Days after meeting with the Falcons for the first time, Bill Belichick will speak with the team again shortly. The longtime Patriots coach will have a second interview with Atlanta this weekend, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The Falcons have increasingly been named as a team to watch with respect to a Belichick pursuit. As a result, it came as no surprise that the six-time Super Bowl winner met one-on-one with owner Arthur Blank on Monday. A mutual interest between the two sides was reported to exist after the summit, leading to more signs pointing the way of a Belichick-to-Atlanta move. Today’s news moves further in that direction. The upcoming sit-down will involve Belichick and a Falcons executive group, per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.
Atlanta has cast a wide net so far in the team’s ongoing search for an Arthur Smith replacement. Experience is believed to be more of a driving factor than Blank’s previous hires, and Belichick obviously tops the list of available options in that department. Jim Harbaugh has also interviewed once for the position, so the Falcons have been involved with the league’s highest-profile candidates in the 2024 cycle. Harbaugh has more closely been connected with the Chargers and Raiders, however.
The Falcons have conducted a first interview with six candidates other than Belichick, but the window for second interviews (which can be in-person) will open for staffers currently employed once the divisional round is complete. Having parted ways with the Patriots, though, Belichick is free to take any position at any time. The fact a second meeting with Blank and Co. has been arranged quickly is certainly a positive sign as it pertains to momentum for a deal to be reached in the near future.
Just like Harbaugh, Belichick has been connected to the vacancies in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. However, the latter has not yet lined up an interview with any team other than the Falcons so far. Pending the outcome of this weekend’s summit, it will certainly be interesting to see if any meetings are scheduled with teams outside Atlanta looking to bring in the winningest coach of the 21st century.
Belichick is likely two years away from surpassing Don Shula for first on the NFL’s all-time coaching wins list. At the age of 71, any posting he takes will no doubt have short-term success in mind. The Falcons have invested heavily at the skill positions in recent years, and the team has one of the league’s top offensive lines. Improvement on defense was also seen in 2023 after that unit was a point of emphasis in the offseason. A major roster hole exists at the quarterback spot, however, and filling it will be the top priority for the team and its next coach in the coming weeks and months.
Belichick’s track record with the Patriots after Tom Brady‘s departure certainly leaves plenty to be desired on offense in particular, and any arrangement with a new team will likely take on a different setup than the one he had in New England which allowed him to operate as coach but also de facto general manager. Mutual interest between he and the Falcons obviously exists, though, so this situation will be worth watching closely.