Seattle has made more right decisions than Falcons

Pete Carroll

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks have particularly excelled at making the right choices with low-round draft picks.

NEW YORK – “According to the weather forecast . . .”

I’m guessing I’ll hear those words several thousand times in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. As I wrote in a subscription column for MyAJC.com, people are tracking the forecast for Sunday’s forecast as if they’re tracking a meteor falling to earth.

But the weather is kind of a big deal. A storm dropped 14 inches of snow on the New York-New Jersey area last Tuesday. Schools were closed. It paralyzed the city.

Forget the predictable soundbites from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about football being meant to be played in the elements. The Super Bowl isn’t just a football game. The NFL commissioner has put the entire event – actually, series of events – at risk by doing this. I go down the reasons why this was a bad idea in the column. I also spoke to some street venders, who, needless to say, are counting on a blizzard so they can sell more knit hats and gloves. One called it her “dream.”

Here’s a link to the full column.

I’ll be writing both subscription columns and free blogs all week. I also hope to broach what it was that enabled Denver and Seattle to reach the Super Bowl and not the Falcons, who, needless to say, didn’t come close.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll had two gems at his media session Monday. The first was his opening remark: “First, I’d like to say it’s really great to be here in New Jersey.” (I would like to think it was Bruce Springsteen and not Chris Christie who put him up to that.)

His other key comments focused on the Seahawks’ personnel decisions. Carroll and Seattle general manager John Schneider have made a series of terrific decisions over the last four years in drafts and free agency. It’s why the Seattle has gone from four consecutive losing seasons to 24-8 in the last two regular seasons and a Super Bowl berth.

Here’s Carroll on the aggressive approach he and Schneider have taken: “We really don’t care about what other people think. We’re not going to be driven by what the status quo may think. We’ve really trusted our gut on decisions. We’ve done a lot of questionable moves that people want to know about.”

Referencing the past four drafts, Carroll said: “I had nine years at (USC) to be in charge of personnel, as well as coaching and everything else. It really helped me tremendously in our philosophical approach, in our commitment to young players. When you’re a coach, you don’t like playing the young guys. When you’re the GM you want to see all the young guys. When you’re a GM and a coach – in essence what you are in college – I made the choice to go with young guys. We developed a whole approach about that and a philosophy about how that worked out for us and it paid off in a tremendous way. For the most part the personnel guys will think that way but the coaches don’t coincide because they feel like when you play the young guys you’re going to lose. As a matter of fact Bud Grant used to say that for every rookie you start you’re going to lose a game. Bud and I didn’t agree on everything.

“We’ve had a tremendous run in the lower rounds. There’s a whole list of them, guys in the fourth round and sixth round that are starting for us, have contributed in a big way, and have allowed us to recreate our football team in a short time.”

The best of the low round draft picks: safety Kam Chancellor (fifth round), cornerback Richard Sherman (fifth round), cornerback Byron Maxwell (sixth round). That’s three-quarters of the starting secondary.

The Seahawks also added defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, as well as wide receiver Percy Harvin in free agency. (Harvin missed most of the season with injuries but he is expected to play in Sunday).

The Falcons obviously have had some success in drafts and free agency, just not nearly to the extent of Seattle. There have been more misses – particularly on the offensive and defensive lines.

When you think of the Seahawks, you think of a tough, physical team with arguably the most talented roster in the NFL.

Reader Comments 0

102 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

Seattle has made more good decisions than the Falcons?! Wow, dude, you figure that out all by yourself?


MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

Falcons Regular Season Record (all-time) : 316-414-6. Playoff Record (all-time) : 7-12 (Last appearance after 2012 season). Not impressed.


I will repeat myself - All you guys who keep thinking the Falcons will be back are just not understanding the reality of 40 years of mediocre football. Sure, the Falcons will probably win more games next year, but PLEASE don't cry about injuries and give excuses when all teams have them. Great teams learn how to win! The Falcons simply collapsed this year. There is no excuse for that. 2012 was an easy schedule and a little luck. And that luck ran out in the playoffs (as usual).

