3 teams, 3 questions: Quinn could be on hook as much as Dimitroff in ’16

Atlanta Falcons General manager Thomas Dimitroff, left, and Head Coach Dan Quinn speak at a news conference Thursday, Jan 28, 2016, in Flowery Branch, Ga., to discuss the direction of the team after an 8-8 season. (AP Photo/Paul Newberry)

Falcons coach Dan Quinn (right) could be on the hook next season as much as general manager Thomas Dimitroff. (AP photo)

Three teams, three questions.

FALCONS: Is next season make or break for general manager Thomas Dimitroff?

Answer: Yes. To read my column on Thursday’s Dimitroff-Dan Quinn news conference, click this link. Dimitroff did not run from criticism of recent personnel mistakes. He knows many fans wanted him out and that he needs to do better to keep his job beyond the 2016 season. When asked directly about it being a make or break year, Dimitroff gave the correct answer: “I believe every year is.”

But the truth is, it also could be a make or break year for Quinn, as strange as that may sound. Consider: Dimitroff was retained by owner Arthur Blank at least in part because Quinn backed him and the two have a good working relationship. If the Falcons miss the playoffs again next season, Quinn, who currently has control of the 53-man roster, could lose some autonomy, or at worst his job. If Dimitroff is fired, the new general manager likely would come in with some power and might want to bring in his own coach. So in my view, a lot is riding on the draft and free agency for both the coach and the GM next season.

HAWKS: Should the Hawks trade Jeff Teague and/or Al Horford now?

Familiar scene: Jeff Teague in the lane and Roy Hibbert out of position. (Curtis Compton)

Jeff Teague could probably bring more in a trade after the season (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Answer: No. It makes no sense, unless the Hawks are choosing to kiss off the possibility of a long playoff run (which also doesn’t make sense) or they’re getting a tremendous return in a trade (which seems unlikely).

I agree with many that the Hawks look shaky right now. But to trade Teague during a relatively “off” season when he also might be laboring from a lingering ankle sprain would likely mean getting pennies on the dollar. It’s unlikely any contender seeking him would give up a player or players worth the deal for the Hawks. I’m also not comfortable with Dennis Schroeder suddenly becoming this team’s starting point guard. He’s too inconsistent. I understand the argument for trading Teague or Horford at some point. But it makes far more sense to deal one or both after the season when a better deal likely could be made. Horford will be an unrestricted free agent but he can still be moved in a sign-and-trade. Teague is easily movable because of his relatively modest salary for a starting point guard ($8 million in 2016-17, the final year of his contract).

As for the playoffs, think about this: The Eastern Conference against is just north of average. Who scares you? Cleveland? Chicago? Toronto? The Hawks have problems but it’s only late January, still plenty of time to get things together.

BRAVES: Will the Braves be OK in starting pitching?

The Braves needed strong starting pitching and got it from Julio Teheran. (Steve Mitchell, USA Today)

The Braves need Julio Teheran to return to form. (Steve Mitchell, USA Today)

Answer: I doubt it. Very much. You might’ve seen my blog the other day about USA Today ranking the Braves’ starting pitching as the worst in baseball. Considering they traded their best starter from last season, Shelby Miller and their perceived best remaining starter, Julio Teheran, is coming off his worst season (4.04 ERA, after 3.20 and 2.89 the previous two years), it’s hard to dispute. The Braves have a ton of kids. Logic suggests there are going to be a string of hiccups. Improving on last season’s 67 wins might depend more on the bullpen putting our brush fires than anything else. The team is likely to go through a blur of relievers again over 162 games. It’s always possible that general manager John Coppolella will spin a deal to bring in a dependable arm. But until that happens or there’s evidence of significant improvement through the rest of the team, my default position is this team will lose 90 games again.

From the Digital Jukebox

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34 comments
SaulK
SaulK

state of the 3 teams.

falcons suck, braves suck, hawks will go out in round 1 or 2 of the playoffs.

I need a drink!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FiftyBlue 

You need a drink???!!!

