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New Coach Preview - Bobby Petrino

Bobby Petrino - Atlanta Falcons

Résumé Highlights:  
1994 - QB Coach/Off Coord, Nevada
1995 - Off Coord, Utah State
1998 - Off Coord, Louisville
1999 - QB Coach/Off Coord, Jacksonville Jaguars
2002 - Off Coord, Auburn
2003 - Head Coach, Louisville
2007 - Head Coach, Atlanta Falcons

Impact:  The first thing to know about Petrino is that he moves around a LOT.  If the Falcons go 5-11 their first two seasons, I think he'll leave town the first moment a major college team whistles his way.  Putting that aside, Petrino has spent his entire career focused on offense -- and especially on quarterbacks -- which bodes very well for the fantasy mystery that is Michael Vick.  Ever since Vick arrived in NFL people have been trying to turn him into "something":  a better passer, a smarter passer, a drop-back passer, etc, etc.   Petrino seems to be a coach that will let Vick be himself for a change.  That's very promising for fantasy players.  Or, at least it would be if Vick can stay away from crazy relatives with angry dogs.

Provided Vick plays, you can also bump the rest of the Falcons up a notch or two in your fantasy estimates.  Petrino is an offensive-minded coach through and through.  While he prefers to throw the ball when he has the personnel (Brian Brohm - 2007 Louisville) he's also shown he's not afraid to shelve the pass and stick to the run when that's what he has to work with (Jason Campbell / Ronnie Brown - 2002 Auburn).   With one of the best running games in the league already in place, he doesn't need to "remake" Vick in order to win.  Having veteran Joe Horn on board to stabilize the receiving corps will help as well.

Fantasy Summary:  Expect Petrino to have a positive effect on Vick, with the potential (I said potential!) for a huge Vick breakout.  Again, factor in the possibility that Vick will get suspended sometime before or during the season.  The WR corps still has a lot to be desired, but additional focus on the pass will only help the receivers.  Warrick Dunn is probably at his peak already so Petrino won't have much effect there, but look for Jerrious Norwood to have an increased role in the new offense.