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Arthur Blank Weighs In On Draft Grades.


JOEinPHX
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http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/05/15/on-draft-grades-arthur-blank-gets-it-sort-of/

 

The good news/bad news for the Atlanta front office is that owner Arthur Blank gave his team’s draft a grade of A. The bad news/good news is that Blank would assign that same grade regardless of its outcome.

Every team should get a grade A,” Blank said Friday, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Then when you look back two or three years, that’s when you judge whether or not if you had a good draft or not.”

It’s good news/bad news to get an A because, although the owner is happy for now, he’ll have higher expectations in the future. The bad news/good news that everyone would get an A is that Blank isn’t really praising his football operation — but he also isn’t really adding any pressure to them, either.

“I would give our coach and General Manager a grade A because I know that every single position they drafted very specifically for exactly what the coach wanted and the coaching needs in terms of defense or in terms of the offense,” Blank said . “Hopefully, that will play out in a successful way over the next couple of years.”

But, again, everyone should get an A in Blank’s book. The more accurate statement would be that everyone gets an I for now, with grades being assigned if at all in three years, or longer. Of course, by the time a grade can be assigned for this year’s draft, the coach and G.M. of any team will be still on the job or not on the job for reasons unrelated to how the draft from three years earlier would be graded.

 

It almost sounds like the part I emphasized is new to AB.

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19 minutes ago, R_The_Great said:

So is it just this year the team decided to get players that fit what the coach wants? Way to go td it only took you 8 years to figure that out 

They are still saying smitty didnt know what players he wanted....when i remember seeing a video of smitty walking through the halls at the branch,  and when he passed td, he said "lets start building this defense"...this was right after the julio draft....someone had to be the scapegoat 

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9 minutes ago, trubirdfan4life said:

They are still saying smitty didnt know what players he wanted....when i remember seeing a video of smitty walking through the halls at the branch,  and when he passed td, he said "lets start building this defense"...this was right after the julio draft....someone had to be the scapegoat 

They couldn't even figure out what defense they wanted to run. The Nolan hire set us back more than anything the last 8 years. Hc is versed in the 4-3. Dc the 3-4. They couldn't agree so they tried to run both.....

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59 minutes ago, FalconFanSince1969 said:

They couldn't even figure out what defense they wanted to run. The Nolan hire set us back more than anything the last 8 years. Hc is versed in the 4-3. Dc the 3-4. They couldn't agree so they tried to run both.....

They had no players to work with. Once you dedicate an entire draft towards moving up for 1 players, miss on every single player in the 2012 draft, and let the only pass rusher walk, center, middle linebacker and stand out corner you are going to have issues.  TD drafted players who had no business being in the NFL, even if they were not perfect scheme fits, he could have drafted players who could play in the NFL. 

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1 hour ago, FalconFanSince1969 said:

They couldn't even figure out what defense they wanted to run. The Nolan hire set us back more than anything the last 8 years. Hc is versed in the 4-3. Dc the 3-4. They couldn't agree so they tried to run both.....

If you even go back before then in the 'glory years' of Smitty's tenure the defense never really had an identity.

The only thing I remember about those defenses were they were inconsistent and would always eventually let teams come back.

It almost seemed like a philosophical thing with Smith.  At crunch time when the team needed a stop it seemed like he opted for coverage instead of pressure.  Who can forget when Rogers or Brees was on the field and the Falcons needed a crucial stop and Smitty opted for coverage instead of pressure and would only have 3, (sometimes 2), guys rush?

I know I wish I could.

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20 minutes ago, insight said:

They had no players to work with. Once you dedicate an entire draft towards moving up for 1 players, miss on every single player in the 2012 draft, and let the only pass rusher walk, center, middle linebacker and stand out corner you are going to have issues.  TD drafted players who had no business being in the NFL, even if they were not perfect scheme fits, he could have drafted players who could play in the NFL. 

They didn't let the center and only pass rusher walk.... They cut them.

And I'm pretty sure the head coach was very involved in those decisions.

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Guys stop thinking Smitty had nothing to do with the our draft picks. When Smitty got fired I remember TD saying he was getting players that his coach wanted. He is still doing it now. He is getting players Quinn wants but the only difference is Quinn knows exactly what he wants. I honestly didnt know what we would do on defense from year to year.

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

They didn't let the center and only pass rusher walk.... They cut them.

And I'm pretty sure the head coach was very involved in those decisions.

The plan was to replace Mcclure with a cheaper younger option, but TD drafted a bum in Konz.  The same thing went with replacing Abe with Osi, they acquired a player just looking for their last payday. We replaced Micheal Turner with a slower back Stephen Jackson.  The coach can ask for replacements but the G.M has to find quality players. 

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Forget grading a draft.  Answer a reasonable question:   Did the draft add one immediate upgrade and two eventual upgrades?  

Answer : YES. 

Neal will start from day one and improve both the run and pass defense.  Jones, Campbell and Hooper appear to be eventual upgrades at their respective positions.

The free agency additions of Mack, Sanu and Shelby will provide significant upgrades to their positions.  Mack is obvious, so nothing needs to be said about that.  Sanu will become a more significant contributor to our offense than White and Shelby will be regarded as the top unheralded free agency signing of the off season. 

This team is much improved.  No doubt in my mind.   

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7 hours ago, trubirdfan4life said:

They are still saying smitty didnt know what players he wanted....when i remember seeing a video of smitty walking through the halls at the branch,  and when he passed td, he said "lets start building this defense"...this was right after the julio draft....someone had to be the scapegoat 

Sad TD escaped because as everybody knows, two scapegoats are better than one.

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14 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Sad TD escaped because as everybody knows, two scapegoats are better than one.

The only problem is....you get rid of both, the blank looks like the idiot for hiring them both....blame it on one, get rid of him then you still have another one.....for the next time...but td seems humbled 

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2 hours ago, trubirdfan4life said:

The only problem is....you get rid of both, the blank looks like the idiot for hiring them both....blame it on one, get rid of him then you still have another one.....for the next time...but td seems humbled 

That pretty much sums it up, and the preferred target for a disgruntled fanbase is always the HC, the guy with the higher public profile.  You fire the guy the torch-and-pitchfork crowd wants fired and you geld the guy who's left.  Actual responsibility takes a back seat to perceived responsibility, especially for an owner with a new stadium coming online and the debt service that goes with it.

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10 hours ago, FalconFanSince1969 said:

They couldn't even figure out what defense they wanted to run. The Nolan hire set us back more than anything the last 8 years. Hc is versed in the 4-3. Dc the 3-4. They couldn't agree so they tried to run both.....

They wanted to run a 3-4 look but they wound up with bartu and worrilow as the best LBs on the team....and that was instantly impossible to run....now they gotta re invent the wheel to play ball......organizational failure....the infrastructure was flawed and mr. Blank addressed it.

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14 hours ago, insight said:

The plan was to replace Mcclure with a cheaper younger option, but TD drafted a bum in Konz.  The same thing went with replacing Abe with Osi, they acquired a player just looking for their last payday. We replaced Micheal Turner with a slower back Stephen Jackson.  The coach can ask for replacements but the G.M has to find quality players. 

Except they had Konz for a year before they let McClure walk.  At some point, the staff has to say "you know, this guy can't play -- get me another one."

They even rode with Konz forever and a day before putting Hawley in, at which point the line play improved drastically.

This is not to take responsibility away from TD.  At the end of the day, our defense got decimated by Green Bay and his response was to move 5 picks to get a WR.  So now we have a great WR, but still no o-line, and still no defense.  And then after that Grimes got hurt after we franchised him, we let him walk, let Abe walk, and draft 2 cornerbacks and sign Osi.  The team's biggest problems have been neglected time and again.  So TD definitely has a huge share of blame.  I'm just saying you can't act like the plan was to replace McClure with a younger cheaper option and the coaching staff didn't have input as to whether that option would work.  We let Clabo and McClure walk in order to plug in Holmes and Konz.  Neither one could play.  It's the coaches' job to know that.

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We've had plenty of opportunities to fix this team, and the 2011 and 2012 drafts weren't gonna do it. The Julio trade didnt cripple us, it was the bustnwe took with those picks and drafts after that. Dent,Southward,Konz,Holmes,Shembo,etc all were head scrathers and it was better players on the board when we picked them. TD reached for ST players ALL the time

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I wish JoeinPHX could come on here and give us Smitty's side of the story.  I was ready for Smitty to get canned as it was time for him to go but it was sure dayum convenient for TD to sit up there at the press conference and basically pass-the-buck and blame Smitty for personnel issues.

If you believe in the saying "every story has a side, his side, his side and the truth somewhere in the middle" -  all this passing the buck on bad personnel decisions because Dimitroff was an order-taker for Smitty - it simply is not true.

A GM that drafts a player owns the successes and failures of said player - when you put your name on a guy and turn the card in, this becomes part of your resume' - simple as that - remember this as well,  TD hired Smitty - Smitty was TD's boy - if there is ever a situation where the GM has "hand" over a HC - it is certainly when the GM is hired, and the owner let's the GM make the coaching hire - that is what happened - Smitty was not dictating players to TD - when it was all falling apart at the end and everyone was a year away from losing their jobs, Smitty asked and got some 3-4 pieces in Soliai/TyJackson - but that was the last year in 2014 - the damage to the roster had already been done and the die cast at that point.

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4 hours ago, JDaveG said:

 We let Clabo and McClure walk in order to plug in Holmes and Konz.  Neither one could play.  It's the coaches' job to know that.

That is absolutely true.  And it's the GMs job to wield the axe, unless that GM is so loath to humble himself by admitting a mistake that he insists on keeping his picks on the roster.

I've talked about dysfunction between the old staff and the GM before.  This is just another facet - things don't always work as they should.

 

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Just now, JOEinPHX said:

That is absolutely true.  And it's the GMs job to wield the axe, unless that GM is so loath to humble himself by admitting a mistake that he insists on keeping his picks on the roster.

I've talked about dysfunction between the old staff and the GM before.  This is just another facet - things don't always work as they should.

Exactly.  I still say Smitty is too good a man to be an NFL HC.  He won't cut someone else's throat to save his own, even when that other dude is wielding a knife.

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