The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have hired Phil Emery and Ruston Webster as national scouts.
"Phil and Ruston bring over 40 years of combined NFL scouting expertise to our organization and I am pleased to have them join our staff," said General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. "They will both be focused predominantly on college scouting, an area that both men have excelled in during their careers. I am confident that they will bring an added leadership presence to our scouting department."
Emery brings 17 years of NFL experience as a scout and general manager to the Falcons. This will be his second stint with in Atlanta, as he served as the director of scouting for the team from 2004-2008. During that time, two of the Falcons three first-round draft picks developed into Pro Bowlers: WR Roddy White (2005) and QB Matt Ryan (2008). He also worked as an Eastern regional scout for the Falcons leading up to the 2009 draft. The Falcons made two trips to the playoffs during that time including an appearance in the 2004 NFC Championship game.
Emery recently was the Bears general manager from 2012-14, and in his first season with the team he acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall via trade during the 2012 offseason. Marshall was named to the Pro Bowl in his first two years with the Bears, setting franchise single-season records for receptions and receiving yards in his first season with the team. Emery also produced a Pro Bowl player in each of his first two drafts as general manager of the Bears, selecting guard Kyle Long in the first round in 2013 draft and WR Alshon Jeffery in the second round in 2012. The additions of Long and tackle Jordon Mills through the draft in 2013 helped the Bears become the only team to start a pair of rookies on the offensive line for all 16 games.
Before joining the Bears, Emery was the director of college scouting for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, a year after the franchise went 2-14. Two years later in 2010, the Chiefs won their first division title since 2003 with a 10-6 record. In Emery's first draft with the team he helped produce safety Eric Berry, who was the team's first rookie Pro Bowl selection since 1989, and Pro Bowl returner Dexter McCluster. A year later, in 2011, he helped select Pro Bowl linebacker Justin Houston in the third round.
Emery got his start in the NFL as an area scout for the Bears in 1998 and spent six seasons with the team in that position. Before moving to the NFL, he was the director of strength and conditioning services and served as an Associate Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy (1991-98). Emery was named the National Strength and Conditioning Association Conference Professional of the Year in 1996.
Webster spent the last four seasons as the general manager of the Tennessee Titans and brings 28 years of NFL experience to the Falcons. As the general manager for the Titans, Webster had the opportunity to add a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He also signed three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo in the 2015 offseason, who went on to record 51 total tackles and seven sacks in his first season in Tennessee.
Prior to Webster's arrival in Tennessee in 2010, he gained 22 years of personnel experience split between the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his four years in Seattle, Webster was the vice president of player personnel and oversaw the day-to-day management of the pro personnel and college scouting departments. Webster spent the other 18 years with Tampa Bay in a variety of roles, including the director of player personnel (2005), director of college scouting (2001-04), director of pro personnel (1989-91), and regional college scout (1988). He was a part of the front office staff that helped build the Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Buccaneers in 2002.
Webster started his career as a college coach with stops as a graduate assistant at Southwestern Louisiana (1985), Alabama (1986), and Tulsa (1987).