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Change You Can Believe In?


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Change You Can Believe In?

Early in 2008, Arthur Blank and Rich McKay made two crucial moves which would forever change the Atlanta Falcons.

First, they hired former New England Patriot Director of College Scouting Thomas Dimitroff; then along with Dimitroff, hire Mike Smith, former defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

From there, this revamped front office made two more moves in the following months that would start the transition that we see today. First they signed Michael Turner, free agent running back from San Diego; and second, they took Matt Ryan 3rd overall in the 2008 draft.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I feel it's important to bring up these moves before I get to my main point. These changes shaped the Atlanta Falcons franchise in a way that had been tried many times before, but failed each and every time.

In 2008, they stunned the NFL going 11-5 and making it into the playoffs. The team received accolades such as GM of the Year, Coach of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year. But ultimately, they fell short, and started preparing themselves for 2009. In the words of Mike Smith, “It's a process.”

In 2009, the Falcons suffered many injuries, to key players including Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Peria Jerry, William Moore, and Brian Williams; but still managed to finish the season 9-7. Although it was little consolation to the players and coaching staff; it was the first back to back winning seasons in the history of the organization. A history which stretches all the way back to 1966. The longest such streak in all of professional sports.

The Falcons began 2010 with high aspirations again; they tasted the playoffs in 2008, and they wanted more. They're well on their way to achieving that goal. By beating the Green Bay Packers, they've put themselves atop the NFC with a 9-2 record.

This marks their 3rd winning season in a row, a far cry from your father's Falcons. In 44 years, the Falcons have 12 winning seasons. 3 of those, in the last 3 years. This new regime has brought so much change to the Atlanta Falcons in every facet of the organization. You likely won't hear about this “back -to-back-to-back” winning season for the Falcons, but ask any fan, it's a big deal. For a team who was a perennial bottom-feeder, the Atlanta Falcons are putting their name in the hat for one of the NFL elite. All they need to strengthen their argument is a ring; and this team seems to be on the path to do just that.

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