Good morning, everyone. In today’s links, we hear about the Falcons front office, the Braves bullpen, and the old age of the Falcons’ roster. There hasn’t been a ton of content out there about the Hawks lately, and I suppose this is the quite period for them.
AtlantaFalcons.com–Daniel Cox writes about how the Falcons front office has become one of the most well-respected in the league:
He’s been named Executive of the Year twice in his six-year career as the general manager of the Falcons and Thomas Dimitroff continues to get recognition from around the league for the job he’s done running Atlanta’s front office.
Two of his former directors of player personnel — Les Snead, St. Louis’ general manager, and David Caldwell, the general manager at Jacksonville — now run their own clubs and both appear to be steering their franchises in the right direction. Two recent columns by Don Banks of Sports Illustrated and Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports ranked the front offices in the NFL and Dimitroff and his current staff is high on those lists.
Banks’ power rankings list the top 12 teams using information gleaned from executives from around the league as well as agents. Banks put Dimitroff and the Falcons at No. 6 on the list, behind the Seahawks, Patriots, Giants, Packers and Ravens.
One of the biggest differences between a title-contender and would-be title-contender is the ability to keep things running smoothly when the seas get choppy as they inevitably will.
For example, take away most teams’ top three setup men, and they might hear calls of, ‘Why us?’ while their general manager tried feverishly – and likely futilely – to find new arms to fill in.
That plan simply won’t fly in Atlanta.
So when the Braves saw their tandem of elite lefty setup men — Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters — lost for the season to elbow injuries that require Tommy John surgery, while also dealing with the loss of hard-throwing righty Jordan Walden, they simply swallowed hard, then called in reinforcements in right-handed sidewinder Cory Gearrin, lefty Luis Avilan and righty Anthony Varvaro.
TheFalcoholic–Dave Choate talks about how old the Falcons team is on average. Personally, I feel like this will help them have success in the playoffs next year, and hopefully bring home a Super Bowl:
The Falcons, according to this little study, have the second oldest starting lineup in the NFL when you average everything out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the team they have also happens to be a great one, a team that was a handful of plays away from a Super Bowl berth in 2012.
Still, looking at this, you begin to understand why the Falcons cut ties with veterans likeJohn Abraham and invested a lot of draft capital into the defense, which is listed as the third oldest in the NFL. You can load up on free agents and try to make a multi-year run, but you generally pay for that on the other end. The Falcons are trying to have the best of both worlds, bringing in guys like Osi Umenyiora and Steven Jackson for a run this year while adding a ton of useful young players for the future.