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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:39 pm 
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I agree takeitdown. TD has done an excellent job establishing a foundation for future success with a good to great QB, a pair of good WRs, some solid O-linemen, and a few playmakers on defense. But it's time to take that next step forward, and it will come from maximizing your draft class. And the Falcons IMO have not done this well in the past 3 drafts. Sure, they got Jones, Spoon, and Moore, all of whom have top-level potential. But besides them, what else do they have?

And their lack of picks in this year's and next year's draft will limit how much progress that they can make. They are solely reliant basically over the next 2-3 years on the current players on the roster to take them forward. Which is possible, but probably not probable given what we've seen from many of them.

I agree that adding mid-tier vets in free agency can help you in the draft because it means you don't have to reach to address a position, which is the one major flaw in the needs-based drafting system. That strategy obviously was hard to execute this off-season because the lockout meant that FA comes after the draft. I really believe that the lockout threw off the Falcons brass more than people think in terms of assessing the respective draft and FA classes, because they didn't know whether FA would exist, and it led to them giving up what they did in the Jones trade, a move I do not believe would have happened had we had a normal off-season. And it led to them being overly aggressive when they probably should have played it safe and just been conservative.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:31 am 
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Pudge Wrote "People like to pretend that TD started from scratch in '08. He did not. The cupboard definitely wasn't full, but let's not act like it was completely bare either. Many of the players that are considered to be our best today, he never had to add. Roddy White, Jonathan Babineaux, John Abraham were already on the team. So was Brent Grimes, Tyson Clabo, etc.



Pudge You've just named the players that lead us to 3 wins and a football coach taking a new job in the middle of the season.....
Lets all man up---With your superstar Qb in prison; and your coach quitting in the middle of the season, its more than just talent;
and that cupboard was pretty bare!!

Thomas D. showed his first sign of brilliance when he named "Mike Smith" our head coach; Yes Gm's must be accountable for the coaches that are chosen. There's not another GM in the NFL that would have chosen Mike Smith as Head Coach IMO, and Thomas D. is changing the way Gm's work in the NFL; with Gm & Coach working together, verses the "hands off " approach that Gm's had in the past;
and the majority that worked in the league.

Look, we have a big difference on our thoughts on one "big" free agent a year..... Again Thomas D. has made the right calls; while the man he replaced was pretty bad with it; sometimes even throwing in first round picks to make the mistakes just horrible.......

The only thing Thomas D. has been accused of is what he's always accused of and that's " making mistakes before the season starts"
and then folks never retrack them because they're busy talking about what we didn't do in the first three years of his regime; and not the fact he's done the impossible; in 3 years he did what no one had done in over 40 years; that's turn the Falcons into winners!!

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Cyril, we know that. We accept that. The concerns that we are raising have nothing to do with what he has done, but rather, what is to come. Lots of folks are thinking that our depth sucks, I believe that you are one of those people. The depth sucks because we're not acquiring good depth. Going forward, there's not much hope in sight for dealing with that problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:16 pm 
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You're right Cyril, TD was brilliant in Year 1, his decisions to hire Mike Smith, sign Michael Turner among others, and draft Matt Ryan were instrumental for one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history.

BUt it's now 2011, and he's not going to be able to hire a new head coach that is going to be a breath of fresh air in a defunct organization. Michael Turner isn't close to being that player he was 3 years ago, and he's not going to add a new starting QB that is going to be a huge improvement over Matt Ryan.

The bottom line Cyril is that we have different perspectives on this. You see what TD has done over the past 3 years as an A+++, and therefore assume/extrapolate that to mean he could/should/will do the same in the future because you are giving him the benefit of the doubt. And I too gave TD that same benefit of the doubt in the past, but i cannot do that any longer because I don't believe he is doing the same things that he did so well over the past 3 years anymore.

Before, he built through the draft and supplemented via free agency. But by giving away 50% of our drafts in 2011 and 2012, he can no longer build. That of course could be offset if he was more aggressive in free agency, but he has been anything but that this off-season.

The #1 reason why good teams are good and bad teams are bad is based around how they draft. And by giving up 50% of your drafts over a 2-year span, you've just decreased the odds that you draft well by that same percentage. And when you couple that with the fact that his recent drafts IMHO have been much more hit and miss than his first one, it makes me far less optimistic than I would be.

