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Rebuilding Year? The Atlanta Falcons Only Needed an Offseason


FalconMama
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Show me a fan who believed before the season that the Atlanta Falcons would be 6-3 after nine games, and I'll show you someone that would make a great lawyer.

The turnaround that this team made in one offseason is nothing short of remarkable. Most "experts" were predicting a 1-15 or 3-13 season, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year after all! In an era of parity in the NFL, the Falcons are proving that winning can happen almost immediately. Pay attention Detroit.

The credit starts from the top: Arthur Blank made a great move hiring new GM Thomas Dmitroff from New England and giving him the power to build this team.

Dmitroff hired Mike Smith (a relative unknown outside of NFL circles) as head coach. Coach Smith brought in Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder as his offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.

Mike Mularkey deserves a lot of praise for the way he has developed Matt Ryan throughout the season. He opens the playbook a little more each game, and the confidence they are gaining together is visibly evident. Brian VanGorder's defense is improving every week and coming up with big plays when necessary, without many well-known play-makers.

The new Atlanta front office had a brilliant offseason. They made arguably the smartest free-agent acquisition in Michael Turner (third in the NFL with 890 rushing yards), and several rookies are making immediate contributions to the early success of this team. The 2008 draft may ultimately go down as the best in Falcons franchise history.

This is a team with a rookie general manager, a rookie head coach, and a rookie starting quarterback. Since when is this the formula for success?

There can't be enough said about how valuable the rookies are on this team.

Matt Ryan has a 89.9 QB rating, 11th in the NFL. That is currently better than: Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Jake Delhomme, and Ben Roethlisberger...just to name a few.

Curtis Lofton, the rookie middle linebacker, is leading the team with 53 tackles. Harry Douglas is a real threat in the passing game, and has supplanted Adam Jennings as punt returner. Not to mention Sam Baker, the rookie LT who was doing a fantastic job protecting Ryan's blind side until he was sidelined by back surgery.

Several veterans on this team are having a great year as well.

Roddy White is looking like an elite NFL receiver and is Matt Ryan's favorite target. Michael Jenkins is finally starting to emerge as a legitimate number two receiver and has benefited from the double-teams on White. John Abraham is second in the NFL with 11 sacks.

Jerious Norwood continues to impress with his ability to score from anywhere on the field. Norwood is also benefiting from a new coaching staff that, unlike previous regimes, has figured out how to use his tremendous talents.

Bottom line? This team has all the qualities of a playoff contender.

Great coaching, smart quarterback, great running game, solid defense, and good special teams. Don't be surprised if this team is still relevant in January.

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I would love for us to make the playoffs obviously but I think out division is to tough. I think we will finish 10-6 but narrowly miss the playoffs. 3 teams in our division could be 10-6 or better and we may lose a tie breaker and get snubbed this year. That being said it is already one of the best seasons I can remember in my 22+ years as a fan.

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I just hope we can keep it up.

The Saints had a similar 'miracle' rebuild with a new coach, QB, etc as well a couple years ago, and have been on the decline since. I like our chances though, because our team is built on grit, not fluff like the Aints.

saints 2006 season reminds me of our 2004 season. saints are a gimmick

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TB and or Carolina needs to go on a cold streak and we have to capitalize.

All we have to do is beat both of them when they come to the dome. We can still win this division, and every week the Falcons give us more reason to believe that as a very real probabillity.

You can talk about how good Carolina has looked, but every facet of the Falcons games has improved with each outing.

Offense .... opening new pages in the playbook every week, and Ryan audibling at the line like a veteran. People can talk about the inevitable rookie outing, but those were already played against Tampa & Carolina in the first meetings. You can bet in his second chance against those teams he'll be even more prepared. Anyone watching those games (and I missed the Carolina game) but in the Tampa game he grew up a LOT just between the halves.

Defense ..... Becoming more effective stopping the run, and ballhawking when they have to defend the pass. Shutting down the Saints until the game was essentially over showed how much our secondary has grown from the start of the season, and it will be on display again this week against Denver.

ST ...... Has been outstanding all year, and just cut the achilles heel of the unit when they let Jennings walk.

We will be more than relevant come January. We'll be the team others don't want to play in the first round.

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Show me a fan who believed before the season that the Atlanta Falcons would be 6-3 after nine games, and I'll show you someone that would make a great lawyer.

The turnaround that this team made in one offseason is nothing short of remarkable. Most "experts" were predicting a 1-15 or 3-13 season, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year after all! In an era of parity in the NFL, the Falcons are proving that winning can happen almost immediately. Pay attention Detroit.

