Posted: 2:50 pm Monday, January 27th, 2014

Votes of semi-confidence for Dimitroff and Smith? 

By Mark Bradley

"Build me a stadium and you'll get four years, too." (Curtis Compton/AJC)

“Build me a stadium and you’ll get four years, too.” (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday that they’ve extended the contracts of president Rich McKay, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith. Perhaps it’s only a coincidence that the guy who has headed the drive to build a new stadium was handed four more years — a rather presidential increment — while the two guys who assembled the team that just went 4-12 got only one-year bumps.

Then again, perhaps not.

Arthur Blank has missed no opportunity to express his confidence in the tandem of Smitty and Dimitty. Still, a one-year extension — both are now under contract through 2016; McKay’s deal runs through 2019 — is open to interpretation as a hedged bet. It’s akin to saying, “I love you guys, but I really didn’t love that product you just put forth. Please do better soon.”

Which is no different than what most right-thinking Falcons fans would say. Dimitroff and Smith are the best at their respective jobs this long-suffering franchise has ever known. Heck, they’re the reasons that Falcons fans went five whole years without suffering much at all. But the NFL isn’t a business where the historical cuts much ice. Andy Reid took the Philadelphia Eagles to four consecutive NFC title games in the early part of this century; come 2013, he found himself coaching the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Falcons won more regular-season games from 2008 through 2012 than any NFL team save New England. That run of excellence was the doing of Dimitroff and Smith. This year saw the Falcons fall from 13-3 to 4-12. That likewise came on their watch.

Do I believe they’re capable of fixing what just broke? Yes. But if I were them, I’d make haste in the fixing. The last thing this owner wants is for that shiny new stadium to house a broken-down team.

42 comments
LessIsMore
LessIsMore

Just an observation from a simple sports fan and observer  Why do people keep making excuses for guys like Dmitroff and Smitty.  For example, Mike Tomlin and Colbert almost got ran in Pittsburgh after a couple of years removed from the Super Bowl. There team I would argue was worst than the Falcons before last years draft.  They turned that team around and were respectable by the end of the year.  Dmitroff along with Smitty have made dumb move after dumb move within the past 2 seasons.  The good moves that were made anyone could have done.  Not building the lines, all of the falcons filter stuff, and not drafting football players instead of "good smart guys" has cost the Falcons players like Marcus Lattimore, Honey Badger and numerous Georgia Bulldog players that are stars in the league now.  Ray Edwards, Steven Jackson, our o-line, Decoud, Peria Jerry, cutting Abraham, Dahl, & Clabo are all epic fails.  Also Spoon is average and Worrilow who is good will never be a 3 down backer.  Smitty when the team was playing good cost the team games and maybe a trip to the SuperBowl playing too conservative when they had leads.  Thus Blank gives them 1 year extensions.  Stop being blind homers.  Its one thing to be a fan but quite another to keep making excuses for poor jobs.  If it smells like sH%$, looks like s#%@, then it must be s@!#!  This season will be there last if this stuff continues.  Then all of you homers can root for Smitty in Dmitroff wherever the cronies give them a shot next, lol!

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Blank has the resources to fire and payout these guys if things don't work out. That said I'm surprised he didn't make them sweat a bit and fight harder for their job security. This is especially true of Dimitroff who clearly built a flawed team. In the end, it's up to the Falcons to run the team and up to us to decide whether to attend games. Given the current team makeup, ticket prices, and traffic getting to/from the dome, I'll be watching from home until further notice.

Jim70
Jim70

I said when the salary cap went into place that the strategy would be to put your money in the o.line, d.line, and then d.backs.  any NFL qb can do well if he has enough time in the pocket, even Brady suffers with a heavy pass rush.  d-backs can't cover any receiver for extended periods of time.  and there are a lot of later round backs who can do well with good blocking.


Put all of our money with a qb, receivers and a back, and the results this year showed.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Definition of insanity.....see Falcons.

