In 2003, Sanders hoped that Falcons Owner Arthur Blank would consider hiring him to coach the team. With the Falcons sitting at 1-6 heading into the season’s midway point, Sanders figured then-coach Dan Reeves wasn’t going to be around much longer, so he made an offer for the job.
“I guess my message to Mr. Blank would be two words: ‘Call me,'” Sanders. he told ESPN at the time. “I think it would work. Look, every man wants a challenge, right? Well, I’ve thought about this a lot. This isn’t just a spur-of-the-moment thing. It’s not something crazy I can do. It just occurred to me. It’s not a joke. It’s the challenge I want.”
At the time, Sanders had been retired from the NFL for almost three full seasons and was working for CBS. If he were hired by Atlanta, the former NFL star thought he could come in and make the Falcons better right away.
“I can make them a better team, and I know that, because I know the things that really need to be done there,” Sanders said. “I spend a lot of time preparing for my Sunday job each week. [as a studio analyst on The NFL Today for CBS], watching tapes and talking with players and coaches, who still live football. It’s still a big part of me. I talk to the head and assistant coaches, guys I’m close with, every week. “I know what the job entails, believe me, and I know I can do it.”
Although the Falcons ended up firing Reeves in 2003, they did not replace him with Sanders. Instead, they decided to hire Jim Mora, who ended up lasting only three seasons on the team.
As for Sanders, the most notable part of his speech to the Falcons may sound familiar because he seems to feel the same way today as he did in 2003.
“The key is that guys have to want to play for you,” Sanders said in 2003. “You have to have some element in your makeup where the players do everything they can for you. And, hey, I know I have that.” . … As a player, I was always a motivator, on and off the field… I know the guys will identify with me. I speak the language. I just know what motivates guys. (As for) personnel, hey, let’s say, “I see a guy even on tape and I’ll tell you if he’s a player or not. I have a good eye for that.”
Those words couldn’t be more prophetic. After being passed over by the Falcons, Sanders would be nearly 18 years before they hired him as head coach.
The member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame It started 3-0 after a wild win over Colorado State on Saturday night.And the rest is history. After great success at Jackson State, Deion where are the buffaloes
As for the Falcons, if you include the interim coaches, they’ve gone through seven coaches in the last 20 years since they passed on Deion after the 2003 season. Apparently, Deion wanted the job because he thought his personality fit the city. and appreciated the fact that the team selected him with the fifth overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Deion may not be coaching in the NFL right now, but if his stock continues to rise, there’s a good chance we’ll see some NFL teams come after him soon.