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 Post subject: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:12 pm 
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homas Dimitroff brings Patriot Way to Atlanta

December 3, 2013, 9:32 AM

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To this day Thomas Dimitroff is asked what was the main thing he cultivated while working under Bill Belichick.

The 47-year-old general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, who spent many of his formative years growing up in Canada, served six years in New England’s scouting department learning from one of the greatest minds in NFL history. He refers to it as “the Patriot paradigm” and he still believes there are few organizations and cultures similar to New England.

“One of the main ideas and philosophies was the idea of indisputable role understanding,” Dimitroff says. “Making sure that we stayed within those definitive lines and that we would all succeed at being the best in the league at those roles. That’s what was going to make us the best team we could be and win Super Bowl after Super Bowl after Super Bowl.”

Belichick never claimed that it was an unbelievable, outside-the-box strategy. You were just expected to adhere to the team concept in all aspects of the organization. Although, that doesn’t mean Belichick wasn’t or isn’t innovative. And it doesn’t mean that Dimitroff is afraid to go out on his own limb. In fact, in building the Falcons into a championship contender—2013’s struggles notwithstanding—one of the best moves he made was going against his mentor’s advice.

Dimitroff was tabbed for the Falcons job shortly after the finish of 2007 season. Atlanta had just been through one of the toughest seasons a franchise could ever imagine—they finished 4-12 in fourth place in the NFC South—and, after a four-hour Skype call with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Dimitroff was selected as the man to guide Atlanta back to respectability.

In his first draft for the team Dimitroff had the third pick and a lot at stake. But at least he had a fine example to draw on. The way Belichick manipulated the draft over the years had always amazed him.

“For a guy who is perceived as very strict and very rigid about what he does, he’s got a very creative mind and adaptable approach to things,” Dimitroff says. “His ability to get on the phone and cajole a GM or head coach from another team to trade away picks is second to none in our league.”

But in the 2008 draft his intention wasn’t to get creative. It was to acquire a building block. With rumours swirling about other teams trying to move in front of Atlanta to select Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, and the media and public championing LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey over Ryan, Dimitroff and his staff held their ground.

“Nothing against Glenn Dorsey, but that would have been catastrophic for our organization, not having a player of Matt Ryan’s calibre at the quarterback position,” Dimitroff says

The trio of Dimitroff, Ryan and head coach Mike Smith quickly turned the Falcons into a title contender. In 2010 Atlanta rolled through the regular season, recording a 13-3 mark and a first-place finish in the NFC. But the Falcons got beat 48–21 on their home turf in the divisional round by the eventual champion Green Bay Packers. And it led to Dimitroff making an unprecedented move in the off-season.

As the 2011 draft approached, Dimitroff set his sights on landing All-American University of Alabama receiver Julio Jones. There was no chance Jones was going to be available with Atlanta’s 27th overall pick, so Dimitroff got on the phone with teams in the top seven of the draft.

“Some of the other organizations I had discussions with didn’t really believe that I was serious about moving up 21 spots, an unprecedented move in modern-day history of drafts in the NFL,” Dimitroff says.

For about a month leading up to the draft Dimitroff and Cleveland GM Tom Heckert talked quite a bit about the Browns’ sixth-overall pick. And when there was a framework for the trade in place, Dimitroff sought the advice of his mentor.

“Here I am calling one of the most historic head coaches in the history of our league, talking to Bill Belichick and knowing he wouldn’t do it,” Dimitroff said. “Bill mentioned very candidly, this is one of those things in your career that there is the potential you will take a massive beating in the media… so just be ready. I listened to him, we had a great discussion, talked about other parts of the draft, but in the back of my mind I thought, ‘All due respect. Bill, I’m going to pull the trigger on this.’”

On the eve of the draft the deal was struck. But when Dimitroff woke up on the morning of the draft, rumours had the Patriots jumping up the board and snatching Jones for themselves. The Atlanta GM thought to himself, “Is this really going to fall through my finger tips?” Especially to Belichick, the man who had advised him against making the deal?

