Once again, they hope to be ready to forget about their dismal showing the last two years. Sadly, in 2014, the team lost in their final regular season game, losing the chance to make the playoffs. The team fired long time coach Mike Smith, and looks to Dan Quinn as their new leader. Every new NFL season brings new hope. The Falcons are a team that had an injury plagued, but still very surprising, 2013 season. They began year with Super Bowl aspirations but finished a lowly 4-12, tied for the third-worst record league-wide, with four other teams. Going back a few years, the Falcons were a pretty good for a while, but have no playoff success to show for it. This has caused current head coach Mike Smith to be put on the “hot seat” despite the regular season success. How will the organization make the needed adjustments, and turn things around?
The problems the Falcons needed to address this offseason was the performance of both the offensive and defensive lines. The team looked to the 2014 draft to fill major holes. How did they do on draft day? In the first round, they selected offensive tackle Jake Matthews from Texas A&M. Jake Matthews comes from the Matthews football bloodline, which is the same bloodline that Packers all-pro outside linebacker Clay Matthews is from. Jake Matthews was considered to be the most ready to play in the NFL offensive lineman in the draft. He is expected to start week one, possibly at right tackle. They also took a chance in round two on a talented defensive lineman from Minnesota named Ra'shede Hageman. Ra'shede Hagemen has all the skills to be an NFL regular, but he also seems to be one of those players who does not play hard all of the time. There are entire drives where he just disappears. The acquisition of Hagemen might come back to haunt the organization, but with the proper coaching, you never know what will happen. They also needed help at safety and got Dezmen Southward from Wisconsin. They added depth at running back with Devonta Freeman out of Florida State. They also added a late round addition at inside linebacker named Yawin Smallwood. He could wind up starting and make a big contribution due to current injuries that are sidelining current Falcons starters.
Falcons Football History Starts at 1965
The Atlanta Falcons were established on June 30th, 1965. They began play in the 1966 season. The Falcons played their home games at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium from 1966-1991. They moved into the Georgia Dome which is their home to this day. Despite moving in their so recently, the Georgia Dome has it's problems as the home of an NFL team, and so the Falcons are being estimated to move into new stadium in 2017. This will possibly be tied in with the Atlanta Braves quest for a new building. Throughout their history they have made the playoffs 12 times, won their division five times, won their conference once, and never won the Super Bowl.
The Falcons are currently a team that everyone is wondering why they haven't gotten deeper into the playoffs by now. This is a deep roster and they have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL under center in Matt Ryan. If they don't make a great showing in 2014, this could spell the end of Mike Smith's career as the Falcons's head coach.