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Up and down fortunes

For the Rams, hiring Billy Devaney was a welcome addition to a front office notable for poor personnel decisions in the past.

But what about those long suffering Falcons fans? Over at Steve Wyche's Falcons blog at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the author notes that Devaney's departure could hurt the Falcons in their efforts to rebuild via free agency or trade.

Possibly weakening the Falcons' input on personnel was the loss of assistant general manager Billy Devaney, who bolted over the weekend to become the executive VP of football personnel with the St. Louis Rams. Devaney is a longtime pro personnel man who could have helped Dimitroff, whose background is scouting college personnel. Devaney is a solid pro personnel guy but with Blank's insistence on change, Devaney was never considered to replace Rich McKay as GM.

Devaney was part of the team that moved backup QB Matt Schaub to Houston. Atlanta received Houston's second round picks in 2007 (which they used to draft OG Justin Blalock) and 2008, while also flipping the 8th and 10th picks in the first round last year. ATL took Arkansas DE Jamaal Anderson. The surprise conviction of Vick left the Falcons without a solid QB, but factoring that out of consideration, it was a good deal.

The Rams are getting a much needed personnel expert in Devaney. However, Dennis Dillion at the Sporting News thinks it might be too late for Devaney and the slate of new coaches to turn the team around next season. I disagree, and we'll be refuting notions like that throughout the offseason.