BIRDLAND — Bill Musgrave, the Falcons’ new assistant head coach, doesn’t expect his role to change much after receiving a new title this week.
He will remain in his role as the quarterbacks coach, continuing to work on the development of Matt Ryan, John Parker Wilson and D.J. Shockley. Chris Redman, last season’s backup, could become an unrestricted free agent on March 5.
“Well, I’m very appreciative of Mike Smith and his loyalty that he showers upon all of us on the staff,” Musgrave said. “We have a fantastic staff of men that I work with. I’m very thankful for being a part of the Atlanta Falcons, I know that.”
The Falcons promoted Musgrave after he was heavily pursued in January by the Houston Texans. They wanted to reunite Musgrave with quarterback Matt Schaub. They worked together at Virginia and with the Falcons.
There were also overtures from the Chicago Bears and the University of Virginia, too.
“That happened back in January so it’s hard for me to remember the exact specifics,” Musgrave said. “I’m really just thrilled to be a part of the Atlanta Falcons and have been ever since I got here years ago. We have a very unique group of leaders at the management level. Mr. (Arthur) Blank, Thomas (Dimitroff), Mike Smith, Rich McKay and our whole staff is just a terrific collection of men who are leaders. I’m fired up to continue to be a part of that group.”
Musgrave’s role is not set to change much.
“Not that I know of,” Musgrave said. “I had a couple of conversations with Mike, but again, at this time of the year we are going full blast in preparing for free agency.”
The staff is also critiquing the team in order to see where they can improve.
“We are going to be studying our 2010 opponents with a fine tooth comb and with a fine eye so that we can be prepared to have an even better season next fall,” Musgrave said.
This will be Musgrave’s third season working with Ryan. He’s worked with some of the league’s top quarterbacks after playing for six seasons and winning a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers.
“Matt started out like gang busters, like the rest of our team as we went to 4-1,” Musgrave said. “Entering the middle of
the year, some nagging injuries, both upper body and lower body ones, (hampered) him.
“He worked through them and he finished strong. We are excited to not only have Matt back at full strength. But we’re getting Michael Turner back.”
Musgrave believes the offensive attack will continue to blossom under offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and with continued improvement from Ryan.
“We want to attack and exploit defenses,” Musgrave said. “We are getting more familiar with the skills that we have and can put on display. I think that happens as you have continuity and you are in the same offense year after year.
“You start to fine tune your systems and find concepts that are up your player’s alley. . . I think as Matt continues to accumulate experience in terms of our systems and (with) what the defenses are throwing up against him every Sunday.”
POOLE TO HELP AT CAMPBELL: Former NFL star Tyrone Poole, who played at Fort Valley State and went on to play in the NFL for 12 season, was named Campbell High’s secondary coach recently by head coach T.K. Dodd.
Poole was the 22nd player taken in the 1995 draft by the Carolina Panthers. He went on to win two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.
In his first meeting with the team, Poole showed the more than 100 players one of his rings and proceeded to tell them about the hard work and commitment needed to be successful in the classroom and on the field.