Review: Thomas Dimitroff

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An Overly Simplistic Look at Thomas Dimitroff

by Dawson Devitt

Time for TD to Stay or Go?

As the weird and wild season winds to a close, most Falcons fans will be pretty happy with Dan Quinn’s rookie year (hoping the Falcons close out with a win vs. the Saints). It was a see-saw year bursting to a 5-0 start, which then moved to 6-1, and of course the dreaded 6 game losing streak that buried any hopes of making the playoffs. Beating the Jaguars felt good, for no other reason than to end that horrific streak.

But being the first team to beat the hated Panthers in over a year in the regular season has really rejuvenated some hope going forward. With the offense seeming to improve and Kyle Shanahan appearing to adjust, the only question of change turns to the front office, most specifically the one and only Lance Armstrong, er….. Thomas Dimitroff. The following will be an overly simplistic look at Dimitroff’s tenure and whether he deserves a pass or the boot……..

The Method

There’s been hundreds of articles written on Thomas Dimitroff, his draft picks, the free agent signings, and all the rest over the years. With that in mind, this won’t be an overly complicated analysis, but rather a simplistic formula: hit or miss. The fact that we only have 2 draft picks from 3 draft classes (2010 – 2012) should be plenty enough for dismissal, but everyone deserves a fair shake.

This is purely opinion-based and can generate some discussion. This includes draft picks, free agent signings, and free agents that were let go. Some of the smaller transactions will likely be missed, but the idea is to look a Dimitroff’s entire body of work. And each transaction is either a hit or miss, but can’t be both. More of a gut feeling when you see the name type of deal. Some may feel it’s overly generous or harsh, but if he gets credit for a UDFA signing, he has to take blame for 7th round miss. Focusing on the bigger transactions because don’t have energy or patience to research every tiny move for the last 8 years.

The Beginning: 2008

Draft

Michael-Turner

Michael Turner

Matt Ryan – Hit

Sam Baker – Miss

Curtis Lofton – Hit

Chevis Jackson – Miss

Harry Douglas – Hit

Thomas DeCoud – Hit

Robert James – Miss

Kroy Biermann – Hit

Thomas Brown – Miss

Wilrey Fontenot – Miss

Sam-Baker

Sam Baker

Keith Zinger – Miss

Free Agency Signings

Michael Turner – Hit

Ben Hartsock – Miss

Jason Elam – Miss

Erik Coleman – Hit

Traded

Deangelo Williams – Hit

2008 Count: Hits – 8, Misses – 8

2009

Draft

Peria-Jerry

Peria Jerry

Peria Jerry – Miss

William Moore – Hit

Chris Owens – Miss

Lawrence Sidbury – Hit

William Middleton – Miss

Garrett Reynolds – Miss

Spencer Adkins – Miss

Vance Walker – Hit

William-Moore

William Moore

Signings

Mike Peterson – Hit

Brett Romberg – Miss

Will Svitek – Hit

Brian Williams – Miss

Traded

Tony Gonzalez – Hit

2009 Count: Hits – 3, Miss – 2

2010

Sean-Weatherspoon

Sean Weatherspoon

Draft

Sean Weatherspoon – Miss

Corey Peters – Hit

Mike Johnson – Miss

Joe Hawley – Hit

Dominique Franks – Miss

Kerry Meier – Miss

Shann Schillinger – Miss

Corey-Peters

Corey Peters

Traded

Chris Houston – Hit

Signed

Dunta Robinson – Miss

Brent Grimes (re-signed) – Hit

2010 Count: Hits – 4, Miss – 6

 

2011

Draft

Matt-Bosher

Matt Bosher

Julio Jones – Hit

Akeem Dent – Miss

Jacquizz Rodgers – Hit

Matt Bosher – Hit

Andrew Jackson – Miss

Cliff Matthews – Hit

 

Signings

Ray-Edwards

Ray Edwards

Ray Edwards – Miss

Reggie Kelly – Miss

Kelvin Hayden – Miss

2011 Count: Hits – 4, Miss – 5

 

 

 

2012

Draft

Peter-Konz

Peter Konz

Peter Konz – Miss

Lamar Holmes – Miss

Bradie Ewing – Miss

Jonathan Massaquoi – Hit

Charles Mitchell – Miss

Travian Robertson – Miss

 

Signings

Robert-McClain

Robert McClain

Chase Coffman – Hit

Chris Hope – Miss

Robert McClain – Hit

Lofa Tatupu – Miss

2012 Count: Hit – 3, Miss – 7

 

