Falcons' owner Blank supports Atlanta coach, GM

Falcons' owner Blank supports Atlanta coach, GM

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Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Falcons owner Arthur Blank says that he has "every reason to believe we will go from last place to first place in 2014."

In his first public comments since Atlanta ended a 4-12 season, Blank said Monday that he has "complete confidence" that coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will turn the franchise around before next season.

Blank, the team's owner since 2002, indicated that offensive and defensive lines will be the primary focus of offseason acquisitions in the draft and free agency.

After beginning the season as a heavy Super Bowl favorite, the Falcons fell apart during a 1-8 stretch that eliminated them from playoff contention by late November.

Injuries to Julio Jones and other key players also hurt the team's performance.

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