Chop_Chop
Chop_Chop

Line play is the biggest problem the Falcons have. The offensive line's production fell off a cliff last year and the defensive line has been mediocre at best over the last five or six years. The good thing is that these problems can be fixed pretty quickly. The bad thing is that three or four new guys are needed in order to do that, which means that Dimitroff has done a crummy job of drafting in those areas. He has an opportunity to redeem himself this offseason.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Drafting players is not an exact science....but as close as it can get with all variables figured in scouting reports. The main thing that can't be scouted is a players heart for the game...... not just signing a big contract and then doing as little as possible to earn the money for 3-5 years.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

#6 JADEVEON CLOWNEY DE OR ANTHONY BARR DE


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

The title of the article singles out the Falcons, but shouldn't it say that the Seahawks made more right decisions than the teams that didn't make the playoffs?


Let's see what Seattle and San Francisco do when they have to hand out mega contracts to Wilson and Kaepernick, as well as Sherman and other defensive standouts. Yes, both teams have drafted well, and it didn't hurt that they had  years of high picks due to stinking up the league for most of the last decade. 


I applaud their efforts. They have managed things well. 

TheMatrix
TheMatrix

Falcons are paying Matt Ryan 20 million, Seahawks found a gem in Russell Wilson and are paying him 500,000. A difference of 19.5 million towards allocation of salary to other areas goes a long way in the NFL. They also drafted defensive backs very well in the late rounds - that's the positive of having your head coach having a speciality in the secondary, he knows defensive backs and kind find gems late in the rounds. On offense, they have pretty pedestrian receivers and tight ends. Lynch is a beast and their offensive line is above average. Make no mistake, what got them to the Super Bowl is their defense. I was hoping the Falcons could've picked up Avril & Bennett in the off-season but the Seahawks knew what they were doing.

slydawg
slydawg

My gut tells me the Falcons need to trade down, get more picks, get through the rookie growing pains a year earlier, and plan for a resurgence in 2015. If 5+ OT get first round grades and not much separates them, then trade down no lower than 10-12.

doggoneit
doggoneit

You can't teach , "gut feeling" That's what makes them different than the Falcons!   Gut Feeeling is takin,"jake Mathews with our first pick.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Mike Smith is 3&1 vs Pete Carroll.

Enough with the bouquets.

Their a Beast-Mode torn ACL away from the 2013 Falcons.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Strike while you got the chance.

Here's hoping Seattle wins it......they won't be back anytime soon.

Chill
Chill

The Seahawks were built to win for the longterm. Most of their great picks were made BEFORE they got ultra Lucky and secured their Franchise QB in the 3rd Rd. That was just the cherry on top for their great Scouting Department. They believe in getting the best ATHLETES that fit their scheme and play without fear. It's no accident that they are in the Suberbowl and the Falcons who year after year failed to address their blatant needs on both the Defensive and Offensive lines went 4-12. The margin to win in the NFL is Super Slim. You can't keep getting away with Smoke and Mirrors year after year. You actually have to draft well and keep players that perform well (Abraham, Grimes, Lofton, Clabo) and stop extending the contracts of players who don't (see Decoud, Thomas). 

mcdaviddawg
mcdaviddawg

The Braves and the Falcons have a long history of bad decisions.  The Falcons have a very short list of good decisions.  They and Birmingham are meant for each other.

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

The only way Dummytroff can redeam his slef is 2 trade up and pix Johnny Fottball R 4 those who dont no Johnny Mansell. 

NCDawg
NCDawg

The window of opportunity for the Seahawks is at it's zenith.  In a couple of years this team will be dismantled because of free agency and the salary cap.  But yes, the Seahawks front office made better moves in the draft and they have born fruit.


They concentrated on defense and it is working for them.  The 2 simplest ways to get to the SB are either: great defense and enough offense to get you by (Seattle) or overwhelming offense and enough defense to get you by (Denver).  We will see which model worked out better on Sunday.


