Video: Atlanta Falcons & Coordinators part ways

Atlana Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey is now the Jaguars’ Head Coach. What do all the changes mean for Mike Smith? CineSport’s Noah Coslov chats with the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter.

Here’s my working list of candidates to replace defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. One thing to keep in mind is that coach Mike Smith pointed out that the team has drafted for a 4-3 defense so you can rule out 3-4 guys.
1. Mike Nolan
2. Steve Spagnuolo
3. Jack Del Rio
4. Raheem Morris
5. Tim Lewis

Here’s my working list of candidates to replace Mularkey. Smith said he wants a balanced attack and doesn’t believe you can be one-dimensional.
1. Dirk Koetter
2. Mike Martz
3. Terry Robiskie
4. Hue Jackson
5. Brian Billick

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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30 comments Add your comment

Willie J

January 11th, 2012
4:06 pm

FIRST! Thank God both coordinators are gone!!! It needed to be done and we did’t even have to fire
anyone to do it. We all win.


January 11th, 2012
4:07 pm

Good to see we can rule out a 3-4 guy with the Todd Grantham rumors all over the place.

Willie J

January 11th, 2012
4:09 pm

I’d like to see tommy d get an OC in the New England Mold or a WesT Coast coordinator like Ryan had at BC. Hell Maybe we can get even get his old coach jeff jagodinzki

Bartles & James

January 11th, 2012
4:28 pm

D-Led, Any names from N.O. offensive staff? Or GB?

Bartles & James

January 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

anotherdawg, quit making up Grantham stuff. Only trolls start making stupid rumors.


January 11th, 2012
4:32 pm

Fine with steve jack and Morris on defense but none of the offense guys are going to get the job done we need tod Haley. He came from Arizona when they were a top passing team in the league. We need to pass with 4 wide receiver sets to move the ball.

the clash

January 11th, 2012
4:34 pm

interesting offseason


January 11th, 2012
4:35 pm

like a n.o. coach is gonna take a backwards suicide jump from greatness to mediocrity. it also appears that auburn and the jags have now become irrelevant-like they weren’t already!


January 11th, 2012
4:35 pm

I still think TD is a gifted GM. He needs to balance the best coordinators to go along with Smitty’ philosophy. However that run first mindset has been proven faulty if everyone in the world knows what you are going to do and you don’t make adjustments or be creative. We need a winning philosophy not just a “run first” slogan.
TD needs to find who he percieves as the best and let Smitty find out how to work with them!


January 11th, 2012
4:48 pm

i guess you’ll have to find another blog mc nasty, if intelligence is needed here


January 11th, 2012
4:49 pm

It’s OFFICIAL!!! Todd Grantham has signed a 2-year 250,000 dollar deal to be the DC of the Atlanta Falcons.


January 11th, 2012
5:21 pm!!!

Michael M.

January 11th, 2012
5:28 pm

Good Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and don’t come back !


January 11th, 2012
5:30 pm

I like:
Brian Billick & Dirk Koetter OC’s
Steve Spagnuolo DC

Would like to see Ernest Byner added to coaching staff~~just my two cent worth~~ Go Falcons.


January 11th, 2012
6:22 pm

Thank God. Smith FINALLY gets it that Mularky’s “power football” / run first was nonsense. It made the Falcons completely predictable which means the elite and not so elite teams will stuff the Falcons with the chips down.

Smith says he wants a balanced attack – DUH… wonder how many years of watching the Packers / Patriots / Saints balanced attacks before Smith figured out that HE needed a balanced attack.
(I’m guessing Bernie Marcus was the brains behind the Home Depot rise.)


January 11th, 2012
6:36 pm

Funny that Arthur Blank emphasized the new coordinators would not be up for public vote. But he also emphasized a fresh set of eyes which means it will be an outsider and they probably have an idea of who they want, and know the fans won’t approve based on our speculation. In other words, Dirk Koeter and Jack Del Rio will be the new coaches! Back further we go!


