NFC South: Nick Polk

Buccaneers filling staff quickly

January, 4, 2014
Jan 4
TAMPA, Fla. – Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is off to a fast start in filling his coaching staff.

It was known from the beginning of Smith’s candidacy that he planned to bring Jeff Tedford aboard as the offensive coordinator. The Bucs officially announced that move Saturday morning.

“We are very fortunate to have Jeff as our offensive coordinator,” Smith said. “I have a great deal of respect for the job Jeff did at Cal for more than a decade and I believe he will be a great fit for what we are attempting to do in Tampa. Jeff has a successful and proven track record as a teacher and developer of young talent and I know our players, and the organization as a whole, will benefit from his experience.”

The Bucs also are bringing in former Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier as the defensive coordinator. Smith is off to a much better start at filling his coaching staff than predecessor Greg Schiano.

In fairness to Schiano, he was hired late. Many of the coaches he wanted were already taken and there were times when Schiano had to go with his third or fourth choice.

Tedford clearly was Smith’s first choice. Frazier was no worse than the second choice. Smith wanted Rod Marinelli, but the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t let him out of his contract as defensive line coach.

The Buccaneers also are likely to get their top pick as general manager because there aren’t any other jobs open at the moment. Kansas City personnel executive Chris Ballard, who has history with Smith, reportedly is the favorite.

But the Bucs also could consider former Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo, who has ties to Smith and the Bucs, former Carolina general manager Marty Hurney and former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

One other name the Bucs could look at is Atlanta Falcons director of football operations Nick Polk. He’s viewed as a rising star around the league.
As they report to training camp, the Atlanta Falcons have all their draft picks signed.

First-round pick Desmond Trufant, who is expected to immediately compete for a starting cornerback job, came to an agreement with the team Wednesday. Quarterback Sean Renfree, a seventh-round pick, signed earlier in the day.

This continues an impressive streak by general manager Thomas Dimitroff and director of football operations Nick Polk for avoiding holdouts.

Since Dimitroff’s arrival in 2008, the team hasn’t had a true rookie holdout. There was one close call.

In 2008, offensive tackle Sam Baker signed his contract and headed to the practice field for the first session of camp. But Baker was pulled out of practice because his contract hadn’t yet been approved by the NFL. He was back on the field for the second session.

Falcons promote Nick Polk

February, 28, 2013
The Atlanta Falcons have had to steadily reshuffle their front office over the past two years as Les Snead and Dave Caldwell moved onto jobs elsewhere as general managers.

The shuffling continued Thursday with another promotion from inside. Nick Polk was named director of football operations after spending the past five years as the team’s director of football administration.

Polk might not be a name known to the average fan, but he’s been an important part of the front office and his role just got bigger. Polk has worked closely with general manager Thomas Dimitroff on contract proposals, negotiations and management with the salary cap.

“Nick does a very good job of managing our salary cap,” Dimitroff said. “His communication regarding our cap situation has paid dividends over the last five years and we are fortunate to have him as a member of our organization.”

Polk’s also got big-picture experience. He basically ran a whole league at one point. Polk worked as the senior director of football operations for NFL Europe for three years. He also has some history as a coach in the college ranks.

This was a logical move for the Falcons because Polk has paid his dues and been a key part of the front office. But this promotion also puts him one step closer to ending up as a general manager somewhere else in the future.