Posts Tagged ‘front office’

Carroll interested in Falcons

January 9th, 2008 Comments off

ESPN reports that sources told ESPN college football analyst Joe Schad that the interest between the Falcons and Pete Carroll is mutual. Carroll is expected to speak with Falcons owner Arthur Blank on Wednesday via telephone. Carroll is currently vacationing in Hawaii. Blank is expected to offer Carroll full control of personnel decisions, which could ultimately end both their searches for a new head coach and general manager.

Carroll has shown previous interest in other NFL jobs in Arizona, Houston, Miami, San Diego, and San Francisco.

UPDATE: Adam Schefter of reports that Carroll is unlikely to be interested in the Falcons head coaching job, according to a source close to him. The source indicates that Carroll looked at the position a year ago, and wasn’t interested then, and it’s unlikely that anything has changed in a year’s time to modify his interest.

Schefter also reports that the Falcons are potentially close to hiring a general manager, and currently Tom Heckert and John Schneider are atop their wish list. The team interviewed Heckert this past Monday, and interviewed Schneider a week ago.

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Falcons to interview Mike Smith

January 9th, 2008 Comments off

Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union reports that the Falcons will interview Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith later this week.

Smith, 48, joined the Jaguars in 2003 as their defensive coordinator. Prior to that stint, he was a defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens for four seasons. His prior coaching experience all came at the collegiate level where he coached at San Diego State (1982-85), Morehead State (1986), and Tennessee Tech (1987-98). Smith played one season at linebacker with the Winnepeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in 1982.

Not to be confused, the Falcons have already interviewed a candidate for the GM job from Jacksonville, their director of college socuting Gene Smith.

Steve Wyche of the AJC also reports that the Falcons conducted an interview of Patriots director of college scouting Tom Dimitroff this past weekend via satellite. Dimitroff has been considered a top candidate for the team’s vacant general manager position.

Falcons eyeing Carroll?

January 9th, 2008 Comments off

Getty Images/Lisa Blumenfeld ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli cites multiple sources indicating that the Falcons have requested permission to interview University of Southern California head coach Pete Carroll for their open head coaching position.

Since taking over the Trojans in 2001, Carroll has compiled a 76-14 record and won a national championship and lost another. He coached for four seasons in the NFL, compiling a 33-31 record. He coached the New York Jets for one season (1994), and the New England Patriots for three (1997-99). He was 1-2 in the playoffs with the Patriots. Carroll has been rumored as a potential candidate for past jobs in the NFL, but has yet to make the jump back to the NFL. Reports indicate that he is seeking complete control over football operations. It would be unknown if the potential Falcons job would offer such. The team is currently conducting a wide-ranging search for its next general manager to succeed Rich McKay, and that person is expected to have “final say” on personnel decisions and will also be extensively involved in the process to hire the next head coach as well.

Also in the ESPN report, confirms that the Falcons have received permission to interview Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. He is expected to interview for the team sometime later in the week.

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‘Spags’ now in Falcons’ crosshairs

January 8th, 2008 Comments off

Newsday’s Bob Glauber reported that New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would interview for the Falcons head coaching position on Friday of this week, but a report by Mike Garafolo of the Star Ledger indicates that the Giants have denied the Falcons request to interview Spagnuolo. According to Garafolo’s report, this denial is temporary as the Giants would grant permission to interview him upon them being eliminated in the playoffs. The Giants are set to face the favored Dallas Cowboys this weekend.

Garafolo also indicates that Spagnuolo and Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett sit atop the team’s wish list as far as head coaching candidates go. Previous reports have indicated that the team prefers Jim Caldwell and Mike Singletary. Considering that either the Giants or Cowboys will advance to the conference championship game, Garafolo writes that could delay the hiring process as the team waits for that person’s availability for another interview.

The Falcons interviewed Chris Mara of the Giants today for their general manager position. If Mara is hired, Spagnuolo would likely be a favored option due to his familiarity within the Giants organization. Spagnuolo also worked as an assistant for eight years with the Philadelphia Eagles, most recently as a linebackers coach. That would also make him familiar to prospective GM candidate Tom Heckert as well. Heckert interviewed for the position on Monday, but left without a contract offer, although Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that there could be one by the end of the week. Fox cites a league source that indicates the Falcons GM search could be coming to a close by the end of this week.

