Optimism or denial?

I want to start off by saying we are all on this board because each and every one of us are Falcon fans, win or loose. Now that the disclaimer has been posted let's have a good discussion.

As fans we pull for the team regardless of record or performance. There is no right or wrong way to support the team. There are posters that are the bastions of optimism and those of us that are always pessimistic, even in the face of the best wins. All of that is what makes this board great and the "discussions" engauging.

We are into the fourth year of the MS/TD era, or experiment, and the results are interesting. The first year was amazing. The second was effected by injuries but we had two winning seasons in a row! The third was a 13-3 record and #1 seed in the NFC. We were devasted by a loss to the team that would eventually win the Super Bowl. At the beginning of this season there were ideas of a 14-2 season with a championship firmly in the cross hairs. While not out of the question we are a little shakier in that outcome due to the team play this season and some untimely injuries that have popped up as of late.

Now here is my question to the board, where do we go from here as a team?

At the end of last season the idea was that ATL needed more explosive players on both sides of the ball. They have been added and there have been marginal improvements in the teams performance. The run D has improved nicely and that has been due to Ray Edwards on the DL but also Spoons early stages of coming of age, good Safety support has helped also. The pass D is the same as the past few season with the exception of a poorer pass rush this season than last. The offense has struggled with identity and consistency all season with no solutions being apparent.

In the past there have been comments like:

"Chris Houston is terrible he should be cut!"

"Jenkins can't catch a cold, cut him!"

"JA98 is the worst defensive lineman in history! Cut him!"

Interstingly those players have left ATL and are having good season with their new teams. MJ's catch rate is 69% which is much higher than when he was with ATL. Houston was/is DET's best DB and is playing much better now than when he was in ATL. Looking at the numbers maybe JA98 was a bad example.

Last season and this season we are hearing:

"We'll never win a SB with Matt."

"JJ is a bust or not worth the expense."

"We won't win a playoff game when MT has more than 20 carries or MT is done."

"RW needs to be traded while we can get something for him."

"DR is a bust!"

And there are plenty of others that could be included. Here is my next question or questions.

If ATL has that many terrible or underperforming players what is the cause? No team has elite talent at every position. One variable all of the players have in common is coaching. Is this a function of weak or poor coaches and coordinators? If not does ATL have a knack for picking up and keeping poor players? If that is the case isn't it a function of the coaches and front office?

What say you Falcoholics? Going forward can ATL build a championship caliber team by swapping out a few key players or does the coaching staff need and overhaul? If an overhaul is in order to what extent?

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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