Atlanta Falcons Name New Tight Ends Coach

Ben Steele

Getty Head coach Ben Steele of the Atlanta Falcons of West Team at Shrine Game.

As the new NFL season approaches, the Atlanta Falcons will be making several changes to the team’s staff and player roster.

On Wednesday evening, the Falcons announced that offensive assistant Ben Steele will be promoted to the team’s tight ends coach.

A Glance At Steele’s Resume

From 2004 to 2005 Steele played tight end for the Green Bay Packers.

In 2017, he was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a tight ends coach, spending an impactful season with them before coming to Atlanta. Steele spent two years under Dirk Koetter at the Bucs and worked closely with Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, who all finished with successful seasons.

At the beginning of the 2019 NFL season, Steele joined the Falcons as an assistant working under previous tight ends coach Mike Mularkey. Mularkey made the decision to retire earlier this offseason, and Steele will take over his job.

Joining the Falcons, Steele helped Austin Hooper break personal records. Hooper finished this season catching 75 passes for 787 yards and had six touchdown passes. He also earned his second Pro Bowl invitation.

Steele was also the head coach of the West team for the East-West Shrine Bowl this offseason, a bowl game for college seniors hoping to enter the NFL this season.

Dan Quinn said this on Steele’s promotion:

“Ben has had a positive impact on tight ends he has worked with including our own and this move is well earned.”

More New Hires

The Falcons also announced Tosh Lupoi as their defensive line/run game coordinator, and Jess Simpson’s role will now be the defensive line.

Before joining the Falcons, Lupoi spent the 2019 season as the Cleveland Browns’ defensive line coach.

Cleveland ranked 20th in the NFL with 38 sacks last season, 10 more than the Falcons registered. The Browns allowed 144.7 rushing yards per game and 5 rushing yards per play in 2019, finishing the year ranked 30th in each category.

Before making the jump to the NFL, Lupoi spent five seasons under Nick Saban working on Alabama’s defensive staff. He spent time as an analyst and then worked with the team’s outside linebackers. Ahead of the 2016 season, he was named co-defensive coordinator. Lupoi played a vital role in helping coordinate Alabama’s defenses that finished as the best scoring defense in both of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2018 he was named defensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide when Alabama had the 12th-best scoring defense and registered the fifth-most sacks in the country.

Another Cleveland Hire

Former Cleveland Browns defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. has also been added to the Falcons to be the team’s secondary coach, as Jerome Henderson parted ways with the Falcons this offseason.

Whitt worked on the Falcons staff back in 2007 as an assistant defensive backs coach under Bobby Petrino.

In 2019, Whitt was a key part of Cleveland’s defensive staff by helping the team finish as the No. 7 pass defense in the NFL. The Browns allowed just 216.9 passing yards per game last season and had an interception rate of 2.73 percent, the sixth-best in the league.

Whitt spent 10 years from 2008-18 with the Green Bay Packers as a defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator.

Fortunately, Whitt is coming to Atlanta with a lot of experience and hopefully will move the Falcons up from 22nd overall in the NFL.

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