Pat Hill agrees to become Falcons new OL coach

Pat Hill (Associated Press)

Pat Hill (Associated Press)

Former Fresno State head coach Pat Hill, who was fired in December after going 4-9 last season, has agreed to terms with the Falcons to become their offensive line coach, the team announced Saturday.

Now the Falcons only have to fill their openings at quarterbacks coach and defensive backs coach.

Miami assistant Joe Danna is the leading candidate to replace Alvin Reynolds as the defensive back coach.

Hill spent 15 seasons the head coach at Fresno State, where he led the Bulldogs to a 112-80 overall record and went to 11 bowl games.

Hill was let go with two years left on a three-year extension signed after the 2009 season. He was owed about $512,000.

Hill led Fresno State to 15 wins over Bowl Championship Series teams during the last decade, which is the highest win total of any non-BCS team in the nation.

Hill has NFL experience. Prior to becoming the head coach at Fresno State, Hill spent five seasons as the tight ends and offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns from 1992 to 1995 under Bill Belichick. In 1996, he joined the Baltimore Ravens and spent one season coaching the tight ends and offensive line before moving on to Fresno State.

 He also made coaching stops at Arizona, the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, UNLV and Utah.

Hill has coached a number of NFL players including, Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, Falcons safety James Sanders, guard Andrew Jackson, and San Diego running back Ryan Mathews.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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91 comments Add your comment

Loserville USA

January 28th, 2012
9:41 pm

BEST HIRE SO FAR! Getting a run-based head coach to coach our OL. YESSSSSSSS!


January 28th, 2012
9:45 pm

Smitty continues to surround himself with coaches he’s familiar with–guys he’s been with in battle–those he feels he can trust. Can’t blame him for wanting to go down fighting, with guys who he knows have his back. I am concerned with the “bunker mentality”–it carries with it a sense of fatality that others in the organization will pick up on subconsciously. For someone who wants to rid the team of “Energy Vampires” it seems that Smitty is building a veritable “Dracula’s Castle” around himself and the team….Spooky…Hope it has a happy ending…..


January 28th, 2012
9:54 pm

Sounds kind of bizarre to me. A college coach? Really??? I don’t know….maybe it’ll work out, who knows…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 28th, 2012
9:58 pm

FalconJim — He coached in the Pros before. With Belichick in Cleveland and he was in Baltimore.


January 28th, 2012
10:06 pm

only time will tell but fresh ideas are needed


January 28th, 2012
10:08 pm

Yonson – cool out dude mistakes happen but I guess not in your perfect world.

D.O.L. – as far as our free agents that you have in your other article I have to give my opinion:

John Abraham, DE: At a reduced price yes; otherwise no.

Kroy Biermann, DE: Please see above.

Kirk Chambers, OT: See ya’

Thomas DeCoud, FS: See ya’ Pt. II

Harry Douglas, WR: For the production we got out of you with Roddy, Julio and Tony grabbing all of the attention if you don’t take a reasonable contract See Ya’ Pt. III

Brent Grimes, CB: As John Malkovich said in Rounders – “Pay that man his money!”

Kelvin Hayden, CB: If you take the veteran minimum welcome back.

Reggie Kelly, TE: See ya’ Pt. IV and can we get that 1st round pick that Dan Reeves spent on you back as well.

Curtis Lofton, MLB: No brainer; see you in training camp.

Todd McClure, C: Thanks for the memories

Mike Peterson, LB: Thanks for the memories Pt. II

Chris Redman, QB: Keep holding that clipboard graybeard.

Brett Romberg, C/G: See Ya’ Pt. V

James Sanders, S: For the right price and the right health we will see you in camp.

Jason Snelling, RB: If the cap hit is not too big on Turner, sign him for a reasonable contract and let him start with Quizz as the 3rd. down back or relief back and draft a backup in the 7th round or get a free agent back.

Eric Weems, WR: Can you catch the d#@m ball before it hits the ground. See Ya” Pt. VI

Joe Zelenka, LS: Who? See Ya’ Pt. VII

Comments are welcome so like Porky Pig, Tha, tha, tha, that’s all folks!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 28th, 2012
10:12 pm

E-Roll — The perfect guy got the delete button. Like your moves. Think you’re on target. The David Harris deal makes Lofton’s situation tough. ($36 million, 29.5 guaranteed). His agent Todd France is reasonable man, but 5-0 has led the team in tackles over the last four seasons.


January 28th, 2012
10:14 pm

I am a bid fan of Pat Hill.

