I think this may be a bit of the other side of the least penalized team in league history coin. Roddy called them out in the press after the game if memory serves. I kinda thought, "Well, Roddy, you were out there too, right?"
This is all well and good but it seems like another example of a meld of marketing and thinking out loud. This year's mantra is toughness, last year battling souls, year before urgency, etc. Whatever. The tape don't lie. Easy to recognize and hard to rectify.
Boom goes the dynamite!
This is really one of my issues with the Falcons offseason. They want to get tough. And they got more tough-minded guys. But at the end of the day, football is about winning on the field. Not to say the mental stuff isn't a factor. It is, but it's intangible, and you can't really control intangibles, that's why they are intangible!
Look, maybe letting Tony skip training camp created problems in the locker room. But you know what created problems on the field? Dirk Koetter's inability to adjust to the vice coverage that Tony saw vs. NE, and the Jets coming back the following week with the same thing. Did the Falcons adjust? No. While teams stopped mugging Tony at the line of scrimmage, he saw double teams pretty much every game for the rest of the season until the final month when Roddy was healthy. Did the Falcons make any adjustments to try and split Tony out wide to try to avoid double teams? Nope. Still played every snap at the Y.
Falcons struggle in the red zone? Their solution, let's keep throwing the ball to shrimp Harry Douglas when you have a 6-8 TE on your roster. They weren't even playing Toilolo in red zone situations for most of the season. And then when he is on the field, and Ryan does actually throw a pass to him, it's at his numbers. The dude is 6-8 with a 33-inch vertical.
Greg Hardy hasn't been kicking our OTs asses for the past 2 years because he's tough-minded. It's because he's just physically better than our guys.
Adding tough-minded players is all well and good, but if you can't get the job done on the field, then what's the point? Asamoah is not a power blocker, but our blocking scheme requires him to be. How will he fare? Probably not as well as we are hoping.
Soliai is now our most expensive defensive linemen, but he's not going to be playing on passing downs. They can say all they want that he was underutilized by the Dolphins there. But I watched the games, the dude ran out of gas in the 3rd and 4th quarters even when only playing 45% of the snaps. And Tyson Jackson helps our toughness about as much as Jamaal Anderson.
This team has become exceedingly good at winning the PR battle every offseason. But when it actually comes to winning when it matters, they fail more often than not.