Today, Ryan Robertson continues Blogging Dirty’s “Falcons 50” countdown to kickoff. Ryan is looking at the Falcons’ top five coaches in franchise history, today revealing No. 2.
As we continue to inch closer and closer to number one on our “Falcons 50” countdown, it is time to unveil the number two spot on our list of greatest Atlanta Falcons coaches.
He is the only Falcons coach to take the team to the pinnacle of the NFL, playing in a Super Bowl. Number two on our coaching countdown is none other than Dan Reeves.
Before Reeves took the Falcons almost all the way to the promise land, he was a highly successful coach for the Denver Broncos during the 1980s. Upon his hiring to the Broncos in 1981, he became the youngest head coach in NFL history.
Under the tutelage of Coach Reeves, the Denver Broncos would become one of the most successful franchises of the eighties. He would lead them to six playoff appearances on the strength of five division titles, while also appearing in the Superbowl three times.
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During his tenure with Denver, Reeves was the only coach in the NFL to lead his team to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, which he accomplished during a span of three Super Bowl berths in four years.
However, all good runs eventually come to an end, as Reeves would be fired after the 1992 season.
He would make a brief three year stop as head coach of the New York Giants after his firing from Denver.
In his first year as coach his team hit the ground running, sprinting to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. This season was also the best opening season for a new head coach in Giants franchise history.
After following that up with two losing seasons, he would be fired again, which would open the door for the single greatest Atlanta Falcons season ever.
When Reeves took over the coaching job with the Falcons, he inherited a very bad football team.
Despite that, he would put a markedly better product on the field in his first season, improving upon the record of the previous season by four games.
What he would do next though will be remembered in Atlanta for eternity.
No one will ever forget the 1998 Atlanta Falcons season. The Falcons would dominate the entire league that year, securing a 14-2 record and the number one seed in the NFC playoff picture.
After winning their first playoff match, the Falcons found themselves pitted up against the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings.
We all know what happened next.
The Falcons won and were now set to play in the Super Bowl against none other than Reeves’ old team, the Denver Broncos.
While the outcome of the 1998 Super Bowl wasn’t what Falcons fans were hoping for, there is a lot to be said about being the only head coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl.
It forever immortalized Coach Reeves in Falcons lore, and he is considered by many to be the best head coach to never win the big one.
While his overall record as coach of the Atlanta Falcons is below .500 and he only posted two winning season during his tenure, the 1998 season will forever be in the hearts and minds of Falcons fans and is the reason he lands as the second greatest Falcons coach of all time.