The Falcons have completed over half a dozen interviews with as many waiting.
Arthur Blank has met with Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick in person while meeting virtually with Anthony Weaver, Ejiro Evero, Steve Wilks, Brian Callahan, and Mike Macdonald.
Each provides a different skill set that will appeal to Atlanta’s owner. Belichick and Harbaugh are the experienced big fish that Blank is reportedly searching for. Weaver and Macdonald have helped put together the top defense in the league in Baltimore. Evero and Wilks also come from defensive backgrounds but do have some experience as head coaches, though minimal compared to Belichick and Harbaugh.
The Falcons have other interesting candidates like the bright offensive minds of Bobby Slowik and Ben Johnson, but all signs are pointing to Atlanta targeting one candidate — Bill Belichick.
Even before Arthur Smith was fired, there were murmurs of an NFC South team interested in the former Patriots head coach. Once Smith was relieved of his duties, rumors grew stronger. Those rumors were then substantiated when out of the blue the Falcons announced they’d completed an interview with Belichick.
Since then, there have been nothing but reports of mutual interest, including a description of Belichick’s preference for a “talented, yet underachieving” team to coach. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and ESPN’s Dan Graziano thinks it’s very clearly Bill Belichick who is going to be the Falcons’ next head coach.
My prediction for the next Falcons coach: Bill Belichick. I think he is the clear favorite here unless another job opens that has a quarterback already in place and offers him a chance to win those 15 games he needs to pass Don Shula atop the all-time list in short order — perhaps Dallas. Atlanta has already interviewed Belichick.
I’d put my money on Bill Belichick too; it’s the one name that has consistently been linked to the Falcons. Arthur Blank seems infatuated with the idea of bringing the greatest coach of all time to Atlanta, even if the fit is wonky.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire