Falcons have to weigh risks, rewards in a 'rookie' head coach

Mike Singletary (center) might be on the Falcons' "short list" of Bobby Petrino replacements. The Hall of Fame linebacker helps run the 49ers' defense but does not have NFL head coaching experience. Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

ATLANTA -- Atlanta officials insist that they have yet to begin even drawing up their wish list of potential head coach candidates, let alone whittle the possibilities down to the so-called "short list."

Still, several media outlets, including the network and Web site owned and operated by the league, already have tabbed San Francisco 49ers assistant head coach/linebackers Mike Singletary as the early leader to fill the vacancy created by Bobby Petrino's abrupt departure.