g-dawg

Free Agency: Building a Team / Falcons related

63 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Atl Falcon said:

Can already go down as the best era for drafting- but TD will have to prove he can do it without Pioli and DQ. Things really got good when Pioli and DQ came aboard. There were a lot of shakes and raddles with TD until they got here.

Without DQ.

You know something we don’t ?

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12 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

I’ve tried to explain this everytime @FalconFanSince1970 talks about getting rid Of TD. You have to put this franchise in perspective as a whole. Like you said since inception it’s been mostly a failed franchise. Never had a back to back winning season. Poor drafting. Had a few great players over time but failed to put a team around them. All that changed in 2008. If anybody blames TD for anything they should blame him for building a structured team and making the falcons relevant every year. Now keeping key pieces of this young core intact should stay relevant into the future. 

Bro. In the last six seasons Dimi built squads that went 46-50 (.479), with one division championship and only two playoff berths. He's coming off a 7-9 season. Very Falcon like.

During that span he built a lopsided roster with one top 10 defense and was marginal at best where roster construction matters most. In the trenches.

He was near the bottom of the league in available cap space over that period and is headed for tighter cap challenges. With that kind of performance he should have been long gone. Even before Smitty.

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2 minutes ago, FalconFanSince1970 said:

Bro. In the last six seasons Dimi built squads that went 46-50 (.479), with one division championship and only two playoff berths. He's coming off a 7-9 season. 

During that span he built a lopsided roster with one top 10 defense and was marginal at best where roster construction is most critical. In the trenches.

He was near the bottom of the league in available cap space and is headed for tighter cap tables. With that kind of performance he should have been long gone. Even before Smitty.

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18 hours ago, TheFatboi said:

I dont think thats on TD . I think thats on Smith losing his vision of the team and changing defensive philosophy and thats why TD wasnt fired and I believe blank knew it wouldve been a mistake to fire TD . Fans tend to feel a GM is rogue and gets whover HE wants . NO . There should be a CLEAR CUT vision of the type of players a coach needs to make his system work. After 2012 two things happened. We lost many of the core players to retirement or losing a step or too expensive and injury and Smith and the DC changed defensive philosophy. Smith wanted Steven Jackson who was washed and the players they had now became square pegs trying to fit in round holes. Not saying TD doesnt get any blame at all but the firing was the right person. Smith. I said it a million times then and I'm still saying it they switched philosophy and it backfired on Smith. In 2012 they were still a tampa 2(cover 2) defense. in 2013 they wanted to be a 3-4 defense because thats nolans background but we got hit with some key injuries and they went to something else. Now you're stuck with 3-4  type players that dont fit what theyre doing. Thats why it was so easy for quinn to come in and take those piecers and get something out of them because his system employs 3-4 types in a 4-3 under. How could quinn get more out of basically the same players? Philosophy and the team bout into him and Smith had lost the lockerroom. That's a coach thing not a gm thing. And the reason I just said TD is because he was the one who hired Smith. Smith wasn't hired first then TD was hired. A good gm hires a good coach with a vision of what his team should look like and the gm gets those ingredients for him. Why is it that TD has hit more defensively during quinn's era than Smith's? Simple. The coaches vision and the traits he wants in certain positions. When that is clear cut it's easier to identify those players. Heck even TD said that quinn gave him a clear cut vision of the traits he looks for. He said that during the combine in 2016. 

That’s only part of the story. Our roster was depleted of talent by 2013 due to years of bad drafting by GM. 

Fact is, our D hasn’t been any better 1st 4 seasons under Quinn than it was under Smith 1st 4 seasons. Even with Quinn given more reign and mandate in personnel and draft to improve the D than smith ever had. 

By 2013, Smith was burned out and his message had gotten stale, which happens often after 5+ seasons of same head coach. Very well could happen to quinn in a couple years as well, which is why this upcoming season is so critical for him after last year’s disappointment.

But let’s not excuse the GM for the lack of talent we found ourselves with at that time in 2013-14 either.

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14 hours ago, g-dawg said:

agreed - if you remember when we all got into the big arguments about TD - and came out the other end onto the SuperBowl - I said more than picking players - what saved TD was his ability to change, adapt and ability to humble himself - because there was a time where he was losing some power that it would have been easy to get pizzed off and storm out of Flowery Branch - and he didn't do it.

