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Thomas Dimitroff Brings Patriot Way To Atlanta


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Just read the bottom bold part

http://www.sportsnet...way-to-atlanta/

Thomas Dimitroff brings Patriot Way to Atlanta

To this day Thomas Dimitroff is asked what was the main thing he cultivated while working under Bill Belichick.

The 47-year-old general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, who spent many of his formative years growing up in Canada, served six years in New England’s scouting department learning from one of the greatest minds in NFL history. He refers to it as “the Patriot paradigm” and he still believes there are few organizations and cultures similar to New England.

“One of the main ideas and philosophies was the idea of indisputable role understanding,” Dimitroff says. “Making sure that we stayed within those definitive lines and that we would all succeed at being the best in the league at those roles. That’s what was going to make us the best team we could be and win Super Bowl after Super Bowl after Super Bowl.”

Belichick never claimed that it was an unbelievable, outside-the-box strategy. You were just expected to adhere to the team concept in all aspects of the organization. Although, that doesn’t mean Belichick wasn’t or isn’t innovative. And it doesn’t mean that Dimitroff is afraid to go out on his own limb. In fact, in building the Falcons into a championship contender—2013’s struggles notwithstanding—one of the best moves he made was going against his mentor’s advice.

Dimitroff was tabbed for the Falcons job shortly after the finish of 2007 season. Atlanta had just been through one of the toughest seasons a franchise could ever imagine—they finished 4-12 in fourth place in the NFC South—and, after a four-hour Skype call with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Dimitroff was selected as the man to guide Atlanta back to respectability.

In his first draft for the team Dimitroff had the third pick and a lot at stake. But at least he had a fine example to draw on. The way Belichick manipulated the draft over the years had always amazed him.

“For a guy who is perceived as very strict and very rigid about what he does, he’s got a very creative mind and adaptable approach to things,” Dimitroff says. “His ability to get on the phone and cajole a GM or head coach from another team to trade away picks is second to none in our league.”

But in the 2008 draft his intention wasn’t to get creative. It was to acquire a building block. With rumours swirling about other teams trying to move in front of Atlanta to select Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, and the media and public championing LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey over Ryan, Dimitroff and his staff held their ground.

“Nothing against Glenn Dorsey, but that would have been catastrophic for our organization, not having a player of Matt Ryan’s calibre at the quarterback position,” Dimitroff says

The trio of Dimitroff, Ryan and head coach Mike Smith quickly turned the Falcons into a title contender. In 2010 Atlanta rolled through the regular season, recording a 13-3 mark and a first-place finish in the NFC. But the Falcons got beat 48–21 on their home turf in the divisional round by the eventual champion Green Bay Packers. And it led to Dimitroff making an unprecedented move in the off-season.

As the 2011 draft approached, Dimitroff set his sights on landing All-American University of Alabama receiver Julio Jones. There was no chance Jones was going to be available with Atlanta’s 27th overall pick, so Dimitroff got on the phone with teams in the top seven of the draft.

“Some of the other organizations I had discussions with didn’t really believe that I was serious about moving up 21 spots, an unprecedented move in modern-day history of drafts in the NFL,” Dimitroff says.

For about a month leading up to the draft Dimitroff and Cleveland GM Tom Heckert talked quite a bit about the Browns’ sixth-overall pick. And when there was a framework for the trade in place, Dimitroff sought the advice of his mentor.

“Here I am calling one of the most historic head coaches in the history of our league, talking to Bill Belichick and knowing he wouldn’t do it,” Dimitroff said. “Bill mentioned very candidly, this is one of those things in your career that there is the potential you will take a massive beating in the media… so just be ready. I listened to him, we had a great discussion, talked about other parts of the draft, but in the back of my mind I thought, ‘All due respect. Bill, I’m going to pull the trigger on this.’”

On the eve of the draft the deal was struck. But when Dimitroff woke up on the morning of the draft, rumours had the Patriots jumping up the board and snatching Jones for themselves. The Atlanta GM thought to himself, “Is this really going to fall through my finger tips?” Especially to Belichick, the man who had advised him against making the deal?

