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TDWII's Musings & Observations; Falcons Need To Cut Deep & Wide...

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TDWII's Musings & Observations

What is there left to say? To watch the Falcons play football is painful. The nature of the weekly destructions that are now occurring are numbing. Where there used to be a time when allowing a franchises first KO return in their history, their 32 year history, would have sent me into a screaming rage, now? A brief snort exhale out the nose and a shake of the head. What is there to root for?

A solid passing game? From whom? Chris Redman? Will he be with the team next year? Who will be with the team next year?

A better defensive showing? After a 5 game stretch of giving up an average of 30+ points?

Jerious Norwood? Well Petrino is gone and Norwood still can t break 10 carries& At least you can point to the need to abandon the run game once down by& lots of points, for that one. Until you see we completed 4 passes for 34 yards& all game, and thus even in limited duty, he doubled our passing game output.

Michael Boley? He s a keeper. Comes to play every day.

DeAngelo Hall? Don t get me started.

A win? Not happenin .

At least when the Falcons last were without a coach with 3 games left to go, the prospect of watching ones franchise player return to action after an extended absence stoked the fires. If you remember, the Falcons were also 3-10 back then. What a difference 4 years wound up not making.

For the most part, whatever fans interest remains is directed toward the next genius tapped to run this operation. But at what level. Even at 2003, having just gotten on the job you knew Rich McKay was safe. Whether he is or not today, he shouldn t be. So do you hire a GM first, then a coach? Or does McKay get to do this& again? Whoever gets this opportunity, it won t begin in earnest for 2 weeks. We made the obligatory entreaty to Cowher. I wouldn t be surprised if it sounded anything like Hey Bill, it s the Falcons. Yeah, um& we figured we d call on the off chance that you were so eager to get back into coaching that you d not even wait for the 2007 season to finish to see what other opportunity...oh, 2009 you say? You want to take 2 years off? Don t bother calling back in January? OK& got it. Well thanks for the time Bill, say hi to the Mrs. for us.

Even when the Falcons do put their 2008 hierarchy in place, then what? Free agency? The draft? Sure, those will all be avenues to improve the team from a personnel standpoint. But what happened with the Falcons in 2007 was really not related primarily to personnel. The Falcons didn t just go 3-whatever. Something darker was at work here. Almost a poisoning of the soul and fabric of this franchise.

When something this pervasive invades the psychology of a team, of a franchise& no stone can go unturned. Talent alone can not be the sole determinant factor in the decision to remake the Falcons. There is noone talented enough on the Falcons to keep around on that basis alone anyway. In some cases, it should not factor into the equation at all. The position in most need of an overhaul here is attitude. It won t matter how good the Falcons do in the draft or free agent market the next 1-2 years& if they don t fix this critical component, they don t fix anything.

Of the players who were fined by the NFL today for paying homage to Michael Vick, Alge Crumpler is a team leader, DeAngelo Hall fashions himself as one, Joe Horn somehow thinks he s a franchise elder statesman despite his non-existant presence on the field. The other two players? Impressionable young talent in Roddy White and Chris Houston who coincidentally happen to play the same positions as their more senior symbolism compadres. Being a leader doesn t necessarily mean you are setting the right example. For a team desperately trying to turn the page on the ugliest chapter in team history, it was extremely telling to see who was involved in yet this additional escapade. Do you think Arthur Blank paid tribute? If he wasn t going to, noone should have. All week after Bobby Petrino cut loose, certain Falcons spoke about what a disgrace it was to slight Blank in this way. Mirror mirror on the wall&

The one thing in the Falcons favor is this. When you are this bad& you don t have anything to lose. Unless you don t operate that way. For the Falcons, this off-season will need to be harsh for all involved if they want to climb out of this abyss.

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