The Atlanta Falcons’ decision not to hire Bill Belichick was characterized as “surprising” by some, but the further we get from it, the more it seems to make sense.

ESPN’s bombshell report Wednesday kinda laid it all out for us.

Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham and Jeremy Fowler teamed to help explain why Belichick wasn’t hired during the latest cycle, the first in which he was a candidate for more than two decades. It came down to a number of factors, but the further in the process the Falcons got, one hangup stemmed from who Belichick might bring with him on the coaching staff.

Belichick did his best to ease that worry, subtly throwing a shot in the direction of his former assistants in the process.

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“(Falcons) executives also were concerned about the staff Belichick would bring with him, including assistants who had worked with him in New England and who had struggled on their own: Josh McDaniels, Joe Judge, Jack Easterby, Matt Patricia,” the ESPN report read. “At one point, (Falcons owner Arthur) Blank asked Belichick why his charges had failed elsewhere. Belichick replied that he thought they were better soldiers than generals.”


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It’s no secret that each of those men have seen their careers sputter without Belichick, but to have the man himself say it? Patricia and Judge crashed and burned with their only head-coaching opportunities, only to return to New England together and continue to struggle. McDaniels has been an above-average coordinator across multiple stints with the Patriots, but he can’t get out of his own way outside the building. Easterby? That’s an entire novel in and of itself, but the short version of his story is: It didn’t work.

You just can’t help but wonder how Belichick feels about those words — likely said in an effort to save his candidacy for the Falcons job — getting out.

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