After dealing with the heartbreak of falling 10 yards short of Super Bowl XLVII, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith joined most of the team's scouts last week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

That was a fitting move because the offseason's focus will be on re-shuffling the roster and trying to add some teeth to the defense in a salary cap-strapped environment.

"The fact that we won in the playoffs is important for the growth of this football team," Dimitroff said. "It's great for the fan base, Mr. (Arthur) Blank and everyone else involved. But, though sounding cliche, it's not our goal to stop at just winning a playoff game."

The Falcons, who have been to the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, believe they are close to winning a title.

"This is a competitive football team and a very competitive and intelligent coaching staff," Dimitroff said.

After the 2011 season, the focus was on retooling the coaching staff. The Falcons, happy with the talent on hand, added new coordinators in Mike Nolan (defense) and Dirk Koetter (offense) to replace Brian VanGorder and Mike Mularkey.

In order to re-tool a roster with the expected retirement of Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and the need to improve the defense, the Falcons can't rely on re-shuffling the coaching ranks again. An infusion of talent is needed.

"We need more playmakers across the board," Smith said.

The Falcons will consider upgrades and/or open competitions at all defensive spots in order to improve from being ranked 24th overall in the NFL.

After a brief break around the Super Bowl, the Falcons must address their list of 21 free agents — left tackle Sam Baker, safety William Moore and cornerback Brent Grimes head the list — and then they must consider whether they need to sign any players when free agency commences March 12.