Belichick advised Dimitroff against Jones trade

 

Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, right, makes a catch for a first down over Notre Dame cornerback Darrin Walls in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Pittsburgh, on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. Pittsburgh won 27-22. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, right, makes a catch for a first down over Notre Dame cornerback Darrin Walls in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Pittsburgh, on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. Pittsburgh won 27-22. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

FLOWERY BRANCHMichael Holley is one of my favorite people in the sports business.

Our paths crossed in Ohio decades ago and we’ve consulted a various times during our careers. He was very helpful during the Michael Vick trial, so when he was writing the “War Room” I was pleased to help out.

My copy is waiting for me at the office, but SI’s Peter King has already read the book and shared a gracious book review on page 2 of this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback column.  Here’s the link to King’s column.

In the book, “War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team” Holley writes about Belichick, Kansas City’s Scott Pioli and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff thoughts on building that perfect team.

A couple of things in the review caught my attention.

1. After Dimitroff called Belichick “as a friend,” the mentor advised him not to make the Julio Jones trade. He felt the Falcons should have stayed at No. 27 and picked Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin. The deal was too pricey for Belichick’s blood. (Baldwin was our selection in one of my early Mocks drafts. He went to Kansas City on the 26th pick. He caught a couple balls last night in the win over San Diego.).

2. The Falcons, with their quest for players with high football I.Q.’s and good character, have the most “black dots” on their draft board in the league. Players that the team won’t consider are given black dots. Even the image conscious owner, Arthur Blank, was concerned with the number of “black dots.” In their quest to stay away from “challenged souls” are the Falcons missing out on some talent?

3. The draft room is bizarre. In the past when the local media has requested access to the draft room, they have been summarily turned down. It seems the draft room is party central full of limited partners and board members. The book notes that Dimitroff runs a pretty relaxed ship that may include Hank Aaron or Andrew Young dropping by on draft day. Pioli is much more up tight in K.C. He wants peace and quiet in his draft room.

BTW, King recommends the book highly.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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161 comments Add your comment

gbal

November 1st, 2011
7:15 am

VinnyD

November 1st, 2011
7:17 am

Thomas probably would have told Belichick not to take on Chad ochocinco…I’m still happy with Julio.

otrain

November 1st, 2011
7:19 am

Get in the end zone Julio!

Marcus

November 1st, 2011
7:23 am

Interesting … I might get this one … I didont get the other book a few years ago w/Falcons ties to the draft (forget name)

FalconDawg

November 1st, 2011
7:26 am

I’m with you VinnyD. I believe it’s just a matter of time until we truly become an elite team and Julio will be a big part of that.

Michael M.

November 1st, 2011
7:36 am

I hope the Birds dont get Julio crazy Sunday and go back to throwing the ball at him all game long because he isnt going to win the ball game for them as we have seen in the past two games who has won the ballgame for them

punjabiinatl

November 1st, 2011
7:38 am

its matter of time when things will start to clik …then julio will draw double & safty will have to stay back !

steven a

November 1st, 2011
7:40 am

The Julio Jones deal will prove to be an excellent deal. An NFL team can always build through free agency.

JWinfro

November 1st, 2011
7:44 am

But if the black dots don’t connect, then they are just lonely black dots. Connect the dots are get rid of them.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 1st, 2011
7:51 am

Jwinfro — I’m pretty sure that CB Perrish Cox had a black dot. That’s why he lasted until the fifth round.

hop

November 1st, 2011
7:54 am

only time will tell if the julio trade will work out.it was a little pricy for my blood!

DC Dirty Bird

November 1st, 2011
7:58 am

I agree that we’re probably missing out on talent due to “character concerns”. However, the knock on Jonathon Baldwin was that he’s lazy. I saw nothing at Pitt or in his play this season to prove otherwise. Moreover, he’s just a taller Roddy, not a speedster with the size to get physical with corners.

CGD..

November 1st, 2011
8:02 am

He said what???????????

honest_abe

November 1st, 2011
8:03 am

did you bother watching last night’s game dc?

David

November 1st, 2011
8:04 am

Here is what the Falcons have to figure out about Julio. Julio is a deep threat, Matt Ryan is not. And I am not a Ryan hater, I like him. He is a good QB, but he just does not throw a good deep ball. They have to figure out how to get the ball to Julio in medium type routes where Ryan can throw. But I do think Julio will be the real deal once they figure out how to use him correctly.

CGD..

November 1st, 2011
8:05 am

If we had Brady, then the Julio acquisition would have been a great deal..

JFKDawg

November 1st, 2011
8:13 am

Belichick is a smart man. While folks may enjoy the Jones trade today, when it comes time to draft next year and we don’t have a mid first round pick because we gave it away may cause others to feel differently then. The Falcons need to start picking some OL talent as ours is woeful and old.

jalex49

November 1st, 2011
8:23 am

Good move to draft Julio ! I hope he has two black dots next to his name. HE IS A CLASS ACT!
Thomas and Smitty are doing it the right way. We rather have players with character and a team first attituide than those that are about themselves and the spotlight.

The Falcons seem to be starting too “jell” and if the do, then they will be able to compete with anyone.
I want to give “kUDOS” to Roddy and Tony G. for the way they mentored the rookies!

The defense seems to be puttting team first and the rookies are really contributing. Thanks!
The linebackers, defensive backs are making plays and they are a force in the making! As far as the running backs, they are performing at high level and all seem to be contributing. Michael T is a “beast”
once he hits his stride!

I hope this team continues too improve and make themselves revelant in the playoff’s. Best of luck and we are proud of you guys!

Greg

November 1st, 2011
8:24 am

JFKDawg is right on it. So many fans, quite understandably, have focused on the great skill set they see that Julio has. He’s going to be a great receiver. But we can’t ignore what we gave up. We sacrificed a lot of talent to get Julio. And the team needs strengthening in many areas. I think Belichick was right…and there are actually more than a few of us who winced hard when TD put that Julio deal together. He way, way, way overpaid, and it will hurt us down the road.

The Real Falcon

November 1st, 2011
8:27 am

I have never been a Belichick fan but after watching A Football Life and the way he prepares his team I see why he is a winner. And he IS a smart guy.
Gave up too much.
Go Falcons continue the streak!

honest_abe

November 1st, 2011
8:37 am

the part of the article i found interesting was about how they allow members of the board to be in the draft room. that is all arthur blank. i don’t think any serious franchises throw draft parties with celebrities in their draft room. it’s serious business. no?

rudy

November 1st, 2011
8:43 am

forget about julio, we need to address the running back position cos turner has slow down in the last two season

baloo

November 1st, 2011
8:49 am

Jonathan Baldwin also caught Thomas Jones face with his fist during training camp.

mountain_jim

November 1st, 2011
8:49 am

How do we get an elite LT without a first? We need to upgrade there. And at RB to prepare for post-Turner. And at TE. Dang, we need those picks back!

Birdman

November 1st, 2011
8:53 am

The part DOL did not print was what DTroff said when Pioli questioned having board members in the draft room. Something along the lines of “if he cant handle a few board members sitting in the same room on draft day then he is probably not the right man for the job”. I agree, how many of you out there get to do your job without an owner, VP or other exec not hovering over your shoulder at the biggest moments? Its not like Hank Aaron and Andy Young are getting drunk and hollering who to pick. So Pioli likes his draft room to be a morgue, so what, different strokes.

Dan

November 1st, 2011
9:01 am

Tired of hearing TV and News people say we gave up two number #1’s for Julio. We got Cleveland’s #1 last year? Julio is doing just great? People always says it takes 2 to 3 yrs for a WR to develop well he is already shows skill now. And only in Fantasy Football does it matter if one gets TD or not? If a receiver catches balls to put in position to score a TD than I am happy. Also who is to say a player that we draft in the first round wouldnt be a future bust? We got a sure thing in Julio if you don’t see it then you really don’t know anything about football. Just keep playing your fantasy football.

Joe blow

November 1st, 2011
9:03 am

Quit crying about the draft picks…the draft is a crap shoot..a lot of times u can waste a 1st rounder on a bust like Jamal Anderson..or Sam baker…Julio jones is the future at wideout..live with it..I think it was a good gamble…young receivers usually don’t flourish early(roddy white) but Julio has..

Mikey

November 1st, 2011
9:04 am

In TD I trust! When you are building a team, you have to make decsions and so far TD’s decisions seem more solid than any other GM in the business (Bilichick is good but this wasn’t his decision). Time will tell. It’s difficult for any GM to be perfect in all decisions but I’ll take hard working guys with character and intelligence over stupid thugs with muscles any day. This is a profession and professionals will go farther in the long run every time. TD knows that he has to eliminate a very talented young player for each draft pick he keeps at this stage. Julio is a young rookie with only a few games under his belt. Give him a couple of years and you may think that this was one of the best decisions TD has ever made. Julio is a rare talent and if he doesn’t have unanticipated medical problems, he could end up being the next Jerry Rice… he has that level of potential. Ryan has more than enough zip to get him the ball but it takes time for them to perfect those very risky deep routes and the disciplined Falcons coaches know how to control their desires for instant gratification that could be their undoing. The Falcons are a team on the rise and they are among the top 10 teams already. Be patient Falcons fans… they are on the rise and rapidly improving every week. That’s what this type of professional coaches and players do!

Bozo the Troll

November 1st, 2011
9:11 am

Didn’t the announcers say last night that Baldwin had missed 5 games because he broke his thumb during a locker room fight with Thomas Jones? Yeah…I’m glad we don’t have guys like that on our team. That’s a bad sign when a rookie is fighting a vet in your locker room at the beginning of the season…

DR. FALCON

November 1st, 2011
9:14 am

ANYBODY SEEN HIRAMSAINT, OR SEENTHISB4? SAINTS FANS, YOU ARE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE LEAGUE! LOSING TO A. J. FEELEY? REALLY?!! MAYBE YOU WOULD’VE HAD MORE SUCCESS AGAINST BRADFORD! HA! HA! HA! SAME OLD SAINTS! A FRAUD! WHERE WAS THOSE 62 POINTS AGAINST THE LOWLY RAMS? WHATEVER!!!!