 

2013

Draft

Kemal-Ishmael

Kemal Ishmael

Desmond Trufant – Hit

Robert Alford – Hit

Malliciah Goodman – Miss

Levine Toilolo – Miss

Stansly Maponga – Miss

Kemal Ishmael – Hit

Zeke Motta – Miss

Sean Renfree – Hit

Levine-Toilolo

Levine Toilolo

Signings

Osi Umenyiora – Hit

Steven Jackson – Miss

2013 Count: Hit – 5, Miss – 5

 

 

 

2014

Draft

Prince-Shembo

Prince Shembo

Jake Matthews – Hit

Rashede Hageman – Hit

Dezmen Southward – Miss

Devontae Freeman – Hit

Prince Shembo – Miss

Ricardo Allen – Hit

Marquis Spruill – Miss

Yawin Smallwood – Miss

Ricardo-Allen

Ricardo Allen

Tyler Starr – Miss

Signings

Gabe Carimi – Miss

Javier Arenas – Miss

Devin Hester – Hit

Tyson Jackson – Miss

Paul Soliai – Hit

Jon Asamoah – Miss

2014 Count: Hits – 6, Miss – 9

2015

Draft

Grady-Jarrett

Grady Jarrett

Vic Beasley – Hit

Jalen Collins – Miss

Tevin Coleman – Hit

Justin Hardy – Hit

Grady Jarrett – Hit

Jake Rodgers – Miss

Akeem King – Hit

Signings

Leonard-Hankerson

Leonard Hankerson

Brooks Reed – Miss

Phillip Adams – Hit

Adrian Clayborn – Hit

O’Brien Schofield – Hit

Justin Durant – Hit

Leonard Hankerson – Miss

Mike Person – Miss

2015 Count: Hits – 9, Miss – 5

Total >> Hits – 42, Misses – 47

Final Analysis

This was an entirely too simplistic look at Dimitroff’s transactions and ignored the undrafted free agents as well as the players he allowed to walk. Many to most are up for debate on whether it’s a hit or miss and what you consider as such. Is a hit making the team, making contribution, put in context of their draft pick? Some of the above were too generous on being a hit and others were too harsh of being a miss. The idea was ATTEMPT to bring as much objectivity and balance as possible.

Historically, if you look at most GM’s (even very successful ones) they usually bat around 50% looking back at their entire drafts. It gets really convoluted and confusing also when you bring up the fact that one of Dimitroff’s best classes and FA signing periods (at least early on) was when Dan Quinn came aboard.

Personally, I think he should be gone, but that should have happened last year in a clean sweep when Smith got shown the door. Blank went out of his way NOT to fire Dimitroff, likely because he’s become very close with him personally (sound familiar?). The years of 2010 – 2012 should be the nail in Spikey’s coffin. The fact that Julio Jones and Matt Bosher are the only two players from 3 entire draft picks is embarrassing (2 for 19). This haul included 1st round pick Sean Weatherspoon, 2nd round pick Peter Konz, and 3rd round picks Mike Johnson, Akeem Dent, and Lamar Holmes. Yes, it obviously included Julio and Corey Peters, but you can’t miss that poorly on so many picks. Throw in the big free agent busts of Dunta Robinson and Ray Edwards along with letting Brent Grimes, John Abraham, and Curtis Lofton walk (none of which were counted above) and it’s slam dunk case.

The majority of Falcons fans believe the hipster biker should be on his way, but with reports saying that no decision has been made, coupled with the “good feeling” of beating Carolina, there’s a GREAT chance he returns.

Your thoughts on Lil’ Armstrong’s body of work and whether he should be back or kicked to the curb?

TD_bike_2

Into the sunset?

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140 thoughts on “Review: Thomas Dimitroff

  1. Flo-Ri-Duh

    In their first meeting this season the Falcons suffered three fumbles vs the Saints. Ben Watson (TE) was unstoppable. Other than turnovers the Falcons got their 100+ rushing yards and 300 + pasing yards (sbnation.com) Hopefully DQ & Co. learned something and will eliminate the turnovers and find a way to slow down the TE.

    Vegas is expecting a win for the Falcons – so am I.

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      DQ made some serious adjustments from the 1st Carolina game; and KS does appear to be operating differently – I think DQ realized he was using Hankerson – and obviously inferior WR to RW84 – as a crutch.

      Reply
  2. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Dawgs, through all adversity, hang on to get the “W” against a decent Penn State team.
    Dawgs 24 -17 Penn State.

    * Observations – UGA got up 17 and shut it down on offense. Can’t wait til the new OC and new OL coach gets here. Hate that conservative crap. On defense Dawgs also got conservative in 2nd half with few, if any, blitzes.

    Penn States vaunted Nassib was shut down but was impressed with Austin Johnson (DT), 6’4″ 324 lb, and his inside pressure. Johnson would be a good 2nd Rd pick for Falcons if he lasts that long.

    Reply
  3. Dewey

    We don’t have to agree on TD – but all evidence points to his influence on the draft/UFA’s in 2015 has been greatly diminished – in my opinion he’s been neutered.
    #1 There were no major trade ups: yes, a late pick was given up to move up for Jarrett in the 5th but that was done by DQ.
    #2 There were no major moves to get big name, fat contract UFA’s – DQ’s prints were all over the FA moves.
    #3 The 2015 draft was a success with six out of seven picks sticking – not a TD trait
    #4 Arthur Blank publicly stated that Dan Quinn would be a major influence in the draft and with UFA’s and he would not report to TD – but directly to Arthur Blank.-Flo

    What evidence do you have that TD still has influence on the draft/UFA’s? TD attended a bunch of news media events at the combine – freeing the “real” evaluators to do their job. He’s getting paid to do what the others don’t have time or want to do.-Flo

    Flo,

    It’s nice we don’t have to agree on this, because I don’t believe Dimwitt is capable of staying out of the way where player personnel is concerned. And I’m willing to admit I could be wrong. I’m not at Falcons headquarters, I’m not privy to any of their meetings. I do know he’s the GM and he’s still there. So I ask you, what evidence do you have that Dimwitt isn’t giving any input to personnel matters?
    Let’s look at your list above…..

    #1-you’re correct, there were no major trade ups in 2015. However, there were no major trade ups in 2014, 2012, 2010 or 2009, when Dimwitt was fully in charge of draftboard, so that doesn’t prove anything.

    #2-I really liked the way the 2015 FA period was handled. But a contract doesn’t need to go to a big name to be a bad contract. Brooks Reed, was signed to a 5 year, $ 22 million dollar contract for which we have received 14 total tackles, 0 sacks, 0 fumbles caused, 0 fumbles recovered, 0 interceptions. Furthermore, if we cut him in 2016, it costs $3,760,000 in dead cap space plus we lose another $320,000 in cap space. Maybe DQ really wanted Reed, but maybe TD decided what we needed to pay to get him. I don’t know, you don’t know. But it was a bad contract. Now we could cut him post June 1st, with almost $1 million in dead money and over $2 million in cap savings. Either way, cutting a player 1 year after signing him to a 5 year contract is a bad contract.

    #3-this one’s my favorite. Yes, 6 out of 7 picks stuck, with only Jake Rodgers being cut, let’s have a quick look…..
    2015 draft-5 of 7 made the club, the 2 that didn’t make it, Jake Rodgers was cut, Akeem King started off on practice squad
    2014 draft-7 of 9 made the club, the 2 that didn’t, Marcus Spruill was on IR, Yawin Smallwood was cut
    2013 draft-8 out of 8 made the club
    2012 draft-5 out of 6 made the club, the one that didnt, Bridge Ewing went on IR
    2011 draft-5 out of 6 made the club, the one that didnt, Andrew Jackson was on practice squad
    2010 draft-6 out of 7 made the club, the one that didnt, Kerry Meier was on IR
    2009 draft-7 out of 8 made the club, the one that didnt, William Middleton was on the practice squad
    2008 draft-9 out of 11 made the club, the 2 that didnt, Thomas Brown went on IR, Wilfrey Fontenot was on the practice squad

    So where is the big difference to show Dimwitt did or didn’t have anything to do with the draft? Besides, having influence doesn’t just pertain to which players we selected, it can also influence who we didn’t select. What proof do you have that we wanted to draft someone (an olinemen perhaps), and Dimwitt talked them out of it? I don’t know either.

    #4-here are a couple of other statements made by King Arthur regarding the restructuring of the FO that took place last offseason.

    “At draft time, Dimitroff will still be the one who makes the picks. But there’s no question Pioli’s input and responsibilities go up.

    “I think it’s an opportunity for Thomas to continue to use his talents, and he will from a talent-evaluation standpoint. He’ll be heavily involved. But he’ll be more dependent on Scott Pioli and his talents. And their ability to work together is a credit to both of them.”

