UPDATED: Thomas, Danna and Weidinger finalize staff


Matt Ryan already has a working relationship with Glenn Thomas, who's set to become the Falcons new quarterbacks coach.

Matt Ryan already has a working relationship with Glenn Thomas, who's set to become the Falcons new quarterbacks coach.

UPDATE: Glenn Thomas (quartebacks), Joe Danna (defensive backs) and Andrew Weidinger (offensive assistant) were officially named to the staff Tuesday night.


Glenn Thomas,  34, has quietly worked behind the scenes as the offensive quality control assistant for the Falcons over the past four seasons.

He will replace Bob Bratkowski as the team’s new quarterbacks coach.

From 2001-07, Thomas spent his coaching tenure at Midwestern State. He was a graduate assistant coaching wide receivers from 2001-04. He coached the school’s passing game and quarterbacks in 2004. He was the coordinator from 2005-07.

In 2006, the school led all Division II teams with 470.1 yards of total offense per game. In 2007, Midwestern State led the entire NCAA in total offense (550.0 yards per game) and rushing (317.0 yards per game).

Thomas, a Texas Tech graduate, worked with the Baltimore Ravens in-between seasons at Midwestern State. He worked with wide receivers (2002-03, ’05) and also helped out with Baltimore’s quarterbacks.

He worked with Falcons head coach Mike Smith in Baltimore and for one season in Jacksonville in 2004.

He began his coaching career at Texas Tech as a student assistant from 1998-01.

Joe Danna, 34, who worked with the Falcons from 2008-09, replaces Alvin Reynolds as the defensive backs coach.  He has been the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins over the past two seasons where he worked under Mike Nolan, the Falcons new defensive coordinator. 

Danna played in college at Central Michigan. He was a wide receiver.

He’s also coached at Central Michigan (1999-00), Georgia (2001), Central Michigan (2002-05), Georgia Southern (2006) and James Madison (2007).

Weidinger, 29, spent the last four seasons as assistant to the head coach/offense, providing administrative help to head coach Mike Smith and assisting with managing data, research, daily practice scripts, schedules, calendars and assisting with the running backs. He joined the Falcons in 2007 as a personnel scout.

The Phoenix, Arizona native spent seven seasons at the University of Arizona in various football related positions.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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101 comments Add your comment

Truth Teller

January 30th, 2012
4:57 pm

DON’T RESIGN DECOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Double Zero Eight

January 30th, 2012
4:57 pm

I sincerely hope so.
Ryan needs to lift some weights and work on his foot work.


January 30th, 2012
5:02 pm

Maybe Ryan missed Bill Musgrave a lot more than people realized. Hopefully Thomas will help bring Ryan’s confidence back.


January 30th, 2012
5:04 pm

Hmm I kinda wished for someone with more experience… I’ll give Thomas a chance, but this really makes me miss Musgrave…


January 30th, 2012
5:13 pm

I think it wil be a good hire, on a side note I’m still stoked about the Pat Hill hire as the new O-line coach the game is won in the trenches and now they have a leader to coach them up


January 30th, 2012
5:16 pm

so what does this guy know that ryan does not? how will he help ryan get better? i was hoping for an outside pair of eyes.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 30th, 2012
5:16 pm

Rikus – Billy Musgrave was special. Coach Bob was a real pro, too. This Thomas kid has been grinding away. He could be ready for his big opportunity.

Double Zero Eight

January 30th, 2012
5:31 pm

Ryan is cerebral, but that only goes so far.
The prototype for a QB winning the Super
Bowl has evolved. You need a strong arm or
a quarterback that is mobile. Ryan is neither.
Let’s hope Thomas can exploit Ryan’s attributes.

Great Falconi

January 30th, 2012
5:34 pm

Ryan has done quite well so far. I’m not worried about him.

Whopper Dawg

January 30th, 2012
5:48 pm

One of Smith’s cronies, sounds like a lock to me.


January 30th, 2012
5:53 pm

I thought Danna was already hired? Feel like I know all about him, from stories that his daughter Roseanne Roseanna used to tell on TV in the 1970s.

I think Musgrave is a good coach that ought to be a HC soon.

Sofa King

January 30th, 2012
5:53 pm

I was hoping for someone a little more established to bring Matt along. I think this is a crucial point in MR’s career. Lets get the best possible coach for this position.


January 30th, 2012
5:59 pm

I’m worried about his protection.


January 30th, 2012
6:08 pm

I like the moves so far, feel as if some thought has gone into the decisions and would be happy to see Thomas and Danna on board at there positions asap.

Richard Fader

January 30th, 2012
6:28 pm


I used to send letters to Roseanne. She would often read them on the air.

Joshua Malavenda

January 30th, 2012
6:29 pm

I really want them to hire Tom Clements he would do wonders for Ryan, just look what he did for Aaron Rogers and Matt Flynn.

I am not really sure if thomas has enough experience or not with qbs to be productive for the job but I do know that I just want the falcons to finally reach the potential of being a championship winning francise for years to come and shatter the mold of Overratted Ga sports teams

For Example The braves as many damn pennents as they won and they only one world series and look at UGA just look at the last 5 years they allways ranked pretty high and have like top five rated recruitting clases and never win championships and the rest of the sports team are like that also. If hiring thomas does that then by golly do it but if not hire some one else

The good thing is the Falcons organzation have the ablity to break the cycle and they have definly come a long way since the bobby p and the vick days. Athur Blank has done a fantastic job with the falcons and keep up the good work but you cant stop.

This next year will be the most vital period in Faclons history and so far I am pretty immpressed with there coaching hires but more will be revealed

Keep tuned in Dirty birds

Dled, whats your honest evualation of Thomas?

big tone

January 30th, 2012
6:32 pm


Chop Buster

January 30th, 2012
6:38 pm

NO, NO, NO!!! We need an ex-QB or a guy that has consistently coached top QBs in the league. We’re not looking to turn a coach into a position coach that he has no history in the NFL coaching.

True Falcon Fan

January 30th, 2012
6:45 pm

“YOUNG” is GREAT!!!! —– i like the way Smitty is thinking —- The young coaches will keep the players up & at it always.

Chipper's ACL

January 30th, 2012
6:46 pm

I love all the negative comments on Ryan’s Olive Oil Stature. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Was Montana a tall, strong QB? Brees? No. Montana dominated with short, quick routes. Brees offense is similar but there are more deep throws from him during a game. Accurate passing is the key. This is something Ryan does well but he was working with an OC that didn’t lay out a game in such a manner. With the addition of JJ the thought is for deep throws. Does not fit the mold of #2. So until the mind set is changed so Matt can hit the slant and have a completion % around 70 he will never be given the chance to show people what he has the ability to do.

steven A.

January 30th, 2012
7:12 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter

Do you know if this guy coached in the National Football League?


January 30th, 2012
7:19 pm

Can any coach get a QB to be more accurate at all ranges (short, medium, long)? I wonder. Ryan’s accuracy has actually deteriorated. And I’m not talking about him being under pressure. I’m talking about plain ol’ inaccuracy. It hurt us big-time this year.

Da Voice

January 30th, 2012
7:25 pm

Whopper Dog, could you please go away. Your same message is really getting old.


January 30th, 2012
7:41 pm

I think that your coordenaters actually coach the position coaches anyhow. so having people that have been together beforwe and know whats expected should help.
@#$k! I hope so!


January 30th, 2012
7:42 pm

Holy cow, you Ryan-bashers kill me. He is a top ten QB that most NFL teams would love to have on their roster. He was in the wrong system, people. Just wait and see. I would’ve rather seen him in a WCO, but I believe Koetter will find a way to use his strengths.

