Tag:Thomas Dimitroff
Posted on: April 30, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2011 5:46 pm

Falcons focusing on offensive explosiveness

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- When the Atlanta Falcons moved a pile of picks to the Browns to grab Julio Jones, GM Thomas Dimitroff said, "We are not one player away from anything." He's probably right.
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But in the fifth round, Atlanta got another player closer towards being that much more explosive offensively, when they drafted Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

Shortly after the pick, highlights from Rodgers' career with the Beavers started flashing on the big screen and the crowd went nuts -- as they should have, because Rodgers was plowing over people, breaking ankles and fighting his way into the end zone.

Is he likely to be a feature back in the NFL? Probably not. But the Falcons have Michael Turner to be their main guy and Rodgers just might compliment Turner perfectly.

The knock on the Atlanta Falcons heading into 2011 was a lack of offensive explosiveness. With their addition of Jones and Rodgers to the skill positions, that problem could already be eliminated.

And the Falcons, despite having given up some substantial future draft picks, might have suddenly revamped their entire offense in an offseason that wasn't supposed to be made for revamping.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:10 am

Falcons better hope Julio Jones is a home run

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Last season, I predicted the Atlanta Falcons would win the Super Bowl.

Obviously I was wrong, but it wasn't that far off -- they were arguably the best regular season team in the NFL. Just not the most explosive.

The latter problem showed up when Green Bay bolted out to a big lead in the NFC Championship Game and Atlanta couldn't even come close to mustering a comeback because they lacked the necessary explosiveness to do any damage in the second half.

By adding Julio Jones, they changed that, dramatically, and even in Mike Mularky's sometimes slow offense, the Falcons could put up big numbers if Jones does what they expect.

He better, though, because Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith just paid a pretty penny for him: four -- count them, FOUR -- draft picks in the first four rounds of the 2011 and 2012 NFL Drafts.

Atlanta gave up their first-round pick for 2011 (27th overall), their second-round pick for 2011, their fourth-round pick for 2011, their first-round pick for 2012 and their fourth-round pick in 2012. Yes, that is a TON of picks for one player.

And, yes, you may slow-clap for Tom Heckert now, because he just picked up a ridiculous haul of picks for an organization -- the Browns -- that needs in any number of positions.
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Now, look, it may not matter, it could work out for both sides, and the Browns may end up with the last pick of the first round next year. But that's cool -- they'll appreciate having a pair of first-rounders and the Falcons will appreciate winning a Super Bowl. 

Of course, that's probably a stretch. But the Falcons do have to win the NFC South in 2011 if they want to justify this move. 

The Browns, on the other hand, can sit back and stockpile assets with which to help Colt McCoy and the organization later down the line, sitting on a pile of early picks over the next two years and no real guarantee of success in 2011. 

And maybe it's too early to try and criticize Dimitroff and Smith. After all, there's really nothing to justify doing so, as they've killed it thus far. But if something goes awry in 2011, there'll be some questions about this deal asked, particularly when Jones can only touch the ball but so many times a game.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:45 am

Hot Routes 4.4.11: Rams interested in Rice?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • In this Pro Football Weekly report, sources tell the publication that the Rams could have some interest in Vikings WR Sidney Rice. Considering how lackluster the current crop of St. Louis receivers are, the move would make sense. But the Rams organization apparently also is leery of Rice’s hip injury that cost him much of last season.
  • The Boston Herald wonders how Tom Brady’s image will be affected by the upcoming Brady v NFL case. Apparently, he can expect a hit to his short-term marketability.
  • The creator of the Madden NFL video game is suing EA Sports for many, many millions of dollars. It could even reach into the b illions. And get this: Robin Antonick’s original game was released in 1988, and it was for Commodore 64, MS Dos and Apple II.
  • Further cementing the idea that Da’Quan Bowers could fall out of the top-10 is Peter King of Sports Illustrated reporting that only one head coach (Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt) and two GMs (Atlanta’s Thomas Dimitroff and Buffalo’s Buddy Nix) were in attendance at his Pro Day last week.

