Fans Anxious as Draft Draws Close
The “2014 NFL Draft Spreadsheet” is still in the works, but should be finished very soon. It will certainly be done in plenty of time for the draft. Aiming for early next week at the latest. And don’t look now, but the countdown is officially under a month to go (22 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes, but who’s counting) until the NFL Draft commences. Even though it was painful to hear that the NFL moved it back two weeks, it’s seemed to sneak up a little bit this year, so the heads of the NFL 4th Arm of Government must be very pleased.
However, one thing that can get lost in the frenzy of names, combine numbers, stats, colleges, and pro day workouts heading to the draft is trends of general managers and front offices. In our case, what to try and look for in a Thomas Dimitroff draft. To put it mildly, you’d have more luck in not just winning one lottery in your lifetime, but two. Many in The Cage
Should Be “When,” Not “If” Falcons Go OL
Deciding which respective line, offensive or defensive, has been worse the last 6 years is an impossible argument. The pass rush has been miserable and the offensive line has been wretched. The pass rush has been nonexistent for some time and it’s almost been accepted by most fans. The offensive line has had it’s ups and downs, but they’ve been good enough, a few times at least, to get the Falcons in the playoffs and generally good enough to be one of the better teams in the NFC. Until last year of course. The trainwreck that was the Falcons offensive line went from bad to even worse and it’s really lucky that Matt Ryan wasn’t injured last year.
They went out and signed Jon Asamoah, arguably the best guard on the market, to fill the RG spot once and for all. However, there’s still plenty of work to be done. They have Justin Blalock locking down left guard, turning 31 this year, and are taking the
Still Plenty of Holes after Free Agent Signings
The Falcons added a total of 5 new free agents and have filled some of the gaps in a roster that went 4-12, but they’ve also created a few more that weren’t originally there. They also have some major concerns in terms of depth at many positions as well. There may be a few more small additions between now and the draft, but nothing more than some lesser, depth signings. The Falcons have brought in NT Paul Soliai, DE Tyson Jackson, RG Jon Asamoah, CB Javier Arenas, and KR/PR Devin Hester. That likely represents a few gaps that have been plugged, but several weaknesses still remain. In theory, many of them can be slotted with the upcoming draft, but it’s hard to believe that all of them can be. A look at the most glaring weaknesses on a team still in need of major improvement……..
1) Offensive Tackle
Technically, this should be right tackle with the epitome of
What’s Your Take on Falcon’s Move to Date
The Falcons struck quickly in free agency, locking up three major pieces along both lines, definitely adding some beef and girth and, hopefully, some toughness as well. The front office’s buzz words for this off-season are “recalibration” and “grittiness.” They seemed to follow that theme in the beginning, but there remains just as many questions about the 2014 version as there are holes on the current roster. This from a team that was a true bottom dweller in 2013. It’s a decent start, but there’s a ton left to do before this team is ready to rise up the NFC and one draft seemingly won’t do the trick. A fan’s instinctive look at the Falcons moves to date……….
Samuel, Nicholas, Reynolds Cut
Nothing to see here. These were all moves that had to be made and everyone saw the writing on the wall well before the season was over. Samuel turned out good for a year after only giving up a 6th rounder, but was
How Active will Falcons Be in 2014?
(Part 3 of Thomas Dimitroff’s Moves will Come After Free Agency)
With a little over a week away until the free agency bonanza hits, the Falcons actually seemed more poise to make moves than they had in quite a long time. That could be a good thing (Michael Turner), a bad thing (Osi Umenyiora, Steven Jackson), or something to give fans nightmares as they head to sleep (Dunta Robinson, Ray Edwards). The Falcons haven’t made many moves in free agency because they’ve recently focused on keeping their own and not needing to add much via the market.
