Falcons general manager was a big hit during his media session at the NFL scouting combine.
He touched on several topics from the Falcons not being major players in free agency to what he looks for at the safety position.
Dimitroff and his staff are on a mission to find the next Troy Polamalu or Ed Reed.
Let’s wish him good luck on that because if he’s successful that would extremely fun to watch on Sundays.
Here’s the best of “The TD Show” at combine:”
ON MOVING FORWARD AFTER LAST SEASON: “We were encouraged by our 2008 season in Atlanta. We are fired up about moving forward and going on into (2009). We have a lot of work to do. A lot of roster calibration to do. We’re excited about it. We have a number of free agents right. We have 13 that we are trying to decide on. We are still in the process of that.”
HOW HE PLANS TO FOLLOW-UP LAST SEASON’S SUCCESSFUL DRAFT: “Last year, it was no surprise, we spent a lot of time and a lot of money in the draft and free agency on our offense. Obviously, we’ll be focusing on both sides of the ball with an emphasis on defense as well. . . we will definitely try to build through the draft and be mindful of free agency to supplement. . . Our focus is not to be a major player in free agency, but to be focused on this process here and try to get young and energetic, fiery football players that we can continue to build with.”
FALCONS ARE NEEDS BASED DRAFT TEAM (Not best player available): “In the very end, we have a system-specific scouting system. We are needs based. So we will make sure that we focus on the players that we feel will help us to continue to build. . . but I want to make sure that we continue to get speed and urgency on this team.”
HOW SMITTY WON THE LOCKER ROOM: “Mike came into our situation in Atlanta, following up a very tumultuous situation in 2007 season. His stance, again, was very, very real in that circumstance. He’s about being real. He’s about selling it straight to the players and they really appreciate that. He doesn’t like to posture any which way. They know he’s the head coach. He’s very fiery when he needs to be, but he also knows when to pat them on the back.”
ON EVALUATING TIGHT ENDS WHO PLAY IN SPREAD OFFENSES: “This is a good tight end draft. I think you get a chance to see certain players like (Missouri’s) Chase Coffman. He’s a very accomplished receiver. With his abilities you have to project him inside. . . For instance, we have tend to project a little bit to determine if he has the whole operation and control as far as blocking and pass reception.” (ASIDE from “THE TD SHOW”: Our old pal Jim Mora, Seattle’s new head coach said that spread tight ends are offering teams practice film that shows that they can block.)
ON STAFFORD AND MORENO: “They are not in need areas for us. We’ve had the opportunity to see them quite a bit. Not to get into a whole bunch of specifics about players. I don’t want to give you my scouting report necessarily, but I think those two guys are going to make a lot of money. Obviously, (owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank is happy that we are not picking in the top five.”
ON REBUILDING THE DEFENSE: “There are some nice defensive tackles in this draft. . . It’s nice to be in the 20s, to be honest with you to acquire players of that caliber that will allow us to continue grow and learn.”
ON QB PAT WHITE AND THE WILDCAT OFFENSE: “Obviously, Pat White is an incredible athlete. I think the Wildcat situation is something that a lot of us are trying to figure out what’s the best way to defend it and as well as use it. I think Mike Mularkey has a very good understanding of that as well. I think it will continue to bring players to the forefront that are a little bit of that slashability, where they can also toss the ball. That’s also important as well.
“If you can get that runner who can run as well as be a receiver . . . versatility in this league is huge at any position. But when you get a receiver slash skill position guy, who has the versatility to run it out of the backfield, to me that adds a whole different dimension.”
ON BROOKING: (DOL’s intreptation: Falcons want him back, but looks like they aren’t ready to break the bank to keep him. Also, Brooking could face a challenge for his starting spot.)
BACK to The TD Show: “We are in the process now of having discussions with his representatives. Part of this process here is determining what is out here in the draft. What are the possibilities verses what we have. We have not made that final decision yet. That is part of the reason why we are here to determine if we are going to go forward with some of our players.
“To be quite honest with you, with Keith he has to decide what’s best for him. (Translation: We’re not showering him with loot.) We’d like to have him back, but he has to decide what’s best for him in free agency.”