Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Bill Belichick might not be a shoo-in to become the Falcons’ next head coach. 

The legendary coach’s candidacy for Atlanta’s gig has “lost momentum in the past week,” The Athletic reported Tuesday. 

After he and the Patriots parted ways on Jan. 11, Belichick interviewed with the Falcons twice in just over a week. He first spoke with the team on Jan. 15, reportedly meeting with Arthur Blank on the owner’s private yacht in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Belichick interviewed with the team again on Jan. 19, reportedly meeting with Falcons CEO Rich McKay and general manager Terry Fotenot in addition to Blank. 

Bill Belichick to the Atlanta Falcons after Patriots exit?

Bill Belichick to the Atlanta Falcons after Patriots exit?

The Falcons were quickly viewed as the favorite by both insiders and the betting market to land Belichick due to how swiftly they acted in meeting with him. However, Atlanta has interviewed four other candidates since its second meeting with Belichick on Friday, a possible sign that the six-time Super Bowl winner isn’t a lock to land the job. 

In addition to Belichick, the Falcons reportedly plan to conduct second interviews with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, Ravens assistant head coach/defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, Ravens DC Mike Macdonald, Panthers DC Ejiro Evero, Lions OC Ben Johnson and Lions DC Aaron Glenn. The Falcons also have interviewed or reportedly plan to interview former Titans coach Mike Vrabel, Bills interim OC Joe Brady and 49ers DC Steve Wilks. 

As for Belichick, the 72-year-old has spoken only with the Falcons since his departure from the Patriots even though seven other head coaching positions have opened up this offseason. The Commanders, Panthers, Seahawks and Chargers are the four other teams without a head coach after the Titans reportedly hired Bengals OC Brian Callahan on Monday. Earlier this month, the Patriots hired Jerod Mayo to replace Belichick and the Raiders promoted Antonio Pierce to become their head coach.

There was some speculation that Belichick could be a frontrunner to coach the Cowboys or Eagles after their first-round exits from the playoffs. But the Cowboys announced they would bring back Mike McCarthy for a fifth season, and the Eagles reportedly plan to keep Nick Sirianni. He and general manager Howie Roseman plan to meet with the media on Wednesday, an indication that Sirianni is likely to remain despite the team’s late-season collapse following a 10-1 start.

The market for Belichick could still heat up, though. Multiple teams are “quietly considering” pursuing him, including one team with a head coach vacancy and another that made the playoffs, Pro Football Talk reported on Sunday. 

What are the odds that Bill Belichick lands with Falcons?

What are the odds that Bill Belichick lands with Falcons?

If Belichick were to land the Falcons job, he might have to work under a different power structure than he was used to over his 24 years with New England. Belichick served as the Patriots’ de facto general manager in addition to being their head coach. The Falcons already have a GM and both the head coach and GM report to CEO McKay, Pro Football Talk noted. 

If Belichick is hired this offseason, he would likely be the oldest active coach in the league, turning 72 in April. He needs 15 wins to pass Don Shula and become the all-time winningest NFL coach.

 

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