Shakeup continues as Alvin Reynolds is fired

MOBILE — Defensive backs coach Alvin Reynolds, an original member of head coach Mike Smith’s staff, was fired, the team announced on Monday.

Alvin Reynolds

Alvin Reynolds

 The Falcons have been undergoing an intensive review of their football operations since they were blown out 24-2 by the New York Giants in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs on Jan. 8.

Reynolds spent four seasons with the team.

“We would like to thank Coach Reynolds for his dedication and hard work over the last four seasons,”  Smith said in a statement released by the team. “We wish him all of the best.”

Reynolds, who’s coached in the NFL for 18 seasons, became the fifth coach from last season’s staff to either be fired or leave for another position.

Former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey left to become the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former defensive coordiantor Brian VanGorder left to take the same position at Auburn.

Quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski left to become the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. Offensive line coach Paul Boudreau was released from his contract and has since been named the offensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams.

Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan have been named as the new coordinators. The Falcons are looking for three assistant coaches for the quarterbacks, offensive line and defensive backs.

While there have been some breakthroughs in the secondary, the pass defense has not improved significantly.

Since 2008, they’ve ranked 21st (2008, 220.4), 28th (2009, 241.9), 22nd (2010, 226.6) and 20th (2011, 236.6) in pass defense.

From 2003-07, Reynolds served as the defensive backs Coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. During his tenure with the Jaguars, he guided a secondary that ranked fourth in the AFC after totaling 20 interceptions (tying a team record) in 2007, led by rookie safety Reggie Nelson’s five picks. In 2006, cornerback Rashean Mathis led the club with a team-record eight interceptions en route to a Pro Bowl bid as Jacksonville set a franchise high with 20 interceptions.

Reynolds coached the Carolina Panthers for four seasons (1999-2002) as a defensive assistant. He was present with the Baltimore Ravens for its first three seasons in franchise history (1996-98) as the secondary coach and started his NFL career with the Denver Broncos (1993-95).

Throughout his career, Reynolds has worked with the likes of safeties Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith in Denver and Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson in Baltimore. With the Panthers, he worked with then-defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, helping with tape breakdown, game plan preparation and statistical tendencies. He also worked with the Carolina secondary.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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123 comments Add your comment

A year too late!!

January 23rd, 2012
2:22 pm

Its about time!!!

Duce88

January 23rd, 2012
2:23 pm

Tomas

January 23rd, 2012
2:26 pm

What’s the difference between DB coach and secondary coach (Tim Lewis)?

Trainwreck

January 23rd, 2012
2:29 pm

Scapegoat for the secondary??

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 23rd, 2012
2:38 pm

Did he actually play with Tampa in the late 80’s or early 90’s? Seems like they had a DB with a similar name, perhaps #29? Could be mistaken on this though.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 23rd, 2012
2:40 pm

Nevermind just Googled that 1990 roster and I was thinking of #29 Ricky Reynolds. More useless crap that I have no business remembering.

d-bird

January 23rd, 2012
2:45 pm

There will be more firing to come. Just wait.

SeminoleWarrior

January 23rd, 2012
2:52 pm

Trainwreck, you are absolutely correct. Reynolds is yet another fall guy. How can you fire the defensive back coach yet the SECONDARY coach is still employed. Lewis should have been the FIRST to go!!

SeminoleWarrior

January 23rd, 2012
2:55 pm

When will the folks at the Branch realize it was a lack of cohesion at the top that lead to this debacle we saw this season?

Oh yeah, they are too darn busy trying to play kissy face with the Governor and the Mayor over a stadium we do not need at this time.

jay

January 23rd, 2012
2:55 pm

They ain’t playing in Flowery Branch. Still these are some good coaches(based on resume) they are firing. Maybe it’s the talent, heart and character of the players they are coaching.

jay

January 23rd, 2012
2:55 pm

that needs to be questioned.

SirReal

January 23rd, 2012
3:01 pm

Sounds like a fall guy and also just the fact that Nolan may wanna bring in his own guy. We honestly havent been that great in the secondary for the last FEW years and inching up vs leaps and bounds is how to soon find a target on someone’s back. The guy that needs to be under a microscope is Dimitroff with his picks he’s brought in. We’ll see how good or bad we suck in the secondary this year.

Bulldawg

January 23rd, 2012
3:05 pm

How could our defensive backs cover anyone when the quarterback has 5-7 seconds to throw on every pass attempt? If we don’t get some d-linemen that can rush the passer it won’t matter who is the defensive backs coach.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2012
3:07 pm

Need to get rid of Tim Lewis next, maybe then we won’t keep hearing about “blown coverages”.