Don't we all (as ATL fans)? But man, 50 years of that stuff will hurt you, won't it?

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Dimitroff better bring in players who can help them win now. He doesn't have the luxury of two more years. If this team is surrounded with a good defense and the offensive line is improved, then the onus will be on Matt Ryan.

tommytwoposts
tommytwoposts

Like Jeff a lot. But this pathetic blog blocks any criticism. You have to go to ESPN to get today's Tech score and the same for Same night Hawks scores etc. Pathetic . Will miss you Jeff but I am gone.

Ackshun
Ackshun

JS: I don't understand keeping Dimitroff. At this point, what is he going to show you that you haven't seen in the past 8 years?  I mean since the shuffle, his power is been so diluted that it even if the team improved next year, it would be impossible to say whether he had anything to do with it. And if they lose, well you know. So basically he's a lame duck with 5 GMs "in waiting".  He should walk.


DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: "The Eastern Conference against is just north of average. Who scares you? Cleveland? . . .

_______________________

Why wouldn't Cleveland scare us?

The Cavs sent the Hawks home for good last season by blowing them out in four Round 3 games.

E983
E983

The end result is the question why. Why did this GM allow drafts during the past several years to wind up in the toilet. Then end up keeping his position. I understand why Quinn gets the decision on the roster but how this GM still has any control over this team just doesn't make sense. Look, I get it that Devaney was rehired. When he was here before his department was excellent. The players drafted and most free agents were coachable. But somewhere during the last 3 years it seems like they locked up at 4pm and went home. The Falcons have to have a complete cultural overhaul within the scouting department and the GMs office. Players have to be found that will perform on offense, defense and special teams, players that can give 16 games plus the playoffs and players that can provide depth when the lead roster is out with injuries. I hope this head coach is able to make a whole lot better decisions that the last one because he may not last more than two years. He's got a mess on his desk to clean up and rebuild. Keep Roddy White? There's more important issues than that decision.

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

How much time every morning do you think Dimitroff spends in front of the mirror every morning working on his hair?????

Big Wally
Big Wally

Braves and Hawks need to adapt the Falcons strategy of getting every out of work former failed GM on the payroll.  It's working great for them.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan


I am still not sold that the Braves will not trade Freeman if his wrist is right and he gets off to a good first half .  Gotta save that salary for Liberty and the big shots ya know


Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

I'll leave the Falcons and Hawks to their fans. Schultzie in case you missed it the Braves have been in a rebuilding mode since the end of the 2014 season. Of course their starting pitching will be young and inconsistent this year. Why should Coppy spin a deal to bring in another veteran castoff, (#1, 2 or 3 starters are not available on the junk pile) to take innings away from the younger arms. Let the pitching prospects that are ready fill out the rotation,they will take their lumps in 2016 but one or two of them may develop into dependable MLB pitchers. Then in 2017 the Braves front office can have a better idea of what direction to take with the rotation.They will also have more payroll flexibility to add the pieces whether pitching or position players to fill out the roster. Since the Braves made the decision to rebuild they should stick with the plan and deal with the growing pains of their younger talent.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@Buschleaguer  The Braves with this ownership and FO are not spending zilch -- 85 to 90 mil payroll does not cut it in this game anymore.  And until they show they will spend in the 21st century I have no belief in the spin the Braves top management has to say.  As for the kid pitchers -- if two of them become better than average (like a solid number 2 or 3) that is about what you can expect given the percentages of prospects who make it.  And the system does not have much in terms of everyday prospects even with all the so called building.  Fools gold that is what the Braves spin is about

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@VeryDisgusted

Just don't forget #1  and #2 starting pitchers were once some teams prospects.I remember the quality of some of the Braves teams in the 70's and 80's so I am willing to give this Braves re-build a couple of more years to take shape. And spending 150 million dollars does not guarantee making the playoffs ,just ask a Nationals or Tigers fan .

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@Buschleaguer @VeryDisgusted  The Nats & Tigers did have off yrs last yr.  But for the most part they have been in the mix in recent years.  At least their ownership allows their FO to compete.  We cannot say that at this time -- the payroll is not even in the middle of the pack anymore.  Turner was not perfect but I did have faith that once he brought in the right people in here it would get better.  I do not have that vibe about our faceless corporation.  Mr Malone and Mr Maffei -- you never hear from them it is Mc Guirk who is their well paid errand boy.  And Coppy and that squeaky voice -- he looks like a side kick from a Happy Days episode -- I have a hard time taking him seriously

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer: "Schultzie in case you missed it the Braves have been in a rebuilding mode since the end of the 2014 season."

__________________________

BS, you excuse-making whiner.

They've been in "rebuilding mode" ever since their ONE championship in half a century--and that was two decades ago.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole @Buschleaguer Damn you schizo football fan , from 1995 til now the Braves have been rebuilding. What does that say for your Dawgs who have not sniffed a title since 1980.  

And BS to excuse making, and as far as whining no one on any  of these blogs whines more than you and your duo fandom of Dawgs and Noles.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole @Buschleaguer As far as excuse making for the Braves , I have no illusions to the fact they are likely to lose between 95 and 100 games in 2016.As far as the rebuilding comment what is that other than a fact The Braves will have one of the youngest and cheapest teams in MLB this year ,another fact. As a baseball fan I hope at least they will grow up and show some improvement this season , if not ,we will wait til next year.What any of this has to do with whining , enlighten me DawgNole.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer @DawgNole 

What does this column have to do with UGA?

Duh!

Stay on topic, whining excuse-maker. 

You'll never find a post of mine that makes excuses for UGA or FSU.

Liar.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer @DawgNole 

Go back and read my post, fool. I never said the Braves' rebuilding wasn't a fact. Problem is that, as I pointed out, it's been a fact for most of the past half-century.

Take your excuse-making and satisfaction with mediocrity somewhere else.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole @Buschleaguer

Name the whining part of my comments you ,can you do anything but be critical of other commenters on the blogs. It seems that is your main contribution with most of your posts.No we have all be enlightened by all of your in depth discussions with Tampa Gator .  

As far as your comment on the Braves rebuilding going on since 1995, it shows your total ignorance on the subject. Just another spoiled fan who has to take the lowest common denominator when making comments that do little or nothing to contribute to any intelligent conversation on the boards. And with this ,I say go back to the UGa Dawgnation Board where you might actually have a lucid comment or two.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole @Buschleaguer

You being a dogs fan says it all about accepting mediocrity.And still brainiac what excuses did I make for the Braves, I said they will be a AAAA team for at least this year and likely 2017. Maybe hoping for a local ownership group to buy the Braves ,it close enough for you to consider making an excuse for the state of the Braves futility in 2015 until...................

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer @DawgNole 

I'm a UGA fan because I graduated there, dolt. Nowhere have I defended the Dawgs' inability to win a championship in decades. So stop lying.

You defend the Braves' mediocrity and perennial also-ran status, which has continued now for almost every bit of half a century; that tells us all we need to know about you, loser. 

And your pathetic writing skills are simply a further reflection of your miserable persona. Disgusting.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer: ". . . Name the whining part of my comments you ,can you do anything but be critical . . . No we have all be enlightened . . ."

_____________

Just more examples of your undecipherable gibberish. Why not learn how to write clearly instead of continuing to expose yourself as illiterate (and hypocritical, and dishonest, and uninformed)? And you have the gall to question someone else's lucidity?!

Why don't I "go back" to the "UGa" (Duh!) Dawgnation board??? I've never posted there, liar; how would I "go back" to it? Hello?

You're out of your league here, dimbulb--way out. You're embarrassing yourself. Better quit while you're behind.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole @Buschleaguer Thanks DawgNole for exposing us to your superior intellect, you make the rest of the UGa grads (Class of 1981)on the blog proud.Your penchant for personal attacks is very impressive. I will take note before responding to any of your brilliant posts in the future.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer @DawgNole 

"Take note before responding"? Good idea, as difficult as that is to imagine coming from you.

