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http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/2010/09/09/dimitroff-is-clearly-building-through-the-draft/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_falcons_blog

Atlanta Falcons

GM Thomas Dimitroff is clearly building through the draft

FLOWERY BRANCH – A quick report from around the league reveals that the Falcons are amongst the leaders in a key category.

(A special thanks to Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer for compiling and sharing the data.)

Successful teams in the NFL build through the draft. It’s no coincidence that the Cleveland Browns only have 17 of their draft picks on the 53-man roster, which was submitted at the Saturday deadline.

Green Bay, generally considered a playoff contender, led the league with 36 drafted players.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Carolina Panthers are second with 35 drafted players.

The Falcons were eighth with 31.

Indianapolis (34) and New England (32), two teams the Falcons have patterned themselves after, are also near the top the list.

The number includes only drafted players on the 53-man roster, not including undrafted free agents or guys on injured reserve of the physically unable to perform list.

A total of 12 of 22 projected starters were originally drafted by the Falcons. Seven of those projected starters were drafted by Dimitroff.

Another key factor in Dimitroff’s drafts has been his focus on drafting seniors that have been consistent and who improved over their collegiate careers. (And who didn’t play in the Big Ten!)

Over the last three drafts, 24 of the 26 players that the Falcons have selected were college seniors, while 15 were either named or voted team captain by their coaches or peers.

Here’s a list of teams and how many players they drafted who made their 53-man roster.

TEAM DRAFTED PLAYERS

Green Bay 36

Carolina 35

Pittsburgh 35

Indianapolis 34

Tennessee 34

New England 32

Oakland 32

San Francisco 32

Atlanta 31

Dallas 31

New York Giants 31

Baltimore 29

Houston 29

Tampa Bay 29

Cincinnati 28

Jacksonville 28

Philadelphia 28

San Diego 28

Buffalo 27

Minnesota 27

Arizona 26

Chicago 26

Detroit 24

Kansas City 24

St. Louis 24

Seattle 24

New Orleans 23

Denver 22

Miami 21

New York Jets 21

Cleveland 17

Washington 17

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Building through the draft is all good. But that is really a 2 way street. Because it takes about 3 years to get those draft picks into a starting lineup, and be productive. Then a couple years after that they become free-agents. So do we re-sign them? Or let them go and spend another 3 years training their replacement.

You build through the draft, supplement through free-agency. Most every NFL team knows that. It's no secret that only the Patriots, Colts, Ravens, and Falcons know to do.

The only thing I question about Dimitroff is he tends to reach for players with injury histories in college, and that carries over into the NFL. Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, William Moore - all were high draft picks, and all have fought injuries their rookie seasons. Hopefully they will remain healthy.

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Building through the draft is all good. But that is really a 2 way street. Because it takes about 3 years to get those draft picks into a starting lineup, and be productive. Then a couple years after that they become free-agents. So do we re-sign them? Or let them go and spend another 3 years training their replacement.

You build through the draft, supplement through free-agency. Most every NFL team knows that. It's no secret that only the Patriots, Colts, Ravens, and Falcons know to do.

The only thing I question about Dimitroff is he tends to reach for players with injury histories in college, and that carries over into the NFL. Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, William Moore - all were high draft picks, and all have fought injuries their rookie seasons. Hopefully they will remain healthy.

I have always wondered why some people on here post with an obvious agenda. Can you please explain that to me?

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http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/2010/09/09/dimitroff-is-clearly-building-through-the-draft/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_falcons_blog

Atlanta Falcons

GM Thomas Dimitroff is clearly building through the draft

FLOWERY BRANCH – A quick report from around the league reveals that the Falcons are amongst the leaders in a key category.

(A special thanks to Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer for compiling and sharing the data.)

Successful teams in the NFL build through the draft. It’s no coincidence that the Cleveland Browns only have 17 of their draft picks on the 53-man roster, which was submitted at the Saturday deadline.

Green Bay, generally considered a playoff contender, led the league with 36 drafted players.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Carolina Panthers are second with 35 drafted players.

