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  1. #1
    Falconator Guest

    GM hire most important - candidates

    As you know, my Atlanta Falcons just went through the whole front office, head coach and roster purge that you guys are about to go through. Many of you are wanting to go for "the big name" - like Schottenheimer or Cowher......etc. Many teams have changed their stripes in the last few years - not doing that. Just look at the Packers with Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy. I think my Falcons "got it right" with the non-splashy hires of Thomas Dimitroff(GM) and Mike Smith(HC).

    Your owners need to hire a football man to be consultant (Falcons hired Ernie Accorsi) and then start zeroing in on the General Manager first. One of the most important roles of the GM should be selecting the Head Coach. The GM and Head Coach need to be "on the same team" and that usually only works if the GM hired the head coach - then both men have something "invested" in the other. This is how it happened in Atlanta. It was not a "good ol' boy" hiring of Mike Smith by Dimitroff either because the two did not even know each other. Dimitroff was interested in Giants Defensive Coordinator - Steve Spagnuolo and they had a history with each other in Philadelphia - but Dimitroff did not want to wait another three weeks until after the superbowl because (A) Spags might have still turned the Falcons down and (B) all of the good assistant coaches would have been gone.

    Some of the other good GM candidates that the Falcons interviewed but did not hire:

    1) Buddy Nix - Assistant GM to San Diego Chargers
    2) Reggie McKenzie - Packers front office executive(personnel)
    3) John Schneider - Packers front office executive(personnel)
    4) Tom Heckert - Eagles GM (still Andy Reid has final say)
    5) Gene Smith - Jaguars, Executive Director College/Pro Personnel

    I believe all of the above would be good candidates because they were integral in Chargers/Packers/Jaguars drafts and draft history of those three teams has been some of the best outside of Patriots and Colts.


    On the coaching front, Falcons interviewed many prominent assistant coaches besides Mike Smith. The Falcons did not interview Steve Spagnuolo but would have if the Giants were not waiting to go to the Superbowl.

    1) Leslie Frazier, Defensive Coordinator-Minnesota Vikings
    2) Jim Caldwell, Asst. Head Coach-Colts (now HC in waiting after Dungy)
    3) Rex Ryan, Defensive Coordinator-Baltimore Ravens
    4) Jim Schwartz, Defensive Coordinator-Tennessee Titans
    5) Jason Garrett, Offensive Coordinator-Cowboys (now HC in waiting-probably)

    Anyway, I thought this might interest you guys so you could do your research. From a coaching standpoint, I love Spagnuolo first and probably the Titans DC-Schwartz second.

    I don't know as much about the GM candidates but I think Gene Smith of the Jaguars was probably the Falcons second choice behind Dimitroff......I love the Falcons choices - hope the Rams make good choices - good luck!


  2. #2
    Falconator Guest

    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    bump for at least one comment.......I am trying to relate it to the Rams....anybody on those lists interest any of you guys? Your probably not getting Schott or "the Chin".

  3. #3
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    You are absolutely correct in saying that the new GM must be selected before the new coach. Another name I've heard for GM is Ron Wolf (former Packers GM). Our biggest issue in attracting talent is still our ownership situation. There are too many rumors floating around the league about the team being for sale. It's going to be virtually impossible to attract top candidates to a team that might be sold at any moment.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    I would love either one of Heckert, Schneider or Wolf. For coaching, I would prefer we go with a former coach so we don't have to go through a rookie head coach fiasco again. Yes, some coaches are great right from the beginning, but others take time to adjust or don't get the job done altogether (i.e. Linehan).

    I would prefer a veteran coach like Schottenheimer or even Fassel. We could finally go defensive this time as well, we'll see. Oh, and looking back, our top three candidates for the job Linehan eventually got were Scotty, Tim Lewis and Ron Rivera. Lewis is now the DB Coach for the Panthers and didn't last as the DC of the Giants for long. Rivera is now the LB coach for the Chargers and they have been under performing although there have been injuries and unforseen incidents. Regardless, it now looks like we would have made a terrible hire whichever way we would've gone that year.

  5. #5
    Falconator Guest

    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth View Post
    You are absolutely correct in saying that the new GM must be selected before the new coach. Another name I've heard for GM is Ron Wolf (former Packers GM). Our biggest issue in attracting talent is still our ownership situation. There are too many rumors floating around the league about the team being for sale. It's going to be virtually impossible to attract top candidates to a team that might be sold at any moment.
    Truth,

    I feel your pain on the ownership situation. The absolute worst thing to have is a bad owner or owners. You can fire the coach and the GM but you cannot fire the owner - your stuck with him/her/them until or unless they sell the team. Bad, bad deal. In the ATL, we have a similiar "bad ownership" situation with "the Atlanta Spirit Group" who owns the Atlanta Hawks(NBA) and Atlanta Thrashers(NHL) - they are a "joke". Its made up of like 10 guys that are all just barely millionaires and they won't spend the money to make the teams better - they also got into a legal battle with an owner that left - I'm not a fan of having more than one owner because of this.

    As far as Ron Wolf goes, he's a good GM but he's been out of the game for several years now and I believe he's in his mid 70's - do you really want to go that route? I wonder if fans would still think Ron Wolf is so great if the Falcons former GM (Ken Herock) would not have been STUPID enough to trade Brett Favre to the Packers........think about that...

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconator View Post
    bump for at least one comment.......I am trying to relate it to the Rams....anybody on those lists interest any of you guys? Your probably not getting Schott or "the Chin".
    You are absolutely correct. I'm glad some of our fans have dreams of Cowher and Schottenheimer, but it is not going to happen. And I hate to see their hopes get up knowing full well those dreams are not going to come to fruition. But I guess disappointment is part of life.


    I'm nervous about the idea of another first time HC which makes me consider a guy like Billick, Fassel, Sherman, even Reeves at this point. Hey Bud Grant's only 81; pull him off his Minnesota fishing boat and see what he can do (that's a joke, btw.....not really supporting the idea of an octagenarian as our next HC). But I still have to put Spagnuolo at the top of my wish list. Is he the best choice for next coach? That will have to be decided by.........by.......by.......hey, who's deciding on the next HC?

    Ah, there's the real question!

    So who is the next decision maker for the Rams? I don't know. I've always been fond of Floyd Reese, but that's me. But of course, the next decision maker will be selected by.........by.........by........hey, who's going to sign the checks for the next big decision maker on this team?

    Ah, new owner.......there's another very real question.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Falconator, I wish I could give you more rep, but I need to spread the love around some more. This was an excellent post that I completely agree with.

    On your GM front, I like everyone, especially the Eagles guy, as yes, they are always competitive, because they work from the inside out in their drafts. I would also include someone from the Colts(don't know names, but someone), as well as Pittsburgh, another great drafting team. I think the Pats have been pretty well gone over in terms of talent, but it's always possible there's another guy who could be cherry picked from there.

    On your coach front, I, too have been proposing Rex Ryan and Jim Schwartz, as they both run very effective defenses that get the most out of each one of their players. Schwartz especially. Caldwell and Garrett are out of the reach for this organization if you ask me. While yes, they might get their opportunity sooner, I'd wait the extra year to get the much better team. More to the point, I don't see Phillips back next year anyway, but that's another thread, literally.

    Other coaches that I'd go for would be Jim Johnson, DC for the Eagles, Bruce Arians(sp?) OC for the Steelers, and Monte Kiffin, longtime DC for the Bucs, and designer of the Tampa 2 with Dungy.

    I'd personally prefer a defensive coach, because I would like to keep Saunders and his system intact, because he has shown to be one of the better offensive minds in the league.

    In fact, if all goes fair the rest of the season, I could be happy with Haslett staying as the Head Coach, as he's much more fit to be the Head than a coordinator in my mind, and then bring in someone like Ron Rivera to be the defensive coordinator, his work in Chicago being the basis. His work with that replacement for Merriman not looking too bad so far either. The whole defense, especially the secondary, has been an issue for the Chargers, not the LB's. Then of course, leave Saunders in his OC position.

  8. #8
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Hub, I also very much like Floyd Reese, and think he does an excellent job in his analysis on ESPN. The question is, would he leave that cushy job? I would certainly hope so.

  9. #9
    Falconator Guest

    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Falconator, I wish I could give you more rep, but I need to spread the love around some more. This was an excellent post that I completely agree with.

    On your GM front, I like everyone, especially the Eagles guy, as yes, they are always competitive, because they work from the inside out in their drafts. I would also include someone from the Colts(don't know names, but someone), as well as Pittsburgh, another great drafting team. I think the Pats have been pretty well gone over in terms of talent, but it's always possible there's another guy who could be cherry picked from there.

