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021309 - Dimitroff Q&A

021309 - Dimitroff Q&A

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Q&A with Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff
Q&A with Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

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Published by: Atlanta Falcons Football Club on Feb 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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2009 - :
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 , 2009 &
Thomas Dimitroff didn't have time to settle into his new role as the generalmanager of the Atlanta Falcons - there was far too much on his plate. Just daysinto his tenure, he was a driving force behind the hiring of Head Coach MikeSmith, who would go on to win the
 Associated Press
NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2008. Just a few weeks later he inked several high-profile free agents,including eventual first-time Pro Bowl running back Michael Turner, safety EricColeman and kicker Jason Elam. He followed up those key free agent signingswith the selection of a stellar draft class in April that included the
Rookie of the Year signal-caller, Matt Ryan, starting left tackle Sam Baker and a host of additional starters and key contributors. All this with only a few months under his belt in a freshly-minted job with a brandnew organization.His vast early accomplishments were acknowledged two weeks ago when hewas named the 2008
Sporting News
NFL Executive of the Year. That begs the question: So what can the 42-year-old Dimitroff and his staff dowith a full year to prepare for an off-season? AtlantaFalcons.com staffers posed a series of questions to the energeticexecutive, who has spent the last 12 months stewarding the Falcons' footballoperations and acclimating himself to his new role. Dimitroff and his staff arecurrently entrenched in off-season preparations, laser-focused on fine-tuning an11-5 club that enters 2009 riding a wave of unbridled optimism and positivemomentum.Following is a transcript of Dimitroff’s exclusive interview withAtlantaFalcons.com.
.: 2008 ,
 , , ,
 ? ?
: ,
 TD “We’re all engrossed in the various preparations for free agency
 , 2009
the Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft with the goal of 
improving our football team NFL rosters never stay the same from one
year to the next so we’re busy doing our due diligence as far as
evaluating our own players and evaluating the collegiate players who
will be available to us in the draft
“With regards to Michael Vick we’ve decided to seek a trade of his
contractual rights to another NFL club We took a number of steps in
 2008 , .
the season including using our first pick to draft a quarterback
We feel a trade is the best move for the Falcons and it’s also in the
best interest of Michael This has been a really unique situation from a
variety of standpoints and because we will actively be involved in a
trade situation I don’t envision our organization speaking any more
about this subject publicly until it’s reached a resolution ”
.: .
 TD “NFL rules allow teams to trade the contractual rights of 
 . , .
suspended players So yes
 TD “We have not been advised by anyone from the League Office of 
 . ,
any type of timeline regarding Michael Vick being reinstated So we
don’t know when that might occur That decision is up to the
Commissioner ”
.: ,
Atthis point in the off-season evaluation process, what are the Falcons’ mostpressing draft needs?
: ,
 TD “I don’t want to give away club secrets but our goal is to improve
our football team to build on what we started last year Whether we
 , ,
do that through trades free agency or the draft will become clearer in
the next couple of months I can assure you that all of our personnel
 , ,
people scouts and coaches are working extremely hard to make sure
that we add another strong class of rookies to our football team ”
How do you and your staff determine which positions you willaddress through free agency and which you will address via the Draft?
: .
 TD “That’s a very good question I feel we are blessed with a terrific
scouting staff and a solid personnel department who all work very well
 . -
together We also have a head coach who is extremely adept and well
versed in the personnel aspect of this business and that helps our
football team tremendously We stress the team concept in every
aspect of our operation Smitty and his coaching staff are great assets
from a personnel standpoint We’ve been in the evaluation process for
several months and have developed what we feel is a sound and
strategic plan to address our team’s needs both in free agency and in
the draft ”

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