Falcons owner Arthur Blank spoke before the Rotary Club of Marietta and the Marietta Kiwanis Club at the Marietta City Conference Center on Wednesday.
Afterwards, we talked him about his comments on 680 The Fan concerning his displeasure that players didn’t rush to quarterback Matt Ryan’s defense after he was walloped by New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro last season.
(He seemed to get a kick of my new camera phone stand! Check the video!)
The comments to the radio station were not necessarily new, but they continued a theme the team has been ringing all offseason, but in more veiled terms.
Nov. 21, 2013: NFL Network crew: Falcons lack ‘toughness’
Nov. 22, 2013: Mike Smith defends the Falcons’ toughness
Jan. 6, 2014: Blank wants players with ‘capacity to be tough’
Jan. 21, 2014: New coaches Tice, Cox to preach toughness
Here’s what Blank had to say on Wednesday:
“(Head coach Mike Smith) has acknowledged that (the need to get tougher) and I think you see that when you look at the backgrounds and personalities of Mike Tice and Bryan Cox,” Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You see not only the coaching capability, but a certain personality tendency for both of them, both as (former) players and as coaches.
“When you see the movements during free agency and the kind of players that we picked up, I think that reflects those moves as well. It’s easy to say and used the words, but you have to back it up. Smitty feels strongly about that. (General manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) does as well. I think you’ll see more of that continue during the draft as well.”
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