The Falcons are no longer on the search for a head coach nor a GM, but they will have some other holes to fill.
Atlanta Journal Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter reported the Falcons will not be keeping offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter along with six assistant coaches, including QB coach Greg Knapp, safeties coach Chad Walker, D-line coach Tosh Lupoi, special teams assistant Mayur Chaudhari, O-line coach Chris Morgan, and linebackers coach Aden Durden.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) January 20, 2021
Ledbetter also announced that Atlanta’s linebackers coach, Durden, will be heading to Dallas to join Dan Quinn who is the Cowboy’s new defensive coordinator.
Also, Knapp will join Jets new head coach Robert Saleh as the team’s QB coach.
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Falcons Linked to Bears Assistant for OC
The Falcons were already seeking a new OC before they made Koetter’s dismissal official.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported last weekend that there’s a strong chance the Falcons could hire Chicago Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone.
One name strongly connected to Arthur Smith's staff as he takes the Atlanta Falcons job: Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone. I'm told there's a good chance he becomes Smith's OC after five years in Chicago.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 15, 2021
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith and Ragone familiar with each other as the two previously worked together in Tennessee from 2011-2013. Smith was the Titans offensive line and tight end assistant coach during that time and Ragone was the wide receivers coach and then was promoted to quarterbacks coach. Smith also spent a season as was the Titans’ offensive assistant/quality control coach and then another season as the defensive assistant/quality control coach.
Ragone, 41, is on his fifth season with the Bears and his first as the passing game coordinator. He was the quarterback coach before he was promoted. Prior to that, Ragone was the offensive quality control coach for the Washington Football Team.
Ragone has played a key role in helping to turn around Mitchell Trubisky, Jay Cutler, Kirk Cousins, and Jake Locker.
Falcons Linked to Two-Time Super Bowl Champ
The Falcons could be getting some veteran help on defense, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Longtime defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, could be coming out of retirement to coach with the Falcons.
The @NFLGameDay Notebook with @MikeGarafolo & @TomPelissero: The #Falcons hired Arthur Smith & may hire DC Dean Pees; the #Lions are zeroing in on #Saints AHC Dan Campbell as their coach; Insight into the #Eagles search, with two new candidates; Who will the #Seahawks hire as OC? pic.twitter.com/Xyf6OEJcF6
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2021
Just like Ragone, Smith and Pees worked together with the Titans under head coach Mike Vrabel. Pees was the Titans defensive coordinator from 2018-2019. Once the 2019 season ended, Pees retired in January of 2020.
Before heading to Tennessee, Pees was in Baltimore with the Ravens for eight seasons under John Harbaugh’s staff. From 2012-2017, Pees was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator. Prior to moving up, Pees was the inside linebackers coach from 2010 to 2011.
During his first season as defensive coordinator in 2012, the Ravens were crowned Super Bowl XLVII champs, beating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
Pees has some college coaching experience and eas the head coach of Kent State from 1998-2003. In 2004, he joined Bill Belichick’s staff in New England as the Patriots’ linebackers coach for two seasons (2004-05). Pees played a role in the Patriots’ 2005 Super Bowl win over Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2006 and held that position through 2009.