Ego gets in the way as Atlanta Falcons sign Blair Walsh
Thomas Dimitroff let his ego get in the way as the Atlanta Falcons announce the signing of three players the last week of the preseason.
The Atlanta Falcons added former UGA and Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh, defensive tackle Stefan Charles and tight end Thomas Duarte.
Make no mistake about the signing of kicker Blair Walsh, this was an ego move by Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Sure, UGA fans will like the signing of Walsh, but from a football standpoint this makes no sense.
Blair Walsh has not attempted an NFL kick in more than a year and a half and his last season in Seattle was a forgettable one. The one time All-Pro fell from grace rather quickly on his way out of the NFL.
Matt Bryant is a decade plus older than Blair Walsh but has also been a much more reliable kicker his entire career. Many Falcons apologist like to point out that Bryant missed three games last year, well, Walsh missed seven his last two years in the NFL while in his mid-20’s.
Last year at the age of 43, Matt Bryant hit 95 percent of his field goal attempts. Blair Walsh at the young age of 28 hit zero percent of his attempts as he was not a roster. In 2017, the 42-year-old Bryant hit 85 percent of his kicks while Walsh, at 27, hit just 72 percent of his. Even as someone that is 15 years older than Blair Walsh, Matt Bryant is still the better option at kicker and Thomas Dimitroff flubbed this signing.
Sure, the kicking problem we have seen from Giorgio Tavecchio this preseason was because he did not have to earn it. The Falcons did nothing to make him earn the spot and there is clearly a sense of arrival on Tavecchio’s part. Kickers are no different than any other position, they need competition to improve. Dimitroff should have either brought in another kicker at camp or renegotiated with Bryant to keep him around and have him earn another year in the NFL.
We all need to hope that the lack of a reliable kicker does not cost the Falcons a game or two in 2019 as just one inexplicable loss could cost the Falcons dearly against one of the leagues toughest schedules.