Some things are borne out of necessity. I wrote a post much like this one last April. Looking back, some of my "hits" ended up not being so "hitty", but instead put an "s" in front of that word.
Anywho, to Dimitroff!
Did you know that Thomas De**** is the only safety that came from the 2008 draft to make the Pro Bowl? And stop telling me the Pro Bowl doesn't mean anything, because it does. It means you were recognized as doing something worth a darn for a season.
Did you also know that De****'s regression in 2013 is Dimitroff's fault? How dare he not see this coming?
You know some people had Sam Baker mocked to go higher than we picked him? He was Walter Football's 4th best tackle and received praise for his versatility wherever he went (the trick was that people said he would thrive in a zone blocking scheme, which we haven't done since DVD)
So...let's say ol' Walter is right and that Sam Baker is the 4th best tackle. There were six tackles taken before Baker, three of which were Pro Bowlers, and three of which were not. One is out of the NFL, one plays opposite broken Jake Long, and one is now a right tackle.
So if Walter is right and the OT crop is running out quickly, the Falcons need to grab a franchise LT to protect their shiny new QB! But they're going quickly! Let's trade up and get Sam Baker, because Walter has him highly rated (as did other people). Yes, some didn't have him as highly rated, but regardless he was a top 75 prospect no matter how you slice it.
Injury problems, yes. He had them, but when healthy, he was very good. So we took a gamble on Baker and it didn't really pan out.
"But we just resigned him! Dimitroff sucks!", you say.
Okay, so let's take a look at 2013's free agent OL!
1) Ryan Clady
2) Jake Long
3) Branden Albert
4) Sebastian Vollmer (an RT)
5) Andre Smith
So Clady and Long both suffered season-ending injuries. Clady suffered a Lisfranc injury, and Jake Long exploded both his ACL and MCL. Vollmer isn't the answer, plus he stayed at home. Andre Smith did as well. Albert was franchise tagged.
So Sam Baker is already a better option than Jake Long because at least we know both of his knees will still function correctly in June of this year. Clady is still in Denver.
So if Sam Baker and Jake Long both don't play a snap this season. Guess which one of those two costs his team more money? (Hint: It's not Baker).
In fact, at no point during Jake Long's contract does Sam Baker cost the Falcons more money than Long costs his.
Baker has proven he can play 'Murica Football if his body isn't broken. Which, of course, that has happened exactly one year (2012). That same year, Baker graded out higher than Long on PFF. Amazingly, Baker also had PFF's highest penalty grade, where he was only called for one penalty all season. That might've been the year the OL had zero false starts or something absurd like that.
So the Falcons took a gamble on Baker again, in spite of all his injuries, because a healthy Sam Baker is probably greater than any rookie OL. He was also cheaper than Clady was.
(Don't forget, we also had a real problem at CB then)
He Can't Draft Linemen
As we've just discussed, Dimitroff took the best of a sad situation. The main complaint is that we don't have any Pro Bowl/All-Pro linemen. Is that Dimitroff's fault? You could certainly pin it on him but let's look at our first and second round picks since 2008.
- Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Curtis Lofton
- Peria Jerry, William Moore
- Trufant, Alford
He Holds Onto Players Too Long
Well first, I'll point to Ray Edwards, who isn't even in football anymore.
There's a growing sentiment among fans that either Dimitroff has no clue what he's doing or the fans don't know why Osi and SJax are still on the team.
I'm convinced SJax can still be productive. He's not injury prone but we did encounter some bad luck regarding injuries in general last year. His run grade was positive, and while it wasn't overly positive, at least he wasn't Ray Rice. Ray Rice had an inexplicably terrible season.
I could probably elaborate forever on why I think Dimitroff isn't as bad as some people make him out to be, but the fact remains that being an NFL GM is not something that is taken on by someone who lacks intelligence. Many, many uneducated people think our President is stupid. Is that the case? No, it isn't.
All I've wanted to do with this post and much of what I do on the site is show that there's some logical thought to the moves that are made. How many times in life do we have to make a decision that is in someone else's best interest? Why, suddenly, should we crucify someone if that move ends up not panning out? We needed a center, we took the best center available. We needed an OT, we traded up to get the best OT remaining. We needed a DT, we picked the best available DT at the time.
When that aforementioned player doesn't pan out, why is that suddenly the GM's fault? "Because that's life"? Don't give me that garbage! If it looks like a tree, smells like a tree, feels like a tree, and trees like a tree, whose fault is it when it ends up actually being an elephant?
If you haven't watched the movie Moneyball, you should. I imagine every team has a guy like the one Jonah Hill plays in the movie, aka a guy whose sole purpose is to crunch statistics.
With every argument that is on my side, I'm sure there's one for the opposite. If you don't like Dimitroff or his moves, here's your pedestal to explain why, but be reasonable. I'll be around for most of the day to discuss!