The Atlanta Falcons‘ front office made a point to keep their chemistry alive for 2014, as contract extensions for Vice President Rich McKay, General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith were all confirmed on Monday.
McKay signed a four-year extension, while coach Smith and Dimitroff only signed on for one more year. In spite of a dismal 4-12 season for 2013, Falcons owner Arthur Blank has continued to bat for Smith and Dimitroff. This one-year extension is proof of that loyalty. Since 2008, Smith has compiled a 60-36 record as head coach, and has led the Falcons to four playoff appearances. Dimitroff is credited to lifting this franchise from the depths of darkness, putting together an arsenal of offensive weapons that includes Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, the now retired Tony Gonzalez and more recently Steven Jackson.
So with this dynamic duo back for only 2014, this season will no doubt be Smith’s and Dimitroff’s last chance to take the Falcons to the promised land. To make matters more difficult, the holes on both sides of the ball for Atlanta are too abundant to account for. Dimitroff especially will have to get this year’s draft right after drafting a below average offensive line, and trading away draft picks in exchange for Jones. Luckily, Scott Pioli will help with the pressures of the draft as Dimitroff’s Assistant GM, and the latest hiring of offensive line coach Mike Tice will hopefully get the o-line back to being a synchronized unit.
Don’t get me wrong, even though the Falcons are once again in the rebuilding type mentality, this was a no-brainer for Blank to bring back Smitty and Dimitroff. Their past success of quickly turning the Falcons’ circumstances around back in 2008, and the fact the Falcons have won more games than any other NFC team since 2008 prove they can put this team in the best possible position to win again in 2014. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!