The Falcons will move quickly to hire a replacement for Bill Musgrave.
Coach Mike Smith has a list of potential replacements and will start officially contacting folks today. He’s known since letting Musgrave interview that there was a likelihood of him leaving. The search likely won’t be completed before Smith and his staff leaves to coach the Pro Bowl in Hawaii on Tuesday.
He wasn’t ready to reveal his list of candidates last night when we chatted, but here are some potential candidates to replace Musgrave, who’s headed off to become the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.
1. Jeff Jagodzinski, head coach Omaha Nighthawks: He was Matt Ryan’s head coach at Boston College. He served as the offensive line coach for the Falcons from 2004 to 2005. He has been an OC, but has never coached QBs before.
2. Chris Palmer, head coach Hartford Colonels: Well respected as an offensive mind and mentor of quarterbacks. The former Cleveland Browns head coach has coached QBs at Dallas, New England and New York Giants.
3. Tom Clements, QB coach Green Bay Packers. He’s done a wonderful job in developing Aaron Rodgers. Some of his other pupils have included Tommy Maddox, Kordell Stewart and Elvis Grbac. He was the QB coach for the Steelers (2001 to 2003) when Falcons OC Mike Mularkey was the OC there before he left to become Buffalo’s head coach.
4. Darryl Bevell, former Vikings OC: His star was rising, but his inability to develop Tarvaris Jackson led the team to keep pursuing Brett Favre. He’s interviewing in Seattle. He’s either not a very good teacher or Jackson didn’t play attention in class.
5. Jim Zorn, Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach: He has no apparent direct ties to the current coaching staff, but is
widely respected around the league.
6. Brian Billick, former Ravens coach: Just throwing this one out there because of the obvious connection. Don’t know if he’s ready to get back on the sidelines or if he’s waiting for another head coaching shot.
7. Mike Shula, Jacksonville QB coach: Was hired in 2007 and spent one year on Jack Del Rio’s staff with Smith.
This is a pretty good working list. We’ll add and delete as the information flows. Who would you all like to see?
–D. Orlando Ledbetter