Spagnuolo joined the Eagles in 1999 as a defensive assistant, before being promoted to defensive backs coach in 2001. He moved to coach linebackers in 2004. Prior to that, his only NFL coaching experience came in 1983 as a player personnel intern with the Washington Redskins and as a scout with the San Diego Chargers in 1993. He worked as defensive coordinator of the Frankfurt Galaxy in 1998 and as a defensive line and special teams coach with the Barcelona Dragons in 1992. Other than that, his coaching experience is all on the college ranks, working at UMass (1982-83), Lafayette (1984-86), Connecticut (1987-91), Maine (1993-94), Rutgers (1994-95), and Bowling Green (1996-97).

Along with interviewing Mara on Tuesday, the Falcons also interviewed another prospective GM candidate in Jacksonville Jaguars director of college scouting Gene Smith according to the AJC. Smith has served as the Jaguars director of college scouting since 2000. He originally joined the Jags front office in 1994 as an area scout. Prior to his work in Jacksonville, he was an assistant coach at Ohio University (1986-88) and Edinboro University (1989-94), a Division II school.

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Coach and GM search continues…

January 8th, 2008 Comments off

AP writer George Henry reports that the guy that was once considered the front-runner for the head coaching position is no longer a candidate. Henry’s report refers to 49ers assistant head coach Mike Singletary. Henry cites no reason or source as indicating why Singletary has supposedly fallen off the Falcons radar. According to Henry’s report, the Falcons next prospective head coaching candidate will be Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who has recently become available to interview due to the Titans playoff loss on Sunday.

Today, the Falcons interviewed both prospective GM candidate Tom Heckert and also Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan for the head coaching position. ESPN reports that the Falcons postponed a planned weekend interview of a potential GM candidate from an AFC team. It’s been previously reported that the Falcons have shown interest in prospective GM candidates from the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, and New England Patriots, although of course there is no confirmation that the prospective candidate was from any of these teams. ESPN also reports that the Jim Caldwell may have emerged as the front-runner, replacing Singletary, among prospective head coaches.

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that the Falcons have received permission to interview the New York Giants vice president of player evaluation Chris Mara for their vacant general manager job. However, Mara has not indicated whether he actually partake in the interview. Mara is the younger brother of the Giants co-owner John Mara, and was considered the runner-up to Jerry Reese, who eventually replaced Ernie Accorsi a year ago as the team’s general manager. Accorsi is currently serving as a consultant to Arthur Blank in the Falcons search for a new GM. Although Mara’s link with ownership has made him tentative about looking at prospective jobs in the past.

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Falcons GM search could end soon

January 6th, 2008 Comments off

Recent reports suggest that the Falcons search for a GM may end soon after Monday when they interview Eagles GM Tom Heckert for the position. It is believed by a number of sources that Heckert is leaning towards taking the Falcons job and is considered the front runner by those in Flowery Branch. Heckert’s interest may be due to the prospect of receiving “final say” over personnel matters, a power currently enjoyed by Eagles head coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia.

To date, the Falcons have only interviewed two other candidates for the GM position, both Packers executives Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider. The Falcons have reportedly shown interest in other candidates including New England Patriots director of college scouting Tom Dimitroff, Baltimore Ravens director of personnel George Kokinis, Kansas City VP of player personnel Bill Kuharich, and San Diego Chargers assistant GM Buddy Nix. Although there have been no reports that formal interviews have been arranged between the Falcons and those parties.

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McKay gets extension

January 4th, 2008 Comments off

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Falcons have extended the contract of current president and GM Rich McKay by two years. McKay’s contract ran through at least 2008, and so with the extension he is now under contract through at least 2010. McKay’s future with the team was tenuous due to the team’s search for a replacement general manager. Owner Arthur Blank however indicated last month that McKay was asked to stay on as team president, but would be stripped of his general manager duties. It was undetermined if McKay would stay on in a lesser role, but this extension clearly indicates that he will.

McKay has been travelling with Blank during his this week for all the interviews with prospective general manager and head coaching candidates, indicating that he does still retain at least a small bit of influence in the matter.

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McDaniels and Polian withdraw from search

January 4th, 2008 Comments off

Josh McDaniels, per an ESPN report has withdrawn his names from candidacy for the prospective Falcons head coaching position. McDaniels issued a statement indicating that he will remain with the New England Patriots for the time being:

“I am very grateful for the chance to interview for NFL head coaching positions, but I have decided not to pursue those opportunities at this time. I plan to focus all my attention on our postseason preparation.”’s Adam Schefter also reports that prospective GM candidate Chris Polian of the Indianapolis Colts declined the chance to interview with Arthur Blank on Thursday for the prospective job.

Also, updating previous reports, the Falcons are expected to interview potential GM candidate Tom Heckert on Monday. Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer cites a team source as indicating of Heckert’s considerable interest in the Falcons GM job and will receive “final say” over personnel matters. Heckert will fly to Atlanta on Sunday.

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Falcons look at Patriots candidates

January 3rd, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons have requested permission to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels according to Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe. Reiss cites league sources indicating that McDaniels will be a candidate for both the Falcons and Baltimore Ravens. The Falcons are also said to be courting Tom Dimitroff, the director of college scouting for the Patriots, as a potential general manager for the team.

McDaniels, 31, was in charge of the league’s No. 1 scoring offense this year. McDaniels broke into NFL coaching ranks with the Patriots in 2001 as a defensive and personnel asssistant. In 2004, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach and began coordinating the offense in 2006. Prior to that he was a gradudate assistant at Michigan State for two years, following a playing career as a wide receiver at John Carroll University.

Dimitroff, 40, was promoted to his current position prior to the 2003 season, a year after joining the Patriots. Prior to his experience with the Patriots, he worked as a scout for the Cleveland Browns (1998-01), Detroit Lions (1994-97), and Kansas City Chiefs (1993). He also worked in the World League (1992) and Canadian Football Leagues (1990-91) as a personnel assistant. His father, Tom Dimitroff, Sr. spent a single season with the Boston Patriots in 1960 as a quarterback. Dimitroff in the past has been a candidate for other GM vacancies including the Miami Dolphins (2005) and Minnesota Vikings (2006), and at one point has been considered the heir apparent to current Patriots GM Scott Pioli in case Pioli decides to move on.

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Blank interviewing GM candidates

January 3rd, 2008 Comments off’s Adam Schefter reports that Falcons owner Arthur Blank has officially begun the search for the team’s next general manager as he was in Green Bay on Wednesday to interview two potential candidates in Packers director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie and personnel analyst John Schneider. According to Shefter, tomorrow Blank will travel to Indianapolis to interview Chris Polian, son of Colts president Bill Polian. Also on Blank’s radar as far as general manager candidates is Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert, per Schefter.

McKenzie, 44, spent seven season as a pro linebacker playing for the Los Angeles Raiders, Phoenix Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and Montreal Machine of the World League before retiring after 1992. He served as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee following his playing days before he was hired by Ron Wolf in 1994 as a pro personnel assistant. He was promoted to his current position following the 1997 NFL Draft.

Schneider, 36, has served in his current capacity in the Packers front office since 2002, fulfilling a role similar to that of an assistant to GM Ted Thompson. This marks his second stint with the Packers, originally joining that organization as an intern under then GM Ron Wolf in 1992. He spent the next four years as a pro personnel assistant before moving on to join the Kansas City Chiefs front office as their director of pro personnel. After three years in Kansas City, he moved to Seattle as director of player personnel for a single year. He then worked for the Washington Redskins with then head coach Marty Schottenheimer as vice president of player personnel before re-joining the Packers. Schottenheimer has already been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Falcons head coaching position, making a possible Schneider-Schottenheimer match appealing.

Polian, 35, is currently the vice president of football operations for the Colts, his third season in that capacity. He initially joined the Colts in 1998 as director of pro scouting, before moving onto assistant director of football operations in 2001 and assistant general manager in 2004. He previously worked as a scout under his father with the Carolina Panthers from 1994 until 1996, and was the Panthers pro personnel coordinator in 1997. His first stint in the ranks of pro personnel came as an assistant with the now defunct CFL team Sacramento Gold Miners in 1993. In the past, Polian has been a candidate for vacant GM jobs in both Miami and San Francisco.

Heckert, 40, is just finishing his second season as GM of the Eagles, but initially joined their front office following the 2001 draft. Then, he was the team’s director of player personnel before being promoted two years later to vice president of player personnel. Prior to joining the Eagles staff, he worked as a scout and personnel director for the Miami Dolphins for a total of 11 years. His father, Tom Heckert, Sr. served as a long-time scout with the Dolphins before retiring in 2004.

As previously reported, Schefter also reports that on Friday Blank will be in Dallas interviewing two potential head coaching candidates in Cowboys assistants Tony Sparano and Jason Garrett.

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