Two summers ago it was possible to characterize the Falcons as having had the worst offseason in NFL annals, and that would subsequently lead into what I decided was the worst single season in the history of professional sports. But look now.
Writing for SI.com, Ross Tucker lists the three NFL clubs that have had the best offseasons. Two of them are organizations of proven worth (New England, Philadelphia). The third is headquartered in Flowery Branch.
Writes Tucker, speaking of Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith: “The moves they did make were solid if not spectacular and the intensity of the offseason practices indicated this is not a franchise interested in resting on last season’s achievements.”
Tucker calls Tony Gonzalez “still an elite talent at tight end” and labels rookie safety William Moore “a physical phenom.” Tucker also hauls out his favorite Tucker-ism, referring to No. 1 pick Peria Jerry as “a rolling bucket of butcher knives.” (I ask again: Shouldn’t that be a rolling ball of butcher knives?) And he wonders if the loss of Domonique Foxworth will hurt the secondary.
Me, I’m just wondering if the team that had such a great offseason can finally surmount the barrier that, 43 years on, still blocks the Falcons — never having consecutive winning seasons. I’m thinking they’ll get there this time. But I thought that back in 2005, when they were coming off the NFC title game and started 6-2. Then Jim Mora started to coach.