The Falcons went the overwhelming offense route but their defense wasn't good enough.  It is hard to have both sides of the ball be equally good with free agency and the salary cap.  It takes a blend of spot on draft picks and timing.  Your money free agents have to be lined up just right.  The Harvin deal will come back to bite Seattle.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

Yes, Pete Carroll obviously has an eye for talent and a skill for coaching them up. TD has shown that he can nab the 'obvious' skill player by recklessly trading away key draft picks but it's obvious this is not a scheme which will get us to a super bowl. Coaching is only half the equation. You have to have talent on the field also and outside of a few skill positions, we're not competitive. Next year we won't have Gonzales and Rodney White is on the downhill slope of his career. Injuries didn't sink us as much as our talent level. Every team suffers from injuries. We suffered from lack of talent.

warrmd7
warrmd7

1) Seattle has obviously drafted better: 5 pro-bowlers in the last 4 drafts to the Falcons' 1 (Julio)

2) Percy Harvin wasn't acquired in FA, they traded a 1st, 3rd, and 7th for him, AND signed him to a long term deal that will be paying him 11 M next year. Sorry Jeff, there is no way, shape, or form that has been a good deal for the Seahawks thus far.


Oh and not that it hurt them too much but the Matt Flynn signing was a terrible waste as well. Lesson here is every team makes mistakes, but you can live with them as long as the hits in FA and the draft outweigh the busts.

DHJohnson
DHJohnson

Leave Joet alone. he is pulling yalls chain with the spelling. He makes some good points, I bet the Falcons wish they were in the Superbowel, known as New Jersey.

MikeJay
MikeJay

You seem to be cherry picking draft picks to make your point.  What were Seattle's misses during the last four drafts?  You are calling paying an injury proned WR who then not surprisingly missed most of they year a success in Free Agency? 

Dman
Dman

It's snowing, everybody panic. Go fill up your cars with Gas, Bread, and Milk.....

Dman
Dman

DLed, the Seahawks were one play away from not being there and the Falcons were one play away from being there last season. There is not a lot of difference between these two teams other than injuries... The Falcons have a lot of talent and they will come back strong in 2014 after what I believe will be a great off season for our team. We will fix the OLine in Free Agency and will strengthen our Defense in the Draft. Plus, all of those injured players will be back to put us back on top. The future looks bright in the ATL...

Dman
Dman

@Montanadawg - i will repeat myself... wow, that's your argument? They lost an average at best WR Harvin and they had big injuries. The Falcons lost Julio. Now that is a key injury. Then add Roddy white, Stephen Jackson, Bradie Ewing, Sam Baker, Mike Johnson and that's just the Offensive Starters. Add Kroy Biermann, Corey Peters, Sean Weatherspoon, Joathan Babineaux, Asante Samual on Defense and those are just the starters. That is exactly Half of our Starters that missed a large majority of the season or all of the season. The ones who came back played injured and should have stayed out. You don't have a good argument when you look at the facts. Could seatle be where they are if half of their starters didn't play this season? Answer NO...

warrmd7
warrmd7

@slydawg Agree 100%. In looking at the last 4 drafts between Seattle and the Falcons stood out is not just the fact that they clearly hit on more picks than the falcons, its that they had a whopping 11 more picks. More picks = increased likelihood of hitting it big. That doesn't mean each pick shoudn't be precisely calculated, but it certainly helps.

JSSN
JSSN

@BigCrimson75  

I know you hate Carroll, but Schneider did pick up Omar Jr. in the draft (Christine Michael) and have Turbin under contract reasonably. Nobody is going to be the 2013 Falcons but the 2013 Falcons! Sharing a RB meeting room with Lynch means he can see what "New Age Earl Campbell" does to keep that chip on his shoulder (and up other people's butt)!

