The success of the Pittsburgh Steelers under Bill Cowher has been predicated by Tom Donahoe. The Rooneys built a reputation as being cheapskates in Pittsburgh, and Donahoe only allowed that flourish. Why? Because whenever the Steelers had a big-time free agent to re-sign, they passed on him. Why? Because Donahoe did such a good job of drafting that they always had a solid young player waiting in the wings
When the Steelers let go guys like Chad Brown, Hardy Nickerson, Greg Lloyd, and Kevin Greene go, there was an outcry of what the heck they were doing. But guys like Jason Gildon, Joey Porter, Earl HOlmes, and Levon Kirkland were able to step up and fill their roles just as ably.
It's only been since Donahoe left Pittsburgh, that the team has lost players that they actually missed.
Donahoe is a good evaluator of talent, or the PIttsburgh Steelers wouldn't be even close to the team that they are today.
What happened to Donahoe in Buffalo is nothing short of a complete wash. He was bad there, no doubts there. But he was excellent in Pittsburgh. So which is the real Tom Donahoe?
He was running the show in Buffalo and he failed. He was sharing authority in Pittsburgh, and he had great success. If he is hired by the Falcons, I'd love to see what he can add to McKay & Mora, because I think as part of a triumvirate, he'd be an excellent addition. But if he's tapped as McKay's successor, he has a lot to learn in the meantime about being the #1 guy in an organization.
When Blank first took over this team in 2002, Donahoe was one of the primary candidates I wanted him to hire. At that time he was entering his 2nd year in Buffalo, so it seemed doubtful, but becuase of his excellent legacy in Pittsburgh, I thought the Falcons should have hired his #2 in command there and in Buffalo (and the guy that managed the Eagles before he and Reid had a split): Tom Modrak. In hindsight, it seems like it was a smart move on our part to pass on both.
You put Donahoe with a good coach, I think you can have an excellent GM, just like in Pittsburgh. You put him in a sitch where he has to rely mostly on himself, it's probably not going to work out just like it did in Buffalo.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.