He seems to do a good job on 2nd round picks, I"ll definitely give him that. But up to now, his 3rd round picks have been mediocre at best, so I can't be that optimistic about that one. So basically what he's built in 2011 and 2012 will be solely reliant on Julio Jones, Ray Edwards (who I don't think is going to be quite as good as you think he will be Cyril), whoever falls to us in Round 2 next year, and whatever FA additions we make. And when you factor in that half of the defense are going be free agents next year, I can't be optimistic that it's all going to work out.

The funky thing is that 6 months ago Cyril, my outlook on this team was the exact same as yours. But the moves they've made in that span IMO were not the "sign of brilliance" that I have seen the past 3 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:53 am 
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"Pudge Wrote "
The bottom line Cyril is that we have different perspectives on this. You see what TD has done over the past 3 years as an A+++, and therefore assume/extrapolate that to mean he could/should/will do the same in the future because you are giving him the benefit of the doubt. And I too gave TD that same benefit of the doubt in the past, but i cannot do that any longer because I don't believe he is doing the same things that he did so well over the past 3 years anymore.



You nailed it!! Glad to get that expressed even if you were the one to do it........... Remember I believe that about Thomas D. AFTER
the JJ. trade..... I'm very open about I don't know how this will really work out, and you or anyone else can't be sure either!! However its
not a "benefit of a doubt" its a "benefit of his accomplishments"... Doubts?? After what Thomas D. has does in 3 years?

I mean there are many times in business you don't throw out everything;
but you make big changes for the times. Each situation is different; and we did need more yards after catch from everyone.

I mean if we win a playoff game will you say Thomas D. has had a good season.....?? The worst trait many Falcons Fans have
is they say " they will let us down next year"..... IMO Thomas D. has improved this team every year; especially this year; so if we cruise
into the playoffs (their's no such thing) and win a playoff game or two; before a week goes by the "usual suspects" will be saying " The Falcons will always let us down....."

As I repeat very often their's only 1 winner and everyone else loses from many's perspectives......My perspective is once you start winning playoff games on a regular basis you'll hit on a Super Bowl every 8 years or so from the best franchises. IMO THE JJ trade
will put us up with the top tier teams..... I know Edwards is not" all world" but he will provide the extra pressure that will help others make sacks and he'll get his share.....

I believe last years team has been improved; yes our depth is a concern but Thomas D. always gets that settled; so we'll start seeing next week...... I'm not concerned about our lack of a 28th pick next year or whatever!!

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
I really believe that the lockout threw off the Falcons brass more than people think in terms of assessing the respective draft and FA classes, because they didn't know whether FA would exist,

... ...

and it led to them giving up what they did in the Jones trade, a move I do not believe would have happened had we had a normal off-season. And it led to them being overly aggressive when they probably should have played it safe and just been conservative.


I definitely agree with the first part of this (and concede the 2nd could be true).

It was why it was so hard to figure out the draft this year (for me.)

If they took a RT in the first round, and then there was no free agency, then we still keep Clabo, Dahl, Blalock...and the OL guy almost certainly doesn't help year 1.
However if we didn't address OL, and there's free agency, then we have 3 guys to worry about.
Hard to decide which to do. Same logic held for multiple positions.

I thought the only obvious areas that would be upgraded with draft picks whether or not we had free agency were TE (doesn't take much to beat out Palmer/Peele), WR (could upgrade the 3/4 spot even if not beating out Jenks at 2), RB (easy to upgrade on Johnson/Smith with a good shot of beating out Snelling), and pass defending OLB. Those 4 positions were worth attacking all the way into the 4th round. DE and corner could be argued, but likely only as 1st rounders (a 3rd round DE likely wasn't going to make a difference without FA, nor a 3rd round corner).

I thought since TE, WR, RB, OLB were needed without FA, we'd likely go that route, and then if FA came, we still needed those guys. I would have gone that direction, but I think they believed that FA wouldn't come, and decided they needed to either get a DE or WR as someone who could impact THIS YEAR, and liked the WRs better than the DEs. That probably would make sense had there not been an FA, but since there was, it went sideways.

It was difficult to figure out. Had FA occurred first, I think they likely would have taken a Malcolm Floyd/Braylon Edwards type to replace Jenkins (along with mostly resigning their own guys), tried to sign a DE/CB combo and grabbed a Randall Cobb or Greg Little in the 2nd round (or at least that's what I would have done). Yeah, different world...hard to predict.

I very much thought DE and CB needed to be handled with FA's if possible, and 1 WR as a luxury, and the rest with the draft. I think they figured if there's no FA, we need an immediate impact at one of those 3, and went for that over surplus of picks.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:29 pm 
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I don't think we would have replaced Jenkins if FA had come first. IMO, thats a move that the Falcons only made because they had Jones on their roster. Maybe the Falcons get into the Sidney Rice sweepstakes in a normal off-season, but I would have been surprised to see them make a major move in March at WR.

