FALCONS SNIFFING AROUND SCHOTTENHEIMER?
Citing unnamed sources, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Falcons "have made overtures" to former Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer about replacing Bobby Petrino.
The Union-Tribune also reports that Chargers assistant G.M. Buddy Nix is under consideration to become the next G.M. in Atlanta.
"I'd hate to lose him," Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith said of Nix. "But it's something he's told me in the past he'd like to do – or explore it. If this situation should work out, I'd wish him the best."
The only problem is that the Falcons must follow the Rooney Rule, which requires a face-to-face interview of at least one minority candidate, in hiring a head coach. The Falcons are not required to adhere to the Rooney Rule when hiring a G.M.
But if Nix becomes the Falcons' new G.M., minority candidates might nix interviewing for the head coaching gig, if the perception is that Schottenheimer-to-Atlanta is a done deal. That very thing happened several years ago when the Lions pursued Steve Mariucci. Guys like Denny Green and Sherm Lewis refused to sit for what they believed to be sham Rooney Rule interviews, and Lions CEO Matt Millen was slapped with a big, fat fine for not interviewing any minority candidates.