Here’s the report many Atlanta Falcons fans have been waiting for.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora is reporting that Falcons owner Arthur Blank has finally reached his breaking point with the franchise’s front office and will likely clean house at the end of the season, if not sooner. That means the end is likely near for general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant GM Scott Pioli, the report added.
Their replacements will probably be guys with whom head coach Dan Quinn has thrived in the past, as La Canfora also said the new GM could be Seattle Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner or Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton. Both men have worked closely with Quinn in the past, according to La Canfora.
There’s no doubt the time has come to make changes in the team’s front office. While Dimitroff found plenty of success in the early years of the New England Patriots’ dynasty, he hasn’t been able to build out the Falcons’ roster the same way. Most of his draft picks have been busts, and that leaves the franchise with little talent aside from the skill positions.
For years, the Falcons have been lousy along the offensive line, which leaves Matt Ryan vulnerable and doesn’t give him much time to find receivers downfield. Despite the knowledge that the offensive line hasn’t been good, there has been little attempt to upgrade it. In fact, the line wasn’t complete until just weeks before the 2015 regular season began – they were still signing players late in the preseason – and that wouldn’t be a recipe for success even if they had five All-Pros.
It was well known that this year’s roster lacked any depth whatsoever, and as soon as expected injuries began to thin the depth chart, the Falcons would be in serious trouble. They started 5-0, but injuries happened, and you’ve seen the result over the last eight games. The failure to build a deep roster is completely the fault of the front office.
At the same time, if this plays out exactly as reported, it’s another highly risky decision by Blank. If he hands the reins over to an unproven head coach like Quinn, who has gone 6-7 in his head coaching career through 13 games, who knows what will happen. The report states that Blank is likely to hire Quinn’s guys to run the franchise, which seems an awful lot like giving him full control, and that hasn’t worked so well just yet.
After all, this is the guy who hired offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
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