The Atlanta Falcons had Super Bowl aspirations when they named Bobby Petrino as their new head coach in January 2007. There were plenty of reasons to believe in the hiring, and to avoid the signs pointing to the downfall that would occur just 11 months later.
Petrino had proven himself on the college scene, especially when it came to developing talent at quarterback. Despite coming off of a 1,000-yard rushing season, Michael Vick was in need of some guidance. He hadn’t taken the next step when it came to passing the ball under the tutelage of Jim Mora Jr. After the latter made some comments suggesting he was looking for greener pastures, Atlanta moved on.
Now, if they worried Mora was flighty, the Falcons must have just completely missed the fact Petrino signed a 10-year deal with Louisville just 6-months before agreeing to a 5-year deal with the Falcons.
This isn’t to say everything went right for Petrino. That offseason saw Vick become a headline for all the wrong reasons, and part of why Bobby was brought in in the first place quickly went out the window. Instead of playing the hand that he was dealt, Petrino instead sprinted away from the table after shoving all of someone else’s chips into the pot.
Here’s to you, Bobby Petrino. The worst NFL head coaching hire.