    Lip service, period. King Arthur can say whatever he wants to. None of us, that I’m aware of, get to sit it on any meetings at Falcons headquarters. So we don’t know. What I do know, 8 seasons of mostly wasted draft picks and bad free agent signings and currently a team with little talent and even less depth.

    Lastly, if I could figure out this tablet, I would copy a picture of Dimwitt and Pioli standing together on the field at last season’s combine watching players. Did they even speak to each other? I don’t know. If they did speak, what did they talk about? Players? Dinner? Quinn? Who knows. But he was there, on the field at this particular time. Not in a meeting. Not in an interview. Not on his bicycle.

    The point is, I don’t know how much power Dimwitt still has. No one knows except the folks who need to know. So please, stop coming off like you know. You said we were allowed to disagree, so let it go at that. Don’t come back and ask for evidence. Have I given you evidence? Absolutely not. But neither have you. Truth is, none of us know.

    All I’ve said all along is that no one, NO ONE, can convince me he isn’t still involved in someway. I believe Dimwitt to be a terrible GM and an even worse talent evaluator. And I won’t be convinced he isn’t in there poisoning the waters some way until he is removed from the ball club altogether.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      In the interest of full disclosure I missed one on the 2014 draft, should read…
      2014 draft-6 of 9 made the club, the 3 that didnt, Marcus Spruill was put on IR, Yawin Smallwood was cut, Ricardo Allen started season on practice squad.

      Reply
    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      2/13/15 [Exclusive Q&A: Blank discusses front office, new coach and PSL’s] D. Orlando Ledbetter (ajc)
      “Who will pick the players? The draft Picks?” (Ledbetter)
      “We’ll be clear on that when our new coach is eventually signed” (Blank)
      “You all can’t answer that now?” (Ledbetter)
      “No, not until the coach is named.” (Blank)
      “who will pick the players? The draft picks?” (Ledbetter)
      “The draft will be run by Scott. The free agency by Scott.” (Blank)
      “Ultimately someone has to make the choice?” (Ledbetter)
      “The process should make the choice.” (Blank)
      “Thomas picks the players?” (Ledbetter)
      “The process picks the players” (Blank)

      Arthur Blank refused to say Thomas Dimitroff had the final say and denied Dimitroff picks the players- in fact he said the “process” has the final say and Scott Pioli runs the draft and the free agency. Best I can figure the “process” includes Scott Pioli (who runs the draft & the free agency) and Dan Quinn (head coach) after he get input from his assistant coaches.

      * At the tine of this interview Blank was not allowed to mention DQ by name as there were still games underway and it would have been considered to be tampering. In fact Blank could not even contact DQ until the end of the season. That’s why he said “We’ll be clear on who picks the players AFTER the coach is named.”

      Reply
    3. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Why should I care if you are convinced? Could care less. You should feel the same way about me. don’t let it bother you.

      I go on what I hear and read….. not just my opinion.

      Reply
  4. JB Falcon

    Football, football, football. Three days of football. Watched some good college playoff games and some teams made me wonder how they even got to the playoffs. This next, and last, Falcon game of this season will determine how a lot of us get through until next year. I’m hoping to see a mistake free; properly executed butt whipping..from the Falcons. That will give us something to look forward to instead a getting a butt whipping leaving us with an SSDD attitude for the entire off-season.
    I, like many of us, have been a Falcon fan since day one and I have determined one fact that I have discovered. It is a lot more fun having an optimistic attitude, and risk being let down, than it is to have a negative attitude and be surprised at a win. It is not easy being optimistic in the face of a losing season but there are some here in the cage who share my optimism and I appreciate that. Of course the cage would not be any fun if there weren’t those with a factual attitude who look at, and call, failure for what it is. That side has to be respected because facts cannot be refuted.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow and will watch it with the following quote in mind;
    “It is the possibility that keeps me going, and though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible.”
    ― Nicholas Sparks

    Reply
  5. Grits Blitz

    JB – I DO respect what you are trying to say since I, too, have been with you since the beginning, if not earlier. I WANT to be with you when warranted, but factual evidence must override. I wish with all my heart we could be that team we were in 1980 – just a few minutes away from victory over Dallas – but, until we have a truly winning culture, insisted upon by our owner and FO, we are what we are.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      GB, that’s the beauty of the cage. We can have different opinions but I actually agree with you. A fact is a fact and even though I don’t like what the facts prove, that doesn’t change them, nor does it make me quit hoping, like you, that they will change. I remember the Dallas game vividly, as well as many others. The fact remains, close only counts in horseshoes.
      I don’t know if either of us will live long enough to see the long awaited winning culture which takes a long time to cultivate and develop. A winning season. with a SB trophy, may be beyond my life expectancy but I will keeping the fire burning.

