Falcons GM’s right-hand man has terrible QB track record

164210814197 mia at chi

Many Falcons fans are rationalizing the Michael Penix Jr. by referencing Zac Robinson’s track record with assessing quarterbacks.

The former Rams quarterbacks coach is now taking on a bigger role in Atlanta as the offensive coordinator and comes with rave reviews from Sean McVay. His background as an NFL signal caller and positional coach has given Falcons fans a talking point to defend the Penix pick.

Most often, they reference the Patrick Mahomes story. If you’re unfamiliar, leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, many wrote off Mahomes as a prospect. Then, when the Chiefs traded up to the 10th pick and drafted the Texas Tech product, it was met with widespread criticism among national pundits.

However, the former PFF analyst praised the selection, describing Mahomes as “the most gifted passer in the draft” in a post-draft assessment.

Granted, Zac Robinson’s opinion should carry weight. The track record speaks for itself, but what about the individuals who surely had a hand in the Falcons drafting Michael Penix that don’t have as good of a track record with the position?

How about Terry Fontenot’s right-hand man? The Falcons GM has spoken many times about his belief in Ryan Poles’ ability. The former Chicago Bears GM was fired in 2021 and joined Atlanta’s front office.

First, he assumed a senior personnel executive role then was promoted to the director of player personnel last offseason. I might even argue that his voice carries more weight than Robinson’s, but Poles’ track record at the quarterback position is much less impressive compared to the team’s offensive coordiantor.

Let’s just look at what he did with the Bears from 2015 to 2021.

In 2017, Pace signed Mike Glennon and drafted Mitch Trubisky. The notable prospect Chicago passed on? Patrick Mahomes. Trubisky experienced some success under Matt Nagy but ultimately failed to live up to expectations.

The UNC product was the 2nd overall pick following a trade where the Bears sent the 49ers two third-rounders and a fourth-round pick to move up one spot. Trubisky went 29-21 before Chicago allowed him to walk in free agency.

In 2021, Pace signed Andy Dalton and drafted Justin Fields. The latter was just traded for a bag of footballs this offseason while Dalton’s stint was quite forgettable.

Fields was once thought to be the franchise quarterback but was traded after just three seasons in Chicago. He completed about 60% of his passes for less than 170 yards per game with 40 touchdowns and 30 interceptions during that time where he posted a record of 10-28.

Granted, Fields didn’t have the supporting cast that he deserved, but Trubisky had enough help. The fact remains that with two first-round quarterbacks, Pace didn’t hit on either.

Now, the Falcons, under the guide of Pace, have signed Kirk Cousins and drafted Michael Penix. Cousins should be a much better quarterback compared to the two other veterans. However, as far as the younger signal callers, doubt creeps into my mind.

I sure hope I’m wrong about all of this. I just can’t help but be pessimistic when it comes to this organization sometimes.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire


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