The FalconsLife message board on AtlantaFalcons.com is where die-hard Falcons fans go to talk, share ideas and discuss every imaginable topic concerning the Falcons.
During the offseason we'll take a look at a hot topic on the Talk About the Falcons department of FalconsLife and examine what's on the minds of Falcons fans.
The message board was abuzz this week in the dust of the NFL Draft. Fans were talking about the picks and analyzing the undrafted free agents the team signed. Falcons fan freebird310, took it one step further and said Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff made huge strides with the 2012 Falcons roster. In freebird310's eyes, Dimitroff addressed what he feels were the biggest needs for the Falcons.
"He majorly upgraded both our O-line and our secondary, the two most critical issues we faced," he wrote. "Obviously both units should be vastly improved over what we trotted out last year."
A few days prior to the draft, Dimitroff pulled off a trade with the Eagles, sending a seventh-round pick in exchange for Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. While Samuel's interception numbers were down last year, he still played at a high level and is widely regarded as one of the premier corners in the game.
Combining Samuel with another Pro Bowler in Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson (expected to play the slot corner because of his physical style) gives Atlanta three talented corners in new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's traditionally aggressive scheme. Dimitroff added Samuel for the price of a pick that was likely only to return roster depth and possibly potential impact down the line.
The additions of Vince Manuwai in free agency and Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes in the draft are also viewed as strong additions. At best all of them provide competition along the offensive line and at worst at least one of them represents an upgrade somewhere along the line.
Falcons fan metatron360 sees these additions, as well as the new members of the coaching staff (Nolan, Dirk Koetter and Pat Hill most notably) as all positives for Atlanta, calling the offseason "outstanding."
"Yes he addressed every area and made a bold statement by drafting 2 Olinemen," he wrote. "It's funny how it came together. Oc leaves dc leaves Konz happened to be there (for) our pick and finding a LT with all the tools ready to be coached up. Heck he even got us another top tier corner on the cheap."
While it's only the offseason and talk can be a little cheap until players hit the field, on paper Falcons fans see a number of additions that are very positive for Atlanta. Konz and Holmes didn't generate a lot of buzz with the national media, but the fans see two players that could be strong additions. The move to bring in Samuel is virtually a coup by Dimitroff, adding one of the best talents at a position in the NFL with a late-round pick.
There's a long way to go, but the addition of O-line coach Hill could mean great teaching for the two drafted lineman (as well as the other young players on the line like Mike Johnson and Joe Hawley). Nolan is expected to utilize Samuel's skills appropriately and improve the Falcons' pass coverage which could positively influence the pass rushing from the defensive line.
Although Dimitroff was at one time criticized for sitting patiently when free agency began and electing to bring back his own core of free agents, the Falcons fanbase is applauding the GM now that the offseason player-movement period has concluded with the addition of one guaranteed starter and two potential ones.