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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


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After the meltdown of our franchise last season, and the long history of inconsistency and mediocrity that had become the Atlanta Falcons, many of us tried to figure out how our team would perform this season and predict where they'd rank in the overall NFL hierarchy. Some fans screamed about the writers/reporters/hacks and their lack of preseason love for our team and have even advocated that writers only get paid when their predictions are correct.

...and someday fortune tellers will only get paid when their visions are correct and be required to give refunds when they're not... :lol:

Keep in mind that the key word is 'prediction' and not 'certainty.' Months ago, when all of us (fans, sports writers/hacks included) were trying to figure out what this team would look like, see if it could do a 180 degree turn from last years dysfunctional team and work as a unit, and forecast how it would perform on the field--we had no basis for accurately estimating what we'd get. We took a shot in the dark, a SWAG, based upon our gut and our estimate of how a wildly diverse set of variables would turn out when pitted against another set of wildly diverse variables (the other team on the field.)

In the off-season we added a new GM, who had never before had such comprehensive authority and power related to acquiring players, trading and releasing players in order to rebuild a franchise.

We hired a new head coach, who had never before had such comprehensive authority and power related to player decisions, game planning and gelling a group of individuals into a cohesive, high performance unit.

We then purged the roster of many experienced players: many who were fan favorites, and you probably remember the screaming and wailing related to these released veterans.

We watched and argued about who to draft and who not to draft, and we debated our projected weaknesses and strengths.

Given the vast uncertainty around this franchise and its history of under achievement, I prefer that the writers/reporters/hacks underestimated where we were perceived to be in the NFL hierarchy. To have earned a bit of respect and to have moved up in the rankings at this point in our season is a credit to Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith, the coaching staff and all of the players who collectively seem to have rejected the negative legacy of the past and embraced the concept of preparing for today and planning for tomorrow.

That's my two cents worth: what do you think?

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I think that the long term success for this team will rest primarily on the growth of the secondary. I feel that is the weakest link at this point. The other areas of the team will only continue to gel as this unit begins to come together. As to a timetable, I don't think that we can expect a playoff caliber unit this season, but as our newbies get more and more time and experience, and probably a free agent addition for next year, this team will prove to be a long term contender.

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