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Monday, January 08, 2007

Atlanta Falcons Hiring Louisville Cardunals Coach Bobby Petrino


Hopefully Falcons Owner Arthur Blank THINKS he has the right man for the job now...
see my comment at the end

From the NY Times.....
Louisville’s Petrino to Leave for the N.F.L. and the Falcons


By PETE THAMEL
Published: January 8, 2007

When Coach Bobby Petrino signed a 10-year contract extension last summer at Louisville, he insisted that it include a million-dollar buyout as a sign of his commitment to the university.
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Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Petrino signed a 10-year contract extension last summer with Louisville, but decided to leave to take the head-coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons.
Division I-A

At the news conference announcing his extension, Petrino said that Louisville was the place where he and his family wanted to be.

“I want everyone to really believe it,” Petrino said in July.

But in what is becoming a familiar trend on the coaching carousel, it did not take long for him to have a change of heart. Louisville announced last night that Petrino was taking the head-coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons. He will replace Jim Mora, who was fired.
The Louisville sports information director, Kenny Klein, said in a telephone interview last night that Petrino informed the athletic director Tom Jurich and the Cardinals team of his decision yesterday.

Klein said that Jurich typically did not put buyouts in contracts, but Jurich did so at Petrino’s request. That was because until Petrino, 45, declared his undying love for the university this past summer, he had been regarded as a flirt in coaching circles.

In the last three years, he talked with Auburn, Louisiana State, Notre Dame and the Oakland Raiders about coaching vacancies. But all of that wanderlust appeared to dissipate with the comments that followed the signing of his 10-year, $25 million contract.

“I know I’ve said it, that this is where my family wants to be,” Petrino said. “This is where I want to be. I want everyone to really believe it."

His words were not unlike those of Nick Saban, who left the Dolphins last week to take the job at the University of Alabama despite multiple denials. Also, earlier this off-season, Dennis Erickson left Idaho for Arizona State despite saying that the Vandals job would be one he would be happy to retire from.

Petrino was 41-9 in his four seasons at Louisville, where he became known as one of the top offensive masterminds in college football. He led the Cardinals to the biggest win in the program’s history last week when they defeated Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. They finished this season 12-1 and would have been considered a top contender for the national title in 2007 if the junior quarterback Brian Brohm and the junior tailback Michael Bush had returned for their senior years.

Instead, Louisville will be looking for a new coach. The top name on the list will most likely be Tulsa Coach Steve Kragthorpe, whom Jurich has long admired from afar.

“I certainly appreciate all the hard work he did in elevating this program to where it stands today,” Jurich said in a statement last night. “I wish him and his family all the best. We’re going to move quickly in hiring our next coach to keep our momentum going.”

It will be interesting to see how Petrino’s low-key personality meshes with N.F.L. life.

He could struggle with the media scrutiny and dealing with the egos of N.F.L. players. He’ll also have the challenge of trying to maximize the talents of quarterback Michael Vick, who despite his talent and promise, has not been able to win consistently in Atlanta.

Petrino’s hiring came as something of a shock in N.F.L. circles; his name had not come up as a possible candidate.

So no one knew this was coming?? I don't buy it! Somewhere someone had to know... I believe that when the other "usual" suspects were not called-or in the case of Bears D-Coordinator Ron Rivera, called back. you had to know something weird was going to happen. Not that Petrino isn't a good coach, Quite the opposite, he is a very good coach. but as stated above, will he "mesh" with the pro style of "getting things done"....

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