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 2:41 pm

Thomas Dimitroff gets multi-year extension

Posted by Will Brinson

The Atlanta Falcons continued locking up their highly successful front office on Wednesday, as they announced that GM Thomas Dimitroff received a multi-year extension.

It had been expected that the Falcons would try and lock up both Dimitroff and Mike Smith. They took care of the latter during Super Bowl week by handing Smith a three-year extension, and now they've got a formidable duo running the team for the foreseeable future.

"First, I would like to thank Mr. Blank for the confidence and support he has shown in me and in Coach Smith over the past three seasons," Dimitroff said. "I look forward to working with Smitty and his coaching staff as we continue our journey of bringing NFL championship caliber football to Falcons fans and to the city of Atlanta."

Terms -- and length -- of the deal weren't disclosed by the team, but it seems pretty logical that Dimitroff will be extended for the same length as Smith. Teams, sensibly, like to keep those working combinations together.

"This extension of Thomas' contract ensures that he and Coach (Mike) Smith, whose contract was extended last month, will be able to continue to work together on solidifying the long-term sustainability and success of our football team," Falcons owner & CEO Arthur M. Blank said. "Thomas has proven himself to be a highly-skilled and talented general manager of our club, and I look forward to the Falcons reaping the benefits of his work for many years to come."

Dimitroff and Smith did a remarkable job of turning the Falcons' franchise around following the departure of Bobby Petrino (and the incarceration of Michael Vick) and have built a pretty formidable base for the future. Blank wisely recognizes that and decided to lock both his architects in for a while.

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 11:06 am

Mike Smith gets 3-year extension from Falcons

Posted by Will Brinson

The Falcons announced on Thursday that they signed head coach Mike Smith to a three-year extension, the terms of which were not disclosed.

Smith, 33-17 in three years with the Falcons, has yet to win a postseason game, but he and GM Thomas Dimitroff's turnaround of Atlanta's franchise is nothing short of remarkable, and the extension is well deserved.

"When we hired Mike Smith in 2008, we believed we had found the total package: a head coach with strong leadership skills and experience and the track record to back it up, and a man of high character and integrity," Falcons Owner & CEO Arthur Blank said. "In his three seasons with us, Coach Smith has demonstrated all of these characteristics, and then some."

Smith won the AP Coach of the Year award in 2008, and the Sporting News Coach of the Year award in 2010.

"I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the solid foundation we have in place within our organization and on our football team," Smith said. "I’d like to personally thank both Arthur and [General Manager] Thomas Dimitroff for their outstanding support and guidance. We are going to continue to work as hard as we can to bring a championship to Falcons fans and to the city of Atlanta."

It seems pretty likely that the Falcons will seek to extend Dimitroff as well -- it's been clear that ownership loves the direction of the franchise and locking the coach and GM into similar deals only serves to solidify Atlanta's future success.

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Posted on: January 30, 2011 9:47 pm

Report: Falcons want to extend Smith, Dimitroff

Posted by Will Brinson

2010 fizzled pretty badly for the Falcons, but all-in-all, it was a pretty darn good year for Atlanta's franchise. They built upon a young, talented foundation and secured the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs and appear ready to contend in the NFL for quite some time.

So the report from Jay Glazer of FOX Sports during the Pro Bowl that Atlanta's looking to lock up head coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff with long-term extensions makes a lot of sense.

It's easy to forget that before Smith and Dimitroff came into town, the Falcons hit rock bottom -- Michael Vick's prison sentence and the embarrassing escape of Bobby Petrino to Arkansas turned Arthur Blank's franchise from one of the most-watched to the least desirable in the NFL overnight.

Smith and Dimitroff somehow managed to fix the team overnight with the signing of Michael Turner, the trade for Tony Gonzalez and a drafting a superb class in 2008, the highlight of which was Matt Ryan.

They've got the Dirty Birds poised for long-term success and it makes perfect sense that Blank wants them around to reap the rewards of the foundation they built.

One more quick note on Smith -- he's the perfect example of a coach that fans aren't "excited" to see hired, because he lacks name value. But even though he might not be the flashiest coach, he's proven that sometimes name value doesn't always equal wins.

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