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Dimitroff explains why Falcons didn't panic at DT


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Dimitroff explains why Falcons didn't panic at DT

September 24, 2009 1:20 PM

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

I just got off the phone with Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff after doing an interview for a column that will run Friday. Gee, with the Falcons going to New England on Sunday, anybody think this one might be a look at how Dimitroff’s time with Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli could be playing a role in Atlanta being built into one of the league’s best young teams?

Anyway, we’ll get much more into that Friday. But I did take the opportunity at the end of the interview to ask Dimitroff about Atlanta’s situation at defensive tackle after first-round draft pick Peria Jerry went down Sunday with a season-ending knee injury.

“It’s very unfortunate,’’ Dimitroff said. “As you know, we had big expectations for Peria and he was off to a nice start. He was grasping the system and really coming along.’’

But Dimitroff said the Falcons are prepared to move on and he has high hopes for the rest of the defensive tackles, even if there aren’t many big names. The Falcons have Jonathan Babineaux, who I think might be the most underrated player in the NFC South, as their other starting defensive tackle and that’s a good starting point.

But I asked Dimitroff to run through the rest of the group and I respect his judgment because the guy is a top-notch personnel man and I can’t say I’ve seen him make a true mistake since taking over the Falcons.

Atlanta likely will move Thomas Johnson into the starting role. This guy was out of the league the last two years, but the Falcons believe they’ve got a diamond in the rough -- maybe even a couple of diamonds. We’ll start with Johnson: He was a part-time starter for Houston in 2006.

The Falcons took a shot on signing Johnson and he showed some of his old promise in training camp. He performed so well that the Falcons decided to make him their third tackle. Johnson rotated in quite a bit behind Jerry and Babineaux in the first two games and graded out very well. The Falcons think he can make the next step and develop into a solid starter.

But what does that do to the back end of the rotation? Well, remember this, the Falcons didn’t panic and go out and sign some washed-up veteran. That means they believe they’ve got some other young guys who can grow into bigger roles.

They have Trey Lewis, who is coming off two major knee injuries, but showed some promise as a rookie in 2007. They also elevated Vance Walker off their practice squad.

“We knew we had Thomas and Trey and we drafted Vance (in the seventh round) and like him,’’ Dimitroff said. “Trey is coming along well after his ACL injuries and we like what we have. We believe we have a strong, stout rotation. I’ll even go ahead and say that we believe that even with Peria’s injury, we are still further ahead on the defensive line than we were last year at this time.’’

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth

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It was an Knee injury which happens in the NFL, Douglas went out with a knee injury, so i guess he was a mistake too huh. I

I'm talking about the FACT that he was injured for most of the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Thus, I was scared of his injury history. Don't put words in my mouth.

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To be honest i didnt understand why Trey Lewis was not playing during the first 2 games......... Trey Lewis was our best DT and 2nd best D-Lineman during the preseason (behind kroy biermann) .......

Trey Lewis is going to get his chance to shine now...... Show everybody what you can do.

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I'm talking about the FACT that he was injured for most of the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Thus, I was scared of his injury history. Don't put words in my mouth.

Minor injuries that happen when you play a physical sport such as Football

2004: Sat out the final four games with an ankle sprain.

2005: Missed the first four games with an ankle injury.

2006: Bothered most of the season by foot and hand problems that eventually saw him sit out the Wake Forest (9/23), Georgia (9/30), Arkansas (10/21) and Auburn (10/28) contests.

but didnt have anything to do with a ACL tear that happens alot of Football there have been a few players injured with ACL/MCL sprains/tears this season.

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It was an Knee injury which happens in the NFL, Douglas went out with a knee injury, so i guess he was a mistake too huh. I

Douglas wasn't injury prone as they say. There were several analyst that are paid to know this kind of thing who said the same thing about picking Jerry. TD gambled on the first two picks and so far has lost.

I'm still way more than glad to have TD but he isn't any more perfect than you or I.

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I don't think Jerry was a 'mistake' by any means. But to be fair, when the big guys with the extra weight have knee and ankle problems, they are easy to reinjure. Remember Lewis was recouping and then was re injured walking down the stairs. But, injuries are part of the game, and TD is right not to panic.

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Douglas wasn't injury prone as they say. There were several analyst that are paid to know this kind of thing who said the same thing about picking Jerry. TD gambled on the first two picks and so far has lost.

I'm still way more than glad to have TD but he isn't any more perfect than you or I.

I am not saying that TD is perfect as a man, nobody is. I do know for sure that I am not going to say TD lost on the picks. If Jerry was reinjured his foot or ankle or his hand that was previously injured then i would have said they didnt do there research, but an ACL is a random injury, it was random for Douglas just like it was random for Jerry.

News flash with Moore. Moore is fine, and it is actually good that he is getting a chance to rest his body and learn the system. The coaching staff is fine with what we have now at Safety with Coleman and Decoud so why rush Moore, it doesnt make sense too.

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Tons of rooks get hurt.

The play is faster. The opponents are bigger and stronger. Many of them haven't played on artificial turf very often.

I don't care how "similar" field turf is to natural turf.

I think we see significantly more injuries on it than the natural.

Granted, that is just a feeling. I ain't ever seen any numbers on it.

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I am not saying that TD is perfect as a man, nobody is. I do know for sure that I am not going to say TD lost on the picks. If Jerry was reinjured his foot or ankle or his hand that was previously injured then i would have said they didnt do there research, but an ACL is a random injury, it was random for Douglas just like it was random for Jerry.

News flash with Moore. Moore is fine, and it is actually good that he is getting a chance to rest his body and learn the system. The coaching staff is fine with what we have now at Safety with Coleman and Decoud so why rush Moore, it doesnt make sense too.

