Steve Wyche of the AJC reports that the Falcons are in negotiations for former Falcons linebacker coach Brian VanGorder to return to the team in the role of defensive coordinator. VanGorder had decided to join South Carolina as their defensive coordinator a month ago, shortly after the retirement of head coach Bobby Petrino. But due to the hiring of Mike Smith as Petrino’s replacement, VanGorder has opted to return to the NFL.
VanGorder and Smith worked together for a season in Jacksonville (2005), where VanGorder served as linebackers coach. VanGorder then moved on to become head coach at Georgia Southern in 2006, before accepting the spot with the Falcons this past year. Prior to his stint in Jacksonville, VanGorder was the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia for four years.