The Falcons were eighth with 31.

Indianapolis (34) and New England (32), two teams the Falcons have patterned themselves after, are also near the top the list.

The number includes only drafted players on the 53-man roster, not including undrafted free agents or guys on injured reserve of the physically unable to perform list.

A total of 12 of 22 projected starters were originally drafted by the Falcons. Seven of those projected starters were drafted by Dimitroff.

Another key factor in Dimitroff’s drafts has been his focus on drafting seniors that have been consistent and who improved over their collegiate careers. (And who didn’t play in the Big Ten!)

Over the last three drafts, 24 of the 26 players that the Falcons have selected were college seniors, while 15 were either named or voted team captain by their coaches or peers.

Here’s a list of teams and how many players they drafted who made their 53-man roster.

TEAM DRAFTED PLAYERS

Green Bay 36

Carolina 35

Pittsburgh 35

Indianapolis 34

Tennessee 34

New England 32

Oakland 32

San Francisco 32

Atlanta 31

Dallas 31

New York Giants 31

Baltimore 29

Houston 29

Tampa Bay 29

Cincinnati 28

Jacksonville 28

Philadelphia 28

San Diego 28

Buffalo 27

Minnesota 27

Arizona 26

Chicago 26

Detroit 24

Kansas City 24

St. Louis 24

Seattle 24

New Orleans 23

Denver 22

Miami 21

New York Jets 21

Cleveland 17

Washington 17

Woot nothing like being on a draft pool list 2 spots from Al Davis's Oakland Raiders.

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I am a huge draft guy, so much so, I once ran my own draft website. It really is scary how much I follow it sometimes.

Here is my issue with the Falcons drafts, they are not good, especially on defense. Now, that does not mean they are not getting good players at certain points, but there does not seem to a be a method to the madness.

I am not going to go back behind the drafting of Matt Ryan, because your list of first round failures prior to that point is long and the one thing you cannot do is continually fail in the first round. It is your money round. If you miss each season, but nail a first rounder, you will have a markedly better team. It is why the Steelers have been strong. The Steelers have drafted Hampton, Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Miller, Holmes, Timmons, Mendenhall, etc in the first. While Colbert has had marginal guys like Simmons or Burress, he has not drafted a pure bust.

That is where you start. Now, in 2008, you drafted Matt Ryan 1st overall. He has proven to be the right choice. I bet the Rams wish they had a do-over. Then, later, you took Baker. Not a sexy pick, but you need to protect your franchise QB. I get the rational. You have Roddy White and add Turner and Gonzales later. Okay, he has some weapons. Here is what kills me. Other than Harry Douglas, you quit on Ryan. In the last three drafts, you have taken 8 DBs, 5 LBs, and then spent your 1st last year on a DT and followed it this season with your 2nd pick in the draft on another DT. You can almost field 2 defenses with your draft picks in the past 3 seasons. And, you add a high end free agent at CB while signing Peterson at LB.

IMO, while Weatherspoon was even praised by our guys (Colbert and Tomlin), just think how scary your offense would be if you had added Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant. Heck, even if you spend your 3rd on a WR. You could have had Andre Roberts or Eric Dekker. It is like you have grown satisfied with your offense and its weapons.

And, you run a Cover-2 defense, not a Tampa-2 exactly, but your players mirror those that you would draft for a Tampa-2. You have the smaller quicker tackles and disruptive ends (at least that was your desire with Jamal Anderson), faster linebackers, and hopefully steady play in the secondary. The cover-2 also uses bigger corners and the Falcons add guys like Owens and Grimes (nothing against the player) but both are under 5'10".

It is a really confusing style of drafting for your defensive needs. I do not know if your coordinators have input during the draft (ours do), but if they do, someone needs to slap Van Gorder because he is slinging darts at a board. Mularkey has added a franchise QB, starting LT, slot WR, and some lineman (I am leaving out Kerry Meier for now). The offensive guys have been nice since Ryan was added, but you spend defensive picks like drunken sailors. And, to be honest, in watching your defense this preseason, I think you will be disappointed this season. Not knocking them, but your front seven can be pushed around by a good running team. In fact, if you lined your offense up against your defense, I bet they could run on it at will.

