Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff joined Sirius XM NFL Radio’s Morning Drive on Thursday to discuss the moves the team made during the first hour of the free agency signing period to bring in defensive tackle Paul Soliai, defensive end Tyson Jackson and guard Jon Asamoah.
You can listen below, but here are a few highlights:
- The familiarity members of the current Falcons coaching and front office staff played into the team pulling the trigger on bringing those players in. Assistant general manager Scott Pioli was the Chiefs general manager when Jackson and Asamoah were drafted, and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and defensive line coach Bryan Cox coached Soliai. That made it much easier to get deals done with all three and feel comfortable with them. Says Dimitroff: “Sometimes you need to reach out and make sure you’re putting in a certain spot someone you truly know, and there’s no guessing, no projecting. I felt like last year we projected at a couple of positions. I wanted to get away from projecting as much as possible this year.”
- Are the Falcons, with the moves made this week, going to a 3-4 base defense? Dimitroff explains: “Defensively right now, the way the league is, there’s so much creativity. A guy like Mike Nolan at the helm as a defensive coordinator, he’s very creative with how he works things. Unfortunately, maybe we didn’t have all the personnel we needed to truly fit into the 3-4 schemes at times and use that as a really strong base defense. We all know that you go to the sub defense 65 percent of the time basically in this league now, so again, you need to be versatile and you need to be adept at being versatile. We feel we’ve done that with both of those guys. The both are really stout as 3-4 types — one at defensive end in Tyson Jackson as a 5 technique, and then you have Soliai who can play shade nose, he can play 1, he can do whatever we need him to do. … Back to your question, we’ll be playing 3-4 and 4-3 and we’re going to have a strong base 3-4 with these guys added to our team.”
- Short yardage situations offensively have been on Dimitroff’s mind, and he said the Falcons need to be more balanced offensively while earning first downs in short yardage situations. The Falcons have struggled to convert those in recent years. “Honestly, that’s not how this team was coached. It is not how it is built.”
Listen to the interview here: