Although Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff survived “Black Monday,” which saw the firing of head coach Mike Smith, Dimitroff’s job is far from safe. When Smith was fired, we heard that owner Arthur Blank was still undecided on Dimitroff’s future, and Blank’s approach in hiring a new head coach has made that clear. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweets that Blank has informed all the head coaching candidates he has interviewed thus far that they would have a say in who the team’s general manager will be.
Rapoport’s colleague, Albert Breer, affirms that report. Breer notes that Blank will hire the best coach he can, and then “chart the course from there.” If the new coach does not mesh with Dimitroff, then changes could come (Twitter links).
As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Dimitroff’s fate could be determined by Josh McDaniels. Dimitroff has championed McDaniels, with whom he and top assistant Scott Pioli worked in New England, as a candidate for the team’s head coaching vacancy. McDaniels has said that it would take a “perfect set of circumstances” to leave his comfortable position as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, especially since his first head coaching attempt with the Broncos was a decidedly unsuccessful one. La Canfora adds that, although Matt Ryan‘s presence makes the Falcon’s job at least somewhat attractive, the behind-the-scenes turmoil in Atlanta has given him pause.
As Brian McIntyre tweets, Dimitroff’s lack of job security is relatively surprising. Although the Falcons have underachieved in each of the last two seasons, Dimitroff does have a track record of success and has established a strong foundation in Atlanta. It seems counter-intuitive to allow a head coaching candidate who may not have ever held a position above coordinator to effectively dismiss Dimitroff, but Blank is apparently prepared to do just that.