Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, 2008-2009 (Part 1)

A Comprehensive Analysis of Dimitroff’s Moves, 2008-09

Detailed Look at TD's Moves (AJC)

*****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.

Not Exactly Patriot Way South (AJC)

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 Tampa Bay Bucs GM, even though it didn’t happen. No general manager in the NFL is perfect. When their team wins the Super Bowl, people will claim as much, but the reality is that no GM will hit a grand slam with every move, signing, or draft pick. GM John Schneider is currently top of the heap now, deservedly so, but would he felt the need to sign not one, but two free agent defensive ends if his 1st round pick of 2012, DE Bruce Irvin, had shown enough as a rookie?

Since there’s seemingly years until free agency and the draft, much less training camp, there will be a more statistical and analytical look at Dimitroff’s moves using Pro Football Focus in the near future. This is a more subjective, gut feeling analysis of the moves this time around. This will be a pretty simple judging system (great, good, bad, or terrible) and will make every attempt at being as objective as possible and looking at all factors involved. Here goes:

2008

Free Agency

Michael Turner – RB – Age: 26

6 years / $34.5 mill / $15 mill guaranteed

Great Young Core (AJC)

The grand slam of them all. One of Dimitroff’s first moves as general manager was to go out and sign the best running back on the free agent market. Turner proved to an amazing backup to Ladanian Tomlinson in San Diego and had limited wear and tear in his career. He had game-breaking speed and was as a tough a runner as there was in the NFL. Most believe the drafting of Matt Ryan was Dimitroff’s best move, and it obviously was long-term, but the signing of Turner came before the draft and the pairing of the two helped build a magnificent foundation that led the Falcons to their immediate and long-term success. Turner would go on to 2 All-Pro selections, 2 Pro Bowls, and 2 NFC Rushing Titles over the next 3 years, not to mention 4 trips to the playoffs over the next 5 seasons, including two NFC #1 seeds. He helped protect Matt Ryan as a rookie and allowed him to develop instead of having to carry the team from day one. Turner is 2nd all-time in Falcons rushing history, 1st all-time in Falcons rushing TDs, and 3rd all-time in attempts. He would easily be the leader in all categories if he’d came to the Falcons a year earlier. In short, he may grace the Falcons Ring of Honor someday. He may have worn down quickly towards the end, but it’s impossible to think of the Falcons string of success without him. The contract was very manageable for such an impact player. Some think they may have held onto him a touch too long, but he deserved the extra year for everything he’d done for the franchise. Analysis – Great

Erik Coleman – SS – Age: 25

4 years / $10 million / $3 mill guaranteed

Coleman a Good Move (AJC)

This was an extremely solid signing. It wasn’t Earth-shattering by any means, but it was a great value for a tough player that was a fantastic tackling safety that wouldn’t make a ton of mistakes. He wasn’t the next Ronnie Lott by any means, but it solidified a defense that was leaky at best in the secondary. He made 80+ tackles his first two years and started every game. He eventually lost out to 2nd round draft pick William Moore, but he was a steady and sure force that helped solidify a Falcons team in major flux. The contract was very reasonable for a good and solid strong safety. Analysis – Good

Ben Hartsock – TE – Age: 27

4 years / $9 million

An attempt to replace TE legend Alge Crumpler was a good idea, but a failed experiment in the end result. He only played for the Falcons for one year and had minimal effect. The intent was to fill the team with solid veterans, but when Dimitroff signed him, he had to know that Hartsock would never be more than a blocking tight end. But he gave him a pretty big contract for a blocking TE and traded for Tony Gonzalez the next off-season. No one would hold it against TD on either front, but the conclusion likely saw the Falcons eat some amount of dead money. Analysis – Bad

Jason Elam – K – Age: 38

4 years / $9 million

Big Contract for 38 year old kicker? (AJC)

Like Hartsock, the idea was pretty good on the surface to bring in an extremely accurate kicker throughout his career, although he was 38 years old at that point. Elam had been extremely accurate up to that point. The previous two years in Denver, his field goal percent was extremely high, 93% and 87% respectively. His first year in Atlanta was fantastic, hitting almost 94% of all his field goals. Unfortunately, the wheels ran off the track in the second year making only 8 out of 15 from at least 30 yards. It became so bad that the Falcons actually parted ways with Elam after only 11 games into the 2009 season. Elam’s misses weren’t the only reason the Falcons missed the playoffs in 2009, but they certainly didn’t help. The signing of Matt Bryant helps to ease the miss on Elam, but looking at this in as a singular signing it’s definitely a miss, particularly signing Elam to such a big contract at age 38. He may have kept a total of $5 million in barely a year and half of his contract. Analysis – Bad

Veteran Cuts / Free Agent Walks

Joey Harrington, Alge Crumpler, Warrick Dunn, Joe Horn, Demorrio Williams, Matt Prater,Rod Coleman, among others

Nothing too much here as Dimitroff was doing pretty much what any other GM does when they take over. They turnover much of the roster and put their own stamp on the team. Most of the veterans were not resigned or cut because they were aging. Alge Crumpler had a few decent seasons for the Titans, but he was 30 when Dimitroff parted ways with him. The big miss was obviously Matt Prater, who’s gone on to be Pro Bowler and 2nd Team All-Pro. Overall, nothing major. Analysis – Good

Coaches / Coordinators Let Go

Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson and Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer

What if Zimmer Stays? (AJC)

Unlike the players that were let go or not resigned, this probably has more to do with the head coach bringing in his own staff than it does with the general manager. Hue Jackson was a head coach in Oakland and took over as the Bengals offensive coordinator when Jay Gruden left. The real tough pill to swallow is not finding a way to keep Mike Zimmer. Maybe he didn’t want to stay after the trainwreck 2007 season anyway, but Zimmer has gone on to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL and just got a well-deserved head coaching job in Minnesota. The Atlanta Falcons are on their second defensive coordinator and have had one of the bottom-dwelling defenses pretty much every year. No slight to Dimitroff on this one, but more on Mike Smith.

Trades

Deangelo Hall to Raiders / 2nd Round Pick + 5th Round Pick

This was going to happen one way or another. After the trainwreck Michael Vick dogfighting scandal and Bobby Petrino taking off in the middle of the night, many things needed changing. One of the immediate issues was Deangelo Hall and his attitude. He was a very good player, but just didn’t fit the mold of what Dimitroff and Smith wanted to accomplish when they came to Atlanta and didn’t need any major distractions that Hall was likely to cause. Maybe they didn’t as much as they could have since he was only 24 years old and had made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006, but they didn’t have much leverage since everyone knew they wanted to get him out of Atlanta. All in all, the Falcons got much needed draft picks and Hall got out of Atlanta. A win-win. Analysis – Good

Domonique Foxworth / Gave up 7th Round Pick

Smart to Move On from Me-Hall (AJC)

This was one of the more underrated trades of Dimitroff’s tenures. The Falcons solidified their cornerback corps and Foxworth ended up playing in 14 games and starting 10 of them. He had 11 passes defensed and pulled down one interception. Foxworth was essentially a solid one year rental and Dimitroff made the right move in hindsight by not signing Foxworth as a free agent. The Ravens signed him to a 4 year / $27 million contract. Of which, he only played one full season and his career was cut short due to injury. The Falcons only gave up a 7th round pick for Foxworth’s one year in Atlanta. Analysis – Good

Early Contract Extensions

Michael Jenkins – WR – Age: 26

4 years / $20 million

This was an early, and positive, trend that Dimitroff did in his first year as General Manager. He decided to re-up both Michael Jenkins and Jonathan Babineaux to contract extensions before they became unrestricted free agents. It was a master touch with Babineaux, but much less so with Jenkins. Jenkins had never really established himself as a legitimate threat as the #2 wide receiver, even as he saw single coverage often times with Roddy White on the other side. He had a high of 777 yards receiving in 2008 and a high of 7 TDs in 2007, but rarely cracked 500+ receiving yards much throughout his career. He was a really good blocking WR and a somewhat dependable one, but not really worthy of a big extension (of which he only played two years of) and then there’s of course the huge trade up to get Julio Jones. While it seemed OK at the time, hindsight is definitely unkind to this move. Analysis – Bad

Jonathan Babineaux – DT – Age: 27

5 years / $25 million

Locking up Babineaux Early = Great Move (AJC)

If the Jenkins move turned out to be not very good, this one was a grand slam. Babineaux has been an amazing model of consistency since 2008, only missing 4 total starts in six years. Not only has he been a solid starter, he’s also been one of the only consistent pass rushing threats from the Falcons defensive line. He and John Abraham were the only Falcons that could ever muster any pass rush whatsoever. Shockingly, Babineaux’s never made the Pro Bowl, despite pulling down 47 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 passes defensed. He also had 4 sacks in 2010 and 3.5 in 2012. He’s been an unbelievable value at $5 million a year when he likely could have garnered more on the open market in his prime. This has to be one of Dimitroff’s best moves in his tenure. Analysis – Great

2008 NFL Draft

Matt Ryan – QB – 1st Round Pick

There’s really no need to spend much time on this obvious one. The Michael Turner signing is the only one that comes close to this move and it’s not really all that close in the grand scheme of things. Franchise quarterback, 2008 Rookie of the Year, 2 time Pro Bowl selection, and undisputed top 8 quarterback in the league, if not higher. Questions about being elite (whatever that means) will dog him until he wins a Super Bowl and delivers on the biggest stage, especially with his big contract. The media loves the “elite” conversation because it brings out so much ire and passion, but the fact is he’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Analysis – Great

Sam Baker – LT – 1st Round Pick

Traded Two 2nd Rd Picks + One 4th Rd Pick for 1st + 3rd + 5th Rd Picks

Svitek = Yes; Baker = No (AJC)

Like Ryan, this had been beaten to pieces for years. At best, Baker has at least finished almost 3 seasons and two of those include the Falcons best two years of 2010 and 2012. Nowhere near dominant, he’s been serviceable when he’s been healthy. And there’s the rub, he’s played barely over 60% of all games since a rookie and has been placed on the injured reserve an astounding 3 times in 6 years. The picks eventually worked out pretty well getting Harry Douglas in 3rd and Kroy Biermann in the 5th, but there was a lot of talent in that 2nd round too (Jordy Nelson, Calais Campbell, and Ray Rice to name just a few). Most questioned the trade at the time, for good reason. He had major injury concerns and questions on whether he was a legit left tackle. He was even rated as the 10th best tackle by many sites. Most would rank this as terrible, but he started every game in the Falcons best two seasons at least. Still bad though. Analysis – Bad

Curtis Lofton – MLB – 2nd Round Pick

Despite Dimitroff opting to let Curtis Lofton walk, this draft pick in a singular context has to be a major success. The former Oklahoma Sooner started all but one game in his four years since his rookie year and was an insane tackling machine. His tackles were 60, 103, 92, and 96 respectively, in his four years in Atlanta. He may not have been Patrick Willis or Ray Lewis, but he was a dependable stud in the run game. The debate about letting him walk will be discussed later, but in terms of the draft pick and what they got from him in his four years, it has to be considered a good pick. It would probably great if the Falcons had not let him walk in free agency. Analysis – Good

Chevis Jackson – CB – 3rd Round Pick

Not Trying Harder to Keep Lofton = Baffling (AJC)

The future seemed bright for Chevis Jackson, at least as nickel cornerback for the Falcons. He played in every game as a rookie and even pulled in an interception in the playoff game vs. the Cardinals. He would only last one more year before he was cut only 2 years after being drafted. On the surface, a terrible description would be appropriate, but he made the roster two years and there wasn’t a ton of talent that came from that 3rd round in 2008. However, the Falcons cornerback corps hasn’t been a paragon of stability, so he must have been that bad. Analysis – Bad

Harry Douglas – WR – 3rd Round Pick

The local product burst on the scene as a rookie both as a slot receiver and a punt returner. He’s been a solid, if not dynamic slot receiver over the years until he stepped up in a big way with injuries to Roddy White and Julio Jones in 2013. He hauled in over 1,000 yards receiving in 2013. He’s had a tough time getting in the endzone, averaging only 1 TD a year and expectations for him to be as productive as Wes Welker have been unrealistic. Overall, though, he’s been a very solid #3 receiver for the Falcons. Analysis – Good

Thomas DeCoud – FS – 3rd Round Pick

DeCoud Not a Complete Bust (AJC)

Everyone will immediately want to claim this as bad or even terrible after DeCoud’s most recent performance has called into question not only him being a starter, but even being on the team. However, DeCoud has been a very dependable, if not lights out, safety for the Falcons. Yes, his current form of tackling and coverage is abysmal, but anyone who made the Pro Bowl from a 3rd round compensatory pick and has started 78 out of 96 possible games for a successful franchise can’t be considered terrible, at least over the long haul. Analysis – Good

Robert James – LB – 5th Round Pick

No late round pick can be thought of as terrible, but Robert James never (to the best of knowledge) played anything more than special teams snaps in 2012 and only appeared in two other games in a total of 6 years after being drafted. Analysis – Bad

