Atlanta Falcons Fueled by continued disrespect
The Atlanta Falcons have been belittled in just about every possible way a football team and its players can be – and the season hasn’t even started. Commentators are lining up to throw shade at this team, analysts are ripping apart the roster, and even EA Sports is ranking the players low in Madden 23. But, as much as players and coaches say they ignore it and shrug it off, they are human, and the anger is showing.
"“This team has a chip on its shoulder. We are ready to go out there and prove ourselves.” -Arthur Smith"
Day four of training camp ended when a second fight broke out, but head coach Arthur Smith liked what he saw, “I was very encouraged by today. That was one of the most competitive practices we’ve had since I’ve been the coach here.” Perhaps a surprising answer is given that he has players whose emotions are boing over and could be liabilities. “These guys are competing, and you go to the edge,” said Smith.
We don’t need to rehash the entire situation the Falcons are in this season. Let’s just say it’s a rebuild; a playoff berth would be a miracle. But that is just looking at the roster and previous stats and performances. Thanks to the record dead money hit, it has less skill than other teams with less money to spend.
Falcons Have Players Ready To Prove Themselves
So, the Falcons had to look for bargains, players who were cast away by other teams or lost in the practice roster system. With a rebuild, every athlete has a chance to earn a position. “It’s about the makeup of the guys we have brought in here. This team has a chip on its shoulder. We are ready to go out there and prove ourselves,” said Smith.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees could barely stand still when talking about the competition as camp and the commotion. “It’s not surprising when you get a spirited practice. It is inevitably going to happen,” said Pees. Although he wants the players to get after each other and hold each other accountable, “it takes the right people. Do you really want the truth? It takes the right players to do it. You’ve got to take guys that won’t take it ‘I will not tolerate this, I will not take it.'”
The 72-year-old has simple advice for the players who’ve been disrespected, “we can’t control what everyone else says about us. What you got to do is you’ve got to believe in yourself.”
Both coaches liked what they saw on day four of camp. They both talked about bringing in the right players to change the culture and ramp up the competition. Now it seems like the players are feeding off the disrespect, pushing them up another level.