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Petrino To Atlanta Tomorrow?

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ATLANTA -- Louisville coach Bob Petrino is the choice of the Atlanta Falcons to succeed Jim Mora as head coach, several league sources confirmed Sunday night, and the team is in contract negotiations aimed at securing a contract agreement that could lead to a Monday announcement of his hiring.


Sources stressed that Petrino, 45, has yet to accept the position, but that the two sides were moving toward an agreement.


The highly-regarded Petrino is known for his creative offensive designs and the priority of Falcons' brass is to land a head coach capable of getting the most from quarterback Michael Vick's talents.



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That article doesn't sound any more specific or definitive than most of the rumors than I have seen before. That said I'll believe he is leaving when I see it, until then I will remain skeptical.


If any coach could make the most of Vick's abilities I would be it would be Petrino though.

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Will be interesting to hear Cards fans reactions tonight and tomorrow...Esp. those we know who said he would never go anywhere else!

I don't know a lot that said he'd NEVER go anywhere else... I know a lot were skeptical that he'd leave while his kids were in school here. But it's also shocking how much money he's been offered.

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Wow, I did not think he was one of the top candidates!! :eek:


With the recent history of college coach’s failure to make the transition to the pro level, I would have guessed that all the teams would have filled their vacant HC jobs with some of the hot assistants in the league. I wish Petrino the best of luck and a congrats on the great job he did at Louisville. :thumb:

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NCAA Football- Louisville's Petrino Bolts for Falcons - AOL Sports


"This is an exciting day for the Atlanta Falcons franchise," owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. "Bobby Petrino is an extremely talented football coach who has done some tremendously innovative things as both an offensive coordinator and head coach."


Petrino said he took what "I truly feel is the best job in the National Football League."


"I am excited about the challenge that awaits me in Atlanta, and I'm equally excited about the potential that I see in this team," he said in the Falcons' statement.


His first order of business: Getting more production out of Vick, who became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards but never seemed comfortable in the West Coast-style offense installed by Mora and his offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp.


Petrino had a 41-9 record in four years at Louisville, leading the school to the Big East title and its first Bowl Championship Series appearance in the Orange. He had just completed the first year of a 10-year, $25 million contract. ESPN.com said he agreed to a five-year, $24 million deal with the Falcons.


Petrino's name repeatedly came up for other coaching vacancies, including an embarrassing episode in 2003 when Auburn set up a clandestine interview while Tommy Tuberville was still the Tigers coach.


Petrino met with LSU after the 2004 season and turned down the Oakland Raiders' job a year later. Louisville twice renegotiated Petrino's contract, giving him hefty raises in hopes of keeping him.


"This is where I want to be," he insisted.


That all changed after the Falcons fired Mora, just two years after he led the team to the NFC championship game. Atlanta missed the playoffs the past two seasons, going 7-9 mark in 2006.


Petrino's previous NFL experience includes three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he served as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He then returned to the college ranks, serving as Auburn's offensive coordinator in 2002 before heading to Louisville.


"Nobody thought this would happen, but nobody's complaining about it," Cardinals defensive lineman Earl Heyman said. "You can't fault him considering what he's done for this program."


The Falcons the past several days interviewing NFL assistants, including Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, San Diego offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and San Francisco assistant head coach Mike Singletary.


Blank described Petrino as "a motivator and developer of players. In short, he's a difference maker who will bring a strong identity to the Falcons - one our team will buy into and take on as their own."


Petrino announced his decision to the Cardinals during a meeting that lasted only five minutes. Nearly the entire team was on hand at the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex, including junior quarterback Brian Brohm.


Petrino's departure casts considerable doubt over whether Brohm or running back Michael Bush will return next fall.


Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich wished Petrino well with the Falcons.


"I certainly appreciate all the hard work he did in elevating this program to where it stands today," Jurich said. "We're going to move quickly in hiring our next coach to keep our momentum going."

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