FLOWERY BRANCH – The status of Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has been hotly debated in the local media over the past few weeks. As of late Sunday night, no decision had been made on his future.
The conventional wisdom amongst the media was that if Falcons head coach Dan Quinn vouches for Dimitroff in his meeting with owner Arthur Blank, that he'd be retained.
After the game, Blank was not ready to comment, but lauded the partnership between Quinn and Dimitroff.
In recent weeks, Mark Bradley and Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution have laid out cases for his dismissal.
Here’s Bradley’s “Major Falcons changes are surely coming.”
Here’s Cunningham’s “Now we know: Falcons lack talent” column of Dec. 16.
WSB sports director Zach Klein, who’s considered a friend of the Falcons and has hosted some of their shareholder events, laid out reasons to keep Dimitroff in an open letter to Blank.
Here's Jeff Schultz's column stating that 8-8 season shouldn't mandate firings.
From those four points of view and a review of Dimitroff’s record, here are 10 reasons why the Falcons should retain Dimitroff:
1. Dimitroff and Quinn have developed and good working relationship that should be allowed to blossom.
2. Some of the bad player signings in free agency were attributed to the former coaching staff.
3. Dimitroff helped to turn around the franchise when it was coming out of some of its darkest days after the Michael Vick and Bobby Petrino year of 2007.
4. Dimitroff players helped the Falcons post five consecutive winning seasons.
5. The Julio Jones trade was a success.
6. Although Devonta Freeman may be a fumblers, he's performed above his fourth-round draft status and is headed to the Pro Bowl.
7. The Falcons went to the playoffs four times and reached the NFC championship game after the 2012 regular season.
8. Dimitroff has been able to find some key undrafted free agents like linebacker Paul Worrilow.
9. With direction from Quinn and his coaching staff, Dimitroff will help to pick players who fit their systems.
10. All of his draft picks haven't been bust. William Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Freeman, Jones and Ryan have gone to Pro Bowls. Tackle Jake Matthews and defensive end Vic Beasley are off to solid starts and could turn into Pro Bowl players.
In the final game of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 20-17. The AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter reports.