On Friday morning, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank released a statement sharing his plans for the franchise over the next 12 months. Namely, retaining general manager Thomas Dimitroff despite rumors that he’d be relieved of his duties.
It was the least Blank could do. No, seriously, it was the least he could do.
Let’s recap the last week. Blank spent four days conducting “an exhaustive review” of his team at the end of an 8-8 season, and he ultimately decided, after four days of investigating, to do nothing? And after doing nothing, he thought a five-paragraph statement was enough explanation for that weird decision?
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One year ago, after the decision was made to fire head coach Mike Smith but keep everyone else onboard, Blank held a lengthy press conference in which he answered every question – more than once, in some cases – the media had about how he was running his franchise. This year, it doesn’t appear he’s going to answer any questions; he gave a statement, and that’s going to be it.
After yet another mediocre season, nobody was held accountable at the end, and he doesn’t think he should face the fans and explain himself?
To me, that’s the worst part of this entire situation. The Falcons have made some very bizarre decisions over the past few years, especially in their front office, and I guess they don’t feel the need to explain or defend those moves, or lack thereof. Keep in mind that this is a franchise that is about to ask more of its fans than it ever has – to not only commit to season tickets, but also to spend as much as $50,000 on a personal seat license to commit to the team and stadium indefinitely.
In return, all we’re getting out of Blank is a short statement about a decision most of the fanbase doesn’t agree with. Dimitroff’s 2015 draft picks were, once again, largely a letdown once they took the field, but he’s going to help decide who to draft for the Falcons again this spring.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Blank would never have retained Home Depot executives with a lousy record of success, and it’s baffling that he’s showing so much patience with Dimitroff.
As Falcons fans, we should demand more.
Photo: AP/John BazemoreFollow @Sean_Breslin