The Atlanta Falcons made two announcements this week with Kyle Smith being moved to assistant GM behind Terry Fontenot and Ryan Pace is now director of player personnel. The move isn't at all surprising considering the influence that Pace appeared to have with Atlanta targeting and signing a number of former Chicago Bears.
While Pace receives a lot of heat for the way things played out in Chicago it is worth pointing out that since he left things have only gotten worse. There isn't any defending choosing Mitch Trubisky over superior options, however, the Bears making the playoffs and competing while starting Mitch speaks to Ryan's ability to build a roster.
This isn't to say that Pace didn't deserve to lose his job in Chicago but rather in a tough division Pace put together a winning team. One that Atlanta has picked up pieces of since Pace joined the front office.
Part of this over the last two seasons has simply been that Atlanta needed cheap production and Arthur Smith and Ryan Pace both were familiar with players they knew would contribute on cheap contracts while adding to the culture they were attempting to build.
Pace and Smith being promoted speaks to Atlanta moving to the next level of their plan as the team makes a push to compete. Fontenot should be expected to remain active throughout the summer and into week one of the season looking to fix any roster issues or fill any holes from injuries that arise.
In year three the expectations and preparation should be different for a team that is looking to compete for a playoff spot for the first time since the 2017 season. Much as was the case with Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears, Atlanta clearly has the roster the question is now how far can Desmond Ridder take them?