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Still Hurting, but Keep Your Chins Up


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Saturday's game hurt like mad and will take some time to get over, but as a team and a fan base we have to put it in perspective and find the strength to go forward.

“Success requires persistence in the face of adversity. When faced with setbacks winners don't quit”

There are 32 teams in this league, and when all is said and done, only 1 reaches the promised land every season. The other 31 end the season disappointed. Winning a super bowl takes time, hard work and luck. The Bucs were a consistently good playoff team for 7 or 8 years before they finally won their title. Peyton Manning didn’t get a playoff win for 6 years and took 9 to get his only title. The Steelers made the AFCCG 5 times between 1995 and 2005 before Coach Cowher finally won his super bowl. That’s why TD and Coach Smith call it a “process” - you have to keep building, improving and adapting, and it can take several seasons of tinkering to finally break through and win it all.

“There is no guarantee, no ultimate formula for success. Success comes down to intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chances of prevailing in a competitive environment.”

Bill Walsh

In the modern NFL, with so much parity, getting the #1 seed and HFA is no guarantee of success. In fact, 6 of the last 12 #1 seeds have failed to even make it out of the divisional round. We earned the #1 seed over the course of the season, but “only” beat the Saints and Packers by 3, Bucs by 4, Ravens by 5, and Bucs by 6. The playoffs were always going to be a lottery. The NFL is the cruellest sports league in the world, because 6 months and 16,17 or 18 games of good work can be easily undone by one bad performance or just a handful of key plays in one game – and you have to wait 8 months before you even get a chance to start putting it right.

We need to take a long, hard look at this team and what went wrong on Saturday – and we have to do learn from it and do whatever it takes to improve. However, Mike Smith is right when he says that we have to analyze and make decisions in the calm after we’ve been able to take the emotion out of it. Overreacting, making spur of the moments decisions to radically overhaul the coaching staff and roster after every disappointment is no way to succeed.

The one thing that gives me reassurance at this time, is knowing that we have an owner and front office who will do whatever they think it takes to win a title. They may not go out and spend $100m+ contracts to 30+ year old big name free agents, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to win. To give ourselves the best chance to succeed, we have to build a roster with as much talent and depth as possible. Sinking all of our money in to 1 or 2 elite FA isn’t necessarily the best way ahead, especially if it leaves us unable to re-sign our best players, or with gaping holes elsewhere that we can’t afford to fill. Those are matters that TD has to weigh up and carefully consider – and he will do what he thinks is right and gives us the best chance of success.

We are not an organisation to make rash changes on the back of 1 horrendous game, but we are not an organisation that is going to just accept getting to the playoffs and going one-and-done every year either. Make no mistake about it, MM and BVG will feel the pressure from above to improve in 2011, and Arthur Blank and TD we will expect and demand the necessary improvement. If it doesn’t happen, the changes will come.

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Well said... although I believe that most aren't hurt that we lost to the Packers on Saturday, it's more of how we lost. We all knew that Green Bay was a good football team and we would have to match their intensity on both sides of the ball to win, but this team, whom we all felt had the talent to get it done, fell flat, I mean completely flat...disappeared. Watching that brought back memories of the old Falcons teams that would always collapse when it mattered, and that's what makes it tough because I knew in my heart that this team was different. Only time will tell... I agree with everything you said though. I'm over the loss and looking forward to an interesting offseason.

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Saturday's game hurt like mad and will take some time to get over, but as a team and a fan base we have to put it in perspective and find the strength to go forward...

Good post bro.

It hit me hardest right after GB opened the second half with another beat down drive. I've been on the upswing since I saw NE and BAL lose. I fully recovered by Monday morning. I have almost mastered the Falcon recovery process. It takes practice.

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