The Falcons have only had two h
Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:17 am
ead coaches Marcus Green Atlanta Falcons Jersey , but their coordinator changes have been legion." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesThe Falcoholic homepageHorizontal - WhiteThe Falcoholican Atlanta Falcons communityFollow The Falcoholic online:Follow The Falcoholic on TwitterFollow The Falcoholic on FacebookLog in or sign upLog InSign UpSite searchSearchSearchThe Falcoholic main menuFanpostsFanshotsLibraryFalconsOddsAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 321 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Library FalcFans Podcast on The FalcoholicContact The FalcoholicFalcons StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Falcons NewsYahoo Falcons Team PageYahoo Falcons ReportYahoo Falcons Depth ChartYahoo Falcons TransactionsYahoo Falcons PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub ✕The evolution of the Falcons coaching staff, 2008-2018 New,36commentsThe Falcons have only had two head coaches, but their coordinator changes have been legion. EDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:The evolution of the Falcons coaching staff, 2008-2018 TwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Paul Abell/Getty ImagesThis has been a golden age of stability for the Atlanta Falcons, a sentence that is sadder than I thought it would be when I started it. Let’s continue.The Falcons have had just two head coaches since 2008, with Mike Smith at the helm from 2008-2014 and Dan Quinn at the helm since. That stability has been underwritten with coordinator changes, with Smitty nudging out his offensive and defensive coordinators once and Dan Quinn turning over his by firings and hirings twice now. Keith Armstrong is the lone constant in all those years, and heading into 2019, even he’s gone. Let’s look at the staff over the years. Falcons Coaches YearHead CoachOffensive CoordinatorDefensive CoordinatorSpecial Teams CoordinatorYearHead CoachOffensive CoordinatorDefensive CoordinatorSpecial Teams CoordinatorWith the passage of time, that first staff doesn’t seem so bad. Smith and company were exactly what a transitioning Falcons team needed, and while there isn’t a single playoff win in those four seasons, they went to the playoffs three times and managed the first back-to-back winning seasons in team history. That seems ho-hum now that this team has had bigger playoff successes, but it was a huge deal at the time, and rightfully so.Mularkey rode Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez to a ton of success 2019 Marcus Green Jersey , keeping Matt Ryan reasonably well-protected and building a balanced offense that was tough to stop. When Turner started to slow down in 2011 and the personnel got a little shakier, that offense crashed and burned in the playoffs, and Mularkey bolted for a Jaguars head coaching gig before the axe could fall. A similar story played out with Brian Van Gorder, who got something approaching decent play out of a pretty ragtag group, but never quite was able to build something better.The next duo had a shorter run that featured a higher high but also many, many lower lows. Dirk Koetter coaxed the best season of Matt Ryan’s career to that point out of him in 2012 and did a frankly astonishing job of getting the offense to produce at a high level with Michael Turner struggling mightily, but a major injury to Julio Jones in 2013 and nightmarish line play in 2013 and 2014 helped to doom his side of the ball to less-than-elite performances the two years after that. Considering the number of self-inflicted personnel wounds—this was a team that signed Jeremy Trueblood, Steven Jackson, and went into a year with Levine Toilolo and Bear Pascoe at tight end—Koetter’s offenses fared pretty well. They came so very close to being Super Bowl-worthy in 2012.Mike Nolan’s defense followed the same trajectory, but less successfully. Nolan did a nice job of disguising looks and sowing confusion in 2012 with a solid group on that side of the ball, and that defense was nearly good enough to push the Falcons into a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Alas, they fell short, and in 2013 and 2014 the personnel got worse and Nolan’s schtick could not compensate for that. While Koetter got the head coaching job in Tampa Bay, Nolan has not been an NFL coordinator since, which shows the dangers of coaching this Falcons defense.This all came under Smitty Marcus Green Atlanta Falcons Jersey , mind you. The 2014 season was the right time to move on from Smith, both at the time and in hindsight, given how fatally flawed the roster had come to be and the team’s astonishing inability to even try to develop young talent. But he was absolutely the right man to lead the team in 2008, and he is tragically close to being an all-time hero, if not for 2012’s agonizing disappointment.The next man the Falcons hired is no stranger to that! Dan Quinn has helped to infuse the roster with more talent, but the results have been uneven to this point, with one historically great squad in 2016, a quality but vaguely disappointing playoff team in 2017, and a pair of listless, injury-marred squads in 2015 and 2018. Quinn has been much quicker to turn over his coaching staff than Smitty, however.That started with Kyle Shanahan and Richard Smith. Shanny had the offense trending in the right direction in 2015 and presided over the single greatest offense in team history in 2016 before getting the San Francisco 49ers head coaching gig, becoming the third of Matt Ryan’s offensive coordinators to move