The credit starts from the top: Arthur Blank made a great move hiring new GM Thomas Dmitroff from New England and giving him the power to build this team.

Dmitroff hired Mike Smith (a relative unknown outside of NFL circles) as head coach. Coach Smith brought in Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder as his offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.

Mike Mularkey deserves a lot of praise for the way he has developed Matt Ryan throughout the season. He opens the playbook a little more each game, and the confidence they are gaining together is visibly evident. Brian VanGorder's defense is improving every week and coming up with big plays when necessary, without many well-known play-makers.

The new Atlanta front office had a brilliant offseason. They made arguably the smartest free-agent acquisition in Michael Turner (third in the NFL with 890 rushing yards), and several rookies are making immediate contributions to the early success of this team. The 2008 draft may ultimately go down as the best in Falcons franchise history.

This is a team with a rookie general manager, a rookie head coach, and a rookie starting quarterback. Since when is this the formula for success?

There can't be enough said about how valuable the rookies are on this team.

Matt Ryan has a 89.9 QB rating, 11th in the NFL. That is currently better than: Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Jake Delhomme, and Ben Roethlisberger...just to name a few.

Curtis Lofton, the rookie middle linebacker, is leading the team with 53 tackles. Harry Douglas is a real threat in the passing game, and has supplanted Adam Jennings as punt returner. Not to mention Sam Baker, the rookie LT who was doing a fantastic job protecting Ryan's blind side until he was sidelined by back surgery.

Several veterans on this team are having a great year as well.

Roddy White is looking like an elite NFL receiver and is Matt Ryan's favorite target. Michael Jenkins is finally starting to emerge as a legitimate number two receiver and has benefited from the double-teams on White. John Abraham is second in the NFL with 11 sacks.

Jerious Norwood continues to impress with his ability to score from anywhere on the field. Norwood is also benefiting from a new coaching staff that, unlike previous regimes, has figured out how to use his tremendous talents.

Bottom line? This team has all the qualities of a playoff contender.

Great coaching, smart quarterback, great running game, solid defense, and good special teams. Don't be surprised if this team is still relevant in January.

There were a lot of us that honestly evaluated what we had and made the call. I'm actually one loss off of what I predicted we'd be at this time of the year. I don't evaluate with my feelings or emotions. I don't ride the bandwagon with the media and I sure as heck don't ride the bandwagon with a lot of fowks in here.

I make my points based on PERFORMANCE. B)

To be honest, the Falcons may not lose 3 more games.

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There were a lot of us that honestly evaluated what we had and made the call. I'm actually one loss off of what I predicted we'd be at this time of the year. I don't evaluate with my feelings or emotions. I don't ride the bandwagon with the media and I sure as heck don't ride the bandwagon with a lot of fowks in here.

I make my points based on PERFORMANCE. B)

To be honest, the Falcons may not lose 3 more games.

If they don't, then talk about the media being shut up by what we put up on the field..

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Carolina still has to play the Giants, that could prove vital in their sucess, not only could they be looking at a loss, they could be looking at an injury filled game if the Giants bring that fire. Everyone knows that when Delomme goes, so goes the Panthers, and a couple of good sacks on Jake and this could a very real option

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Here are the remaining Schedule of the 3 NFC South Teams and the 3 NFC East Contending Teams, 1 Division Spot open in NFC South and then 2 Wild Card Spots. We have a shot at winning the division it may take 12 to win the division, and 11 wins to get in the playoffs. Each team has division games left.

Atl

Home Away

Den SD

Car NO

TB MIN

STL

TB

Home Away

MIN DET

NO CAR

SD ATL

OAK

CAR

Home Away

DET ATL

TB GB

DEN NYG

NO

WAS

Home Away

DAL SEA

NYG BAL

PHI CIN

SF

DAL

Home Away

SF WAS

SEA PIT

NYG PHI

BAL

PHI

Home Away

ARI CIN

CLE BAL

DAL NYG

WAS

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saints 2006 season reminds me of our 2004 season. saints are a gimmick

ggod comparison, I agree. I was referring to all the new faces and instant success more than the schemes, talent, coaches, etc.

this team now is solid. We take fundamental football and execute it to perfection.

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another good read fm......its great to see this team with a bright future & foundation, we will all have something to look forward to for quite some time to come......also, i cant wait to see what we can get for vick...if anything & what direction we go through the draft for the next few years

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