Raheem Morris enjoyed a warm introductory press conference on Monday, which was met with universal praise from fans, but the supposed runner-up continues to creep into the conversation.
WFAN host and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason relayed information from an executive that Arthur Blank offered Belichick the Falcons head coaching job.
“I was told yesterday, and I do believe it from the source that I got it from, that supposedly Arthur Blank was bought into Bill Belichick and could have offered him the job,” Esiason said on Boomer and Gio.
It’s a shame that Belichick continues to overshadow the momentous hiring of Raheem Morris. This could be a turning point in franchise history, but the way Blank and Rich McKay handled the process is seemingly biting the Falcons in the butt because more information was revealed from former GM Thomas Dimitroff, who spent time with Belichick in New England.
During an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz, via Boston.com, Dimitroff offered a similar story as we’ve heard from countless insiders that there was internal pushback, even though Belichick and Blank “had some great discussions” during their two meetings.
“But in the end, there was an inner group in there, right?” he explained of Atlanta’s organization. “Look, anytime Bill goes into an organization, you would assume whatever your thoughts are about him, he deserves the right to run it.”
“Maybe there was a group inside the building who kept pushing back to Arthur,” Dimitroff continued. “Let’s call it the way it is. Any organization wants to keep their world, right? Presidents want to keep their world.”
He then went on to elaborate on what he meant by presidents.
“You saw the discussion about Rich McKay, right?” Dimitroff explained. “Rich is very talented. He knows a lot. The fact that he and Bill would have to work together — or not work together — wasn’t going to happen. And Arthur had made a bold statement saying, ‘That was not an issue.’”
Blank never publicly said that McKay and Belichick working together “was not an issue” as Dimitroff says, so that is news, but what the former GM went on to say was more interesting to me.
“Bill had said he was going to work ostensibly with Terry Fontenot,” Dimitroff added. “So that wasn’t going to be an issue. But I think everyone looks at it like, ‘Yeah, but when you get someone like [Belichick] in there, it’s going to be overhauled eventually.”
If that’s true, Arthur Blank essentially chose his in-house group over Belichick, which is essentially what Dimitroff is saying.
“I think, in the end, [Blank] has to make a choice, and he has to make a choice about what he’s looking for in the approach to [the team’s] culture.”
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire