FLOWERY BRANCH — During the recently completed minicamp we chatted with offensive assistant
Andrew Weidinger, who received a promotion this offseason after serving four years as assistant to head coach Mike Smith and helping running backs coach Gerald Brown.
Weidinger, who turns 30 on July 10th, is one of the behind the scenes coaches, who keeps things running smoothly by managing data, doing research, completing daily practice scripts, schedules and calendars. He’s one of the “logistics” guys.
Weidinger joined the staff in 2007 as a personnel scout. Prior to joining the Falcons, he spent seven seasons at the University of Arizona, where he worked in a number of positions, including assistant director of football operations.
Here are excerpts from the Q&A with Weidinger:
Q: Explain your role on the staff?
A: Well, I’m at the bottom of the ladder. I do whatever I can to help out. The last few years, I worked with the running backs and helped out Coach Smith with a lot of his operational type stuff. Now, I’m working more closely with Dirk Koetter and Terry Robiskie. I’m still doing a lot of the operational type stuff with the offense like getting scripts ready and helping put together practice plans. That sort of stuff.
Q: How has this offseason been compared to the lockout of last season for some of the support staff?
A: We had all of that time off and we didn’t know when guys were coming back. For us, we went on summer break and we didn’t know if the thing was going to be cut short or if we were going to be back in the offices. It’s been a totally different deal. It’s been a good offseason. I started off learning the new system with Coach Koetter. It’s been fun to learn that and then come out here, install it and help those young guys learn it.
Q: Describe Coach Koetter’s offense from your perspective?
A: You’ve got a different guy calling the plays, so some things are a little bit different. But, at the end of the day, the offenses in the NFL are real similar. We’re going to have some things that are the same and some that are different. It’s going to be a little bit of a different style.
Q: Describe that style?
A: When we first came in, Coach Smith said we were going to run the ball. Now, we are going to throw it too. We’ve got all sorts of weapons. We’ve got running backs. We’ve got tight ends. We’ve got receivers. We are going to be able to do a little bit of everything out there.
Per the league’s media policy, there are minimum requirements for offseason access to the coaching staff. The Falcons went well beyond those minimums this offseason in making assistant coaches available to the media. Here are some of the other interviews with the coaching staff in case you missed them.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog