From a Dirty Bird fan in Atlanta, on "The Falcon Way" under Blank, Smith, and Dimitroff.
RE: Falcons vs. Redskins
RE: Falcons vs. Redskins
Having lived in ATL for 7 years ... I've had to watch and study the ATL Falcons. It's been interesting to say the least. Vick, Mora Jr, the Petrino experiment, etc, etc.
Here is what I think I've learned:
- Young, Talented, SMART Franchise QB is a must - check
- Talented, SMART (gymrat type) GM - check
- Owner who writes checks (likes to stand on the sidelines) but otherwise just owns and doesn't micro-manage- check
- Build ONE side of the ball per draft ... eg, year one - Offense, year two - Defense
- Select Few Impact... eg. RB Turner, CB D. Robinson
- Draft pick template ... Talent, Smarts, Character, Team Guy
- A coach who is personable and commands respect but keeps EVERYTHING in the locker room or behind closed doors - check
The Falcons are not only in position to go to the Super Bowl this year, they are positioned for the next 5 years. The are actually a year or two ahead of schedule but not nearly at their peak. Currently one of the youngest teams in the NFL.
A look at the key players:
Owner- took his ego and put it on the shelf ... put his "learning" cap on and studied the Patriots and Steelers. Pats owner Bob Kraft is his best NFL "friend". Other than enjoying being on the sidelines during games ... really just owns and lets' coaches coach, GM's GM and players' play.
GM Dimitroff - absolute "gymrat" .. cut his teeth for years being a college scout for Belichek. Spending weeks on the road watching kids at Colorado State and Central Michigan, etc. First NFL job was an intern job painting the field lines in Cleveland. Has developed player "prototype" files for each position that are said to be as intricate and intense and anyone has ever seen for an NFL personel guy. Look at a guy like.... nobody ever heard of him. Too small, etc.... he's an All-Pro CB this year. Undrafted Free Agent from Shippensburg Univ. .... Dimitroff signed him to the practice squad then sent him to before he allowed him to make the Falcon roster... now he's an All-Pro.
Coach Mike Smith - the Ultimate Players Coach ... but, you must respect him and do things "the right way". Players absolutely LOVE playing for the guy. They know he has their back and will bring a gun to a knife fight to battle for them. Defense + Run Game + limit turnovers and penalties. (Falcons went 4 games in a row this year without a turnover).
QB Hall of Fame TE who says ... "trade me to ATL, I want to play with THAT guy". Gonzalez told KC "please figure out a way to trade me to ATL", I want to play there.aka *Matty Ice* - Ultra Competitive and a Never Say Never Guy. Stepped in as a rookie and immediately commanded respect in the huddle. How many 22 year old rookies get the attention of a
Anyway .... I don't think the Falcons will win the SB this year... they might get there but probably won't win. But the next 5 years might also see the "Road to the Super Bowl" go through ATL.