The team announced that secondary coach Alvin Reynolds won’t return to the Falcons in 2012, joining former offensive line coach Paul Boudreau as another assistant that the Falcons opted not to renew their contracts with the team. Reynolds came over to the Falcons with Mike Smith in 2008 after several years as the defensive backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Falcons hired Tim Lewis two years ago to help improve their secondary play, and presumably he will take over full duties of that position group with Reynolds departing.
On the potential front of replacing Boudreau, the Falcons were reportedly interested in Jaguars OL coach Andy Heck, who served with both Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith in Jacksonville since 2006. In Jacksonville, Heck replaced Boudreau that year. But according to Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, Heck will be retained by the Jaguars under new head coach and former Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. Boudreau has since been hired by the St. Louis Rams, the same team he served prior to joining the Falcons in 2008.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports
that Falcons have hired Mike Nolan as their new defensive coordinator, replacing Brian VanGorder who departed for Auburn earlier this month
. Nolan is an experienced defensive coordinator, serving in that role for 14 seasons. The Falcons will become the seventh different team that he has held the position with.
Nolan served as defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins the past two seasons. This past year, the Dolphins were the 6th ranked scoring defense and 15th ranked total defense. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Nolan spent a year as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, where they ranked 7th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense. Prior to that, he was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for four seasons, compiling an 18-37 record. Before taking the 49ers job, he was the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator for three seasons. The Ravens were a Top 10 scoring defense for the latter two years he was. He joined the Ravens coaching staff in 2001 as their wide receivers coach. For 2001 and 2002, he coached alongside current Falcons head coach Mike Smith. Prior to joining the Ravens, he was the defensive coordinator of three different teams: New York Giants (1993-96) under former Falcons head coach Dan Reeves, Washington (1997-99), and New York Jets (2000). Prior to joining the Jets, he coordinated 4-3 defenses, and since then he has worked primarily with 3-4 defenses.
It is not known if the Falcons will continue with their 4-3 defense, or try and transition to a 3-4 scheme. The last time the Falcons were a 3-4 defense, it was in 2002-03 under coordinator Wade Phillips. For much of the 1980s and early 1990s, the Falcons were a 3-4 defense.
Nolan is the son of former San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints head coach Dick Nolan.
The team announced that offensive line coach Paul Boudreau will not be returning to the Falcons this year due to his contract expiring. Boudreau joined the team’s coaching staff in 2008.
Boudreau has served as an assistant coach in the NFL for 25 years, having previous stints with St. Louis (2006-07), Jacksonville (2003-05), Carolina (2001-02), Miami (1999-00), New England (1997-98), Detroit (1994-96), and New Orleans (1987-93). In 2010, Tyson Clabo was the tenth different blocker to make the Pro Bowl under Boudreau’s tutelage.
It is not known if the Falcons will hire a new offensive line coach, or potentially elevate assistant OL coach Paul Dunn to the lead position.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that league sources have indicated the Falcons have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter as their new offensive coordinator, replacing Mike Mularkey who took over the Jacksonville head coaching position this past week.
Koetter first joined the Jaguars in 2007, the last season where current Falcons head coach Mike Smith served as that team’s defensive coordinator. That season also marked the only time the Jaguars offense was highly ranked under Koetter, finishing 7th in total offense and 6th in scoring offense largely built off the league’s 2nd ranked rushing offense. Since then, the Jaguars offense has struggled at various times, averaging a rank of 17th in total offense and 22nd in scoring over the ensuing three seasons. This past year the Jaguars fell all the way to 32nd in total offense and 28th in scoring, largely due to their poor performing rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert who finished the year with a 65.4 passer rating, lowest in the league.
Prior to joining the Jaguars, Koetter spent six seasons as the head coach of Arizona State, leading them to a 40-34 record, including a 2-2 bowl record. Prior to Arizona State, he was Boise State’s head coach for three seasons compiling a 26-10 overall record and 2-0 bowl record. Koetter led Boise State to their first bowl win 1999 after the team made the jump to Division I (now FBS) in 1996. Before taking over the head job at Boise State, he was the offensive coordinator at several schools for the previous 14 years, starting at San Francisco State (1985), UTEP (1986-88), Missouri (1989-93), Boston College (1994-95), and Oregon (1996-98).
After his collegiate career as a quarterback at Idaho State ended in 1980, he spent two years as the head coach of his alma mater, Highland High before moving onto San Francisco State in 1985.
Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets that Falcons quarterback coach Bob Bratkowski is expected to join former Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey on his new coaching staff in Jacksonville. Bratkowski will take over the play-calling duties as their offensive coordinator.
Bratkowski finished his first and last season with the Falcons as quarterbacks coach after ten seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. Both Bratkowski and Mularkey were assistants with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1999-00).
Bratkowski was considered a dark horse candidate for the vacated offensive coordinator position as a replacement for Mularkey. Schefter also reports that interim Jaguars head coach Mel Tucker will be retained as the team’s defensive coordinator. Tucker was reportedly under consideration to take the same role with the Falcons, as a replacement for Brian VanGorder.
Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Falcons offensive coordinator MIke Mularkey as their next head coach, taking over for Jack Del Rio. Mularkey becomes the third head coach for the Jaguars since the expansion franchise began in 1995. It marks Mularkey’s second stint as a head coach, having spent two years heading the Buffalo Bills (2004-05). Mularkey joined the Falcons in 2008, helming their offense in four years. Every year under Mularkey, the Falcons posted a Top 16 total offense and Top 13 scoring offense. The past two years, the Falcons have finished in the Top 7 in scoring offense. But despite the team’s overall success, Mularkey often came under fire due to the team’s struggles to score points against good teams this year. In 6 of their 7 losses, the team failed to score more than 16 points this year. That all culminated with a 2-point effort against the New York Giants in this past weekend’s playoff loss, where the offense was shut out.
Mularkey’s departure now leaves the Falcons without both of their offensive coordinators, after defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder departing to take the same job with Auburn University.
Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder stepped down as the team’s defensive coordinator to take the same position at Auburn University. VanGorder has been the Falcons defensive coordinator since 2008, after initially accepting the defensive coordinator job at South Carolina after the departure of Bobby Petrino. But Smith was able to convince VanGorder to return to the Falcons.
Prior to joining the Falcons in 2007, VanGorder spent one year was the head coach at Georgia Southern. He spent a year as an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2005) after four years as the defensive coordinator at Georgia.
NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora tweets that the Falcons have granted the Miami Dolphins permission to interview offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for their vacant head coaching job. The Dolphins are the fourth team to be reported to be interested in Mularkey, as previous reports indicate that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs also have interest. Mularkey has already been granted an interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times and Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports report that Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is drawing interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively, for their vacant head coaching positions. Mularkey has already interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the same gig there, and some sources indicate he will be the top candidate for that position.
Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have requested permission from the Falcons to interview offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. According to reports, Mularkey is highly thought of by the Jaguars organization including current general manager Gene Smith. The Jaguars fired their head coach Jack Del Rio on November 29, the same day that it was announced that Shahid Khan had bought the team from owner Wayne Weaver.
Mularkey’s son, Patrick, is currently a scout for Jacksonville. Last off-season, Mularkey interviewed with both the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns for their vacant head coaching positions, and also declined an interview with the Denver Broncos.