Falcons Move Forward, Make Other Coaching Changes


Getty Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up prior to an NFL game.

The Falcons are moving forward and dishing out what is out them back. On Monday, they fired another member of their coaching staff dismissing special teams coach Ben Kotwica.

Kotwica was hired by the Falcons before the start of the 2019 season. Prior to Atlanta, he coached as a special teams coach with The Washington Team and New York Jets.

This change comes after head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were fired on Sunday after the Falcons started with an 0-5 to the season.

Jeff Ulbrich Moves Up

Jeff Ulbrich moves over from assistant head coach & linebackers coach to defensive coordinator.

Ulbrich was the Falcons linebackers coach from 2015-2019 before taking on the role of assistant head coach/linebackers prior to the start of the 2020 season. He played a huge role alongside Raheem Morris in the Falcons defensive turnaround that helped the team closeout 2019 with a 6-2 record.

He came to Atlanta after spending three seasons at UCLA where he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2014. Before that, he served as the Bruins’ assistant head coach, linebackers coach, and special teams coordinator during his first two years. He also spent two seasons as a special teams assistant with the Seattle Seahawks right after playing 10 seasons as a linebacker with the San Francisco 49ers.

Bernie Parmalee Moves From Running Backs Coach

Bernie Parmalee moves over from running backs to special teams coordinator

This marks Parmalee’s third season with the Falcons. He was hired in 2018 as the running backs coach and spent the 2019 season as assistant special teams coach/offensive assistant. But he was moved back to running backs coach in 2020.

Parmalee came to Atlanta after spending three years with the Oakland Raiders as the running backs coach from 2015 to 2017. Before his Raiders stint, he spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010-2012. He also coached college ball at Notre Dame between 2005 and ’09. His first job was with the Miami Dolphins from 2002 to ’04. Parmalee played nine seasons in the league as a running back with the Dolphins (1992-98) and New York Jets (1999-00).

Will Herriger Takes Over Running Backs

Will Harriger is now the running backs coach.

Harriger is in his second season with the Falcons and this is his first as the game management coordinator after spending the 2019 season as an offensive assistant. Before coming to Atlanta, he spent the five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks working with the quarterbacks.

Starting in 204, Harriger spent the majority of his collegiate time on the defensive side of the ball at Midwestern State. He focused primarily on the linebacker position. He has has a lot of experience at the college level. He coached at Tennessee-Martin (2006), Auburn (2007), Texas (2008), Tennessee-Martin (2009), Texas Tech (2010-11) and Florida (2012-13).

Morris Get’s Another Shot

And of course, what some already knew is that defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will take over Dan Quinn’s duties.

Morris comes with experience and rose to a high level at such a young age. He was named Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach when he was 32 years old.

He went 3-13 his first year but then 10-6 his second season when quarterback Josh Freeman had his best career season.

In Morris’ third season the Bucs went 4-12 and he was let go. Morris had to start over. He was hired as Washington’s secondary coach and spent three seasons with them. He then went to the Falcons where he was coaching receivers and coordinating the passing game when Quinn reshuffled his staff last season after a 1-7 start.

Then, Quinn made a smart move and put Morris in charge of the defense where he led the infamous and impressive turnaround. Atlanta went 6-2 in the second half of the season. Quinn named Morris defensive coordinator for the 2020 season.

We’ll see how this next go-around goes for Morris starting Sunday against the Vikings.

READ NEXT: Falcons Name Interim Head Coach

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