I do enjoy the revisionist history when it comes to Reeves.
Reeves wouldn't have taken any s*** from Vick...
Oh, you mean like he was taking in 2003 when Vick refused to come back until he was fully healthy? And Reeves called him out in the press, and yet it was still like another month before Vick actually came back?
Reeves would have known how to use Vick better. Did you see his numbers in 2002?!"
Oh, you mean when Reeves scaled back the offense to its most basic because Vick couldn't even handle the terminology of calling a play? Yeah, Reeves would have been content with that style of offense? One read, tuck it and run? Yeah, Reeves woudl have figured out a way to take Vick to the next level with that very basic backyard offense? Puh-leez.
Look, I don't have any problem if people say Reeves was the best coach this team ever had. I don't really have a problem if people think Blank was mistaken for firing him. But the reasons why people justify that opinion often are silly.
The "truth" about Reeves is that in his last 12 years coaching in the NFL, he led a team to the playoffs just 3 times. He had just 4 winning seasons in that span. The "truth" that people probably deny is that Reeves didn't have what it took to survive in the modern NFL.
He got out just as the league was morphing into a passing league. It was those years between 2002-2005 where that transformation was being completed. The NFL had passed Reeves by, contrary to popular opinion. People think what this team did in '98 was anything but a fluke. Just look at the 3 years Reeves had prior to '98 and the 3 years after. His teams went 34-62. That's an average of 5.6 wins a season.
Over his final 12 seasons, Reeves won 88.5 games or 7.4 wins per year. Here are some comparison points:
Tony Dungy = 13 seasons, 139 wins, 10.7 per year
Bill Cowher = 15 seasons, 149.5 wins, 10.0 per year
Andy Reid = 15 seasons, 141.5 wins, 9.4 per year
John Fonx = 12 seasons, 107 wins, 8.9 per year
Dennis Green = 13 seasons, 113 wins, 8.7 per year
Jon Gruden = 11 seasons, 95 wins, 8.6 per year
Marvin Lewis = 11 seasons, 90.5 wins, 8.2 per year
Jack Del Rio = 9 seasons, 68 wins, 7.6 per year
Norv Turner = 15 seasons, 114.5 wins, 7.6 per year
Dave Wannstedt = 11 seasons, 82 wins, 7.5 per year
Ted Marchibroda = 12 seasons, 87.5 wins, 7.3 per year
Wade Phillips = 12 seasons, 82 wins, 6.8 per year
Again, is Reeves the best coach the Falcons ever had? It's debatable, but it's a worthwhile argument. But the "mythos" that surrounds Reeves and his departure is kind of a joke. I think people remember the 2nd half of '97, obviously '98, and that 8-game unbeaten streak in '02, and think that was regular under Reeves. That is the equivalent of 2 seasons
where his Falcon teams were good. Reeves was here for 7 years!!
Over the course of the 5 other seasons, Reeves won a total of 22 games. If your teams suck for 70% of the time you're the head coach, I don't see how people can get too down on Arthur Blank for firing Reeves.
But I agree with your wider point Cyril, the issue is the GM. Good personnel decisions breed long-term success. Reeves was a horrific GM, and even if you could say that Reeves was a brilliant coach, his personnel moves were so bad that it made him look like an average coach.
And while I agree with anyone that says that in the grand scheme of things, Dimitroff has "failed" this team more than Mike Smith. Frankly, that was what I was saying about this team 3 years ago, but many like you Cyril said I was nitpicking and it didn't matter because the team was winning. We're less than 2 years removed Cyril from you singing the praises of TD as the literal Vegan Jesus.
Apparently cutting Todd McClure & Tyson Clabo was enough to completely ruin that faith in him.