Should Falcons GM Dimitroff Feel Some Heat?

Some Questions Start to Arise

Blank & Dimitroff (AJC)

Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff could do no wrong when he first came aboard as the Birds new executive. He selected Matt Ryan with his first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, who became Rookie of the Year and later made the Pro Bowl. He snagged Michael Turner in free agency, who has made 2 Pro Bowls since. He has been named the NFL Executive of the Year two times in four years, so much of this is playing devil’s advocate.

He hit on picks Curtis Lofton, Harry Douglas, Thomas DeCoud (at least initially), William Moore, Sean Weatherspoon, Kroy Biermann, Vance Walker, Jacquizz Rodgers, Michael Palmer, Corey Peters, Dominique Franks, and engineered a big trade for Julio Jones. He traded for Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and has helped the Falcons to their best four years in franchise history, including making the playoffs 3 out of 4 years and a #1 seed in the NFC. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was resurrecting a broken franchise from the ashes to immediate relevance and contention.

His accomplishments are long and you will be hard-pressed to find any Falcons fans who won’t agree that Dimitroff is already the best GM in franchise history. However, the shining glow he’s always rightfully enjoyed has faded just a little bit.

The conversation started when AJC columnist Jeff Schultz wrote a very poignant piece questioning whether Dimitroff has done enough to improve the Falcons after 3 playoff losses, with the last two being embarrassing blowouts where the Falcons shouldn’t have even been on the field. Dimitroff, always the cool customer, seemed a little irritated with the accusations he hasn’t done enough. A look at some of TD’s potential issues….

1st Round Busts

One of the main points of criticism towards Dimitroff has been his selection of two players in the 1st round that many consider to be busts. After hitting on Matt Ryan with his 1st pick as Falcons GM, he then traded back into the first round to select Sam Baker. Dimitroff decided to move up to get Baker, who many draft experts didn’t believe to be a left tackle in the NFL, possessing short arms among many other things. To be fair, Duane Brown was the only other tackle to become successful in the NFL.

Is Baker Holding? (AJC)

Baker also had an injury history while at USC and was considered by many to be too high of a risk to take in the first round. The injury bug bit in his first season where he only played in 8 games and started 5. Objectively, he did go on to start the next 30 games the next two seasons, including going 13-3 in 2010 and gaining the #1 seed in the NFC. However, Baker seemed lost last year getting injured and essentially losing two starting jobs, one at LT and the other at RG. Perhaps its unfair to call Baker a bust, but most fans have seen enough of him going forward, especially at an almost $4 million dollar hit against the cap.

While Baker had two solid years, including being part of an OL that led the way to a 13-3 record, the same can’t be said of DT Peria Jerry. Maybe its not his fault due to injury, but Jerry has had almost no impact on the Falcons defense in 3 years as a pro. The former Ole Miss defensive tackle showed promise as a rookie before tearing his ACL in the second game of the season. He’s never really been the same since.

In 3 years as a Falcon, Jerry has 20 combined tackles, 2 sacks, and started only 6 games. Again, it’s not Jerry’s fault he was injured, but he battled several injuries at Ole Miss and was considered a major injury risk at the time. Likely one reason he dropped to the Falcons in the first place after being considered the number one defensive tackle prospect in the draft after BJ Raji.

There have been glimpses of Jerry getting back to his original potential, but he’s never turned the proverbial corner. Peters appears to have permanently replaced Jerry as the starting DT, and even 7th round draft pick Vance Walker may have bumped Jerry in the tackle rotation. Dimitroff took Jerry over players such as Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt, Louis Delmas, Jarius Byrd, Ziggy Hood, Lesean McCoy, Phil Loadholt and most painfully of course, Clay Matthews taken 2 spots later. Hindsight is 20/20 and its not a completely objective way to look at drafts, but the point is that TD could have gone in many other directions and hit success.

To his credit, Dimitroff showed a good ability at trying to correct his mistakes, drafting very promising DT Corey Peters the very next year, and also generally staying away from injury prone players. Also, Dimitroff’s still has a pretty good batting average with the selections of Ryan, Sean Weatherspoon, & Julio Jones. It still smarts to think about what could’ve been with those two picks.

Free Agency Miscues

It can’t be said enough that Dimitroff generally has done a very good job in all aspects of the Falcons organization, including free agency. He signed Michael Turner, who’s made two Pro Bowls and is on the verge of becoming the Falcons all-time leading rusher and rushing TDs scored. He traded for Tony Gonzalez, who needs no description. He’s also signed valuable role players such as Will Svitek, Erik Coleman, Dominique Foxworth, and James Sanders among many others.

There are really only two point of criticisms for Dimitroff in free agency, with one still being too early to judge. The Falcons GM signed Ray Edwards, the top DE free agent after Charles Johnson, to address the Falcons lack of pass rush. He signed him for a very reasonable deal and even went after Johnson. Edwards had a disappointing year, but battled injuries all season. It’s still a little early to call Edwards a bad move.

TD's Biggest Miss? (AJC)

The Dunta Robinson deal, however, is a completely different story. After having both Brent Grimes and Chris Owens show promise at CB towards the end of the 2009 season, Dimitroff signed one of the best available free agent cornerbacks to a monster deal. the deal Robinson signed was shocking: 6 years, $57 million dollars, with $25 million being guaranteed.

Robinson was a very good cornerback before he had injury issues and a former 1st round draft pick, so it’s not as though he didn’t possess talent. Maybe he’s suffered from a poor scheme fit or less than spectacular coaching, but Robinson has done very poorly overall. He gets torched on coverage, takes poor angles, often whiffs on tackles, and has been the second best cornerback on the field since he’s been here. Dimitroff obviously didn’t feel confident enough in Robinson or the other CB’s to franchise tag Brent Grimes and possibly pay him over $10 million dollars a year. Maybe the move will finally pay off under a better scheme and defensive coordinator, but so far its been one of his biggest black eyes.

Falcons Free Agents

This one is mostly reaching here since he’s done a great job of keeping players he considers to be core guys. He’s kept Roddy White, Tyson Clabo, Jonathan Babineaux, Justin Blalock, Stephen Nicholas, Harry Douglas, Thomas DeCoud, Kroy Biermann, Jason Snelling, John Abraham, and Brent Grimes (at least for a year) among many others. He’s always been very fair in his deals as well.

There’s only been a few head-scratchers to date. The biggest one seems to be RG Harvey Dahl. It seemed impossible to keep all three of Dahl, Blalock, & Clabo in one year of free agency, so Dahl was the one that got away. Fans found out quickly how valuable Dahl was when Garrett Reynolds, Mike Johnson, and even Sam Baker were no answer at RG. The Falcons finally settled on center prospect Joe Hawley. While not many can blame him for not having the money to keep all 3, he’s shown he can cut in other places when he really wants to keep a player.

After being the best defensive player for the Falcons in 2007, OLB Michael Boley fell out of favor with the coaching staff for whatever reason, lost his starting job, and was snatched up by the New York Giants, which seemed like a good move until Boley was a main factor in the Giants Super Bowl run (starting with a steamroll over Atlanta nonetheless).

Dimitroff appears to have played the Curtis Lofton move just right since several teams have been interested but have yet to sign him. The Eagles even decided to part with a draft pick for Demeco Ryans instead of signing Lofton. #50 and his agent are evidently asking for the moon. This one’s still undecided, but if Tatupu and Dent struggle to replace Lofton’s production, this is another question mark. News just last night that the hated Saints have signed Lofton will give us a really quick answer to whether this was a good move in letting him go or not.

Questionable Trades

This is another less than objective hindsight criticism, but two haven’t worked out quite as well. This also involves some serious nitpicking, but deserves a look nonetheless.

No one faulted TD for shipping Chris Houston out of town at the time. The former 2nd rounder just seemed to stall in his potential and development. The Falcons shipped him to the Lions for a 6th round pick in 2010 and a 7th round pick in 2011.

Great Year in Detroit (AJC)

Houston had a Pro Bowl worthy year in Detroit this year with 14 passes defensed and 5 interceptions. The Falcons, in turn, have had a huge disappointment out of Dunta Robinson and is preparing to give Grimes over $10 million with the franchise tag. They used the draft picks to select Shann Schillinger and Andrew Jackson. Ultimately, fans feel that Houston may have been another product of under-coaching and under-development and may have been given up on too early.

