Atlanta Falcons: Smith is happy that Koetter is staying on board


FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter withdrew from consideration for NFL head coaching vacancies and signed on for another season with the Falcons.

Falcons coach Mike Smith said Koetter informed him of his decision to stay Tuesday night, after the first-year Falcons coordinator reportedly interviewed with the Chiefs and cancelled interviews with the Browns and the Eagles.

Instead, Koetter spent Wednesday at practice and then game-planning for a potential match-up with the Seahawks, the first of three scenarios Falcons coaches are preparing for over three days of this bye week before the divisional playoff Jan. 13.

Koetter’s contract was extended through the 2013 season.

“I spoke with coach Koetter last night and am very excited that he’s going to be here with us,” Smith said after practice Wednesday. “Continuity is very important … (for) your football team and coaching staff. I’m glad. Dirk’s a very good football coach. He’s done a nice job for us. We’ve put that to rest.”

Former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey left last year to become head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Had Koetter departed, it would have meant the Falcons had their third offensive coordinator in three years. Instead Koetter returns to work with quarterback Matt Ryan, whom he’s helped to a franchise-record 4,719 yards passing and 32 touchdowns, and receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, who each surpassed 1,000 yards in receptions this season.

Koetter was not made available for comment, as is the Falcons’ option on a bye week. But Koetter could presumably use another year with Ryan and company to continue to build his resume and position himself for a better job down the line, rather than take a job with a questionable quarterback situation in a year when the draft is believed to be thin at the position.

His current quarterback appreciates having him back.

“I’m excited about it,” Ryan said. “He’s obviously a great coach and has helped us out a bunch this year. I think the guys enjoy working with him and learning from him. I’m excited he’s going to be here, and I know the guys are, too.”

Ryan has flourished in Koetter’s more aggressive offensive style, which features a more vertical passing attack.

“I think the thing everybody respects and likes the most is that he trusts our guys to go out there and make plays,” Ryan said. “He’s not afraid to be aggressive and it’s been fun.”

Ryan said Koetter made a big impression on the players when he made an effort to adapt to their offensive terminology and not the other way around.

“One of the biggest things that helped throughout the situation was him adapting to the terminology and a lot of the concepts that we used,” Ryan said. “One guy changing for the mass, as opposed to the mass changing for the one guy. I think guys really respected that and appreciated that.”


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54 comments Add your comment

Hamad Meander

January 2nd, 2013
4:35 pm

This is a good thing. I know a lot of Falcons fans are not loving this, but it’s hard to argue with statistical data that clearly shows a successful offense.


January 2nd, 2013
4:44 pm

Hope Nolan also stays.

Koetter really showed what an ass Mularkey was, who said Falcons don’t have the personel to run screens.


January 2nd, 2013
4:56 pm

Great News for the Falcons!

The biggest difference with this team from 2009-2011 and 2012 is the OC & DC positions…………..I expect different results in the up-coming play-off games as a direct result of Koetter and Nolan!

Elvis is Alive

January 2nd, 2013
4:56 pm


January 2nd, 2013
5:05 pm

@hamad meander; i can honestly say im sure most falcon fans are thrilled koetter is staying, most were skeptical before the year started but most are certainly happy that koetter is staying, some even believe koetter has been more successful than nolan, not in my oppinion when you look at the talent on nolans side, but some believe so. I like koetter and im happy hes descided to stay, now lets go get a ring!!!!!! Go Falcons!!!!!!


January 2nd, 2013
5:06 pm

If we can beef up the Oline this offense will be unstoppable. Maybe TD can reunite MJD with Koetter as well?

Whadda Ya Know?

January 2nd, 2013
5:14 pm

Great move to keep Koetter in place. Now hopefully he can integrate more of his plays in the off season and lose more of Mularkey’s old playbook that they kept.

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Smith is happy that Koetter is staying on board – Atlanta Journal Constitutio… [...]

LOL at The Aints

January 2nd, 2013
5:16 pm

Great News,, Hope Nolan stays too,,, Mularkey was full of himself LOL

Michael M.

January 2nd, 2013
5:24 pm

Just think the aints can watch Atlanta in the playoffs……………haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha

John Ellison

January 2nd, 2013
5:31 pm

Mularkey is full of malarkey!

Falcon James

January 2nd, 2013
5:59 pm

Great news for the Falcon. Nolan staying would be even greater news. Glad the offense can focus on the next game without this distraction.


January 2nd, 2013
6:26 pm

Coach Koetter, thank you for making another run with the Dirty Birds; if you can convince Tony Gonzales to stay for another year that would be awesome. And of course, if you can make sure this year, the offense puts 30+ points on the board each game, I would be very, very happy because it should mean wins in any game we play!


January 2nd, 2013
6:37 pm

great news for falcons!! lets!!! do this this dirk.on to playoffs fly high big birds.A T L!!!!!!!!

