When he was named general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, Thomas Dimitroff made some changes to the scouting department.
One of them was bringing in David Caldwell to serve as the college scouting director. That meant Phil Emery, who had been in that position, would need to be fired or re-assigned. Dimitroff demoted Emery to a regional scout for the 2008 season, and he was impressed at how the veteran scout handled it.
"He didn't rock the boat," Dimitroff told me Wednesday.
How impressed was Dimitroff?
When close friend Scott Pioli -- whom he'd worked with several years in New England -- took over the Kansas City Chiefs, Dimitroff recommended Emery.
As you saw the other day, Pioli has become a huge fan of Emery's in their three years together in Kansas City.
Full disclosure: I've tried hard to get anecdotes and insights on Jason Licht, of the Patriots. But, there are, frankly, not that many people allowed to speak on the record about him. I've passed along insight from many others, who respect him as a scout and as a potential GM.
But two of the most qualified to speak on Licht were not in Mobile: Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert and Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Heckert worked closely with Licht in Philadelphia, and Belichick is the point person for the Patriots, the only one in a position to comment on him.