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DirtyBird8711

Scott Pioli Named Most Influential Falcon, But Just How Influential Is He?

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I believe the past two drafts were good-to-great drafts, and I give TD/Blank credit in bringing in Pioli to fixing that.

TD/Smitty lost their way (especially on D) previous to that, starting with Julio trade. We should have addressed pass rush in draft long before Abe was allowed to leave.

Being proactive has NEVER been a strong suit for this franchise. Needs seem to almost always go ignored until they become critical season-wrecking issues.

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Being proactive has NEVER been a strong suit for this franchise. Needs seem to almost always go ignored until they become critical season-wrecking issues.

Spot on, and that falls on management.

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This is not really a defense of Smitty, because I supported him being fired. But in just looking at things from what we know, having read "The War Room" and observed the team closely through that time period, I get the feeling Smitty had a vision imposed on him, he went along with it trying to be a good soldier, and couldn't implement it.

After 2010, everyone knew we needed defense. We did not force a punt against GB the entire game. But Dimitroff wanted to get "explosive." Probably Blank too, but we don't really have direct evidence of that like we do Dimitroff. My circumstantial evidence is that it was such a huge change of direction that I have to believe it was being supported, at least, by the owner. So we trade the farm to get Julio, and we have another bad ending to a good season, where the coordinators were (appropriately) fired, and we bring in Koetter and Nolan. Now, Koetter is known for offensive explosiveness. He puts up yards and points. And true to form, he did that, and we almost made it to the Super Bowl. But his achilles heel is the o-line -- he needs a good one. So we dismantle the o-line after 2012 and promote Holmes and Konz to starters. Why Holmes and Konz? Well, they were the guys left when our picks came around because of the Julio trade. We also double up on corners since we let Grimes go, and bring in Osi. Then instead of getting more o-line help, we re-sign Gonzo and sign Jackson. That's when the wheels came off. We had an explosive coordinator, but we lacked the pieces in the trenches to make the engine run. Nolan, oddly, just seemed completely out of place here. Like he didn't know what he was doing. We had a huge dearth of talent on the defensive side, but there is no way we should have been as bad as we were, and it's not like it started after the defensive exodus -- his defense **** the bed in the playoffs twice with Abe and Spoon. So that didn't work out either.

Oddly, we seemed to be trying to run a defense similar to what Quinn is bringing in, but that's not really Nolan's forte. So we ended up with this big nickel bear hybrid thing, that never really had an identity and was too complicated for our players to execute properly. Should we have been a top 10 defense? No. Should we have been in the basement? I don't think so.

The reality is, regardless of whose fault it was, there was an enormous breach between the FO and the staff, and it was growing, not healing. Smitty has his part in it for sure, and a large part of that is you don't decide to be a good soldier if you don't have experience executing the plan. He left too much to his coordinators, and they were rarely on the same page. The media talks about him and Nolan being at odds all the time, but he and Koetter were too, especially with decisions on whether to go for it versus punt or kick a FG, etc. I think the reality is, he was told we were going to be more explosive, and instead of keeping a hand on the rudder, he brought in coordinators who he expected to implement that type of scheme and he would just manage the game. Only that doesn't really work, so when he would get twitchy and touch the rudder during live game situations, it ended up steering the ship off course.

It was time for him to go, no doubt. But I think he gets way too much of the blame. This is an example. I don't believe for one second that Smitty sat up after the GB game in 2010 and said "what we need is an explosive WR -- go trade the entire draft and get me one." Not for a second. That was Dimitroff's baby, which means this "explosive" nonsense was Dimitroff's vision. I'm glad things seem to be working better now and that stuff is being reined in. But I don't blame Smitty for not being able to implement a new "explosive" vision for the team. Primarily, I blame him for not having the pebbles to stand up and tell Dimitroff that is a bad idea and you need to think long term, or maybe I'm not the right coach for this team. He was a good soldier, but sometimes a good soldier has to be honest and tell the commander he is not equipped to carry out his orders.

I agree with you for the most part, but Brian Billick, Smitty's brother in law, was a big advocate for more explosive plays. He even created a statistic about generating and preventing explosive plays called the

"Toxic Differential". A term Smitty brought up a few times in post game pressers.

http://www.sportingcharts.com/dictionary/nfl/toxic-differential.aspx

I think that not only explains the Julio Jones trade, but also the focus on the secondary, and the middle of the DL, as opposed to addressing the outside pass rush. I think the concern was stopping the big runs and pass plays that haunted us, but not valuing sacks enough.

I think there was a widening chasm between the FO and coaches, but sorry, if a coach lets his FO warp his vision, and he rolls over for the suits, that's on him.

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I think there is confusion here. Let's be honest I think Smitty's part in the draft was limited to here are my positions of need. I don't think he walks into TD's office a week before the draft and goes here are my guys that I want. You never know how the draft is going to fall so you can't say I want this guy in the 2nd because there is no way you know that he is going to be there. Also with the trading that TD loves to do there is no way Smitty could account for those moves. I can also assure you that Smitty didn't go in there and demand the Julio trade. So where Smitty probably played a roll in the picking of positions of need you can bet rear end that TD picked the players.

You do realize the HC is in the war room during the draft with everyone else, right? It's not like Smitty would have to come up with a list in advance and then just hope everything falls that way, he's seeing things happen in real time just like TD or Pioli. And all three are most definitely discussing every pick made with each other.

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That just proves you have an agenda, and opinion shouldn't be respected.

I give Mike Smith a ton of credit for the success we had. I also give TD blame for our failures.

Smith was a bigger issue. I'm not going to pick and choose who we give credit to.

This draft was a home run as far as we can tell this soon. If it indeed turns out to be as good as we hope, then TD deserves as much credit as anyone.

Nah TD wasn't in charge thank the lord

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You do realize the HC is in the war room during the draft with everyone else, right? It's not like Smitty would have to come up with a list in advance and then just hope everything falls that way, he's seeing things happen in real time just like TD or Pioli. And all three are most definitely discussing every pick made with each other.

The draft board is already set......the good news is SP is the one setting it now and not TD

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The draft board is already set......the good news is SP is the one setting it now and not TD

The draft board is always already set whether you're the HC, GM, or owner. That makes absolutely no difference to whether or not the HC can make real-time decisions just as much as the GM.

Oh, and obligatory No he's not. At all.

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I think there is confusion here. Let's be honest I think Smitty's part in the draft was limited to here are my positions of need. I don't think he walks into TD's office a week before the draft and goes here are my guys that I want. You never know how the draft is going to fall so you can't say I want this guy in the 2nd because there is no way you know that he is going to be there. Also with the trading that TD loves to do there is no way Smitty could account for those moves. I can also assure you that Smitty didn't go in there and demand the Julio trade. So where Smitty probably played a roll in the picking of positions of need you can bet rear end that TD picked the players.

I think that the GM heads the scouting, watches most of the tape, hones in on what his HC says that he wanted, then, after doing all that, sits down with the HC, and shows him the guys, who he thinks the HC would like. They then spend time talking about who would be better or worse to bring in. I think the same is true about FA. Obviously though, there will be a guy making the final call, and that was TD, but I do believe that he picked the guy that Smith chose, at least, some of the time.

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I think that the GM heads the scouting, watches most of the tape, hones in on what his HC says that he wanted, then, after doing all that, sits down with the HC, and shows him the guys, who he thinks the HC would like. They then spend time talking about who would be better or worse to bring in. I think the same is true about FA. Obviously though, there will be a guy making the final call, and that was TD, but I do believe that he picked the guy that Smith chose, at least, some of the time.

I agree with this for the most part. I also agree with going OT in the 1st last year (Even though I wanted Clowney bad). That being said, with the lack of picks from the Julio trade and TD's affinity for trading up we didn't have a whole bunch of picks to hit or miss on. Also I am pretty sure ( I have no proof of this nor will I try to look into a crystal ball and try and formulated from some hidden text in some off handed quote) that Smitty let Nolan pick who he wanted. I think what hurt Smitty the most was the fact that he didn't take the D back from Nolan.

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I think there is confusion here. Let's be honest I think Smitty's part in the draft was limited to here are my positions of need. I don't think he walks into TD's office a week before the draft and goes here are my guys that I want. You never know how the draft is going to fall so you can't say I want this guy in the 2nd because there is no way you know that he is going to be there. Also with the trading that TD loves to do there is no way Smitty could account for those moves. I can also assure you that Smitty didn't go in there and demand the Julio trade. So where Smitty probably played a roll in the picking of positions of need you can bet rear end that TD picked the players.

This post is silly and wrong. The Head Coach and the General Manager are involved in a fluid, ongoing discussion and dialogue concerning specific players. The evaluation process is non-stop, and involves countless hours of watching tape, watching combine results, and going over interview responses.

Both the coach and GM are involved every step of the way. The GM, of course, has the final say in the matter. Therebare disagreements, of course. Sometimes heated. But to think Mike Smith had no voice in players drafted is ridiculous. To think TD had no hand in the most recent draft is asinine. EVERYone is involved, including Quinn, including TD.

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The draft board is always already set whether you're the HC, GM, or owner. That makes absolutely no difference to whether or not the HC can make real-time decisions just as much as the GM.

Oh, and obligatory No he's not. At all.

Completely agree. You always see players have surprising falls on draft day. You don't just say "well, he wasn't on our original board".

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This post is silly and wrong. The Head Coach and the General Manager are involved in a fluid, ongoing discussion and dialogue concerning specific players. The evaluation process is non-stop, and involves countless hours of watching tape, watching combine results, and going over interview responses.

Both the coach and GM are involved every step of the way. The GM, of course, has the final say in the matter. Therebare disagreements, of course. Sometimes heated. But to think Mike Smith had no voice in players drafted is ridiculous. To think TD had no hand in the most recent draft is asinine. EVERYone is involved, including Quinn, including TD.

Well it can't be silly or wrong because it is an opinion. The truth is none of us know what went on behind the scenes. AB said TD had been relieved of his Draft duties. I can only take the man at his word. What have you heard to believe that he was involved?

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Well it can't be silly or wrong because it is an opinion. The truth is none of us know what went on behind the scenes. AB said TD had been relieved of his Draft duties. I can only take the man at his word. What have you heard to believe that he was involved?

TD was never relieved of draft duties mate, all that was said was that the scouts report to Pioli, who then reports to TD. That's all that was said. TD wasn't relieved of duties, he just has a middle man between himself and all the scouts so that he doesn't have to sit down with each and every one of them, he can just go through Pioli instead.

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TD was never relieved of draft duties mate, all that was said was that the scouts report to Pioli, who then reports to TD. That's all that was said. TD wasn't relieved of duties, he just has a middle man between himself and all the scouts so that he doesn't have to sit down with each and every one of them, he can just go through Pioli instead.

As part of the restructuring, Pioli, who joined the team last February, will report to Dimitroff but assume pro and college scouting and NFL Draft responsibilities. Dimitroff will retain management responsibility for salary cap, player affairs, equipment, sports medicine and performance, and video activities.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2015-01-07/scott-pioli-thomas-dimitroff-atlanta-falcons-front-office-shakeup-arthur-blank

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As part of the restructuring, Pioli, who joined the team last February, will report to Dimitroff but assume pro and college scouting and NFL Draft responsibilities. Dimitroff will retain management responsibility for salary cap, player affairs, equipment, sports medicine and performance, and video activities.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2015-01-07/scott-pioli-thomas-dimitroff-atlanta-falcons-front-office-shakeup-arthur-blank

Yeah, he has dominion over the scouts, but reports to TD. What does it mean to "assume NFL Draft responsibilities" if he's still reporting to TD?

Also, did Blank actually say that or was it part of the article? They don't quote that part.

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He said it at the press conference. I cheered for like 5 min straight and is why I remembered it. He may report to TD but the Draft is his. Really this is best for everyone involved including TD. This insulates him from responsibility and probably prolongs his job. For us it means a decent draft. I am not sure about this years draft as it is too early to tell but it looks decent on paper. You and I both know that TD's drafts haven't looked even on paper as promising as this one. The good news for TD is if it is a bad draft it isn't his to take ownership of. The bad news is if it is good he gets no credit.

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Nah TD wasn't in charge thank the lord

He's the General Manager. He signs off on everything. you can't give Pioli praise, then dismiss Dimitroff. For all we know, Pioli could have handed him a list of synchronized swimmers, and Dimitroff might have had to clean it up. None of us know what's going on.

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I haven't seen anyone but JBender suggest TD has no involvement in the draft. In fact, most people seem to have the understanding that he makes the pick, but Pioli is in charge of scouting and essentially putting the draft board together. But whether to move up, move back, pick this guy or that guy -- that's all TD still.

That's not only based on what we've seen during and since the draft, with TD up front talking about the picks, but TD said as much and reports have clarified this. For example:

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2015/2/4/7974939/falcons-front-office-restructure-comes-into-focus

Thomas Dimitroff

As mentioned previously, Dimitroff will remain as the GM with Pioli directly reporting to him. He will maintain full control over the salary cap and player negotiations and will have the "final say" in drafting and free agency - though these are not his direct responsibility any more. As before, he will continue to be over day-to-day business operations.

Scott Pioli

Arthur Blank specifically pointed out that Scott's strengths weren't utilized enough in the previous year, so the restructure is also designed to rectify that by putting Pioli in charge of scouting and the draft. While Dimitroff will have the final say, it's clear that the scouting departments will move under Pioli as he takes a more active role in shaping the roster. In theory, this move may not be dramatically different than before, but on paper it is significant.

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Yeah, he has dominion over the scouts, but reports to TD. What does it mean to "assume NFL Draft responsibilities" if he's still reporting to TD?

Also, did Blank actually say that or was it part of the article? They don't quote that part.

Not to mention almost every interview with Dan Quinn this off season talking about him and TD watching film together and working together

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I haven't seen anyone but JBender suggest TD has no involvement in the draft. In fact, most people seem to have the understanding that he makes the pick, but Pioli is in charge of scouting and essentially putting the draft board together. But whether to move up, move back, pick this guy or that guy -- that's all TD still.

That's not only based on what we've seen during and since the draft, with TD up front talking about the picks, but TD said as much and reports have clarified this. For example:

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2015/2/4/7974939/falcons-front-office-restructure-comes-into-focus

Pretty much everyone in this thread has approached the topic rationally. The only loonies, that I've noticed, have been falconscrest and the pretend falcons fan.

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As part of the restructuring, Pioli, who joined the team last February, will report to Dimitroff but assume pro and college scouting and NFL Draft responsibilities. Dimitroff will retain management responsibility for salary cap, player affairs, equipment, sports medicine and performance, and video activities.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2015-01-07/scott-pioli-thomas-dimitroff-atlanta-falcons-front-office-shakeup-arthur-blank

Yep it's pretty much in black and white right there...TD is AB puppet and SP does the drafting.

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