French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire once quipped, “Judge a man by his questions, not his answers.”
Obviously, Voltaire spent a lot of time perusing NFL pre-season blogs. At this time of year, there’s a million and one blogs trying to psyche up their respective fan base and get people into “football” mode. Since it’s a down time in terms of action, there’s precious little to write about except the big existential questions each NFL team carries with it into the season’s early stages. Did we do enough in the offseason? What can we expect from Position X this year? Will the price of beer go up again?
For fans of the Atlanta Falcons, the down time is especially hard. After a bitter NFC Championship loss in 2012, fans were hoping for far more than last year’s less-than-satisfying 4-12 finish. While injuries took their toll, the 2013 team seemed vastly different from the previous year’s and when the dust settled—once the draft and free agency were over—fans were left with a ton of questions in need of answers.
- Will the O-Line become a strength this year under the leadership of Mike Tice?
- Will the D-Line become formidable under the direction of Brian Cox?
- Did GM Thomas Dimitroff do enough to upgrade the roster this offseason?
- Which of the past two seasons is closer to reality: 13-3 or 4-12?
- Can Julio return to form?
- Can our young LB corps get the job done with ‘Spoon out?
- Will Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford suffer a sophomore slump or will they continue their growth pattern?
- How will 4-12 affect the coaching style of Mike Smith?
- Should we go ahead and kiss the season goodbye given no team featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” has ever made it to the Super Bowl?
- How will the absence of Tony Gonzalez affect Matt Ryan’s game?
- Come to think of it, how will the absence of Tony Gonzalez affect the offense as a whole?
- Will Stephen Jackson go boom or bust this season?
- Can we make it through camp and preseason without any significant injuries?
Questions without answers—at least for now. But like Voltaire said, it’s the questions that reveal much of who we are. For Falcons fans, lots of things will be revealed in just 15 days.
Here’s hoping we like the answers.