What kind of person is unhappy with a franchise-first four winning seasons in a row? What kind of person is unhappy with the number one receiver and the number one rusher holding franchise records for their respective statistics? What kind of person is unhappy with a franchise-first back-to-back playoff appearances? What kind of person is not happy with a four year record of forty three wins and twenty one losses?
Arthur Blank, that's who.
"Good is the Enemy of Great," said he, when discussing what has transpired these past four years.
Good is four winning seasons in a row. Good is awards and accolades. Good is three playoff appearances in four years.
Great is beating teams you should beat. Great is three playoff wins in a row. Great is hoisting that national symbol of the ultimate NFL season.
We want great. Not ok. Not good. Not pretty good. Great. The goal is not preseason wins, season wins, or accolades. It's rings. Arthur Blank agrees. He wants this team, its fans, and its city to enjoy the fruits of a long, successful, Super Bowl-winning season. Back to back winning seasons? Been there, done that. Mr. Blank wants to give us the Lombardi.
That sounds awfully familiar to our fans' goal. We yearn, year after year, to see our team hoist the silver trophy, our team covered in ticker tape, our team on the front pages of newspapers across the nation. That is, after all, why we root. We root, rah rah rah, for our home team to win the ultimate prize. We seek the treasure with our fifty-three pad-laden warriors, week-in, week-out.
That's the same thing Mr. Blank does, only his seat is far more closer and it's his money being spent to get the team where we want it to be. Of all the fanatics out there, emblazoned in red, black, and white, shouting Rise Up and quoting Matt Ryan's completion percentage stats and admiring the size of Turner's thighs and doing very sloppy versions of the Dirty Bird, Arthur Blank may be the most invested fanatic of them all.
The most recent moves prove this.
What's Been Done
You know this one already. What do I think?
The Koetter hire is a comfort hire, most likely straight from Mike Smith's Grab Bag of Easy Picks. Koetter was with Smith in Jagtown in '07. He'll likely buy in and set up shop very quickly and very smoothly. He'll also bring a lot to the table scheme wise. Hello screen pass. Hello play action.
The Nolan hire brings experience and, hopefully, some meanness. The Moustache's blitz package was weak and formulaic at best. There was very little innovation and after four years of stale white bread, Nolan will bring a much needed Rye or Pumpernickel. Something different and awesome, in other words. I'm not asking for another Gritz Blitz, but I am asking for a sack or six every now and then.
Paul Bordeau (OL coach) is ixnayed. It'll be interesting to see who we get to replace him, as he was known for his nasty, play past the whistle OLs.
What to Expect
Sacred Cows to be slaughtered. Well, more like top names leaving for other teams. Dimitroff made it clear that only eight or so free agents would survive the offseason proceedings. Clutch your jerseys in anticipation. This offseason may not be kind to your favorite player.
Growing pains. We're losing a lot. Our players, regardless of experience, will have to learn and buy in to the new schemes that will be put in place by Koetter and Nolan. There will be growing pains and a lot of feathers could end up ruffled. Player twitter timelines will be very interesting to watch as OTAs and Training Camps shift into gear.
Boring draft choices. We gave away the house and car keys for Julio, so don't expect anything really grand in this year's draft. Also, don't expect the draft choices you think we'll nab. New OC and DC means there may be more pressing needs that may make you scratch your head.
Bold and/or Strange FA moves. Dimitroff knows there are pieces missing. He also knows that his draft ammo is low this year. FA is the best way for him to make an immediate impact, especially considering our new coordinators. Some of these moves will probably have you giving a good ol' "WTF?!" Trust in the Comrade.
2012 will probably suck. Let's face it. You don't gut the schematic braintrust without having some hiccups. I know we have some great players. I know we have a great GM, Coach, and Owner. No matter how much work is put in, there will be times this season when our team looks like it's never set foot on a football field. It's only natural in a situation like this. But at least this time, unlike Falcon ancient history (read: any year before 2008, not including 1980 and 1998), the ineptitude will slowly give way to what we hope is epic greatness.
Rise Up will probably go away. I know it's a fan favorite, but after two years that ended in utter embarrassment, expect the Falcons' PR team to shift focus. This team is not in the ashes stage. We're simply rebuilding. No need to Rise Up. We just need to be resolute in our goal of achieving greatness. We just have to remember that
Good is the Enemy of Great.