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Petrino had doubts about Falcons' roster


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Petrino had doubts about Falcons' roster

John Czarnecki

FOXSports.com, Updated 19 minutes ago

Bobby Petrino didn't last as long as Nick Saban. And now the two former NFL coaches will be seeing a lot of each other in the SEC, when Petrino officially shows up at Arkansas.

Petrino becomes the third major college coach to prove that success on the next level doesn't necessarily translate. Washington owner Daniel Snyder started this by hiring the ol' ball coach, Steve Spurrier, in 2002 for $5 million a season.

Petrino was making $4.8 million in Atlanta. Saban was also making big money from the Dolphins when he resigned 11 months ago to take the Alabama job. Petrino may even have to give the Falcons some money back in order to leave.

Weeks ago, Petrino's name kept popping up among college athletic directors looking for new coaches. I wrote that Petrino sniffed around the Michigan job to no avail. GM Rich McKay and Petrino both denied that he was actually pursuing open positions on the college level.

Bobby Petrino only lasted 13 games in Atlanta. (Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

But this has been Petrino's modus operandi.

Even when he had success at Louisville, he was looking for the next job. He snuck into Oakland two years ago and was very serious about the Raiders' job only to fly back to Kentucky without a firm offer.

Several sources for the past three weeks on both the college and NFL level said Petrino was looking to get out of Atlanta. I mentioned it to someone in the organization and they told me I was nuts. I had always heard, once he was there, that Petrino didn't have full confidence in McKay turning the personnel around in Atlanta, one of the league's worst teams.

Yes, a lot of this can be blamed on losing Michael Vick because his absence destroyed everything Petrino wanted to do with Atlanta's offense this season.

But positioned to land a quarterback high in the draft next April, even Petrino wasn't sure that his former quarterback, Louisville's Brian Brohm, was worthy of a top ten pick. And few teams have Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan rated that highly right now, either.

When asked whether they thought Cleveland's Derek Anderson was worthy of using the top five pick (plus a third-rounder) to help enhance Petrino's confidence in the club's personnel, the Falcons didn't believe the QB was worth such a package.

Those happiest to see Petrino gone are the players. After being used to Jim Mora's more relaxed coaching style, the Falcons never appreciated Petrino's tougher, disciplined stance. A few thought he was aloof. Plus, he was never the greatest communicator, either with the players or people in management.

One of my best NFL friends kept telling me that McKay and Petrino wouldn't last beyond this season. He was right.

Petrino did what he always does: He protected himself and his career.

However, if Houston Nutt couldn't please the Arkansas faithful and John Tyson in particular Petrino's new job doesn't look much easier. The SEC is college's toughest and most competitive football conference. Believe me, by comparison, the NFC South is easier. That is, if you have the right quarterback. Carolina's John Fox can relate to that.

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Several sources for the past three weeks on both the college and NFL level said Petrino was looking to get out of Atlanta. I mentioned it to someone in the organization and they told me I was nuts. I had always heard, once he was there, that Petrino didn't have full confidence in McKay turning the personnel around in Atlanta, one of the league's worst teams.

Uh-huh...nice

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