- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Atlanta Falcons didn’t take long to find a new director of player personnel after Dave Caldwell left to become the general manager in Jacksonville this week.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff said Friday that Lionel Vital, who spent the past four seasons as the team’s assistant director of player personnel, will move into Caldwell’s old role.
“Lionel has assisted in constructing our roster and has been instrumental in our draft process and free-agent acquisitions,’’ Dimitroff said. “He has over 20 years of scouting experience and has had the opportunity to work under team-builders like Ozzie Newsome and Bill Belichick during his career. Lionel is a vital member of our scouting team and we are happy that he will continue to be a member of our organization.”
Vitale worked in New England’s personnel department with Dimitroff prior to joining the Falcons. Vitale also previously worked as a scout for the Jets, Ravens and Browns.
Interestingly, Vitale’s promotion sets up the possibility of the Falcons keeping one streak going. Former director of player personnel Les Snead was hired away to become general manager of the St. Louis Rams last year. Caldwell replaced him and quickly got hired away by Jacksonville.
We’ll see next year if Vitale ends up being another branch of the Dimitroff tree.