The Falcons announced on Thursday that assistant general manager Scott Pioli is “stepping away” from his position. Pioli said he wants to pursue different opportunities after spending five years with the team.
Some may see this change in staff as a lapse in stability for the organization, especially during a time where plenty of rebuilding is occurring. For Pioli and the Falcons, this could not be further from the truth. “When I accepted this position more than five years ago, we all believed this would likely be a two- or three-year working relationship,” Pioli said. Pioli seems to have expected this to happen. There is no word yet on where he will end up come next season, but the organization seems to support him.
ESPN reported that Arthur Blank and Dan Quinn understood that he was “growing restless” with the state of the Falcons—and he should have grown restless. Many of the front office staff has expressed restlessness. Restlessness isn’t necessarily a bad thing—this is where growth comes into play. Losing members of the organization might have a role in growth and future success, meaning that fans should not worry about the loss of Pioli.
Drafting Lindstrom was in large part Pioli’s doing along with acquiring Alex Mack—he has no doubt contributed and given as much as he could to the team. Any time a team comes across someone like this—someone who impacts the organization for the better—it should not be taken for granted regardless of how long they stay around.