Huddle Up

NFL News and Analysis with Andrew Perloff

Perloff
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  • 01:19 PM ET  12.13

Why are the Falcons players so mad at Bobby Petrino? Because he quit on them? They're 3-10. Who cares if he's robbed them of the chance to finish 5-11 instead of 4-12?

Players who really care about the success of the team should be celebrating, because Petrino gave up weeks ago. If you looked at his body language, he seemed disinterested after a few games. His vaunted offensive system didn't work and he made a number of bad decisions, such as turning to Byron Leftwich in Week 11 for no apparent reason.

The players have every right to use Petrino's departure as motivation, but they have to be wary of coming off as hypocrites during this dismal season.

Lawyer Milloy was perhaps the most vocal Falcon on Tuesday. Didn't he leave Pats for more money following a Super Bowl season?

DeAngelo Hall said, ""It was just about one man's desire to do what he wanted to do." Hall is one of the most self-centered players in the NFL. Everything that comes out of his mouth is about how good he is, not his role as a teammate. Hall's attitude has cost the Falcons at least one game - a 27-20 loss to the Panthers during which Hall racked up 67 yards of penalties on one drive. You think his teammates wondered if he quit on the team during that fiasco? And what about the reports he stopped going all out at Virginia Tech because he was saving himself for the NFL?

And then there's Joey Harrington labeling Petrino a "coward." The sixth-year veteran isn't exactly the reincarnation of Johnny Unitas and hasn't achieved enough to lecture anyone on toughness.

A lot of the vitriol the players are spewing this week seems more about their frustration about being a bad team than their true feelings about the coach. And there are a lot of high-priced veterans on this team who have some soul-searching of their own.

Petrino's exit should be a clear break for what has been a disastrous era for the Falcons. What's the difference if they start over with three weeks left in the season or in January?

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