ColdSplash
ColdSplash

relying on the same idiots who caused the damage to provide the fix is foolish. There is simply NO excuse for neglecting this Oline for 5 straight years and concurrently dismantling a defense that got you to the NFC championship. Dimitroff deserves to have his bags packed for him. Smug lil "geniuses" like this gherck alwsay come around every few years that think they can change football. Well you can't. It always has and always will start and end with the Oline and Dline. Period. It isn't a "quarterback driven" league. That hype is for sound bites and ESPN and those interested in hype. It's a lineman driven league. Best teams have the best lineman. Period.

slydawg
slydawg

After 5 years of "smoke and mirrors," they finally have a 3 year window to build this team the right way. The patchwork plan the past 5 years was a great idea, considering the state of the franchise in 2008 and no consecutive winning seasons prior to that. Now it's time for some real football team-building strategy. The Falcons main problem is that of mediocrity: Never god enough to win it all but not bad enough to draft and acquire superior talent. The 49ers, Bengals, and Cardinals come to mind. Those franchises stunk for so long, they stockpiled talent year after year until they found the right Coach/GM combination. The Falcons always seem to have one and not the other.

slydawg
slydawg

Doesn't the new stadium open in 2016 or 2017? HHHmmm... Seems to me Blank is planning on the possibility these two won't make it to the new house. But this is a good move. It allows TD and MS to not work under so much pressure with way too short of time left on their contracts, because this is a two-year fix folks.


Then we have this classic baseless comment, repeated by media, sportscasters, and lazy football fans:


"Blank knows nothing about football! Bet he never played!!"


You can most likely count on two hands how many owners, team presidents, and GM's have played professional or college football, but they know crap when they see it, just like real, attentive, football fans.

RangeRover
RangeRover

They have earned the benefit of doubt posting the best 5 year period of this team's 5 decades of mostly futility.  For 5 years this team was considered one of the elite franchises during which they were considered one of the 3 or 4 best teams in the NFC, a couple of times THE best..

I agree that this past season revealed some troubling weaknesses, in particular the line play on each side of the ball.  However, if--yes, "if" is a big word--they can avoid such a catastrophic, injury plagued season to key players, my money is on the team being competitive and in the playoff hunt again this upcoming season.  

What they overcame in 2008 from the crime scene in 2007 was much more daunting in my opinion...and they went 11-5 and frankly could and should have beaten the eventual NFC Super Bowl participant, the Cardinals, had the refs called the most obvious encroachment violations I have ever witnessed and Keith Brooking hadn't suffered his most embarrassing professional moment on a 3rd and 16.

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

Count me as 1 who thing this is a hugh misteak. Make it hrder to fire them 

DawgNole
DawgNole

MB: "Dimitroff and Smith are the best at their respective jobs this long-suffering franchise has ever known. Heck, they’re the reasons that Falcons fans went five whole years without suffering much at all."

________________________

Oh, we suffered alright--EVERY one of those five whole postseasons, which produced but one paltry win.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

All the moaning and crying about 1 bad year by this regime. Hell I bet the Smith family is greatful Twitter wasn't around the 40 years the butchered the franchise. Not much seperates winning and losing in the NFL as we witnessed this year. So just shutup, sitback and finally enjoy sustained success by this franchise. One bad season and some of you armchair GM's think you know it all. Pathetic.

58Supersports
58Supersports

You don't reward sorry performance  unless  that's what you expected. What you going to do when they do their job right. Right now they have a lot of work to do. DT did a piss poor job last year.


Good job Mark!

BSNBC
BSNBC

Blank knows nothing about football! Bet he never played!!

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

What's the bottle with the light color band on the neck in the photo? Oh, and the column is insightful, too.

