Finally, the Falcons take a direct route to rushing the passer

Vic Beasley with the commish.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Vic Beasley with the commish. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Vic Beasley with the commish.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Vic Beasley with the commish. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Flowery Branch — The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The easiest way to have a great pass rush is to employ a great pass rusher. Funny that it took the Atlanta Falcons this long to figure that out.

Actually, not funny. Sad. But happier days could be at hand.

Vic Beasley has the capacity to be what the Falcons have long lacked — a consistent source of pressure. (John Abraham was capable of bringing pressure, but nobody would describe him as consistent. When he was good, he was very good. When he wasn’t, he was invisible.)

This was Thomas Dimitroff, still the general manager, speaking Thursday night: “It’s nice to know that we’re adding pass rush to this defense. For me personally to see that happen, being around here since 2008 and (seeing) Dan’s approach to defense with a guy like that in tow, is going to be a nice addition for us.”

To these ears, that sounded disingenuous. Dimitroff has been GM since 2008. He was in charge of scouting and drafting for seven years. (He isn’t now, though he retains final say over the draft itself. Although new coach Dan Quinn has final say over the roster. Feel free to diagram that organizational chart.) For most of those seven years, Dimitroff insisted he and former coach Mike Smith — whom Dimitroff helped hire — were “simpatico.”

In the continuing absence of a pass rush, Smith would tell us media types that sacks were “overrated.” Which isn’t to say they’d have been unwanted. Had Dimitroff been able to find a true pass rusher, I feel reasonably certain Smith would have found use for him.

Ah, well. Ancient history now. Vic Beasley should bring the big heat, and we should be able to move past the failed trials of draftees Lawrence Sidbury and Jonathan Massaquoi and the free-agent duds Ray Edwards and Osi Umenyiora. We forget the days of Mike Nolan trying to scheme around the lack of a pass rusher by saying he’d rather have “10 guys with four sacks than four with 10 each.”

It’s to Mike Smith’s credit that he won as many games as he did — 56 in his first five seasons — without a pass rush, or much of a defense. It’s a source of enduring mystery that this career defensive man allowed his defense to remain substandard.

Maybe Dimitroff didn’t find him the right players. Maybe Smith didn’t insist on having the right players. Whatever the case, there was no such disconnect with the first pick of Quinn’s stewardship. This defensive man wanted a pass rusher, and he got him.

From myajc: Vic Beasley — the right pick at the right time.

Reader Comments 0

108 comments
farberboy
farberboy

Dimitroff should have been fired last year as well.

SeanLB
SeanLB

Every one of you guys will be riding these players jocks in about 6 months.  This was a solid draft.  Now we see who wants it and who doesn't.  What a bunch of crybabies.  

TNScott
TNScott

I find this statement in the article a bit amusing: "Maybe Dimitroff didn't find him (Coach Mike Smith) the right players." If you are the GM and don't find the head coach the right players, your butt should be fired first because that's your primary job. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Should have traded for Jets pick and got Williams.

A player that can rush the passer, AND stop the run.

Teams are gonna run by Beasley, like Gurley did against Beasley.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Sounds like we put a rookie head coach in charge of our draft from reading this! So Arthur's been here over ten years and this is our new strategy - hire a first time head coach and put him in charge of everything because we've learned not to trust Thomas. But yet we want to keep Thomas so we're doing it this way..

This is the genius of our Falcons leadership. Remind me to get off the road if anyone sees them driving down the street!

Columbus68
Columbus68

We aint forgot Aundray Bruce though

FrankieB
FrankieB

are y'all seriously not gonna talk about the fight??

HotDawg
HotDawg

@FrankieB

No. 

Were you one of the fools that paid $100 for that garbage?

LakeDawg
LakeDawg

Why does Dimitroff still have a job? Its obvious that Quinn got who HE wanted this draft, no matter how the organization went about it. I think Dimitroff is a favorite of Blank. I always thought it was ludicrous that Dimitroff not only picked Smith's players, but made the roster cuts. Blank and Dimitroff gave Smith crappy players and then fired him for poor performance. Of course, it seems Smitty went right along with that without questioning it, so he got what he deserved. I just hope Blank gets the hell out of the way with this staff and gives them a chance.

Columbus68
Columbus68

@LakeDawg I agree. Crappy players at several positions after not resigning vets. heck Abe could have been gotten cheap but TD didnt like his personality  and let him go and had nothing to replace him so Smith was simply screwed. Let OL go. Corners go.  One pass rusher, Abe and let him go due to personality clash? he should have lost his job. No doubt. Hopefully he has less authority than we think he might!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Totally agree with this assessment. This is exactly what happened - sickness at the top equates to sickness all the way down the line.

Michaelee
Michaelee

Someone mentioned putting the pieces to the puzzle together concerning the Falcons. 

The problem is that the Falcons are a 1000 piece puzzle that mystifies fans to present day!

Whatever type of talent that is placed on the roster, this team just can't win the friggin Superbowl. 

maxman2660
maxman2660

this guy reminds me of the great aundrey bruce

AdmiralObvious53
AdmiralObvious53

I say it again how does Dimitroff (this idiot) still have a job?

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Now they have to find a couple of gems in the fourth and fifth round. Wideout, Offensive lineman and another defensive player or a tight-end...

FredMacmurray
FredMacmurray

Glad we went D..cant believe we took another CB.... wow

buellerbuellerbueller
buellerbuellerbueller

Does a draft change a team?  NO!   Will a coach change the team?  YES!    Let's hope Quinn lives up to expectations.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

OMG, I'm done.  A CB in the 2nd round with so many other needs?  Really?

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

What's the point in having a shorter selection time if they're just going to drag out the draft by backing up the announcement of picks?

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

Doesn't make a hill of beans one way or the other............sometimes the NFL's like a gump box of chocolates?

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

Tennessee is having a nice draft

atlfanman
atlfanman

As far as today, draft anything other than a tight end.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Rams Coach Jeff Fisher has forgotten more than Dimitroff will ever know about the NFL draft.

Fierce
Fierce

It was a good pick theoretically, because no one knows anything for sure. It's addressing a need, and yes, we have many needs, so I won't bash the Gurley talk at all. That being said, I'm sure there would be just as many people on here bashing the Falcons for taking Gurley and skipping on Beasley and Dupree. You'd see comments comparing this to Julio Jones and how we never address out biggest needs and go for the flashy player instead. There's no winning with you guys, and it's partially due to the fact that we, as a city, don't win on the field either. Nothing to hang your hat on, it's all tal and speculation. Hopefully Quinn changes that. To my other point, I hope we can Gregory in the second. Guy might flunk out, but then again, he now has a chip on his shoulder to prove every team wrong for bypassing him.

Fierce
Fierce

*get Gregory . Gregory is not a dance or something you do. 

patriotdog
patriotdog

Its CYA for TD tonpretend Smitty's lack of D was anyone else's fault. For TD to be a GM w 'I'm the GM but the Asst GM is running the draft, but the coach gets final say...kind of' is a root cause of the Birds' problems. Arthur wants a Kumbaya front office.

Dimitroff wants to show off his ability to use 59 words when 10 will do. Pioli is, i think, a grinder who should be in TDs chair.

Get more line help on both sides. Trade Roddy while he has value and get more picks. He drops too many balls and is not a possession guy. Too much $ for a #2

which he now is.

HopelessinAtlanta
HopelessinAtlanta

I thought one needed to be at least 13 to post on this blog. But apparently not.

DogTheMan
DogTheMan

Ok... Now let's get some Offensive linemen and some linebackers.. WE NEED HORSES!!!! Please do not select anyone you view as a project. We already have Paul Worrilow. We need impact players!!!!! Let's see what day 2 brngs!!!!

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@DogTheMan  Beasley is a LB......he is only 246lbs and he played his Senior season at 235lbs!! Very solid player, but he is not a DE.


