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ZenBuc

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: December 12, 2007, 02:32:41 PM

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8050ad5f&template=with-video&confirm=true

The Atlanta Falcons selected defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas as the team's interim head coach on Wednesday, according to NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

Thomas replaces Bobby Petrino, who resigned to become coach at Arkansas.
Emmitt Thomas
Atlanta Falcons
Defensive Backs coach
NFL Season: 27th
With Falcons: 6th

A 64-year-old assistant with the Falcons since 2002, Thomas has no previous experience as a head coach, but has 28 years in coaching. Thomas, who has worked under head coaches Dan Reeves, Jim Mora and Petrino in Atlanta, has been coaching at both the college and pro ranks since 1979.

Thomas is the first black head coach in the team's history.

Thomas will serve out the final three games of the regular season following the sudden resignation of Petrino on Tuesday to return to college coaching.

The Falcons have scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. ET to address the situation. Team owner Arthur Blank and general manager Rich McKay are expected to speak at the news conference.

Thomas will direct the team's practice Wednesday afternoon.

It was not known if all other assistants under Petrino, including his brother, wide receivers coach Paul Petrino, would remain for the final three games.

Thomas was selected to the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1986 after a 13-year career that included a team-record 58 interceptions.

In August, the seniors committee added Thomas to the list of semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2008. The inductees will be decided the day before the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2008.

Thomas began his coaching career in 1979 as defensive coordinator at Central Missouri State. His first job as an NFL assistant came in 1981 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was an assistant with the Washington Redskins from 1986-94, where he coached wide receivers and then defensive backs for teams that won two Super Bowls.

Thomas also won a Super Bowl ring as a player with Kansas City.

He played quarterback at Bishop College before joining the Chiefs as an undrafted player. He led the league in interceptions twice.

Thomas' son, Derek Thomas, is in his fifth year as the basketball coach at Western Illinois.

sammy8887

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#1 : December 12, 2007, 02:40:40 PM

It was not known if all other assistants under Petrino, including his brother, wide receivers coach Paul Petrino, would remain for the final three games.

Ummm...Awkward!!!



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#2 : December 12, 2007, 02:48:09 PM

His brother has left also.

blitz

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#3 : December 12, 2007, 03:15:13 PM

Falcons are making a run at the second draft pick.   This insures they get their man.

Tampa Bay Todd

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#4 : December 12, 2007, 03:34:46 PM

Wonder what kind of game plan this guy can come up with in a couple of days? I'm thinking they're going to have to wing it a bit. At least it's a division opponent so they're familiar with the schemes. This guy likely will give the play-calling totally to the OC, so it might be a time for that guy to finally order up the plays he wants instead of Petrino. Might be hard for the Bucs to prepare for a wildcard like that.


Buc31

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#5 : December 12, 2007, 04:26:15 PM

Game plan might look like this: Score more points than Tampa Bay!
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