Jetiredo
Jetiredo

Why reward them. Dimitroff basically kept drafting undersized DT's, terrible O-Linemen ( Konz and Lamar Holmes), gets rid of our best Lineman in Clabo and still hasnt found anyone to rush the QB. Yet this guy rests on his laurels from 2008 yea his team mad ethe conference championship game last year but other that Julio, Matt Ryan and Weatherspoon- When he is healthy he has wiffed on the draft continuously. And Ray Edwards was a terrible move but they went at that half-@$$ because they didnt want to go after Charles Johnson and Dunta Robinson was a bust as well

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@slydawg

Down in Dallas they have an owner, team president and GM (all in one) who played CFB at a very high level.  Doesn't seem to be working out so well for them these days.

Up here we have to make do with an owner who never played CFB at any level and a GM/HC who never played above D III.  They seem to be getting by.

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

@DawgNole UR rite it not e nuff 2 get 2 the palyoffs but U need 2 win more games the Flacons cant not do that

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

Fool...under this regime j/a. Might wannatry reading comprehension.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

Nope, going to watch SOA. Sorry to disappoint ya. Tired of arguing w/ a dummy.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LowcountryBulldawg 

Pick and choose what, liar?

You lost the argument with your affection for failure and your shameful ignorance. Now run and hide; that's what losers do.

And it's pick and "choose," dumbazz. LOL!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LowcountryBulldawg 

You "hoped to be mediocre"? That's a big part of the problem--low expectations.

Well, you got what you hoped for--except that most would agree 1 playoff win in 6 seasons doesn't rate even mediocre status.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

For 40 years tgis franchise was a laughing stock except for the anomaly of '98. Laughed at w/ the slew of failed draft picks of A.Bruce,B.Pickens,T.Smith,S.Broussard. The revisitionist history of the Farve trade. The Vick fiasco, the Petrino debacle. So excuse this fan for allowing this regime one year to fail. For the first time ever over the past 5 years this franchise has gave this fanbase consistent hope. Gone are the days of Dimry getting torched for 5 TD's by the GOAT Rice. Then you wanna come on here and crap on this run and spew mediocority rhetoric? Hell for 40 years this franchise was below terrible. We hoped to be mediocore. This doesn't mean I accept the current state, of course I would love to see them win it alk, but it will not define my fandom of the franchise. Lord knows I have sat in Fulton County Stadium throw worse times than these. Its called perspective.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LowcountryBulldawg 

"Grammar police"? Quit trying to divert attention from the fact that you're no more than an uneducated blowhard who has no grasp of basic English. You obviously embrace failure--considering your affection for a regime that has brought the Falcons 1 postseason victory in 6 years. Then you get on here and scream at others who don't share you love of futility. And I'm sure "you're" (geez you finally guessed correctly) proud of that. Aren't you? Like I said, a pitiful disgrace.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

When all the argument fails turn into the grammar police. Good job, hope "you're" proud.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LowcountryBulldawg  

How'd the team do after that 13-3 season? How'd the team do after the 13-3 season of 2010? How many playoff games has your beloved regime won? How many championships has the franchise won in 47 seasons?

Answer those questions, then look in the mirror and grin again--like a jackazz eating briars.

"To" bad "your" a Dawg fan?! Is that what you said? LOL!!!

Learn how to spell before taking on real Dawg fans. What a disgrace.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

Dude you need help. One year removed from 13-3 and top seed in NFC. Injury bug hits and boom season done. Its called perspective, hope yours is better in real life than what you have displayed thus far. To bad your a Dawg fan.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

And yeah lets penalize this regime for the failures of the Smiths, Campbell,Henning,Bennett and Eugene Robinson. Sure nice logic. All they did was provide this losing fanbase its first back 2 back winning seasons, but no ingrates like you are to easy to find. Sure you still proudly fly your Vick jersey too.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LowcountryBulldawg 

Again, read the sentence I quoted, which YOU wrote. Satisfaction with mediocrity is pathetic. Stop trying to defend the indefensible.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LowcountryBulldawg  

Let's repeat what you said, jerk: "One bad season and some of you armchair GM's think you know it all. Pathetic."

It hasn't been ONE bad season. If you're satisfied with the results of this franchise--ZERO championships in 47 seasons--then YOU are the one who's pathetic.