CGD..

November 1st, 2011
9:22 am

Blank shooting Blanks!

“But we can’t ignore what we gave up. We sacrificed a lot of talent to get Julio. And the team needs strengthening in many areas. I think Belichick was right…and there are actually more than a few of us who winced hard when TD put that Julio deal together. He way, way, way overpaid, and it will hurt us down the road.”

agree @ Greg.. TD is going to get burned on this deal…

A waste of talent if your QB cant deliver the ball to him deep or shallow..
Falcons have more critical areas on the field of play that needed to be addressed..

Mr. Blank= Al Davis- A Championship!

Belichick was right on this draft pick.. It will turn into a debacle….

The streak will continue…. Blah, Blah, Blah……….

PMC

November 1st, 2011
9:23 am

I understand not taking a QB because of character concerns… but a linebacker or defensive lineman?

Don’t you need some guys who will do work?

PMC

November 1st, 2011
9:24 am

So he’s got character concerns fine…. The Training staff is good at Flowery Branch…. but they aren’t magicians.

Explain taking Peria Jerry when he had injury problems already?

Richard Dawson

November 1st, 2011
9:24 am

That was a TERRIBLE trade. Belichek was right.

78dawg

November 1st, 2011
9:24 am

Dimitroff is in way over his head. I like Jones but he cost way too nuch. Next year’s draft is gone. Where is P. Jerry? Meriweather is just now making an impact, There are others. He let Dahl walk and that was a major mistake. When will the honeymoon be over?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 1st, 2011
9:24 am

Good to see y’all being nice to one another today. Spirited comments. But cordial.

PMC

November 1st, 2011
9:26 am

They can always pick up a free agent LT if they are willing to overpay, or they can take a guy who isn’t a top of the first round talent that fits the scheme in the 2nd or 3rd and hope to coach him up quickly.

One of the most disapointing outcomes of this draft was not taking a left tackle. That and basically shutting down after the 5th round and taking garbage pick flyers.

Edward

November 1st, 2011
9:26 am

I wished Dimitroff had listen to Belichick.

CGD..

November 1st, 2011
9:28 am

38-17….And….. Crickets…..

Mystikal

November 1st, 2011
9:28 am

I like Julio, but if I has a do over I wouldn’t make that trade again knowing how much talent will be available in next year’s draft. But then again, what good is having talent if you don’t know how to use it!

A bunch of Mularkey!

PMC

November 1st, 2011
9:31 am

I still see the logic behind taking Julio Jones this year, so he and Roddy might have a time period where Julio is in his early prime while Roddy is in the latter stages. Dimitroff trys to have an eye on the future or that has been the pattern. The trade doesn’t set them back. He’s filling smaller holes now. Next year they have to get a front line pass rusher, and obviously a left tackle. I’m not sure how happy they are at safety either, but Running Back is going to be a big priority too. Not everything has to be done through the draft for the starters anyway.

Billy Mack

November 1st, 2011
9:33 am

Come playoff time all these “good character” guys will have problems taking their game to the next level against more “hard-nosed” teams.

No one wants their football team to be thought of as a bunch of “nice guys.”

CGD..

November 1st, 2011
9:35 am

Get this…..

Your OC maybe covering for his flawed QB who cant stretch the field consistently? Hmmmmm..Its not all Mularkeys fault that his offense is still struggling after 3.5 years..Its not like he has Former UGA Great Matt Stafford @ the helm, its the other Matt…Ho Hum…….

CGD..

November 1st, 2011
9:39 am

“Ryan has more than enough zip to get him the ball but it takes time for them to perfect those very risky deep routes and the disciplined Falcons coaches know how to control their desires for instant gratification that could be their undoing. ”

Melts got enough zip for the Highschool game…..lol

Joey

November 1st, 2011
9:39 am

What good does it do to get a downfield threat if your OC doesn’t call downfield plays?

honest_abe

November 1st, 2011
9:40 am

birdman: different strokes… when people are making 30 million dollar decisions i don’t think its necessary to have a celebrity element in the room. it’s stupid.

waynester

November 1st, 2011
9:49 am

Some of the same posters who rip MS for being too conservative are ripping on TD for not being conservative enough….

just thinking

November 1st, 2011
9:52 am

Just a thought here but has anybody noticed the Pats haven’t won a SB since Pioli and TD left? Just sayin. . .

PMC

November 1st, 2011
9:53 am

Julio Jones has been sold to us as some kind of home run threat. He’s really not that. He wasn’t at Alabama. He’s got speed yes, but he’s more of a move the chains; block his tail off Roddy White type than a Torry Smith type deep threat. Julio was brought into work the short to intermediate and break tackles/block as much as he was taking deep shots. As far as explosive plays, they just expect Juilo to make more plays on his own than they could get out of Jenkins.

ATL Fan

November 1st, 2011
9:57 am

All the draft prep work should have been done long before draft day. Having people in the draft room should not change that. If Mr. Blank wants to have other people there, good for him.