The Atlanta/Miami blueprint

Discussion in 'NFL' started by AJ_II, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. AJ_II

    AJ_II Well-Known Member

    If your favorite team is near the bottom of the standings and it looks as if there's no hope, you need only look to the Falcons and Dolphins of '08 for encouragement.

    Coming into the season, it was a foregone conclusion that Atlanta would be the worst team in the NFL. New head coach, new GM, rookie QB, coming off a 4-12 season...it all spelled disaster. Yet, we're now going into Week 17 and the Falcons have a chance to earn the two seed in the NFC! How'd they do it? They cleaned house. The first step was hiring Thomas Dimitroff for the GM position. This guy was in the New England franchise as Director of Scouting, and he drafted players like Laurence Maroney, Vincent Wilfork, Asante Samuel, and Ellis Hobbs. He knows how to evaluate talent and he comes from a winning franchise. There were a lot of questions with Matt Ryan, but Dimitroff knew what he was doing and Ryan has gone on to have an MVP-like season as a ROOKIE. And of course, he was able to sign Michael Turner, who is second in rushing yards in the NFL. And lastly, the Falcons took a chance on little known Mike Smith, the DC in Jacksonville. He just may earn Coach of the Year honors.

    And then there's Miami, who was coming off a year where they won only one game. What'd they do? They cleaned house. They hired Bill Parcells to come in and overhaul their franchise. He hired Tony Sparano, a little-known assistant coach from Dallas. He got rid of dead weight and distractions (Jason Taylor). The Dolphins now control their own destiny going into Week 17, and with a win over the Jets, they'll clinch the AFC East. Who would have thought, at the beginning of the season, that Chad Pennington would have the opportunity to go back to New York the last week of the season and win the division? Probably Bill Parcells, and that's it.

    So what's my point? Teams like Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis, etc....it doesn't have to be a long process (like in college) to rebuild the franchise. Just look to Atlanta and Miami, and they've turned it around in one offseason! But you've gotta be willing to make changes, in your front office, your coaching staff, and you've gotta draft well. You have to evaluate talent well, otherwise you're screwed in this league. I've heard that the Ford family in Detroit is going to keep the front office intact for the Lions. They're even thinking of bringing back Rod Marinelli. I just don't understand how you can do that if you want to win. If you want to start over, make changes! Look to the Atlanta/Miami blueprint for assistance.
     
  2. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing This space for rent

    There is an old football addage that once a franchise starts losing, the losing becomes inbread. The only way to remove it is to rebuilt 90% of it.

    Detroit is dooming itself to another 1st round draft pick if they keep the front office intact.
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron Moderator

    Very well-written, my friend!
    You could be a sports reporter. Maybe you already are a sports reporter? :wtf:

    :D

    As long as the Ford family is in control, I don't see much success in the Lions future.
     
  4. Ifandorbut

    Ifandorbut Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of what you wrote, but I think the most glaring difference in both cases is that both teams have a QB that don't make stupid mistakes. They're not going to bowl you over with heavy stats, though Ryan has some makings of a starry future.

    I think Vick's implosion might have been the best thing to happen to Atlanta since their lucky trip to the Super Bowl some years ago. Pennington deserves a ton of credit in helping to lead Miami from the dregs on the NFL to a possible playoff run. That said, I think Miami's defense wasn't all that bad last year, they lost to the N.Y. Giants and to Pittsburgh by three points and the only two teams that truly had their number was the Jets and the Patriots.

    This year's Miami team might be a bit of a paper tiger. Six of their victories came against teams that were searching for an identity or a healthy QB. They beat New England early in the season, but New England more than returned the favor. They outlasted San Diego, but I don't think that if Miami makes it in that they don't lose their first game in the post season. Still...a great year.

    I've never liked Atlanta, but I like this QB and I'm pulling for him more than anything else.

    Sometimes it's as simple as a QB or a coach change. If the nucleus isn't bad to begin with, just getting the right two or three pieces can make the difference. I think that if S.F. had started the year with Shaun Hill instead of J.T. O'Sullivan, they could very easily have three to four victories in what were winnable games. Getting Singletary and Hill has made a big difference. The Niners are a team on the way up, just like Miami and Atlanta.
     
  5. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    I sure hope so. I long for the 49ers of old...:)

    BTW, where's that guy that said Isaac Bruce would retire a Ram?...:right:

    :D
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  6. AJ_II

    AJ_II Well-Known Member

    Funny you say that. I started out in college as a journalism major but quickly changed to biology as I was under the delusion back then that medical school was the thing for me. In retrospect, I wish I would have stuck with journalism! :wah:
     
  7. AJ_II

    AJ_II Well-Known Member

    I think Baltimore this season is a perfect example of what you say there. They already had a lot of the defensive pieces in place with Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, etc. Joe Flacco has come in and managed games nicely this year as a rookie QB, and John Harbaugh will be right up there on many voters' ballots for Coach of the Year.

    But one thing is almost guaranteed in the NFL. At least one team who lost 10+ games the previous season will turn it around and win 10+ the following year. Atlanta, Miami, and Baltimore fit that bill in '08.
     

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