Son Of Bart

January 2nd, 2013
6:55 pm

Great move! Wished he’d of signed a 5 year contract. The wins are piling up and the Falcons are entertaining again. He’s smart. Must smell a ring in the immediate future. Must be estatic to be away from the Jaguars! As for Mularkey, he’s full of himself all right. Full of “you know what”. That man can’t lose enough games to suit me. How many losses did he wind up with this year? Fourteen? That’s two too few in my book. Anybody know if Nolan is “locked up” or do all the coordinators work on one year contracts? Go Falcons.

NFC South Champs

January 2nd, 2013
8:09 pm

13-3 Smitty is happy.

Vu Ḉa Avant

January 2nd, 2013
8:11 pm

One and done. That won’t change and will be the only hallmark of consistency that Smith is talking about.

KC Falcon

January 2nd, 2013
8:16 pm

1 win and done with the first playoff opponent, and on to the next victim for the next victory, and then to the next victory

Joe Tess Fish House

January 2nd, 2013
8:27 pm

What a misteak 4 the Flacons to extend his contrat. His offence is 2 predictable.


January 2nd, 2013
8:29 pm

Glad they hooked him up. He’s earned it.

Marty Ice

January 2nd, 2013
9:33 pm

Koetter has done a great job. Everyone was clamoring for us to throw more screen passes. Since Koetter showed up, we went from being the worst screen team in the league to the best. Glad he’s sticking around for sure

Ghost of Norm van Brocklin

January 2nd, 2013
9:36 pm

Always though Marlarkey was full of %^%%!!! Screen passes will save a team and give them more wins. Now we need to kick some butt in the playoffs. Hope the Defensive coach stays also.


January 2nd, 2013
9:43 pm

Ryan plays his best when Koetter doesn’t interfere…….just watch the no huddles……


January 2nd, 2013
9:54 pm

Koetter has been phenomenal this year. So glad he stayed!


January 2nd, 2013
10:11 pm

If they don’t win a playoff game this year, they can all leave as far as I’m concerned. Get this monkey off your backs, boys.


January 2nd, 2013
10:29 pm

Typical Falcons…they’re locking up the wrong coordinator! Nolan’s defense is THE reason this team is 13-3.

Mike Franklin

January 2nd, 2013
10:37 pm

This is not a gripe… but I still wish we would do more play action, screening and traps that we do.


January 2nd, 2013
11:20 pm

Whew!!! We dodged a bullet on that one. I hope we can wrap Nolan up, as well. This combination of OC and DC may be the best we’ve ever had.


KC Falcon

January 3rd, 2013
12:41 am

Get DK another RB and some new O-Linemen and the offense should really churn.


January 3rd, 2013
6:36 am

CARROLL ROGERS……………………..who are you…………who who who who, cmon and tell me.


January 3rd, 2013
7:53 am

Anybody who would say Dirk koetter’s offense is too predictable is an idiot. This is good news for Ryan and company, that Dirk decided to stay. Now let’s put an offense together for the playoffs that aggressive an unstopable.


January 3rd, 2013
8:08 am

Lock Nolan in too!!!! If the Falcons win the first playoff game I believe they go all the way. RISE UP!!!!

Say what

January 3rd, 2013
8:12 am

“who said Falcons don’t have the personel to run screens.”

ATL’s favorite troll, JSS, for one. Idiot.


January 3rd, 2013
8:24 am

I’m tired of hearing about Seattle..when they even haven’t beaten the Redskins yet…they are not the best team we are..RISE UP~!!!!

Birdman of Falcatraz

January 3rd, 2013
8:46 am

Must have Nolan extended too. His schemes have hidden some serious deficiencies in talent. He lost his top corner, was without his defensive leader Spoon, and his heavy hitter Moore for significant stretches and held this unit together. He may be the MVP of this team.


January 3rd, 2013
9:31 am

Joe Tess Fish House…. anything you are for, I am against, because you lack the intelligence that God gave a goose. I am glad the Falcons ( yes, Joe Tess, not Flacons!) kept Koetter… I do hope they’re able to keep Nolan as well… I have concerns about their defense without Nolan as DC.


January 3rd, 2013
9:41 am

Joe Flacco
January 2nd, 2013
9:59 pm
Cheer up guys, I will be posting my 5th straight year with a playoff win. I have no idea what it’s like to go 1 and done. Matty Ice can you tell me how that feels?
Joe, why can’t ya get to the big dance. I’d say too many interceptions and poor performance in the playoffs has a lot to do with it.

2009 you got past Miami and Tennessee then threw for a measly 141 yards and 3 interceptions giving the Steelers a trip to the Super Bowl.

Miami gave you 5 turnovers and you had a passer rating of 59.1 …..WOW!! Against Tennessee you managed to get only 9 first downs…………..Tennessee gave you the game with 3 turnovers and you were lucky to hit that winning field goal. But here’s where it gets better. In the AFC Championship Game to go to the SUPER BOWL you managed an 18.2 Passer Rating to go along with those 3 int’s, one of those a pick 6 to Troy Polamalu in the fourth quarter.

