Bill Belichick had total control in New England for 24 seasons.
Many surmised his desire to again be in charge of roster decisions in his next act led to the head coach missing out on a job, but Falcons owner Arthur Blank -- the only one to interview him -- dismissed that notion on Friday.
"I want to be clear really on behalf of Bill, just as a human being and as a storied coach in the history of our league," Blank said on Super Bowl Live. "Been a coach 49 years in the NFL. Bill, during all of our discussions with him, it was never about power, control, needing people to work for him, etcetera. He was interested in coaching. He definitely wanted a collaborative relationship with personnel, scouting. He had done his reference checking on our department, had committed to me that he'd be happy to work with our people. In fact, did it in writing through a text message he sent to me at one point.
"Bill was really focused and is focused on being a great head coach, which is clearly what he has been. We looked at all the candidates that we interviewed, all the time together, and we felt for a variety of reasons that the best choice for us at this point in our lives, the life of the franchise going forward, is Raheem Morris."
When Belichick and the Patriots mutually agreed to part ways, it put the NFL's second-winningest coach of all time on the market, causing many to wonder where the living legend would land next.
But as the hiring cycle unfolded, only one of the seven teams looking to fill a HC void gave him an interview.
The Falcons twice brought Bill in to speak about the position before ultimately hiring Raheem Morris, the Rams' defensive coordinator and Atlanta's interim head coach for 11 games in 2020. While Morris will runRead on nfl.com