Absolutely.

BTW, excellent thread, G. 

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3 hours ago, Vandy said:

That’s only part of the story. Our roster was depleted of talent by 2013 due to years of bad drafting by GM. 

Fact is, our D hasn’t been any better 1st 4 seasons under Quinn than it was under Smith 1st 4 seasons. Even with Quinn given more reign and mandate in personnel and draft to improve the D than smith ever had. 

By 2013, Smith was burned out and his message had gotten stale, which happens often after 5+ seasons of same head coach. Very well could happen to quinn in a couple years as well, which is why this upcoming season is so critical for him after last year’s disappointment.

But let’s not excuse the GM for the lack of talent we found ourselves with at that time in 2013-14 either.

Good Post, V.

Yes, when assessing TD, you look at it all and give credit and acknowledge failure.   Through 11yrs, TD has experienced both but has had more success than failure.   Those that want to wash over the mostly bad drafts and use Smitty as the fall guy for 2009-2013 - sorry, that dog won’t hunt.  There was some bad luck in those years (Peria Jerry hurt before career started, Sean Weatherspoon perpetually injured) but they were bad drafts overall in those years.

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17 hours ago, Atl Falcon said:

Can already go down as the best era for drafting- but TD will have to prove he can do it without Pioli and DQ. Things really got good when Pioli and DQ came aboard. There were a lot of shakes and raddles with TD until they got here.

The bolded is just a narrative thrown around TATF.  If we are being honest, no GM does it alone.  They all rely heavily on the evaluations of their scouts, the vision of the HC and the insight of their peers in the FO.  No GM is an island.  

Belichick constantly credited Pioli for draft excellence.  We don’t take away from Belichick’s legacy because of it.

Every great GM has their own Pioli & Quinn that makes them look better than they otherwise would be.  

Whether it is on the field or in the Front Office, football is a team game at every level

 

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        Blank is the best thing that has ever happened to the Falcons. Without him buying the team , I don't think we would have changed one bit.. Second best thing was when Blank hired TD ,, He should get most of the credit... The worst thing was when they hired Sark,, huge Fail ... and waist of Ryan's time.. and all us fans... 

         I've stated it many times since the Draft.. We now have the best team this franchise has ever had. I think now with the right Coach and all our talent.. we will have the year we've always wanted.   :golfclap:

 

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All I say is...

GMs are only as good as their HCs.

Ozzie Newsome, one of the best GMs of the 2000s, struggled for years to find any kind of competent QB/WR talent. Several years and several busts. Yet, he gets a good coach (John Harbaugh), hit on a QB, and suddenly were back in the SB. The Ravens were a decent team comprised of a dominating defense (obviously Ozzie's strength) paired with a consistently mediocre offense at best for most of the 2000s post-SB. Ozzie won a SB that way but wasn't able to adjust until he got Harbaugh. 

Take the reverse of that: the NY Jets. John Idzik was hired in 2013 to be the GM of the Jets. Rex Ryan was the coach. He had already taken the Jets to several post season runs. Then they fired Tannenbaum and brought in Idzik, who proceeded to do his own thing, drafting several players that Ryan didn't want, and subsequently tanked both the roster and himself. Rex Ryan was able to get another HC job, albeit brief. Idzik hasn't been allowed to touch roster construction since, being hired as a salary cap consultant for the Jags since 2015. 

TD has gotten noticeably more consistent with his drafting since DQ has gotten here. I don't think that was a coincidence. GMs, good GMs, draft/sign players the coaches vouch for. DQ had his defensive player input and Kyle had his (Mack/Gabriel/Coleman) and Sark had his (Ridley) and Koetter has his (Stocker). When the vision is clear, and you know what the coaches who have to make the roster produce want, it's a little easier to do your job. We've even gotten better as a board predicting draft picks and understanding where they fit post draft. That's DQ. I love Smitty, but his strength isn't finding and developing talent. The game has passed him by and I knew it in 13-14 when they couldn't even get on the same page with what defense they were running and moving his best DL from 3T DT to a 5T DE and further confirmed when the Bucs went and signed Beau Allen and then drafted Vita Vea over Derwin James, subsequently fielding one of the worst defenses in the league that was solely focused on stopping the run and not modern passing offenses and being fired midseason (players noted he called plays during the games that weren't practiced or apart of the gameplan several times in Tampa). Yes, TD dropped the ball as well trying to replace lost talent after 2012, but he's since improved in his drafting while Smitty is retired. 

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23 hours ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

...

Next year we have 67% of our 200 million CAP spent on our top 10 contracts.  That has never succeeded once in the salary cap era.  So when are we going to trust our drafting and let home grown talent walk?  Not because we want them gone, but because you simply have to

Think that's a statistical anomaly like the  teams with a winless preseason not winning the super bowl. Lots of teams spend lots of money really poorly. You pay the right 10 players big money and draft well for the rest of the team, no reason a top heavy team can't win the big game.

 

And, considering the Sanu is probably gone next year, along with Ty, probably won't be 67% anyway.

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10 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Think that's a statistical anomaly like the  teams with a winless preseason not winning the super bowl. Lots of teams spend lots of money really poorly. You pay the right 10 players big money and draft well for the rest of the team, no reason a top heavy team can't win the big game.

And, considering the Sanu is probably gone next year, along with Ty, probably won't be 67% anyway.

Correct,   Sanu is the only significant contract that we can move off and gain significant salary cap space - $5mm.   I give that cut about 75% chance of happening.  Falcons will be looking for his replacement, likely internally - I have my eye on Russell Gage.   Certainly we could draft another receiver as well although I look for 2020 draft to be a "Front 7 Defense" draft - we need DT/DE/LBs and will likely use those early picks for these positions.

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16 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Think that's a statistical anomaly like the  teams with a winless preseason not winning the super bowl. Lots of teams spend lots of money really poorly. You pay the right 10 players big money and draft well for the rest of the team, no reason a top heavy team can't win the big game.

 

And, considering the Sanu is probably gone next year, along with Ty, probably won't be 67% anyway.

Well, every trend has to be ended at some point.   Perhaps we will be the ones to do it.

But the data makes sense.  Go over 60% on your top 10 contracts and you are too top heavy.  Go under 50% and you may not have enough high end talent.  The numbers are pretty drastic.  55% is the number unless you’re the Patriots.  They go the other way at 45%

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5 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Correct,   Sanu is the only significant contract that we can move off and gain significant salary cap space - $5mm.   I give that cut about 75% chance of happening.  Falcons will be looking for his replacement, likely internally - I have my eye on Russell Gage.   Certainly we could draft another receiver as well although I look for 2020 draft to be a "Front 7 Defense" draft - we need DT/DE/LBs and will likely use those early picks for these positions.

If Julio, Ridley, Hardy, Gage, Hooper, Stocker & Free aren’t enough pass catching options then we have a problem

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8 minutes ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

Well, every trend has to be ended at some point.   Perhaps we will be the ones to do it.

But the data makes sense.  Go over 60% on your top 10 contracts and you are too top heavy.  Go under 50% and you may not have enough high end talent.  The numbers are pretty drastic.  55% is the number unless you’re the Patriots.  They go the other way at 45%

Still, lots of bad teams with lots of bad contracts that could skew the numbers downward.Could I ask you where you got the data? not disputing it, just would like to see it for myself. Would like to know the highest % of cap space by the top ten salaries of a super bowl winning team.

 

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24 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Still, lots of bad teams with lots of bad contracts that could skew the numbers downward.Could I ask you where you got the data? not disputing it, just would like to see it for myself. Would like to know the highest % of cap space by the top ten salaries of a super bowl winning team.

 

The secret salary cap formula successful NFL teams rely on

For NFL teams, it’s not just about staying under the salary cap, it’s also about keeping your salaries balanced.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/2018/3/15/17114596/nfl-free-agency-2018-salary-cap-formula-winning-teams

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9 minutes ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

The secret salary cap formula successful NFL teams rely on

For NFL teams, it’s not just about staying under the salary cap, it’s also about keeping your salaries balanced.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/2018/3/15/17114596/nfl-free-agency-2018-salary-cap-formula-winning-teams

Well, for one thing, they only went back to 2011, could be teams before then that won with 60% plus in 10 players. And, there's only 8 teams that fit that criteria from 2011-2017. Two of them had winning records, 

And one of those 8  teams was a super bowl winning Broncos team, so, it's possible to win  a super bowl with 60%+ of your cap devoted to 10 players.

