Arkansas Raids NFL To Get Bobby Petrino

Well this is a bit of a reversal of roles.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino decided after 13 games there is no way short of hell freezing over he could ever clean-up the colossal mess left by the loss of Michael Vick to the Federal prison system.  Instead of going through the motions over the next two plus years and getting fired anyway well short of Atlanta actually winning a significant number of games and go to Arkansas where he can match wits in arguably the best college football conference in the country.

Now I have heard and read a variety of comments castigating Petrino for “quitting” on the Falcons before the season even ended.  And while there might be some truth to that, I also think this guy is a human being and prone to look after his own interests ahead of anyone else.  I also think he got royally screwed by Michael Vick being the dumbest person on the face of the planet.  Petrino took the job believing he would have Vick and a chance to run an offense with a running QB.  Granted what happened to Vick is really no different than a career ending injury but the day he was served with a Federal indictment the ouster of Bobby Petrino was inevitable.  And while people will criticize Petrino for leaving Atlanta, I am not sure you can blame him too much.  His choices were stay in Atlanta where he was not liked by the players and wait to be fired which would have happened or take a job in the SEC and get back to the level of coaching he was obviously very successful.  I just think before people throw Petrino under the bus, they should consider what they would do in the same situation.

And as I sit here and watch the press conference where they are actually doing the school cheer I can say (1) these people in Arkansas are insane.  No offense intended to Butch Davis because he is from there but sweet Carolina their fans are nuts and (2) While a tad bit crazy these fans are excited to have Petrino on board and while the national media alongside the Atlanta talking heads will rip him to shred, the opinions that matter to him most now are the ones held by the supporters of the University of Arkansas. For all the embarrassment Arkansas experienced up to this point their AD Jeff Long got it all back with one swing of the bat.

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12 Responses to Arkansas Raids NFL To Get Bobby Petrino

  1. mario3 says:

    petrino, another college loser in the nfl, they do not belong

  2. SuperJew says:

    mario3, Petrino was anything but a loser while he was at Louisville. He lost like, nine games during his tenure there and got them to the Orange Bowl. Is he a slimeball? You bet, but he certainly was not a loser in college.

    THF, I don’t think that the hate is directed at Petrino because he left the NFL after not even a full season, but for two other reasons. One, he had a fully supportive owner whom on MNF proclaimed that Petrino was ‘his guy’ and the CEO of the Falcons and Bobby just took that sign of goodwill and told Blank that he could shove it. Secondly, it isn’t the first instance that Petrino was coveting another job. Forde’s new column on ESPN shows how quickly he moves from job to job. I think the Louisville job was the longest position he had, and that was only for four years.

    The combination of his track record and spitting in the face of Arthur Blank (who’s one of the better owners in the NFL) is the reason for all this rabble-rousing. Even if the Falcons are a walking disaster of a football team.

  3. Chuckheel says:

    THF,
    Are you still sticking to your original position that Arkansas has hired the equivalent of Matt Doherty or are you modifying it now, in light of this hire?
    In other words, can Carolina fans breathe a sigh of relief with this hire or will we be dealing with this again in a couple of years?

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    This is NOT Matt Doherty. This is like snagging Rick Pitino from the Celtics. That line of thought came from looking at what was left and thinking that it was going to be some defensive coordinator from another school. This is a heck of a coup Jeff Long pulled off and I have to believe barring Petrino being a miserable failure or catching a bad case of wanderlust that Arkansas is off the table for a very long time. The question is whether Butch Davis would be interested in other big time programs should they open up or was Arkansas the only one that held interest for him because of family ties? Time will tell but I feel pretty good that he is in it for the forseeable future at UNC.

  5. THF,

    What Petrino did, looked like what Nick Saban did to the Dolphins.

  6. Tar Heel Fan says:

    All I am saying is he was in an untenable situation from which he would likely had been fired at some point in the future. Nick Saban left a team that at the time looked like it was in decent shape or maybe he was smart to leave considering they are probably going to be 0-16, I just think we hold these guys up like they are priests when they are coaches who always have their own interest at heart. In other words, they are what they are and the rare bird is the Jim Grobe who chooses to stay put.

