The Atlanta Falcons have interviewed several candidates for their head coach opening. But Bill Belichick is the first candidate they will interview a second time.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that the Falcons have scheduled a second interview with Belichick for this weekend.
“Sources: Former Patriots coach Bill Belichick will have a second interview with the Falcons brass this weekend after meeting with owner Arthur Blank 1-on-1 this past week,” Rapoport wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Things are ramping up with the greatest coach of all time …”
The Falcoholic’s Kevin Knight tweeted in response to Rapoport’s news that it “feels like Falcons are hiring Belichick unless he says no.” It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment.
It’s been speculated that Falcons owner Arthur Blank is enamored with the idea of hiring Belichick. There are subtle signs of that to be true.
The Falcons didn’t request to interview any head coaching candidates after firing Arthur Smith until Belichick became available. Also when the offseason began, the Falcons blocked other teams from interviewing defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen and special teams coordinator Marquice Williams.
But that changed on Tuesday. Nielsen interviewed for the defensive coordinator role with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein argued on X that there are several reasons the Falcons are now allowing Nielsen to interview elsewhere. The most likely scenario is Atlanta’s preferred candidate said in his interview that he wants to hire his staff.
Assuming that’s the case, it’s highly likely that candidate was Belichick. The Falcons are probably going to make moves to land a six-time Super Bowl winning coach if they want him. They are less likely to do things to satisfy the desires of a first-time head coach.
It’s also important to note that the Dallas Cowboys announced their plans to retain Mike McCarthy as head coach on Wednesday night. That move potentially eliminated Atlanta’s biggest competition for Belichick.
Rapoport added in his report that Falcons CEO Rich McKay and general manager Terry Fontenot will be present with Blank for Belichick’s second interview.