You are the voice of reason on this one

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To be honest i didnt understand why Trey Lewis was not playing during the first 2 games......... Trey Lewis was our best DT and 2nd best D-Lineman during the preseason (behind kroy biermann) .......

Trey Lewis is going to get his chance to shine now...... Show everybody what you can do.

Agreed ... to have him not activated was a head scratcher.

Maybe Dimitrioff was hinting that they still were a little concerned about his knee.

If penetration takes priority ... Trey has the flexibiltiy to play three technique is well.

We have three solid rotational DTs and an interesting new prospect on the PS in addtiion to Babs.

Throw Biermann's improved play into the mix ... and I say we are majorly upgraded along the line.

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Good to hear, but I'm afraid Jerry may be TD's first mistake. His injury history scared me when we drafted him.

I'll began this post by saying, I am a Thomas Dimitroff fan. TD has scouted and selected quality players

to fit our scheme and pass the Falcon Filter. That being said, the first two picks of this year's draft isn't panning out.

Peria Jerry and William Moore are disappointments at this point in their careers. By the way, has anyone seen Moore?

William Moore is harder to find than Bin Laden. Oh no, that's terrible, an urban myth, I'm wrong for that and should be punished.

Nevertheless, my constant negative posts against Moore stems from my great anticipation of his pick, unfortunately, to my utter

disappointment by his vacancy. I know this guy is a baller. I anticipated great things from Moore and because

my expectation level was so high, my fall to reality fuels my vocal disappointment. The guy is something special. He is the

missing link on our defense. Currently, we have caused turnovers with a swift new defense; if you add Moore in the equation

we may have a top 10 defense.

Unfortunately, we will never know, because the guy can't stay healthy long enough to get on the field.

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I'll began this post by saying, I am a Thomas Dimitroff fan. TD has scouted and selected quality players

to fit our scheme and pass the Falcon Filter. That being said, the first two picks of this year's draft isn't panning out.

Peria Jerry and William Moore are disappointments at this point in their careers. By the way, has anyone seen Moore?

William Moore is harder to find than Bin Laden. Oh no, that's terrible, an urban myth, I'm wrong for that and should be punished.

Nevertheless, my constant negative posts against Moore stems from my great anticipation of his pick, unfortunately, to my utter

disappointment by his vacancy. I know this guy is a baller. I anticipated great things from Moore and because

my expectation level was so high, my fall to reality fuels my vocal disappointment. The guy is something special. He is the

missing link on our defense. Currently, we have caused turnovers with a swift new defense; if you add Moore in the equation

we may have a top 10 defense.

Unfortunately, we will never know, because the guy can't stay healthy long enough to get on the field.

yeah as i indicated in an earlier post, we as fans have Madden like expectations for our players, if they dont start immediately we start to worry and say worthless pick or whatever. I find it pretty promising that we are not forced to play our draft pick immediately which means that our Draft picks from the previous years are stepping up or other players on the roster are stepping up. This gives these young guys time to heal their bodies, learn the system and get used to NFL life. Moore is not playing right now because Coleman and Decoud as doing fine, if it aint broke dont fix it or rush a Draft pick because the Fans want him to start. Be glad that we dont have to start just about every draft pick like the Lions or Rams or Raiders.

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To be honest i didnt understand why Trey Lewis was not playing during the first 2 games......... Trey Lewis was our best DT and 2nd best D-Lineman during the preseason (behind kroy biermann) .......

Trey Lewis is going to get his chance to shine now...... Show everybody what you can do.

atljbo,

you seem to "in the know" a lot.......what is up with Trey Lewis? he seems to be further down the pecking order of the DT rotation than we thought - why do you think that is? his play seems to be at a high level - is it attitude? lingering injury concerns? what?

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I am not saying that TD is perfect as a man, nobody is. I do know for sure that I am not going to say TD lost on the picks. If Jerry was reinjured his foot or ankle or his hand that was previously injured then i would have said they didnt do there research, but an ACL is a random injury, it was random for Douglas just like it was random for Jerry.

News flash with Moore. Moore is fine, and it is actually good that he is getting a chance to rest his body and learn the system. The coaching staff is fine with what we have now at Safety with Coleman and Decoud so why rush Moore, it doesnt make sense too.

News flash with Moore: He has been injured much more than not since he has been a Falcon. I hope the trend reverses. But like I said to begin with - "So far" TD lost on the gamble with these two.

To clarify a bit: I don't know why some players become injury prone but they do. Karma? I don't know. Also there are not any 100% for sure picks, but some picks are safer bets than others.

I'm no expert and it could very well be that even with their history they could still have been the safest bets but that is highly unlikely. We are very fortunate that TD is so good that even with the loss we are still in good shape.

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yeah as i indicated in an earlier post, we as fans have Madden like expectations for our players, if they dont start immediately we start to worry and say worthless pick or whatever. I find it pretty promising that we are not forced to play our draft pick immediately which means that our Draft picks from the previous years are stepping up or other players on the roster are stepping up. This gives these young guys time to heal their bodies, learn the system and get used to NFL life. Moore is not playing right now because Coleman and Decoud as doing fine, if it aint broke dont fix it or rush a Draft pick because the Fans want him to start. Be glad that we dont have to start just about every draft pick like the Lions or Rams or Raiders.

It is a weird feeling isn't it?

We got young and talented and now all of the sudden a high draft pick isn't necessarily the best player at the position.

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It is a weird feeling isn't it?

We got young and talented and now all of the sudden a high draft pick isn't necessarily the best player at the position.

It is called building a dynasty my good man, and I love it. Get used to it people, I hate to reference other teams but look at the Steelers, the Colts, Pats, do you see their high draft picks starting, no you dont because they have a talent roster, so they dont need to rush draft picks into action, especially when you are picking in the lower part of the round.

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