Two other thoughts- the other 6 teams were probably bad teams forced to spend up to the cap floor

And, more and more teams are going to be at the 60%+ mark because of larger and larger salaries to QBs  and other stud players.

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20 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Well, for one thing, they only went back to 2011, could be teams before then that won with 60% plus in 10 players. And, there's only 8 teams that fit that criteria from 2011-2017. Two of them had winning records, 

And one of those 8  teams was a super bowl winning Broncos team, so, it's possible to win  a super bowl with 60%+ of your cap devoted to 10 players.

Two other thoughts- the other 6 teams were probably bad teams forced to spend up to the cap floor

And, more and more teams are going to be at the 60%+ mark because of larger and larger salaries to QBs  and other stud players.

They start at 2011 because that’s when the CBA drastically reduced the rookie pay scale

And salaries rise in proportion with the CAP.  The % of CAP a QB makes doesn’t really change much

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On 7/16/2019 at 0:32 PM, g-dawg said:

You actually don’t have to if you manage it correctly.   Granted, you have to keep drafting well.  As long as you keep cycling in cheap young drafted talent, then you are fine.

Next year Beasley comes off the books.   At some point, Alex Mack will come off the books.  This could be Freeman’s last year.  Trufant could likely be cut if he doesn’t play at high level this year.  Sanu is nearing the end of his contract.

I don’t foresee the Falcons being unable to retain a rookie superstar coming off the end of a contract- if they want to retain him.  The young drafted talent and bargain UFAs will fill in the gaps just fine.

Correct.  

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57 minutes ago, falconidae said:

And, more and more teams are going to be at the 60%+ mark because of larger and larger salaries to QBs  and other stud players.

Very good point.

Basically now, every team that has a QB that they want to retain - or add through free agency - is gonna have to pay anywhere from $25-$40mm/yr to retain said QB - Eagles just had to pay Wentz,   Rams saving up to pay Goff - Dak Prescott on deck - Texans will pay Watson, Browns will pay Mayfield, etc, etc. - Falcons are in better shape than most because the big contracts they pay out will likely be for players that contribute from beginning to end of their contracts.   Time will tell.

YES, depth is hard to build w/ star players on big contracts - but it is so much better to have those "rich folk problems".   At least 25+ teams would trade for Falcons roster/salary cap situation today if they could.

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6 hours ago, vel said:

All I say is...

GMs are only as good as their HCs.

Ozzie Newsome, one of the best GMs of the 2000s, struggled for years to find any kind of competent QB/WR talent. Several years and several busts. Yet, he gets a good coach (John Harbaugh), hit on a QB, and suddenly were back in the SB. The Ravens were a decent team comprised of a dominating defense (obviously Ozzie's strength) paired with a consistently mediocre offense at best for most of the 2000s post-SB. Ozzie won a SB that way but wasn't able to adjust until he got Harbaugh. 

Take the reverse of that: the NY Jets. John Idzik was hired in 2013 to be the GM of the Jets. Rex Ryan was the coach. He had already taken the Jets to several post season runs. Then they fired Tannenbaum and brought in Idzik, who proceeded to do his own thing, drafting several players that Ryan didn't want, and subsequently tanked both the roster and himself. Rex Ryan was able to get another HC job, albeit brief. Idzik hasn't been allowed to touch roster construction since, being hired as a salary cap consultant for the Jags since 2015. 

