Consecutive 7-9 campaigns for the Atlanta Falcons have put grand expectations and high stakes upon this upcoming season for general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn.
It's hardly news to the GM or anything he's avoiding.
"There are high expectations coming into this season," Dmitroff said on the Bird Noises podcast, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Everyone knows that. No one is shying away from that. Dan and myself included."
Looking to turn from the tribulations of two seasons past, it's been an offseason of significance where the roster is concerned.
Falcons mainstays such as tight end Austin Hooper, running back Devonta Freeman, pass rusher Vic Beasley and cornerback Desmond Trufant are gone.
New faces such as running back Todd Gurley, tight end Hayden Hurst, pass rusher Dante Fowler and first-round cornerback A.J. Terrell have arrived.
They are changes that Dimitroff believes have the Falcons poised to improve upon back-to-back seasons of struggles.
"I feel like we've definitely gotten better," Dimitroff said. "Of course, we've lost some very good football players."
Atlanta, which also has safety Keanu Neal (Achilles), wide receiver Calvin Ridley (abdomen), guard James Carpenter (concussion) and defensive end Takkarist McKinley (shoulder) hopefully returning healthy, last made the playoffs in 2017, but has seemingly been in a stumble since it appeared in the Super Bowl the year prior.
With likely Hall of Fame talents Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the time is now might well be a slogan for this flock.
Dmitroff believes the talent is in place and the growth of a winning foundation must follow.
"I do believe this is a very talented football team," Dimitroff said. "We need to continue to grow together as a football team. We need to continue to be consistent and work through things together."