By now, you should be well aware that the Falcons are approaching a pivotal fork in the road in franchise history. Come Thursday, they could decide to take their quarterback of the future and begin to look past life with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, or they could make several different moves in pursuit of instant success, hoping that Ryan still has enough left in the tank to lead the organization for a few more seasons. It also happens to be the first substantial opportunity for Terry Fontenot and the new regime to leave their mark on the organization. It’s a decision that can expedite success or set the franchise back for years, but don’t expect Arthur Blank to get in the way.
While Blank has been a wonderful face of the franchise and the Atlanta community as a whole, he’s always known what he’s good at, trusting his subordinates that he’s put in place. Blank’s never been an owner who likes to play general manager or head coach. Former assistant general manager Scott Pioli, who is currently a contributor to the NFL Network, confirmed that yesterday.
I was fortunate to be a part of the leadership group with the @AtlantaFalcons for six #NFLDraft's . This morning @nateburleson asked me on #GMFB about the role that Arthur Blank serves in the draft. #NFL #NFLDraft2021 pic.twitter.com/ZV1YP8AzKn
— Scott Pioli (@scottpioli51) April 27, 2021
Pioli has spent six drafts with the organization and said that while Blank is present throughout the process, the Falcons’ owner doesn’t give his opinions. Blank trusts the general manager and the structure he has put in place to reach the conclusions. From Terry Fontenot’s perspective, that’s all he can ask for. Nobody wants to work for an autocratic owner like those in Dallas and Washington, to name a couple. There’s a reason why those franchises often have difficulty succeeding. This is a legacy-defining moment for the new regime, and Terry Fontenot will have the final say about what the Falcons do tomorrow.