directly from that gig to HC. Smith was a solid coordinator who was secretly replaced by Dan Quinn partway through 2016, which saw better performances from the defense and allowed DQ to take credit for that transformation.Fatally, the Falcons did not follow up the departure of those two coordinators with experienced options, as Smith sought to do when he moved on from Mularkey and Van Gorder. Instead Youth Marcus Green Jersey , Quinn took a risk on Steve Sarkisian and promoted rising defensive coach Marquand Manuel to defensive coordinator. Sark was reviled more or less from the jump despite quietly presiding over an above average offense in 2017—albeit one that struggled against good defenses when it mattered most—and a distinctly above average one in 2018 that didn’t have Devonta Freeman or, eventually, either of its starting guards. The trend line that doomed Sark was those consistent, maddeningly poor games against quality defenses, but the decision to push him out after two seasons almost certainly involved the optics involved with pushing forward on a decision nobody loved in the first place.Manuel was different, in that the hire was met with at least some level of approval. The defense was shockingly good at times in 2017 but largely fell apart under the weight of an unbelievable spate of injuries in 2018, but DQ found himself not loving scheme and personnel choices Manuel was making, with the defensive line apparently being a huge sore spot. Like Sark, Manuel was a guy you could make a strong case for keeping, but Quinn is under pressure and is betting on himself, as he is wont to do.And Armstrong? He’s been one of the most respected special teams coordinators in football all these many years, and despite the shakiness of the return game in Atlanta these past couple of seasons, he played a pivotal role in getting Matt Bryant to the Falcons and helping to further unlock the great kicker’s potential, got a lot out of Eric Weems and Devin Hester alike, and consistently unearthed terrific contributors like Kemal Ishmael and Russell Gage our of the team’s late round choices and undrafted free agents. It’s sort of weird to think that he won’t be on the sidelines this year. Now we’re back to Koetter and Quinn in the coordinator spots with Ben Kotwica joining as Armstrong’s replacement Youth Terrell McClain Jersey , and we’ll have to see if this turns out to be a new, multi-year run of success, or if for the first time in recent memory the Falcons put a trio of coaches out there who only last a single season. ATLANTA (AP) — After Matt Ryan agreed to restructure his contract to clear salary cap room, the Atlanta Falcons quickly invested the new funds in protecting the quarterback.The Falcons on Wednesday signed free-agent offensive guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown. Carpenter’s four-year deal is worth $21 million. Brown’s three-year deal is worth $18.75 million.Ryan agreed to tweak his contract on Tuesday with $8.75 million of his 2019 base salary to be paid as a signing bonus. The Falcons cleared $7 million in cap space with the move.The Falcons added additional cap space of about $6.45 million with their release of right tackle Ryan Schraeder on Wednesday. Schraeder’s agent Joel Turner, confirmed the release to The Associated Press.Schraeder lost his starting job to Ty Sambrailo late last season. Sambrailo was signed to a three-year extension last month.The Falcons also released kicker Matt Bryant, cornerback Robert Alford and defensive end Brooks Reed this offseason.Offensive guard was the Falcons’ top priority. The newcomers will add bulk to the middle of the line. Carpenter (6-5, 321) and Brown (6-4, 340) will compete for starting jobs at left guard and right guard, respectively.Brandon Fusco, Wes Schweitzer and Sean Harlow return at guard. The Falcons lost Andy Levitre, Ben Garland and Zane Beadles to free agency.Brown, whose 26th birthday is Friday, was released by the Rams last season before signing with the Giants, where he was an immediate starter . Carpenter, whose 30th birthday is March 22 Stitched Logan Paulsen Jersey , was limited by a shoulder injury to 10 games with the Jets in 2018.It would not be a surprise if more help for the line comes in the NFL draft, though the free-agent signings give Atlanta more flexibility to address another need with their first-round pick, No. 14 overall. Other needs include defensive line, cornerback and running back.Wednesday’s signings could be the first proof of new offensive thinking following changes on coach Dan Quinn’s staff.Following last season’s 7-9 finish, Quinn fired each of his three coordinators. He hired Dirk Koetter as new offensive coordinator and Mike Mularkey to coach tight ends. Quinn will run the defense.Koetter said last month the staff was “going through that playbook line by line and play by play” and “ironing out what’s going to be the Falcons’ offense moving forward.”The first emphasis was the offensive line, where center Alex Mack and left tackle Jake Matthews may be the only 2019 starters who started to open last season.“You can have the greatest skill players in the world, but your O-line and your D-line set the tempo for the team,” Koetter said.Atlanta ranked 27th in the league in rushing last season. Improvements in pass-blocking also are needed.Ryan wasn’t sacked as many as 30 times in any of his first five seasons. He’s been sacked 30 or more times in five of the last six years, including 42 times in 2018.Despite the lack of protection, Ryan has been very durable. He has started every game in nine straight seasons since missing two games in 2009.