ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli reports that apparently Arthur Blank is undaunted by his most previous experience in hiring a head coach. Blank was burned by Bobby Petrino last month, when the former university ace spurned the Birds after coaching only 13 game. Now the Falcons are back on the hunt for a head man, and Pasquarelli reports their short list includes USC’s Pete Carroll.
Unlike Petrino though, Carroll does have significant NFL head coaching experience. And based on the events of the past 24 hours, the timing may be finally right for the Trojans coach to take a long, hard look at an exit strategy.
But Pasquarelli reports that there could be some hangups in the Falcons’ pursuit of Carroll.
Pasquarelli: “Conventional wisdom is that Carroll would only consider an NFL job if he had full control over the football operation. That likely would not be the case in Atlanta, where Blank is seeking a new general manager as well as a head coach.
“But sources said the Falcons might be willing to grant Carroll far-reaching responsibilities and that the USC coach, who could assemble a very strong staff, could be intrigued by the challenge of resurrecting a franchise that has been through a turbulent year and has become all but irrelevant on the Atlanta sports scene.”
Pasquarelli is based in Atlanta, so we think he might be overrating Carroll’s concern over the Atlanta sports scene. That said, Carroll could be meeting with Blank this weekend in the peachtree city if the “logistics can be arranged“.
We think the main factor in Carroll bolting would be the increasing liklihood of his USC program imploding - thanks to the rapidly disintegrating situation surrounding Reggie Bush. Atlanta is a bad job, and Carroll doesn’t have any obvious ties there, so why the hell else would he consider the gig?