Winston, Crews and Lauzon fired by Falcons

Defensive back Jimmy Williams showed up and was greeted by Kevin Winston, senior director player development. Williams skipped the last mini-camp.

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Defensive back Jimmy Williams showed up and was greeted by Kevin Winston, senior director player development. Williams skipped the last mini-camp.

New Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot continued to reshape the hierarchy of the team with the termination of three former key employees.

Kevin Winston, the team’s longtime vice president of player affairs, trainer Marty Lauzon and videographer Mike Crews were terminated, the Falcons confirmed on Sunday.

The firings were first reported by The Athletic.

Winston spent 15 seasons with the Falcons and will be a major loss. He was a two-time NFL player development award winner.

“Yes, this AMAZING Blessing with the Falcons has come to the end,” Winston wrote in a text to the AJC. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity, friendship, and the ability to raise my family in ATL! My only regret ...we didn’t bring home the Lombardi to a city that is so deserving.”

He was well-liked by the players and helped several players finish their degrees and helped them arrange their post-career plans.

Winston also led the Falcons University Rookie Success Program, which was designed to help players transition into the NFL and tried to teach them what it means to be a successful player, both on and off the field.

The NFL honored Winston with the Most Outstanding Player Development Department in 2003-04 in New York and in 2008, Winston and the Falcons were the winners of the Outstanding Career Development Program.

Prior to working with the Falcons he spent five seasons with the New York Jets and three seasons with Tampa Bay.

Crews, a graduate of Georgia Tech, oversaw the shift on technology over the past 23 years from film from camcorders to now when everyone has a tablet with all the video from around the league.

His original title was video director, but evolved to overseeing Video, Analytics and Application Development departments.

Lauzon was hired by former general manager Thomas Dimitroff. He previously worked for the Cleveland Browns, the Montreal Machine of the WLAF and Ottawa of the CFL.

Previously, former director of football operations Nick Polk was not retained after 18 years with the team.

Falcons’ 2021 draft position: Here are the pick’s in D. Led’s Mock Draft 2.0: Top five picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)

2. New York Jets: Justin Fields, (QB, Ohio State)

3. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)

4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, (OT, Oregon)

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