It's been four days since the Falcons came up short in the cursed Georgia Dome. It was a heartbreaking defeat and it will be tough to bring myself to watch the 49ers and the Ravens play two Sunday's from now in the spectacle that is the Super Bowl. The 2012 season has come to an end with the Falcons finishing as one of the four finest teams in the league but they don't give out trophies for being the third or fourth best team in the league. So what's next for the Falcons?
If you simply just want to watch some of the Falcons players on the field then the easy answer to this question is the Pro Bowl. Personally, I rarely watch the Pro Bowl because it's a lot less enjoyable for me than just about anything else that takes place on a football field. Still, it's your chance to see Julio Jones, Thomas DeCoud and William Moore in action one more time this season (Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez will be sitting out with injuries).
From a cerebral standpoint, what's next is wondering where the Falcons go from a coaching perspective. The Falcons came out and started the NFC Championship Game with a fantastic game plan but that faded in the second half. Did it fade because we were unable to make adjustments to the game plan or did it fade because our players weren't as conditioned as they needed to be? Just two days after the loss, the Falcons released Jeff Fish. Fish was our "Director of Athletic Performance." It's interesting that Fish was released so soon after the game. I wonder what impact the front office and Mike Smith feel that Fish had on the game.
We are also going to start thinking about personnel (and personal) decisions. Will Tony Gonzalez retire or will he come back for one more season after tasting his first ever post-season win. The Falcons have 18 unrestricted Free Agents. Guys like William Moore, Sam Baker, Will Svitek, Vance Walker and Brent Grimes. Who stays and who goes?
We start thinking about roster moves. Has Michael Turner played his last game as an Atlanta Falcon? Will Peter Konz slide over to take the center position from Todd McClure and who will replace Konz at guard? What pieces can we add to the offensive line and the defensive front seven this off-season that will help us take that last step? Who should we target in the draft?
The off-season has just started. I wish we had another game to look forward to in a week and a half but instead we are left with questions that we have all off-season to talk about.