Posted: 6:15 pm Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
INDIANAPOLIS – Billy Devaney, 58, formerly the general manager of the St. Louis Rams, was named a personnel scout by the Falcons on Wednesday.
Russ Bolinger, a former NFL lineman, was also named a personnel scout as the Falcons are trying ot beef up their scouting department.
“Billy and Russ are experienced talent evaluators and I am pleased to add them to our personnel department,” said Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released by the team. “I have had a great working relationship with Billy over the years and have always respected his approach to scouting. Russ and I worked closely together in Detroit (1996-97) and developed a great professional and personal relationship. I am confident that by adding Billy and Russ we have made our personnel department better.”
Devaney was a senior personnel executive with the Falcons in 2006 and was named assistant general manager in 2007.
In 2008, he left to join the St. Louis Rams to help run their draft and was later promoted to general manager.
His tenure with the Rams was tumultuous.
He inherited an aging roster, hired a first-time coach, went through an ownership change and lost his offensive coordinator, who was developing a young quarterback, after one season.
The new ownership dismissed Devaney after four seasons.
Devaney was a scout for Washington from 1979 to 1990.
He was the Chargers’ director of player personnel for 10 years and helped to construct their XXIX Super Bowl team, but also was part of the braintrust that selected quarterback Ryan Leaf.
He worked with San Francisco from 2001-03. He spent a couple of seasons working on CBS before joining the Falcons the first time around.
Bolinger joins the Falcons after working under Devaney with the St. Louis Rams.
Prior to his time in St. Louis he spent five seasons as a national scout for Washington from 2005-09 after nine seasons with the Detroit Lions.
He began his NFL scouting career as a college area scout for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1994.
Bolinger, a 10-year NFL veteran, was selected by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 1976 NFL draft. He played seven seasons on the offensive line in Detroit before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Under Dimitroff, the Falcons record of drafting offensive linemen has been spotty and Bolinger should in that evaluation area.
Here’s a list of the linemen drafted since 2008:
2008 — LT Sam Baker (first round).
2009 — RG Garrett Reynolds (fifth round). Was cut on Tuesday.
2010 — RT Mike Johnson (fourth round). Hasn’t cracked the starting lineup yet and has been injury prone.
C — Joe Hawley (fourth round). He’s been productive when in the lineup.
2011 – RT — Andrew Jackson (seventh round). He was cut. Never played a down in the league.
2012 — C Peter Konz (second round). Has a shaky two years.
RT/LT Lamar Holmes (third round). Missed most of rookie season. Last season was a bumpy ride.