Falcons Said to be Annoyed About Petrino's Sudden Departure
Atlanta Falcons officials are said to be incensed about Bobby Petrino's abrupt resignation as the team's coach Tuesday.
Petrino, according to a source familiar with the situation, had assured Falcons owner Arthur Blank that he would remain with the club, then informed team president Rich McKay early Tuesday evening that he was quitting. Petrino accepted the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.
"To say that Arthur Blank was [upset] would be a major understatement," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Blank hasn't spoken publicly on the subject yet.
Blank and McKay are scheduled to participate in a news conference this afternoon. They must choose an interim coach, probably from among offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, for the Falcons' final three games of the season. The team's record dropped to 3-10 with Monday night's loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Petrino spoke to his assistant coaches only briefly Tuesday and didn't address the Falcons players, the source said.
Jackson or Zimmer could be a candidate for the permanent head coaching job. The Falcons' experience with Petrino, who was hired in January from the University of Louisville, probably will keep them from looking to the college ranks again. It's unclear if they'll make a run at one of the two prominent out-of-work veteran coaches, Bill Cowher and Marty Schottenheimer.
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