    On your coach front, I, too have been proposing Rex Ryan and Jim Schwartz, as they both run very effective defenses that get the most out of each one of their players. Schwartz especially. Caldwell and Garrett are out of the reach for this organization if you ask me. While yes, they might get their opportunity sooner, I'd wait the extra year to get the much better team. More to the point, I don't see Phillips back next year anyway, but that's another thread, literally.

    Other coaches that I'd go for would be Jim Johnson, DC for the Eagles, Bruce Arians(sp?) OC for the Steelers, and Monte Kiffin, longtime DC for the Bucs, and designer of the Tampa 2 with Dungy.

    I'd personally prefer a defensive coach, because I would like to keep Saunders and his system intact, because he has shown to be one of the better offensive minds in the league.

    In fact, if all goes fair the rest of the season, I could be happy with Haslett staying as the Head Coach, as he's much more fit to be the Head than a coordinator in my mind, and then bring in someone like Ron Rivera to be the defensive coordinator, his work in Chicago being the basis. His work with that replacement for Merriman not looking too bad so far either. The whole defense, especially the secondary, has been an issue for the Chargers, not the LB's. Then of course, leave Saunders in his OC position.
    thanks Teke.....not sure how I can get more "rep" - but any you can throw my way is appreciative.....

    Teke,

    As far as your comments about my comments - sounds like you like my lists - and I thought the Falcons ran a very thorough search for GM and Head Coach and there were several good candidates - thought I might as well "pass along" the list to you guys.

    There were a few other GM names that were interviewed - one was "Mara" from the Giants - he must be a "descendant of owner Wellington Mara and have some position in the front office. We also attempted to interview Bill Polian's son who is in the Colts office but he turned us down - i'm sure they are grooming him to take over for dear ol' dad when he retires as arguably the best NFL GM in the last 15 years (built Buffalo dynasty, got expansion Carolina to superbowl fast, and now has built the Indianapolis dynasty). I liked Heckert a lot along with the Green Bay boys. Just being associated with AJ Smith & Chargers makes me like Buddy Nix -I would want to interview him as well if I was the Rams.

    The main thing is the Rams need to find a successful retired GM to be the Rams owners "counsel" and advisor. You really don't want owner's to make the lists of the interviewers because they are clueless for the most part.

    Jim Caldwell is off the table - his contract makes him the head coach in waiting.

    Jim Mora, Jr. is off the table - he takes over for Holmgren next year - he's a "joke" anyway - ask anybody like me from Atlanta - very immature.

    Jason Garrett is off the table - he will be head coach of the Cowboys in either '09 or '10.

    Falcons looked hard at Rex Ryan but he did not interest me - I think the Ryan sons (Rex and the Oak DC whose name escapes me) - they just strike me as undisciplined and running a loose ship - I don't have a lot of fact to base that own - its just my perception.

    I read up on Schwartz(titans DC) and he sounds really good - very organized.........

  10. #10
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Oak DC whose name escapes me
    I believe that is Rob.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    While we are name-dropping here does anybody know what happened to Jim (don't call me master) Bates? IIRC he was reputed to be a top-notch DC (um... defensive coordinator not Doctor of Chiropractic) and seems to have all but dropped off the radar screen.

    WHAT SAY YE ?

  12. #12
    Falconator Guest

    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Ram-arkable - who?
    Hub-ison - thanks

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    While we are name-dropping here does anybody know what happened to Jim (don't call me master) Bates? IIRC he was reputed to be a top-notch DC (um... defensive coordinator not Doctor of Chiropractic) and seems to have all but dropped off the radar screen.

    WHAT SAY YE ?
    I believe he's available. Kind of got screwed in Green Bay and Denver both, so I don't know that he'd come out of retirement, certainly as a HC, but might step back in to DC.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    According to the master source for all information in the universe, Wikipedia, Bates was a the Assistant Head Coach/Defense for Denver last year, as in the completely horrible defending Denver Broncos. He stepped down just after the season, and Wikipedia doesn't have him working anywhere currently.

    I'd maybe take him as a position coach, but I'd probably stay far away from him even as a coordinator.

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    Re: GM hire most important - candidates

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    I believe he's available. Kind of got screwed in Green Bay and Denver both, so I don't know that he'd come out of retirement, certainly as a HC, but might step back in to DC.
    Thanks for the heads up, Hub. Could you expound a little on what happened to him in Green Bay and Denver? If his reputation holds true this guy is far too valuable to be retired, especially since the Rams are either 31 or 32 in this here football league in terms of defense.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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