The Atlanta Falcons fired Mike Smith but ultimately decided to retain Thomas Dimitroff. Dimitroff is now arguably on a pretty tight leash, and it sounds like he won't have much say in who is hired to replace Smitty. That's an odd posture for any GM to find himself in. But apparently that's nothing new, especially when it comes to personnel. Credit to Knox Bardeen for the quote - I highly encourage you to read his entire article.
The design -- and Smitty felt strongly, Mike Nolan felt strongly about this, I think Thomas was certainly supportive of it -- Thomas had strong feelings that we needed to get more pressure," Blank said. "Smitty and Mike, and others felt that we needed to build from the inside out, we needed to be able to stop the run and that in and of itself would create opportunities."
In short, Dimitroff was hamstrung. He was not allowed to draft the pass rushers he had in mind. Had he been given carte blanche, the franchise may be a different place right now. Or he may have screwed it up royally and we'd be worse off. In any case, the Falcons' are essentially phasing him out of the search for a new head coach. I'm no expert on running a professional sports franchise, but something seems a little backwards here. In my mind, Blank has to put his confidence in Dimitroff or go in a different direction. But alas, that doesn't seem to be his preference.
Numerous times during his news conference, Blank said, "Thomas is our general manager." In the same breath, Blank said the evaluation process is far from complete."Everything relative to football operations, outside of coaching, is up for scrutiny and for discussion," Blank said. "Everything."
Yuck. What a mess. Like it or not, Dimitroff will be closely scrutinized in the months ahead. Whether that's a recipe for success is debatable, but in my mind, it may not be. Your thoughts?