Walker: “Atlanta Falcons…..Skip Christmas and Get to New Years'”
In the debacle that was the Atlanta Falcons in 2013 and in the wake of the 2014 National Football League Draft coming May 8th, there is much to be ballyhooed over what strategy they will take in relation to their #6 pick in the 1st round. Fans and pundits alike are giving their assumption as to will the team move up to draft Jadaveon Clowney, Defensive End out of the University of South Carolina, stay put possibly to get a number of high quality picks such as a Khalil Mack out of Buffalo, Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M, or others, or will they move down to stockpile more picks. May 8th will represent “Christmas Day” to several people because of the new “toys” that the team will receive but regardless of strategy or whomever they decide to draft, there are a few fundamental things that I would love to see the team do.
1. I would love to see offensive balance with the Atlanta Falcons. Sure, it is very fun to see the long bomb to Wide Receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White but statistically when signal caller Matt Ryan has over 30 attempts a game, there typically is a check in the loss column. Draft day could do a lot to address this by getting a quality lineman but the philosophy of offensive balance goes to the coaching staff, especially Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter.
2. I would love to see development of a quality pass rusher. For the past few seasons I have witnessed countless attempts of this front office and coaching staff to manufacture pass rush and even me, the Falcons enthusiast cannot spin this enough to be positive. The inability for this front office to obtain or create pass rush during this tenure has been more than frustrating and continues to be a topic of concern. I understand that Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan is not a huge individual sack guy but consistent rush by multiple individuals has not taken place either.
3. Finally, I would love to see a SuperBowl Winner come to the city of Atlanta. I think that our city is getting tired of the “loveable loser” title. Being a producer on our great radio station I come across so many calls of fans starving for a championship. Of course there are irrational fans that do not understand the dynamics of the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons Philosophy but those educated fans know the parameters of this team and have witnessed the closeness of getting to the dance yet continuing to have it snatched like a fat kid and the last biscuit.
The NFL Draft is very important but strategic changes have to be made philosophically with this team. I believe in the tenacity in which this Dimitroff-Smith Regime wants to win but results have to come about for this current train to continue. So sure, I will clap, smile, and dream just like every other fan when players are selected but I much rather carry the Lombardi than continually unwrap the shiny new gift.
Jamie Walker is a Producer and Blogger for Sports Radio 92.9 The Game. Follow him on Twitter @coachjdub21 or email him at Jamie.Walker@cbsradio.com.