Flying Under the Radar
Atlanta Falcons’ Fans, it appears that the two teams that you faced in the playoffs have gone in the offseason and upgraded at the receiver position. Of course, when I saw the news that the Seattle Seahawks traded for Percy Harvin and San Francisco 49ers traded for Anquan Boldin, I instantly tweeted that if the Falcons hoped to play in the “Big Game” next year that they could not stand pat. After pondering on this new reality, I came to the conclusion about a few things;
1. The Falcons have much more glaring needs. Often times one loses sight of the fact that the team installed two new coordinators last season. After a highly successful season in spite of the changes, these coordinators were able to see just what this team needed going forward; a consistent pass rush and upgrades at the offensive line. The Atlanta infrastructure knows what changes need to be made and have a blueprint.
2. Since 2007, the eventual SuperBowl Champion maintained the nucleus of their team without many major free agent pickups. The teams’ primarily relied on their draft picks coming into prominence and playing within the system. The last major free agent pickup or trade that won a SuperBowl in the same season, the 2006-2007 Indianapolis Colts and the free agent….Adam Vinitieri. Besides, do you really want another Ray Edwards situation???
3. The Atlanta Falcons have to get an answer on whether or not Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez will return to the team. All teams have a free agent wish list along with a preliminary draft need board. Gonzalez is the “wild card” in just how much those plans change by position and salary cap reasons but considering the recent rumors that a pay increase and less training camp time for Tony G. may give him an incentive to return to the gridiron, exactly how long are the Falcons willing to wait?
Nonetheless, the Atlanta Falcons are a solid football team. They gave up a great deal due to the releases of John Abraham, Michael Turner, and Dunta Robinson. However, this will be the 2nd year under Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter and Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan. These coaches, in conjunction with Head Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff have a plan in place and fully intend on following through with it, despite what “fandom” says on the contrary.
Walker is a Producer/Blogger for Sports Radio 92.9 The Game and can be followed on Twitter @coachjdub21.