This opinion piece is a touch dated, but I still like it:

Two topics are occupying my mind in regards to my beloved team the Atlanta Falcons.

First- While this may now be considered old news, I still need to bring up that it was very disheartening to have Bobby Petrino leave with three games left in the season. Disheartening, frustrating, confusing, the list of adjectives is endless. There is no doubt that what Petrino did was sleazy and cowardly. No head coach should ever walk out on an owner, team, and organization the way Petrino did. These statements are generally accepted by the Atlanta Falcon fan. However, I must play devils advocate. When players, such as Lawyer Milloy, is quoted as saying “He ruined a year of my life,” and when ‘veterans’ like DeAngleo Hall are seen pleading to an opposing teams coach to come play for them during a game (as he did to Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints), and when ‘leaders’ on the team like Alge Crumpler call out the coach before week six of the season, I see Bobby Petrino as all of the aformentioned adjectives- but also as one more; a scapegoat.

These players need to realize that their season did not end with Bobby Petrino leaving in week 13, it ended back in training camp when Mike Vick was accused of dog fighting. No coach could have had a team overcome what the Falcons organization were faced with this pre-season. Especially a college coach in his rookie season with a franchise. Petrino did not ruin the season for the Falcons, Mike Vick did. I will now address the three players I mentioned above:

Lawyer Milloy- Where do you get off saying that Bobby Petrino ruined a year of your life? You should give your buddy Vick a call. You had a few seasons with the Pats, did nothing for the Bills, and aren’t making noise with the Falcons (except verbal noise). You were past your prime when you joined Atlanta- If I were you, I’d be happy Petrino didn’t cut me.

DeAngelo Hall- Grow up. You aren’t T.O. You aren’t Chad Johnson. You’re a better than average inconsistent corner. Good for you. Now shut up.

Alge Crumpler- You really disappointed me this season. Dunn, Brooking, and you are the glue that holds this team together. Well, you were anyway. The first two kept their mouths shut and played the game. Alge, you had to blow your mouth off about Petrino early in the season. This did nothing to help anyone in the locker room and on the coaching staff. You only added more fuel to an already blazing inferno. You should be ashamed of yourself. You had an opportunity to lead at your doorstep and you chose to act like mouthy teenager. Where do you get off questioning Petrino’s offensive coaching abilities when you missed most practices during the season (therefore missing drills and not developing a rhythm with your QB) and had a career high season of dropped balls. Look in the mirror big guy- You didn’t help your team in any aspect this season be it on or off the field. You’re past your prime too. Go somewhere else and give the Falcons a second round draft pick.

Again, I am not defending Petrino, but it seems some Falcons players need to see the bigger picture as to why this year was a waste for Falcons Nation. And look at where Petrino was sitting- He didn’t sign up for what he got. He joined the Falcons to coach Mike Vick. That prospect was slammed in his face months into his job and a few weeks before week 1. Thanks Mike. He didn’t sign up to be verbally assaulted week in and week out by his players. If you were working a job where your co-workers showed you no respect in a company that is in shambles, you’d probably leave too.

Bottom line: Everyone can play the blame game, but the winner this year is Mike Vick.

And now onto my second point; What is Mike Smith thinking hiring Mike Mularkey as the new offensive coordinator? Has he done any research on this guy? That is a rhetorical question because it’s obvious he hasn’t. I am from Buffalo and am a Bills season ticket holder. I went to all 16 Bills home games that Mularkey coached for the Bills in 2004 and in 2005 and they were all dreadful. He made horrible coaching decisions, ruined our prospect rookie quarterback by not giving him consistent coaching (watch out Atlanta!), made head scratching calls (running on 3rd and 7), made hair pulling ‘trick’ plays, and is just an overall moron and media dud.Oh yeah, he also spent the last two seasons with the Dolphins as the offensive coordinator and the tight ends coach. Let me rephrase that: TWO SEASONS WITH THE 1-15 MIAMI DOLPHINS. . . And now he is a Falcon. I’m sure Crumpler is going to love him! And did you notice how on in the picture they have of Mularkey for the article announcing his position, he is wearing his Bills gear? That picture is over two years old. . . It’s obvious the Falcons organization doesn’t want anyone who is only slightly educated in football to associate him with the Dolphins. Educated Falcons fans should write Mr. Blank a letter thanking them for what he has done for the team, but also to inform him to do some research and realize that Mularkey is in no way going to aid this organization. He came from Miami. The 1-15 Dolphins.

In conclusion, I was hoping that the Falcons would pick up some decent leadership this off-season- Smith I’m not sold on yet and Mularkey makes me want to scream till my throat bleeds. Already this is headed in a cloudy direction. Also, I would like Mr. Blank to clean house with their loud mouthed, unproductive, inconsistent, championshipless veterans in exchange for some young talent out of the draft. . . But I’m just a fan.

What do I know.