It all turned out in Atlanta’s favour. Jones was available at number six when the Browns went on the clock and the Falcons sent five picks total, two firsts, a second and two fourths to Cleveland in order to land the explosive pass catcher.

“We never looked at the acquisition of Julio Jones as the over-the-top element that was going to take us to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl,” Dimitroff explained. “My drive and our approach to bringing in a guy like Julio Jones was to get the most explosive playmaker we could on offence. To have defensive players and coordinators on their heels worrying about Julio Jones. Whether he caught four passes or 14 that was our drive to get a guy like Julio Jones.”

Bringing Jones to the Falcons was a symbol Dimitroff had fully developed his own clear football and organization-building philosophy. He had learned so much from Belichick and the Patriot way. Some ideas from his days in New England fit his personality and some didn’t. For example Atlanta has a much more open approach with the media than New England.

In 2012 Dimitroff’s philosophy had the Falcons positioned as a Super Bowl contender. Atlanta flew through the regular season, again posting a 13-3 record, and earned the number one seed in the NFC. On Jan. 20, the Falcons hosted the 49ers for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Both Ryan and Jones put up huge numbers, with the latter going for 11 catches and 184 yards and two touchdowns. But with less than 90 seconds left in the game, Atlanta had a fourth and four on the San Francisco 10-yard line, needing a conversion and touchdown to win. Mere yards from a trip to the Super Bowl, San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman broke up a Ryan pass intended for Roddy White, and the game was over.

Despite the tough loss, it appeared Atlanta was built to be a perennial NFL championship challenger for years to come. However, in a sudden turn of fortune few experts saw coming in 2013, the Falcons are now at the back of the NFL flock.

“It’s beyond perplexing for most of us in the organization. Every day that I wake up… we continue to be in contention for the first overall pick. I can’t believe I’m saying that,” Dimitroff says. “In professional football when you’re 13-3 and a matter of yards away from the Super Bowl, the hesitancy to change is beyond strong. People don’t want to change, but you have to be very open. It goes back to the adaptability of what Bill Belichick was and is.”

It is clear Dimitroff isn’t afraid to be inventive in his thinking. He is open to making whatever changes necessary to ensure Atlanta’s stay at the bottom of the standings is brief.

I truly believe we will rectify this with a vengeance,” Dimitroff says. “This to me was an anomalous season for us. I don’t believe it needs to take us years to get back and be considered one of the elite teams in the National Football League.”


http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 5469,d.cWc

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:46 pm 
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I still believe in you Dimitroff as long as you don’t keep Osi and let Babs go. Eliminate the mediocrity (Osi) and keep the consistency (Babs).

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Marcus Mariota’s announcement Monday that he would return to Oregon for his redshirt junior season delivered an early jolt to the 2014 NFL draft board … and rendered our Mock Draft 3.0, released just hours before Mariota’s news, relatively moot.


So, in light of that, here’s Mock Draft 3.1, with the necessary adjustments made to account for Mariota being off the board.

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Expect the Texans to finish out their evaluation of Case Keenum in Weeks 14-17, but this franchise needs a new start under center. In Bridgewater, they would add the best quarterback in this year’s class to a talented offense already stockpiled with players like Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Ben Tate.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

How desperate are the Jaguars to score their franchise quarterback in Round 1? Mariota was the pick slotted here in Mock 3.0, but with him off the board, here’s the dilemma: Stay the course and go with Derek Carr (or whichever other QB is behind Bridgewater on Jacksonville’s board)? Or continue to build up Gus Bradley’s defense and grab a QB later (either by trading back into Round 1 or using the high Round 2 pick). For now, it’s door A.

3. St. Louis Rams – via Washington: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA.

Clowney to Jacksonville would make St. Louis’ decision a little easier here. If St. Louis lands around this spot with Washington’s pick, another RGIII-like move down the board would make sense. Working off the assumption they stay put, though, I’m dropping Barr in on that defense.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Disappointing turn of events for the Falcons, who would love to add Clowney. (How about a trade up to Jacksonville’s spot, with the Jaguars sliding down and taking Derek Carr here?) That O-line needs a makeover, too, and Matthews is the best tackle available.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Matthews slides up a spot in the Mariota-less draft, leaving the Buccaneers in need of a new selection here, too. So how about adding perhaps the best WR to complement Vincent Jackson and to give emerging quarterback Mike Glennon another weapon?

6. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

What happens after Bridgewater at the QB spot depends so much on which players declare — Mariota did not. Will Johnny Manziel? Blake Bortles? Brett Hundley? We know Carr, a senior, will be available. And if you think his prospects are gaining steam now, just wait until the Senior Bowl.

7. Cleveland Browns: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

Up from No. 17, to the Bears, in Mock 3.0. The initial plan for the Browns here was to wait and nab a quarterback later on, with Sammy Watkins the choice at No. 7. Mariota’s departure takes a big piece out of the QB puzzle, forcing the Browns to strike a lot earlier. Mettenberger can hit all the throws, a must for Rob Chudzinski’s vertical passing attack. (Update: Mettenberger reportedly suffered a torn ACL in LSU’s last game, which will keep him out of LSU’s bowl game and likely cause him to miss most pre-draft workouts. With that news, Mettenberger’s probably a Day 2 pick at best, with Johnny Manziel leading the list of replacement options for Cleveland here.)

8. Oakland Raiders: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

A few of you might love this. Most probably will hate it. Even in penciling it in here, I’m not sure on which side of the fence I fall. But Manziel is better than anything the Raiders have at QB right now, be it Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin (both of whom have played admirably at times). This could be a franchise-changing type of selection.

9. Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Count the Bills as a possible landing spot here for someone like, oh, TE Eric Ebron — a matchup nightmare for defenses and a safety net for a young QB like EJ Manuel. But in Mack the Bills would add an athletic edge player to complement rising star Kiko Alonso inside. Mack’s abilities would allow defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be even more creative with his hybrid D.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

It’s not too much of a stretch to see Pittsburgh addressing its aging defensive line or secondary early in the 2014 draft. This pairing, however, makes too much sense. If you watched Lewan against Ohio State, you saw a lineman who can win at the point of attack or get out into the open field. With what an OL-starved Pittsburgh team wants to do on offense, he’s an ideal fit.

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:00 am 
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Washington is going to beat us; we'll get Clowney, one way or another.

I don't like THomas D. surprised our team is so weak; forget get about injuries; he got a very overrated OSI and I think A. Smith should carry the ball a lot the rest of the season.

If Johnson gets hurt again, he's got to go because he never got started!!

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:40 am 
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Koetter: Ryan can't be at best when hit
December, 4, 2013
Dec 4
8:00
AM ET
By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter doesn't base everything on statistics because he understands they can sometimes be deceiving.

So when Koetter sees how quarterback Matt Ryan has been sacked a career-high 30 times this season, he looks at the number from a different perspective.

"I think we were seventh going into last week in sacks [per pass attempt], so what are those teams that are getting sacked more than us? If we don't think ours are bad, there must be 25 other teams worse than us,'' Koetter said.

"But our goal is to have one or less sacks every game. We've done it before. That's a hard goal to reach. But there are no quarterbacks in the league that are going to play their best getting hit 12 times. We always have to keep an eye on that, from a health-standpoint.''

Ryan hasn't missed a game this season, but he's been noticeably battered and bruised throughout. He's absorbed 11 sacks over the past two games alone. In those contests -- a loss to the New Orleans Saints and an overtime win over the Buffalo Bills -- Ryan was hit 19 times total.

Speaking specifically about the game against the Bills, Koetter absorbed his share of the blame.

"We have about seven or eight things that are goals for us every week, and sacks is one of them,'' Koetter explained. "We hit like almost every one of our goals last week, but we didn't hit that one. Matt got hit too many times. And we got sacked too many times. Not every one of those ... a couple of those were scheme-related, which were my fault, not theirs.''