But that was before the trainwreck of 2013 and a team that showed to have more holes than a screen door. The Falcons also happen to be in one of the most comfortable positions in terms of cap savings, AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter estimates it at $26.7 million, with the ability to create more in terms of restructuring current players contracts (Roddy White, Justin
A Few Transactions as Free Agency Nears
(((Finishing up new Comprehensive Free Agent post, but wanted to get a new thread up as Free Agency draws close)))
After a decent lull following the Super Bowl, the NFL is ready to burst to life once again. This is particularly true for fans of a team that had given up most hope around the midpoint of the season. The Falcons have been relatively quiet in free agency the last few years and it appears that will change this off-season. Whether it be due to the fact that the Falcons simply have tons of holes to fill or that jobs are likely on the line, it seems as though sitting back and waiting might not cut it this free agency period. As the free agency bonanza dawns, here’s a few items and links from other writers and sites to help spur some conversations…..
Ironman and Fan Favorite Jason Snelling Retires
This one came as a massive shock to most every Falcons fan. #44 has been a fan favorite for years with
Comprehensive Analysis of Dimitroff’s Moves, 2010-2011
After a general manager has been with a team for several years, the best analysis that can be done is to look at every move over their tenure and see if it was great, good, bad, or terrible. Obviously, the GM’s that have more hits than misses, like Schneider, Ozzie Newsome, Jerry Reese, and Ted Thompson before him, give their teamsC the best chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Dimitroff has constructed a team that has made the playoffs 4 out of 6 years, held the #1 NFC seed twice, and hosted an NFC Title Game. Those teams also boast a dreadful 1-4 overall playoff record. The GM and front office is only part of the equation, for the good and bad, but without a strong front office, it’s next to impossible to win the whole thing. Same goes for coaching staff and committed owner.
Veteran Cuts / Free Agent Non-resigns
Marty Booker, Verron Haynes, Aaron Stecker, Tony Gilbert, Mike Schneck, Joe
A Comprehensive Analysis of Dimitroff’s Moves, 2008-09
*****Part 1 in a 3 Part Series on All of Dimitroff’s Moves as Falcons GM*****
As fans get geared up for the 2014 off-season and all the action that follows, the front office and coaching staff have a lot at stake in trying to correct the nightmare of 2013. There’s plenty of time before free agency starts and even longer until the draft kicks off. That provides a good opportunity to look every aspect of the Falcons organization the last 6 years: the good, the bad, and the really ugly.
Thomas Dimitroff has been one of the main reasons for the Falcons success over those 6 seasons. He’s won Executive of the Year twice and has even created his own “GM Tree,” having Les Snead become GM for the St. Louis Rams and Dave Caldwell being hired as the Jacksonville Jaguars the very next year. There was even talk of his next in line, Lionel Vital, being hired as the
One’s a Super Bowl Champ; The Other Won 4 Games
The Seattle Seahawks finish the 2013 NFL season as the Super Bowl Champions. All Falcons fans could do was wonder how the Seahawks made it look so darn easy. Many also probably didn’t actually believe that it was the Falcons who beat the Seahawks in last year’s playoffs. Yes, it did happen, even though it’s impossible to believe after Seattle’s team hoist the prized Lombardi. On the most obvious level, the two teams couldn’t be farther apart. One just won the Super Bowl in one of the biggest lopsided blowouts in recent memory. The Falcons struggled to win 4 games and were absolutely the biggest disappointment of the 2013 season.
To be fair, the Seahawks were and are superior to most teams in the NFL. However, when looking deeper, it’s mind-blowing how the two teams arrived at their 2013 final destination, particularly in how the teams were built, how they play, and how they’re coached, among other things. The Seahawks coaching
The Godfather, Seminole Warrior, Lays it Down!
Special Guest Writer: Roddy E. Nixon, Jr. (aka Seminole Warrior)
Like you, my fellow Falcon friends, I have had time to sit back and reflect on the season that was lost in 2013. Many fans came into the season with extraordinary expectations of being a Super Bowl team. Many, including many in this forum, warned that the image in the mirror was false. So now, we turn our attention to the reconstruction; the re-tooling of this franchise. This is part one of a two part series that will lay out a plan that, if followed, would restore the faith and confidence of the fans in the direction of the team.
In this narrative, we will assess how we got here. Then, in the next week’s follow-up, we will address, position by position, where the team stands and what must be done to field a consistent winner.
Simply put, our Falcons suffered a major collapse in 2013. The Branch would have you believe that it was all a result of