Lawrence Sidbury and Harry Douglas had unfortunately quiet 2010 seasons which has led some fans to wonder about their long-term future with the Falcons. In a recent article GM Dimitroff revealed that the two young players are receiving the same calm, thoughtful patience that has come to define the current administration at Flowery Branch (occasionally to the consternation of us results hungry and impatient fans).
Follow the jump to see the most important quotes.
Sadly Dimitroff didn't lay out his master 5 year plan in exacting detail, but he did indicate that the team is aware of the same concerns we've had of late.
On more playmakers:
"We need to be very mindful of continuing to produce on offense and part of production on offense is making sure that we have big-play explosive players at so many levels," Dimitroff said. "We're going to be very mindful of that going forward as we are going to be very mindful of big-time explosive playmakers on defense because we know in this league it's about personnel matchups, and we need to be able to run and we need to be able to make plays on both sides of the ball."
"As far as Lawrence Sidbury, we want to continue to develop him," Dimitroff said. "He has some very natural raw rush skills that we really want to tap into going into the future. This will be a big year for him."
"Harry unfortunately was coming off of an injury this year, but three-quarters of the way through the season he had his mojo back and he can still get the ball and run," Dimitroff said. "We didn't produce as much with him as we probably should have and we'll continue to look at doing that because Harry's very important for our development."
"(Douglas and Sidbury) are still very much in our plans and we expect bigger and better things out of them," Dimitroff said.
So I think its safe to say that the team is committed to giving these two raw-talents more time to mature before writing them off. I know its common now to judge a player as a boom or bust almost as soon as he leaves the college ranks, but I think we are just going to have to get use to Smith and Dimitroff's willingness to invest significant time and effort into "teaching" young players to harness their raw talent rather than expecting instant results.
And I have to admit the results so far have been more than I ever expected this early in their rebuilding project. (Still I wouldn't mind them going ahead and acquire a few monster DEs just so I could sleep better at night).