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Falcons Master "the Art Of Retention" - Lol....pat Yaz/espn


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Falcons master "The Art of Retention"

by Pat Yasinskas/ESPN

In this recent column, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank talked quite a bit about the importance of continuity.

He cited it as a reason why the Falcons didn’t make a big splash in free agency. That pretty much backs up the philosophy that’s been recited by the Falcons since the arrival of general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith in 2008 -- draft well, keep your core players for the long term, and supplement them with free agents when necessary.

You’ve got to give the Falcons credit for practicing what they preach. This offseason marked the first time that a big portion of a Dimitroff/Smith draft class became eligible for free agency, and the Falcons did a good job of keeping the players they wanted. They re-signed receiver Harry Douglas, safety Thomas DeCoud, and defensive end Kroy Biermann. Quarterback Matt Ryan and offensive tackle Sam Baker, the top two Atlanta picks from 2008, remain under contract. The Falcons did lose middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, a player they had interest in keeping.

kim-zolciak-and-kroy-biermann.jpg

The Falcons gave Lofton an offer before free agency, but he had a different figure in mind. Lofton ended up signing with New Orleans for a lot less than his original asking price, and the Falcons are prepared to move on with either veteran Lofa Tatupu or second-year pro Akeem Dent in his place. Ryan is likely to get a contract extension at some point, and the Falcons might use the final year of Baker’s contract to make a decision on if he’s a long-term answer.

I just got some numbers that back up what the Falcons have been saying. When it comes to retaining drafted players, the Falcons are among the league leaders in the Smith/Dimitroff era.

Of the 32 players drafted by the Falcons since 2008, 26 are on the roster. That’s 81.3 percent, which puts the Falcons second only to the Minnesota Vikings, who have an 82.1 percent retention rate in that same time frame (the percentages were current as of early Tuesday afternoon). For the sake of comparison, Denver ranks last in the league by retaining only 48.6 percent of the players drafted since 2008. For more context, Tennessee (77.8 percent) and Houston (75 percent) are the only other teams with a retention rate of 75 percent or better.

Most of the rest of the NFC South also has fared well in retaining draft picks since 2008. Tampa Bay, which has been preaching a philosophy similar to Atlanta’s, ranks No. 7 in the NFL at 70 percent. Of the 31 players the Buccaneers have drafted since 2008, 21 remain on the team.

Although the Saints have had the second-fewest number of picks since 2008, their retention percentage is fairly high at 68.2 percent. Of the 22 players New Orleans has picked, 15 remain on the roster.

Carolina is the only NFC South team in the bottom half of the league in retention. The Panthers are No. 21 at 61.8 percent. They’ve had 34 picks, and 21 remain on the roster.

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sorry for the sarcasm but this is sore subject w/ me. Hope to see some more exciting news in the future.

Thank God we still have Thomas DeCoud and Sam Baker!!!

Why is it a sore subject? DeCoud was a pro bowl caliber player in 2009 and is capable of getting back there under Mike Nolan. Baker... well, yeah, he's been terrible the last 2 seasons but his first 2 were decent. He will likely be gone after 2012.

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Why is it a sore subject? DeCoud was a pro bowl caliber player in 2009 and is capable of getting back there under Mike Nolan. Baker... well, yeah, he's been terrible the last 2 seasons but his first 2 were decent. He will likely be gone after 2012.

bluescreen-obama-say-what.jpg

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Baker needs to sit a year and greatly improve his core strength. That's been his **** problem can't stay healthy.

Youre right. Chronic back issues are commonly related to poor core strength. That said, if he's in the NFL and hasn't realized this, he doesn't deserve a year.

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Why is it a sore subject? DeCoud was a pro bowl caliber player in 2009 and is capable of getting back there under Mike Nolan. Baker... well, yeah, he's been terrible the last 2 seasons but his first 2 were decent. He will likely be gone after 2012.

I agree. I like the fact that we are retaining a large majority of our core players. Great teams do just that. I also like the fact that a player that has reached his max potential (lofton) was allowed to walk. Not overpaying for 2 down MLBs is great. We should have let Brooking walk long ago. Look, this is the most boring offseason in a long time for the Falcons, but that's a good thing.

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Heck, if the management of any NFL team actually paid attention to most of the clowns who post on their message boards, the team would have a mass turnover of staff and players every season they didn’t win the previous Super Bowl. However, too often a team seems to convince themselves that they are just “one piece away” from winning it all, while in fact a lot of “pieces” may be substandard.

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No, and people need to stop repeating this. There was never a point where he played at a "high" level. Not even close.

Well maybe if people were referring to a few games in his rookie year before teams got film on him I could see how they would be confused.

But I guess you could say he's better than nothing...but not by much.

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Heck, if the management of any NFL team actually paid attention to most of the clowns who post on their message boards, the team would have a mass turnover of staff and players every season they didn’t win the previous Super Bowl. However, too often a team seems to convince themselves that they are just “one piece away” from winning it all, while in fact a lot of “pieces” may be substandard.

and that's the truth, understandably motivated by the desire to keep their jobs for a long as possible

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Does anyone think that after reading this and seeing how we have retained the 2nd most players since the 2008 draft out of any team in the league, and you look at our success (albeit not in the playoffs) over the last two years, that some of that can attributed to the actual talent of the players that have been drafted? And not coaching (as seeing everyone wanted our DC and OC gone b/c they thought they did a terrible job)?

I know a lot of people on these boards criticize TD for making bad draft draft and FA decisions, but in all honesty, I feel that this article somewhat proves those thoughts inaccurate....Not only are we drafting players with talent, we are keeping them for the future...

If everyone on here screams that our coaches are not good, then I guess it must be the players that are getting those Ws...

Thank you TD for your excellent job in building this team over the last 4 years and setting it up for a great future and run at several SBs....

Side Note: Thomas DeCoud is not a Pro Bowl safety even if GOD was his DC....

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