TD has gotten noticeably more consistent with his drafting since DQ has gotten here. I don't think that was a coincidence. GMs, good GMs, draft/sign players the coaches vouch for. DQ had his defensive player input and Kyle had his (Mack/Gabriel/Coleman) and Sark had his (Ridley) and Koetter has his (Stocker). When the vision is clear, and you know what the coaches who have to make the roster produce want, it's a little easier to do your job. We've even gotten better as a board predicting draft picks and understanding where they fit post draft. That's DQ. I love Smitty, but his strength isn't finding and developing talent. The game has passed him by and I knew it in 13-14 when they couldn't even get on the same page with what defense they were running and moving his best DL from 3T DT to a 5T DE and further confirmed when the Bucs went and signed Beau Allen and then drafted Vita Vea over Derwin James, subsequently fielding one of the worst defenses in the league that was solely focused on stopping the run and not modern passing offenses and being fired midseason (players noted he called plays during the games that weren't practiced or apart of the gameplan several times in Tampa). Yes, TD dropped the ball as well trying to replace lost talent after 2012, but he's since improved in his drafting while Smitty is retired. 

Not this simple, IMO. A multitude of factors go into being successful in the draft, including luck.

Plus Have TD/Quinn et al really been better drafters than TD/Smith et al? For every Peria Jerry, there’s a Vic Beasley. For every Akeem Dent, there’s Duke Riley. Shede Hageman, there's Jalen Collins. 

The few high picks thrown the defense way during the TD/Smitty years.....Jerry/Moore/Spoon....were derailed by bad luck/injuries, not by lack of vision or poor player development. That’s such an unfair knock on the smith coaching staff. 

Ryan/Julio/Matthews/Freeman and the offense core have been the main reasons for Quinn’s success, and they were drafted under previous regime. And like I said earlier, D has not been any better under Quinn than it was under smith 1st 4 seasons, even though the culture/mandate of team obviously changed when Quinn was hired from  a build offense 1st mindset to prioritizing the Defense. That’s indisputable.

Also, our drafting improved when we hired Scott Pioli as well. Not a coIncidence IMHO.

 

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Just now, Vandy said:

Not this simple, IMO. A multitude of factors go into being successful in the draft, including luck.

Have TD/Quinn et al really better drafters than TD/Smith et al? For every Peria Jerry, there’s a Vic Beasley. For every Akeem Dent, there’s Duke Riley. Dez Southward/Jalen Collins. 

Ryan/Julio/Matthews/Freeman and the offense core have been the main reasons for Quinn’s success, and they were drafted under previous regime. And like I said earlier, D has not been any better under Quinn than it was under smith 1st 4 seasons, even though the culture/mandate of team changes when Quinn was hired from build offense 1st mindset to building the D.

Our drafting has improved when we hired Scott Pioli as well. Not a coIncidence IMO.

 

No, it's not that simple. We're not privy to everything, so I'm not going to bother trying to nitpick, but rather take what I can and use that to make an argument. You can say that for every single thing we talk about on this forum. 

If we had to pick a trio, I'd gladly take the trio that includes an All Pro sack champ in Vic, a young promising CB in Collins that actually showed he can play NFL football, and bumass Duke Riley over that other group. 

No the defense hasn't gotten noticeably better. Part of which was the entire nucleus being gutted this past year. Compare the best group Smitty had in 2012 (a SB caliber team) to the 2016 SB team. Smitty had several, seasoned, older vets (30+ years old), which he was notorious about leaning on: Abe, Babs, Samuel, Robinson, Peterson, Nicholas, Grimes. That unit was good enough to get us to the SB. The 2016 had the following players 30+ years old: Babs, Freeney, Jackson. They are leaning on a much younger group and relying on player development, which they showed the growth in 2017, allowing 315 points compared to the 299 points given up by the 2012 group (16 points, 1 per game less). 

So no, in four years, the defense hasn't gotten noticeably better. But the talent level on the defense is greater than it was under Smitty and the upside for the route we are going now will prevent the fall off in talent we had in 13-14 after those guys weren't replaced after five years. I think the next five years of this defense will outplay all of the defenses Smitty coached in Atlanta. 

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1 hour ago, vel said:

No, it's not that simple. We're not privy to everything, so I'm not going to bother trying to nitpick, but rather take what I can and use that to make an argument. You can say that for every single thing we talk about on this forum. 

If we had to pick a trio, I'd gladly take the trio that includes an All Pro sack champ in Vic, a young promising CB in Collins that actually showed he can play NFL football, and bumass Duke Riley over that other group. 

No the defense hasn't gotten noticeably better. Part of which was the entire nucleus being gutted this past year. Compare the best group Smitty had in 2012 (a SB caliber team) to the 2016 SB team. Smitty had several, seasoned, older vets (30+ years old), which he was notorious about leaning on: Abe, Babs, Samuel, Robinson, Peterson, Nicholas, Grimes. That unit was good enough to get us to the SB. The 2016 had the following players 30+ years old: Babs, Freeney, Jackson. They are leaning on a much younger group and relying on player development, which they showed the growth in 2017, allowing 315 points compared to the 299 points given up by the 2012 group (16 points, 1 per game less). 

So no, in four years, the defense hasn't gotten noticeably better. But the talent level on the defense is greater than it was under Smitty and the upside for the route we are going now will prevent the fall off in talent we had in 13-14 after those guys weren't replaced after five years. I think the next five years of this defense will outplay all of the defenses Smitty coached in Atlanta. 

Good post.

I would add that the defensive talent should be noticeably better, considering all the draft capital team invested there in 2015-16-17.......i’m hopeful that you’re right, and the D plays a big role in us finally getting a SB in these last few years of Ryan/Julio great HOF careers.

To my point, in year 1 TD/Smith we draft Ryan/Baker and sign Turner. Year 1 under TD/Quinn we draft Beasley/Collins and sign Clayborn. Much different priority emphasis in both new HC’s 1st seasons. 

We all love Julio, but going all in on that one player sealed smith’s deal when we lost that NFC championship game to 49ers. That vet team was old and nobody was there to replace the aging vets because of previous years poor drafting/lost picks. I put that reality much more on the GM than I do the HC.

Plus like I posted earlier, he was burned out. Unfortunately that’s who most folks remember, the 2013-14 burned out version smith. Not the guy with fire in his belly who was so instrumental in turning the team culture around in 2008-2012.

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5 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Good post.

I would add that the defensive talent should be noticeably better, considering all the draft capital team invested there in 2015-16-17.......

year 1 TD/Smith we draft Ryan/Baker and sign Turner. Year 1 under TD/Quinn we draft Beasley/Collins and sign Clayborn. Huge priority shift in new HC 1st seasons. 

We all love Julio, but going all in on that one player sealed smith’s deal when we lost that NFC championship game to 49ers. That vet team was old and nobody was there to replace the aging vets because of poor drafting/lost picks. Plus like I posted earlier, he was burned out.

Unfortunately that’s who most folks remember, the 2013-14 burned out smith. Not the guy who was so instrumental in turning the team culture around in 2008-2012.

Truth...

Bottom line, if we win the Super Bowl in Miami six months from now, it will be due to the work and contributions of both regimes.  Players from both Smith & Quinn era will play pivotal roles.

I am just thrilled we were able to replace a great coach like Smith with one on Quinn’s level.  I know you’re down on Quinn after last year, and with good reason.  But I still think he is the right coach for this team.  Fingers crossed

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5 minutes ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

Truth...

Bottom line, if we win the Super Bowl in Miami six months from now, it will be due to the work and contributions of both regimes.  Players from both Smith & Quinn era will play pivotal roles.

I am just thrilled we were able to replace a great coach like Smith with one on Quinn’s level.  I know you’re down on Quinn after last year, and with good reason.  But I still think he is the right coach for this team.  Fingers crossed

Objectively, you’re spot on 2020. 

But truth to tell, I’ve been down on DQ when he froze/puckered up those last 5 minutes of SB 51. And we all know Smitty would have ran the ******* ball.....

Both coaches have/had their pluses and minuses....

DQ’s has most of the qualities I want in a HC, but he owes me/us that one back :ninja:......

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2 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Objectively, you’re spot on 2020. 

But truth to tell, I’ve been down on DQ when he froze/puckered up those last 5 minutes of SB 51. And we all know Smitty would have ran the ******* ball.....

Both coaches have/had their pluses and minuses....

DQ’s has most of the qualities I want in a HC, but he owes me/us that one back :ninja:......

I understand.  And I agree, if Smith is the HC in the 2nd half of the SB we win the title.  No doubt.

But I don’t think we build a 28-3 lead if Smith is the HC in the first half of that game.  

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