Former 3rd round draft pick WR Laurent Robinson isn’t really TD’s fault, per se, but he did possess talent. He was traded for only swapping places with the St. Louis Rams in the 5th & 6th rounds, essentially nothing. He could never stay healthy and even the Rams and Chargers both gave up on him. He caught on with the Cowboys and finally caught fire. He was subsequently given a $32 million dollar contract from none other than new Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey. Can’t really blame TD for this one, but maybe they pulled the trigger just a little too soon.

No point in rehashing “the trade” for Julio Jones since its been analyzed to pieces. There’s no questioning Julio Jones, for he nearly hit a 1,000 yards receiving and 8 TDs while missing 4 games. However, maybe the roster wasn’t as deep as many thought as evidenced by an underachieving year and another playoff embarrassment. Help on the OL, RB, S, DL, and TE would have been nice with those 4 picks and they could’ve had Torrey Smith for no picks at all.

The Offensive Line

In four years as the general manager of the Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff has yet to hit on one anchor of the offensive line through the draft. Perhaps this is one of Dimitroff’s biggest issues as they get ready for the 2012 season. To his credit, he kept very underrated guard Justin Blalock and Pro Bowl right tackle Tyson Clabo. The draft, however, has yet to yield any results.

He reached for Baker by trading up in the first round, and even though he’s trying to give Baker every chance to re-invent himself, he’s nowhere close to being an anchor. He drafted right tackle project Garrett Reynolds in the 5th round. Reynolds has not shown anything more than being a good backup, although he’s never got his chance at his right tackle position.

He drafted Mike Johnson out of Alabama in the 3rd round, potentially to be starter one day. Johnson was a major cog on a dominant Crimson Tide offensive line that won a National Title and helped pave Mark Ingram’s way to the Heisman. He also had started more games than any other Alabama player in its storied history. On paper, it’s hard to argue with this pick. For whatever reason, Johnson has never developed and couldn’t even beat out a player who had only played right tackle his entire career, who later lost the job himself. This doesn’t mean that Johnson doesn’t still hold potential, but it has not been realized in 2 years.

No Anchors to Date for Dimitroff (AJC)

Dimitroff drafted Joe Hawley most likely to be the future at center in the 4th round. So far, Hawley has been one of his best OL picks. Hawley finally helped stabilize the guard position after going through Reynolds and even Sam Baker. Hawley also started center at the beginning of the season for an injured Todd McClure to mixed results. Of all the picks, Hawley seems to have the most potential to win a starting spot and be the closest to being an anchor on the offensive line.

He’s also drafted Andrew Jackson, who has a chance to win a starting spot this season but also struggled to make the 53 man roster last season. He also signed Vince Manuwai this off-season who has the potential to be a very good pickup if he can get back to his original potential. He picked up Will Svitek as a player with potential and Svitek did well in relief of Sam Baker, but he appears to have a limited ceiling. Even though many fans saw great glimpses of Jose Valdez, he was allowed to be snatched up by the Minnesota Vikings because he wasn’t put on the active roster (a move hard to understand).

Simply put, it’s hard to understand why the Falcons continue to have so many questions on the offensive line, up to 3 open positions, after 4 years of drafts and free agency. Dimitroff seems to have a penchant for not investing high draft picks or a lot of money on the offensive line and this could be the Falcons Achilles heel once more in 2012. Some will try to rationalize that only a new coach will magically turn this group into an All-Pro OL and that could very well happen. But the offensive line woes can’t be completely blamed on former coach Paul Boudreau. Dimitroff has to take some blame as well. The Falcons GM talked about creating competition for every spot on the OL, but that evidently started and ended with the lone signing of Vince Manuwai.

Much Devil’s Advocate

As mentioned before, much of this may come off as nitpicking since Dimitroff has done an overall magnificent job as the Falcons general manager. If you looked at all the positives, it far outweighs the negatives, but doing a complete audit of the Falcons means that all involved aren’t beyond criticism, including the general manager.

Bird Cage Family’s Turn

1) What’s your overall thoughts on Dimitroff?

2) What’s been his best moves?

3) What’s been his worst moves?

4) Has TD done enough this off-season?

5) Overall thoughts on his efforts in free agency?

6) Overall thoughts on his trades?

7) Is the offensive line Dimitroff’s Achilles?

8.) What does Dimitroff need to do right now to help Falcons?

687 comments Add your comment

falcon21

March 25th, 2012
12:10 pm

He needs to sure up the O-line, with a better O-line, Matt and the Falcons would do much better in the big games.

Joshua Malavenda

March 25th, 2012
12:22 pm

1. I really like td as a gm and still trust in him that he will take the falcons to the super bowl.
Hes human and will make misteaks but I think he is the best gm in the falcons franchise history.
2. His best move was probably take the job as gm for the falcons because I cant really decided which move I Like the best.
3 Peria Jerry and letting Dahl walk
4. I am not sure yet the offseason isnt over and we still have the draft to make a descison on that.
5. well I was a little dispointed at first but I realize that the problem was the coaches so I am pretty hopefully now and everything is going to work out fine int he long run.
6. I Like all his trades except was a little disappointed about the Julio Jones trade but I didnt know all the facts about roody white so I am quite impressed with all of his trades.
7. Not really because untill last season I thought the falcons had one of most underrated ols in the game . I just think hulk hill and Vince will a do a great job to turn them into their former selves without Dahl.
8. I think he needs to hit a grand slam in the draft and I think thats what he plans to do.

I just had a moment of clairty about the ol I think the siging of player like Vince Manuawai was all they really needed to do on the ol and a new coach that was agressive because after they let go of Dahl they lost all their mean streak last year. The signing of vince will bring that back mean streak in the guard postion which will cause a postive domino effect through whole ol . Hill is also known for his agressive style of coaching so the falcons ol will be okay next year.

when it comes down to it In td I still trust

smyrnabob

March 25th, 2012
12:28 pm

Nice break down. Matt Ryan was a mandatory pick following the Vick/Petrino fiasco, and Turner was the big name free agent that Blank’s money and cap room was able to reel in. I am sure many other GM’s would have liked to have had him back then.
Many player’s missed, but some where down the line they needed to be coached up.
Overall TD’s stock is falling fast. Hopefully this off season he can turn it around. If not, the birds are at a pivotal point where they could fall off as playoff contenders fast.

Joshua Malavenda

March 25th, 2012
12:34 pm

Joshua Malavenda

March 25th, 2012
12:35 pm

D3- Great article by the way.

Yellow jacket for life

March 25th, 2012
12:40 pm

Vance Walker was a good steal , Lofton will be missed,Offensive needs lots of help,I don’t think bierman worth that type of money,Peria not 100 percent look at all the games he played in,Grimes not worth that type of money {Yet},Turner needs to do better, I don’t agree with most of Dimitroff moves But,Chill out everybody there is still more time to get this team on the right path.

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R Brown

March 25th, 2012
1:28 pm

1)What’s your overall thoughts on Dimitroff?

There’s only been one GM, one coach and one QB to take us to the Superbowl and neither one is named Dimitroff, Smith or Ryan.

2)What’s been his best moves?

Ryan
Spoon
Lofton (see below)
Turner
Bosher (so far)
Dent
JR

3)What’s been his worst moves?

Peria Jerry
Sam Baker
Letting Lofton go
Paying Beirmann $3mil a year
Paying Tony G $7 mil
Paying Abraham $7 mil per
Signing Dunta
Trading 4 draft picks for Julio
No OL personnel to develop
Not bringing in a legitimate backup QB

4)Has TD done enough this off-season?

No. What has changed to believe we’re better than last season?

5)Overall thoughts on his efforts in free agency?

Nothing has changed from last season’s personnel to IMPROVE or UPGRADE?

6)Overall thoughts on his trades?

Nothing has changed from last season’s personnel to IMPROVE or UPGRADE?

7)Is the offensive line Dimitroff’s Achilles?

Yes, but just one part

kevncali

March 25th, 2012
1:47 pm

Why aren’t the Falcons going after Dallas Clark???? Tony Gonzalez is getting older and needs a rotation with a TE who is just as talented as him. Can you imagine the one-two punch?

falCANS

March 25th, 2012
1:48 pm

THE BEST MOVE (underated)TD DID IS OVERHAUL THE ENRIRE SRAFF!! HE BROUGHT IN A OC THAT COACH SMITTH LIKES AND A GREAT DC!! I ALWAYS LOVED CHRIS HOUSTON BUT EH, THATS LIFE. I NOW HATE CURTIS LOFTON. ITS NOT HIS FAULT HE LEFT BUT C’MON NEW ORLEANS?? SCREW HIM

Will

March 25th, 2012
2:04 pm

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT.

That’s what this offseason’s message equates to. The changes on the coaching staff coupled with cap limitations mean we’re gonna see the true test of TD’s ability to evaluate players. He may feel most, if not all, the personnel questions will be answered with current Falcons…perhaps even at LT.

Will

March 25th, 2012
2:31 pm

I thought when it happened that Mike Nolan was the most important addition of the offseason. Now I’m thinking it may be Pat Hill.

Big Lou

March 25th, 2012
2:42 pm

I’ve said everything needed in TD’s defense, so I’m just going to stick with a simple: I’m happy with his performance so far. I want to see Mike Smith fired before our GM.

The GM doesn’t coach. We have the talent. Let’s hope these coaching changes make a difference.

JB FALCON

March 25th, 2012
2:49 pm

JM, good link on Dent. I don’t think we will miss Lofton that much once Dent gets started doing the same things Lofton did. I love his moto, “GATA.”
2010 – 125 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 pass breakups

Chipper

March 25th, 2012
3:13 pm

As you all sit in your mother’s basements typing this stuff, let’s pause to consider this: Under TD and CMS the Falcons have achieved a level of success that is unprecedented in the franchise’s history. There has NEVER been a GM/head coach combination that rivals what is in place now. To nitpick this kind of stuff is crap and doesn’t deserve the blog space it’s taking up. Get a life, get over it and be very happy the Falcons finally have a winning combination.

uga_b

March 25th, 2012
3:19 pm

D3,
Along with OL, TD has done very little at DE. Not building along the lines are his biggest faults.

Also, I might take Shady over Mathews. Especially considering his blockbuster pickup of Turner hasn’t gotten over 42 yards in 3 playoff games. Personally, I don’t grade that move as high as most.

Big Lou

March 25th, 2012
3:26 pm

“Matt Ryan was a mandatory pick following the Vick/Petrino fiasco, and Turner was the big name free agent that Blank’s money and cap room was able to reel in. I am sure many other GM’s would have liked to have had him back then.”

Actually. It wasn’t a mandatory pick because the Falcons could have gone with Flacco instead. Also, Micheal Turner was a steal and was not expected to break out like he did. It’s easy for us to take these divisions for granted, but the Falcons weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs that year–and they did.

Wings

March 25th, 2012
3:36 pm

The only gripe I have with TD is what appears to be a football team playing on one island with its set of coaches and players, but there is no link or communication to the island where the general manager and other front office personnel reside.

The players and coaches appeared to operate as a totally independent part of the the entire Falcons operation as the 2011 season progressed. It is TD’s job to ensure the coaching staff and players are performing in unison to the desires and expectations of the the owner and front office.

Why did it take so long to recognize some of the things wrong with the team and coaching staff after loosing to Green Bay in 2010? Most of the answers did not require a rocket scientist to find them. It took another whole season and a more embarrassing playoff loss for action.

Come on TD, put some pressure on the head coach and let us and him see that you are his boss. I want to see more leadership and urgency.

john

March 25th, 2012
3:45 pm

Here’s what Lofton told Saints writers this morning:

“I was told they wanted me to start my career as a Falcon and end as a Falcon,” Lofton said.Lofton said he is a “loyal guy,” so he wanted to give the Falcons a chance to keep him.

But after saying that he said this:

“I wanted to go to a team that, No. 1, had a chance to win a Super Bowl, had true fans, a great defensive coordinator. Then once the Saints called, I was like, ‘Wow,’” Lofton said. “When I took my visit there, I loved it. I knew I was going there. I didn’t need to visit anywhere else. I told my agent that.”

