I honestly feel bad for Atlanta Falcon fans.
Not only were they forced to go through the Michael Vick debacle, but they had to watch whatever the heck that was thrown out there and called a football team every Sunday last season.
Then, to add insult to injury, they had their gutless, spineless, heartless, scumbag of a head coach bail on them before the season was even over.
All in all, it’s been a bad year for the Atlanta Falcons.
Arthur Blank knew he had a heck of a problem on his hands down there in Atlanta. So he did what any owner of a struggling football team should do. He searched the NFL for a plan that worked and then hired people who knew the plan inside and out to run his organization.
Thomas Dimitroff was a great signing for the Falcons. By all accounts, he was an important member of the New England operation, so he knows how a good franchise is run. He will put a plan in place down in Atlanta that has a proven track record.
The future, believe it or not, is bright.
The present, on the other hand, is a little murky.
If Mike Smith’s crew is going to compete this season...well, they’ll need a miracle.
I expect them to eventually hand the starting quarterback’s job over to Matt Ryan. After all, what’s the point in selecting a guy third overall if he’s just going to rot on the bench of a terrible team?
They will rely heavily on Michael Turner and the running game, as they won’t want to put too much pressure on the first-year quarterback.
But that’ll be easier said than done.
The Falcons’ offensive line is not good. In fact, it’s so not good, it’s downright bad.
They’re going to have trouble opening holes for Turner on first and second down, and they’ll have even more trouble keeping the opposing defense off of Matt Ryan once it’s 3rd-and-long.
But this season won't be about winning; it will be about building the foundation of a successful franchise.
Like the Dolphins, the Falcons had to purge some older players (and some bad apples) in an effort to start clean.
Warrick Dunn (not a bad apple by any means...in fact, one of the better apples) is gone. Alge Crumpler (mediocre apple with too many bruises) is gone. DeAngelo Hall (bad and well burnt apple) is gone.
Joe Horn (old apple) wants out, but even without him, their young receivers are the strength of the team (keeping in mind that strength is a relative term).
Roddy White was one of the few bright spots last season. If Matt Ryan can stay upright, the two should make a pretty decent tandem.
As I'm sure you can tell, I don’t have much hope for the Falcons this season. But they have the right front office, the right quarterback, and a pretty good running back already in place.
Hopefully, once they add a few more pieces, things will get better for Falcon fans.
After all, it can’t get any worse…
Roddy White is the obvious choice, but he was too good last season to be considered a sleeper. Also, "obvious choice" and "sleeper" probably don't go hand-in-hand.
Robinson is probably going to land the No. 2 wide-receiver spot and should put up decent numbers if any of the quarterbacks can get him the ball.
Fighting for draft picks, fighting for the playoffs, or contending for the Super Bowl?
Most definitely fighting for draft picks.
The Atlanta Falcons will be, without a doubt, the worst team in the National Football League. I’m not going to predict a 0-16 season, but I’m pretty comfortable saying they’ll be somewhere between zero and four wins.
And the smart money will be saying they’ll be closer to zero than four.
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.