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Falcons announce five promotions within scouting department

May 23, 2019 - Scenes from OTA’s at Atlanta Falcons Training Camp in Flowery Branch, GA.
May 23, 2019 - Scenes from OTA’s at Atlanta Falcons Training Camp in Flowery Branch, GA.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons announced changes in their football operations department on Thursday with five in-house promotions.

The moves include Steve Sabo moving from director of college scouting to director of player personnel and Anthony Robinson, formerly the Eastern regional scout, being named director of college scouting.

In the scouting department, Michael Ross replaces Robinson as the Eastern regional scout after serving as the Southwest area scout. Richard Sanders has been promoted from scouting assistant to Southwest scout and Peniel Jean has been promoted from scouting assistant to pro personnel scout.

The five changes follow Shepley Heard being named director of pro personnel and Joel Collier taking on the role of national scout earlier in May.

"We are continuously evaluating the structure of our scouting department and it is rewarding when deserving individuals stand out and earn promotions," said Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

"Steve, Anthony and Shepley all have excellent experience on the NFL side with extended tenure within our organization. All three are highly adept evaluators of talent on both the pro and college levels with in-depth knowledge of the game. These are big opportunities and I am looking forward to working closer with all of them in leadership roles. In addition, I'm also thrilled for Michael, Richard and Peniel to take the next steps in their respective careers and look forward to their continued growth."

With more than 20 years of experience in the NFL, Sabo recently completed his eighth season with the Falcons, the last six as director of college scouting after two seasons in the scouting department. Sabo came to Atlanta following 12 seasons with the Cleveland Browns in a variety of roles, including pro personnel coordinator (1998-2006), director of pro personnel (2007-08) and senior director of pro personnel (2009). Prior to his tenure with the Browns, he served as a pro scout with the New Orleans Saints from 1996-98.

Robinson completed his 11th season with Atlanta and has continued to elevate through the organization's ranks, rising from scouting assistant to Southeast scout and Eastern scout before his latest promotion. Prior to Atlanta, Robinson worked with BLESTO Scouting as a scouting assistant intern from 2007-08, an undergraduate assistant coach at Florida State University from 2005-07 and in the Baltimore Ravens player personnel department as an intern in 2006.

Ross recently hit the decade mark with the Falcons and has been responsible for scouting colleges in the Southwest for the last two seasons after spending the 2015 season in the Midwest. In 2014, Ross split his time between college and pro scouting, covering the Northeast as well as all professional leagues. Ross previously spent two seasons as an area scout after working as a scouting assistant. He spent his first two seasons with the club as a seasonal personnel assistant.

Sanders will take over the Southwest scouting duties after spending his first two seasons with the Falcons as a scouting assistant following a stint as the player development coordinator and assistant director of recruiting for the Eastern Kentucky University.

Jean moves into the pro personnel scout role after two seasons as a scouting assistant. Before joining the Falcons, Jean worked in player development for Rutgers.