Atlanta Falcons: Meet new offensive line coach Pat Hill


AGE: 60

BACKGROUND: Pat Hill enters his first season as the Falcons offensive line coach. Hill comes to the Falcons after spending 15 seasons (1997-2011) 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.

PRO EXPERIENCE: Hill spent five seasons as an offensive line/tight ends coach in the NFL. Hill joined the Cleveland Browns in 1992 and spent four seasons (1992-95) in the organization, coaching tight ends and offensive line in addition to working in the personnel department evaluating players.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Bulldogs had 14 players drafted by NFL teams. … Fresno State’s 1985 team was the only unbeaten Division I-A squad in the country, finishing the season 16th in the polls.

COLLEGE: A 1973 graduate of UC Riverside, Hill was a three-time all-conference center, earning All-America honors as a senior. He was inducted into the UC Riverside Hall of Fame in 1989.

FAMILY: Hill and his wife, Cathy, have three children. Their eldest, Michael, is a recent graduate of Fresno State. Zak is a junior safety on the Bulldog squad and Matt, who played at Cal Poly until a career-ending injury, is a college student in Southern California.

QUOTABLE: “I love to coach,” Hill said. “I don’t have a lot of hobbies.”

Here’s are some of the in highlights from the interview with Hill.

ON HIS ASSESSMENT OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE: Offensively, they moved the ball (well) with a lot of regularity. They ran a very sophisticated scheme. From a mental standpoint, I thought it was a heck of a group. Right now, my main focus is working on fundamentals.

ON THE TEAM’S SHORT YARDAGE PROBLEMS LAST SEASON: I don’t really know too much about that. One thing that I’ve learned from 15 years as a head coach, I don’t read the paper too much. I didn’t spend a lot of time on the short yardage tape. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the protections and the other things, so I really can address that. (ASIDE: I suspect Coach Pat does read the paper and has viewed the short yardage tape a time or two.)

ON HIS APPROACH: I didn’t come here to split the atom. I came here to work on fundamentals. At this level you really have a chance to tweak a person’s game. It’s like being a swing coach for a golfer.

MORE ON HIS APPPROACH TO COACHING: Here you are dealing with seven guys. In college, you might be dealing with 15 or 18 and it’s really a cookie cutter deal. Here, you’re trying to develop technique to help each one of your players get better. That’s what the great challenge is about in pro football. Like when I was in Cleveland and Baltimore, you have the same guys over and over, every day. So you have a lot of time to tweak their technique. In college you are just trying to get ready for the next game. You are trying to get 15 or 16 guys to develop. Here you have a chance to really work on the fundamentals.

ON THE PLAYERS: You are a teacher. That’s what this profession is all about, teaching. There is a lot less to deal with outside of football at this level. It’s really enjoyable. You’re just coaching football; just working one-on-one with a lot of individuals.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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38 comments Add your comment


June 7th, 2012
5:42 am

Hmmm. Not exactly the fiery personality I was hoping for. Hope he coaches better than he interviews. Thanks for the coverage DLED.


June 7th, 2012
8:18 am

Bill Johnson’s crew is going to own him.

The Real FAlcon

June 7th, 2012
8:26 am

He is in an interview, not coaching. I didn’t expect he’s fiery enough while coaching. Go see him at camp.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 7th, 2012
8:28 am

SPS – You’re welcome! He came off as ever the technician. But he has a fiery side to him, I’m sure.


June 7th, 2012
9:04 am

DLED….glad the Falcons have him as a coach. Were there other teams looking to sign him this winter?

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

June 7th, 2012
9:13 am

If this guy is so godd why he not a haed caoch N E more?


June 7th, 2012
9:13 am

The off-season acquisition that I am most excited about. I’ve enjoyed watching Fresno St. take on all comers the last few years. They were stupid to fire him. The Falcons were smart to hire him.


June 7th, 2012
9:17 am

Once again I will put my faith in our staff to make the right choices for the team. Instead of taking heed to comments like “he is not fiery enough” or “Bill Johnson’s crew will own him”. Seenthisb4 is wrong way more then he is right. That is the only thing right about him, he is usaully wrong.


June 7th, 2012
9:26 am

LOL! Thanks Kramer! LOL!

Son Of Bart

June 7th, 2012
9:37 am

This man sure has his work cut out for him! Whew. Wish him the best with what he has to work with. As a former center, should be great with that Wisconsin Badger dude.


June 7th, 2012
9:52 am

welcome to the Falcon Nation! Now get those O lines a## in gear, protect qb, block for the runners and be able to make one yard when necessary! Go Falcons!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 7th, 2012
9:52 am

Paddy — Coach Hill said he had several other options, but wanted to come to Atlanta.

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
10:08 am

There seems little doubt that during the initial interview, the short yard issue came up. I don’t know why he feels the need to be coy about it. At worse, he was hired without understanding one of the primary issues that needs to be addressed. At best, he is playing the media like a fool.


June 7th, 2012
10:23 am

He’s a smart coach that is able to get a lot out of his players. That’s what I want. I’m certain the pass blocking will be better.

Without Ovie though, I’m not sure short yardage will improve.