I think the smartest strategy given the unknown nature of the off-season was to simply dig your heels into the draft and just draft as many good players as you can. That strategy will NEVER backfire on you.

Despite my critcism, I'm not overly concerned with the positions the Falcons opted to pick in the draft. I have some issues with it, but at the end of the day if you get a really good player then I'm not really going to complain too much. We did that with Julio Jones. And we did that with Jacquizz Rodgers, if we use him correctly. The rest of the class? Meh. That Akeem Dent pick really just has me scratching my head.

Why take Dent, and then go and spend the money to keep Peterson and Nicholas, after you've already spent money to keep Wire? The only good explanation is the Falcons don't plan to keep Curtis Lofton after the season. But even I, Lofton's biggest critic would not agree with that move. Dent doesn't upgrade over Lofton, he's just a replacement which goes back to an earlier complaint.

But we'll see how everything plays out this year. Maybe the Falcons get hot at the right time and overachieve their way to a Super Bowl.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:04 am 
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I wouldn't underestimate Dent.... I have seen him make some plays against the pass; but
preseason is not the real deal......I also think we'll see Stephen Nicolas embrace his new status and our
linebackers coud really be good!!

Robert its so easy to see the bad..... Until Thomas D. lets us down I think he deserves "The benefit of his accomplishments"

Its so easy to be down; because that way you won't be disappointed; "accepting" what Thomas D. has done does not sound very exciting?

Our depth does suck; but you really never know in today's NFL until they play......I hope some of these guys I've seen suck in preseason
get up for the real deal!!

Ps. You Palmer haters will be glad as he progresses in the NFL.... I was sure he'd make the team; never be great but
35- 40 catches from a tight end will be good when Tony quits.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:04 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I don't think we would have replaced Jenkins if FA had come first. IMO, thats a move that the Falcons only made because they had Jones on their roster. Maybe the Falcons get into the Sidney Rice sweepstakes in a normal off-season, but I would have been surprised to see them make a major move in March at WR.

I think the smartest strategy given the unknown nature of the off-season was to simply dig your heels into the draft and just draft as many good players as you can. That strategy will NEVER backfire on you.

Despite my critcism, I'm not overly concerned with the positions the Falcons opted to pick in the draft. I have some issues with it, but at the end of the day if you get a really good player then I'm not really going to complain too much. We did that with Julio Jones. And we did that with Jacquizz Rodgers, if we use him correctly. The rest of the class? Meh. That Akeem Dent pick really just has me scratching my head.

Why take Dent, and then go and spend the money to keep Peterson and Nicholas, after you've already spent money to keep Wire? The only good explanation is the Falcons don't plan to keep Curtis Lofton after the season. But even I, Lofton's biggest critic would not agree with that move. Dent doesn't upgrade over Lofton, he's just a replacement which goes back to an earlier complaint.

But we'll see how everything plays out this year. Maybe the Falcons get hot at the right time and overachieve their way to a Super Bowl.


I don't understand the Dent pick at all, and expected a pass defending OLB later. So, you think they wouldn't have replaced Jenkins were there a normal FA? Does that mean you think they would have taken a Cobb/Little in the 2nd as a guy to push him?

I agree on the taking of good players... I was just saying if they did want to take advantage of a closing window for some guys, while replacing others, those positions would have worked well. No one would have been disappointed with a stud DE in the 1st, though.

I saw the offseason FA priorities as vet DE, vet corner (because we needed immediate production) and vet WR as as luxury. The draft needs were then as above (assuming good players there.)

Dent doesn't add any flexibility...he was a very strange choice, giving us 5 2 down linebackers.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:41 am 
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PUDGE WROTE I think the smartest strategy given the unknown nature of the off-season was to simply dig your heels into the draft and just draft as many good players as you can. That strategy will NEVER backfire on you.


We've had years and years of that being the very thing that killed us!!

Please explain why it never goes wrong?

I'll ask about 2007 when we had 9 picks, or 2006 when we had 6. We have 3 left on our roster; from both those years.....
Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:40 am 
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Cyril, do you not agree that teams that draft well are the teams that have the most consistent success? Our drafts of the past where our draft picks sucked are evidence that we didn't draft well... In this new era where TD can do no wrong, you'd figure that our drafts would be considerably better.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Well, Cyril we did not draft good players in 2006 and 2007. That's the bottom line. We drafted some talented players, but Rich McKay's strategy of taking premier athletes and then coaching them up did not work quite so well when the coaching was subpar and unstable as it was in those years. It worked in Tampa Bay because he had Tony Dungy.

