The AJC reports that the Falcons have hired a new secondary coach in Tim Lewis. Lewis will replace Emmitt Thomas, who was not retained from last year’s staff.
Lewis most recently served as defensive backs coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Prior to that, he spent two seasons with the Carolina Panthers in the same capacity. He was the New York Giants defensive coordinator for three years prior to that and defensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers before that. Lewis interviewed with the Falcons twice for their vacant head coaching position in 2004. He was the only other person besides Jim Mora, who eventually got the job, to do so.
Pro Football Talk reports that former Browns head athletic trainer Marty Lauzon will be soon joining the Atlanta Falcons.
Lauzon would likely be replacing Ron Medlin, who served for the past sixteen years in that role with the Falcons. Earlier this week, the AJC reported that the Falcons and Medlin were parting ways. Per that report, the reason for the split was “philosophical differences.”
Lauzon himself resigned from his position in Cleveland this past June, citing person and family reasons for his decision. Lauzon had been with the Browns since their return to the league in 1999, and had served as their head trainer since 2005.
The AJC reports that Falcons quarterback coach Bill Musgrave, who was garnering interest from other organizations to join their coaching staffs as offensive coordinator including the Houston Texans and the University of Virginia, will be returning to the Falcons for another season.
ESPN.com reports that former Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast might land in Atlanta as a replacement for assistant head coach Emmitt Thomas, who didn’t have his contract renewed with the team.
Pendergast spent one season with the Chiefs after spending five seasons as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator. This past season the Chiefs defense finished 29th and 30th in scoring and total defense, respectively. Pendergast also worked with the Chief secondary, which finished 22nd in pass defense this year.
Thomas had spent the past eight seasons with the Falcons, mainly in charge of the teams defensive backs during his tenure. But he also served as the team’s interim head coach for the final three games of the 2007 season after the departure of Bobby Petrino. Thomas was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star blogs that the Chiefs should hire Thomas to replace Pendergast, making the potential for a swap of assistants between the two teams.
The Houston Chronicle reports that due to the expected departure of current offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the Houston Texans are in the process of looking for a replacement and a potential candidate could be Falcons quarterback coach Bill Musgrave.
Shanahan is expected to join his father, Mike’s staff upon his official hiring by the Washington Redskins at some point in the near future.
Musgrave is a candidate that makes a lot of sense for the Texans. He played two seasons with the Broncos (1995-96) when current Texans head coach Gary Kubiak was the offensive coordinator. He also coached current Texans quarterback Matt Schaub his first two seasons at the University of Virginia, working as the Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator. He would coach Schaub for a season as a pro, when he was first hired by the Falcons as quarterbacks coach in 2006. Schaub was traded to the Texans in March 2007 and came highly recommended by Musgrave.
Musgrave has spent the past four seasons as the Falcons quarterback coach, working closely with Matt Ryan for the past two seasons. He has previous experience working as an offensive coordinator, last serving in that role with the Jacksonville Jaguars for two seasons (2003-04) before arriving in Atlanta. He also was a coordinator for the Carolina Panthers (2000) and Philadelphia Eagles (1998).
The Falcons hired an assistant special teams coach today. Eric Sutulovich comes from the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season as an offensive assistant. Prior to that he was an assistant at the University of Kansas. Prior to that he served as an assistant special teams coach with the Houston Texans for four seasons (2002-05). Prior to that he spent some time as an offensive graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh (2000) and Louisiana Tech (1997-99). He also served as an offensive coordinator at Fort Scott Community College (2001) and for the Casper Calvary (2000) of the Indoor Football League.
Sutulovich replaces Tom McMahon as the assistant special teams coach. McMahon was hired by the St. Louis Rams.
The Falcons lost a second assistant from Mike Smith’s coaching staff today as the St. Louis Dispatch reports that Tom McMahon has been hired by the St. Louis Rams. McMahon served as assistant special teams coach under Keith Armstrong this past year in Atlanta. He was one of the few holdovers from Bobby Petrino’s staff made by Smith this past winter. In St. Louis, under new head coach Steve Spagnuolo, he will serve as the team’s special teams coordinator.
The only other Falcon assistant that has not been retained is Doug Plank, who joined the New York Jets staff as an assistant defensive backs coach. Plank joined the Falcons this past summer, in a not so clearly defined role, but reportedly worked with the team’s defensive backs and special teams. Plank is formerly the head coach of the Georgia Force. However, with the Arena Football League canceling it’s upcoming season, that freed up Plank to take a more permanent gig in the NFL.
Don Banks of SI.com reported that Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey turned down the Detroit Lions after they sought him to be interviewed for their vacant head coaching position a week ago. According to Banks’s source, Mularkey remains interested in becoming a head coach again, but did not deem the Lions as the right opportunity.
Mularkey was formerly the head coach of the Buffalo Bills for two seasons (2004-05). He just completed his first season as Falcons offensive coordinator.
Despite a report from Pro Football Talk.com about the potential that Falcons receivers coach Terry Robiskie is a candidate for the vacant Oakland Raiders head coaching position, a report by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee indicates there isn’t “anything to the speculation.”
Pro Football Talk.com cites FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer as the source of its report. Per that report, Robiskie has already begun lining up a staff of potential assistant coaches. Jones has cited the AJC and the Raiders themselves as his sources. Robiskie has yet to interview for the position.
Robiskie is finishing up his first season with the Falcons. He has two previous stints as head coaching, serving as interim head coach for the Washington Redskins for the final three games of the 2000 season and the final five games for the Cleveland Browns in 2004. Prior to joining the Redskins in 1999, he spent seventeen seasons as an assistant with the Raiders.
Updating previous reports, Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey remains a potential candidate for the Detroit Lions head coaching position, but it is not yet known if he has actually sat down for an interview with the team according to the Detroit News.
The Lions have already interviewed several candidates according to the report, but their process could be accelerated due to the impending hire by the Denver Broncos that could come this weekend.