Koetter and Ryan have made a conscious effort to take shorter drops and deliver the ball quicker to help compensate for protection issues. Regardless, opposing defenses have gotten 74 hits on Ryan this season to go with the 30 sacks. Ryan has been hit five or more times in eight different games. And it won't get any easier this Sunday in Green Bay against Clay Matthews and the Packers, who are tied for third in the league with 38 sacks.

Despite all the pressure on Ryan, Koetter still praised the quarterback's performance.

"Matt is still one of the top-tier quarterbacks in the NFL,'' Koetter said. "He's had some games better than others. But, there are not too many guys we'd be trading him for, in my opinion.'' :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:42 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Washington is going to beat us; we'll get Clowney, one way or another.

!!



I think we will win two or three more. So the only way we 'get' Clowney is to package trades up. That is a helluva gamble, IMO, on a team with this many holes. :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:40 pm 
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I do not want to trade up for Clowney. If you look at our talent across the board, it is obvious that we need more of it, and to pull another trade which will leave us with fewer picks to acquire talent would be a huge mistake.

I'm good with taking Matthews if Clowney is gone. I'm also good with trading down and going after Louis Nix, who should be the kind of player that we'd need to go to a 3-4 base. (even though NT is overrated)


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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:42 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
I'm good with taking Matthews if Clowney is gone. I'm also good with trading down and going after Louis Nix, who should be the kind of player that we'd need to go to a 3-4 base. (even though NT is overrated)

I'm glad you're learning but still taking Nix in the first round period is a bad move. He's a good player don't get me wrong bit unless you think you're getting Wilfork v2.0, using a 1st round pick on a 3-4 nose is dumb. The value wont be there for a 2 down player. especially when you have a competent nose already on the roster (Peters)

See BJ Raji

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:39 pm 
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fun gus wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Washington is going to beat us; we'll get Clowney, one way or another.

!!



I think we will win two or three more. So the only way we 'get' Clowney is to package trades up. That is a helluva gamble, IMO, on a team with this many holes. :ninja:


I see one more possible win on our schedule after the GB game and thats Washington, and they can score and rush the passer. No way we beat the 49ers or Panthers.

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:20 am 
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The Mattural wrote:
fun gus wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Washington is going to beat us; we'll get Clowney, one way or another.

!!



I think we will win two or three more. So the only way we 'get' Clowney is to package trades up. That is a helluva gamble, IMO, on a team with this many holes. :ninja:


I see one more possible win on our schedule after the GB game and thats Washington, and they can score and rush the passer. No way we beat the 49ers or Panthers.


You think the Panthers will be playing thier starters? They should fire thier coach if he is honestly that stupid. Plus, Rodgers is out for todays game. I can see where the team puts together a three game winning streak, then gets a win against the backups to go 5-9 and truly messes us up. The, the only way TD gets Clowney is to trade up. If he does that, for one guy, Blank should run his a$$ outta town on a rail provided by Home Depot :beef:

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 Post subject: Re: Avenge, me boys!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:57 pm 
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fun gus wrote:
The Mattural wrote:
fun gus wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Washington is going to beat us; we'll get Clowney, one way or another.

!!



I think we will win two or three more. So the only way we 'get' Clowney is to package trades up. That is a helluva gamble, IMO, on a team with this many holes. :ninja:


I see one more possible win on our schedule after the GB game and thats Washington, and they can score and rush the passer. No way we beat the 49ers or Panthers.


You think the Panthers will be playing thier starters? They should fire thier coach if he is honestly that stupid. Plus, Rodgers is out for todays game. I can see where the team puts together a three game winning streak, then gets a win against the backups to go 5-9 and truly messes us up. The, the only way TD gets Clowney is to trade up. If he does that, for one guy, Blank should run his a$$ outta town on a rail provided by Home Depot :beef:


No Rodgers, no problem. It all depends on what happens with the 49ers they might still be trying to improve their seeding and want to play at Detriot vs playing at Philly. Truthfully I dont think it would take that much of an effort for the Panthers to beat us in the last game of the season I am pretty sure that GB game is the last one that you will see unquestionable effort in, a lot of players looked broken (spirit-wise) after the game.

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