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Falcons keep winning, even if few seem to notice
Question of the Day
They practice, they play and they win without hype. There’s little drama and even less national publicity in this post-Michael Vick era.
Maybe that’s why the Atlanta coach laughs when asked whether there has been more national demands on his time with the 7-2 Falcons atop the NFC.
“Uh, no,” Smith said. “They don’t want to talk to me.”
Not even after his team’s exciting last-minute 26-21 win over the Baltimore Ravens last week. Even the Falcons’ losses have been impressive _ at Philadelphia and in overtime at Pittsburgh.
Doesn’t matter. Smith, who carries one of the lowest profiles of any coach in the league, never detours from the all-business script that his players follow faithfully, if almost anonymously.
And if the nation yawns, that’s fine. Call these Falcons dull, but call them winners.
“I just feel like we’re flying under the radar and we’re doing a good job of that and we’re just going to stay where we’re at,” receiver Roddy White says.
There’s not a lot of flash in the Falcons, who place an emphasis on running the ball and stopping the run. It’s not a style that commands a lot of attention, but it has Smith on pace for his third straight winning record with a franchise that had never before had back-to-back winning seasons.
Few outside of Atlanta may know much about even the team’s top players.
White’s numbers are up there with the NFL’s best receivers. He’s a clutch performer with an engaging personality and the most-quoted player on the team, not that many outside of Atlanta have noticed.
White doesn’t criticize teammates or second-guess his coach. He doesn’t earn repeated fines from the league for his tweets. He doesn’t have his own TV show.
This is Smith’s team, and foolery is not tolerated.
It’s little wonder why White and his teammates are so willing to wrap themselves in their blanket of anonymity.
The Falcons had more than their share of headlines the last few years, and little of it was positive. While Vick is flourishing in Philadelphia, his fall from grace while the face of the Atlanta franchise overshadowed the team for two years.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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