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Falcons' owner Arthur Blank: Belichick never asked for control

2/9/2024 9:41:20 PM
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The Atlanta Falcons hired Raheem Morris to be their head coach last month, but franchise owner Arthur Blank wanted to make a few things clear Friday about the team's search and one candidate in particular: Bill Belichick.

Blank, speaking for the first time since hiring Morris, said Belichick was never offered the Falcons job and that Belichick never asked for full control of player personnel or the goings-on in the team's Flowery Branch, Georgia, headquarters, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports.

Belichick, the six-time Super Bowl-winning former head coach of the New England Patriots, interviewed twice in person with the Falcons for the position -- one of 14 candidates Atlanta spoke with before selecting Morris.

"I do want to make it 1,000 percent clear, want to go to 2,000 percent or 100,000, whatever percent you want to use," Blank said. "Bill Belichick never asked for, in our discussion, full control of the personnel or the building or anything of that nature.

"He was very inclusive, very collaborative. He met Terry Fontenot, checked out our people doing his own references, sent me a private text, which I eventually shared with Terry that he'd be happy working with him."

Blank said Belichick never had that level of control as a requirement and that the Falcons "had a very good series of interviews with him." At the end of all of them, though, the Falcons chose to go with Morris -- who had worked with the Falcons previously and had been the team's interim head coach in 2020 after the club fired Dan Quinn following an 0-5 start.

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