Kroy Biermann – DE/LB – 5th Round Pick

The ultimate jack of all trades (and some say master of none) has been a very good pick in all aspects. He may have suffered from a coaching staff not knowing how to best utilize him, but he can cover, stuff the run, and get after the passer pretty well. He seemed to be the key to Mike Nolan’s multiple look defense and his potential was hopefully and finally ready to be unlocked until he was injured in 2013. Surprisingly, he’s only started 22 total games, but he’s played in 82 and has come down with 16.5 sacks and over 100+ tackles. Analysis – Good

Thomas Brown – RB – 6th Round Pick

Injury Cuts Brown Short (AJC)

One of the most beloved UGA players in recent memory, Brown was a very good pick and likely only dropped because of his injury history. It looked really promising early on in the preseason for Brown and the Falcons until he was horse-collared and broke his collarbone. He missed the roster and that was essentially the end for Brown’s NFL career. The pick was good, but sadly the end result was not. Analysis – Bad

Wilrey Fontenot – CB – 7th Round Pick

This is one of the only draft picks to not make the roster, at least as a rookie in his first year. Any 7th round pick can’t be considered terrible, but seeing as the Falcons backup DB’s were David Irons and Eric Brock, Fontenot must have been really bad to not get the nod over two journeyman undrafted free agents. Analysis – Bad

Keith Zinger – TE – 7th Round Pick

Zinger didn’t make the roster as a rookie, but did earn a spot on the practice squad. He actually did come back the next year and was the Falcons #3 tight end, before missing the squad the following year. He popped up briefly for the Jets in 2011 before being completely out of football. Making a roster at any point has to be considered at least a small success for a 7th round pick. Analysis – Good

2009

Veteran Cuts / Not Re-signed Free Agents

Keith Brooking, Lawyer Milloy, Adam Jennings, Grady Jackson, Michael Boley among others

Replace one 33 LB with another 33 LB? (AJC)

All pretty understandable cuts or not resigning on most of the players. It was definitely a youth movement with Brooking (33), Milloy (35), and Jackson (35). The problem was what happened in in their plan to replace them. They replaced Grady Jackson with eventual first round bust Peria Jerry and perhaps the dumbest move was to replace one 33 year old LB with another 33 year old LB in Mike Peterson (starting an ugly trend of signing over-the-hill free agents). The worst move was not even attempting to re-sign Michael Boley, hands down their best defensive player of 2007. This seemed to result in him not being a “Mike Smith player,” which has happened to several Falcons over the years for some unknown stupid reason. Boley signed a 5 year, $25 million contract and helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl victory in 2011, particularly in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Falcons LB corps has been entirely underwhelming since. Analysis: Boley – Bad; Rest of Vets – Good; Replacement Plan – Terrible

Free Agent Re-signings

Chauncey Davis – DE – Age: 26

4 years / $14 million

Like many moves, this seemed to be a pretty decent move at the time. Davis was coming off his best season as a Falcon, bringing down 4 sacks in limited appearance. The size of the deal seemed to indicate that someone felt that Davis might “break out” with more playing time. That definitely did not happen. Davis would only pull down 2 more sacks the rest of his time with the Falcons (one per year) for the rest of his time as a Falcon. He only played half of his contract and likely kept a decent amount of guaranteed money. Analysis – Bad

Roddy White – WR – Age: 27

6 years / $48 million / $18.6 mill guaranteed

Roddy's Deal a Great Moves (AJC)

This actually didn’t happen until the preseason of 2009 and was spurred on by White holding out of training camp until he received a contract extension. He was coming off his best two years as a pro with back-to-back 1,200+ yards receiving, hauling in 7 TDs in 2008, as well as making the Pro Bowl for the first time. It was a shame that a holdout had to spur contract negotiations, but the end deal was one of Dimitroff’s best moves. He went on to make 3 more Pro Bowls and become All-Pro in 2010. It also marked the only time a holdout has happened under Dimitroff’s watch, and this one was over fairly quickly. Analysis – Great

Chris Redman – QB – Age: 32

2 years / $5 million

This seems to be pretty decent move in retrospect. Obviously, there was no need to worry about Redman overtaking Ryan, who had just won Rookie of the Year, but it was nice to have a veteran presence in case Ryan got hurt. Redman ended up having to start 2 games in 2009, but lost both of them. The Falcons failed for a long time to develop a backup QB, but this transaction was pretty standard for a veteran backup QB. Analysis – Good

Trades

Tony Gonzalez – TE – Age: 33

Gave up 2nd Round Pick

This one ranks right up there with any of Dimitroff’s best moves. He acquired the greatest tight end to ever play the game and only gave up a second round draft pick the following year. All Gonzalez did was make the Pro Bowl the next 4 years and help the Falcons become one of the best offenses in 2010 and 2012. Unfortunately, he came up short in his goal of winning a Super Bowl, but it certainly had nothing to do with him. One slight to Dimitroff was his inability to find and develop a TE to date, even though knowing Gonzalez was already 33 when he became a Falcon. Analysis – Great

Laurent Robinson – WR

Swapped places with Rams in 5th and 6th Round

Robinson Shipped Out (AJC)

Talk about wanting to get rid of someone. Robinson showed some promise as a rookie and former 3rd round draft pick, hauling in almost 500 yards receiving. The combination of injuries and the drafting Harry Douglas made him expendable. Dimitroff didn’t get much for him, but the Rams got pretty much nothing from him either. He did have a huge year with Dallas in 2011, but didn’t play for anyone in 2013. Getting anything for him has to be thought of as good, instead of just cutting him. Analysis – Good

Tye Hill – CB – Age: 27

Traded a 7th Round Pick

It worked with Domonique Foxworth, why not try it again? The Falcons were in a bind after losing Brian Williams after 5 games into the season. Hill was a former 1st round pick that had a decent rookie year, but only started 4 games in his 3rd season with the Rams. He had an amazing interception return for a TD and that was about it. He started 3 games, but eventually lost his starting job to rookie Chris Owens. This would probably be a wash, but since they got pretty much nothing from Hill, draft picks are more valuable, regardless of how low. Analysis – Bad

Free Agency

Mike Peterson – LB – Age: 33

2 years / $6.5 million

Peterson Starts Older FA Trend (AJC)

While Peterson had a little left in the tank, the move would start an ugly trend of only signing free agents as stop-gaps and those that were well past their prime. Peterson did admirably in his time as a Falcon and was a great presence in the locker room, but replacing one 33 year old linebacker (Brooking) with another 33 year old linebacker (Peterson) made no sense at all. 5 years later, the Falcons have yet to build the LB corps correctly. Although the potential of Bartu, Worrilow, and Weatherspoon is promising. Analysis – Bad

