In a move with Patriots ties, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff announced the hiring of Scott Pioli as assistant general manager on Wednesday.
Dimitroff, of course, was the former Patriots director of college scouting working under Pioli, who was then vice president of player personnel.
"Scott is one of the most respected and adept talent evaluators in the NFL and a member of three Super Bowl championship teams,” Dimitroff said in a statement. “We have worked together well in the past and been friends for more than 20 years. We have had the opportunity to experience a lot of success together, and I am very pleased that he has agreed to join our personnel team so we can work together again. We have made the commitment to improve every aspect of our organization this offseason, and with the addition of Scott to our personnel department, we have taken an important step to enhance our scouting staff."
Dimitroff's solid work in Atlanta is well documented and it started in his first year, 2008, with the selection of Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan with the No. 3 overall pick. It's easy to forget now, but that wasn't considered a slam-dunk pick at the time.
The Falcons are coming off the worst season in Dimitroff's six-year tenure and one of the objectives for the team in 2014 is to get tougher at the line of scrimmage.
Pioli, who was part of a Patriots staff that drafted and developed top linemen Richard Seymour (2001), Matt Light (2001), Ty Warren (2003), Vince Wilfork (2004) and Logan Mankins (2005), should help them in hoping to achieve that goal.