Is the Atlanta Falcons Disconnect Dead?

Guest Contributor — Wings

Can Quinn Help End the Disconnect?


Is the Disconnect Dead?

Will Blank’s New Structure Work?

Cagers have presented various theories about the reason for the new alignment and possible issues.  Having worked in a powerful organization filled with “political” implications, I want to pose my theory.  I reflect on two recent posts and the Mike Smith history of controlling everything related to “game day” as illustrations and foundations.

Chop Buster – “it’s always been my belief that the HC should have final say on the 53 man roster. He’s the cook and should have say on the ingredients.”

Dewey – “I’m trying to decide if I need to get excited about the draft again or not. For instance, Pioli thinks we need player A, Dimwit agrees but believes we won’t get player A at #8, we need to move up. What happens?”

A. Blank has elevated major decision-making related to player personnel to ensure there is a common understanding of where the team is heading.   A. Blank will be involved (lead) in any major decision as defined by the reporting of the new Head Coach and T. Dimitroff to him.  The understanding comes when personnel decisions are made when all parties are present.  In the past, Blank probably operated more of a ad-hoc “referee” than as a facilitator of arriving at the best decision.

Under Mike Smith, the disconnect has always been noted by the Cage.  The disconnect was described as the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing.  Mike Smith controlled the sidelines with an iron fist.  He played the players he wanted to play.  Evidently, he told Dimitroff the type players he wanted, and Dimitroff complied to some extent.  After he was fired, it was reported Mike Smith (and Nolan) wanted to build the defense from the “inside”, whereas Blank and Dimitroff wanted to develop outside pass rushers.  A bad mix of player talents was the result.

It is really ironic that Blank said that Dimitroff (and himself) gave into Mike Smith.  Why would the owner have to give in?  Probably, because Thomas Dimitroff is weak in standing his ground to make a decision that is best for the organization, and Mike Smith evidently had equal standing as Dimitroff in making decisions.  The Cage mostly believes Dimitroff should have gone out the door with Mike Smith.  In keeping Dimitroff, the organization has not been stripped of all things that work in positive ways.  A totally new organization would require several years to reach maturity.

In the past, the two elements (head coach and player personnel) operated like rogue agents independent of each other.  The team evolved into a team with explosive type players (JJones, MRyan, ASmith,etc) slowed by old school strategies (Smittyball) and  weak players (SJackson, the new tight ends, etc) who did not fit very well with the direction.  No real needs were fulfilled such as the defensive and offensive linemen because these needs were not readily noted and agreed on.

To answer Chop Buter:  the new Head Coach will have say in the ingredients, but the Head Coach will not have FINAL SAY as Mike Smith did.

To answer Dewey:  the decision will be made by a common thread of judgement and agreed on by the criteria of the organization, not by an individual’s emotions.  Safeguards will ensure Pioli’s input is not marred by Dimitroff.

Is the Disconnect DEAD?  I think it is but only Time will tell.

713 thoughts on “Is the Atlanta Falcons Disconnect Dead?

  1. Dewey

    Missed he press conference. Heard Dukes & Bell re-capping the highlights on 92.9. Not to be a “Dewey Downer”, but in explaining the way the FO will function, Dukes explained it like this, “if Quinn wants player A, and Pioli wants player A, and Dimwitt wants player B, we are taking player B.” Someone please tell me that Dukes got it wrong.

  2. JB Falcon

    This statement, to me, by AB is totally confusing.
    “To be specific, Thomas, as a general manager, will have final authority over free agents and draft picks, Scott [Pioli] now has responsibility for running free agency and the draft,” Blank said. “Dan will have final authority over the 53- and 46-man rosters and practice squad.”
    So, if DQ wants Matthews do we still get P Jerry?

  3. marko

    Looks like the Chris Morgan stuff’s panning out. Not to be a Debbie Downer on this bright optimistic day, but I’d hoped for somebody with a little thicker resume’. Evidently he did spend a year with Shanahan at Washington. In Mike Tice we definitely had a solid line coach, But in Chris’ defense the two guys who know him best are our new coach and his OC. I never much thought about O-line coaches before Pat Hill came to town. Now I have nightmares about them.

