Attention all Falcons Fans!
Attention all Falcons Fans: last season was not a fluke!
The Atlanta Falcons have emerged from the depths of the NFL to be not only a team on the rise, but a team here to stay.
Two years ago, all was doom and gloom for the Atlanta Falcons. Their Franchise quarterback, the one who they spent all their money on, the one they pretty much gave a key to the city to, the one who was here to lead the Falcons to glory, got arrested because he was spending his ridiculously high salary to fund a dog-fighting program.
Classy guy, right?
As if those hints wouldn't give that away to the entire country, Michael Vick was gone and his era was over here in Atlanta (thankfully).
After a season where we lost Vick, we lost our new head coach, and (most importantly) lost 13 games, we wound up with the No. 3 pick in the 2008 Draft.
Who knew all this was just a blessing in disguise?
With it, the Atlanta Falcons selected QB Matt Ryan out of Boston College.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the pick at first. I wanted McFadden's blazing speed in our backfield.
Then the wins came.
Ryan started to show leadership and matured into what the Falcons needed. Then he went on to win the NFC Rookie of the Month. Wins were still coming in and Ryan continued to improve.
Then we ended the season on a three game win streak and found ourselves in the Promise Land again (a.k.a. NFL Playoffs). We had a date with the eventual NFC-Champion Arizona Cardinals in Arizona, and showed the league this team was no fluke, even if we did come up a little short.
So, here we are about to start the 2009 NFL season, and the Falcons have vastly improved during the offseason.
Matt Ryan is a stud.
He has proved to be the best Rookie QB since Peyton Manning and "Big" Ben Roethlisberger.
Sophomore Slump for Ryan?
Ryan will continue to grow as a decision-maker and a passer. He will become more comfortable being a vocal leader for this team with the year of experience in the NFL under his belt.
Also, with Roddy White emerging as a star Wide Receiver and the addition of a veteran Tight End like Tony Gonzalez, Ryan has a deep threat and a short threat to throw to.
Not to mention the experience and leadership Gonzalez brings to this team.
Don't forget about the backfield, though.
With Michael "The Burner" Turner pounding yards and Jerious Norwood blowing by defenders at the RB positions, teams cannot concentrate only on stopping Atlanta's passing game.
With a defense showing it is still improving and a solid offensive line ready for this season, one can believe there is a new era taking place right now in Atlanta: the WINNING era. Even ESPN analysts are saying the Falcons are a football team on the rise and looking like they could be around for awhile.
The Dirty Bird has taken off into the atmosphere and is beginning to soar above the competition!
And that's here to stay.