Falcons Announce New WR Coach in Former Atlanta QB

T.J. Yates

Getty Quarterback T.J. Yates #13 of the Atlanta Falcons in 2014.

The Atlanta Falcons have announced their new wide receivers coach in T.J. Yates, formerly the team’s passing game coordinator.

Yates is also the brother of NFL insider for ESPN, Field Yates.

In addition to Yates, the Falcons made other coaching moves: the team named Mario Jeberaeel as an assistant offensive line coach, Steve Jackson as a senior offensive assistant, Shawn Flaherty as a football analyst, Steven King as this year’s diversity coaching intern and Nick Edwards as an offensive assistant.

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A Look at Yates’ Impressive Background

Prior to coming to Atlanta under head coach Arthur Smith last season, Yates spent two seasons with the Houston Texans, his first year as an offensive assistant and his second as an assistant quarterback coach.

While in Houston, the Texans won the AFC South title in after going 10-6 in the 2019 regular season. In 2020, Yates played a part in helping Deshaun Watson earn his third Pro Bowl. During that season, Watson led the league with 4,823 passing yards while throwing 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions and completing 70.2 percent of his passes.

Yates has plenty of experience playing the games as he spent seven seasons as an NFL quarterback playing for the Texans, Falcons, Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

He was initially a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina by the Texans in the 2011 NFL Draft. In three seasons in Houston, Yates appeared in 13 games with five starts before being traded to the Falcons. He spent one season in Atlanta and returned to Houston. His shorter stints came with the Dolphins and Bills and he had one more stint with the Texans before his NFL playing career came to an end.

He finished his seven-year career with 2,057 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 22 games with 10 starts.

Yates replaces David Brock, who was left from Dan Quinn’s coaching reign.

Falcons GM Addresses Calvin Ridley’s Suspension

The Falcons will be without their top wide receiver, Calvin Ridley, this year after he was suspended for gambling for at least one season.

Falcons’ general manager Terry Fontenot addressed Ridley’s suspension on Wednesday, March 23 during a press conference following Matt Ryan’s trade to Indianapolis.

While he said he was surprised to hear about what had happened, Fontenot made it clear that Ridley has his full support.

“[Calvin is] on our roster right now, and we continue to support in whatever way we can and do the best that we can and how the future looks; we don’t know,” Fontenot said. “That’s a long time from now. And so we’ll see what happens with that. But we’ve been transparent really with all the information on

With Ridley suspended for at least a year, Russell Gage headed to Tampa to join the Buccaneers and Tajae Sharpe set to hit the open market, Olamide Zaccaheaus currently sits as a starter on the Falcons’ wide receiver depth chart.

The only other receivers under contract in Atlanta are Frank Darby, Chad Hansen and Austin Trammell, so expect Atlanta to make some moves for receivers in free agency and in the upcoming draft.


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