BamaGuy

January 23rd, 2012
3:15 pm

C’mon guys, Simply put, this has Mike Nolan written all over it….He has looked at enough film and talked with enough players to decide that Reynolds was not getting it done with our cornerbacks…Nolan made a decision that this guy can not or will not get Nolan the cornerback play that his system requires…Nolan has someone in mind and you can bet they are already enroute to Flowery Branch…

BamaGuy

January 23rd, 2012
3:18 pm

I can gaurantee this, Mike Nolan would not of come over here without full authority over coaches on the defensive side of the ball…I love it…We have a guy in place that has a plan and if he doesn’t think you fit into that plan then there will be a press release soon to follow…Next up…Players?

bigcalidawg

January 23rd, 2012
3:23 pm

“BamaGuy

January 23rd, 2012
3:15 pm

C’mon guys, Simply put, this has Mike Nolan written all over it….He has looked at enough film and talked with enough players to decide that Reynolds was not getting it done with our cornerbacks…Nolan made a decision that this guy can not or will not get Nolan the cornerback play that his system requires…Nolan has someone in mind and you can bet they are already enroute to Flowery Branch…”

Dang……a Dawg can agree with a Bammer, at times………well said Guy

Tdawg

January 23rd, 2012
3:24 pm

Jay you are 100% correct. The talent just isn’t there on defense. You may be able to turn lemons into lemon aide, but what do you turn chiot into?

Ken

January 23rd, 2012
3:27 pm

BamaGuy I agree with you!! Mike Nolan is bringing in his guy for the job!! Good to see the Falcons looking at every thing. Now maybe we can get teams off the field on 3rd down!!

bigcalidawg

January 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Agreed that weak signing of a DE last year was all for show. How can you play opposite of Jared Allen and not wreck shop?

Shoot, let’s get Jared Allen!

Let’s get somebody with some fire! I don’t need a high iq, I don’t need business acumen…….let’s get a de and a s with some FIRE!

elroy

January 23rd, 2012
3:29 pm

changes needed to be made. players will benext. If Falcons don’t make playoffs or are 1 & done again in 2012 coach smith is probably next.

bigcalidawg

January 23rd, 2012
3:30 pm

Astro…….how many years you been postin here?

Tdawg

January 23rd, 2012
3:31 pm

Bulldawg when a reciever gets open against the Falcons, make no mistake about it, he is open, I mean really open and most often, they are open as soon as they start down field. Seems to me that the DB”s are purposely trying to put as much distance between themselves and the recievers as they can. You are right, the Falcons couldn’t muster a pass rush against father time, but still. These bunch of DB’s are a joke. Crap the whole defense is a joke.

Runner-

January 23rd, 2012
3:34 pm

Good question Tomas, I would like to know the same thing.

“What’s the difference between DB coach and secondary coach (Tim Lewis)?”

Moses1947

January 23rd, 2012
3:42 pm

Looking at the roster the falcons has all the parts to make the little train run, but missing engineers and conductors. Maybe next season will be !!!!!!!!!

PMC

January 23rd, 2012
3:49 pm

This is simply a casualty of changing coordinators. Anytime there is a change, the new coordinator will want to bring in his own guy. I’m sure coach Reynolds is a fine football coach, this is just part of the business.

BamaGuy

January 23rd, 2012
3:55 pm

Dawgs and Bammers agree:

W do not believe that the coaching changes are through…We should all expect more as Nolan and Dirk have now got their necks stuck out there….If they are going to be putting their name on the line then you can bet it will be with guys that they have been to war with…no some Arthur Blank/Thomas D/Mike Smith holdover!

AlanFalcon

January 23rd, 2012
3:59 pm

I like the fact that the Falcons are living up to their word as they continue the reviews, I am waiting to see what happens when they get to the roster.

Go Falcons !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ivan

January 23rd, 2012
4:00 pm

“Dang……a Dawg can agree with a Bammer, at times………well said Guy”

Well it IS 2012 after all.

DogTheMan

January 23rd, 2012
4:01 pm

We may need to get some defenses playmakers in the secondary. It does not matter who the coach is if all the DBs run like they are stuck in the mud and can’t cover!!

Brownie

January 23rd, 2012
4:02 pm

Lots of great things going on at Flowery Branch – all badly needed. Smitty is safe for at least another year, but you can bet that Arthur and TD made it very clear to Smitty that things better improve…quickly. That’s why the new coordinators WILL have a huge say in the schemes deployed.

