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Thomas Dimitroff says he is a "QB Snob" What does this mean??


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Dimitroff stresses rebuilding via draft

New GM says selecting for need, system will be priorities


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 01/15/08

Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons' new general manager, hasn't gone over the roster with a fine-tooth comb but admits to being a "quarterback snob."

Coming from the New England Patriots, who landed Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft, two years before Dimitroff's arrival, who can blame him three Super Bowl rings later?

"That benchmark is set so incredibly high," Dimitroff said after his introductory press conference Tuesday. "When you look at quarterbacks, sometimes you have a very jaded perception of what that quarterback should be, and it's not always that easy to get a Tom Brady, as we all know."

His philosophy on drafting is simple.

"Draft for need," Dimitroff said. "System-specific scouting."

But what if Dimitroff determines the Falcons need a lot of players? After all, with a new head coach about to come on board, they may have their third offensive system in three seasons and possibly a new defensive scheme.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank is tired of going into games where his team has been outmanned. He felt Dimitroff's background as a strong talent evaluator was the perfect fit.

"With Thomas we have the emphasis in the right area," Blank said. "Those other areas are very important, no question about it. But if you don't get the talent right in the NFL, you don't have a chance to win."

Dimitroff knows the Falcons will have to address the quarterback position, with Michael Vick incarcerated on federal charges related to dogfighting and indefinitely suspended from the NFL. Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich and Chris Redman all started games last season, and former Georgia standout D.J. Shockley was lost for the season with a knee injury.

"I think there are some very good quarterbacks in the draft and free agency," Dimitroff said. "We need to step back and evaluate all of those as a staff as well."

The Falcons will select between No. 3 and No. 5 in this year's draft, after the league breaks a tie with Oakland and Kansas City by coin flips,. All three of the top college quarterbacks, Boston College's Matt Ryan, Kentucky's Andre Woodson and Louisville's Brian Brohm could be on the board when Dimitroff makes his first pick for Atlanta. Some teams are not enamored with any of the top three quarterbacks, so No. 3 to No. 5 might be too high to pick one of them.

"The draft right now as it sets up, there are definitely some players who will get out of the first round, and I think some are very adept quarterbacks," Dimitroff said. "Somebody is going to land a very viable candidate to come in and eventually be a starter in the league.

"We've seen that over the years, just because you're a first-round quarterback, that does not necessarily mean they are going to be successful. Tommy Brady went 199th in the sixth round. I always keep that in mind."

Dimitroff plans to focus on rebuilding the team through the draft with help from free agency.

"That's something that I feel strongly about," Dimitroff said. "We all know that an anemic draft can make or break an organization, and I feel it's very important that we approach it that way."

The plan is to lean on former general manager Rich McKay for contract negotiations, free agency and pro personnel evaluations.

"My direction was definitely college-directed as far as college scouting and all facets of our scouting process," Dimitroff said. "I will mention though that I've been involved in a couple of special projects as far as comparisons between the college group that would be coming out and the potential free agents. I've been very involved in position comparisons across the board."

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I really don't like that statement "eventually become a starter". Someone on Sirirus the other day said, close your eyes and tell me if you can envision your QB starting in the Super Bowl. That's when you know you have your guy. If I close my eyes and envision our QB as an 'eventual starter', I don't know about anyone else, but it doesn't make me feel very good about his expectations...

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