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I am a huge draft guy, so much so, I once ran my own draft website. It really is scary how much I follow it sometimes.

Here is my issue with the Falcons drafts, they are not good, especially on defense. Now, that does not mean they are not getting good players at certain points, but there does not seem to a be a method to the madness.

I am not going to go back behind the drafting of Matt Ryan, because your list of first round failures prior to that point is long and the one thing you cannot do is continually fail in the first round. It is your money round. If you miss each season, but nail a first rounder, you will have a markedly better team. It is why the Steelers have been strong. The Steelers have drafted Hampton, Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Miller, Holmes, Timmons, Mendenhall, etc in the first. While Colbert has had marginal guys like Simmons or Burress, he has not drafted a pure bust.

That is where you start. Now, in 2008, you drafted Matt Ryan 1st overall. He has proven to be the right choice. I bet the Rams wish they had a do-over. Then, later, you took Baker. Not a sexy pick, but you need to protect your franchise QB. I get the rational. You have Roddy White and add Turner and Gonzales later. Okay, he has some weapons. Here is what kills me. Other than Harry Douglas, you quit on Ryan. In the last three drafts, you have taken 8 DBs, 5 LBs, and then spent your 1st last year on a DT and followed it this season with your 2nd pick in the draft on another DT. You can almost field 2 defenses with your draft picks in the past 3 seasons. And, you add a high end free agent at CB while signing Peterson at LB.

IMO, while Weatherspoon was even praised by our guys (Colbert and Tomlin), just think how scary your offense would be if you had added Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant. Heck, even if you spend your 3rd on a WR. You could have had Andre Roberts or Eric Dekker. It is like you have grown satisfied with your offense and its weapons.

And, you run a Cover-2 defense, not a Tampa-2 exactly, but your players mirror those that you would draft for a Tampa-2. You have the smaller quicker tackles and disruptive ends (at least that was your desire with Jamal Anderson), faster linebackers, and hopefully steady play in the secondary. The cover-2 also uses bigger corners and the Falcons add guys like Owens and Grimes (nothing against the player) but both are under 5'10".

It is a really confusing style of drafting for your defensive needs. I do not know if your coordinators have input during the draft (ours do), but if they do, someone needs to slap Van Gorder because he is slinging darts at a board. Mularkey has added a franchise QB, starting LT, slot WR, and some lineman (I am leaving out Kerry Meier for now). The offensive guys have been nice since Ryan was added, but you spend defensive picks like drunken sailors. And, to be honest, in watching your defense this preseason, I think you will be disappointed this season. Not knocking them, but your front seven can be pushed around by a good running team. In fact, if you lined your offense up against your defense, I bet they could run on it at will.

We'll see

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I am a huge draft guy, so much so, I once ran my own draft website. It really is scary how much I follow it sometimes.

Here is my issue with the Falcons drafts, they are not good, especially on defense. Now, that does not mean they are not getting good players at certain points, but there does not seem to a be a method to the madness.

I am not going to go back behind the drafting of Matt Ryan, because your list of first round failures prior to that point is long and the one thing you cannot do is continually fail in the first round. It is your money round. If you miss each season, but nail a first rounder, you will have a markedly better team. It is why the Steelers have been strong. The Steelers have drafted Hampton, Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Miller, Holmes, Timmons, Mendenhall, etc in the first. While Colbert has had marginal guys like Simmons or Burress, he has not drafted a pure bust.

That is where you start. Now, in 2008, you drafted Matt Ryan 1st overall. He has proven to be the right choice. I bet the Rams wish they had a do-over. Then, later, you took Baker. Not a sexy pick, but you need to protect your franchise QB. I get the rational. You have Roddy White and add Turner and Gonzales later. Okay, he has some weapons. Here is what kills me. Other than Harry Douglas, you quit on Ryan. In the last three drafts, you have taken 8 DBs, 5 LBs, and then spent your 1st last year on a DT and followed it this season with your 2nd pick in the draft on another DT. You can almost field 2 defenses with your draft picks in the past 3 seasons. And, you add a high end free agent at CB while signing Peterson at LB.

IMO, while Weatherspoon was even praised by our guys (Colbert and Tomlin), just think how scary your offense would be if you had added Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant. Heck, even if you spend your 3rd on a WR. You could have had Andre Roberts or Eric Dekker. It is like you have grown satisfied with your offense and its weapons.

And, you run a Cover-2 defense, not a Tampa-2 exactly, but your players mirror those that you would draft for a Tampa-2. You have the smaller quicker tackles and disruptive ends (at least that was your desire with Jamal Anderson), faster linebackers, and hopefully steady play in the secondary. The cover-2 also uses bigger corners and the Falcons add guys like Owens and Grimes (nothing against the player) but both are under 5'10".

It is a really confusing style of drafting for your defensive needs. I do not know if your coordinators have input during the draft (ours do), but if they do, someone needs to slap Van Gorder because he is slinging darts at a board. Mularkey has added a franchise QB, starting LT, slot WR, and some lineman (I am leaving out Kerry Meier for now). The offensive guys have been nice since Ryan was added, but you spend defensive picks like drunken sailors. And, to be honest, in watching your defense this preseason, I think you will be disappointed this season. Not knocking them, but your front seven can be pushed around by a good running team. In fact, if you lined your offense up against your defense, I bet they could run on it at will.

actually i changed my mind....i will respond.

First, I'm talking about the drafting of Thomas Dimitroffand not what happened before.

a.)He didn't draft Anderson, but the coaches found use for him

b.)He didn't draft Grimes. Grimes was already here

c.)Being in the cover 2 is about physical corners, not necessarily tall corners.

d.)Owens, Franks, DRob are all physical corners.

e.)Although he has been good recently Roddy White and Michael Jenkins wasn't drafted by Dimitroff.

f.)We use an extremely heavy rotation on our D-Line. This is why we have so many D-Lineman. All of them have quality and can come in and contribute. You will see ALL of them playing against the Steelers and throughout the season.

g.)Although the schemes for the cover-2 and the Tampa-2 are slightly different, they still use the same type of players

h.)Ronde Barber is 5'10"

i.)I agree with getting a 2nd Wr, but the not the 2 first rounders you mentioned. If you haven't noticed our defense have been in the bottom 20 the last 2 years while our offense has been top 15. We clearly need to fix the defense. I wouldn't mind getting Andre Roberts, but as far sas first round we needed a LB and backup DT more than we needed a 2nd Wr which would be our 3rd/4th option on offense.

j.)This is the 3rd year of this regime and this is where we will see this team go up. When they first came here they stated that there was a 3 year plan.

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I am a huge draft guy, so much so, I once ran my own draft website. It really is scary how much I follow it sometimes.

Here is my issue with the Falcons drafts, they are not good, especially on defense. Now, that does not mean they are not getting good players at certain points, but there does not seem to a be a method to the madness.

.......

So, you ran a draft site and didn't realize that TD just took over three years ago?

Since TD took over, this team's drafts make a lot of sense to me. First year was offense, second year was defense, third year was filling holes. Biggest hole was LB, not WR. TD also acquired Turner, Gonzo and Robinson.

In TD's three years, this team has gone from a team predicted to go 1-15 to a team many experts have winning the division and challenging for the super bowl. I think his results speak for themselves.

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Building through the draft is all good. But that is really a 2 way street. Because it takes about 3 years to get those draft picks into a starting lineup, and be productive. Then a couple years after that they become free-agents. So do we re-sign them? Or let them go and spend another 3 years training their replacement.

