One thing the Atlanta Falcons can offer ex-New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick that teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys can't is a smaller media contingent.
Atlanta does have a sports media presence, of course -- there are three pro teams and University of Georgia football -- but it's not the size of what we see in Boston, New York, Philadelphia or Dallas.
Why is this important?
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Well, according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, Belichick apparently wants a break from big-market media.
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"Although Belichick to Atlanta is not done yet, there’s buzz around the league that it’s moving in that direction," Florio wrote Thursday. "As one league source explained it, Belichick is believed to be done with 'big-market media,' making him more inclined to go to a place like Atlanta than Dallas or Philadelphia.
"As to the Cowboys and the Eagles, there’s also a belief in some league circles that both teams expressed interest in Belichick, that Belichick didn’t reciprocate, and that those teams then decided to stick with their current coaches."
What's the deal with Belichick reportedly not wanting to deal with big-market media anymore?
"Just the simple fact that you have (98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger & Mazz) 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., you have (Zolak & Bertrand) 10-to-2 prior to it. You have two radio stations, you have a television station that's on all day long, talking about you," Tom E. Curran said Thursday on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight. You have myriad newspapers and websites.
"So he's all set with it because there's more people to question him and scrutinize him over a longer period of time. I understand where he's coming from and at age 72, I get the logic to it. Adam Schefter reported, though, that neither of those teams (Eagles and Cowboys) did any back-channeling or exploring on Bill Belichick."
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Belichick wouldn't be able to escape all media criticism in Atlanta. And wherever Belichick goes, that team will be a national story simply because of who he is as a legendary coach, and his chase of Don Shula's all-time wins record. It would probably be a lot like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiving a ton more media attention than normal after they signed Tom Brady in free agency in 2020.
Where do things stand between the Falcons and Belichick?
Belichick reportedly has a second interview set for this weekend. His first interview earlier this week reportedly was a one-on-one with Falcons owner Arthur Blank. The second interview will include a few Falcons executives.
The Falcons haven't made the playoffs since 2017, and they went 7-10 each of the last three seasons. But there's a pretty good amount of talent on the Falcons roster, especially if they are able to upgrade at quarterback. So they do make sense for Belichick as a potential landing spot for a few reasons.