Insider: Falcons GM Dimitroff knows how to win

Posted Sept. 18, 2011 @ 7:34 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

• "I think (Falcons GM) Thomas Dimitroff is a very good GM. He has a plan and knows what it takes to win. The one thing I have noticed about young GMs — a lot of them don't trust the people that work for them. They want to do everything on their own. You can't do everything you used to. You need a strong support staff. Thomas is a trusting person. He gets it. What I worry about is how badly his owner wants to win. It can force bad decisions."

• "(Vikings QB) Donovan McNabb can go either way. We are just trying to survive ourselves, so it's not my place to say, but I expect he will find himself in the same place he was in Washington before long. He was a short-term fix to buy some time for the rookie (Christian Ponder). It doesn't sound like the rookie has progressed as fast as they had hoped. He really struggled in the preseason."

• "Leadership is the most overrated thing I ever heard of. Lawyer Milloy was supposed to be a great leader in New England, and they cut him and won a Super Bowl. The media painted Al Harris as a great leader and criticized the Packers for letting him go. It didn't stop them from winning a Super Bowl last year, did it? There comes a time where you have to get rid of veterans. Everyone has to deal with it. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions. You think it was easy for the Packers to get rid of Brett Favre? Every team has to deal with it."

• "The problem with (Eagles WR) DeSean Jackson is the same as it is for a lot of skinny receivers — he can't get off the line of scrimmage if you cover him up. He gets hung up on press coverage. People don't realize it, but all players have holes. To me, when you evaluate receivers, the key is — can they create plays? 

• "(Bears QB) Jay Cutler is in a really good place.  He is very relaxed. The weight of the world is not on his shoulders. I would be very surprised if he does not have a great year. His body language is just who he is. I think having (Olin Kreutz) away will help him. If you look at Olin's tape the last few years, it was ugly. He couldn't play. Having those two big guards next to him will help him a lot in New Orleans. He'll survive because he is so smart. But the guy is 34 years old."

• "(Carolina QB) Cam Newton is trying to prove he can be a quarterback. He is a gamer. He loves to play. He has poise in the pocket for a rookie. His arm is amazing. He can make something happen with his feet if defenses let him, but he is trying to show he can be a pocket passer."

• "The key to running a football team — you need to know what everyone is capable of doing and let them do what they are capable of. That applies to coaches, scouts and everyone in the organization."

• "(Browns QB) Colt McCoy sounded like the second coming in the preseason. I thought he played average at best. To me, he's overrated. It's not hard to beat him if you take away the short game."

• "(Ravens WR) Anquan Boldin has never been a blazer, but has always been field-fast. I don't know if he can run anymore. I don't see any burst. I think the injuries have caught up to him."

• "The Colts are in trouble. If you look at how the team is built, it's wholly dependent on the quarterback. They don't have one on their roster right now that they can develop. Mark my words — they will draft a quarterback next year, and they will draft one early."

• "There are always teams that start off the season hot. What everyone forgets is that the NFL season is not a sprint, it's a marathon. This is a rough business. You get into a position of strength and everyone wants to bring you down. There are always teams that start off slow that finish strong. Look at the Giants a few years ago. The Titans started 0-6 one year and climbed back. … I expect the Steelers to rebound. The one thing about Mike Tomlin — he knows that team's identity. The more things change there, the more they stay the same."