HOUSTON — Matt Ryan and Julio Jones rightfully command the headlines.
They’ll be the primary reasons for whatever the outcome is for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots.
Coach Dan Quinn is the face of the Falcons, showing in only his second season as a head coach that he knows how to put the players in the right position to succeed.
‘These guys all work together really well’
But working behind the scenes to help put together the NFC champions is an impressive player-personnel staff headed by General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. The group also includes assistant GM Scott Pioli, former GM of the Kansas City Chiefs and vice president of player personnel for the Patriots; national scout Ruston Webster, former GM of the Tennessee Titans, and scout Phil Emery, former GM of the Chicago Bears.
“When it was being reported that it’s going to be cumbersome, there’s too many cooks in the kitchen, BS,” Dimitroff told Alex Marvez on Late Hits. “I knew because I have a really good feel of what I think for me, personally, works and the personalities that work and these guys all work together really well. They all respect each other. And our young scouts look at them and they’re respectful and they’re very fortunate they’re in that situation.
‘Everyone has been able to check the ego at the door’
“I am really proud of that. I mean, I’ve been taught that all my life. … I’ve been really impressed with the way everyone has been able to, the proverbial, check the ego at the door. We have Scott Pioli here. He is a very close friend and trusted aid of mine, personally. We spent a lot of time talking about everything under the sun, sometimes not even directly related to football. We have Ruston Webster, a former general manager, and Phil Emery, who are wildly educated and knowledgeable about NFL football. It’s like a sports symposium every time we sit down in a scouting meeting.
“We want to talk about all the things that we’ve all done wrong and learn from them. We’re not talking about thumping our chest about the moves we made that were right. That’s one of the really cool things about those discussions.”