      1. JB Falcon

        If you were wondering why a defensive coach plucked an offensive coach to come with him, remember our new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan worked with Morgan while in Washington. The Falcons should institute a zone blocking scheme for the offensive line, a scheme that can turn just about any 6th round running back into a top 10 back.

  4. Hamad Meander

    New Head Coach – A+
    Front Office and organizational structure – F

    Can someone explain to me how Arthur Blank was so successful with Home Depot but his handling of the Falcons has been a cluster? Why would Dimitroff have anything to do with selecting players. If anything, he should only be concerned with the salary cap and contracts, not talent evaluation.

  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    #1st Rd: Shane Ray (LEO) Missouri, 6’3″ 245 lb., 4.55 40, Jr. Yr. 65 TKL, 22.5 TFL, 14.5 SACK
    2nd Rd: Maxx Williams (TE) Minnesota, 6’4″ 250 lb., 4.63 40, RS Soph 38 rec 15.8 YPC 8 TD’s
    3rd Rd: Paul Dawson (ILB/OLB) TCU, 6’2″ 230 lb., 4.75 40, Senior 136 TKL, 20 TFL, 6 SACK, 4 INT
    4th Rd : Demarius Randall (FS) Arizona St., 5’11” 190 lb, 4.55 40,Senior 106 TKL, 3 INT, 11 PBU
    5th Rd: Laken Tomlinson (OG) Duke, 6’3″ 330 lb., 5.25 40
    6th Rd: Kyle Emmanuel (OLB) N Dakota St. 6’3″ 251 lb., 4.85 40, Senior. 97 TKL, 33 TFL, 19.5 SACK ,4 INT
    7th Rd: Terrance McGhee (RB) LSU 5’9″ 215 lb. 4.55 40,112 att. 5.1 yds avg., 24 rec 171 yd
    7th Rd: Tyler Varga (FB/RB) Yale 5’11” 225 lb. 4.60 40, 233 att. 6.1 yds avg., 12 rec. 107 yd

    FA signing: No high profile signings – just upgrades
    Henry Hynoski (FB) age 26
    Stefen Wisniewski (C) age 26
    Pernell McPhee (DE/OLB)) age 26
    Byron Maxwell (CB) age 27 (if he doesn’t want a fortune)
    *** I wanted Clint Boling (OG)- Justin Blalock’s contract expires in 2017 – $9 mill (including 4 mill dead money if he’s cut in 2015).
    He’s not going anywhere in 2015 & I drafted Laken Tomlinson (G) in the 5th Rd to groom as his replacement in 2016-17.

    *** VERY INTERESTING – AJ Green (WR) will be a FA in 2016 & it has been reported that contract extension talks with JJ have been halted – for now. Falcons could decide to make a change for a WR of equal talent that doesn’t have JJ’s injury history.

    * Sean Weatherspoon re-signed to a 1 yr “show me” contract and moved to ILB where he’s suited at 250 lbs.
    *Matt Bryant re-signed 3 yr deal
    *Corey Peters (DT) re-signed 4 yrs
    *Antone Smith (RB) re-signed 1 yr “show me” contract
    *Dwight Lowery (FS) re-signed 1 yr contract
    *Eric Weems re-signed 1 yr contract

    Not re-signed:
    Kroy biermann (OLB/DE) – replacement was drafted
    Osi Umenyiora (OLB/DE) – replacement is FA
    Jacquizz Rodgers (RB)- replacement drafted
    T.J. Yates (QB)
    Cliff Matthews (DE)
    Patrick DiMarco (FB)- replacement FA
    Josh Wilson (CB)
    Nathan Stupar (ILB)
    Jonathan Scott (OT)
    Gabe Carimi (OG) – replacement was drafted
    Javier Arenas (CB)
    Bear Pascoe (TE) – replacement drafted
    Mike Johnson (OT)
    Charles Godfrey (S)

    Cut 2015: before camp
    Peter Konz

    Joe Hawley (C) – 6th Rd pick 2016 replacement FA

    ** Cap space may not have to be cleared for JJ in 2015 after all -he has options – Falcons have options – he could decide to go to highest bidder (or a winner) and Falcons could decide to go FA in 2016 or draft a WR #1.