Matt Bryant – K – Age: 34

Claimed off waivers

Whether it be luck or a studious commitment to scanning waiver wires, the Falcons front office really struck gold with this one. When Elam went off the tracks and they cut him mid-season, Bryant happen to be available and has been amazingly consistent ever since. One of the more underrated moves of Dimitroff’s reign. Analysis – Great

Will Svitek – OT – Age: 27

2 years / $1.165 million

Also one of the more underrated, but extremely valuable, moves of Dimitroff’s tenure. Svitek was released by the Chiefs and picked up by the Falcons for insurance. While only starting 2 games over the next two years, he played in 29 out of 32 games and was an excellent veteran presence that could back up at LT or RT. They would go on to keep him for 2012, and foolishly let him go for 2013. How much would they have liked to have him when the 2013 OL trainwreck began? Analysis – Good

Brian Williams – CB – Age: 30

1 year / $1.65 million

Injury Cuts Williams Starts Short (AJC)

Like many other moves, this one definitely made sense at the time. Williams wasnt a Pro Bowl corner, but he was extremely solid, starting almost every game of his career between his time with the Vikings and the Jaguars. He was released by the Jaguars and picked up by the Falcons. He played well until he was injured in the 5th game and went on IR for the rest of the season. The value was manageable and he was kept on another 1 year deal in 2010, but the end result wasn’t good, even though the injury was the cause. Analysis – Bad

2009 Draft

Peria Jerry – DT – 1st Round Pick

Like the Dunta Robinson signing, this one ranks up there as one of the all-time worst moves by Dimitroff. It’s been analyzed and picked apart to pieces. To make it short, Jerry has started 29 games in 5 years and has pulled down a whopping 5.5 total sacks (with 3.5 of them coming in 2013). Yes, some of it was due to injury, but he was extremely injury-prone coming out of college, so that excuse doesn’t fly. To make it officially worse, some guy named Clay Matthews was available when the Falcons selected Jerry. Oh, and the Falcon desperately needed a linebacker as well. Analysis – Terrible

William Moore – SS – 2nd Round Pick

One of the only defensive draft picks that has actually done anything under Dimitroff. In fact, Moore was the only good pick in the entire 2009 draft. Moore is one of the only Falcons defenders that brings any toughness and fire to that side of the ball. He’s only missed a handful of games and made his first Pro Bowl in 2012. Who knows how good he could be with a legit pass rush and solid LB corps. Analysis – Great

Chris Owens – CB – 3rd Round Pick

Owens Showed Early Promise (AJC)

This follows the long line of issues that Dimitroff has had drafting in the 3rd round. Third round picks aren’t locks, but Owens was such a poor fit that they didn’t even want to pay him $1 million for 1 year to keep him after cutting Dunta Robinson and not re-signing Brent Grimes. Them wanting Dominique Franks as their #5 CB over Owens should tell a lot. This may be thought of as terrible, but Owens actually did look pretty good as a starter at the end of the 2009 campaign, pairing with Brent Grimes at cornerback. And then they went out and spend an unGodly contract on Dunta Robinson and that was essentially it for Owens. He was the biggest scapegoat for the Debacle in the Dome where the Falcons were destroyed by the Packers. They definitely picked on him, but it surely wasn’t all his fault. Analysis – Bad

Lawrence Sidbury – DE – 4th Round Pick

One of the biggest mysteries of all time and the beginning of Mike Smith’s seeming “Witness Protection Program.” Sidbury was one of the only Falcons that could actually rush the passer and, of course in typical Smith fashion, he never saw the field. This can be viewed in a couple ways. The drafting of Sidbury was a good move at the time and this goes more on Smith and his massive failure in development and coaching than it does on Dimitroff. But ultimately looking back from the end result, it has to be a bad pick, even though it’s more on Smith than on Dimitroff. Analysis – Bad

William Middleton – CB – 5th Round Pick

This is where something has gone wrong with some type of disconnect with drafting and coaching. Middleton didn’t even make the team in his first year. By itself, that’s not that big of deal and there wasn’t much of any talent around in the 5th round. But the fact that he couldn’t make the roster with an overall weak secondary speaks volumes on this one. Middleton went on to start 12 games for the Jaguars over the next 4 years. Analysis – Bad

Garrett Reynolds – OT – 5th Round Pick

Reynolds a Victim of Poor Development (AJC)

Like Sidbury, this actually was a good pick at first glance. Reynolds seemed like a perfect fit to develop behind Tyson Clabo at right tackle. That was until Reynolds was firmly engulfed in Mike Smith’s ridiculous cross-training system. Reynolds exclusively played right tackle his entire college career and had the measurables of being as such (6’7, 310). So of course Smith and the Falcons move him to guard. Much of it wasn’t his fault, but purely the coaching staff. Unfortunately, the final conclusion is bad, regardless of whether or not it was Dimitroff’s fault. Analysis – Bad

Spencer Adkins – LB – 6th Round Pick

This is a tough one. On one hand, Adkins made the team for 3 years, earning one start, and being integral to special teams. On the other hand, you’re supposed to do your best to develop your players, regardless of round taken. The fact that Dimitroff even admitted that lower round picks were special teams guys and Adkins wasn’t even a starter for Miami, speaks more the downside of the pick. Also, the Falcons LB corps has been a major weakness over that time period. One could argue that it was a good pick since he made the team 3 years, but since the Falcons defense has been so poor, could Adkins not have broken through at some point? Maybe not a bad pick, but Dimitroff doesn’t coach and develop. Analysis – Bad

Vance Walker – DT – 7th Round Pick

One of the best moves of Dimitroff’s tenure. Walker was a great rotational defensive tackle in his time in Atlanta. He played in all but 6 games in 4 years, started 11 games, and even pulled down 5 sacks in his final two years. One of the dumbest moves over that timespan was not keeping Walker (one of the few consistencies at DT) for $2 million, but that’s for later. Analysis – Great

Very Subjective Total

Great – 8 (20%)

Good – 13 (33%)

Bad – 17 (42%)

Terrible – 2 (5%)

This is an extremely subjective analysis with no statistics or analytics to go with it. Just a way to prompt debate and conversation


559 comments Add your comment

JB Falcon

February 13th, 2014
8:37 pm

JB Falcon

February 13th, 2014
8:53 pm

Can’t think of another way to comment on this post other than post one of my favorite songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwkpfSMOyXU

falcon21

February 13th, 2014
8:58 pm

Final analysis = Mike Smith sucks!