Are we not true fans? This just made me hate him. I never knew how much he wanted to be a Saints but after reading this, I’m glad he’s gone. Plus he can’t wait to play with Vilma. He also said the “bounty” thing didn’t stop him from signing with the Saints. Lofton said this:

“One thing I know from playing against this team and from talking to them, they’re rallying together. It’s us vs. them. And this team is a winner. And from just talking to Vilma and everyone, I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

To read the full article, go to nola.com. The title is “New Orleans Saints Linebacker Curtis Lofton eager to join forces with Jonathan Vilma.

Big Lou

March 25th, 2012
4:00 pm

“I wanted to go to a team that, No. 1, had a chance to win a Super Bowl, had true fans, a great defensive coordinator. Then once the Saints called, I was like, ‘Wow,’” Lofton said. “When I took my visit there, I loved it. I knew I was going there. I didn’t need to visit anywhere else. I told my agent that.”

Well, he’s right about the crappy defensive coordinator(last year–kind of puts it perspective, huh?), and the bandwagon fans(sorry, ATL has some of the most horrible fans–not in the cage, though); you know, the ones who come in after the first quarter and leave before the end of the fourth. He’s a complete idiot for thinking that organization is going anywhere.

Chris

March 25th, 2012
4:02 pm

Its hard to blame him for some of the trades, most of us referred to Houston as crisp and not Chris because he got burned so much. Then Boley aswell, seems we have as much a problem developing talent as we do finding it. Lets just hope we can see what we have already instead of letting then envelope for so long.

Chris

March 25th, 2012
4:10 pm

Sorry, meant to say “them develope”

Old Squid

March 25th, 2012
4:10 pm

This year will prove whether the coaching changes are an upgrade since the personnel is basically the same. Unless they still make moves in free agency or find a draft pick that has immediate impact and that is unlikely.
The most worrisome aspect of this regime is that they apparently thought that 1 good wide receiver would put them over the top when there are many positions in need of help. That doesn’t inspire confidence in their assessment of talent.

waynester

March 25th, 2012
4:16 pm

We all remember the days when old ATl/FulCo stadium was way under half filled–Ditto the superdome. Winning is the only thing that has changed that. We’ve got some lukewarm fans that would come out for one player(7?) and some that are totally die-hard fans of the TEAM. Those are the ones who bring it 365/yr on the Cage. Can’t blame Lofton for getting his feeling hurt–management led him to believe he would be a Falcon for life, as he said–BUT reality imposed itself. Only the rarest of player/team combos last in the Not For Long(Hines/Pitt). Curtis played all-out for us–I don’t know anyone who questioned his heart–just his ability vs. the pass. Good luck in NO, just not against us!

Supes

March 25th, 2012
4:17 pm

Frak Lofton…someone told him he’s the 2nd coming of Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis…but he’s not. He’s a GOOD LB…Nothing more. He wanted top dollar (or top 5 money) well glad that TD (speaking of our GM) didn’t panic and overpay for just a good player.

Many others have pointed this out…He doesn’t make the big plays. He’s solid. Nothing more. Well, if you want big money, you need to be SPECIAL, or show potential. Just b/c your a&& has piled up a bunch of tackles 5yards pass the line of scrimmage for 4 years don’t mean sh*t.

Lofton…good luck being an ‘aint you’re gonna NEED it. BTW…Michael Turner can’t wait for you to try and tackle him…5 yards pass the line of scrimmage :D

Chris

March 25th, 2012
4:19 pm

And who is this Mathews guy I keep hearing about, I was unaware of anyone on our roster named Mathews. I know I was happy with the Robinson signing at first but now he’s our worst CB. Juries still out on Edwards. It all starts with the front lines, get’em right and everything else will improve.

The Real Falcon

March 25th, 2012
4:20 pm

This is a joke question, right?

The Real Falcon

March 25th, 2012
4:21 pm

Ask the Saints!

Wabe

March 25th, 2012
4:23 pm

A – not sure you can take Lofton’s words about fans and claim he was taking a shot at Atlanta fans…

I think he was referring to his next destination. He said he’d want good fans…

Even if he was jabbing at the fans, so be it. He’s in NOLA now, and I’ll be honest, I’m bummed out that he is. Our defensive leader, now leading the Saints.

The Real Falcon

March 25th, 2012
4:25 pm

Oh yeah the Saints sign Lofton. Any question about who has the best team even without a coach?

The Real Falcon

March 25th, 2012
4:30 pm

Keep drinking the koolaide about TD folks.

JB FALCON

March 25th, 2012
4:31 pm

Has anyone heard how much Lofton signed for? Bet it ain’t near $42 mil.

The Real Falcon

March 25th, 2012
4:37 pm

Who cares he should still be here!

Big Lou

March 25th, 2012
4:37 pm

He’s in NOLA now, and I’ll be honest, I’m bummed out that he is. Our defensive leader, now leading the Saints.” Wabe

Actually, till Vilma gets suspended, he’s the actual leader of that defense. Bummed out? He wasn’t that good, man. If he was, the Falcons would have tagged him over Grimes. Nolan knows what he’s doing.

The Real Falcon

Leave the ignorant comments for the other blogs. You’re not bringing anything productive to the table.

falcoholic

March 25th, 2012
4:37 pm

1my overall thought about td he is top 5 general managers 2 best move was matt ryan 3 worst move was not going after laron landry for safety 4 no he has not done enough because no super bowl yet 5 he has not done nothing in free agent beside lofa and resigning people 6 them players was doing nothing 4 the falcons glad they gone good trade 7 offense line needs to improve if want ryan around longer 8 he need two get a safety, offense line, young tight end and big player name in draft

Nadine

March 25th, 2012
4:43 pm

No he should not be feeling Heat. Four straight winning seasons after never accomplishing back-to-back winning seasons in the history of the franchise. Jamal anderson was the 8th pick in the first round the year prior to TD. Enough said.

Ken Strickland

March 25th, 2012
4:50 pm

Lofton was glad the AINTS called him because once Philly made their trade, TB was the only option he had left, and they were offering him a way below market value contract. That comment about wanting to play for a great coordinator was more a stab at VanGorder than Nolan. But make no mistake, he was taking a stab at Nolan for classifying him as a 2 down MLB.

waynester

March 25th, 2012
4:54 pm

Nadine
I feel the heat on my job every day. If I fail to perform, I’m out. Same for most everybody else–even the self-employed. If he’s not feeling the pressure after that Arthur Blank press conference–he ought to be…and I’m a Dimitroff supporter….

stizz

March 25th, 2012
4:54 pm

Hello cagers, came across something interesting by a fan on twitter to Jay Adams:

@FalconsJAdams Told another 20 away from season tix at the office. Our voices will be heard, hurt Blank in pockets. #nomorestatusquo

It’s quite interesting. If enough of us banded together to voice our displeasure with the continued neglection of the OLine and ignorance to not even bring FAs in for a workout, there are Falcon employees twitter handles to get to. If they continued to lose money, I find it hard that these threats wouldn’t get to the higher ups…

Chris

March 25th, 2012
5:02 pm

The financial details haven’t been released yet but its for 5 years and they also signed that other guy for 3 years so maybe they are nearing the end with Vilma despite what they say..

Wabe

March 25th, 2012
5:06 pm

I understand Nolan knows what he’s doing Big Lou.

But, it doesn’t change the fact that it sucks to see a guy that I was a big fan of wearing the jersey of a divisional rival. I have nothing but trust in the judgement Nolan’s bringing as it relates to scheme/personnel. But, it still sucks to see one of my favorites from the Falcons defense go to our biggest rival.

And I wouldn’t say ‘dude wasn’t that good’. He was good. I still remember Gruden making the comment on MNF about how Lofton and Spoon reminded him of a younger version of Urlacher and Briggs. Dude may have been just a ‘run-stuffer’, but he was also the QB of this defense. And, if you had to rank in order our most effective players over the past couple of years, it’d be hard to name 3-4 players that were as meaningful to this defense as 5-0 was.

Just think over the years, whose been the most effective Falcons defenders?

1 – Abraham
2 – Grimes
3 – Lofton

Spoon’s climbing that list now. Moore’s definitely a safety loaded with talent. But, beyond that, nobody else could even be mentioned in the same breath as Lofton on this defense. That’s what he’s done for this team. So, it ain’t fair to say dude ‘wasn’t that good’. If the argument for the rest of these guys who we’re still waiting for to pan out is: “They suffered because of a bad scheme and poor coaching”, and that’s the pass that we’re willing to give them for their shortcomings (IE – the Dunta Robinson’s, Thomas DeCoud’s, etc.), than, it’s only fair to give Lofton the same benefit of the doubt as it relates to scheme/poor coaching. You can’t give one guy (that’s still a Falcon) a pass and say ‘let’s see how he does with Nolan’ and then look to a guy like Lofton (who left) and say, he just wasn’t that good.

Big Lou

March 25th, 2012
5:16 pm

Wabe

Semantics.

Wasn’t THAT good, means he was good, but had his glaring flaws. He could not conver on third down. And, with this turning into a passing league, you need LBs that can cover passing. Mike Nolan even spoke on this, saying that multiple DBs are the future.

Big Lou

March 25th, 2012
5:18 pm

Wabe

March 25th, 2012
5:19 pm

What’s amazing is this…

Folks think that if TD deserves heat, that it somehow diminishes what he’s accomplished.

I’m done thinking about the past. I’m sure Blank’s done with it to. So continuing to reference 3 out of 4 playoff births and how many winning seasons the Falcons have had, I could care less about it now. I’m happy with all of that. But, as a fan, I and many others have been waiting for a longgggggggggg time for a freakin’ championship. That was the goal when Blank put these guys together, and that’s what we should be working towards.

So now, what has TD done this offseason that should lead fans to believe that this team is any closer to the ultimate goal? The offseason isn’t over. We still have time to make a move in FA and address needs in the draft, but thus far, based on what fans have seen, are fans not justifiably upset? You can point to the coordinators, because that was one of my biggest gripes through the years. I’m happy to see the change in coordinators. But, again, I wasn’t expecting to go through an entire offseason looking solely to disect how coordinator changes alone would get us over the hump. I’m as excited as anybody else here about Mike Nolan. With Koetter, it’s more of a wait and see type approach. But, we haven’t done anything on the personnel side as of yet that should really leave anybody saying that we’ve improved the personnel of this team. You can make the argument that “player A” will make drastic strides because of the coaching change, but honestly, that’s just your opinion at this point. You’re not basing that on anything other than a ‘gut feeling’ at this point.

So again, I’ll say, people upset about what’s been done/or hasn’t been done in this offseason aren’t wrong to be upset. We’ve seen very minimal movement on the personnel side. We’re working with very limited draft picks. Prior to FA begining, we were all talking about how this would be one of the most intriguing offseasons because we had a ton of FA’s, we had a ton of needs to fill, and up to this point, we’ve done little to nothing other than re-up on our own players.

I don’t even know what to think to be honest with you. I’ll wait and see what the deal is through the rest of the offseason and then going into the season. But please people, stop reminding everybody about the past 4 years. We were all there. But, I perosnally want to see freakin’ rings. Windows are very tight in football. The window to win a championship that is. Ask the SD Chargers. They were in a very similar position to the one we find ourselves in here in Atlanta. Year after year, they were the popular choice to win the Lombardi. And it never happened. They need to capitalize on this window. Otherwise, it’s semi-rebuilding time.

Mikefalcon63

March 25th, 2012
5:25 pm

Paul Boudreau was fired for a reason… He new his line was going face dramatic changes and failed to develop a replacement at guard. And some how, he also did not have an answer for Baker’s struggles, even though we all know he signed off on drafting Baker.

My thought is Mike Johnson is going to come out of training camp as the starting right guard. He was not coached up earlier and then had injury problems. Manuwai may be a big mauler, but he is also a history of injuries.

And I can’t believe Smitty and TD can say Baker is a starting left tackle with a straight face. Deep down, everyone knows that Baker will likely retire when his contract is up b/c he has back problems.

JJ

March 25th, 2012
5:25 pm

Wabe, well said buddy.

falcon21

March 25th, 2012
5:32 pm

Wabe, what JJ said!

juju

March 25th, 2012
5:35 pm

I think td did gud n free agency BC I never thout it was the players only the scheme & lofton will b OK n n.o Mike Nolan will change this defense bt we do need another defensive end bt I like Sid

falcon21

March 25th, 2012
5:39 pm

Has DOL’s blog shut down or something?