I think this is a good move for the birds……..the question is are we gonna bring in 2-3 new OL players to replace the weaker OL players; I think Reynolds will be much better next year (he is probably a keeper). If not, I do not think any coach can get the existing group to play well as we all would like. Ryan simply needs more time on a consistent basis to set, read and throw without having defenders hitting him or driving the OL players into the front of the pocket where he needs to be able to step forward to make accurate throws (he needs consistent protection like what Tom Brady & Aaron Rodgers have on a regular basis).


January 28th, 2012
10:32 pm

GT GRAD, believe it or not being a Dawgs fan, I do agree with you. You got it right bro.


January 28th, 2012
10:43 pm

So all you so-called Falcon fans who are unhappy with coach Smith obviously don’t have a clue about what life was like before he and TD came to town. Boo-hooing about a lack of playoff success is a joke. The idea that this franchise has been IN the playoffs for three of the past four years is so far beyond where it’s been before that it’s beyond belief. Don’t worry, be happy. MS and TD may know just a little more about pro ball than you do.


January 28th, 2012
10:45 pm

I was very disappointed to see Pat Hill leave Fresno State. I felt he did a great job for with the Bulldogs and will bring a lot to the table for the Falcons. I was fortunate to have seen Coach Hill at my workplace where he did his radio show after every game. We will miss you here in Fresno but can’t wait to see you help our Atlanta Falcons.


January 28th, 2012
10:46 pm

My wish list this off-season:
In order to keep in the positive direction we’re going we should keep Lofton, Douglas, Redman, Snelling, Grimes and / or Hayden (I knew when Hayden hit the IR we were in big trouble). I hope that we can acquire or even confiscate Tracy Porter and / or Marques Colston from the Saints, Robert Mathis from Indy, and beef up our lines. I believe that our coaches are being targeted but you can’t teach intestinal fortitude & an “all-business” like attitude on the football field. We celebrate excessively when things are good and when things aren’t good our “leaders” are on the bench recluse & not accepting responsibility for their actions. Abe has meant so much when our defense was really mediocre so it’s a hard decision letting him go, I’m not sure if he’ll accept a back-up role like Peterson did last year. I don’t know what it is about our teams but it starts with will then commitment!


January 28th, 2012
10:47 pm

@ Da-Led, you mean 3 out of the last 4 years. We missed out of the playoffs in 2009. But 4 straight winning seasons.

Mr. Silly

January 28th, 2012
10:47 pm

Da-led hit the nail on the head.

Whopper Dawg

January 28th, 2012
10:47 pm

What? I was stunned, no J’ville connection, but wait, Smith and Hill coached together at Baltimore. I get it.

Ledbetter quote – “5-0 has led the team in tackles over the last four seasons”. Well yeah, he is a middle linebacker in a 4 3, he SHOULD!!!

Did you see the Giant game, where on 4 and 1 near the Falcons goal, Lofton was perfectly positioned and meet the Giant running back perfectly in the hole, GREAT defensive call, you couldn’t ask for better, your Middle Linebacker head up on the running back in the hole on 4 and 1. And he got promptly run over, not run by, but run over for four yards. First and goal, Giants.


January 28th, 2012
10:50 pm

Da-led, is this what you want? Make the playoffs and lose. I want a little more than that!


January 28th, 2012
11:00 pm

I think we need to regign Lofton 1st and formost.
Then we have to cut some people
Peria Jerry= cut
Sam Baker= cut.
Babineaux= maybe cut
Unfortunately Dunta and Ray Ewards really can’t be cut because of the cap hit.
We need to restructure Matt Ryans contract and extend him to where t doesn’t count as 14 million against the cap.
We need to try to keep Grimes but if not go after Rasheen Mathis
Next we have to go after Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks.
Resign Ovie and make it a more cap friendly deal.
We will have to lose Harry Douglas………But if we draft Jordan White from Western Michigan in the 5th we will be ok……..seriously look his stuff up on youtube.
We need to take the best player available in the 2nd round, Character or not.
I wouldn’t rule out trading Turner if we can get a 2nd and 3rd for him but we will have to resign Snelling.
I think that Sidbury can become our JPP if we let him.


January 28th, 2012
11:08 pm

We will not get a 2 or 3 for Turner, we may get a 4 and Grimes is gone.


January 28th, 2012
11:16 pm

“Miami assistant Joe Danna is the leading candiate to replace Alvin Reynolds as the defensive back coach.”

I thought this was a done deal. Guess not. But either way, it is good to see some of these spots fill up. Any idea what kind of blocking schemes we will see out of Koetter’s offense with Hill coaching?


January 28th, 2012
11:21 pm

I’ll reserve judgment until next season, but for now I have to admit to have bad Larry Parrish flashbacks from looking at Hill’s photo (that and I wonder if he’s blow-kissing Mike Smith’s last chance to save his job goodbye).

