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HECKERT, DIMITROFF ARE BELIEVED TO BE FALCONS' FINALISTS


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POSTED 3:37 p.m. EST, January 10, 2008

HECKERT, DIMITROFF ARE BELIEVED TO BE FALCONS' FINALISTS

We're told that the finalists for the "G.M. Lite" job in Atlanta are believed to be Eagles G.M. Tom Heckert and Pats Director of College Scouting Tom Dimitroff.

If/when a hire is made, it essentially slams the door on any possibility of USC coach Pete Carroll getting the coach job, since he'd most likely want G.M. powers if/when he returns to the NFL.

We're also told that, if Heckert gets the G.M. job, he'll pursue Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for the head-coaching position.

Finally, though many league observers believe that the successor to Heckert in Philly will be V.P. of player personnel Jason Licht, look for V.P. of football administration Howie Roseman to get the nod as G.M., even though Roseman isn't a "football guy."

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he hate me (1/10/2008)
POSTED 3:37 p.m. EST, January 10, 2008

HECKERT, DIMITROFF ARE BELIEVED TO BE FALCONS' FINALISTS

We're told that the finalists for the "G.M. Lite" job in Atlanta are believed to be Eagles G.M. Tom Heckert and Pats Director of College Scouting Tom Dimitroff.

If/when a hire is made, it essentially slams the door on any possibility of USC coach Pete Carroll getting the coach job, since he'd most likely want G.M. powers if/when he returns to the NFL.

We're also told that, if Heckert gets the G.M. job, he'll pursue Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for the head-coaching position.

Finally, though many league observers believe that the successor to Heckert in Philly will be V.P. of player personnel Jason Licht, look for V.P. of football administration Howie Roseman to get the nod as G.M., even though Roseman isn't a "football guy."

Heckert and Dimitroff are both excellent choices. But to make a 1st year DC a Head Coach is a bit of a reach for my comfort. They must know something I don't. Although...come on... how realistic is THAT! Ha! :D

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spags.jpg

Steve Spagnuolo

Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the Giants new defensive coordinator on Jan. 22, 2007. He replaced Tim Lewis, who held the position the previous three seasons.

Spagnuolo comes to the Giants after eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, the last three as the club's linebackers coach. While he was in that role, middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was selected to two Pro Bowl berths. In 2005, Trotter was voted to the game after leading the Eagles with 169 tackles, including 13 for a loss. That season, Philadelphia led the NFL with 60 tackles for a loss, including 25 by the linebackers.

Spagnuolo was the only coach to work under highly-respected defensive coordinator Jim Johnson during his entire tenure in Philadelphia. During six of his eight seasons with the Eagles, Spagnuolo coached a player who earned Pro Bowl honors.

In his eight-year tenure in Philadelphia, Spagnuolo (pronounced SPAG-no-low) helped coach an Eagles defense that is traditionally one of the NFL s best. In a six-year period from 1999-2005, Philadelphia s defense ranked first in the NFL in opposing third down percentage (33 percent), second in points allowed (17.0 per game), second in sacks (265) and third in red zone defense (43.3 percent). During this period, the Eagles played in four consecutive NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. In 2001, the Eagles defense allowed fewer than 21 points in each of their 16 games, just the fourth time in league history that was accomplished.

Spagnuolo originally joined the Eagles coaching staff in 1999 as a defensive assistant/quality control coach working specifically with the team's safeties. Two years later, he was promoted to defensive backs coach, where he spent three seasons tutoring Pro Bowlers Brian Dawkins, Bobby Taylor, Troy Vincent, Lito Sheppard and Michael Lewis. In those three seasons, the Eagles pass defense ranked in the NFL's top 10 in three key statistical categories: third-down defense, touchdown passes allowed and net yards per pass attempt.

Prior to joining the Eagles, Spagnuolo coached 15 seasons in college football and two years in NFL Europe.

He spent the 1998 season as the defensive coordinator of NFL Europe's Frankfurt Galaxy, who finished second in the league in total defense en route to a World Bowl appearance. Four of the six linebackers and nine of the 11 defensive starters he tutored went on to play in the NFL. Spagnuolo also served as the defensive line and special teams coach of the Barcelona Dragons in 1992.

A native of Grafton, Mass. Spagnuolo has served as a defensive coordinator on the college level with Connecticut and Maine. In addition, he served as assistant coach at Massachusetts, Lafayette, Rutgers and Bowling Green.

Prior to his stint at Maine, Spagnuolo spent four months as a scout for the San Diego Chargers under then-general manager Bobby Beathard. His first NFL experience came in 1983 as an intern with the Washington Redskins under then-assistant general manager Charlie Casserly.

Spagnuolo played football at Springfield (Mass.) College for head coach Howard Vandersea. He was a two-year starter at wide receiver and received the school s AAUP Male Scholar Athlete award in 1982.

Spagnuolo was born in Whitinsville, Mass. He attended Grafton High School, where he is a member of the school s athletic Hall of Fame. Spagnuolo earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Springfield College and a master's degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts. He is married (Maria).

SPAGNUOLO AT A GLANCE

1982-83& & & & & Massachusetts& & & & & graduate Assistant

1983& & & & & & .Washington Redskins& & player personnel intern

1984-86& & & & & Lafayette& & & & & & & defensive line/special teams

1987-91& & & & & Connecticut& & & & & ..defensive coordinator/defensive backs

1992& & & & & & .Barcelona Dragons& & & defensive line/special teams

1993& & & & & & .San Diego Chargers& & ..scout

1993-94& & & & & Maine& & & & & & & defensive coordinator/def. backs/linebackers

1994-95& & & & & Rutgers& & & & & & & .defensive backs

1996-97& & & & & Bowling Green& & & & .defensive backs

1998& & & & & & .Frankfurt Galaxy& & & ..defensive coordinator/linebackers

1999-00& & & & & Philadelphia Eagles& & ..defensive assistant

2001-03& & & & & Philadelphia Eagles& & ..defensive backs

2004-06& & & & & Philadelphia Eagles& & ..linebackers

2007& & & & & & .New York Giants& & & .defensive coordinator

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BillyWitchDoctor (1/10/2008)
Say we do go after Dimitroff, would we have to wait until the Patriots finish their season? I know there is a rule about going after coaches until after the season and wasn't sure if that rule applied to him.

no...we wont have to wait....i think if we get Tom Dimitroff...we might have a chance at getting Josh McDaniels as the head coach

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atljbo (1/10/2008)
BillyWitchDoctor (1/10/2008)
Say we do go after Dimitroff, would we have to wait until the Patriots finish their season? I know there is a rule about going after coaches until after the season and wasn't sure if that rule applied to him.

no...we wont have to wait....i think if we get Tom Dimitroff...we might have a chance at getting Josh McDaniels as the head coach

Oh ok, but we would have to wait for McDaniels to finish the season correct?

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BillyWitchDoctor (1/10/2008)
atljbo (1/10/2008)
BillyWitchDoctor (1/10/2008)
Say we do go after Dimitroff, would we have to wait until the Patriots finish their season? I know there is a rule about going after coaches until after the season and wasn't sure if that rule applied to him.

no...we wont have to wait....i think if we get Tom Dimitroff...we might have a chance at getting Josh McDaniels as the head coach

Oh ok, but we would have to wait for McDaniels to finish the season correct?

yea ...we would have to wait till the end of the season to hire Josh McDaniels

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birdweiserrr (1/10/2008)
We're also told that, if Heckert gets the G.M. job, he'll pursue Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for the head-coaching position.

Doesn't Heckert know that if he gets the GM job he'll hire whoever Blank tells him to hire as HC?

Is that wrong to say? Does anyone else get this impression?

IMO that is wrong to say .. After the Heckert interview, Falcons tried to get permission to interview Spagnuolo, but Giants told them to wait ... IMO Falcons are really trying to be one step ahead and be prepared if they sign Heckert.

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BillyWitchDoctor (1/10/2008)
atljbo (1/10/2008)
BillyWitchDoctor (1/10/2008)
Say we do go after Dimitroff, would we have to wait until the Patriots finish their season? I know there is a rule about going after coaches until after the season and wasn't sure if that rule applied to him.

no...we wont have to wait....i think if we get Tom Dimitroff...we might have a chance at getting Josh McDaniels as the head coach

Oh ok, but we would have to wait for McDaniels to finish the season correct?

Not sure on that one...They had this rule for this week, that you could interview coaches of teams who won their Wildcard game, but you had to get permission from their team.

For a change, we were right. As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told us by e-mail, assistant coaches from teams that won during Wild-Card weekend can be interviewed this week. But the interviews may occur only with the permission of the coach's current team.

This is from an article on PFT, but they say they actually got confirmation on that from a league spokesman, so I guess that's really how it works.

For the whole article go to

http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

Scroll down to

"FALCONS INTERVIEW OF JAGS ASSISTANT NOT A PROBLEM"

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Let me say that this could not be better news. Dimitroff has learned under Pioli and I am sure that he is keen on building a team rather than a collection of gifted players. That is the key to Pioli's success. Heckert's draft record is less impressive, but he enjoys a very strong reputation in personnel circles. Heckert is also the guy that brought Spagnuolo's name onto Arthur's radar.

Heckert and Dimitroff are both excellent choices. But to make a 1st year DC a Head Coach is a bit of a reach for my comfort. They must know something I don't. Although...come on... how realistic is THAT! Ha!

The Steelers just did it last year. Mike Tomlin has less NFL experience than Spags. It depends on the character of the man. From what I hear, Spags is the real deal. Man, NYG fans are going to be depressed!

I think it is important that the GM and HC work well together. They have to be on the same page. Heckert and Spags are friends.

That is how most franchises succeed over the long haul. NE's Bellichick and Pioli are friends and understand exactly what each other needs. The same should be true of our GM/HC. If Dimitroff is the choice, I wonder who he will bring into the mix. McDaniels has already stated that he will not take a HC position this year.

This is truly the best news that I have seen on these boards for a long time. If this is true, the franchise will finally be set on the right course. It may take three seasons for the effects to be seen, but the future is bright.

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Here is a good article on Dimitroff that provides some insight. Like Heckert he is the son of a former scout. Like Heckert he is 40 years old. He mentions that what makes the Patriots special is that coach-gm synergy so undoubtedly he would be looking to replicate that relationship here if hired.

http://www.milforddailynews.com/archive/x656211841

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