Veteran personnel exec Devaney promoted in Atlanta

ATLANTA - Veteran league personnel executive Billy Devaney, who has quietly worked behind the scenes to upgrade the Atlanta Falcons' roster in the past year, has been promoted to assistant general manager.

Devaney, who joined the Atlanta staff in March of 2006 as the right-hand man to general manager Rich McKay, previously held the title of senior personnel executive.

The new title more aptly describes his responsibilities with the club, although Devaney's day-to-day duties are not expected to be affected. He will continue to coordinate Atlanta's pro and college scouting staffs, to serve as a liaison between the front office and coaching staff, and to have a major voice in personnel decisions.

The Falcons have been without an assistant general manager since Tim Ruskell, the longtime top aide to McKay, left to become president of the Seattle Seahawks in 2004.

Much of Devaney's two decades in the NFL was spent with the San Diego Chargers, where he was director of player personnel under general manager Bobby Beathard from 1990 to 2000. He moved to the Chargers after seven seasons on the Washington Redskins' scouting staff.

After leaving the Chargers, he served three seasons as a pro personnel assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. Devaney then worked two years as a studio consultant to the CBS pregame show.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.