Time will tell, I guess.

Phil Lunney

January 28th, 2012
11:22 pm

I am going to look forward to Thomas D and Mike S reshaping of the coaching and the team. They have had a good 4 years (great by Falcons standards). I look forward to the results after a full preseason, should be fun. I trust these guys.


January 28th, 2012
11:29 pm

Very good hire. I’m still not crazy about Koetter, but I like every other move the Falcons have made with their staff.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 28th, 2012
11:42 pm

Whooper Dawg – Well, Duh? The safeties led the team in tackles before he got here.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 28th, 2012
11:45 pm

Mikefalcons63 — Miami had to hire their DC and then let JD out of his contract. They hired their DC on Friday.


January 28th, 2012
11:47 pm

Curtis Lofton is the heart of our defense. He better end his career as a falcon. I’d rather see Abe and Grimes both leave (our secondary has tons of upside and I think Nolan will have us rolling next season).

panic fan

January 29th, 2012
12:14 am

Another VERY positive move for our team bring in o line coach with headcoach experince,2012 will look very diffrent than what we have seen the past 4 yrs New players,scheme on both sides and several sets of new eyes and ideas to help smitty get the job done


January 29th, 2012
12:14 am

go falcons………..


January 29th, 2012
12:15 am

Pat Hill is a great hire!


January 29th, 2012
12:30 am

Bye bye Harry Douglas! They need Kerry Meier in the slot. Dudes not fast but will catch EVERY ball thrown his way.


January 29th, 2012
12:38 am

Well mike Jordan White IS FAST and catches every ball thrown his way. Copy and paste this up there and see what he can do. By the way DOL you need to look at this as well


January 29th, 2012
12:45 am

I’m not saying that Jordan White is a superstar but if you want a team guy that brings it and Catches the ball, is fast, and can fit a role as a 3rd WR I say draft him.


January 29th, 2012
12:49 am

Curtis Lofton LB
Everybody else nice knowing you!

Mario Williams DE
Paul Soliai DT
Michael Griffin or Laron Landry S
I’ll take Peyton Hillis!

Not to be a homer but
2nd round Orson charles TE
3rd round Ben Jones C

Whopper Dawg

January 29th, 2012
1:27 am


I said should, and he should. If you are running a 4 3, who do you expect to the your leading tackler? It damn well better be your MLB. Of the top 10 tacklers in the NFL this year, 7 were either MLB (4 3) or ILB (3 4), two were OLB, and one was a safety (indy, D sucks). Hence, my comment. Make sense now???

Whopper Dawg

January 29th, 2012
1:35 am

Whopper Dawg

January 29th, 2012
1:37 am


I said should, and he should. Of the top ten tacklers this year in the NFL, 7 were either MLB (4 3) or ILB (3 4), 2 others were OLB and one safety (Indy and their D sucks). Make sense now???

Whopper Dawg

January 29th, 2012
1:50 am

Whopper Dawg

January 29th, 2012
1:53 am


I said should, and he should. Please note the of the top ten tacklers in the NFL this year, 7 were either MLB (4 3) or ILB (3 4), two were OLB and one was a safety (Indy, D sucks). Make sense now??

Whopper Dawg

January 29th, 2012
1:56 am


I have tried three times to respond to your response and they will not get through, hence test and test II, what is the deal?

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]


January 29th, 2012
6:25 am

D-Led: you say “but 5-0 has led the team in tackles over the last four seasons.” One of the most meaningless statistics in football. Someone has to lead in tackles. Even the worst team in football, filled with poor tacklers, has someone lead in tackles, and the MLB is in the best position to be in on the most plays. I’m not dissing Lofton, though. He’s a good solid player. Probably not worth the big money his agent and he want, however. I agree with 90+% of E-Roll’s analysis. We’ve got to stop settling for average-to-B+ players (and coaches), and start thinking in terms of more A players.

Me Too

January 29th, 2012
7:03 am

D. Orlando Ledbette – FalconJim — He coached in the Pros before. With Belichick in Cleveland and he was in Baltimore.

DOL – He may be a good coach but NFL experience 15 years ago is irrelevant today. It is not the same football.

Truth Teller

January 29th, 2012
7:28 am

DON’T RE-SIGN DECOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


January 29th, 2012
7:35 am

I can’t believe how negative Falcons fans are! Before you consider the 2012 a wash we should probably wait until the seasons over. And to all you fans that want to let Lofton, Abe, Douglas, Grimes or Snelling walk, who will replace them? Our one second round pick? We will lose someone, but all this cut everyone talk without explaining who we would start in their place is ridiculous!


