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 Post subject: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:09 am 
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http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons ... aking-mind

Give Blank credit for speaking mind
April, 8, 2014
APR 8
7:30
PM ET
By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com
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The Falcons made a couple roster moves on Tuesday and added some help at safety and cornerback. But the changes in the defensive backfield were a secondary topic of conversation, thanks to team owner Arthur Blank.

It was Blank who grabbed the attention of some in the NFL world when he spoke his mind about something that obviously has bothered him for months.

You remember the 2013 season opener against bitter rival New Orleans Saints, when Matt Ryan absorbed a cheap shot courtesy of Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro? Well, as much as Blank didn't like the hit, he was more upset about the Falcons not coming to the defense of Ryan after he was down.

Blank probably made his point in private immediately after that Sept. 8 game, won by the Saints. But he made his feeling known to the public Tuesday during an interview with 780 The Fan radio in Atlanta.

"And that play really bothered me, sincerely,'' Blank told the radio station. "It bothered me that none of our players, they all complained, but none of them went to the safety on the Saints and did anything. Not that they would start a fight, but just kind of put their finger in his chest and saying, `That's not acceptable.' ''

Blank made his point: He won't tolerate finesse play moving forward. He talked about toughness at season's end and how the team lacked it. It somewhat contradicted head coach Mike Smith, who understandably was more delicate with the way he dissected his team's soft play during the 2013 campaign.

"I want to be clear: Smitty obviously was probably the least happy of anybody in Atlanta with our record last year,'' Blank said. "On the other hand, Smitty, because of being the CEO of our football team, his posture visiting players is a little bit different than mine. And I can afford to bit more objective and maybe more standoffish in that perspective. And I have to be, actually. So it's easier for me to say certain things that Smitty might feel as well but is not as comfortable of saying. But I think Smitty would essentially agree with the same thing.''

Blank noted how Smith showed he agreed with the assessment by firing offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn along with defensive line coach Ray Hamilton. Smith hired Mike Tice and Bryan Cox as the offensive and defensive line coaches, respectively, with hopes of them instilling toughness up front on both sides of the ball.

Of course, the Falcons also added some players that fit the rugged mode in nose tackle Paul Soliai, defensive end Tyson Jackson, and offensive guard Jon Asamoah. They already have a player who defines toughness in safety William Moore. And if more players in the locker room approach the game like Moore, Blank wouldn't have to question his team's toughness.

Give Blank credit for trying to light a fire under his team heading into the season. He wasn't encouraging them to go out and hurt someone. He simply wants his players to play with more of an edge. And having an edge means sticking up for one another. And having an edge means having a meanstreak every once in a while.

It's still hard to comprehend how a team that finished 13-3 and one win from the Super Bowl two seasons ago could fall to 4-12. But despite uncontrollable injuries playing a major role in their demise, the Falcons could have salvage some of the season with a tougher mentality.

That should all change now. Blank has their back. Now, they have to do the same for each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:10 am 
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Arthur Blank wrote:
"I want to be clear: Smitty obviously was probably the least happy of anybody in Atlanta with our record last year,"

Hmm, that's funny. If he was so unhappy with the state of things, then why couldn't he make any adjustments last year?

Oh that's right, he's incapable. :so:

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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:22 am 
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This article just sums up what many f us thought all along the Falcons are to soft a football team. Sure we don't want street brawlers who constantly get penalties but there is a way to play the game physical,smart and still win. The problem also is the new football players the Falcons get have to have talent since we'll never be an elite team and beat the better teams consistently if TD can't evaluate talent correctly.

Smitty should have chewed some $$ss when Ryan got the hit on him. If your coach can't take up for his players then I have a hard time thinking he is the leader we need to get us to the promised land. I hope to see the Falcons be more physical,smarter and bring in some talent to win games.

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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:26 am 
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Quote:
"On the other hand, Smitty, because of being the CEO of our football team, his posture visiting players is a little bit different than mine. And I can afford to bit more objective and maybe more standoffish in that perspective. And I have to be, actually. So it's easier for me to say certain things that Smitty might feel as well but is not as comfortable of saying.

I could be mistaken, but I believe Blank just called Smitty, "soft."

Of course, that's been apparent to us for a while. Sure, he gets fired up about stupid stuff from time to time, like when one of his players makes a great play and the officials give the home team 15 free yards, but otherwise, he sits on the sidelines, making notes in his little notebook.


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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:59 am 
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This mantra is getting pretty old. Cherry pick one play out of the season and say how you were upset about it. Why didn't Blank point to MR sliding at the 8 yard line versus the Saints and say that this softness bothered him? When we signed Jackson or were attempting to Steven said Blank hardly talked about football but rather his philanthropical endeavors. Just seems like AB is working both sides of the street to me and, in the end, is polishing his image. Jackson may not have been the problem but I tried to tell everybody he wasn't the answer. He's like the guy in Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man, i.e., not so big you're just tall that's all. If you put Jason Snelling's heart in SJ's body you'd have a player. I digress....

Yes, talent evaluation has been suspect and as much as he gets dogged here and elsewhere, losing Baker hurt the line as did Bierman's injury and Abe's dismissal. The fissures in the team's command center are getting pretty pronounced and I'm not sure that having the #1 suit prattling on in public about toughness does much good on the field. Blank is a charming guy and a good owner but this is just another side of the Jerry Jones attention whore thing. At least AB isn't trying to be GM....officially. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:24 am 
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I don't mind Blank saying what he said, although I agree with your point bnb.

I just think this team is too caught up in the intangible qualities like toughness and resiliency. TD said on the Rich Eisen podcast back in February that he was disappointed with the lack of resiliency shown from the players they acquired over the past 6 years.

But it ignores the tangible things that this team really did wrong this past year. And that's what I've been harping on all year long. YOu can blame lack of toughness or resiliency, but at the end of the day you can't control those things. What you can control is your game plans, play-calling, etc. And this team did a piss-poor job with those things in 2013.

And if this team thinks "toughening up" is going to fix those problems, then I'm not optimistic that Mike Smith & Thomas Dimitroff are long for this world.

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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:58 am 
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backnblack wrote:
When we signed Jackson or were attempting to Steven said Blank hardly talked about football but rather his philanthropical endeavors.


We don't need or necessarily want Blank to be a football guy anyways. So long as he hires the right GM and coaching staff they can handle the details while Blank just needs to trust they can get the job done. If the results aren't what they should be Blank needs to be smart enough to know when it's time to move on.


Being a Blazer fan and having a ridiculously active owner that "knows basketball" has been a bane more than boon. I can't count how many times Paul Allen's meddling has caused problems for the Trailblazers. The guy may love basketball and understand the game but that doesn't mean he should be involved in the day-to-day operations or personnel decisions.

I'd rather Blank stay back and understand when he should and shouldn't be involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Give Blank credit for speaking mind
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:43 pm 
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If Blank really wanted to make everyone on the team feel bad about not stepping up for Ryan
he should have said so then, not 8 months later. I mean if you want to start a fuss then bring it on!! I can't give Blank credit for speaking his mind today, this isn't going to cause anything....

Bring it up the first week, you'd have people say he should keep his mouth closed but he's a big boy; light a fire in week one, but say what your unhappy about when your unhappy at the moment of truth!!

Blank just usually does the wrong thing!!

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