JB Falcon

February 13th, 2014
9:11 pm

falcon21
February 13th, 2014
8:58 pm

That is assumed. The post is about TD and his contributions. TD hired, and has kept, MS so that would fall into the “ugly” category.

waynester

February 13th, 2014
9:30 pm

D3
subjective, yes–but also fair. You dutifully noted that all GMs make bad picks and team-building is as much an art as it is a science since all you can do is your due diligence analyzing players. If we had a pre-cog for GM he’d never miss–unfortunately, seers aren’t born often and we don’t have access to MK-Ultra, so we can’t create our own. The hit/miss ratio for NFL GMs is right around 50% and TD is at 53% in your breakdown. We and Mr. Blank should expect and demand more than above average and the pressure is on this offseason to make a quantum leap forward. I like Dimitroff and hope he pulls it off since continuity IS important–results are just MORE important….
Looking forward to parts 2 and 3…..

falcon21

February 13th, 2014
9:40 pm

No kidding JB!

[...] News here – Atlanta Falcons: The Cage ← Restaurant Updates on Openings/Closings [...]

RoddyRules

February 14th, 2014
1:14 am

D3, thanks for the write up. Well done. But Johnathen Babineaux Great??? LOL. That’s what’s wrong with our Off. and Def. lines. Somehow MEDIOCRITY = GREAT!!

If Babs would ACTUALLY make a play 50% of the time he gets in the backfield, the yeah, it would of been a great move. But lets face it, Babs is ALWAYS 1/100th of a second to slow. He is not an ELITE player, and needs to take a 35% pay cut and sign for 2 more years, or hit the road and good luck to you bro.

I bet the Seahawks, Broncos, 49’s, or Patriots don’t sign his tired axx.

RoddyRules

February 14th, 2014
1:23 am

Great players make BIG plays in BIG games. That’s why I don’t get all this crying about us letting Abe go.

marko

February 14th, 2014
5:53 am

Nice change of pace D3. Not Quite as damning as the Smitty blog. For the most part, I’d say TD’s done a; pretty decent job assembling talent. Of course you only included the first two drafts, but a strange pattern is already starting to emerge. Strong backfields, and poor lines.

If we were to call the Baker pick dumb, then the Jerry pick easily rates dumber. It’s a mystery. why we’re so good judging backs, and so gawd awful with linemen. Just a theory, but I’m reminded of what I read about the system in place in Seattle. the coaches clearly state the attributes they seek in potential players, and the scouts then go out and find players that possess the desired traits.

The system sounds deceptively simple, But clearly it’s not being applied here. We all have our pet theories, but I tend to blame Smitty more for this one. On the defensive line, in particular, I’ve never had a strong sense of what we were trying to do with all the munchkin linemen. It begs the question, can Smitty articulate, in simple English, exactly what the hell he’s looking for in a lineman?

waynester

February 14th, 2014
6:37 am

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000325732/article/what-we-learned-about-roster-construction-of-the-nfc
here’s another writer’s take on Dimitroff’s draft prowess(hint: it ain’t good)

Birdman

February 14th, 2014
6:45 am

JB..

What I want to know is .Witch one is the Good …..?

Wings

February 14th, 2014
7:10 am

D3 this is another great post. I like the year by year analysis although you mentioned separating in a different manner. I had forgotten about some of those players and some of them I don’t remember.

Letting Joey Harrington go was a move that I really liked. He was a really bad quarterback. He was one of the reasons I didn’t watch the Falcons for a year or two. Seeing Joey reminds me of how good Matt Ryan has been.

The rent-a-cop (used up and bad veterans) signings seem to be the biggest negatives. It goes naturally with the WPP.

And 21 I agree with you. I might be as excited when he is gone as I was when Joey was released.

Wings

February 14th, 2014
7:37 am

D3 this is another great post. I like the year by year analysis although you mentioned separating in a different manner. I had forgotten about some of those players and some of them I don’t remember.

Letting Joey Harrington go was a move that I really liked. He was a really bad quarterback. He was one of the reasons I didn’t watch the Falcons for a year or two. Seeing Joey reminds me of how good Matt Ryan has been.

The rent-a-c@p (used up and bad veterans) signings seem to be the biggest negatives. It goes naturally with the WPP.

And 21 I agree with you. I might be as excited when he is gone as I was when Joey was released.

JJ

February 14th, 2014
8:34 am

JB, Sorry to hear about your hardship this week but finally some good news for you, your bff Justine B is moving to the ATL, yea!

Nookah

February 14th, 2014
8:35 am

Greetings Cagers!!

D3,

Your dedication to this blog is unequaled. I have so much respect for you brother. You have taught me what true commitment means because our team’s management have not given us any reaason to be optimistic. In fact if you ask me they are trending down and I firmly believe our window (with this group of players and management) has closed. Sorry to be pessimistic but that is my humble opinion.

Go Falcons!!

JJ

February 14th, 2014
8:50 am

D3, Nice research, have a feeling part 2 & 3 will not be so kind to spikey!!!

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
9:18 am

D3 – No one does it better!

53% good or better
47% bad or worse

** 70% is a passing grade**

2 cents worth:
Start with no more FA’s signed over the age of 28
No more reaching for 1st round choices with a history of injuries

That might move the good or better group up to 70% – simple but effective

D3

February 14th, 2014
9:21 am

Frigid Friday Greetings Cage! — Like I mentioned yesterday, it was a case of biting off a little more than I realized, but it works out because there’s so much time until free agency and the draft. To be fair, the NFL is a little smarter on delaying the draft, because it stretches out the season even more since after the draft, there’s only a month and a half until training camp, even though it sucks for us.

This summary and subsequent analysis are completely subjective and really just a “gut feeling” on it. As I went through many of them, I realized it could go many different ways. The biggest thing I tried to do was attempt to look at it in a singular draft context (how it was perceived and what it meant at the time), but mainly juxtaposed that with what it has meant at this current point. While many of the picks were a good idea at the time, but the end result ultimately got the tie-breaker.

And the biggest thing going through I’ve noticed the disconnect (maybe that’s not appropriate, but it seems correct) starts to develop. There’s a ton of draft picks that were good picks, but that’s before Smith gets ahold of them. Lawrence Sidbury, Garrett Reynolds, Chris Owens, etc.

Another thing I got from this was how early the trend started on signing over-the-hill players. Mike Peterson at 33 years old, and he’s the answer for the next 2-3 years? Talk about a failed vision and strategy. Even though Dimitroff gets blamed because he’s the GM, can’t you not imagine Smitty in his ear wanting his old player Peterson from Jax?