This may be the most critical off-season in a long time for the Falcons. 5 yrs ago they were in total rebuilding mode, but there were zero expectation and zero pressure. Last year, they were supposedly “one or two players away…” – didn’t happen and changes started taking place fast.

It will be interesting to see which players really step up this spring, and which don’t. I think the coordinators and Smitty will have short patience for those who don’t buy-in 100%.

I believe that Koetter will be an improvement over MM, and I am absolutely confident that Nolan is light years better than BVG was.

Should be fun to watch…

ernisTbass

January 23rd, 2012
4:35 pm

It remains to be seen how much Nolan will have to say about FA pick-ups or draft choices as more Dimry Robinsons won’t make the job any easier for anybody

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Obviously

January 23rd, 2012
4:58 pm

this wont change a thing reynolds should have bolted when that clown bvg left for auburn. nolan has his hands full with this rag tag group smith & dimitroff has assembled !!!!!!

collegeballfan

January 23rd, 2012
5:03 pm

“More useless crap that I have no business remembering.”

Welcome to my world Lowcountry!

Joshing

January 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

You don’t improve your product without making changes. I think Mr. Blank is fed up with what his money has produced and has put his foot down and raised his demands.
We’ll see.

Some real DBacks

January 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

If you watched the two playoff games (and if you didn’t, you missed out) you saw what real DBacks play like. We’ve got a long, hard road ahead of us. Maybe we can unload our slackers and pick up someone.

Sid

January 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

Alvin Reynolds couldn’t tackle and contantly got beat on the deep route.

QB...Just wondering

January 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

Watching the playoffs it is clearly that to be an elite QB in this league, you need to be smart…you need to have a great arm…and you have to be able to RUN WITH THE BALL.
Why can’t someone show Matt Ryan how to run with the ball????? It’s not like he has to be able to bust through the D Line or anything. Maybe he needs to muscle up some.

MR. ATL

January 23rd, 2012
5:25 pm

Be good to see who Koetter decides to bring in. Defense for the most part was able to minimize leads….offensive stagnation doesn’t help the defense.

MR. ATL

January 23rd, 2012
5:28 pm

Be good to see what they do with the roster. See who stays and who goes. Don’t think Dunta will be going anywhere. I’d like to see Thomas DeCoud shipped to Oakland or the Seahawks. Think he’s served his purpose as a Falcon.

Tony

January 23rd, 2012
5:36 pm

The only thing I have to say to you guys that think that it is the personnel, Look no further than the Giants and Patriots. The Giant’s secondary absolutely stinks especially that safety Rolle. And The Patriots again had a Wide receiver playing nickle in the AFC championship game!

Chop Buster

January 23rd, 2012
5:41 pm

Smitty picked these coaches. Were they picked because they were the best available at the time? Or because they previously worked with Smitty? Here’s a novel idea…why don’t we try picking position coaches that have actually successfully played the position in the NFL? Hmnnn.

Chop Buster

January 23rd, 2012
5:42 pm

Lowcountry…is that Bulldawg in reference to Burke HS, SC State or Univ of Ga?

TRUTH BE TOLD...........

January 23rd, 2012
5:46 pm

Hey BamaGuy………whom would have thought that a BAMAGUY COULD TEACH A dawg NEW TRICKS & HAVE HIM ADMIT IT!!!

Brownie

January 23rd, 2012
5:54 pm

Chop Buster – cant’ disagree with your sentiments. I happen to believe that when the dust clears, we’re going to be very happy that we got Mike Nolan – don’t know yet about Koetter.

There’s an old axiom: Those who can…do. those who can’t….teach. The reality is in the NFL, you almost NEVER see a great player become a great coach (especially a head coach), likely because they had so much physical talent they relied on that primarily to succeed. The average player had to work and study his butt off just to keep a job in the pros – and those are the guys who usually become the best coaches.

I think we’re gonna see some drastic improvements, for no other reason that Arthur is demanding it. The last 4 years we have all seen great improvement from Smitty and the players, and that’s been essentially acceptable – the bar has now been raised. Changes had to take place – coaches first, now come the players.

mark

January 23rd, 2012
5:57 pm

this guy should have been fired before BVG this dude cant cover even his shadow

mark

January 23rd, 2012
6:03 pm

we should have sign rod woodson just like the raiders did

texasbirdfan

January 23rd, 2012
6:12 pm

saw Rod on TV this morning NFL channel- I think he is available now with the shake-up of the Raiders- but he has no ties to Atlanta like he did with Oakland (he lives near there)

Fred

January 23rd, 2012
6:19 pm

Clean house Mr Smith and let Cutter and Nolan get their own people to get the job done…