Big Ron

January 30th, 2012
7:45 pm

Get off Matt Ryan he tha main reason we get to tha playoffs anyway I like tha move I trust tha men in charge 4 winning seasons consecutive how many teams can say they are on that streak even tha giants missed the playoffs last 2 years so give em a break we don’t suck far from it just need a few tweeks and a slight philosophy change we’ll be back.


January 30th, 2012
7:48 pm

No coach is going to get Ryan to throw the ball farther. That’s up to him to build his arm strength. He needs to jump rope to get quicker and lift weights. Doesn’t matter who the QB coach is now that he has all this experience.


January 30th, 2012
8:05 pm

The good ole boy network caravan rolls on at Suwanee! Need new blood! The Falcons are suddenly copying the ASG blueprint…not good!!!!

panic fan

January 30th, 2012
8:08 pm

what we should feel good, good about is that, all the new coaches have 1 thing in common other than having worked with coach smith before,they all have run high power offense to the point of setting records. we could not ask for a better chance to reinvent our attack on the other nfl power house teams,we always seem to get beat by.2012 will be fun to watch this new attack on both sides and yes with new players as well


January 30th, 2012
8:08 pm

Remember the AirTran commercial with Ryan…man he looked sucked in. I dont really think Ryan want to get in the weight room. He has been with the Falcons long enough to get bulked up. The coaches must feel the same way. Ive never heard them say anything about getting Ryan in the weight room.


January 30th, 2012
8:22 pm

Matt needs 2 hit the weights and make quicker decisions.

Me Too

January 30th, 2012
8:28 pm

Mike Smith is setting up the dominoes with his old comfortable buddies. They will all fall in 2012. Does Thomas Dimitroff have any control of this coaching staff.


January 30th, 2012
8:39 pm

No good vibes from the new offense coaches. What the heck is going on. We had a perfect chance to make vast improvements. I think these offense coaches will be worst off than Mularky and the gang and that is rock bottom. The Falcons are laying eggs. Also, we need a new good strength coach cause most everyone was getting blown off the lines, etc. Matt needs upper body strength conditioning to get zip and the leg push to get 1 yard sneaks. Turner loose 20 lbs. Get to work.


January 30th, 2012
8:51 pm

I agree Matt need more zip on the ball and better footwork, there is nothing worse than getting tackled by the turf. Hitting the weights would help him. but he is a flower child

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 30th, 2012
8:58 pm

Steven A. — Yes, Baltimore, Atlanta and Jax.


January 30th, 2012
9:03 pm

No reflection on Mr. Thomas but Ryan has peaked.

Laughing Out Loud

January 30th, 2012
9:14 pm

Big tone, do you think you could make that trip with Whopper Dog as suggested? The departure of both would be generally appreciated. Thanks.

Durt E Byrd

January 30th, 2012
9:25 pm

Seriously, I”m getting kind of tired of Smitty hiring only people he’s worked with before rather than finding the “right” person for the job.

What a poser.


January 30th, 2012
9:49 pm

Nothing in there that makes me worry he won’t be able to do the job… Plus you figure he probably has a relationship with Ryan that Bratkowski did not have. In the NFL, the QB coach has to help his pupil understand how defenses might defend them as they execute a game plan. They run the guys through drills and help them understand better technique. With Ryan and Redman it could not be an easier job, as he will probably just have to be a good listener. Given his whole mission in life the past few years has been to watch/analyze film, it will probably work well as he will be able to communicate what he is seeing to Ryan.


January 30th, 2012
10:39 pm

I wish for once I would get on here and read the blogs and “Falcon fans” we’re actually positive about a team that is trying to get better, but no just about every other commit is negative. I say wait until next year before we start knocking.


January 30th, 2012
11:05 pm

I would think Ryan needs an experienced mentor, rather than someone getting their big break.


January 30th, 2012
11:09 pm

@ Double Zero Eight:
“The prototype for a QB winning the Super
Bowl has evolved. You need a strong arm or
a quarterback that is mobile.”

At one time, both QBs in the Super Bowl were labeled as immobile with weak arms.


