The Atlanta Falcons aren’t accustomed to being a model franchise. Even before Mike Vick was hauled off to prison, their successes were of the flash in the pan variety. So when general manager Thomas Dimitroff came aboard in 2008, who knew the most successful decade in franchise history lay directly ahead?
Fast forward a decade and the Falcons are perennial contenders in the NFC. They’ve set an excellent example for teams looking to escape mediocrity. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure really got me thinking about this earlier today with his must-read piece about Deion Jones. In particular, he discussed how Jones is all of a sudden the prototypical, speedy linebacker every team is looking to pick up in the draft. The Falcons certainly didn’t invent the speedy linebacker, but they’re in vogue now, at least in part, because of the personnel decisions the Falcons made. That’s quite the transition, isn’t it?
When you think of model teams from a personnel standpoint, you typically think of the Green Bay Packers or the New England Patriots. But over the eleven years, with a lot of help along the way, Dimitroff has elevated the Falcons to that level. It’s quite the accomplishment, even if the Lombardi Trophy isn’t in hand just yet.
Your thoughts, Falcoholics?