Is Atlanta's "Star-Studded Strategy" a Fatal Flaw?

Scott Cunningham

Robert Mays at Grantland is the most recent in a long line of journalists and analysts to point to the move to acquire Julio Jones in the 2011 NFL Draft as the reason the Falcons have yet to win a Super Bowl.

The articles about Thomas Dimitroff's approach to building the Falcons are pretty formulaic at this point. Thomas Dimitroff has weird hair and doesn't look like other general managers! Thomas Dimitroff rides a bike and doesn't eat meat! Thomas Dimitroff ruined everything when he drafted Julio Jones! The Falcons will never win a Super Bowl because of Julio Jones! Also, Thomas Dimitroff has weird hair!

Robert Mays at Grantland has written the most recent of these pieces, and it's an interesting read. Mays posits that Dimitroff's approach to building a team has held the Falcons back over the course of his tenure in Atlanta. Some of the points that he makes are objective fact. Dimitroff has developed a reputation for making big moves, the team inarguably does not have the strongest depth, and that weakness was tragically exposed amidst the rash of injuries the Falcons suffered last season.

Mays also points out that the Falcons were one Harry Douglas blunder away from the Super Bowl following the 2012 season, and that had things gone differently in that NFC Championship Game, fans and analysts alike might be hailing Dimitroff's approach to the draft and free agency as the smartest in the league.

The crux of Mays' theory is that Atlanta cannot succeed unless Julio Jones is at full speed for 2014. Jones' recovery from the foot injury that sidelined him last season seems to be on track. Prior to that injury Jones was nothing short of phenomenal. It's not a secret that his absence was absolutely felt.

I think the other injuries, the defensive weaknesses, and the absolutely ineffective offensive line are glossed over by Mays, however. Losing Jones but having a healthy Roddy White to throw to wouldn't have been nearly as painful. Having any semblance of a pass rush or being even remotely effective against the run would have helped. Even with Jones and White out and no rushing game to speak of, if Ryan would have consistently had adequate time to throw to his receivers last season the outcome might have been much better.

And when you're talking about depth, you have to consider how much talent development has to do with Atlanta's weakness in that area. If the Falcons had done a better job of developing the talent they do have, would that have made things run more smoothly last season when so many starters were injured?

Many of our readers will wholeheartedly agree with Mays' assessment. Many of our readers won't. Surely there will spirited (and respectful, please) discussion in the comments. Discuss!

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker