In reverse of the Nick Saban decision, Petrino abandoned a 10 year, $25 million contract with Louisville in order to bolt to the Falcons. This has become such a common occurence that I don't think you can judge a coach's character by it, but it does give us something to mull over as we rev up for Petrino's arrival. You can also mull over whether you agree with the AJC's Mark Bradley, who thinks Petrino is a dapper fellow, a splendid hire, and a spiffy dresser. His assertion that the Falcons will be in the playoffs within one or two seasons is one that I would dearly love to believe, and his assertion that Knapp and Mora couldn't maximize potential like Petrino can is probably premature but also rings with truth. This is a team that has the talent to compete every year in a weak NFC, and there's no reason that they shouldn't if Petrino brings the tactics.
That being said, the dude has a bit of a reputation as a bully with a side of jerk. Personally, I look at coaches like Belicheck or Parcells with their unmovable stone faces and unhelpful sound bites and can't help but think that could be a good thing. As a blogger and a future journalist, I'm not necessarily on board with someone who dismisses the media, but if he's winning I could really care less how he deals with the media. Someone who's going to ride a little roughshod over some of the bigger egos (I'm looking at you, Vick and Hall) and deal with things a little more harshly than Mora is probably necessary at this point. Of course, if this team does poorly, that probably isn't going to fly with El Jefe Blank.
But hell, step one of my checklist is already done, and if we ring up a couple successes going down the ladder, I'm confident that this can be a 9 win team next year, with room for improvement. I don't expect Petrino to be able to instantly revamp one of the most inconsistent teams in the history of the NFL, but he's a good start. If Vick can't succeed under Petrino's specifically tailored gameplans, then he's officially never going to do it with the Falcons. But maybe, just maybe he can. They're introducing him at 2 p.m. ET today, so let's see how that goes. Maybe he'll sacrifice Greg Knapp for a good season, eh?