Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Goober Pyle

Falcons look good after fixes, ‘emotionally lighter’ offseason

22 posts in this topic

https://www.myajc.com/blog/jeff-schultz/draft-and-self-analysis-should-enough-get-falcons-back-top/jxfROjnd11SfD9CwycW7ZP/

 

The first clue Pat Dye Jr. had that the Falcons were genuinely interested in drafting Calvin Ridley came the afternoon of Thursday’s first round when his phone rang and he looked down and saw it was Thomas Dimitroff.

“He said something like, ‘This may seem crazy, but: Calvin Ridley,’” Dye, Ridley’s agent, said. “I said, ‘Thomas, you’re not going to see him where you’re picking.’ He said, ‘I’m contemplating moving up. Where do you think we’d have to get to?’”

Dye proceeded to tell Dimitroff potential landing targets for the wide receiver from Alabama: Baltimore at 16. Dallas at 19. Carolina at 24. Dimitroff pondered trading up eight to 10 picks, but determined it likely would’ve cost a second-round pick – too expensive. So he opted to sit back and wait. It worked. Dye said he was “stunned” when Carolina took wide receiver D.J. Moore over Ridley. When the Falcons’ turn came up at 26, they were staring at two players who had been given almost identical grades by the Falcons’ scouting staff: Ridley and Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan.

Defensive tackle was the Falcons’ biggest need. Wide receiver second. But they went with Ridley because they viewed the drop-off in available wide receivers significant after him, while the cluster of the best defensive tackles were closely bunched on the team’s draft board.

“In our minds, we were looking at two very talented and legit contributors coming in as young guys on the team,” Dimitroff said.

This week’s draft was part of an important offseason for a number of reasons. The Falcons not only needed to fill holes on the roster, but to determine why they struggled at times on offense, had bouts of inconsistency and inexplicably lost consecutive home games to Buffalo and Miami, which would cost them down the line.

It was not a horrible season, even with it ending with a deflating 15-10 playoff loss at Philadelphia following the season’s last of too many red-zone failures. The Falcons were the only NFC team to make it back to the playoffs after the 2016 season. They won a road playoff game in Los Angeles, smothering the league’s No. 1 offense. Good, good.

But after the Super Bowl run the year before, the season was widely viewed as a letdown.

“I don’t see last year as a failure,” coach Dan Quinn said. “A lot went right. What didn’t go right was us not closing at the end of the divisional game against Philly. What I did like was a lot of improvement defensively. By no means was I satisfied but I also don’t think the team was a failure in any stretch. I thought we showed a lot of resiliency, a lot of toughness. But did we get what we wanted to get done? No.”

Quinn and Dimitroff understood where the roster needed to improve. They needed a veteran guard but didn’t have much salary-cap room (Brandon Fusco was signed in free agency). They needed a defensive tackle, preferably a space eater (third-round pick Deadrin Senat from South Florida is like a cinderblock with legs at 315 pounds). They needed a third receiver to go with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu who could stretch the field and get open in man coverage like Taylor Gabriel did in 2016 (Ridley’s speed and route-running makes him a definite upgrade). They also added another defensive back with speed and length (Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver).

They also needed a little bit of self-analysis.

Quinn said the coaching staff and returning players have being a more proactive this offseason than following 2016 in terms of studying tape and understanding how to fix problems.

“We dug into our point-of-attack tapes,” he said.

“Near the end of ’16 season we hit our stride and played our best in November, December, January. This (2017) team was more up and down.”

He also referenced the losses to Miami and Buffalo, which prevented the Falcons from hosting a playoff game, the potential ripple effect being obvious. “Those are the lessons that you learn,” he said.

This also has been a more serene offseason than the year before. The Super Bowl loss to New England the year before led to every local and national media outlet asking “hangover” questions and picking through the ruins.

The team won’t have to deal with that nearly as often moving forward.

“It’s emotionally lighter,” Quinn said. “Members of the media and others were talking about the difficult ending to ‘16, which was emotionally hard. How could it not be? But I would also say this offseason has been different than last offseason. I saw this group work out for the first time this week (in the voluntary offseason workout program). I was extremely impressed.”

Dimitroff echoed: “I really believe there’s been so much learned by the coaching staff and the players, since the Super Bowl and what we went through last year. We’re still maturing.”

They look better today than they were when the season ended. Come September, we’ll start to find out if the view has really changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Yeah good article and good job by TD Having the patience to wait.

My guess is had Ridley been graded higher than Taven, they probably don’t wait.  Also tells us we liked Ridley over DJ Moore.

Moore picked up a lot of steam towards the back end of the draft season.  Besides his YAC, I never really found Moore to be exceptional.  Ridley, on the other hand, performed at a high level for his entire time in college.  

I think we got the better WR.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, etherdome said:

Moore picked up a lot of steam towards the back end of the draft season.  Besides his YAC, I never really found Moore to be exceptional.  Ridley, on the other hand, performed at a high level for his entire time in college.  

I think we got the better WR.  

Moore to me is more of a bubble screen guy.

Ridley is a savvy route runner and true. WR professional.

I will take Ridley.

Marvin Harrison’s battery mate (Reggie Wayne) compared Ridley to Marvelous Marvin - and he doubled down on it - when discussing on NFLN before the draft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

Yeah good article and good job by TD Having the patience to wait.

My guess is had Ridley been graded higher than Taven, they probably don’t wait.  Also tells us we liked Ridley over DJ Moore.

II keep watching ridley...great route runner. Explosive on the dime too. I love the pick.

im also digging Senat. 

You know I loved Oliver.

back on ridley, I think he could have a legit great first year. Remember he had a FB throwing to him in Jalen Hurt

kiwifalcon and Tim Mazetti like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

Moore to me is more of a bubble screen guy.

Ridley is a savvy route runner and true. WR professional.

I will take Ridley.

Marvin Harrison’s battery mate (Reggie Wayne) compared Ridley to Marvelous Marvin - and he doubled down on it - when discussing on NFLN before the draft.

I agree,

i saw that. Big praise from Reggie. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah wouldn’t have looked as good with a trade up - shows TATF was right on the money tho with Bryan being the pick (had Ridley gone earlier like he should’ve). 

And as dreamy as DQ molding Bryan might have been, Senat is actually much more of what we actually needed to fill alongside Grady. With Bryan, we still would’ve been in dire need of a 1T

Tim Mazetti likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

Moore to me is more of a bubble screen guy.

Ridley is a savvy route runner and true. WR professional.

I will take Ridley.

Marvin Harrison’s battery mate (Reggie Wayne) compared Ridley to Marvelous Marvin - and he doubled down on it - when discussing on NFLN before the draft.

Yeah, I watched that too. Even when challenged about the comparison to Harrison, Wayne didn't back down, saying he felt Ridley could be as good. You may be dismayed about passing on Bryan, but you have to be licking your chops thinking about Ridley lined up with Julio and Sanu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Yeah, I watched that too. Even when challenged about the comparison to Harrison, Wayne didn't back down, saying he felt Ridley could be as good. You may be dismayed about passing on Bryan, but you have to be licking your chops thinking about Ridley lined up with Julio and Sanu.

I am not that dismayed as I was more of a PAYNE guy than BRYAN - although I liked Bryan.

I like RIDLEY a lot.  Excited about the pick.

Also, I know DQ is expert on DL and that gives me comfort in our 3rd rd pick.

PokerSteve likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Yeah, I watched that too. Even when challenged about the comparison to Harrison, Wayne didn't back down, saying he felt Ridley could be as good. You may be dismayed about passing on Bryan, but you have to be licking your chops thinking about Ridley lined up with Julio and Sanu.

Licking my chops? Heck I'm past that and gone into the drooling phase!

Tim Mazetti, jidady and PokerSteve like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, g-dawg said:

I am not that dismayed as I was more of a PAYNE guy than BRYAN - although I liked Bryan.

I like RIDLEY a lot.  Excited about the pick.

Also, I know DQ is expert on DL and that gives me comfort in our 3rd rd pick.

Same here, but Payne was already down the drain, Bryan was there. All water under the bridge now and Ridley is probably going to be the pick they'll be talking about by mid-season as a stroke of genius. And yeah, if Quinn likes Senat, then I do too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, PokerSteve said:

Same here, but Payne was already down the drain, Bryan was there. All water under the bridge now and Ridley is probably going to be the pick they'll be talking about by mid-season as a stroke of genius. And yeah, if Quinn likes Senat, then I do too.

Understood but basically they were saying - and probably never dreamed Oliver would fall to them in 2nd rd - that the combo of say Ridley/BJ Hill would be better than say Bryan/Anthony Miller.....now whether that will ultimately be true or not - who knows?

Atl Falcon and PokerSteve like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This tell you how high they was on Taven if they had him aND ridley rated the same and was thinking about moving up to 16 for Ridley.

 

Man it hurts because I think our D would have been a problem with Taven... I still think we are missing that piece but I get it... I think Ridley will hope out the O alot

kiwifalcon likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

Proud of TD staying put and letting it fall into place. Picked up 3 instant starters because he sat and waited

Yea deep draft class always pays dividends with patience.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, etherdome said:

It takes a whole lot of confidence to sit pat and draft a position that was not a weakness.  It takes confidence in your scouting staff to stick to your board.  

It would have been easy to simply draft Bryan (as widely expected) and march along the line.  

Confidence, patience and a whole lot of luck.. 

capitan and likeriver like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites