The Atlanta Falcons have been predicted by many people to be among the worst teams in the NFL in 2022. They came into the offseason with some salary cap concerns, which handcuffed their ability to add talent from outside the organization or keep some of their own. To make things even tougher, they traded franchise quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick.
In 2021, the first season under Arthur Smith as head coach, the Falcons surprised some people when they went 7-10. People believe that was a bit of a fluke, as it is pretty much a consensus that Atlanta will be in the running for a top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and be in a position to select one of the quarterback prospects.
But, don’t tell that to Smith. He has grown tired of all of the naysayers and has compared his team to the iPhone back when it was released in 2007.
“I told the team the other day, I said, ‘How many people in this room have an iPhone?’ Everybody raised their hand other than senior assistant Steve Hoffman,” Smith told the radio station. “I said: ‘Let me give you a little history lesson. Here are some of the smartest people in the tech industry who said the iPhone is never going to work. It’s nonsense.’ I said: ‘If you’re buying this stuff, shame on you. There’s a graveyard of these hot takes.’”
While some people will say that is just coach speak, as he is getting his team fired up for the upcoming season, players are buying in. Second-year tight end Kyle Pitts is very confident in his team, believing they are going to fight for the playoffs and contend for a Super Bowl.
“We know what we have in the building,” Pitts said. “We know what we’re trying to achieve, and we know if we have to perform, it’s not about what the experts have to say. It’s about what we do to go out and show them.”
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That is supreme confidence from the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, who will have a new running mate in No. 8 overall pick Drake London at the wide receiver position. Fellow wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus is also confident the Falcons will compete this season.
“I feel like we’re a playoff team. If we don’t believe that, who will?” he said. “Everybody is bought in. Everybody is hungry. It’s hard to explain, but you just feel it. You know everybody is on the same page.”
Zaccheaus is certainly right. The players in the locker room believing in themselves is the first step to the team actually finding success on the field. If they don’t believe that it can be done, people outside the organization certainly aren’t going to feel it is possible.
Every season there is a team that comes out of nowhere, shocking fans with how well they perform. While no one is picking them, the Falcons certainly believe they can be that team in 2022.
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