      Reply
    2. falcon21

      1980, we have the best QB and RB in the game with a great Defense and a huge lead but we also have Leeman Bennett who decides to run run run the ball. Thanks Grits for bringing that up, other than UGA in 80, please don’t bring that up again, LOL.

      Reply
  6. Flo-Ri-Duh

    I guaran -damn- T-you that Arthur Blank has not publicly stated that TD makes the picks…. not since Dan Quinn was named as the head coach – for sure. He said quite the opposite and refused to ever say TD made the picks. He said Scott Pioli was in charge of the draft and the free agency and “the process” (Pioli & Dan Quinn – with advice from his coaches) made the picks. That’s been in the AJC several times.

    Reply
  7. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Mock Draft XXII: Trading Down 2016
    {Trade: 1st Rd Falcons (19th – 870 pts]} for {Rams 2nd [44th -460 pts] and Rams 2nd [49th – 410 pts]}
    2nd Rd (44th) Jack Conklin (OT), Michigan State, 6’6″ 318 lb – Rams Trade (460 pts)
    2nd Rd (49th) Jeremy Cash (SS), Duke, 6’1″ 210 lb – Rams Trade (410 pts)

    {TRADE: 2nd Rd Falcons (47th) [430 pts] for Eagles #3 (72nd) & #3 (81st)}
    3rd Rd(72nd) – Hunter Henry (TE), Arkansas, 6’6″ 255 lb – Eagles Trade[230 pts]
    3rd Rd (79th) – Kendell Beckwith (ILB), LSU, 6’2″ 252 lb – Falcons Pick
    3rd Rd (81st) – Charles Tapper (DE), Oklahoma, 6’4″ 285 lb – Eagles Trade[185 pts]

    4th Rd (111th) – Sebastian Tretola (G), Arkansas, 6’5″ 322 lb

    7th Rd (201st) Kamalei Correa (OLB), Boise State, 6’3″ 245 lb
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    UFA Signings:
    Ben Jones (C) formerly of Houston Texans
    Bruce Irving (OLB) formerly of Seattle Seahawks

    Reply
  8. D3

    Getting ready for season finale @ The Dome and saw this……….

    Falcons: Some believe G.M. Thomas Dimitroff could be in trouble, but coach Dan Quinn has publicly declared that he wants Dimitroff to return.

    Guess we’re screwed……………..

    Reply
  9. ajarnbangkapi

    One pepto thought as we end the season –

    Who will REALLY decide, ultimately, if TD stays or goes?
    How about Stephen Cannon? Seriously.

    In reality, I suspect there will be a meeting, review some charts and graphs and some focus group results, and then vote. Cannon, Quinn, and McKay will likely do it (along with a marketing person and an accountant), then provide results/recommendations to AB. Yeah, meh.

    Reply
      1. ajarnbangkapi

        Flo – In the past I would agree, but now??

        He has publically declared he will step back, just hired a new guy to handle this stuff, and has a LOT going on for a 74 or so year old getting ready to remarry.

        He will deliver the message for sure, but will he get into the details, or just take the recommendation of a committee and say yay or nay.

        Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think he is all into the minute of the details of TD’s performance Vs. potential acquirable replacements.Before, yes. Now, ??????????????

        Reply
  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Saints 31 vs Falcons 21 (10/15/15)
    ………………………………………………………………………………
    START THE NEW YEAR OUT RIGHT – 2016
    #1 Eliminate Turnovers (had 3 fumbles 1st game)
    #2 Eliminate Sacks (Aint’s had 5 1st game)
    #3 Shut Down Ben Watson ( 100+ yds & 1 TD 1st game)
    #4 No blunders on special teams (blocked punt 1st game)
    #5 Most of all – get a “W”

    Game Time 1 PM FOX Network
    Location: The Cage – Home of The Falcons

    TIME FOR SOME PAYBACK

    Reply
  11. Chop Buster

    And the Falcons screw the pooch once again. From the coaching and play selection…something definitely needs to change this off season. Too many big, slow, non-coverage, non-tackling guys on this team. And let’s not forget our multi-million dollar QB who’s an interception machine.

    Reply

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