As you can tell from the name of the post, this is an interview I had with the other Dave; Choate that is. This is a post that I'm hoping to continue with all 32 NFL teams and their SB Nation bloggers. There is probably no better team/person to start our interview series with then the famous Dave from across the Falcon Curtain.
Jon: Going into 2010, the Falcons had their first back-to-back winning seasons. Was the outcome of the 2010 season surprising?
Dave: If by "surprising" you mean "a natural extension of the winning culture that has finally been built after four decades of watching management fumble around with the bra clasps of success," then yes. But I wouldn't say it was shocking.
For the first time in my 20 years as a Falcons fan, I genuinely believe in the direction of this team. After they managed to pull off nine wins in 2009 with a banged-up team, it was only natural they'd do better in 2010. I didn't expect the top seed in the NFC, of course, but I didn't not expect it either. If that makes sense.
Jon: After coming close to the Super Bowl in 2010, what do you think the Falcons strategy will be to try and improve themselves in the off-season?
Dave: I think the Falcons will continue to focus on building depth and nurturing their talent, because a lot of guys on the team are in a position to get better. I do truly believe that they need to upgrade their offensive talent, so I expect them to hit wide receiver, running back and tight end sometime during the off-season.
The defense could also use one more impact player, preferably at defensive end. They simply don't generate enough consistent pressure.
Jon: Name the non-QB MVP of the 2010 Falcons.
Roddy White. As the lone elite receiving option on the team, he put the passing game on his back. Even if his Tweeting can be ill-advised.
Jon: The Falcons defense was one of the few things keeping them down in 2010. Was this on coaching or execution?
Dave: The defense wasn't fantastic, but it's actually not far from being great. The run defense was stout all season long.
It's part personnel, part coaching. The major knock most Falcons fans have on our coordinators are that they're too conservative, and that works for Brian Van Gorder. He turtles into a prevent-style offense at the first sign of trouble, and that rarely works. As mentioned, the Falcons need to bolster their pass rush to help out the secondary.
Jon: What is the biggest position of need for the Falcons this off-season?
Dave: In my mind, it's wide receiver. With Tony Gonzalez declining and Michael Jenkins not really all that special to begin with, it's way too easy for defenses to key on Roddy White and dare Matt Ryan to beat them with Bionic Brian Finneran or Hamstrung Harry Douglas. It's not an inspiring depth chart, that's for sure.
A big-time wide receiver who can get open consistently opposite Roddy would move Jenkins down into the slot, where's he's a huge matchup problem because of his height and physicality. The Falcons have to explore their options in the draft.
Jon: If the Falcons improve their weaknesses, how far do you see them going next year?
Dave: If they bolster the pass rush, add weapons on offense and keep the offensive line reasonably intact, they're playoff bound again. No doubt in my mind. I'm not willing to predict they'll head to the Super Bowl or anything just yet, but they'll be contenders ahead.
I'd like to thank Dave Choate for agreeing to be interviewed. If you want to see more of Dave, you will need to e-mail him for pictures. But if you want to read more from Dave and other Falcons related news, check out The Falcoholic.