Falcons’ Assistants Are On the bubble


Mike Smith was released from his job duties as the Falcons head coach immediately following the conclusion of the football season. Arthur Blank has not released Mike Smith’s top assistants as of yet because the next coach may want to retain some, if not all of them.

Dirk Koetter seems to be the only one of the assistants that has garnered much attention so far. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have interviewed him for a possible position as their Offensive Coordinator. I’m sure that is an attractive offer considering any day now he could be released from his duties as Falcons OC if the new coach chooses to hire someone else.

Mike Nolan as it stands right now is still the Falcons defensive coordinator. Most people believe that he will be released once the new coach is hired. The Falcons ranked dead last in the NFL in total defense this past season. Unbelievably the part of the Falcons team they should have addressed the most in the previous off season was the worst part of the defense. That of course being the pass rush. Mike Nolan never seemed comfortable before the season started when reporters would ask him about the pass rush. He seemed to have” a we will see what happens” approach. My gut tells me that Mike Nolan knew the pass rush would be bad. Mike Nolan isn’t a bad coordinator but change is the theme in Atlanta and because of that he may be released soon.

I think that Mike Tice did an exceptional job with the Falcons offensive line this season. He had to deal with so many injuries in fact at one point Falcons tight end Toilolo had to finish an entire quarter playing the right tackle position because there were not any more lineman available. I think he had done a wonderful job developing young players like James Stone and Ryan Shraeder. Lamar Holmes even looked a lot better after an offseason of working with Tice. Let’s hope that the new coach plans on keeping him around.

Bryan Cox offered the most entertainment on the hit HBO series Hard Knocks which featured the Falcons this season. His voice, cigars, and one-liners were enough to keep America watching from week to week. Unfortunately he was more entertaining during that show than his defensive line was all season. At this point I can’t place any of the blame on Cox, I think it was more of the personnel he had to work with and the scheme they were forced to play. He may get an opportunity to remain in Atlanta next season.

Keith Armstrong has been one of the best special team’s coaches in the NFL. This year the Falcons special teams excelled once again. Armstrong has a knack for getting players to be excited about playing special teams and it shows. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be back unless he is hired away by another team.