PeterNapa
PeterNapa

@BigCrimson75 Anybody who's seen that [Seattle] defense play KNOWS that the Seahawks are more than one injury away from being the 2013 Falcons. They have depth on both sides of the football. What will Mike Smith's 3-1 record vs. Pete Carroll mean on Sunday?

doggoneit
doggoneit

who is in the superbowl?  not the falcons

zuzu331
zuzu331

@Joe-T I dun thank yore a reel personnnn. Yore mullettt izz silllah.

BigHittas
BigHittas

I always thought DaCoupe couldn't cover my granny on a pass route.

BigHittas
BigHittas

Joe-T, I'm a big fan of your incisive commentary on the Falcons. Can you tell me what you think of TD's boy DaCoupe? Number 28?

slydawg
slydawg

@Joe-TManzel is a second round talent until proven otherwise. Hype and the "market place" is what makes him a 1st rounder. He is not polished enough (unlike RG3 and Luck) to take over a team from the first snap. But I do believe he will be a very good player and starter in the league a year or two from now once he learns how to protect himself and "pass through the barrel" as they say.

jcatl
jcatl

@Joe-TWow, you've managed to out dummy Dimitroff.  There's nothing wrong with Matt Ryan that fixing the personnel around him won't fix.

notPlanB
notPlanB

Using Seattles approx slot, the trade was equal to giving up a 1st round pick between #22 to #25. Not bad for a player of Harvins calibre but his medical issues would have kept me away from that deal. Maybe it will work out for them.

Fatsax03
Fatsax03

@warrmd7 Falcon pro bowlers: willam moore, julio jones, justan blalock, thomas DeCoud,  sean weatherspoon def if he didnt get hurt this year. so stop the false information. and Matt Rayn!

MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

@Dman You've to be kidding. Atlanta has never been nor never will be (especially with this GM and coaching staff) an elite program. Since franchise inception (40+ years ago) we have been a mediocre team AT BEST. What are you smoking? All teams have injuries - just look at all the key injuries the Broncos and Seahawks had this year and are still in the BIG GAME. Injuries are not an excuse. All teams have them. The Birds were lucky in 2012 to have a run with a very easy schedule. They blew it as usual in the playoffs. Reality set in for them in 2013. The one time the Birds were lucky enough to make it to the Super Bowl in '99 they were smacked embarrassingly hard by Elway and company. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid and buying the tickets...Blank will appreciate your support to help pay for HIS new stadium.

JSSN
JSSN

@Dman 

Bradie Ewing, Sam Baker, and Mike Johnson? Those players have contributed so little during their tenures in the Falcons camp that any person who mentions them as cogs is devoid of the concepts of reality! When you mention Peters and Babineaux,  they played in 31 of the 32 games eligible this past season! Samuel was through (people were warned last year that he was being exposed)! You are still counting on Weatherspoon? He's never given you the return on the investment! Curtis Lofton (who never missed a down) was run out of this town for less! As Big Crimson is so opinionated to point out, a defense that is dependent upon Kroy Bierman to be a playmaker and difference maker is asking not to relevant! Be for real, seriously it must end. People (fans or foe alike) are tired of having their intelligence insulted watching the football version of a car with a bad motor being passed off as a finely tuned Ferrari!

MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

@Dman My argument is this: no matter who the Falcons have on offense or defense - even IF they had all their starters completely healthy - they will NEVER produce AND MAINTAIN a Championship caliber organization. Period. Last year with all those 'great' players they won most of their games by very slim margins and many games at the last minute. And we're talking against a CAKE schedule in 2012. No way they could have done that this year even with all healthy players. I don't think the Falcons organization can develop talent like many other CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL teams can. They have no track record of any real success. Look at their winning % - Egads. It stinks. And their playoff % is horrible. Why will 2014 be any different overall than a previous mediocre Falcons year???


The Falcons overall record sits at the bottom of the pile. They are ranked #30 out of 32 teams. Only Tampa Bay and the Titans have a worse overall win record since inception than the Falcons.


I rest my case. Sure the Falcons will win more games next year, sure, but that's about as far as they will go.



