Falcons owner Blank sticking with GM Dimitroff

ATLANTA (AP) Thomas Dimitroff is safe for another year as the Atlanta Falcons general manager after owner Arthur Blank said Friday he likes the new management team of coach Dan Quinn and the GM.

Blank said there will be changes in the Falcons' pro personnel and college scouting departments following an 8-8 season. However, he said Dimitroff formed ''a productive working relationship'' with Quinn in Quinn's first year as coach.

Blank also said Scott Pioli will stay as assistant general manager.

In a statement released by the team, Blank said the decision followed ''an exhaustive review of every area of our team'' over the last week.

''There is very good alignment between Dan and Thomas on the direction we need to go to improve our team and I believe maintaining the continuity of that relationship, with Scott Pioli continuing to assist Thomas, is the right way forward,'' Blank said.

Dimitroff was retained one year ago when coach Mike Smith was fired. Quinn was given the final say in all football operations matters, including the NFL draft.

The Falcons improved from 6-10 in Smith's final season. Even so, missing the playoffs was a disappointment following a 5-0 start.

Blank said ''no one is satisfied with an 8-8 record.'' Even so, he said he is ''very pleased with the direction of our team under the leadership of Dan Quinn and confident in his long-term approach.''

''No question, we took some positive steps forward this year and have a good foundation our existing coaching staff can build upon,'' Blank said.

Quinn, the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator, has not announced any changes to his staff. A drop in production by the offense and quarterback Matt Ryan after the 5-0 start led many to wonder if offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan would be retained.

Blank said changes to the pro personnel and college scouting departments began this week. No specific changes were announced.

''It will take some time, but we will be adding talent on the pro personnel side and re-organizing both of these groups to best align with the shared vision of coach Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff,'' Blank said.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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