Van Halen survived the exits of David Lee Roth and Sammy Hager.
The Jackson 5 weren’t the same after Michael Jackson went solo.
The Temptations were just fine after Eddie Kendricks took over for David Ruffin.
The Supremes were not the same after Diana Ross left.
Journey wasn’t the same after Steve Perry left.
We haven’t heard much about that Destiny’s Child reunion tour since Beyonce went solo, either.
What does this have to do with the Falcons, you ask?
Well, given the way this team played for this coaching staff after being eliminated from the playoffs, they have to keep the band together.
One of the offseason keys for Falcons coach Mike Smith will be retaining his coaching staff. Last season, the Falcons only had one assistant coach leave.
Assistant Special Teams coach Tom McMahon left to become the St. Louis Rams’ special teams coordinator. Others had opportunities to leave, but elected to keep the band together.
Also, Smith said the team’s offseason training program will start on March 24 while doing his final radio segment of the season on Sirius Radio’s “The Opening Drive” show Tuesday morning.
The offseason program will run through the end of June.
Other important offseason dates for the Falcons include:
Jan. 30 – Senior Bowl, Mobile, Alabama. More than 80 of the nation’s top college players will play in the all-star game. The group of defensive backs who have already committed to play include: Alabama’s Javier Arenas, South Florida’s Nate Allen, LSU’s Harry Coleman, Boise State’s Kyle Wilson, Florida State’s Patrick Robinson, South Florida’s Jerome Murphy, Notre Dame’s Kyle McCarthy and Southern California’s Taylor Mays. (The secondary is a perceived need area after the Falcons finished 28th in the league against the pass. Also, last season this is where they interviewed second round pick William Moore.)
Feb. 24 – March 2 — NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis. More than 300 draft eligible players go through a
series of drills, tests and interviews with more than 600 NFL personnel including head coaches, general managers and scouts. During the combine, the league will have the coin flip to determine if the Falcons or Houston Texans pick 19th in the draft. Also, teams are normally awarded compensatory draft picks here. The Falcons could receive as many as four extra picks for the 2010 draft because of the free agents they lost last season.
March 5 — Free agency begins. The Falcons have 15 free agents in wide receiver Marty Booker, right tackle Tyson Clabo, right guard Harvey Dahl, wide receiver Brian Finneran, safety Jamaal Fudge, linebacker Tony Gilbert, safety Antoine Harris, running back Verron Haynes, punter Michael Koenen, running back Jerious Norwood, offensive guard/tackle Quinn Ojinnaka, quarterback Chris Redman, running back Jason Snelling, safety Charlie Peprah and cornerback Brian Williams. Clabo, Dahl, Fudge, Koenen, Norwood, Ojinnaka and Peprah are in the group of 212 players league-wide who will remain restricted free agents if a new labor deal is not signed by March.
March 21-24 — NFL Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida. Rule changes from the competition committee will be announced. Also, the labor situation will be updated by commissioner Roger Goodell.
April 22 – April 24 – NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The NFL Draft will kick off in primetime for the first time. The first round will be held on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m.. Rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m.
May 24-26 — NFL Spring Meeting, Dallas, Texas. Future Super Bowl sites are usually announced during this meeting. The game is set for Dallas in 2011, Indianapolis in 2012 and New Orleans in 2013. Some of the sites mentioned for the 2014 game include London, Los Angeles, Tampa, Miami and New York.