TheDream32
TheDream32

@Dman Agree 100%.  I'm an Atlantan living in Seattle for the past 5 years and no way the Seahawks could have absorbed that many injuries, no matter how deep they are.  Nobody can.

BigHittas
BigHittas

what's Dacoupe done other than be out of position on more plays then not? OK, he had some picks last year, but he's one of the sorriest cover safeties in the NFL. But he'll whine about the fans in a heartbeat.

warrmd7
warrmd7

@Fatsax03 Incorrect. Read my post again. The "in the last 4 drafts" part is key. Also, Justin Blalock was not drafted in the past 4 years nor has he ever been selected to the probowl. Not sure where that came from

Dman
Dman

@Montanadawg, I've been a Falcons fan since the late 60's and I don't smoke anything. I have a clear mind unlike you and I will give you some facts. The Falcons lost more starters to injuries in 2013 than any team in the last 5 years. The Falcons when healthy were 1 play away from playing in the Superbowl last year. The Falcons have plenty of money to get a couple of veteran Lineman who will make a positive differance in 2014. The Falcons will get Two quality defensive players with the 6th and 36th picks.

Now, the Seahawks and Broncos had VERY FEW key injuries unlike the Falcons. I never said we were An Elete program so read before you throw up on this blog... You are obviously a fan of some other team by your remarks.

Falcons will be back in 2014...

Fatsax03
Fatsax03

@MontanaDawg  Your wrong. history has shown us that under the mattiy ice era we have won atleast 10 games every year he starts more the 10 gm. consecutive winning seasons 2 13-3 seasons and this year was all because of injuries and Jackson lack of health.

JSSN
JSSN

@Dman A "hater?" That is strange coming from the person whose "argument" is tied to putting a false premise (see the injury statement) out there as an excuse. I'm as happy as a undisturbed clam shooting this down! 


Fact:

The NY Football Giants lost key starting players for 91 games (19 more than the Falcons)  during the 2013, but somehow were able to be a 7-9 team! The Indianapolis Colts lost one of the most prolific WR of the last decade (Reggie Wayne) but somehow were capable. of  finishing 11-5 despite losing key players for 11 more games than Falcons. The Patroits went to the AFC Championship with a player considered to be the best at his position: Gronkowski and 2 more games lost than the Falcons. The Falcons and Bucs were the only teams to have lost than 70 games to starters to not win at least 7 games! 


Dman, sad to say this, but you are just a "hater" of good football!

Dman
Dman

@JSSN - you're just a hater..... Try living your life with positive thoughts, you will be much happier.

JSSN
JSSN

@Dman  

"Red Hering argument" - The Falcons and the Chargers can't whine, they don''t get the job when it counts! Unlike the Falcons The Spanos family finally got tired of the excuses (AJ Smith and Norv Turner were canned!).

(The Falcons) They've been 104-87-1 since Blank took over as majority owner in 2002. (No Super Bowl Appearances!)

Meanwhile, the Real Top Organizations (excluding San Diego) produce SB appearances!

The Patriots have gone  147-45-0  (2 SB wins and another 2 SB appearances)!

The Colts have gone 133-59-1 (1 SB win and another SB appearance)

The Steelers have gone 121-70-1 (2 SB wins and another SB appearance)

The San Diego Chargers have gone 120-71-0 (No Super Bowl appearances)

The Packers have gone 118-73-1 (with 1 SB win)

The Eagles have gone 113-78-1 (1 SB appearance)

The Baltimore Ravens has gone 112-80-0 since 2002 (SB win)

Darn those teams, even mediocre teams get it done:

The Saints have gone 108-84-0 (SB win)

The Seahawks have gone 106-86-0 (Now with 2 SB appearances)

The Giants have gone 94-88-0 (with 2 SB wins)

The Bears have gone 90-92-0 (with 1 SB appearance)


NEXT!