You build through the draft, supplement through free-agency. Most every NFL team knows that. It's no secret that only the Patriots, Colts, Ravens, and Falcons know to do.

The only thing I question about Dimitroff is he tends to reach for players with injury histories in college, and that carries over into the NFL. Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, William Moore - all were high draft picks, and all have fought injuries their rookie seasons. Hopefully they will remain healthy.

i also have some concerns with that strategy. I do understand he got value and if they turn out they'll be huge reward picks. The problem i've had with this team's strategy--and i could be wrong--is there has been a ton of attention towards the defense in an NFL that is increasingly becoming one dominated by offensive juggernauts. Is this the right strategy? I'm not sure. Is building a great defense the best way? or is best ot build an opportunistic defense and load your offense with playmaker? Particularly at the wr and rb position.We have white and gonzo who are studs, but is HD? Jenkins is a blocker and when you get behind Turner (who could, in theory, have been a one hit wonder) who do we have? I sincerely hope that since we have committed so many dollars to Matt Ryan that next year we finally draft or sign him playmakers

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That is where you start. Now, in 2008, you drafted Matt Ryan 1st overall. He has proven to be the right choice. I bet the Rams wish they had a do-over. Then, later, you took Baker. Not a sexy pick, but you need to protect your franchise QB. I get the rational. You have Roddy White and add Turner and Gonzales later. Okay, he has some weapons. Here is what kills me. Other than Harry Douglas, you quit on Ryan. In the last three drafts, you have taken 8 DBs, 5 LBs, and then spent your 1st last year on a DT and followed it this season with your 2nd pick in the draft on another DT. You can almost field 2 defenses with your draft picks in the past 3 seasons. And, you add a high end free agent at CB while signing Peterson at LB.

IMO, while Weatherspoon was even praised by our guys (Colbert and Tomlin), just think how scary your offense would be if you had added Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant. Heck, even if you spend your 3rd on a WR. You could have had Andre Roberts or Eric Dekker. It is like you have grown satisfied with your offense and its weapons.

And, you run a Cover-2 defense, not a Tampa-2 exactly, but your players mirror those that you would draft for a Tampa-2. You have the smaller quicker tackles and disruptive ends (at least that was your desire with Jamal Anderson), faster linebackers, and hopefully steady play in the secondary. The cover-2 also uses bigger corners and the Falcons add guys like Owens and Grimes (nothing against the player) but both are under 5'10".

It is a really confusing style of drafting for your defensive needs. I do not know if your coordinators have input during the draft (ours do), but if they do, someone needs to slap Van Gorder because he is slinging darts at a board. Mularkey has added a franchise QB, starting LT, slot WR, and some lineman (I am leaving out Kerry Meier for now). The offensive guys have been nice since Ryan was added, but you spend defensive picks like drunken sailors. And, to be honest, in watching your defense this preseason, I think you will be disappointed this season. Not knocking them, but your front seven can be pushed around by a good running team. In fact, if you lined your offense up against your defense, I bet they could run on it at will.

1. TD's first draft..he adds Ryan and Baker..two 1st rounders, and Harry Douglas..IIRC a 3rd, to an offense with two 1st rounders at wr and a free agent rb..Turner. That first season of TD's...the defense was well behind the offense.

2. During the offseason after TD's first season, we got rid of many veterans off the defense..including Lawyer Milloy and Keith Brooking, so therefore, taking players away from an already weak defense.

This is why TD has drafted defense heavy for two drafts. To call his picks bad is ridiculous. He has drafted Lofton(2nd), Decoud(3rd), Jerry(1st), Owens(3rd), Spoon(1st),Bierman(5th),Sidbury(4th),Peters(3rd),Franks(5th). Lofton,Spoon, Jerry, Bierman, and Decoud are starters. Owens is our nickle back. Sidbury will see his share of playing time and is due to come out this season. Franks will see playing time, and will be starting soon. Don't forget second rounder William Moore..a frieght train safety that would've been a 1st rounder had he come out as a junior.