January 30th, 2012
11:46 pm

Matt Ryan is a top ten QB period!! The Falcons have had four years of winning records with him as the starting QB and Mike Smith as head coach and you people complain!! While there are aspects of his game that Matt Ryan may need to work on he is still a top 10 QB he ranked 8th in passer rating and 5th in total QBR!! Matt Ryan is an elite QB he ranks in the top 8 in the two major categories of QB’s out of 32 that is elite!! Quit complaining people you have a great QB andhis name is MATT RYAN!! when his playing days in a Atlanta uniform are over you guys will complain about the next QB and wish good old Matty ICE was here!!


January 31st, 2012
12:26 am

I don’t know……sounds like Smith is gettin’ all his old buddies together, to see if they can help him keep his job. Because, if he doesn’t produce a playoff win this year, I think he might be gone.

I mean, I like Smitty, I really do…..but, in the words of Jerry Glanville, “this is the NFL, and that means Not For Long”, if you don’t produce.

Like it or not, this is a highly competitive business, and like you and I, we have to get the job done, or we’re out the door. We’ll see how it all works out, though. Good luck, Smitty!!!.


January 31st, 2012
1:21 am

How did we let Caldwell get away? He was hired by Baltimore as QB coach. The guy coached Peyton Manning,,,

Joshua Malavenda

January 31st, 2012
1:42 am

Ryan is a great qb he is just one good Qb coach away from being elite thats why I think the falcons should do whatever they can to get Tom Clements away from Green bay.

in the long run if they dont get clements whoever they get may it be thomas or the second coming of jesus just that he gets us to reach our potential as a championship winning freanchise.

Georgia has bad rep for having really overratted sports teams and we need to break that cycle.

For example think about the Bulldogs as many top five recruiting classes they had and top 10 rankings in the last five years they dont have a championship to show for it. The braves can probably tile a bathroom floor with their pennents and world series banners but only have one world series trophy to show for it come on thats ridiculus. I just want them to be the team that peter king is talking about on Sports illustrated for years to come so do whatever it takes to be that and break the trend .

looking on the bright side compared to four years and the days of dogg figting and bobby p leaving in the middle of the night we have a come a long way and I am really impressed with all the new coaching hires also.

The descisons that are made this year are going to be telling of the future of this franchise and can make or break this organzation.

DLed- What do you honestly think about Thomas as a qb coach?

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged Glenn, lead, quarterbacks, ready, Thomas. Bookmark the permalink. ← Giants’ Defensive Line Has Brady in Its Crosshairs [...]


January 31st, 2012
4:43 am

On Glenn Thomas being the possible QB coach…yet ANOTHER ex-Jacksonville guy who is NOT QUALIFIED for the job.

I’m going to say it right now; IF they hire this guy, Smith is G-O-N-E, and he knows it. Consider it from a business perspective:

If he manages to win just 9 games next year, he will have compiled one of the best 5-year coaching records EVER, especially for a rookie Head Coach, he will have NO TROUBLE finding another position, he might be picked up in a day.

If the Falcons have hit the ceiling with this guy and his coaching style, they will move on (hopefully FORWARD) without him. Smith probably knows this, so why not watch out for your buddies, that way, when you are out the door, you have them covered too. Look, Head Coaching in the NFL is a BRUTAL business, even with success, you can be shown the door (see Tony Dungy, for one example). Smitty knows this, so he is being a stand-up guy for his friends and acquaintances. Nothing wrong with that.

Sucks for the team, though. More on Thomas; ex-receivers coach in the NFL, in college, he was HEAVY on the run game (sigh, the message is getting clearer…people expecting “vertical passing” might be sorely disappointed in 2012….) Bottom line: totally unqualified to be an NFL QB coach, except that he happened to coach with Smith in Jacksonville.

That being said, it isn’t final yet. And for the sake of the team and MR2, let’s hope it never is.


January 31st, 2012
4:43 am

D-led HATES me….all my comments never post


January 31st, 2012
4:43 am

…except ones like these