Falcons: Bill Belichick on rumors ahead of the NFL Draft

NFL: JUL 30 New England Patriots Training Camp

Just when you thought the Falcons were done being connected to Bill Belichick following their coaching search which led to the hiring of Raheem Morris, ESPN drops a helluva story with detailed information on why the Falcons turned away from arguably the greatest head coach of all time.

You can question the way Arthur Blank and company went about their decision. The story made it sound more like an episode of Survivor rather than an NFL head coach search, but the Falcons weren’t the only team that passed over Bill Belichick. There were a plethora of openings around the league, and most didn’t even consider the former Patriots head coach. But like always, the Falcons seem to be the media’s punching bag. They were with Deshaun Watson, then Lamar Jackson, and now Bill Belichick.

That’s what happens when you keep making wrong turn after wrong turn. The Falcons are hoping they finally made a right turn this offseason with Raheem Morris coming back to Atlanta and Kirk Cousins joining him after signing a four-year, $180 million contract. Winning will shut everybody up, and the Falcons have a real shot at contending in a wide open NFC.

In a weak NFC South, the Falcons should be considered the favorites. They have the best quarterback in the division, a very good offensive line that is returning all five starters, and plenty of weapons at the skill positions. After being one of the worst offenses in the league a year ago, this has the potential to be a top ten unit, perhaps even top five.

Where the questions begin to arise is on the other side of the ball. The Falcons defense carried them for much of last season, but Ryan Nielsen is now in Jacksonville, and his presence as defensive coordinator cannot be understated in how vital he was to the unit’s overall success. The Falcons top two pass rushers, Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree, have also yet to re-sign with the team.

As currently constructed, the Falcons have the worst group of EDGE defenders in all of football. They also have a rag-tag bunch of cornerbacks outside of A.J. Terrell. In a league that loves to throw the ball, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Most expect the Falcons to address those needs early in the draft, even if that hasn’t been Terry Fontenot’s M.O. since taking over as general manager, with the most popular pick being Dallas Turner. Some even calling it the worst kept secret in the league.

However, that guy Bill Belichick was in the media again for a different reason this week. He’s doing his media rounds, where he will soon become a familiar face now that he’s not coaching, and he most recently said that any draft information you’re hearing right now is generally not accurate. Accurate information will leak from teams on draft day, but this far away, it’s almost always agents peddling narratives for their clients.

The last couple of weeks leading up to the draft is peak smokescreen season. Almost everything you hear is hogwash. Teams are playing things as closely to the vest as possible, and agents are doing everything they can to get their clients drafted higher. Thankfully, we only have a few more days of it before we find out what the Falcons are going to do with the 8th overall pick.

Photographer: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

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