With the formal announcement of Dan Quinn as the Falcons new head coach, questions about coaching and front-office responsibilities were finally clarified during today's press conference introducing Quinn. Though some information had already been reported, the picture became clear after Arthur Blank opened the conference and put any lingering doubts to rest. Here's a quick overview of the key responsibilities for each person:
As mentioned previously, Dimitroff will remain as the GM with Pioli directly reporting to him. He will maintain full control over the salary cap and player negotiations and will have the "final say" in drafting and free agency - though these are not his direct responsibility any more. As before, he will continue to be over day-to-day business operations.
Arthur Blank specifically pointed out that Scott's strengths weren't utilized enough in the previous year, so the restructure is also designed to rectify that by putting Pioli in charge of scouting and the draft. While Dimitroff will have the final say, it's clear that the scouting departments will move under Pioli as he takes a more active role in shaping the roster. In theory, this move may not be dramatically different than before, but on paper it is significant.
Why is our new head coach listed here? Well, one of the biggest responsibilities - that had previously been under Dimitroff - has now shifted to Quinn: final determination of the 53-man roster, along with the active game-day roster and the practice squad. Given that Quinn will report directly to Blank - and not Dimitroff - this is a dramatic shift from what had been in place before. While Smitty and Dimitroff appeared to work very closely in determining the final roster, it appears that Quinn will have veto powers that Smith presumably did not have. And by being able to go directly to Arthur to enact them, those veto powers have legitimate weight.
As would be expected during a transition like this, rumors are beginning to surface that Dimitroff could be lured away to another team if he was given full control over the roster as he used to have. Mike Florio has also suggested that Rich McKay could be in some trouble due to budget overruns with the new stadium as well as the concerns over Noisegate. While these reports aren't sourced and should be viewed skeptically, they're worth noting given the shift in responsibilities of late.
So, what say you of the redesigned front-office structure for the Falcons?