ESPN developed a really fun feature that lets you pick an NFL coaching candidate or team and then scroll through the possible with a snippet of commentary from Dan Graziano. They let the fans play match maker and Graziano has already graded the match.
Match Maker from ESPN
The Atlanta Falcons have already interviewed three candidates in Raheem Morris, Eric Bieniemy, and Robert Saleh, and they have asked for permission to interview several more including Joe Brady of the Panthers and Arthur Smith of the Titans.
Eric Bieniemy is one of the more popular candidates with Atlanta Falcons fans right now, but Graziano doesn’t think the Falcons are a good match because of an aging roster and cap trouble.
“Sure, he might get something out of the final years of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, but this is much closer to a rebuild — and cap hell,” writes Graziano.
He’s not wrong, but I think he’s a bit short sighted. This is definitely closer to a rebuild. This next hire isn’t about Matt Ryan, but it could be about getting a franchise quarterback in the draft and building around him.
Coaches everywhere want their own team, not to be a mercenary to squeeze a result out of a couple of aging players. It’s a tantalizing prospect for a coach like Bieniemy to come in and try and replicate the success he’s had with Patrick Mahomes at Kansas City with a quarterback like Justin Fields.
In Blank, the Falcons have a deep pocketed, patient, and loyal owner who is willing to invest in a rebuild, and… the No. 4 overall draft pick in a quarterback heavy 2021 draft. Those are good recruiting tools for Blank and the Falcons.
Who does Graziano think is the best match for the Falcons? Interim head coach Raheem Morris. Again, that seems like a lazy pick. The Atlanta Falcons need a fresh start, and Morris could probably use one too.