up after 2014. This extension gives him a chance to quickly turn the Falcons around from last season’s 4-12 campaign. Both owner Arthur Blank and Dimitroff stood behind Smith, and the extension is a (sort of) reflection of that.

Granted, if the Falcons turn in another dismal season, the Falcons head coach who has led the team to a 60-36 record over the past six seasons could be shown the door.

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Falcons Hire Scott Pioli as Assistant GM

(Joe Mahoney)

(Joe Mahoney)

The Atlanta Falcons have hired Scott Pioli, formerly the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, as their assistant manager.

Pioli is close friends with general manager Thomas Dimitroff; the two last worked together with the New England Patriots for six seasons.

After going 2-14 with the Chiefs in 2012, Pioli was fired and spent 2013 as an analyst at NBC Sports.

What Pioli brings, at the very least, is a fresh set of eyes to the scouting table, particularly both the offensive and defensive lines.

As has been stated before, it shows the Falcons are being brutally honest with themselves in their evaluations after the 4-12 season.

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Falcons Looking to Trade Up in Draft

According to a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, the Atlanta Falcons are looking to trade up from the 30th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggested the Falcons would trade up for one of the draft’s top cornerbacks. For the Falcons to draft Alabama’s Dee Milliner, it would likely take a blockbuster trade in the same vein as the trade for Julio Jones a couple of years ago. Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes or Washington’s Desmond Trufant are likely candidates.

Although drafting a cornerback would make sense because the Falcons have a glaring need with both Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson gone, they could also look to  draft a defensive end to pair with newly acquired Osi Umenyiora to help offset the loss of John Abraham.

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft starts April 25 at 8 p.m. EST. It’ll be interesting to see what moves general manager Thomas Dimitroff will make.

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Will John Abraham be a Falcon in 2013?

Thomas Dimitroff on the chance of John Abraham returning: "Never say never." (Michael Montes)

Thomas Dimitroff on the chance of John Abraham returning: “Never say never.” (Michael Montes)

The Atlanta Falcons cut ties with John Abraham before free agency began because of his high cap hit, but what are the chances he returns on a team-friendly deal?

General manager Thomas Dimitroff appeared on NFL Network a few days ago to discuss the Falcons’ offseason, and had this to say about Abraham returning:

“We never say never. There is a lot on the horizon. We have some decisions to make across the organization, but we never say never as far as acquiring or bringing people back.”

If the Falcons were to re-sign Abraham before the upcoming draft, they likely wouldn’t have to use an early pick on a defensive end; even at their current ages, Abraham (34) and free agent pickup Osi Umenyiora (31) would be able to generate pressure consistently.

Apparently, Abraham has been bombarded with tweets of fans begging him to come back. The defensive end had this to say on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/johnabraham55/status/320804121114464256

https://twitter.com/johnabraham55/status/320804645972877312

His heart is clearly still in Atlanta, so I have a feeling if the Falcons make him a semi-decent offer, he’ll return.

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Falcons Trading for Darrelle Revis Would be a Terrible Move

It would be a waste to trade multiple draft picks for a one-year rental. (Jim McIsaac)

It would be a waste to trade multiple draft picks for a one-year rental. (Jim McIsaac)

The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly interested in New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Unquestionably, Revis is better than any player in the Falcons secondary. He’s a true shutdown corner, and the Falcons pass defense would improve dramatically.

However, the 27-year-old cornerback is coming off a torn ACL injury. There’s also the fact he’s going into the last year of his contract, and the Falcons would need to meet his financial demands of between $12 and $16 million per year to keep him for more than one year. Otherwise, the Falcons would be trading multiple high draft picks for a one-year rental, and that’s not a feasible option when the Falcons have needs to address in the draft.

Last week, the Falcons freed up cap space by releasing veterans John Abraham, Dunta Robinson, and Michael Turner.

However, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out via Twitter, that cap space will be used to take care of their own:

Revis on the Falcons would be awesome, and it would continue general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s streak of making a big move each year. But as it stands now, the Falcons are in no position to take the plunge for the best cornerback in the league.

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Thomas Dimitroff: Gonzalez’s Return is More 50/50

Like Thomas Dimitroff, I'm not convinced Tony Gonzalez is 95 percent sure he'll retire. (Kevin Liles)

Like Thomas Dimitroff, I’m not convinced Tony Gonzalez is 95 percent sure he’ll retire. (Kevin Liles)

Despite Tony Gonzalez’s declaration of him being 95 percent sure he’s going to retire, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff believes it’s more of a 50/50 chance.

On NBC Network’s Pro Football Talk, Dimitroff said:

“Tony has done so much for us on and off the field and I don’t believe, not stating that he would be lying to anyone, but I don’t believe the 95 percent. I want to believe it’s a lot closer to 50/50, to be honest with you, and we’ve had discussions. Obviously Mike Smith has had discussions with him. We’re all in a good place. Ultimately it’s up to Tony to decide if he wants to come back and potentially catch 100 balls again. I think it’s one of those situations that Tony was so effective for us down the stretch and I can’t imagine that his appetite wasn’t sort of whet from his contributions in the playoffs.”

I’m with Dimitroff on this. Gonzalez has too much left in the tank to retire; he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and he’s 36 years old! With the team being so close to playing in Super Bowl XLVII, it’s hard to believe Gonzalez will walk away without giving it one more shot.

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What Happens if the Falcons Go One And Done Again?

I think the Atlanta Falcons finally get that playoff win Sunday.

But what if they don’t? What if the Seattle Seahawks force Atlanta into another early exit from the playoffs? It’ll be the third consecutive year the Falcons went one and done, and it’ll be the fourth time in five years the Falcons lost in their first playoff game.

The talking heads will be out in full force dissecting Atlanta’s ineptitude in the playoffs.

It’ll be a long, long offseason for the organization, from owner Arthur Blank to the fans.

Surely, if the Falcons fall to 0-4 under the current regime, there has to be some shakeup within, right?

Blank has already gone on record to say head coach Mike Smith’s isn’t on the hot seat, and I believe him. Looking past the lack of playoff success, Smith has brought five straight winning seasons to Atlanta – a feat made even more impressive by the fact the franchise had yet to post back-to-back winning seasons.

Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, and quarterback Matt Ryan have posted a 56-24 record in the regular season since 2008. That absolutely cannot be overlooked, and it’d be foolish to think that production is easily replaceable.

Losing Sunday is unacceptable. With that said, I doubt there’d be a major shakeup. However, a failure next season would almost ensure things would be blown up, and the Falcons would be forced to start from scratch.

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Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs Preview

The Atlanta Falcons open the 2012 NFL season traveling to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. It’s the third consecutive year the Falcons will open the season on the road.

It’s the beginning of redemption for a regime that has put together the best four-year stretch in Falcons history. Since 2008 when Thomas Dimitroff was brought in from New England to be the general manager, Mike Smith was plucked from Jacksonville to be the head coach, and Matt Ryan was drafted out of Boston College, the Falcons have won 43 games and only lost 21.

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The Unjust Disrespect For the Atlanta Falcons

I’ve been putting this entry off for a while now, and it’s time to get it off my chest.

The Atlanta Falcons are being unjustly disrespected heading into the 2012 NFL season. Both Warren Sapp and Vegas expect the Falcons to miss the playoffs this year, and a couple of Falcons players are mysteriously absent from the Top 100 Players of 2012 list.

Now, I know the thing fresh in everyone’s minds is the 24-2 shellacking at the hands of the New York Giants in the wildcard round of this past season’s playoffs.

And before that, the thing fresh in everyone’s minds was the 48-21 beatdown they received from the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the 2010 playoffs.

And I know the Falcons are 0-3 in the playoffs since the current regime took over in 2008.

I’m not trying to justify the Falcons’ seemingly inability to win a playoff game; instead, I want to shed a little perspective.

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