Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff always dreamed of playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and he’ll get his chance this Sunday in Super Bowl LI. Dimitroff worked for Bill Belichick both in Cleveland and New England, where he was the director of scouting for five years.
“Since 2008 when I got the job (in Atlanta), I’ve always thought about that dream Super Bowl matchup,” Dimitroff said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They’re my favorite other team in the NFL, and to be able to face a guy like that in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and to know that we’re going to be as ready as we can be – it’s an awesome opportunity. People ask me, ‘What’s the difference between the Patriots and other organizations?’ I really believe that the organization from the top to the bottom or from the bottom to the top, they believe they’re the best at what they do. There’s an element of swagger that they have that is unparalleled in this league. You have to be ready and you have to be strapped up to play them.”
That shouldn’t be an issue for Dan Quinn’s bunch. Quinn has coached in the Super Bowl in three of the last four seasons. He was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator in 2013-14 and has led Atlanta to the greatest season in franchise history.
“He’s just so authentic,” Dimitroff said. “He’s Jersey through and through. He’s a tough dude who will approach things in a very direct way with the guys. The guys really follow him. He has a way with that younger generation. He really relates to them.”
Matt Ryan and the offense have been unstoppable this season, especially over the last six games. But the Falcons Super Bowl hopes may hinge on the defense, particularly the back end.
“I think these guys are going to have to be extremely focused,” Dimitroff said. “They’re going to have to be very diligent about how they approach the game and be very mindful of technique. That is New England through and through. They’re a detail-focused football team. Our defense is going to have the step up and not only have the swagger they have and the speed and athleticism that they have, but they have to make the right moves and be very, very focused on how we’re going to approach defense. (The Patriots) are going to be ready and they’re going to have a lot of scheme and nuances that we’re going to have to be ready for.”