Atlanta Falcons General Manager and Head Coach Ignore Patriot Way

Frank SpartiCorrespondent IIJanuary 17, 2012

Dirk Koetter
Dirk KoetterJeff Gross/Getty Images

Thomas Dimitroff was hired away from the New England Patriots because of his knowledge and role with that organization. Falcons owner Arthur Blank was probably hoping that the winning ways of the New England team would be brought to Atlanta.

As general manager, Thomas Dimitroff hired Mike Smith away from the Jacksonville Jaguars in order to put his plan into effect.

The first steps toward success were the easiest because the Falcons were in such disarray. Mike Smith was the perfect person to take over as head coach because of his steady personality.

Then came the drafting process and it was not that difficult to upgrade the roster. The self-imposed limitations of drafting only high character and intelligent players was a sound decision.

In my opinion Thomas Dimitroff also limited his choices so as not to step on the toes of his former employer. Integrity is definitely one of his strong character traits.

After also bringing in a few key free agents, it appeared that the Falcons were loaded with talent and built for the playoffs.

Now after three years in the playoffs without a win, the Falcons are in coaching transition. The problem is that it appears the general manager has gotten away from, or forgotten, the Patriot Way.


Just by looking at Bill Belichick's retooling of the New England Patriots you can see what is missing in the Atlanta Falcons' strategy.

Belichick has altered the game by his use of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Arron Hernandez. Before that, his utilization of Wes Welker in the slot added another offensive wrinkle that has become common place in today's NFL.

There is an obvious pattern here. Bill Belichick thinks outside the box.

Most people use the left side of their brain because it gets you through the day. The left side controls language and math skills. Some people can switch to include the use of their right brain. This is the creative side.

The Falcons have hired Dirk Koetter as their Offensive Coordinator and, in my opinion, this is not a sign of the Patriot way or the use of creative thinking.

Koetter may have success in Atlanta but he has coached over twenty years without distinguishing himself as a creative thinker.

He is the safe choice that will employ some different plays than Mike Mularkey. However, I don't believe he will bring something bold and new to the team.

The decision to hire any assistant coach should be more forward thinking. A new paradigm is the only way to be the champions in the NFL.