The past meets and the present for Thomas Dimitroff, and he's "fired up" about it.
The former New England Patriots personnel man has somehow coaxed the secretive Bill Belichick into agreeing to have the Pats practice with the Falcons at Flowery Branch on August 17, prior to their Aug. 19 pre-season game. Presumably, the Falcons will then steal their secrets and use them to create steam-powered automatons who know nothing but winning, but yearn to know love. That's how I imagine it will go.
In all seriousness, though...this is a really cool idea. I would imagine it's more intense to practice against another team, particularly one with such high expectations in the year ahead. The Falcons and Patriots aren't natural rivals and have employed similar styles of building a team, so this is kind of a neat fit to begin with.
Dimitroff certainly thinks so:
"The benefit is having an opportunity to put the pads on against an opponent during those long drawn-out days of camp," the GM continued. "It's a fresh injection of competition and energy. We're excited that coach Belichick and the Patriots have agreed to this. We fired up the same for this one and the one with Jacksonville."
In a weird way, it also speaks to the Falcons' endless search for a competitive advantage. Practicing against one of the league's better teams in pre-season, just for another look? Sure, we'll do that. Bringing in like 20 undrafted free agents, just to see if one or two stick? Absolutely. Scouting the Andromeda galaxy? I hear the octopus men of Grolgar 7 have great hands!
Yeah, it's a slow news day. But I'm still damn proud to be a Falcons fan.