  7. Dan Schwind says:

    Petrino and Saban are both a-holes. They both left their teams in total lurches and their only loyalties are clearly to their bank accounts and their egos. I also have to say that this actually makes me more paranoid about Butch leaving in the next few years, because I think Petrino is going to jump at the next chance to interview any big-time program that shows any interest in him.

  8. Lake says:

    Schwind,

    Petrino is going to be making less money (still alot, but around the neighborhood of a $2 million loss) at Arkansas than he was at Atlanta. So, Bobby is by no means padding his bank account by taking the Razorbacks job.

  9. It’s easy to blame Petrino what what he did, but at the same time, we have to differentiate the two upsetting things about this situation.
    1- Leaving with no explanation, just a letter for the players to read.
    2- The timing of it, quitting with 3 games left and signing for Arkansas.

    The first point, is simply inexcusable whatsoever, the second is debatable. No one in his right mind would bail out so quickly, especially at the NFL level, may be Arkansas, made pressure on him, to have him signed before the bowl game, in order to please the fans, alumni, boosters and most importantly the future recruits. No one would know unless Petrino opens his mouth and talk in public.

  10. Dan Schwind says:

    Lake,

    Just because he’s making less money doesn’t mean he’s not money hungry. I guarantee you his paycheck numbers will be going up this time next year when someone at a big name school (Charlie Weis anyone?) and Arkansas has to give him more money to keep him. And it will keep happening like that for years until one of two things happens: a) Other schools get sick of him using them to get more money/prestige or b) Arkansas fires him after he does a good job but doesn’t get them the National title they feel they deserve.

  11. Andy in Omaha says:

    Petrino’s actions shouldn’t be defended, but I find it odd that Falcons players hated his guts and wanted him out og there are now on TV ripping him apart for not staying through the season.
    Obviously Petrino felt that the NFL wasn’t for him, but the decent thing to do would have been to inform Arthur Blank of his decision to go for the Arkansas job and finish out the last three weeks of the season. Blank then could have made the decision there to let Petrino finish out for the year or to let him go and promote Emmett Thomas at that point.
    I find it odd that Arkansas’ last two hires for their sports programs have been somewhat controversial. Creighton coach Dana Altman took the Arkansas job then abandoned it 24 hours later. Now, you have this mess with Petrino. What the heck is going on down there?
    Personally, I think they called Butch Davis to take the job but Butch was smart enough to stay in Chapel Hill because he knows things are chaotic in Arkansas.

  12. BigDaddyDoc says:

    Sorry to be late to the party, but just a couple of thoughts…

    1. I thought the NFL was a business. Players and coaches come and go all the time. I think it’s funny how the media and the Falcons players act as if Petrino somehow owed the Falcons something. Where is this incredulity when owners fire coaches halfway through the season? Do owners owe coaches then like apparently Petrino owed Blank?

    2. Petrino’s death warrant was signed the day Vick went to court. Without Vick, it wasn’t the job Petrino signed up for. Yes, it is similar to losing a player to a season-ending injury, but Vick’s prison sentence is likely to last longer than Petrino’s career with Atlanta without a QB.

    3. There has to be more to what was going on in the locker room for Petrino to leave like that. It has been widely reported that he was disliked by the players, so why is he bound to make some appearance before them to announce he was leaving? And it is comical that the same players who apparently despised him later crucify him for the way he left. Just seems like a little piling on, or at least reinforcing what they already thought of him. Also, it must have been toxic enough that Petrino wanted out immediately instead of waiting another month.

    4. Despite some similarities, this is not a Saban situation. Despite Blank’s assurances that Petrino was his coach (and you really couldn’t hold Petrino responsible for the Falcons being caught in Vick’s train wreck), Petrino never professed loyalty to the Falcons. It’s just that “Saban” has become synonomous with “sleazy” – but the situations do not really compare.

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