We still need a DE and a LT and a C!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LG is also a question mark. {I am afraid the Falcons will stand pat with the current OL players; thinking the zone blocking scheme will solve the OL problem. This approach equates to more poor pass protection and a pitiful running attack.}


I would also like to see starting caliber TE & RB players either through draft or free agency/trade.

DubWeb
DubWeb

@POAD5150 : Yes  but he went to a Bengals team that had plenty of beef otherwise... but overall a much better team defense as well... 


@Omnipotent_One: You do have a point. But the NFL will not pound him as much as UGA or any college team would. I think of him as a bigger version of Chris Johnson who could run off tackle & hit the 2nd level @ about 10-15 carries a game or so... yes it is a gamble, but look at Percy Harvin... it paid off for the Seahawks by winning a Super Bowl because of him...  if not but for 1 game, the most important one mind you... high risk/high reward (maybe??)


I hope my pessimism is proven wrong...  Hoping the Falcons improve on the D side. Division title is in reach if so...

GT71
GT71

One piece does not a defense - or offense - make. May be fine, but he needs help, so looking forward to the nest rounds.

The ONLY position I'd go for next on O is RB - and he'd have to be a terrific back.

More D picks!

DubWeb
DubWeb

well, since ATL's press is not as unforgiving as other markets such as NY, Chicago or Philly, I am not sure if we will get the full critique... but as a layman/airchair fan, I've always heard that the draft is about taking the best player available given your position need. So how is Vic Beasley s better player per position than Todd Gurley?? I feel like a top 10 1st rounder should definitely be a high contributor, not "a piece". he is undersized as a linemen... isn't that the problem we have been having for 7+ years??? I guess we'll find out soon enough... FYI, I am not a UGA fan so I have no built in allegiance to Gurley, however I envision plenty of upside now that he is in the league...

POAD5150
POAD5150

@DubWeb did you say the same thing when POLLACK was drafted? D Pollack was under sized and over valued.

Omnipotent_One
Omnipotent_One

@DubWeb Todd Gurley is injury prone....he never completed a full season of college football.  The NFL hits harder and the defense is much faster than anything Gurley has faced.  Since history is an indicator and predictor of future events, it's safe to say that Gurley will not play a full season in the NFL either.  He will become injured at some time during the football year and will be forced to sit on a bench with other injured players.

GTBob
GTBob

@DubWeb RB was probably 4th on the Falcons list of needs at best. You don't take an injured guy in the top 10, who plays a devalued position that isn't a great position of need. It would be ridiculous.

WhopperDawg
WhopperDawg

This stuff is so funny. Dimitroff was in charge of personnel - all of it - only to find out he wasn't - Smith was.


Now he is not, Pioli is, but wait, really not, Quinn is - but Dimitroff has the final say on personnel, but Quinn selects the roster. Mark, I think I will pass on your kind offer of drawing the organizational chart.



Gman84
Gman84

@WhopperDawg


Agree Whopper, the Falcons org chart is more of a circle than a hierarchy. Whatever it is it's still a cluster. 

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

@WhopperDawg  Come on, it's the Baltimore Ravens organizational chart.  Were we not told that a few mons. ago?

JSSN
JSSN

@Quackmeyer

Nice sarcasm, people in Baltimore have been laughing since the Day Arthur dropped that little ditty!

VeryDisgusted
VeryDisgusted

Finally we have a coach that believes that having a pass rush and sacking the QB matters


Amazing that Smith won as many games as he did with his defensive philosophy that did not believe in a pass rush the way he talked whether it was smokescreen or not, his thinking that sacks did not matter was foolish and it rightfully cost him his job


I do hope we can get Landon Collins or a good O lineman we need a guard and a RT

Farcas
Farcas

You know what I love about arm chair quaterbacks? Most of them are du***sses and some of these posts prove me right.

POAD5150
POAD5150

@Farcas your DumbA..z post proves you don't even have a chair with arms.

Terrytime
Terrytime

oh yea, I am a Falcon fan, And Welcome Beasely! Go Falcons!