Dman
Dman

Since Arthur Blank bought the team the Falcons have one of the top organizations not #30. Also, with theses starters playing last year they were 13&3 and BEAT SEATTLE. As for the weak argument about margin of victory, the NFL average is around 3 points so most NFL margin of victories are slim. Try again...

doggoneit
doggoneit

there is a reason your not a coach

warrmd7
warrmd7

@Fatsax03 Don't get me wrong, I like what TD and Smitty have done. Its hard to dismiss two guys who turned the franchise around after the Vick/Petrino debacle in one season. However, the past 4 drafts have simply not been good enough. The past 2 years our depth has been horrendous. That was somewhat shown by the terrible preseason performances in the past 2 years and definitely showed this year when injuries to key players decimated the team's performance.


As for who has done a better job? Its hard to say since there are a ton of factors that separate the bottom teams from the top in the NFL, but its hard to argue for the Falcos when Seattle is preparing for the super bowl and our season ended weeks ago. It is ESPECIALLY true if they take the lombardi trophy home. In the end, thats the goal of the NFL.

Fatsax03
Fatsax03

@warrmd7 @Fatsax03 but of the 4 years that petes been there only thwe the last 2 have been winning, TD has been winning since they cracked the front door. 11-5 out the box with no julio. then 9-7 with a hurt matt rayn, then 13-3 lol and then 10-6, cumon man consistency, 13-3 again and now 4-12 with everyone hurt and Matt rayn is still a top 5 qb this year. so now u tell me who has done a better job.


warrmd7
warrmd7

@Fatsax03 Fine, if you really want to compare their first 4 drafts (which is stupid since they arent the same drafts and is thus an apples to oranges comparison), then in TD's first 4, there were 4 (3 if you take out DeCoud since he is clearly not a probowl talent) probowlers drafted to Seattle's 5.


And yes, I'm not saying you have to have an o-line full of probowlers to win, since the average at best o-line from 2012 was sufficient. I'm just saying it is one way grade drafts as a whole and to illustrate Seattle's much better drafting from 2010-2013 as compared to the Falcons'.

Fatsax03
Fatsax03

@warrmd7 @Fatsax03 true but doing that 13-3 season we had last yearnot one of our oline men probowled so thats wwhere justin blalock came from. and out side of JUSTIN AND MATTT WHO HASNT BEEN DRAFTED by DIMITROFF.  and since your teying to be Funny @warrmd7 look at who Dimi drafted in his first 4 yrs and who pete drafted in his first 4!!!! 

Fatsax03
Fatsax03

@Dman Hell NO and @MontanaDawg  know it. we where one play away from the chip lat year and we beat the sea hawks to get there. and if not for ONE PLAY would the sea hawks be playing for a ring?????

Dman
Dman

@Montanadawg - wow, that's your argument? They lost an average at best WR Harvin and they had big injuries. The Falcons lost Julio. Now that is a key injury. Then add Roddy white, Stephen Jackson, Bradie Ewing, Sam Baker, Mike Johnson and that's just the Offensive Starters. Add Kroy Biermann, Corey Peters, Sean Weatherspoon, Joathan Babineaux, Asante Samual on Defense and those are just the starters. That is exactly Half of our Starters that missed a large majority of the season or all of the season. The ones who came back played injured and should have stayed out. You don't have a good argument when you look at the facts. Could seatle be where they are if half of their starters didn't play this season? Answer NO...

MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

@Dman You don't call losing Percy Harvin a KEY injury? Give me a break. Look, I was a Falcons fan for years. The Birds choke in the BIG games. You cannot deny that. The Falcons have had over 40 years to become a really good program. They may be back in 2014 with a better record (I mean, it can't get much worse), but talk to me when they next play in a Super Bowl or heck, even win a couple of playoff games. I predict 9-7 next year at best.

MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

@Fatsax03@MontanaDawg

Falcons Regular Season Record (all-time) : 316-414-6. Playoff Record (all-time) : 7-12 (Last appearance after 2012 season). I don't call these records impressive. In fact, they stink.


Matty Ice won't save this team or organization. I predict 9-7 next season AT BEST. All teams have injuries. Elite programs develop all kinds of players (as mentioned above in the article) and figure out a way to win.