<
>

Falcons owner Arthur Blank happy with chemistry between coach, GM

6d

Back in January, the Atlanta Falcons announced a restructuring of the front office that gave assistant general manager Scott Pioli more responsibility for evaluating free agents and draft prospects and lessened general manager Thomas Dimitroff's role in the process, with Pioli still reporting to Dimitroff.

Then after Dan Quinn was hired as the team's new head coach, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Quinn would have final say over the 53-man roster while collaborating with Dimitroff on personnel. In the new setup, Quinn and Dimitroff report to Blank separately.

Now that the Falcons have gone through their first wave of free agency and the draft under the new structure, Blank evaluated the partnership between Quinn and Dimitroff thus far.

"I think it's working great," Blank said. "There is tremendous respect both ways. They're working off each other; playing off each other's strengths. They're both good listeners to each other and to others. And I think the dynamic has worked out as well as anybody could have possibly thought.

"I think Thomas and Scott have worked beautifully together as well. So I'm very happy with all of that."

Blank also is happy with the seven-man draft class Quinn and Dimitroff put together, led by pass-rusher and No. 8 overall draft pick Vic Beasley.

"I'm excited about all of our picks," Blank said. "I'm excited about the energy that Coach Quinn and his entire coaching staff brings to this organization. ... The (drafted) players represent, I think, the essence of what the coach is looking for in terms of integrity, "grit," as he calls it, aggressiveness, speed of play (and) ability to play in an unfiltered way so their minds are not cluttered. I think you'll see an energy level -- you definitely see it in the building with the players -- I think when you see them play, you'll feel it and experience it as well."

The Falcons begin organized team activities May 26.