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Falcons to target Schottenheimer?

December 21st, 2007

Not to be deterred from the rebuffs of Bill Cowher and Bill Parcells Falcons owner Arthur Blank has turned to another big name option in Marty Schottenheimer per a report by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Acee’s report cites league sources indicating the Falcons have made overtures at the former San Diego Chargers head coach. The report also indicates that the Falcons may target current Chargers Assistant GM Buddy Nix as their replacement for Rich McKay in that role in Atlanta.

Current Chargers GM A.J. Smith indicated in the report that he has heard nothing on the Nix front, but is aware of Schottenheimer rumors. Smith indicated that Nix and Schottenheimer got along in their shared time in San Diego. Smith and Schottenheimer had a well-documented feud which eventually led to Schottenheimer’s dismissal from the club a year ago after a 14-2 season with the Chargers.

“I believe a Buddy Nix-Marty Schottenheimer team in Atlanta would be a perfect fit. …Buddy got along well with Coach Schottenheimer. They socialized together, went out to dinner, golfed together, sat together on the plane, talked football all the time.”

– A.J. Smith

Schottenheimer has 21 years of NFL head coaching experience, compiling an overall regular season record of 200-126-1 with four different teams. He also has compiled a 5-13 record in the postseason. His longest tenure came with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1989 to 1998 where he compiled a 101-58-1 record, and made playoff appearances in 7 out of 10 years with the team. His most recent experience was five years with the San Diego Chargers beginning in 2002. His record in San Diego was 47-33, but was unable to win a playoff game in two appearances. Schottenheimer is one of six coaches to achieve 200 career regular season victories, but observers have always been critical of his less than stellar postseason achievements.

Nix joined the Chargers in 2001 along with Smith and John Butler, all of whom had spent several years with the Buffalo Bills. Nix joined the Bills in 1993 as an area scout. He joined the Chargers as Director of Player Personnel, but was promoted to Assistant GM after the death of John Butler, who served as GM prior to his death. He coached for 9 seasons at UT-Chattanooga prior to joining the Bills, where he compiled a 44-54-1 record and is tied for the second winningest-coach in school history.

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