HOUSTON — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff values the opinions of those who once held a job similar to his, so he added two to his staff.
A year ago last week, he hired two national scouts who had been general managers: former Titans GM Ruston Webster and a face familiar to Bears fans, ex-GM Phil Emery.
The results, he said, have been outstanding.
Dimitroff compared the gatherings to a symposium, where he, Emery and others discuss not what has gone right for the Falcons, but what mistakes have been made and how to prevent them from happening again.
“Phil Emery is not only a fantastic man with a really good understanding of football — which I’m very fortunate to have on our staff — he understands the ups and downs of this league,” Dimitroff said late Monday as his Falcons continued to prepare for Super Bowl LI against the Patriots. “We have a lot of moments where we share where the mistakes are and what he would have done differently. That’s vital.”
Emery, who served as the Bears’ GM from 2012 to 2014, had been Atlanta’s scouting director from 2004 to 2008 and a regional scout before the 2009 draft. During that time frame, the Falcons selected wide receiver Roddy White and quarterback Matt Ryan.
He then spent three seasons as the Chiefs’ college scouting director before being hired by the Bears, who eventually fired him and Marc Trestman two years ago.
Emery, who can’t speak to the media without approval from the Falcons’ top brass, will attend the game Sunday.
“Phil has a lot of great things to share with our staff, and he’s got a lot of perspective that other people don’t,” Dimitroff said.
Dimitroff enjoys the culture of analysis he has created on his staff. In addition to Webster and Emery, the Falcons employ former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli as their assistant GM.
“[Emery] has a really good relationship with Scott Pioli as well as me, so that’s good,” Dimitroff said. “We have Ruston Webster in as well, so we have three really good GMs that are able to be very instrumental in what I refer to around here as creating sort of a sports symposium and football symposium.
“It helps our staff get better.”