Here’s a list of candidates to replace Musgrave

Matt Ryan and Jeff Jagodzinski back at Boston College. (Associated Press)

Matt Ryan and Jeff Jagodzinski back at Boston College. (Associated Press)

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.

Coach Brian Billick

Coach Brian Billick

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

Tom Clements, former Notre Dame stud and lawyer, worked with Mike Mularkey in Pittsburgh. (Associated Press)

Tom Clements, former Notre Dame stud and lawyer, worked with Mike Mularkey in Pittsburgh. (Associated Press)

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

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127 comments Add your comment

SeenThisB4

January 20th, 2011
7:15 am

LyonsJimmy

January 20th, 2011
7:17 am

Go with Billick!

Hardy Falcon

January 20th, 2011
7:29 am

TO BAD THEY DIDN’T TAKE MULARKEY

Marc

January 20th, 2011
7:42 am

Well said Hardy Falcon. I wanted to keep Musgrave but Mularkey needs to go. I understand that Mularkey has been a great OC in the past but he’s simply not doing it in the here and now. Mike Smith needs to sit down with Mularkey and come up with a new offensive playbook. Our plays are vanilla and predictable. Ask Tramon Williams; he was waiting on that throw when Ryan bootlegged to the left.

In regards to the replacement… I like Billick and Zorn

sleeze

January 20th, 2011
7:44 am

My question is that several of these guys are already QB coaches on NFL teams. SWurprised they would be considered candidates just to make a parallel move.

Halsey

January 20th, 2011
7:44 am

Chris Chandler :D

Ok, just kidding. Real choice: Jeff George

waynester

January 20th, 2011
7:55 am

I’ve been puzzling over the Smitty/Billick connection (frequently on this blog and others) for the last 3 years. When they were putting this staff together initially and Mike Smith was named HC I figured it would be a natural fit but they went with Mularkey instead. I know his bro-in-law was still living high on the hog due to his severance package with Baltimore (the Ravens are STILL paying him as far as I know) and maybe he’s not allowed to coach as long as they’re paying him. I know the man is an Offensive genius and still wants to coach so I have to continue to ask–WTH? Do they just not get along well? Not agree on coaching philosophy? BB doesn’t want to be 2nd fiddle? We could really use Billick’s knack for generating big-time Offense with the players we have here capable of so much more! going on 4 years now–still wondering–help me D-Led!!!

RM

January 20th, 2011
8:08 am

Looks like a good list. They will make the right hire.

Will

January 20th, 2011
8:17 am

Is Billick really on this list? Why would the Falcons even consider a guy like him? Total jerk. What Super Bowl winning coach do you know that is never mentioned again for any head coaching jobs in the NFL or college level? Would not be a good move for the Falcons or Matt Ryan.

Chattanooga Chuck

January 20th, 2011
8:20 am

Zorn, Clements, and Shula would be making lateral moves. I guess we’d have to offer the same assistant head coach position that Musgrave had.

I don’t know if Billick would want to be a position coach at this stage in his career.

nauti-dawg

January 20th, 2011
8:21 am

IDK – I’ll trust Dimitty.
There are too many other dynamics that can’t be seen by reading a two sentence summary, but I would think considering the front office and Blank pockets that others in this opsition already would not see it so much as a lateral move.

Casey

January 20th, 2011
8:26 am

Isn’t the Pro Bowl in Miami this year??

El Bravo

January 20th, 2011
8:29 am

Dude, really? Billick? The guy has a ring as a head coach yet you think that he would welcome the chance to be a QB coach (not even an OC!!!). Yeah, and after hiring Billick Thomas Dimitroff will complete that trade of Matt Ryan, Brian Finneran and Mike Petterson for Aaron Rodgers,Greg Jennings and Clay Mathews… I also heard that Bill Belichick is looking for a job as defensive line coach (come on TD, make it happen)…

T-Bone

January 20th, 2011
8:40 am

Make Mularky the QC and hire Ralph Friedgen as the OC.

Reid Adair

January 20th, 2011
8:40 am

I am not in favor of Darryl Bevell, Jim Zorn, Brian Billick or Mike Shula. I am adamantly against Billick.

Not Good!

January 20th, 2011
8:49 am

Please dont draft a project LB in the first round again!!

GHunt

January 20th, 2011
8:53 am

Bring Brett Favre back to Atl as the QB coach!

SANDY

January 20th, 2011
8:53 am

How about Steve Bartkowski??? I would like to see him on the sidelines again:-)

jt9000

January 20th, 2011
8:55 am

Brian Billick is Smith’s brother-in-law. That is the obvious connection to which DOL refers and the reason for putting it out there.

jt9000

January 20th, 2011
8:56 am

Also- was Jagodzinski exposed as some sort of fraud? I know he lost the OC job in Tampa pretty quickly. Not sure I’d want a guy like that.