    Top Cap hits to be cut or traded in 2016: Big moves ahead
    #1 Sam Baker (OT) – retires or cut
    #2 Justin Blalock (G) – retires or cut (contract expires in 2017)
    #3 Steven Jackson (RB) -retires
    #4 Harry Douglas (WR) – contract expires in 2016
    ** All in the top 10 cap hits and all gone in 2016 to clear space to sign JJ or a FA WR , Maybe AJ Green.
    Others gone 2016 (or sooner):
    Jonathan Babineaux (DE/DT) – retires or cut (contract expires in 2017)
    Joplo Bartu (LB) – Quinn evaluates (expires 2016)
    Lamar Holmes (OT) – Quinn evaluates (expires 2016)
    Steven Jackson (RB) -retires
    Jonathan Massaquoi (DE) – Quinn evaluates (expires 2016)
    Sean Renfree (QB) – Quinn evaluates (expires 2016)
    Ryan Schraeder (OT) – Quinn evaluates (likely extended contract in 2015 as contract expires in 2016)
    Levine Toyboy (TE) – cut or trade (expires 2017)

    1. SinIsIn

      Flo, first, I appreciate the time and effort you out into these posts, they are always fun and informative to read.

      If we could get Maxx Williams with our second round pick, I would definitely pull the trigger. I know we have a ton of defensive needs, but that kid is gonna be special, and we all saw how valuable having a great pass-catching TE in Gonzo was for Ryan and how much more effective our offense was with him in the game.

      Maybe the Falcons are postponing negotiations with JJ, not because they are targeting Green, but because they want to see what kind of deal is worked out between him and the Bengals? Also, after this season, AJ has some injury concerns of his own moving forward.

      I would hate to see Mass leave our team. He looked really good this year, though he was criminally under-utilized. I am really looking forward to seeing him next season, and hoping he flirishes with more playing time and better coaching.

    2. Mike-n-Charlotte

      Blalock could in fact be cut after June 1 minimizing the cap impact in 2015. After June 1 it would actually free up 4.7 mill. Jackson will be gone this year. He opens up 3.7 mill. I like McPhee at DE, he offers the greatest value. He will be looking at 5 year 34-38 mill. In Baltimore he would be a situatiobal guy sharing time with Dumervil and Suggs, so they definitely will not pay him his worth. He won’t get a huge contract because he doesn’t have the resume or reputation of Houston, Worilds, Hughes, or JPP. Maxwell may get some love from Seattle depending on Lanes outlook. Maxwell will be looking at 4 years at about 26-28 mill. It would be very possible for Falcons to get them both and Clint Boling possibly. Asamoah would likely move to the left guard position and Boling to RG.

  6. gman

    I understand it as TD has final say on FA and Draft but Quinn has final say on who makes the team. They both report separately to Arthur. So if TD does in a direction that doesn’t work for Quinn, he’ll be out the door. Remember Quinn has a 5 year contract. TD’s is only one.

    It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have two opinions but if one is moving toward success and the other isn’t, it’s easy to make that change.

    1. SinIsIn

      Gopd point gman. I was also finding the arrangement as it was laid out very strange, and really am concerned that this ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ BS might hinder our teams development significantly. While you are right and TD could be disposed of following the 2015 season if it appears that he and Quinn’s decisions seem to be trending the team in different directions, but I absolutely would hate to lose yet ANOTHER season, wasting it on evaluating TD who has already given us plenty of reasons to feel he is incapable of doing his job successfully.

  7. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Dewey – I heard Arthur Blank say out of his own mouth that Dan Quinn would be in charge of the 53 man roster. Does that mean he is in charge of who’s on the roster or in charge of the roster after Dimwitroff screws it up?

  8. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Marko (3/3 @ 4:05 pm) The OL was never a strength with Seahawks anyway. Mostly Russell Wilson running around until someone get’s open.

    1. JB Falcon

      Marko, that link also disclosed yet another opinion/interpretation of “Who’s on First?”

      4. Owner Arthur Blank announced that general manager Thomas Dimitroff has final say over free agency and draft picks. Scott Pioli still reports to Dimitroff. Quinn will have final say over the 53-man roster.


  9. Dewey

    It all sounds a bit odd to me. As I understand it, they are going to work their best to collaborate to come to one unified decision. But if they can’t come to an agreement, Dimwitt wins. I don’t like the idea of Dimwitt having any say so in personnel matters. We all have learned how good of a salesmen he is. How do we know he won’t lock Quinn and Pioli in a room until they see things his way? Then if a player tanks, Dimwitt just says, “we were all in agreement that player X was the best choice.” I don’t like it. For my comfort level, Dimwitt needs to be completely removed from player decisions or completely removed period.

  10. marko

    Flo-Ri-Duh, It looks pretty clear that Quinn has his own Ideas about the offensive side of the ball. He may very well try to clone the Seachicken D, but our offense is going to be pure Shanahan. We’re going to have a pretty serious rushing attack next year. Short term, Kyle Shanahan’s hire may prove more significant than Quinn’s. Getting our offense back on track can get us back in the playoffs.

    Our defense isn’t going to be confused with Seattle’s next year, but Quinn very well may be able to go from worst to mid-pack. A top 3 offense, coupled with a respectable defense will buy you a dance ticket. Once you get to the dance anything can happen.

  11. Arno

    Now that I’ve heard Quinn explain some of his approach, I’m more comfortable with the restructuring. He will be stressing player development through treating the athletes as individuals. Stands to reason that each player knows he is specifically on the roster because his head coach had the final say in wanting him there. It will be foundational to the sense of togetherness that Quinn claims builds a championship team. In the light of Quinn’s comments, I’m more clear that Blank is putting Dimitroff and Pioli in resource rolls. Sure– Quinn does not have experience at that level of authority, but it’s more clear to me that Blank is in favor of a coach driven, player development approach. Hail yeah. Go for it!

  12. Seminole Warrior

    What’s Up Cage

    Just had a chance to listen to Quinn’s introductory press conference. And while I am not drinking the whole pitcher of Kool Aid just yet, I like the taste from the first glass.

    I paid close attention to his choice of words and made sure that I watched his expression as he chose them. I found him to be a genuine man who really appears to have a plan. I found a man that had given this EXTENSIVE thought and preparation. I found a man that WANTS this challenge.

    During this press conference, I was taken back, at times, to a similar event in January 2010. At that time, a young, talented coordinator was about to emerge from the shadow of his chosen mentor. He was stepping into a difficult challenge; tasked with restoring the pride and potential of a program that had fallen on tough times. Jimbo Fisher was asked to return the Florida State University football program to prominence. He came in with a plan, an aggressive approach to implementing his plan, intense focus, and a strong attitude. Five years later, he had delivered on all fronts.

    Dan Quinn faces a similar challenge. He has to sell the plan, develop the approach, implement the drive and attitude, and produce the results. I think that he is the RIGHT man, at the RIGHT time, and in the RIGHT place. Time will tell but for now, I like the taste of the Kool Aid.

  13. Dewey


    The coaching Kool aid tastes top notch so far, but let’s put it away for a while and see how it ages. As for the personnel decisions, I shall take baby sips through a crazy straw as I am firmly entrenched in Missouri mode until I see otherwise.

  14. marko

    Seminole my man, I have a small bone to pick with you. The great people, that gave your favorite football team their name, are the only native American people who never surrendered to the federal government. They never surrendered, and they never spent the night at motel teepee. Counting themselves among the five civilized tribes, they favored more substantial housing. Their houses were often superior to those of the poor white settlers that sought to steal their land, and certainly not to be confused with those skin hut dwelling hicks of the great plains. Since news from teepee has become something of a staple in these parts, I chose to overlook this transgression.

    1. Seminole Warrior

      Marko, I can understand why you would.

      As was many traditions/practices of many tribes, the concept was stolen and used for commercial reasons.

      The Seminoles, like many others that were original to this land, have made incredible contributions to the advancement of many aspects of life as we know it today. But the credit, unfortunately, as if often the case with many minority populations, is buried behind false truths and fallacy.

      1. marko

        Seminole I hope you know my comment was intended as good natured ribbing. I have the utmost respect for you. I’m told that I carry a few drops of Cherokee blood in my veins. I’m fiercely proud of it. I also understand that the proud Seminole people are cool with FSU adapting them as their mascot. It was clearly intended as an honor.

        What really puzzles me is exactly which great Indian nation was known as the Redskins. The closest I can come up with are the Red Sticks a faction of the Creek nation. Perhaps Daniel Snyder could clarify things a bit by explaining which great native People he was trying honor. Then again, perhaps Mr. Snyder could take a long walk on a short pier.

        1. Seminole Warrior

          All is good, my friend. We both appreciate the struggles and the contributions of a FINE people.

          As far as the Redskins name goes, I have, like you researched it for the purposes of having a civil discussion with friends that are fans of the Washington NFL club. I have not found a single positive aspect to relate to the name. It has been a slur since the late 1690’s and it, in my opinion, is a slur today.

          There is no excuse for continuing to keep it.

          If Synder wants to honor the Native American heritage as he claims, then he should research the history of the Delmarva region. He would discover, like I did, that several nations of the Iroquois were located in the northeastern region, to include the Delmarva peninsula region. Mr. Synder could simply rename the team the Washington Warriors or Braves and pay tribute to the heritage of these fine heritages of the Mohawk, Oneida, and other branches of the Iroquois tradition.

          But we all know that this is not about honoring a tradition, don’t we? A wrong that makes you a lot of money can not be easily corrected? Just like wars on poverty and drugs can never be won. Why? Someone profits from the evil that men do. And that profit, too often, is more important than common sense and the right thing.

  15. SinIsIn

    This is an older article, but a good read imo. Someone ealrier posted this should be a deeper draft class on the defensive side of the ball, which we all know is where Atl needs most of our improvements to come from. Additionally, this article posits that pass rushers might be the deepest group in the upcoming draft class – doubly good news for us since it’s arguably our biggest area of weakness. The author suggests that as many as 12 solid pass rushing talents might be taken in the first 2 rounds. It’s a good introductory read if, like me, you have no knowledge of the incoming rookie class.–will-2015-be-the-year-of-the-pass-rusher-180607421.html

  16. Dewey

    Flo (9:02),

    My 2nd round pick (after I chose Bud Dupree in the 1st), would be Hau’oli Kikaha, OLB from Wahington. I’m not scared off by the knee surgeries. Last 2 years, 0 missed games because of knees, 32 sacks including a NCAA leading 19 this year, had at least 1 in every game except 1, which means he wasn’t racking up sacks against any one particular opponent, rather he was an equal opportunity QB assassin.

    Putting my girls to bed, will check back I to give you my philosophy on how to build a team for the long haul.

  17. marko

    Like Seminole, I’m cautiously optimistic about our new coach. As you watch him, you can’t miss the energy level. As teams tend to take on the personalities of their coaches, I really like the potential for next year’s birds becoming much more spirited than the more easy going laid back Smitty editions. I really think both men share more in common than meets the eye. Let’s not throw our all-time winningest coach under the bus. Smitty’s first five years were the best we ever had, but in the end it just didn’t get the job done. It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong, but I think it was a lack of urgency.

    Today Quinn was asked how important sacks are to a defense. He said they were important, but especially so on 3rd down. Sack the quarterback on3rd down, and you end the possession. Very simple really. It’s like remembering to score more points than the other guy. At the end of the day, football’s a very simple game. Often times it comes down to just caring more than the other guy. That’s the problem I had with Smitty’s birds. Sometimes they just didn’t seem to care.

    1. Seminole Warrior


      I agree with you that we can not overlook nor forget the amazing job that the CFA did in restoring credibility to a ship that as terribly lost in term of vision, direction, and focus.

      In the last two years, indeed, something went terribly wrong. A lot of blame rests with the CFA but it certainly does not end there. He was the MAIN fall guy after watching others sacrificed over the previous two years. Others got a pass but it would appear, again I say appear, that they have been given a “brief” reprieve in the form of the “corporate restructuring” the Falcons have undergone in the past two months.

      The clock is now ticking…and we, the fans, as Dewey stated, remain in “Mizzou” mode.

  18. waynester

    I was incredibly encouraged by HCDQ’s emphasis on tackling—a HUGE problem with our defense. It’s the most fundamental skill in football, yet we didn’t practice it much (thanks NFLPA) and it showed on Sundays. That’s why I’m praying that Kendricks from UCLA is our 2nd round pick. He had TWICE the tackles of most of the top rated linebackers in 2014—149 Tackles!!! Yes Jim Mora gave him a great D-Line to work behind but when the opportunity presented itself, he put the runner on the GROUND! Let ‘Spoon find opportunities elsewhere and do what it takes to land this young man….
    The #1 rated ILB Mckinney had 71 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF and 4 PBUs
    #2 rated Perryman 110 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 3 FF, 5 PBUs and 1 Pick
    Kendricks 149 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 Sacks, 2 PBUs, 1 FF and 3 Picks.
    He’s not as big as the other 2 (6’0″ 230lb) but he has sideline to sideline speed (4.69 40), great instincts(excels in zone and man coverage) and is an intelligent 3-Down player and a tackling machine. I don’t know if he fits what Quinn is looking for but whoever gets this kid in the 2nd is going to love him….

    1. Dewey

      Waynester, if Kendricks is a player and we land him, you can bet Quinn will find someplace for him. If he doesn’t fit at MLB, maybe he works as an OLB, and depending on how fast he is, maybe a SS.

  19. icndark

    I too, would like to thank(for the first time) EX-Falcons HC Smitty for his incredible and record breaking run of consecutive seasons of not being your Fathers’ Falcons.

    Now that that’s out of the way! I submit that all of the flaws inherent within Smitty’s regime were there from the first season. If you consider the first three seasons of Smitty’s tenure as a whole, the glaring deficiencies of the first season only multiplied. Extrapolate that to include all of Smith’s seasons and the eventual outcome was last year and the resultant need for change.(Better late than never, right?)

    This is a huge chance to do it right, and I’m convinced that the right man for this job is Quinn. He’s more impressive than I expected, but we need to temper our enthusiasm slightly, thanks to what we’ve all become accustomed to.(As you all know, I’m talking about our unprecedented record of failure.)

    I’ll gladly hitch my hopes and world championship dreams to #Quinning. I hope that unlike in the past, we finally have a leader who isn’t always right. This applies especially to those circumstances that directly follow his being wrong. Stubborn futility is what we are used to, but it doesn’t have to continue to be the way that the Falcons do things.

  20. marko

    Arno, I had a friend who was one of the early members of the Atlanta Renegades. He told me the primary goal of Rugby was to survive for the party. Works for me.

  21. Grits Blitz

    SW – Good follow-up per importance of MLB. ALWAYS loved having a stud leader in that position, especially one who loves to bring the mayhem. Bet Quinn is going to insist – priority one on defense- if you can’t hit AND tackle, there will no longer be a place in the VPP for anyone.
    (I don’t care if it’s a MLB or an OLB that manhandles/covers TEs as long as the job gets done and can effectively blitz QBs with speed and bring controlled chaos! Just don’t envision our #1 pick (at #8) will be MLB.
    I love your calculations of average sacks per players/positions! If we achieve those high expectation numbers, our pass rush/sack goals (along with hurries) will be in sync and, of course, we all hope it happens – sooner than later. (We need to also be aware many other teams will be wanting the same top pass rushers, too, so badly they will also consider trading up to get their guy. That alone, IMO makes it CRITICAL to sign at least one stud DE as a FA!)

