Remember Mike Smith, the dullard who’d rather hang out with his old coaching pals than do something like, oh, maybe win a Super Bowl? Turns out he’s not so wild about his old pals that he’ll let that bond stand in the way of progress.
Smitty the alleged dullard — so alleged for having hired Dirk Koetter, with whom he worked a year in Jacksonville, as offensive coordinator — just fired Paul Boudreau, the offensive line coach whose success in 2008 helped get the whole Smith-as-Falcons-coach operation off the ground. And then he turned around and hired Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator.
Pretty instructive day, I’d say. First the Falcons make a move they needed to make. (As noted, GM Thomas Dimitroff wasn’t pleased that his smallish line couldn’t produce the push required to make it on fourth-and-inches twice against the Giants.) The Boudreau Method — coaching up smallish-but-bullish O-linemen — had run its course. Time to find a new man. And now the Falcons will.
As for Nolan: He was one of the two hottest DCs on the market, Steve Spagnuolo being the other. Nolan could have had his pick of jobs. He picked this one. That’s another good sign, and one very productive day.
By Mark Bradley