It all turned out in Atlanta’s favour. Jones was available at number six when the Browns went on the clock and the Falcons sent five picks total, two firsts, a second and two fourths to Cleveland in order to land the explosive pass catcher.

“We never looked at the acquisition of Julio Jones as the over-the-top element that was going to take us to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl,” Dimitroff explained. “My drive and our approach to bringing in a guy like Julio Jones was to get the most explosive playmaker we could on offence. To have defensive players and coordinators on their heels worrying about Julio Jones. Whether he caught four passes or 14 that was our drive to get a guy like Julio Jones.”

Bringing Jones to the Falcons was a symbol Dimitroff had fully developed his own clear football and organization-building philosophy. He had learned so much from Belichick and the Patriot way. Some ideas from his days in New England fit his personality and some didn’t. For example Atlanta has a much more open approach with the media than New England.

In 2012 Dimitroff’s philosophy had the Falcons positioned as a Super Bowl contender. Atlanta flew through the regular season, again posting a 13-3 record, and earned the number one seed in the NFC. On Jan. 20, the Falcons hosted the 49ers for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Both Ryan and Jones put up huge numbers, with the latter going for 11 catches and 184 yards and two touchdowns. But with less than 90 seconds left in the game, Atlanta had a fourth and four on the San Francisco 10-yard line, needing a conversion and touchdown to win. Mere yards from a trip to the Super Bowl, San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman broke up a Ryan pass intended for Roddy White, and the game was over.

Despite the tough loss, it appeared Atlanta was built to be a perennial NFL championship challenger for years to come. However, in a sudden turn of fortune few experts saw coming in 2013, the Falcons are now at the back of the NFL flock.

“It’s beyond perplexing for most of us in the organization. Every day that I wake up… we continue to be in contention for the first overall pick. I can’t believe I’m saying that,” Dimitroff says. “In professional football when you’re 13-3 and a matter of yards away from the Super Bowl, the hesitancy to change is beyond strong. People don’t want to change, but you have to be very open. It goes back to the adaptability of what Bill Belichick was and is.”

It is clear Dimitroff isn’t afraid to be inventive in his thinking. He is open to making whatever changes necessary to ensure Atlanta’s stay at the bottom of the standings is brief.

“I truly believe we will rectify this with a vengeance,” Dimitroff says. “This to me was an anomalous season for us. I don’t believe it needs to take us years to get back and be considered one of the elite teams in the National Football League.”

The one thing i agree with is if this offseason is done right the right way ....THE RIGHT WAY.... We should easily become a contender again next year....

I get what TD is saying.. I fully do.. When you are 10 yards from the superbowl.. You happen to think with young guys stepping up .... You will be there again...

The problem is when that gameplan is so one sided (All offense and hope your D just make enough plays) ...A injury to the strongest part (The offense) an everything is down hill... The Seahawks, 49ers, and Panthers have their D to lean back on... Right now the ravens have their top 10 D to help them stay in the playoff hunt.....

We have nooooooo D to do that... Our D last year was opportunistic at the right time...

TD said this offseason we will attack it with vengeance ... Mr.Blank hinted we will attack this offeseason also...

Lets see what happens... Like i said.. We have cap space to do some thing in FA and a high picks to get impact prospects in the draft.

Lets see what happens.. TD has no excuses.... This is not a bad team once we get our injured guys back... Attack oth Lines and add some depth at some positions...

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I can't see any similarities really. I guess we're bringing people off the street (UDFAs) and they're playing, but that's mainly due to our hand being forced. Patriots have a good D and a strong o-line to give Brady a chance. That's why any old receiver can come in and get yards with them.

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We had what a top 5 scoring D last year? So yea no big needed changes seemed where needed, however our D took a huge step back this season, and our O simply hasn't been as strong. To blame Dimmitroff for our failure this year has some Value but not enough like many people have stated. If he would of made a whole bunch of changes and we be in the sane situation people would be at his house sending him death threats.

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That's nice he said that and all but the problems we have now just didn't happen in 1 off-season.

They've been building under the surface and this season exposed them.

A major problem I've seen is they seem to think they can draft someone from any round and plug them in and they'll be as good of a player that was there before. They just assume the player will develop when most of the time they do not.

If they do they let them leave in free agency so they can keep other players.... Vance Walker vs Jerry for example.

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To add to my post:

We cut Abe signed Osi

We released Robinson and didn't resign Grimes. We drafted Trufant and Alford.

Cut Turner signed Jackson

To me those where our key changes. And they seemed valid to many.(I didn't agree with cutting Abe and signing Osi) but when we where so close to reaching the SB many believed we didn't need a drastic change. No run game was our issue and many if not all believed we needed an upgrade which we all believed with had got with the signing of Jackson. The Oline played well enough last season(mainly due to Ryan) but we believed getting younger on D would improve our top 5 scoring D. And getting a younger pass rusher would improve the rush while giving our younger guys a chance. Sounded like what we needed and a smart choice. Clearly dimmitroffs big mistake was not addressing the RG and RT spot but can you blame him they played well enough right their where it seemed it wasn't a major issue.

I can't blame Dimmitroff for this error it's an error prob most GMs would of made specially after being so close. But us being so close in the end is the big reason why our season has turned out this way

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We had what a top 5 scoring D last year? So yea no big needed changes seemed where needed, however our D took a huge step back this season, and our O simply hasn't been as strong. To blame Dimmitroff for our failure this year has some Value but not enough like many people have stated. If he would of made a whole bunch of changes and we be in the sane situation people would be at his house sending him death threats.

I disagree.. We was low in sacks tho .... But i agreee with you... The same ppl who is bitching now was praising TD last year or wasnt saying nothing at all because we was winning so they couldnt post and *****... KOG and maybe FFS1970 was the only 2 i seen saying we are good but we have to do this or that.

TD went with the same gameplan from last year that ppl praised us coming 10 yards from the superbowl.. The Only difference is our strength to our team was hit hard... Very hard by injurie and the O-Line .... Even with the young O-Line.. When we was atleast a lil healthy at the begining .. We was in position to win... Either TD winning drops or our D cant stop a team from droving down the field at the end of the game.

TD problem is as the GM... You have to take the blame because its your gameplan

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I disagree.. We was low in sacks tho .... But i agreee with you... The same ppl who is bitching now was praising TD last year or wasnt saying nothing at all because we was winning so they couldnt post and *****... KOG and maybe FFS1970 was the only 2 i seen saying we are good but we have to do this or that.

TD went with the same gameplan from last year that ppl praised us coming 10 yards from the superbowl.. The Only difference is our strength to our team was hit hard... Very hard by injurie and the O-Line .... Even with the young O-Line.. When we was atleast a lil healthy at the begining .. We was in position to win... Either TD winning drops or our D cant stop a team from droving down the field at the end of the game.

TD problem is as the GM... You have to take the blame because its your gameplan

I agree 100%
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I hope no one lets all that corporate doubletalk BS that he always spews in interviews blind them from the reality that this jackass thought guys like Konz, Reynolds, Trueblood, and Holmes were capable of being reliable starters on the O-line. How anyone can want him to keep his job is beyond me. His inability to draft a single quality linemen on either side of the ball finally manifested itself this year, and nothing he has done during his tenure as our GM indicates that he is capable of fixing it.

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To add to my post:

We cut Abe signed Osi

We released Robinson and didn't resign Grimes. We drafted Trufant and Alford.

Cut Turner signed Jackson

To me those where our key changes. And they seemed valid to many.(I didn't agree with cutting Abe and signing Osi) but when we where so close to reaching the SB many believed we didn't need a drastic change. No run game was our issue and many if not all believed we needed an upgrade which we all believed with had got with the signing of Jackson. The Oline played well enough last season(mainly due to Ryan) but we believed getting younger on D would improve our top 5 scoring D. And getting a younger pass rusher would improve the rush while giving our younger guys a chance. Sounded like what we needed and a smart choice. Clearly dimmitroffs big mistake was not addressing the RG and RT spot but can you blame him they played well enough right their where it seemed it wasn't a major issue.