June 7th, 2012
10:25 am

No one had to read the paper last year to know the OL was terrible, we had no screen game and after Ovie went down we couldn’t gain 6 inches if our lives depended on it.

No one had to discuss it, it was painfully obvious.

I usually just read but....

June 7th, 2012
10:28 am

Doesn’t look like he’d take a drink to me, lmao


June 7th, 2012
10:34 am

Love that he graduated from UC Riverside where I did my MBA! And he graduated the year I was born! Hope that’s some kind of good omen for the Falcons!

Jeff B

June 7th, 2012
10:42 am

I sure hope he doesn’t really mean that about not focusing much on short yardage… that was a gaping wound in our abilities last season, and it needs to be addressed badly!

Falcon Jim's stalker should be BANNED

June 7th, 2012
11:01 am

Enter your comments here


June 7th, 2012
11:46 am

Coach Hill is very experienced with the Press. He will never divulge EXACTLY what he thinks or who or what needs serious help. That’s inside info and that’s where it stays.
I applaud him.
I look for BIG improvement in the Falcon O line under his direction.


June 7th, 2012
12:02 pm

So when are they gonna stop making excuses for Baker. Im looking a Smith sideways about Shake n Baked..


June 7th, 2012
12:33 pm

Pat Hill’s resume at Fresno State speaks for itself….he made FresnoState into a household name in college football, when most people didn’t even know where Fresno was.

He’ll be a great addition to the coaching staff.


June 7th, 2012
12:51 pm

D. Led – do the rumors about Turner’s weight look accurate? Maybe we need to start thinking of a new nickname besides the Burner.

Big Ron

June 7th, 2012
1:06 pm

If we can solve our problems at LT the RG position will fall n too place I’m a little excited bout this Larry Holmes Guy he’s got great size and athleticism.


June 7th, 2012
1:33 pm

You know…..SeenThisB4 coming on a Falcons blog after what has happened to His team and making His usual threats about what the aints are going to do Is toothless hillbilly fodder…..

Falcon Jim

June 7th, 2012
1:59 pm

Blake, there is nothing you can say to SeenThisB4. He is superman……….immoveable.
He doesn’t care about criticism…………he is a rock.
He is dogmatic…………….will never change.
I rarely agree with him, but I admire his tenacity.


June 7th, 2012
2:40 pm

I am VERY glad that Coach Hill is with us and I look for him to have a major impact on the players he has available to him. I think you’re gonna be needing to do what he wants or you ain’t gonna be playing. Simple as that. Fish or cut bait for several players this year, especially Mr. Baker.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 7th, 2012
3:07 pm

yeahsure — Turner’s looks slimmer to me


June 7th, 2012
4:57 pm

I like the technical side this guy brings to our O-line. Being nasty on the O-line means nothing if you don’t have the technique and fundamentals to do your job. I’m sure he wants them to have a little nastiness in them, you have to on the O-line. But first things first, be a TECHNICIAN with the right FUNDAMENTALS, and you won’t find yourself our of position!


June 7th, 2012
6:07 pm

Hill is going to make a big difference to this OL, its quite evedent that Paul Beaudro lost the line before this past year, I think all of you that question Hill will be in for a big surprise.


June 7th, 2012
7:15 pm

I’ll bet mularkey gets bugs in his house alot… screens.


June 7th, 2012
8:27 pm

Pat Hill is a good hire. Yeah I’m sure Turner is slimmer. Its a career year for him. He’ll probably be gone after this year so he has to audition for that last gig. I really like him too but I just dont see him returning next year.


June 7th, 2012
9:21 pm

I don’t see Turner returning either. We wore him out with conservatism. I want to see more of Quizz and Snelling. It will be much more difficult to defend plays including Quizz & Snelling instead of run up the middle with Turner and Snelling was only about a tenth of a yard less in YPC in 2009 when Snelling got a chance to play regularly.

Chuck Clausen

June 8th, 2012
9:26 am

I coached 18 years in the NFL after having coached High School, JC and College – it’s like being the instructor for high level graduate students. It’s more of an interactive process. Where as a coach you present the game plan, we spent our meeting and Practise time working on how we can best execute the plan.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 8th, 2012
10:58 am

Coach Chuck Clausen — Thanks for sharing that information with us. Dusting off my Double-Wing playbook just in case they need me at the neighborhood youth park this year.

Larry G.

June 8th, 2012
4:30 pm

Go for it D Led…. The fellows of this blog must know that having this extra time in OTA’s will go so much further than what we ending up doing in the early part of last season. C Hill will have these men barking for approval when they run those screens this year. It’s been needed for 2 maybe 3 years and took the Giants in the playoffs to make us understand AND to make that move that brought him in.

Bubba Bean

June 12th, 2012
12:14 pm

DOL, at first I was confused as to why this was a highlight: “Fresno State’s 1985 team was the only unbeaten Division I-A squad in the country, finishing the season 16th in the polls” if Hill coached there from (1997-2011). But thanks to wikipedia I was able to fill in the holes in your article and learn he was the OL coach at Fresno State from 84-89.


June 13th, 2012
11:09 pm

one yard and a chunk of astro-turf