Falcons hire two former general managers — and that makes five

The Falcons' heirarchy (Thomas Dimitroff, Arthur Blank, new coach Dan Quinn and Rich McKay) will take a hit from the NFL. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Rich McKay (far right) is one of five former NFL general managers in the Falcons’ offices. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

If you’re wondering where all of the former NFL general managers went, I think they now work for the Falcons.

With Tuesday’s hiring of national scouts Phil Emery (former Chicago general manager) and Ruston Webster (recently fired from his position of Tennessee GM), the Falcons now employ five former general managers in their Flowery Branch headquarters. I’m not sure what all of this former executive power gets you, but it’s an alumni club unlike any other.

Atlanta Falcons: Five ex-GMs. But not nearly that many edge rushers.

The Falcons made some changes in their coaching and personnel staff after coach Dan Quinn’s first season. Owner Arthur Blank chose to retain general manager Thomas Dimitroff but mandated other moves.

Emery and Webster aren’t necessarily bad hirings. They were better scouts than they were GMs. But consider this collection of former decision makers:

• Rich McKay: The former Falcons’ and Tampa Bay general manager is now the team president and CEO. Since Dimitroff’s hiring in 2008, McKay has mostly been out of the day-to-day football operation and was kept by Blank to help land a stadium deal. McKay also maintains strong ties to the league office.

• Scott Pioli: He was a long-time personnel man under Bill Belichick in New England, which he parlayed into the GM job in Kansas City. That didn’t go well. (Records: 4-12, 10-6, 7-9, 2-14. His head coaches: Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel.) After a year out of football, Dimitroff hired his friend and former New England boss in Atlanta. Pioli, the assistant GM, now oversees the personnel department but answers to Dimitroff.

• Billy Devaney: He was a Falcons’ assistant general manager who went to St. Louis and became general manager in 2008, only to be fired after four seasons (10-38). The Falcons rehired him in their personnel department last year.

• Emery: He was the Falcons’ director of scouting from 2004 to 2008 and went on to become the Chicago Bears’ general manager for three seasons (2012-14), during which the Bears went 23-25 and failed to make the playoffs. He has been re-hired as a national scout, his area strength.

• Webster: He was just fired as Tennessee’s general manager after four seasons and previously spent 22 years with Seattle and Tampa Bay. He also will be a national scout.

EARLIER: Braves’ starting rotation ranked 30th (and it’s hard to dispute)

EARLIER:  Four-point analysis: Falcons are a ways behind Carolina

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18 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

The Falcons now have 5 GMs that can't agree on talent. They pay a GM $3 or $4 million dollars a year to fail in the most important part of team planning. I would take the job for half that amount if failure is that important, and I could fail a lot better than Dimitroff.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Atlanta............where failed GM's come to..........keep failing.

MoreyP
MoreyP

relax---ATL just moved the DB coach  to receiver coach! they got it down at flowery branch!! with this move, atl going to the super bowl next year---rise up!!! don't mess with atl!!!!!!

Wayne_stuck_in_AL
Wayne_stuck_in_AL

Lemme see if I got this straight: the Falcons (who have missed the playoffs the last 3 years) have hired 2 GMs from teams that have been at the bottom of their divisions the past several seasons???


This is like the Carolina Hurricanes hiring Don Waddell as GM.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Wayne_stuck_in_AL 

You got it straight.

Standard operating procedure for a franchise that's NEVER won a championship.

jhatl
jhatl

How come the worse the team does the more "managers" get hired?

Right now and for the past several years they have been managing failure - and that's no way to run a business. It's no wonder that they're having problems getting current season ticket holders to sign on for the PSL's for the new stadium.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@jhatl 

The past "several" years???

Say what?!

Where the hell have you been for the past half-century?

Several years my rear end!

Gman84
Gman84

Maybe we could get 2 or 3 more owners too

E983
E983

Great!!! Welcome to GMs Anonymous.

Step One:

We admitted we were powerless over our draft choices and our teams had become unmanageable.

DogTheMan
DogTheMan

So all these former not successful GMs are looking for the next Danny Amendola, the next small defensive lineman who plays with heart, another gritty non athletic linebacker and some more small offensive lineman. Wake me when they get to the playoffs again in 3 years!!!!!\

HotDawg
HotDawg

Fire all of them and use all their salaries to hire Jimmy Johnson to run the draft, sign free agents and deal trades. After that, he can still go back to enjoying his yacht and playtime with Terry and the boys on Fox, during the season.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Too many chiefs. Not enough indians.

dtanner311
dtanner311

do you know what they call a racehorse by committee? a camel

ATLFan
ATLFan

I guess it takes a village to keep Thomas Dimitroff from making bad draft picks. LOL.

TheBystander
TheBystander

Did the Falcon's let anybody go from the scouting dept.? ie Steve Sabo?