    We also know it is NOT going to happen all at once in 2015 nor do many of us expect Quinn to be a miracle worker in year #1. If we can just stay grounded in realistic terms, I would submit an 8-8 record for 2015 would show improvement and great promise for the future. Look for the bigger personnel changes after the 2015 season and before 2016 kicks off, when “Quinn’s team” really takes shape and shifts into high gear! And, the albatross of restrictive contracts and much dead money will begin to cease their strangle holds. (MAYBE by 2016, A.B. will finally admit his experiment trying to make T.D. a GM w/ genius status was a failed one…from day one…and hope will again spring eternal!)

    1. Seminole Warrior

      Thanks Grits.

      As I said earlier, I am loving the diversity in the many draft/FA scenarios that folks are bringing into the mix.

      There is a lot of old school in Quinn; has to be with all that energy. But it is wrapped in the modern nature of the game. In that approach, I see the potential for a dangerous team to emerge in a few years. I totally agree with you; this reconstruction is going to take some time and Quinn said as much today. But make no mistake – he gave the appearance of a field general that is ready to have his subordinate commanders train the troops in a tough, disciplined, and tenacious way. There is only one goal…victory. And he is not going to rest until he achieves it.

      As I said earlier, I, as I listened to Quinn, was mindful of the task at hand for Jimbo Fisher when he took over at FSU. Many in Seminole Nation mocked his plan and his approach. But no one is mocking him now….and why? He had a plan, stuck to the plan, and focused on the team and what it could achieve. Anything else is situational and short term in nature for as we all know, winning cures all.

  22. WR

    Choke, cough, etc. Smitty was a good coach, he of all the Falcons coaches during their history put a name and expectation beyond losing to the franchise. That being said, Smitty appeared to not be the coach to lead the birds over the top. Love him, hate him, his work and the Falcons teams he coached, showed as much.

    Is Quinn the one, yes, he can be, and no, he might not be, that’s just the reality we live in. As fans, we see certain things, an example: blah blah is so good as a pass rusher, why doesn’t he get more time in that role, blah, blah, scores touchdowns or makes big plays every time he touches the ball, why do we not see more of him. We don’t have a clue, we’re Monday morning quarterbacking. But where is the truth in that, it’s not like we’re blind, blah, blah, may be shortchanging himself and the team in practice, but he’s a beast come game day, sorry, that’s not a fan problem, or a team problem, it’s a coaches problem, handle it, and put a winning product on the field. Fans, media, and probably owner can careless about these small problems, Smitty did not get that, which is why he’s gone, hopefully the next staff will, along with the Falcons front office, we will see

    1. Seminole Warrior


      I’m asking EIGHT-PLUS months in advance!!! Make plans now….I want to see your face in the place.

      October 24, 2015 at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field. Jimbo, the Seminoles, and I are coming to town.

      You and Paul had better be ready!!

  23. Grits Blitz

    Per Quinn’s official hiring, hope we NEVER again have to hear ANY coach or FO-type at the Branch use the term “we’ll fix it”.
    Please let that repeated lie ride out of town, GWTW on the Smitty Express. Even Rhett Butler could reach a gentleman’s agreement on that one!

    In the background, can you hear it? Sounds like Quinn’s Missouri Railroad is getting ready for its maiden run. Diesel engines beginning to rev!
    Hope and excitement returning to Atlanta? YES. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      1. Seminole Warrior

        My wish is that this is the LAST TRAIN HOME….the train that will take us eventually to Five Points Station and into the heart of Atlanta where we will long at last celebrate the arrival of the Lombardi Trophy we all crave so much.

  24. Grits Blitz

    SW – Per J. Fisher or any quality coach, we know real leaders in any organization, football included, indeed have a bold plan, see the big picture, put the pieces in place, develop the relationships, push the right buttons at the right times, stay consistently focused, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS have…a clear vision. Hope and believe DQ will finally be THAT leader for us.

    (Honestly, the only reservation I have about him as a new HC is will he be tough enough on his players in terms of discipline. (They certainly won’t be used to that!) Also, can he sell them well enough that they will want to achieve (their own) personal goals and (his) team expectations in the growth and development process? Like to believe he’s got what it takes, long-term, to make it happen.)

    1. Seminole Warrior

      Remember the old “If I didn’t care” ring routine with Fred G. Sanford? Quinn simply has to walk pass and his TWO NFC championship rings as well as a Super Bowl ring should serve to motivate the players.

      He has been to the football mountaintop and he knows/understands what it took to get there. He’s hungry it appears to prove that he can get there himself. We SOUGHT this challenge. He RELISHES this challenge. And it appear he want to VANQUISH this CHALLENGE.

      If a player can not respect that and/or want to be a part of that kind of drive and determination, then that player, in my opinion, can not be an Atlanta Falcon.

  25. Grits Blitz

    Warrior – Thank you, my brother, for allowing me to ride those beautiful rails for 5.5 minutes! (Tin-hut. Army salutes the Air Force!)
    My sentiments exactly, too, to the heart of Atlanta. No more whistle-stops. Believe we’ve got the waiting part down pat; more than ready for the parade!

  26. Dewey


    Here’s my formula for building a team for long term success….

    1st off, FA is not how you build your team. Think of it like building a wall, through the draft, you get your bricks and mortar. Players in FA should mostly be viewed as a bucket of spackle , just there to help fill in the cracks. Most teams that have long term sustained success, don’t make big splashes in FA (Reggie White to the Packers not withstanding).

    Second, you never draft for need. If you draft for need this year, you’ll draft for need next year, and the year after that, and so on and so on. You draft for wants. What does a team want? Teams want continuity. No splashes, no waves, just light ripples and smooth sailing. So how do you achieve this continuity? It’s very subtle, no roster turnover. Of course that’s impossible. Players get hurt, get old, get too expensive. No one stays around forever. But the trick is, having ready made replacements already in place on the roster. It’s like being in high school or college, players move on, next man up.

    So how do you achieve this? You look at your next seasons potential FA’s. In 2016, the Falcons will currently have 13 FA. This number will obviously go up with a number of FA signings to one year contracts. But most of those players won’t be counted on in the long term. The 13 players who’s contract currently expire in 2016 were given multi-year contracts, so were viewed as possible long term contributors. These are the players we really need to concentrate on resigning or replacing. That’s where the 2015 draft comes in. The positions that will be FA’s in 2016 are 2-WR, 1-RB, 2-OT, 1-G, 2-C, 1-DE, 1-OLB, 1-ILB, 1-FS, 1-CB. Who are the players? It doesn’t matter. These need to be the targets for the draft, and to a lesser extent, FA.

    This is why I say a complete rebuild for a truly competitive team takes at least 2-3 years.

    And approaching the draft this way, you will have a cross section of want meeting need. You’ll notice, by drafting for 2016, we will also meet needs for 2015 (DE, ILB, OLB, S to name a few. So your need positions move to the top of the draft board.

    But what if we were pretty solid at most positions? This is when it will get really cool. Let’s take this draft for instance. If we went into this draft with no real needs, we could draft anyone at #8(of course if we were solid at every position, I would hope we were drafting farther back than #8). We could get the best OT, RB, ILB, CB that this current draft has to offer instead of having to grab the 3rd best OLB. In the 2nd round, we could possibly get the best C or G in the draft.

    And the best part of this method is when the 2015 season rolls around, we can narrow our scouting search for the 2016 draft by looking to see what contracts expire in 2017.

    That’s my draft philosophy. Of course it takes competent talent evaluators for this to happen.

  27. Seminole Warrior


    Outstanding!!! We share the same philosophy. I have always called it building for the future not the moment. But you broke it down in an EXCELLENT fashion.

    And you broke me away from Acoustic Alchemy to make this statement too. That, my friend, is an AWESOME display of power and skill. LOL.


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