2010 Here you managed against New England a 10.0 Passer Rating, 4 of 10, for 34 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception, the lowest rated game for a “winning” quarterback in a playoff game ever. New England gifted 4 turnovers to you along with the game.
Against the Colts you managed an incredible 48.4 Passer Rating, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. A very comfortable 20-3 win for Indy as Baltimore committed four turnovers including your two interceptions. Good Bye Ravens in the 2010 playoffs.

2011 So the Ravens beat KC 30-7, a mediocre team at best in a mediocre division Kansas City giving up the ball 5 times.
Against Pittsburgh Jan 15th, 2011 A 61.1 Passer Rating. What happened Joe, you had a 21-7 halftime lead and let this one get away 31-24, another Steelers victory. You managed “3″ second half first downs…………..what’s up with that…….???

Last year you beat Houston and had a 97.1 Passer Rating, 14 of 27, 176 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT not too bad Joe. You had some help from some Houston turnovers (TJ Yates threw 3 interceptions) on a short field. Only scoring 3 points in the 2nd half isn’t really championship caliber football but you got the “W” in spite of it. You got sacked 5 times by holding the ball and only managed 11 first downs the entire game. I’m really impressed Joe.

Then you followed this up with a loss to New England………….whoops out of the playoffs.

Joe, here is the thing. Your record is deceiving, you haven’t played very well, hence an incredibly low playoff QB passer rating and no shot at the Big Dance. You have lived on your Defense and that is the only reason why you have the playoff wins that you do. Your defense has forced 25 turnovers in 8 playoff games, Just for perspective no team since the Eagles in 1989 has forced 50 turnovers OVER A FULL SEASON. And frankly you have done little with those gifts.

In those same years the Atlanta Falcons have faced either the NFC Super Bowl representative or the eventual Super Bowl Champion……………we’ve had no chump playoff games on the schedule. If you want to compare Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco let’s see which one leads his team to a win at the Super Bowl……………..nothing else really doesn’t matter.

Say what

January 3rd, 2013
9:45 am

Nicely done, Esquire. These trolls are clowns and never have a valid point.


January 3rd, 2013
10:25 am

Yeah if my choices were KC, Philly, or Cleveland or coming back to a 13-3 team with awesome offensive talent I’d stay put for another year or so myself. Great news! Agree with everyone else though, lets get our DC back as well!

Polk County Falcon

January 3rd, 2013
10:26 am

Koetter would be crazy to leave. He’s already been down the losing road. Now he’s with a winner and the future looks a lot brighter for him especially with all the personnel the Falcons have on offense. I just hope he will please please please do something to get Matt Ryan more protection out of the offensive line. The last thing the Falcons need is for Ryan to be on the disabled list with a concussion or worse.

Snidely Whiplash

January 3rd, 2013
10:41 am

Fast forward to next season when the majority of you experts will complain his offense is too predictable.

NFC South Champs

January 3rd, 2013
10:48 am

Seattle is 3-5 in road games, 2-5 if you count playing Buffalo in Canada.


January 3rd, 2013
10:53 am

That`s great,and we do not care who we play next[W.R.,S.S.,M.V.,G.P.].JUST NO MORE BAD GAMES,LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] you might imagine, Falcons coach Mike Smith is glad he’s able to hang onto offensive coordinator Dirk [...]


January 3rd, 2013
11:12 am

Snidely Whiplash
January 3rd, 2013
10:41 am

Fast forward to next season when the majority of you experts will complain his offense is too predictable.


Lol, fast forward, back up, one and done, where have we been, where are we going………….can we just be in the moment? The Mighty Atlanta Falcons have achieved home field advantage for the duration of the playoffs.

Let’s predict the future and reminisce the past another time because if you are a true Falcon fan the only thing that matters right now is Sunday Jan13th @ 1pm. (however the NFL website Post Season Schedule says we are playing Saturday night Jan 12th @ 8pm


Polk County Falcon

January 3rd, 2013
11:35 am

My wife is not much of a football fan and doesn’t know much at all about the game, but she will watch the Falcons with me and we even go to a game occasionally. Believe me when we’re sitting there watching a game and she says “Oh no! here goes Turner up the middle”, THAT my friend is predictable.

Still Gritz Blitz'n

January 3rd, 2013
12:45 pm

Thank You!Thank You! Coach Koetter! Welcome back! Even though you haven’t left, but almost. So glad you hang’n on w/ us for a while longer. So Happy. Now Coach Nolan, stay on sir & Let’s go get that ring, & chances for a few more times. O Happy Day!


January 3rd, 2013
1:22 pm

Joe Tess….. nobody listens to a liar like you!

Vu Ḉa Avant

January 3rd, 2013
2:29 pm

Koetter’s offensive play calling IS as predictable as the Falcons are consistent: one of the primary reasons his team will be going one and done, again this year.


January 3rd, 2013
3:31 pm

Dirk is by far head and shoulders above Mularkey!!

However could I ask on a 3rd and 1 or 2 to maybe just maybe put a RB in the backfield and not have Ryan in a constant shotgun with an empty backfield???? tHANKS