While it’s unfair to blame Smith for all the bad and give credit to Dimitroff for the good, trends and characterizations are such for a reason, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Smith over the years.

D3

February 14th, 2014
9:33 am

waynester — Appreciate it man. Since there’s so much time until draft, my next project will be using analytical and statistical data from Pro Football Focus to look at it from that perspective. One of the things I’m working on is comparing TD to other elite teams or teams that have won Super Bowls recently (Packers, Giants, Seahawks, Ravens, Niners, Broncos, Patriots, Saints, Steelers, etc), and looking at their subsequent drafts, it’s A LOT more of a crapshoot than we all realize. So far, even though it’s really early, my long held belief that Dimitroff has more job security is starting to be reinforced. However, we’re only in part 1 of that analysis.

RoddyRules — Right on and Welcome to the Cage if you haven’t been already. You make a good point and I understand that. In terms of pure statistical production, I agree with you. I guess the fact that the bar is so very low is the reason I went with great. I think the reason I went with great was the decision to renew him early at a lower price than he could have commanded on the open market and that he’s been one of the only Falcons DL able to rush the passer. Again, I see what you’re saying and there’s really no wrong answer on this. Which is one reason I like the idea.

marko — Absolutely. I have no clue where the problem lies, but you bring a great point. The Seahawks seem to come about it from a more simple and practical standpoint, such as speed and strength. Whereas the Falcons seem to get lost in “paralysis by analysis” or something like that. For instance, could you imagine the Seahawks, Niners, or Ravens drafting Peter Konz, who could barely lift 225 x 18 times? H No.

D3

February 14th, 2014
9:45 am

Nookah — Thanks brother. I share somewhat in your pessimism. Sometimes I go up and think we may can turn it around, but mostly, my expectation level is really, really low. I have more faith in Dimitroff than I do Smith to change. Bringing Scott Pioli on board definitely helped. But leopards can’t change their spots, and Mike Smith is riddled with them.

Wings — Rent-a-cop is pretty accurate. I guess I didn’t realize that it started that early and the fact that we cut one 33 year old LB (Brooking) and literally bring in another one is just ridiculous. Throw that in with not even an inkling to bring back Boley and it’s just absurd.

Flo — Right on man. Haven’t looked at specific production as of yet, but every GM has some major clunkers. What I’m curious to find out in my research is how TD compares to his elite counterparts. So far, he’s right in line with most of them. However, out of all those franchises I listed above, he’s the only one who hasn’t drafted at least ONE All-Pro player. Not that it’s the end-all-be-all, but being an All-Pro is different than making the Pro Bowl.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
9:58 am

Julio Jones went to the Pro Bowl in 2013 but he wasn’t All-Pro?

paddy o

February 14th, 2014
10:06 am

only real protest I have I DeCoud. I’d argue on another team, he is not starting. His tackling has been BAD for 3 years, and Smitty refuses to give him an ultimatum – wrap up or bench. The fact that TD resigned both he and Baker are 2 gigantic aw sh1ts. Other aspect is Chris Owens – I don’t think we ever property developed him. I was mad as a wet hen after the GB game, but Owens was thrown to the wolves. And, his TD saving tackles (I remember 2) showed a ton of heart. Why kick Brookings and replace with Peterson? And, Peterson stuck around what? 4 seasons? Our GM and HC have definitive shortcomings.

paddy o

February 14th, 2014
10:09 am

roddy – you suffer under the affliction of asinine idealism. However, it is odd that both Babs and Spoon don’t know how to effectively tackle QB’s – the both pussyfoot around at that instant of impact and frequently get faked out – same with DeCoud and to a lesser degree Moore.

paddy o

February 14th, 2014
10:09 am

this was a fun read – thanks D3!

paddy o

February 14th, 2014
10:14 am

D3- you would really be a great sports editor; you attempt to apply logic to how you cover a subject – the juxtaposition is terrific context – how did we like it at the moment it happened? How did it look in hindsight? Ray Edwards is a good example – thought it was a good cheap signing when it occurred. Ray disappeared though here in ATL. I wonder if our D line assignments are overly complicated?

paddy o

February 14th, 2014
10:17 am

Seattle signed Tavaris Jackson and Matt Flynn before getting lucky with Wilson. A ton of SB winning teams are lucky – both recent Giants SB teams (heck,even the 2 prior to that – the Buffalo kicker missing a chipshot?) -were pure Cinderella. Whatever reasons, the football gods do not like Smitty/TD regime. but, we get out coached in 2nd and 3rd meetings of the seasons (the GB crushing -we had beaten them earlier that season barely – but, that was lucky – Rodgers fumbled into the endzone if I remember correctly).

John Waynesworld

February 14th, 2014
11:16 am

Excellent reporting, D3. Just a super job on the highs and lows. It shows us basically a mixed bag of team-building, maybe good for fielding a competitive team, but not good for winning championships.

Throw in my lot to the side that doesn’t think Babs should be rated as ‘great’. I would give him an overall “B” which is much better than I would give to the rest of the Falcons DTs.

I would also beg to disagree somewhat about Mike Peterson. I would give Mike a special Falcons “Team Guts” trophy for doing far and away way more than he was supposed to do for his status and his age.

Peterson’s heart, his leadership, his non-comments on being bounced around the line-up, and his insane effort on plays where I saw him launch himself like a human missile into some much bigger (and much younger) players made him invaluable in his role(s) as a Falcon. A totally selfless team player.

It doesn’t help having a fawning local media who tries to defend every Falcons’ decision while wagging their fingers at the “haters”, (all so they can keep their Flowery Branch privileges).

Not to lump Daniel in on my media ‘dump’ (after all he works there), but here is a fluffy Falcon piece

http://blogs.atlantafalcons.com/2014/02/14/14-things-love-new-2014-season/

It talks about things we can look forward to, including misleading statements like “The additions of new line coaches Bryan Cox and Mike Tice coincide with Dimitroff’s stated desire to become more rugged in the trenches.”

Oh, you mean the OWNER’s stated desire that Dimitroff parroted a short time later to save his job.

The only original stated desire by our GM that I heard was that he wanted to smell the armpits of the prospects at Senior Bowl practice. Everything else I have heard from Dimitroff has been either excuses, revisited history, or an infinite loop of lofty goals.

Arno

February 14th, 2014
11:22 am

“I think it’s always important to have good, experienced safeties and safeties that will make plays on the ball and be adept and consistent tacklers.” –Dimitroff

Very interesting quote. Dimitroff starts with finding ‘good, experienced safeties,’ a GM task, and ends up with ‘be adept and consistent tacklers,’ a coaching task. So where do things fall with DeCoud? Did DeCoud’s ‘vow’ to correct his tacking satisfy Dimitroff? Or will Dimitroff consider bringing in Delmas?

I see the safety situation as a test run for the new personnel team. Will we bring in another guy with chronic injury issues? Will we go with developing youth? Will we stick with players Smith is loyal to?

Thanks, D3, for bringing fresh material to the table. Great work.

D3

February 14th, 2014
11:35 am

paddy — Thanks for the compliment. I really tried to think outside the box a little more this offseason, for no other reason than it’s so long until we have any news. Also, 6 years seems like a great time to look at both the head coach and GM’s history and all their moves.

JWW — Great points. The thing I like about this topic is that it inspires debate and conversation. Stats and analytics are great, but they usually hinder debate, rather than spurring it. As I mentioned to RoddyRules, I totally get your decision on Babs. It really should be good, not great. I guess because he’s been the only consistently decent DT is the reason why. On Peterson, you make a darn fine point. Peterson the player did give 100% and it wasn’t really a dig on him. But more on the GM and HC in their grand “vision” to replace one older LB with another. And furthermore, the fact that only in year 6, did it take two frackin’ UDFA’s making the field only because of injury do we see any semblance of hope there.

Arno — Thanks man. Count me 100% on the Delmas train. IMHO, it’s a low risk / high reward signing. We could even sign him to a one year prove it contract. Would he be Earl Thomas, no way. But he would be a MAJOR upgrade over DeCoud. Have the two compete and if you need the cap space, then cut whomever loses. We can’t afford Jarius Byrd and we don’t have luxury of spending an early draft pick on a FS because we have SO many other holes (RG, LT, OC, DT, DE) etc.

Wings

February 14th, 2014
12:01 pm

D3 I say this just for some humor. As you write parts 2 and 3, don’t forget to mention the emergence of Smitty’s lawyer here on the blog. He caused many of us undue anger, disgust and repeated debate.

Ken Strickland

February 14th, 2014
12:07 pm

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2014/2/14/5409666/how-the-falcons-can-assemble-a-team-like-the-seattle-seahawks

CAGERS-here is A MUST READ for certain, & it fits right in with the topic of discussion.

John Waynesworld

February 14th, 2014
12:09 pm

Perfect timing concerning your last comment on Babs, D3. This article just came out (although the video is days old)…

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000325781/article/offseason-forecast-atlanta-falcons

“DT Jonathan Babineaux: The 32-year-old has been Atlanta’s best defensive player over the past two years, which is sort of like being the top quarterback in Jacksonville.”

Sad but true, although it is tongue-in-cheek. Babs is a damn fine defender and everyone in the league knows he has been our rock on the D Line.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
12:56 pm

2/14/13 MOCK DRAFT *** trade down / trade up

#1 Ra Shede Hageman (DT) 13th pick Rams’ trade
#1 Taylor Lewan (OT) 17th pick Cowboys’ trade
#2 Calvin Pryor (FS) 37th pick
#2 Zack Martin (OG/OT) Ram’s trade for two #3’s and #7
#4 Anthony Johnson (DT)
#5 Arthur Lynch (TE)
#5 Andre Hal (CB) *** comp pick
#6 CJ Copeland (FB)
#7 Jalen Saunders *** comp pick

Trade back: Falcons #1 (6th) for Cowboy’s # 1 (17th), #2 (48th) & #3 (79th)
Trade up: Rams #1 (13th) for Falcons’ #1 in 2015 and #2 (48th pick from Dallas trade 2014)
Trade up: Rams #2 (44th) for Falcons’ #3 (68th) & #3 (79th Cowboy’s trade) & #7 (198th)

FA: Dexter McCluster (WR/RB/KR/PR)
FA: Alex Mack (OC)
FA: Michael Johnson (DE)
FA: Donald Butler (ILB)

resign: Corey Peters (DT) 3 yr contract
resign: Jonathan Babineaux (DT) 2 yr 30% reduced contract
resign Matt Bosher (P) 4 years

extend contract: Roddy White (WR) 2 years
extend contract: Julio Jones (WR) 4 years

release: Kroy Biermann (LB)
release: Chase Coffman (TE)
release: Kevin Cone (WR)
release: Thomas DeCoud (FS)
release: Patrick DiMarco (FB)
release: Dominique Franks (CB)
release: Omar Gaither (LB)
release: Bradie Ewing (FB)
release: Harland Gunn (OG)
release: Joe Hawley (OC/OG)
release: Peria Jerry (DT)
release: Mike Johnson (OT/OG)
release: Terren Jones (OT)
release: Sean Locklear (OT)
release: Cliff Matthews (DE)
release: Sean Renfree (QB)
release: Jeremy Trueblood (OT)
release: Jason Snelling (RB)

2015 targets: DE / WR / RB / LB

Ken Strickland

February 14th, 2014
1:22 pm

I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out what approach we’ll take to upgrade our OL, particularly at RT. We know TD & Smitty are married to SBaker at LT & vow not to move him to RT, for whatever reason. Therefore, spending big in FA or using a high draft pick on a quality LT who’ll end up playing RT is not very likely.

Then I thought, would we once again repeat last yrs mistake of going into the season with SBaker as our only viable LT option? Why not sign a 2nd tier OT like ACollins to play RT, & and if Baker goes down we’ll have our LT replacement ready to go, & Holmes or Schrader can take over at RT.

Signing Collins not only gives us a more viable LT option if Baker goes down, starting him at RT gives us more OT depth. An OL of a healthy SBaker @LT, JBlalock @LG, JHawley @OC, FA @ RG, & ACollins @ RT wouldn’t be bad at all. And if Baker goes down, moving Collins to LT & replacing him @ RT with Holmes or Schrader wouldn’t be a bad OL either.

Here’s what I don’t understand about Smitty’s flawed logic when it comes to our OL & SBaker. He had no problem whatsoever moving OT GReynolds to OG, OGs TClabo & MJohnson to OT, OCs JHawley & PKonz to RG, & even LT SBaker to RG. So why in the devil does he now refuse to even consider moving Baker to RT?

Despite his overall record of accomplishments as HC, Smitty has definitely hurt the team with his decisions, micro managing & overall approach.
1-His insistence on cross training OLinemen, including rookies who need development at one position 1st.
2-His WPP, which has hindered the overall development of our draft picks, affected our depth & forced us to sign or draft player after player at the same position yr after yr.
3-Predictably taking 2 entirely different 1 dimensional approaches to playing OFF & DEF in the 1st & 2nd half of every gm. Playing aggressive offensive during the 1st half & scoring pts, then shutting the scoring down to control the clock & protect leads. Playing aggressive attacking man to man DEF in the 1st half, then switching to a prevent type zone DEF in the 2nd half to protect leads.
4-Playing any injured vet as long as doctors don’t shut him down, regardless of how poorly he’s playing, over younger less experienced players in need of development & snaps.
5-Stubbornly sticking with 1 type of RB(big & strong), no matter how unproductive, over smaller, faster, younger & more productive RBs.
6-Sticking with one blocking scheme & predictably having all running plays go inside between the OTs
7-Using RBs in our passing OFF primarily as blockers rather than receivers
8-Not allowing the OC to have control over the OFF, especially the rushing OFF.
9-Defiantly allowing emotion & pride to dictate his course of action rather than logic & common sense.
10-Holding his coaching staff responsible, & firing them, for decisions, policies, procedural & team failures that were basically his.

SG

February 14th, 2014
2:19 pm

Ken 12:07 Damn good read indeed. Thanks.

Flo 12:56 Cliff Matthews is a keeper. I believe he’s a beast in waiting. Hasn’t played much but stood out towards the end of the season w/ the increased, (though still small), opportunity he was given. He’s got the speed and athleticism we need.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
2:20 pm

Ken Strickland (1:22 pm 2/14/13) – Very well thought out and said KS. I could understand Sam Baker starting out the season on the left side over a rookie that has played on both the right and left side (Jake Matthews). Sam Baker, of course, has a long history of injuries. I guess when TD / MS stick their neck out for an injury prone OT and over pay him they feel the need to justify his contract…. especially when it is a long term (6yrs) deal. Who knows why they did it – doesn’t make common sense to me.

D3- What difference does it make that Jake Matthews only played one season on the left side if he was superb at his job? One year against the SEC talent is enough to convince me he can handle the job. After all, the DL in the SEC is superior to the DL that Michigan faced for the most part.

SG

February 14th, 2014
2:26 pm

Enter your comments here

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
2:26 pm

SG (2:19 pm 2/14/13) – Why has Cliff Matthews been sitting on the bench since 2011 if he’s a beast? Why did they sign Osi Unemyiora if he’s a beast? If he’s a beast guess the coaches are stupid.

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2014
2:33 pm

If he’s a beast guess the coaches are stupid.

“Bingo!”

SG

February 14th, 2014
2:35 pm

Flo – It’s simple, he’s the Antone Smith of the Defense.

The Osi point is moot as we’ve all discussed the hiring of retreads thru this regime. Look at CM’s increased playing time the last 5 or 6 games. Nolan was giving increased exposure. Do you recall actually seeing him play? To me he looked like a seriously smart somebody.

I’ll venture this too. If he was just coming out of SC now he’d be somewhere in your mocks.

ws

February 14th, 2014
2:51 pm

How about adding Quizz to release list. Can get a faster back. 4.68 is too slow for a KR and change of pace back. Speed. Percy Harvin shows, what speed will do. Quizz is not a game changer. A. Smith would be, if gave a change. Last game changer falcons had for a back was J. Norwood. You did not see anyone run him down from behind.

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2014
3:13 pm

Wednesday marked the end of an era for the New Orleans Saints defense as they announced they are parting ways with four team veterans and members of their 2009 Super Bowl championship team: defensive end Will Smith, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, safety Roman Harper and cornerback Jabari Greer. ESPN

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
3:27 pm

JB Falcon (2:33 pm 2/13/14) Thought you would like that. 4-12 TELLS ME SOMEBODY IS STUPID.

ws – Don’t mind adding Quizz to the release list but he’s got a family and I though we would let him hang around one more year. I’m unloading 16 unfortunate souls as it is. Meanwhile I got a FA, Dexter McCluster to take his place – and he’s good at everything – fast, elusive – returns punts & kicks – can play WR and RB. He’s a definite upgrade and won’t break the bank.

JB Falcon – TD is just waiting for some of these ole guys like those Aint’s to get released so he can sign them to a 6 year contract.

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
3:30 pm

Aint’s didn’t have any cap space and had to unload some vets for cap room to sign Graham long term – or at least try. Maybe Falcons will sign all of them!

Flo-Ri-Duh

February 14th, 2014
3:35 pm

Yeah – Cliff Matthews is kind of a ‘tweener – small for a DE (250 lbs or so) …. I will take another look at him but not promising I will keep him as my patience runs out eventually and he has been around a while with little to show – so far.

JB Falcon

February 14th, 2014
3:38 pm

TD is just waiting for some of these ole guys like those Aint’s to get released so he can sign them to a 6 year contract.

I do hope you’re just kiddin’!

Unca' Bob

February 14th, 2014
4:47 pm

Ken Strickland

February 14th, 2014
1:22 pm

We know TD & Smitty are married to SBaker at LT & vow not to move him to RT, for whatever reason.

That’s not even close to what I read. I read that they had no “plans” to move him to RT. That’ not a life time commitment and could allow Baker to play any position they choose.

SG

February 14th, 2014
4:57 pm

Flo – Beg to differ. On the scales he’s no tweener. CM’s showing 268 = 6# and 2″ shy of Clowney. Does that make him and instant HOFer. No. But let’s be accurate on the measurements ;-)

And excuse the redundancy, but for the time being, and from what I’ve seen in limited action, he gets my vote for the D-side’s “Antone Smith Award”.

Ken Strickland

February 14th, 2014
5:15 pm

FLO-RI-DUH-We all saw SBaker & RWhite receive preseason injuries & struggle enough during preseason to know both needed time off to heal & neither should have suited up for the regular season. Smitty preferred to start & continue to play a totally ineffective RWhite, rather than 1 of our primary backups.

It took a season ending injury to JJones to get him to finally give our backup WRs some meaningful snaps. His obsession with putting experience, even when it’s unproductive, over youth, talent & potential has been the reason for coining the phrase (W)itness (P)rotection (P)rogram, & the reason for last yrs collapse due to injuries & no adequate backup.

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2014/2/14/5412280/rotoworlds-patrick-daugherty-is-less-impressed-with-mike-smith-than

Here’s an interesting assessment of Smitty from 2 different perspectives. I personally think he was absolutely the right HC for the Falcons when he took over a franchise that was in total disarray & who’s history was inconsistent at best. But with the team’s infusion of talent & the changes that’s taken place in the NFL since he was hired, his limitations & his ultra conservative & predictable approach are now a liability that’s holding the team back.

He’s still a good HC, just not for this team at this time