Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff hopped on Colin Cowherd's show on ESPN Radio Monday morning for a brief interview. The questions were largely softball in nature, but Dimitroff provided a couple of interesting answers nonetheless.
The headline, as you might imagine, came when Cowherd asked Dimitroff whether a playoff berth and first round exit would put Mike Smith's job in jeopardy.
"No," Dimitroff said.
He went on to elaborate, saying that everyone in the organization from Arthur Blank down were driven to accomplish the highest goal. Dimitroff alluded to Smith's three Coach of the Year awards, Smitty's strong fit with the organization and some very vague comments about the best team not winning on a given day due to any number of factors. You don't have to be particularly astute to sense that Dimitroff and Blank are strong believers in Smith as a coach, and that they think the NFC Conference Championship Game loss against the 49ers and the 2013 track wreck season isn't primarily the coach's fault.
We can disagree with that, of course, but it sounds like Smith has a decent amount of job security at the moment. The "no" was pretty emphatic.
- Dimitroff championed the locker room culture in Atlanta and said he's hopeful it will help the Falcons climb out of their 2013 hole in the upcoming season.
- In talking about that culture, he said the team is not naive enough to believe they have a bunch of "angelic souls" in Atlanta, and talked about young players having plenty of money. He also said, and I quote, "we all know the prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed until 24." True that, Thomas.
- Talked about how Matt Ryan has delivered from the organization and what that meant for the Falcons "coming off the debacle in 2007," that he's a "total package guy" at quarterback and that he has the drive to "lead us to be a championship-caliber football team." I don't think they're going to trade him for Johnny Manziel, is what I'm saying.
- The salary cap space will be intelligently used. Dimitroff spoke to how fortunate the team was to have an owner who wants to win and is willing to spend to do so. Said the cap space "could be for a rainy day" or "injuries," making it clear that the Falcons will have some extra cap space on hand. He followed that up with "but not too much," no doubt recognizing the inevitable fan angst that would follow that statement.
Your thoughts regarding Dimitroff's statements?