There is a limit of topics and article twists during the NFL off season, and they’ll continue to overlap until a big release or signing hit’s the news up until the draft. Here in New England where the storm of 2013 snow level’s have since subsided to twelve inches, repetitive writing can be as much fun as shoveling.
I’ll try some distant observations to chat on then. Thomas Dimitroff (T.D) came on board after the 2007 season that was highlighted by the Petrino exit, Joey Harrington at quarterback and a 4 – 12 record.
Improving over that 2007 year would not take much savvy, guile, or football background beyond that of a loyal fan. T.D did improve the team, and in five years has done an extraordinary job directing the Falcons to the best consecutive years in the history of the franchise. But 2013 will be T.D’s toughest task of finishing the construction of a solid division winner and playoff expected team for advancement to the Super Bowl.
His own success has dealt him the hand. He must now endure sleep depriving activities like waiting on Tony G, what to do with Turner the Burner, homework on draft possibilities such as Banks from Mississippi State, Ertz from Stanford or Warford from Kentucky to name a few. There are free agent decisions on Moore, Baker and Grimes and the shot at signing one from outside the nest. T.D will have reliable help on most of these things to do, and that is his doing also. The chatter of a new stadium, the taste of winning in January, and guiding a team that was one time passed by on the national spotlight scheduling to now annually playing in prime time on all venues, only signifies what all Falcon brass and fans know, that this is a very important year in Atlanta football history. No secret that a step back would be a dark cloud. Fortunately for Falcon nation, T.D has the trust, respect, cunning smarts and solid following as any G.M in the entire league. T.D was born the year the Atlanta Falcons played their first season, and with blind faith I’ve little doubt T.D will make 2013 a year worthy of a parade.
In a year that Dirk came aboard, set free the offensive attack like a great bird to the air, and while records for the dome team were set at wide receiver, tight end and most notably by a Quarterback who was in M.V.P talks, there was one bothersome weapon I can’t understand even less than the rushing attack, nor try to defend. It was the birds slot receiver H.D, – Harry Douglas. It’s no surprise H.D was the fourth option for Ryan’s passing game. With the talent of White, Jones and Gonzalez running all over the field, the 59 targets that H.D was called on was probably slated in preseason, almost four a game for the fourth option. (Crazy ?). What is bothering me is the average of ten yards a catch and one touchdown. Maybe I witness my area’s slot receiver Wes Welker to much, but logically if H.D is our air attack’s fourth guy then the opposing defense is probably using their fourth option defender covering him. If free agent Danny Amendola can beat every stat of H.D in playing four less games with defenses highlighting the need to contain him, then I think H.D could have been opened to bigger things while flying under the radar of our big three aerial weapons. Harry has been in the fold for a few years, was healthy in 2012 and at age 27 should be geared to supply more than one score. I wonder what Dirk’s take on H.D is for 2013, and if he thinks like me that the Slot can produce a larger benefit for the team.
Dominique Davis, D.D, has not got much press ink aside from a couple of preseason paragraphs but I’m suggesting he should be our number two Q.B, no matter what connection Dirk and Luke McCown may have. Not many think D.D’s impressive accomplishments at East Carolina are worthy of second string, as he was not drafted and a virtually unknown outside of East Carolina, but there is always room for a athletic youthful talent in sports. San Francisco showed how valuable a good no name second string Q.B can be.
If the world stops a beat amidst a Matty Ice injury, who in Falcon nation would feel secure in having Luke come in to lead the offense ? I would hope that scenario never ever happens, but D.D showed a little last August to cost Redman his position, and another year of learning and studying can improve his skill set.
In the NFL you need good back up players that can fill a void to maintain a weekly solid performance.
Luke McCown has 9 touchdowns, 14 Interceptions and 7 fumbles in his career. We’d all expect D.D if thrust in the spotlight to make mistakes, but the expected can be accepted and maybe raw talent of a strong armed mobile athlete can produce more than a thirty something journeyman. 2012 saw a swing to mobile quarterbacks like never seen before, and if sadly ever needed by the birds, it could be a stopgap of the beneficial kind. Luke McCown took two snaps more than D.D in 2012, kneel downs for a total of negative three yards. Experience ? D.D is a Falcon – let him learn on the fly.