We needed help on defense..in 3 short years..we've went from old, slow, and bad...to young, fast, and deep. I just don't see your contention that TD drafted bad..or shouldn't have drafted defense heavy. Yeah..we could've drafted less and signed free agents, and improved a year or too..but for far less money, we have improved the defense for years for a 10th what free agents would cost.

Come Sunday..you'll get to know these players and why they were drafted.

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I am sure one of us will find out on Sunday.

Not really. The first game of a season does not prove or disprove a GMs draft picks.

This is the beginning of our 3rd season with TD, building through the draft and proving to be a consistent winner is something that's going to take years to prove.

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the only real point of contention i see with the heavy D drafting is that it will take a few years to retrain offensive weapons...IF our offensive cover was bare.

roddy still has many many years left in the tank, HD is brand new to the league, Turner should have another few years as well considering how little pounding he took in San Diego.

Tony gonzalez at tight end and select spots on our o-line are the only ones hampered by age and free agency. I personally am high in Palmer training behind TG, and we have been bringing in O-lineman after O-lineman after O-lineman to try and see if we can find a fit without having to spend rounds 1-5 on those positions.

So yes, we have drafted heavily on Defense, but our offense is nowhere near empty, and we still have YOUNG talented guys on that side of the ball giving us time to draft and stockpile our defense with depth and speed. I PREDICT that we will have much more balanced drafts starting next year.

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i also have some concerns with that strategy. I do understand he got value and if they turn out they'll be huge reward picks. The problem i've had with this team's strategy--and i could be wrong--is there has been a ton of attention towards the defense in an NFL that is increasingly becoming one dominated by offensive juggernauts. Is this the right strategy? I'm not sure. Is building a great defense the best way? or is best ot build an opportunistic defense and load your offense with playmaker? Particularly at the wr and rb position.We have white and gonzo who are studs, but is HD? Jenkins is a blocker and when you get behind Turner (who could, in theory, have been a one hit wonder) who do we have? I sincerely hope that since we have committed so many dollars to Matt Ryan that next year we finally draft or sign him playmakers

I follow your point, but think of the Giants against New England. New England had the most prolific offense ever (yes better than the 98 Vikings we beat). That game was won by the Giants defense and defensive line and a few good drives by their offense.

Look at the Minnesota vs NO game from thurs. Minnesota's defense was able to stop a VERY VERY high powered offense for most of the game. There's no conclusive, stronger offense or stronger defense is better. I want both to be great, but would much rather a stronger defense inside the top ten to top 5, with an offense that can hang in the top 15 than the other way around.

But hey, that's just me

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1. TD's first draft..he adds Ryan and Baker..two 1st rounders, and Harry Douglas..IIRC a 3rd, to an offense with two 1st rounders at wr and a free agent rb..Turner. That first season of TD's...the defense was well behind the offense.

2. During the offseason after TD's first season, we got rid of many veterans off the defense..including Lawyer Milloy and Keith Brooking, so therefore, taking players away from an already weak defense.

This is why TD has drafted defense heavy for two drafts. To call his picks bad is ridiculous. He has drafted Lofton(2nd), Decoud(3rd), Jerry(1st), Owens(3rd), Spoon(1st),Bierman(5th),Sidbury(4th),Peters(3rd),Franks(5th). Lofton,Spoon, Jerry, Bierman, and Decoud are starters. Owens is our nickle back. Sidbury will see his share of playing time and is due to come out this season. Franks will see playing time, and will be starting soon. Don't forget second rounder William Moore..a frieght train safety that would've been a 1st rounder had he come out as a junior.

We needed help on defense..in 3 short years..we've went from old, slow, and bad...to young, fast, and deep. I just don't see your contention that TD drafted bad..or shouldn't have drafted defense heavy. Yeah..we could've drafted less and signed free agents, and improved a year or too..but for far less money, we have improved the defense for years for a 10th what free agents would cost.

Come Sunday..you'll get to know these players and why they were drafted.

+1, well said my friend.

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