“The partnership between Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff has proven to be as successful as we envisioned back in 2015,” said Arthur Blank, Falcons Chairman and Owner. “I believe continuity in leadership is vital to achieving the highest levels of success in any organization and, with these extensions, we ensure these two leaders will be at the helm of our franchise for years to come. Their shared vision and long view plan has already delivered on a variety of levels and has positioned our team for success into the future. My expectations for our team to represent our city and fans well on and off the field remain very high and so does my confidence in Dan and Thomas to make that happen.”
Falcons Owner & Chairman
Arthur M. Blank
“I couldn’t ask for a better co-team builder to be partnered with than Dan,” said Dimitroff. “I am appreciative of the support and confidence that Arthur continues to show us as we strive to bring a championship to this city and our fans. I am excited about where our team is currently as well as the outlook we have for the foreseeable future.”
“I’d like to thank Arthur for displaying the confidence in Thomas and myself, and our vision for this team,” Quinn stated. “The partnership we have formed over the last four years has continued to get stronger and our view for how we structure this team has become even more clear. We are looking forward to the challenge in front of us, but I could not be more excited about continuing this journey with Thomas and the Brotherhood.”
MEASURING THE INTANGIBLES
Armed with a custom-made metric, Dimitroff and Quinn were able to clearly define the type of player that they wanted on the Falcons roster. They then installed this process with the scouting and coaching staffs, putting the entire organization in lock-step when it comes to evaluating players.
COMPETES & TOUGHS
Using the CT score metric has become a core part of the Falcons approach to teambuilding. It has allowed Dimitroff and Quinn to stay closely aligned as they work to craft the roster. This clear vision along with an ardent belief in building through the draft has helped the Falcons select Pro Bowl players OLB Vic Beasley Jr., S Keanu Neal, and LB Deion Jones as well as key performers NT Grady Jarrett, RB Tevin Coleman, TE Austin Hooper, LB De’Vondre Campbell, G Wes Schweitzer, DE Takk McKinley, and LB Duke Riley over the last three years.
By placing a premium on speed and physicality, Dimitroff and Quinn have been able to adapt the Falcons roster to the changing landscape of the NFL. With offenses borrowing from the frenetic pace of the college game, gone are the days of two-down linebackers and one-dimensional players. What was once a sub defense has become the norm and versatility is king.
One of the key factors in the success of the Falcons teambuilding approach under the leadership of Dimitroff and Quinn has been the focus on player development. Recognizing the difficulty of building quality depth, Dimitroff and Quinn have put an emphasis on bringing along talented young players, including those that may not see the field right away. At the end of 2016, nine of the Falcons defensive starters and seven of the offensive starters were homegrown – either drafted or signed as college free agents by the Falcons.
In his first 10 drafts, he has selected nine players that have been named to 17 combined Pro Bowls, including Ryan, Freeman, Trufant, Neal, Julio Jones, Deion Jones, Beasley, S Thomas DeCoud, and S William Moore.
Never one to shy away from making a deal, Dimitroff has earned the nickname ‘Trader Thomas’ for making at least one trade in all 11 of his drafts. His landmark acquisition came during the 2011 Draft. While most thought Dimitroff would stay put and take the best player available at 27, he had a different thought. Feeling like the Falcons needed to get more explosive, Dimitroff reached out to the Cleveland Browns, who held the number six pick. He orchestrated a trade with the Browns and selected University of Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones with the sixth pick.
In addition to the blockbuster trade that landed Jones, Dimitroff made aggressive moves to procure Deion Jones, DE Takk McKinley, NT Grady Jarrett, and CB Desmond Trufant all of whom have become crucial pieces for the Falcons.
Dimitroff’s first major trade came in 2009 when he sent the team’s 2010 second-round draft choice to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for TE Tony Gonzalez. The future Hall of Famer spent five seasons in Atlanta, catching 409 passes for 4,187 yards with 34 touchdowns. Gonzalez’s veteran leadership and tireless work ethic helped set the tone for a team that made three straight trips to the playoffs. He finished his career ranked second in NFL history in receptions and sixth in receiving yards.
His acquisitions of G Andy Levitre and CB Asante Samuel, though four seasons apart, showed his ability to diagnose and the teams’ needs and make smart, calculated maneuvers to address them.