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Arthur Blank wants the Falcons to be tougher

arthurblank AP

When the first offseason move of a team that missed the playoffs is to fire both line coaches, the implication is clear.

But Falcons owner Arthur Blank made it clear, saying his team needed to be tougher. Blank also admitted they were likely to add someone to bolster the lines with the sixth overall pick.

“I think the nature of the game is that it’s a physically violent game,” Blank said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com “It is a tough game. To play football on the professional level and the college level or even the high school level, you’ve got to be a tough kid. You’ve got to be a tough person, I think. And I think a lot of our players are certainly that.

“I think, at the end of the day, if I asked you, . . . give me a brief definition of what toughness is, I think you might say something else, but you might say to me it’s how you control the line of scrimmage. Can you run the ball? Can you stop the run? . . .

“And I don’t think we did either one of those things very well this year. So I would say, if you looked at toughness from that perspective, I don’t think we were as tough as we needed to be.”

Blank was careful to say he wasn’t prepared to sacrifice character in the pursuit of said toughness.

“It doesn’t mean we want players that are going to end up in different sections of the newspaper other than the sports section,” Blank said. “But I do think we want players that have the capacity to be tough; as tough as they need to be, to play right up to the line, to the edge of the line, and to have coaches that can coach them that way as well.”

They’re still working on finding those, but the Falcons were also built a certain way. They’ve devoted resources to paying a quarterback and top-end skill position talent, then drafting cornerbacks with their first two picks last season to help keep up in the passing game arms race with the Saints.

Until they actually spend some currency on linemen, the tough talk is just that.

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21 Responses to “Arthur Blank wants the Falcons to be tougher”
  1. 87hollywoodhorn says: Jan 6, 2014 4:03 PM

    Wants the Falcons to be tougher? Oh no, no, no. I like the Falcons just how they are. Pushovers and a guarunteed sweep for the Who Dats!

  2. dragonflypack says: Jan 6, 2014 4:08 PM

    Who cares what he thinks ? Owners like him need to just shut up. Look at the Packers. You never hear from the Executive President, Mark Murphy, because that’s not his job. His opinions are handled privately. The Atlanta owner looks like a clown or child throwing his toys in frustration. What he says does no possible good for the team. Shut the H up. You’ve got employees for that stuff.

  3. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jan 6, 2014 4:11 PM

    The simple fact is, Matt Ryan is not clutch. He has yet to win a must-win game after 7 years!

    Mike Smith’s nickname is “Meek.” To have a tough team, you have to draft tough guys and coach them to be tough. You can’t just “want” to be tough.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 6, 2014 4:13 PM

    They have an entire offseason to reshape into whatever they want to be. They have a great core and lots of draft equity and all the options they need. No excuses are going to satisfy if they don’t assemble a winning team.

  5. pantherpro says: Jan 6, 2014 4:20 PM

    Hey J

    You need to stay off the field. You’re an owner of slave labor Home Depot. You are not a player and don’t have an ounce of athleticism in your entire body. You know nothing about toughness so pipe down!

  6. nfloracle says: Jan 6, 2014 4:23 PM

    I don’t think you can have a tough team when the owner dresses like a 19th century British poet most of the time.

  7. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jan 6, 2014 4:26 PM

    Here’s a recommendation: hire Jessie Tuggle immediately to start lighting fires under people’s backsides. That dude brought it.

  8. onbucky96 says: Jan 6, 2014 4:28 PM

    Blank, go back to your luxury suite and shut up. Only Jerra in Big D is allowed to wander the sidelines and offer his thoughts/will.

  9. shotpeen says: Jan 6, 2014 4:36 PM

    Blank does not own Home Depot he was a co-founder, but retired in 2001. So whatever they are doing now has nothing to do with him.

  10. ravensdominate says: Jan 6, 2014 4:37 PM

    The number of wins under the Super Bowl column for this franchise is….. Blank! Haha

  11. kinguga says: Jan 6, 2014 4:46 PM

    Go over to the Falcons website, watch the press conference, and listen to Blank answer questions. Nearly all NFL fans would want an owner like him. He isn’t afraid to max the cap out, doesn’t meddle with personnel matters, and he wants to win championships.

  12. kane337 says: Jan 6, 2014 5:00 PM

    The Falcons have used draft picks on the lines but they haven’t panned out. Time for new evaluators.

  13. pooflingingmonkey says: Jan 6, 2014 5:10 PM

    Can someone explain to me why Mike Smith is still the Head Coach in Atlanta? Seriously, how much more can he underachieve?

  14. meatcarroll says: Jan 6, 2014 5:12 PM

    He’s right. As a Falcons fan, I’ll freely admit our recent run of success prior to this season was in total absence of physicality. We’re probably one of the most finesse teams out there up with other pass-first teams like the Saints, Packers, etc. to our detriment. It works when Ryan’s kept clean and can control the game passing but not built withstand adversity like the 49ers, Panthers, Seahawks, etc

  15. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Jan 6, 2014 5:39 PM

    Until they actually spend some currency on linemen, the tough talk is just that.

    I agree 100% on this. Regardless of past mistakes the Falcons have to spend their picks and sign some undrafted free agents to take a shot on the line for the offense and defense. Even after they lost to the Seahawks last year in the playoffs, all I was thinking was the Falcons aren’t physical enough to ever win it all. The need some nasty guys on both sides, yep, I’m calling Incognito to ATL, and I made up my own league sources to back my claim.

  16. pantherpro says: Jan 6, 2014 6:11 PM

    Get off the field you clown. You’re an owner not a player. Nobody wants to see your sorry little Frenchy mustache and you’re talking tough? Please!

  17. screamingsheep69 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:19 PM

    Think we may have just found a new home for Richie Incognito.

  18. touchdownroddywhite says: Jan 6, 2014 6:48 PM

    Love the guy above mentioning Incognito. Exactly what I was thinking. Bet it happens… Also, could be a smoke screen regarding Clowney to some extent to drive up thre price for that #6 pick…

  19. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 6, 2014 7:31 PM

    Arthur went on to add, “I got where I am today by being able to frighten and intimidate people with just the look on my face.”.

  20. docboss says: Jan 6, 2014 8:30 PM

    Trade your first and second to the Rams. Take Clowney. SB contenders.

  21. axespray says: Jan 7, 2014 9:07 PM

    The 2011 Packer’s defense had their way with that oline.

    That was back when the Falcon’s oline was considered “ok’ish” (compared to now).

    Dudes gotta get better beef.

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