It's funny to me Cyril, because you talk up how good a drafter Thomas Dimitroff is, yet whenever I suggest a strategy that focuses on the draft, you seem to doubt his abilities. I've said before that we gave up at least 3 starters with what we gave up for Julio. Yet you've gone on record saying that our fearless GM could not have drafted 3 starters with a 1st, 2nd, and two 4th round picks.

And now I say if we focused on drafting well, you don't think that would work because we did that before and it failed. Well, that's because guys like Ken Herock, Dan Reeves, and Rich McKay were drafting. You're the uber-TD backer, so why are you doubting his ability to find talent in the draft now?

It's borderline hypocritical, to on one hand thump your chest of you awesome TD is and on the other to doubt his ability to improve the team via the draft. What up with that?

Cyril wrote:
I wouldn't underestimate Dent.... I have seen him make some plays against the pass; but preseason is not the real deal......I also think we'll see Stephen Nicolas embrace his new status and our linebackers coud really be good!!

It's not that I don't think Dent can contribute. Personally, I had him graded as a 7th round pick. But even still, let's for a second assume that I'm wrong and he is a legit 3rd round LB that can be an average to above average starter a year from now which is congruous with guys like DeAndre Levy, Stewart Bradley, and Philip Wheeler, also guys taken in the latter half of Round 3.

If that is the case, then Dent is worth a 3rd round pick. But who is he going to replace to become that starter? It's definitely not Weatherspoon. So it's either an insurance policy in case you don't sign Nicholas this past summer, or it's an insurance policy in case you don't re-sign Lofton a year from now.

Well, clearly by the Falcons desire to get Nicholas re-signed early in FA, presumably they were not targeting Dent to be his replacement, otherwise they probably would have played hard ball with Nicholas. He was the first to re-sign, which doesn't mean he was their No. 1 priority, but it definitely means he was pretty high on that list.

So then the only thing that makes sense is if the Falcons see Dent as a future replacement for Lofton a year from now. Which then suggests that the Falcons are in a similar boat as me, which is that Lofton has a lot to prove this year, which even to me is dubious since there has yet to be a hint that they are down on him. But even if that was the case, and they aren't that high on Lofton going forward, does that mean they think Dent is an improvement over him? That's very difficult to fathom.

Otherwise if none of these scenarios are the case, then the Falcons just used a 3rd round pick on a guy that will be a career backup here in Atlanta. Which only underlines my earlier points about the Falcons not getting the most out of the young players on their roster and in the draft.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:04 pm 
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I've said before that we gave up at least 3 starters with what we gave up for Julio.


That's speculation. You cannot possibly predict who or what we would have drafted. Do I think we gave up too much for JJ? Yes, and I'm record saying as much. But you can't predict the future. You say we gave up three starters and Julio might become the best receiver to ever have played the game. No one will ever know.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons are fifth oldest team after the cuts to 53
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:49 pm 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
That's speculation. You cannot possibly predict who or what we would have drafted. Do I think we gave up too much for JJ? Yes, and I'm record saying as much. But you can't predict the future. You say we gave up three starters and Julio might become the best receiver to ever have played the game. No one will ever know.

Of course it's speculation. But that's all we've been doing! I know that's all I've been doing, in that the crux of my criticism centers on my belief that the Falcons moves this off-season have not progressed this team towards a championship as much as it should or could have. That's pure speculation, and we won't know if I'm right until things play out.

But if you look at TD's body of work so far (which so many people keep telling me to do), then it becomes less speculation or more of an educated guess that he could get 3 starters with those picks.

We won't know for sure. I just worry that a couple of years from now, we're going to have a similar outlook on the team that we did at the end of 2010, and that is having a very good team, but one that has a sizable gap between us and the team that ultimately goes to or wins the Super Bowl.

I think that gap is significant right now. And based off the moves the Falcons made this off-season and set up for next off-season, they seem to believe that gap is very small.

People (myself included) believe our offensive scheme/philosophy was partially designed to keep our defense from being exposed. And to follow that up with an off-season where you basically say the defense is fine doesn't mesh with that belief.

And it's a lot of little things that they've done in the past 6 months that add up to the notion that maybe the Falcons brass don't "get it." They definitely get how to make a bad team into a good team. But I'm not sure they get how to make a good team into a great team.

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