The Falcons got together to air some grievances and address their lousy play of late in a players-only meeting, as Vaughn McClure reported. For fans and the players alike, the relevant question is this: Will it accomplish anything?
I don't believe there's any downside to a players-only meeting, as it gives the team a chance to forge stronger bonds, address what they feel issues are without the coaching staff's input, and just generally vent their frustrations. If there's no downside, though, I would say I'm skeptical there's much of an upside beyond the team generally feeling a little bit better about itself.
Here's a look at four players-only meetings from the past couple of seasons, and the immediate results to follow them.
2015 Washington Redskins
2015 Indianapolis Colts
The Colts were 3-5 at the time of their players-only meeting, with the front office reportedly making lineup decisions, Andrew Luck looking like a bearded ghost of himself, and things generally going awry. They've since reeled off three straight wins against the Broncos, Falcons, and Buccaneers, with Matt Hasselbeck at the helm for two of those.
2015 Green Bay Packers
2014 New York Jets
The reeling, ailing Jets held a meeting specifically aimed at addressing offensive woes after a 1-2 start to the season. They lost their next six games in a row, finishing the season 4-12 and ushering Rex Ryan out the door.
While Washington and Indy certainly seemed to enjoy success after their meetings, I would say that correlation is not causation, and the pitiful 2014 Jets are certainly proof enough of that. If the Falcons manage a triumph against the Buccaneers on the road this Sunday, it'll be because they've cleaned up some of their mistakes and played a better football game, and I don't think the players-only meeting is going to have much to do with that end result.