It would be understandable if Falcons owner Arthur Blank was sore about the way Super Bowl LI ended. Up 28-3 late in the third, Atlanta looked like a lock to win their first NFL championship. Instead, the unrelenting New England Patriots staged the greatest comeback in the sport’s history to snatch the Lombardi Trophy away in overtime.
Only a few months removed from that painful night, Blank is as optimistic as ever that the Falcons will soon get another chance at redemption.
“I think what you learn is…I think the word you used is experience,” Blank told Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio (Ch. 82). “So, I think we’ve learned from that, our players have learned from that, our coaches have learned from that.”
The Falcons also received generally positive reviews for their NFL Draft selections last month, and Blank, himself, couldn’t be happier that quarterback Matt Ryan said this offseason that he wants to play for six or seven more years.I think we have separated ourselves, as other teams have, from the ‘pack,'” Blank said.
I think we have separated ourselves, as other teams have, from the ‘pack,'” Blank said. “I think we’ll be very competitive for years to come.”
The Atlanta Falcons’ owner joined SiriusXM NFL Radio later at SiriusXM, and touched on the new rule changes coming to the league.
‘Frankly, our players are going to be, in my opinion, very creative because they are creative’
“From my perspective, I’m a fan like all the rest of the fans … I think the NFL, the No Fun League, I think that’s been overplayed a little bit and I think allowing the players … to celebrate in appropriate ways after something great happens — a touchdown, a field goal, winning the game, whatever the event may be — is natural,” Blank told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “Go back to your childhood when you’re playing any sport, whenever you did something that was really good and you won, you were successful, you had a fist-pump. You did whatever was appropriate, but you did celebrate.
“I think it’s very natural for our players to celebrate. Our fans want to see (celebrations). Frankly, our players are going to be, in my opinion, very creative because they are creative. They love to dance, they love music and they know how to do it. I certainly expect to see a lot more of that. And I think I’m looking forward to that next year, personally. I think our fans will as well.”
‘It’s not that ties are the end of the world, but you don’t want to really encourage them’
Blank believes the reduction of overtime from 15 to 10 minutes will enhance the NFL’s efforts to make the game safer for players while reducing the likelihood of ties.
“It’s not that ties are the end of the world, but you don’t want to really encourage them. So in my opinion … the opinion of the league and the ownership, that during that 10-minute period of time, we should get final results, if you will, a winner and a loser,” he said. “And they took us through all of the fourth-quarter stats, the length of time that drives usually take, etc. With a pretty high degree of predictability, these games should have closure.
‘Those extra five minutes at the wrong time of the year can create more of an atmosphere or an environment, if you will, for injuries’
“The reason it’s gone from 15 to 10 minutes is not so much in games one, two, three or four. But when you get to games 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, etc. Players are tired, teams are tired. I mean, they get out there and they play again great and they commit themselves and they get into the flow of the game, but those extra five minutes at the wrong time of the year can create more of an atmosphere or an environment, if you will, for injuries.
“It’ll be tested, we’ll see how it works and go from there. But at the end of the season, obviously, when you get into playoffs, those rules have not changed and we will play until there’s a winner.”
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