January 29th, 2012
7:45 am

Quite a number of you really have never watched Pat Hill as the Fresno head coach ( lot of fire in the belly) just what you need for a quality OL coach plus he has NFL expierence and won’t come in as a rookie to the Falcons O line, good pick and a great change from Paul B.


January 29th, 2012
8:25 am

I love the hire of coach Hill for the O-line. I just hope he cam coach or add some heart to the unit/team. The whole team needs and infusion of Heart.

Laughing Out Loud

January 29th, 2012
8:52 am

Great statement, Da-Led! Been there and done that myself with the Falcons of oild! Life today is so much better. Not complaining! Go Falcons!


January 29th, 2012
9:03 am

I hope the Falcons can sign their top free agents. If not, then there will be a lot of solid and productive players at these positions on the free agent market. I hope at the very least they can re-sign Grimes, Lofton and Snelling.

I believe that Mr. Blank will not accept the current state of affairs and everyone will be held accountable for their decisions on players selection and who they release. I know it’s a tought time for the staff but Mr. Blank is not going to pay good money for non-productivity.

Being in business, managing people, although not so grandeous, I understand his frustration and applaud him for putting down the hammer. I love M.Smith and T.D. but someone is making serious mistakes in the drafting of college players and selection of free agents!

I know nothing about coaching or players abilities, but I do know about productivity and commitment and l don’t see a lot of productivity when the play off’s come around. If that’s the case then it’s a total lack of skill set to do the job at the pro-level or commitment. I would guess the commitment is there but the skill set isn’t and there in-lies the problem.

As far as the coaches they hired, congradulations and I hope they can have a positive impact on the players who have the skill set to get it done.Please get the Falcons out of the one and done scenario!

To the free-agents, I hope if you are staying with the Falcons (If you have the skill set) but if not, then THANKS for all your contriutions and best of luck in free agency!

I would like to see a combination of skill set first and commitment 2nd. If they have the skill set and are successful, then the commitment will come. If they are committed but don’t have the skill set, then it’s like throwing darts with your eyes close, occasionally you may hit something but most of the time you are just hitting the wall, especially when the stakes are high ! Sound familiar?

Best of luck, be fair, be hard in the evaluations and remove the emotions and put a solid and highly productive group of players on the field that can take the Falcons to the next step and beyound !!!


January 29th, 2012
9:17 am

“The Atlanta Falcons today announced that Pat Hill has agreed to terms to become the team’s offensive line coach.

Hill spent 15 seasons the head coach at Fresno State University where he led the Bulldogs to a 112-80 overall record and went to 11 bowl games. Hill led Fresno State to 15 wins over BCS teams during the last decade, which is the highest win total of any non-BCS team in the nation. The Bulldogs won the WAC championship in 1999 and during Hill’s tenure the program consistently played one of the countries toughest non-conference schedules. He also produced the most Academic All-WAC players in school history over his 15 seasons.

Prior to becoming the head coach at Fresno State, Hill spent five seasons as the tight ends and offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns from 1992 to 1995 under New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. In 1996, he joined the Baltimore Ravens and spent one season coaching the tight ends and offensive line before moving on to Fresno State the following year. He also made coaching stops at the University of Arizona, the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Utah and LA Valley College.

Hill has coached a number of NFL players including, Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, Falcons safety James Sanders, and guard Andrew Jackson, as well as Chargers running back Ryan Mathews. During the 2009 season, Mathews led the NCAA in rushing average with 150.7 yards per game and totaled 1,808 yards, and 19 touchdowns in 12 games while at Fresno State.”

TD has no clue!

January 29th, 2012
9:35 am

C. Lofton = K. Brooking
Always tackles the runner 5 yds. down field.
Pile Jumper.

Joshua malavenda

January 29th, 2012
10:57 am

Dan- You think like I do but we are not going to get laundry because he is quite injury prone and I think griffIn is going to st louis or detroit with courtland finegan to reunite their bromance with old coaches .Orson charles isnt coming here beause we would have to draft him in the second rd and we are getting a offensive linemen or a defensive guy but when I thought they were going to draft for the defense last year they drafted julio Jones so who knows. Ben jones is a absoulute star waiting to happen wherever he goes he is going to cause nightmares for defenses for years to come, Orson Charles on the other hand I am not really sold on him I like D. allen or Coby fleener alot better. Here a player you should reserach I think he would work out great with a low risk high reward. His name is Chase ford he plays TE for U of miami.

My personal opinions- I really like the Hulk Hill hire plus his resume is quite impressive. heres a another perspective to look at maybe he was also hired here to help td and co with scoutting since td seems to be striking out lately and also maybe as someone to run stuff by to see if that sounds like a good idea or not . they both have worked with Billy b, they are on the same page on what kind of talent they are looking for.