If Dirk Koetter was the Falcons’ offseason hire that raised eyebrows, Mike Nolan is the one that should allay fears.
The Falcons hired Nolan as their defensive coordinator on Tuesday. Rest easy. Nolan, whose Miami Dolphins allowed the sixth fewest points in the NFL this season, has been viewed as one of the game’s premier defensive coordinators, going back to when then-New York Giants coach Dan Reeves hired him in 1993 at the age of only 34.
If Nolan can’t fix some of the team’s problems, it will be because of the team’s personnel issues, not because of a poor scheme or a lack of direction.
Nolan is known for having strong third-down defenses — Miami ranked seventh this season at 34 percent, the Falcons only 29th at 44 percent — and for creativity in terms of how he uses players on the defensive line.
This season as Miami’s coordinator, the Dolphins’ finished