SirReal

January 20th, 2011
8:57 am

I dont like any of these.

North FLA Falcon

January 20th, 2011
8:57 am

Tony Graziani can share his offensive brilliance and re-live his Falcon glory days…….

A name not listed

January 20th, 2011
9:01 am

How about Mike Bobo? It would help Richt and the Dawgs out also.

BUCK NAKED

January 20th, 2011
9:07 am

Is George Costanza still looking for a job?

BUCK NAKED

January 20th, 2011
9:08 am

or Steak Shapiro he is a know it all….

Wassup

January 20th, 2011
9:12 am

Steve DeBerg.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 20th, 2011
9:19 am

RUPE in DC

January 20th, 2011
9:21 am

Ralph Friedgen might be a good candidate to consider.

The Real Falcon

January 20th, 2011
9:22 am

Billick but not happening.

PMC

January 20th, 2011
9:28 am

Tom Clements please!

Poor McKay

January 20th, 2011
9:31 am

How about Don Majikowski (I’m pretty certain I butchered the spelling of his last name). A former NFL QB who lives in Atlanta and does some coaching at a lower level. I’m hoping that if Mularkey leaves, that Billick will become our next OC.

BUCK NAKED

January 20th, 2011
9:31 am

John Kincaide…The smartest man in the ATL!

McNasty

January 20th, 2011
9:33 am

Does Friedgen have any sucessful pro experience? If so his creativity and resource fullness would be great @ OC

real fan

January 20th, 2011
9:34 am

How bout Cynthia Tucker. At least this way when we loose we can blame it on the republicans.

Rufus

January 20th, 2011
9:38 am

I like the Bartkowski suggestion. He could be a real asset to Matt.

Hamp

January 20th, 2011
9:46 am

Honestly I like the Steve Deberg idea.

ASHCAN.

January 20th, 2011
9:47 am

@Mark,you can’t blame the OC for a bad QB(RYAN) decision and definately a bad throw.Why is everyone taking up for ryans bad QB play.Mularkey don’t throw the ball and make decisions when the ball is in the QB hands when he recieves it from center.Give the right person the blame and its not the OC.

The Joker...

January 20th, 2011
9:51 am

I like the Bartkowski decision as well, but does he have any coaching experience? I will admit that as a 30 year Falcon Fan, my patience is very low and I want someone who can come into the organization and provide immediate (positive) impact. Its a shame that it couldn’t have been Mularky that left and Musgrave named new OC….

Brian Lifelong Fan

January 20th, 2011
9:53 am

All I know is matt Ryan has potential, I believe, Musgrave was not tapping. We have too much talent to not be contending for an NFC Championship RIGHT NOW. That game against Green Bay was embarrassing, to say the least. Something has to change. I will not pretend to have the knowledge shared by Smitty and Dimitroff. All I know is this team better elevate their game next year! There were teams we struggled, at times, to beat. San Fran., Cleveland, Carolina, and Cincinnati had too many explosive plays allowed. We should have throttled all four of these teams. We needed last minute field goals to down San Fran. and Cleveland. We had Cincinnati and Carolina by the throat and allowed them back into the game.

Peter

January 20th, 2011
9:54 am

I like the possibility of bringing some familiarity in for Ryan. That outweighs a big name that would be around for 2-3 years

The Joker...

January 20th, 2011
9:58 am

Error Alert: I should have said ‘ I like the Bartkowski suggestion as well’, we have not (yet) hired Bartkowski :-)

Johnny Fever

January 20th, 2011
9:59 am

John Kincaide is a tool!

Dawgdad (the Original)

January 20th, 2011
10:01 am

Lets do something original for once and hire someone who might be exceptional, like Deberg, Bobby Hebert, or Chris Chandler. All of them have displayed an excellent knowledge of the position and interest in the game. We know the rest of the candidates are tried, true, and average.

BUCK NAKED

January 20th, 2011
10:05 am

Is Taylor Smith available?

RobbE33

January 20th, 2011
10:16 am

Can we send Mularkey to Minnesota and promote Musgrave to OC instead? Please?!

TRUST IN TOMMY D

January 20th, 2011
10:24 am

Enough said. He will lead us to the promise land. We all no NOTHING about football. Its why we are here posting now. Lets shut up and follow TOMMY D!

Mikefalcon63

January 20th, 2011
10:25 am

Chris Miller, though he has not done much with the guys in Arizona.

Johnny Fever

January 20th, 2011
10:37 am

Dawgdad (the Original)

January 20th, 2011
10:01 am

“…We know the rest of the candidates are tried, true, and average.”

Brian Billick did win a superbowl with the ravens…

Johnny Fever

January 20th, 2011
10:39 am

cris chandler would be a great QB coach for ryan.

bird dog

January 20th, 2011
10:39 am

bobby hebert-tuff as a waffle house steak