As the Broncos interview candidates for their open general manager position, we're connecting with reporters across the country who have covered the candidates in their current job. Our aim is to provide a closer look at the prospective candidates and the skill set each may bring to Denver.
We continue by talking to Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Advocate and Times-Picayuneabout Terry Fontenot, the Saints' VP/assistant general manager - pro personnel.
Aric DiLalla: I saw Saints GM Mickey Loomis spoke highly about Fontenot last week. What is Fontenot's reputation within the organization?
Luke Johnson: "Terry is one of the most well-respected and well-liked people within the Saints organization. Here is a guy who started back in the early 2000s in the marketing department and ended up being one of the power brokers in the front office. Fontenot rose through the ranks by understanding what the organization wanted in its players and by being able to identify those traits and how they fit within the team dynamic. And, to put a cherry on top, he is an unceasingly friendly and engaging person."
AD: What sort of qualities does he have that would make him a strong GM candidate?
LJ: "The guy gets people, which is an important trait to have if you're tasked with figuring out how they fit on a team. But he also has a strong track record of identifying the skill sets in players that fit the schemes of the coaching staff in place."
AD: How would you describe the Saints' overall draft/player-acquisition strategy that Fontenot could bring with him to Denver?
LJ: "Fontenot's role with the Saints mostly lay on the pro personnel side — meaning he contributed to free agent signings, waiver pickups and trade scouting. Generally, New Orleans has a physical template it wants players to fit into, but the organization also looks for players with a specific off-field make up. As Fontenot has taken on a larger role in recent seasons, the Saints have nailed a high degree of their veteran acquisitions — such as All-Pro linebacker Demario Davis, veteran corner Janoris Jenkins and running back Latavius Murray."
AD: Fontenot's Saints bio suggests one of his responsibilities is watching the waiver wire. How big of a role did he play in bringing in Taysom Hill?
LJ: "At best, a small one. The Saints wanted to take a look at Packers practice squad receiver Max McCaffrey, and Taysom Hill kept popping on the film. It was mostly Sean Payton's idea to claim both players off waivers."
AD: Denver isn't his only reported interview around the league. How have you seen his candidacy grow — and does it seem like he has momentum to receive an offer from an organization?
LJ: "Last year, Fontenot had some interest from the Washington Football Team, and to be honest I was surprised they were the only team that showed interest. It's felt like a matter of time before he'd get a GM opportunity somewhere. And after the Saints' continued run of success this season, it makes sense to see why so many teams want to get a look at Fontenot. He's had a hand in building one of the most successful franchises in the NFL these last four seasons, and his chance to run a shop of his own is long overdue."