I can't blame Dimmitroff for this error it's an error prob most GMs would of made specially after being so close. But us being so close in the end is the big reason why our season has turned out this way

Add just giving the Center position to Konz instead of someone beating McClure for it in camp.

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That's nice he said that and all but the problems we have now just didn't happen in 1 off-season.

They've been building under the surface and this season exposed them.

A major problem I've seen is they seem to think they can draft someone from any round and plug them in and they'll be as good of a player that was there before. They just assume the player will develop when most of the time they do not.

If they do they let them leave in free agency so they can keep other players.... Vance Walker vs Jerry for example.

To me.. Thats the biggest problem also.. We havnt (until this year because i think Tru and Alford) drafted TRUE impact guys... I do think Willie Mo and Spoon can be impact guys if used right... But we will need to have a GREAT D-line so they can be used the right way.

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I hope no one lets all that corporate doubletalk BS that he always spews in interviews blind them from the reality that this jackass thought guys like Konz, Reynolds, Trueblood, and Holmes were capable of being reliable starters on the O-line. How anyone can want him to keep his job is beyond me. His inability to draft a single quality linemen on either side of the ball finally manifested itself this year, and nothing he has done during his tenure as our GM indicates that he is capable of fixing it.

Actually 2 of those guys wasnt starters day 1..... but yea.. I cant lie... The Konz thing caught me off guard.... I thought he would have been a good center this year.

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I appreciate his comments, but our biggest vulnerabilities have been with us since 08, most have gotten worse. Poor tackling, giving up big plays, making mediocre or rookie QBs look elite, bad run and pass blocking, little or no pass rush. We've never substantially addressed the trenches. I'm not giving up on TD, but he really needs to reevaluate his drafting, and FA pick ups. Quit trying to be cute in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds crossing his fingers that he found some unknown gem, or a team captain, and get some surefire talent.

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I'll say again ad nauseum, Dimi did some good things as a Falcon, but overall he sucks monkey balls. He stepped on his weenie at least 17 times.

Well Blank recently gave him a vote of confidence but I bet he is sharpening up that hatchet.

Can't remember which game it was but Blank was filmed in the booth in one of our beatdowns in what seemed like him giving Dimi the business. Maybe something like look at the two lines bro. They suck bad. I will try to find the footage.

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I appreciate his comments, but our biggest vulnerabilities have been with us since 08, most have gotten worse. Poor tackling, giving up big plays, making mediocre or rookie QBs look elite, bad run and pass blocking, little or no pass rush. We've never substantially addressed the trenches. I'm not giving up on TD, but he really needs to reevaluate his drafting, and FA pick ups. Quit trying to be cute in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds crossing his fingers that he found some unknown gem, or a team captain, and get some surefire talent.

Alot of what you are saying can be fixed by what we have the opportunity to do this offseason... Really improve the D-Line... I also think it can help the tackling.. With a stouter D-Line.. Its less WIDEOPEN running lanes... The LBs and Safties jobs will be SOOOOOO much easier... Taking bad angles .. They gotta focus extra hard on the run because the lanes are wide OPen..Runners are not being touched 2 or 3 yards beyound the LOS but be ready for the playaction fake.

Building a Great D-Line will greatly improve our D and team as a whole...

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I'll say again ad nauseum, Dimi did some good things as a Falcon, but overall he sucks monkey balls. He stepped on his weenie at least 17 times.

Well Blank recently gave him a vote of confidence but I bet he is sharpening up that hatchet.

Can't remember which game it was but Blank was filmed in the booth in one of our beatdowns in what seemed like him giving Dimi the business. Maybe something like look at the two lines bro. They suck bad. I will try to find the footage.

You are a clown, but every time you say stuff like "sucks monkey balls" I can't help but lol in real life.

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This whole team stuns me. Mike Smith was a part of the greatest defense of all time in the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, and yet he doesn't even consider trying to find players who resemble that attitude or skill set. These guys can't even figure out what works in the NFL even though there are teams across the league showing the exact formula to be a strong winning team.

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