Now, look, we get it. Thomas Dimitroff isn’t always the most popular figure ‘round these parts, but he’s been the Falcons’ GM for ten years now, and the team only has two losing seasons to show for it. That’s pretty incredible.
He got close to fielding a Super Bowl winner in 2016 (ugh), and has overseen the best era of Falcons football in franchise history, bar none. We’ll never know how close he came to getting the axe after that abysmal 2014 campaign, but it’s good that top brass decided to keep him around, because he and Dan Quinn have had a great run together since 2015.
He’s not perfect, and his 2012-2014 run in the draft and free agency did not do him any favors, but we tend to agree with NFL’s Gregg Rosenthal with where he ranked the biking personnel man out of the 26 tenured GMs in the league.
Rosenthal slots TD in fifth among the list, under guys like Bill Belichick (Patriots), Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Howie Roseman (Eagles) and Ozzie Newsome (Ravens).
Dimitroff gets extra credit because he’s made the Falcons into a consistent threat with two different coaches (Mike Smith and Dan Quinn), a rare feat. The Falcons’ roster is built primarily around his draft picks, with some key veteran acquisitions, like center Alex Mack and wideout Mohamed Sanu. The Falcons stick to their core philosophies (SPEED! URGENCY! MORE SPEED!) and regularly field a roster without glaring weaknesses. Using a deep bench of experienced evaluators behind him, Dimitroff has only suffered through two losing seasons in the 10 years since he arrived, and he has the Falcons positioned to contend throughout Matt Ryan’s prime. It’s not Dimitroff’s fault that Devonta Freeman missed that third-down block in Super Bowl LI.
The writer makes very sound points, and it’s hard to disagree with his assessment of Dimitroff’s tenure. If you take out the putrid 2012 draft, he’s typically good for a starter or two each year, and has seen remarkable success in partnership with Quinn. It’s always hard to tell how long these things will last, but TD’s held down the ship for a decade now, and has made Atlanta one of the more consistent franchises in football. They show no signs of slowing down with Quinn at the helm, either.
You might guffaw at this ranking, and attribute most of the recent success to Quinn. Dimitroff also did see an uptick in quality once Scott Pioli arrived to assist him in the GM duties. But, y’know, TD’s the guy that’s been pulling the strings, and he’s still got a major voice in what goes on as the team’s main general manager. So, cut him a little slack, and be glad we’ve got him. It could be so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much worse than to have a pretty great general manager running the franchise.
We love ‘ya, TD. Go for a celebratory ride for your placement among the league’s best.