Report: Bill Belichick was never seriously in running for Falcons job

NFL: NOV 18 Patriots at Falcons

During the Falcons‘ search for a new head coach, many speculated that Bill Belichick was the front-runner, but it’s been revealed that he was never seriously considered a finalist.

In a new bombshell story from ESPN, much has been revealed about the process that played out behind the scenes. It’s far too much for just one piece, so I’ll be highlighting several aspects that I feel need necessary commentary.

The first is that Belichick believed the Falcons’ job was his hours before Raheem Morris was named the head coach. The truth? The second-winningest coach in NFL history wasn’t even among the three finalists.

According to the piece, Blank enlisted his top lieutenants — which I assume to be Greg Beadles, Rich McKay, Terry Fontenot, and Ryan Pace, maybe more — to vote on the team’s next head coach, ranking each of their top candidates.

It’s a weird process, but I digress. The point is that “Bill Belichick didn’t even finish in anyone’s top three.” Raheem Morris finished first, Mike Macdonald, who was hired by the Seahawks, finished second, and Bobby Slowik finished third.

It was ultimately Arthur Blank’s decision, but the organization’s owner is notorious for following the advice of his underlings, who eventually pushed him away from Belichick.

In fact, it seems Belichick was never seriously considered. “The Falcons’ second interview was granted to Belichick ‘largely out of respect,'” the ESPN piece said. That’s a damning indictment of Atlanta’s process.

The Falcons’ concerns about Bill Belichick are valid. That kind of presence is one that changes the entire landscape of an organization, but there are still flaws in the process.

Arthur Blank is asking people (McKay, Fontenot, Beadles, Pace, etc.) to vote in the best interest of the Falcons organization with their job, role, etc. on the line. It’s simply flawed.

McKay was in line to receive a promotion within AMB, so he won’t necessarily be present for the ramifications of his vote. Fontenot and Pace had clear motives not to vote for Belichick because their roles could possibly be diminished, even if Belichick said that he’d work with Atlanta’s GM.

Would it be totally inconceivable that Falcons executives voted for the safe candidate? The candidate that ensures their jobs are kept in good standing with the team’s owner?

I don’t think that’s a stretch at all. Even if it’s not true, it brings doubt into the conversation. It’s just another knock on the way Arthur Blank runs the Atlanta Falcons.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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