"Personal attacks"? You're just like your hero--the hypocrite tampongator--dishing it out constantly, then moaning when someone gives it back to you.

I make the UGA grads proud? Good! You should aspire to do the same, instead of bringing shame and embarrassment to us.

Now run along, twerp; it's time for you to get back to your lifelong goal of embracing and defending the perpetual mediocrity that is ATL pro sports. Such high standards you have.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole @Buschleaguer Dish it out ,go ahead .As far as your insults go I believe your first response to my post, started our pissing contest. And as far not being able to take it ,bring your best shot you petulant little man, I guess you really let the mediocrity of the Atlanta sports scene push your buttons. All I can say about you being a graduate of UGa is that it is a shame what has happened to the educational system in the state of Georgia over the past 25 years.

As far as defending the mediocrity of Atlanta Pro sports ,I have never been a Hawks fan and stopped following the Falcons about 10 years ago. But if you would have read my first post ,you may have figured that out. I hope for everyone on the AJC blogs that some Pro team in Atlanta wins a championship soon.Maybe that will change the tone on the blogs and help end the perpetual negativity and personal attacks that are prevalent on the blogs today.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer @DawgNole 

Still on here whining, I see.

You don't deserve my best shot, lying hypocrite.

Yup, I do indeed detest the endless mediocrity of ATL pro sports. That you defend and try to rationalize any facet of it only further exposes you as the loser you are.

When a city has earned the national reputation of "Losersville" because of the repeated postseason failures of all of its teams, there's good reason for the perpetual negativity that you lament. Obviously, much of it would fade IF the local pro teams started winning championships. After 50 years of mostly blowing their opportunities, however, they've given us very little hope for change.


DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer: "Yep I'm a loser . . . ."

____________________

Indeed.

Took you long enough to figure that out. Better late than never, though.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1


Well it took a while, but everythings back to normal finally:  1. Braves will suc. out of playoff contention by july 1st.  2.Hawks will be defeated in first round of playoffs again 3. Falcons will lose just enough games to make them irrelevant next year.  4.  Dawgs go 9-3 CMR could of done that...



HotDawg
HotDawg

If they can't get anything right on the field or in the front office, at least fire the racist, D-bag Samuel Jackson and dump the lame, overused "rise up" campaign.

Haven't fans suffered enough?

candlin14
candlin14

Dimitrioffs Atlanta career has ONE MORE YEAR LEFT. Have you seen the Falcons Schedule next year??? Unless this team unloads the bank, and brings in One Solid Linebacker, One Solid Corner Back, One Solid Safety, One Additional Pass Rusher, Another Outside Receiving threat, and TWO MORE LINEMAN, this team is going nowhere. HAVE YOU SEE THE ROSTER SCHULTZ??? ITS AWFUL!!!


This man will never win any fan over in Atlanta. He is the most hated GM in the entire town. He is GARBAGE!!!! Quinn has been AWFUL ever since his GUTLESS decision in San Francisco. Quinn vouches for TD and KS and moves  a defensive coach to offense. Are you freaking kidding me. BYE QUINN, you have sealed your fate in Atlanta also. This schedule will eat this team apart next year. 


As for the Hawks, why not see what you can get for Teague or Horford. I pay the for NBA ticket here in Denver, CO to watch Al Horford a 6`11" Center/PF shoot 3's all game. My god, get off the three point line. You say Schroeder is inconsistent, are you high?? Teague is a turnover machine, and makes the absolute worst decisions at crucial times. The Hawks got rid of Ferry, the best thing going for this Franchise because of this politically correct society we now live in. Get use to the same old Hawks, 6-8 seed with a first round loss!!!!

Gman84
Gman84

Agree about Ferry. Hawks chose to fire the one guy who brought them out of decades of irrelevance to make sure they appeared politically correct. They are sinking back to irrelevance but at least nobody will be offended by anything anyone in their front office thinks or dare says. Soon enough nobody will notice anything about the Hawks. They will once again be completely invisible.