January 11th, 2012
6:44 pm

sort of like rats jumping off of a sinking ship


January 11th, 2012
7:06 pm

Del Rio is not coming to Atlanta. If Gregg Williams leaves New Orleans(his contract is up and there are rumors that he and Sean Payton don’t get along) Del Rio will be the Saints DC. He has a house out in New Orleans and NFL Network makes it sound like Williams won’t be back and Del Rio really wants to be there DC, so he’s off the table. Nobody from the Saints coach staff is going to want to come here. That person would have to pick between being with Payton and Brees or Smith and Ryan. Who do you think that person going to pick.

big t

January 11th, 2012
7:22 pm

If the money is right they will come , they know what they need to do they where already looking before the season ended


January 11th, 2012
8:11 pm

On the NFC South blog on espn said Saints OL Coach is being interviewed for the Rams head coaching job if they don’t get Fisher.


January 11th, 2012
9:49 pm


Do you think Lombardi, the QB coach of Drew Brees would get any consideration?

Two things possibly working against him is (imo) I’m not sure if he has enough “time in service”, and when he left the Falcons in ‘06, I’m not sure if it was a smooth exit.


January 11th, 2012
10:04 pm

Billick as OC and Morris or Steve as DC


January 11th, 2012
10:20 pm

I feel that Smith should have went out with the other two and the bath water. Since he is not going anywhere he should hire veteran OC & DC with aggressive attitudes and step back, get out of the way and let them do their jobs.. Smith is not a true head coach who runs a football tream. On the other hand; I personally do not want any coach from the Aints staff particularly on the def side of the ball. Remember, they have the same problem that we do. They cannot win on the road. Case and point, SF this weekend.. To the blogger who named Packers/Saints/Patriots as balanced teams I can not agree. The Texans are an example of a true balanced team. When a team throws the ball 80% of the time I hardly call that balanced. Finally, find a new special teams coach while you are at it. When is the last time the special teams blocked a punt or field goal?


January 12th, 2012
6:46 am

I would like to hear the teams with a top 5 4-3 defence, the only one I can think of is the Gaints, and they have great d-linemen, the leage is a 3-4 leage because thats what works!! Ravens, Steelers, Texans. Time to move on from the 4-3 its a relic.


January 12th, 2012
7:15 am

@GoodbyeMularky, you seriously can’t refer to a team whose quarterback threw for 5,000+ yards this season as having a “balanced” attack! That’s laughable.

And pretty much the same thing can be said for Green Bay or New England.

The 3 teams you listed have one thing in common – quarterback and receiver(s)/tight end combinations that can go down field on a consistent basis.


January 12th, 2012
11:14 am

I don’t like the fact that Smithy seems to be getting a pass. Clock management and situational calls have been suspect sense day one. I am not a Smith hater I am a Falcon lover. I would like to see a Mckay type transition for Smith. Hire OC/DC coordinators with strong personalities i.e. ex-head coaches. Then Smith could focus on the HC job and we could evaluate him on his preformance as such.
With all the recent wussy rule changes I think it’s time to adapt. IMO 3-4 is the new “best” scheme. If the Falcons were to change to a 3-4 the time is now. The running game will always be important but the league seems to want to be “pass happy”. I also think with the current rules there is no real reason to keep a return specialist. This could easiliy be covered by a decent back up RB if the rules stay as is.
I would love to have a “west coast” offensive scheme and an aggressive ball hawking defense. This type defense will give up a few big plays but we did that with the soft zones we played this year.
Lack of emotion and focus seemed to kill us this year. Makes me wonder if we are losing intensity by trying to hard to get “character” guys. I know this is a balancing act just thought we looked flat in way too many games this year.

just the musings of an old fan who has watched every min. of every game for too many years to count


January 12th, 2012
12:02 pm

As long Bratkowski is still on this staff, you are in great danger… He’s as big of a coaching cancer as Rick Kotte!


January 12th, 2012
3:41 pm

The NFL Network is reporting that
Dirk Koetter, Brian Billick, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements and former New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and early front runners for the OC position & that we’re suppose to begin interviewing candidates within the next few days.Also that Former Jacksonville interim head coach Mel Tucker is being considered for the DC gig.


January 12th, 2012
3:49 pm

Also take Raheem Morris off the list, he’s agreed to coach the Redskins DB’s

True Falcon

January 12th, 2012
4:50 pm

It doesn’t matter if Sean Payton is the Falcons offensive coordinator. Matt Ryan will continue to kill this offense.