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TD let us know some inside stuff

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1. The Falcons trade all the way up to No. 6 to get Julio Jones

I think Atlanta is managed brilliantly by general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith. But I hated their trade up for a receiver. I thought they needed speed and playmakers on defense. And the percent chance for immediate impact at the receiver position is very low. Think about all of the first-round wide receivers who flame out. I made the comment after the trade that I thought the Falcons had 12-4, while missing the Super Bowl, written all over them for the 2011 season.

We had to talk to Dimitroff, who was gracious and thorough with his time and reasoning, even though we totally disagreed with the move.

Dimitroff was candid enough to admit that the Falcons targeted two positions in the draft: receiver and defensive end. They called teams in the middle of the draft and couldn’t find a match. Dimitroff revealed that the final defensive end he really liked was Cameron Jordan, who went off the board at No. 24 to the Saints. Dimitroff said that if they stayed where they were, they would have had to pick an offensive lineman or a tight end and it wouldn’t have provided the spark they wanted.

Oh, yeah: They also loved Julio Jones.

Dimitroff spent a lot of valuable time with his old friend Nick Saban, who told Dimitroff, “There is no diva aspect to him, and he will not be affected by being in the NFL.” Dimitroff then added, “I truly believe when you have an impact player that can affect you now and in the future, you go against conventional wisdom. You go get the player.”

As an example, he cited how nobody thought his old boss Scott Pioli would draft a safety with the fifth overall pick last year. The draft experts screamed, “That’s too high for that position.” Pioli’s move went noted by Dimitroff, who also added, “We knew the compensation would be significant, but when you are talking about a player like this, I am not concerned about a fourth-round pick!”

And Dimitroff says that Jones will make an immediate impact. He urged us not to judge it solely by Jones’ catches. In film study, the Falcons saw that coverage was rolled way too much in Roddy White’s direction. This, according to Dimitroff, needed to change.

The general manager added that he needs to protect his franchise quarterback with weapons and Tony Gonzalez is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Let’s call these all points of clarity from the Falcons. But I am not sure you can bank on a rookie receiver that much. And now, if the Falcons plan to stop the likes of Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers in the big moment, Atlanta must address the defensive needs in free agency.


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People talk about stopping New Orleans and Carolina. If I remember correctly we beat both of those teams last year.

The first New Orleans game was a shoot out. Whoever scored last was winning that game. We won.

The first game against Green Bay was a defensive stalemate in which we came out on top.

The second game against New Orleans was a defensive stalemate. Our defense played superb, but our offense was lacking majorly.

The second game against Green Bay was a blowout. We all admit that. Sometimes it's the other team's day/night/year. This was the case for Green Bay. People forget how many sacks and stops we whiffed on because of bad tackling. Does a rookie defensive end help this? Who knows.

As it got down to the end of the year, teams began focusing on Roddy White. We need somebody that can take pressure off of Roddy. If Julio comes in and contributes immediately and throughout the year then a lot of doubt will be put to rest. Nobody knows until the season starts. I think it's safe to say that we were one playmaker away on offense from truly being elite, and maybe two or three on defense. Julio was a beast in college; dare I say a breast in college. I will take him playing with single coverage due to Roddy being doubled, Tony being bracketed and 8 in the box for Turner over a defensive end any day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I find it odd that he would reveal Cameron Jordan was the defensive player they liked. Even though I find it fascinating I don't see any upside for TD to let everyone in on this now.

I think the only way he would let that out if it was clearly his 2nd option.

The Bucs reportedly passed on Cam Jordan at the No. 20 pick in the draft because they questioned his pass-rush ability.

The Bucs "had doubts" that Jordan could ever be more than a "five- or six-sack per season guy," and were more confident in Adrian Clayborn's long-term upside as a pass rusher. In a 4-3 defense like the Bucs, Jordan projected as only a strong-side defensive end, possibly with the ability to move inside on nickel downs. He never topped 5.5 sacks in a college season.

I liked Cameron Jordan... But i also had them same concerns... Can he be more then a 6 sack a year type DE ?

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