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Falcons coaching staff finalized for 2021

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Looking at the Falcons staff:

(bold has been confirmed by the team as either being retained or hired in the first place)


Head coach: Arthur Smith

Former OL coach and OC from the Titans. Comes from the Walsh tree of coaching through the Shanahan-LaFleur branch. Smith has good experience coaching through the ranks and has shown that he's been deserving of this job. While not my first choice for a head coach like Eric Bienemy, he was a close second after all the research into him.


Offensive Coordinator: Dave Ragone

Former college and pro quarterback who played for Houston, Cincy and the Rams. He's worked his way up from QB coach, WR coach, and passing game coordinator into this opportunity as an offensive coordinator.

Passing Game Specialist: T.J. Yates

Former quarterback who played for Pope HS in Marietta, at UNC and then for the Texans, Falcons and Dolphins. He's been an assistant in Houston the last two seasons. But he finally has a shot to work with Ragone and Smith to design a passing game for a quarterback who he once played behind. This move makes too much sense and signals that Ryan is going to be heavy handed in designing the offense.

QB Coach: Charles London

As a long-time running backs coach, seeing London get the job as a QB coach doesn't make a ton of sense. However, the Falcons have two other former QBs above London saying that London's primary job will be translating Smith's scheme to Ryan more than actually working on QB technique. He's worked with Tennessee, Houston, Chicago and Penn State.

RB Coach: Desmond Kitchings

Kitchings coached running backs at South Carolina but before that was paired with Ledford at NC State coaching running backs and tight ends. He was also a co-offensive coordinator there. Kitchings has tons of experience with coaching, but this is his first pro gig.

WR Coach: Dave Brock

One of two holdovers from the old Falcons staff. Long time WR coach ho moved to coach RBs in Atlanta in 2019 before Morris moved to coaching defense again and moved back to full time WR coach. Been in Atlanta since 2017. Former head coach at Delaware. Coached DBs at small schools before moving to the offensive side. Was OC at Hofstra, Temple, Rutgers and Kansas State. Long-timer in college before jumping to the pros in 2017.

TE Coach: Justin Peelle

The Falcons have as many coaches that played with Matt Ryan as they carried over from the 2020 staff. Peelle was Ryan's first tight end in the league in 2008 and is the only coach on the staff with experience catching passes from Ryan. The 10 year veteran played for the Chargers, Dolphins, 49ers, Falcons and Steelers. When he retired, he went to the Eagles to coach Tight Ends for the last 8 seasons. 

OL Coach: Dwayne Ledford

Ledford played in the NFL for 5 years before he moved into coaching as a strength and conditioning coach towards the end of his tenure. He's coached Tight Ends and Offensive line for NFL Europe and college teams with his most recent stints as an OL Coach for Louisville after he was at NC State. His connection with Kitchings will be crucial for developing the running game.

Asst OL: Chandler Henley

As a former quality control coach for the Titans, Henley has worked with Arthur Smith the last three years. He's been working with the OL primarily and has helped them develop.

Offensive assistants: Danny Breyer

The only other carryover from Quinn's staff. Not much is known about him.


Defensive Coordinator: Dean Pees

A former head coach at Kent State, Pees is best known for his time coaching with the Patriots, Ravens and Titans as a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator. He'll bring a multiple defense to the Falcons and should be able to put players in the best spots to make plays.

DL Coach: Gary Emanuel

While Emanuel has coordinator experience, his first and seemingly only love is coaching the defensive line. Coaching his way up the ranks, he's been in the NFL the last decade with the Colts and Giants. 

LB Coach: Frank Bush

Bush played for the Oilers in the 80s, but has basically coached linebackers or been a defensive coordinator since his retirement as a player. Never leaving the NFL, he's coached for the Oilers, Broncos, Cardinals, Texans, Titans, Rams, Dolphins and Jets. He's a smart linebackers coach and could end up being a defensive coordinator to eventually replace Pees in Pees' retirement in a few years.

OLB Coach: Ted Monachino

Monachino is a long time defensive line coach who moved to outside linebackers and later on defensive coordinator when he went to Indianapolis. Stops ahve included colleges like TCU, Arizona State and Boise State, but he's also been with the Ravens and Bears in the same role. As a former defensive coordinator, he's just one of a few under Pees that could be the long-term answer when Pees retires in a few years.

Secondary Coach: Jon Hoke

Hoke has been around the block a while as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator coaching in the college and pro ranks. He's been at Kent State, San Diego State, Bowling Green, Missouri, Florida, the Texans, Bears, South Carolina and recently with the Buccaneers. His most recent role was Maryland's defensive coordinator.

Asst DBs: Nick Perry

A former defensive back for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 2011-2014, Nick Perry moved into coaching for the team starting in 2017 after a couple failed attempts at getting into the NFL.

Defensive Assistants: Matt Pees, Lanier Goethie

Pees specializes in defensive linemen and has been coaching under his dad for a few seasons in the NFL. Goethie is a long-time linebackers coach at the college level, most recently at Duke.


Special Teams Coordinator: Marquice Williams

Coached LB, DL and ST at the college level before earning the Bill Walsh diversity coaching fellowship with the Bears then the Lions. Worked his way from that to an asst ST coordinator and defensive assistant role with the Chargers and Lions respectively. Atlanta his first time being the full coordinator.

Senior Assistant: Steve Hoffman

Former USFL and NFL punter and holder. Has been a kicking and ST coach for 25 of the last 30 years in the NFL for various teams including the Falcons once, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, Oakland and Tennessee. 

Edited by scar988
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Have to imagine Dave Ragone will essentially be the QB coach, since Arthur will be calling the plays. That's the only thing that would make sense with our actual QB coach being a RB coach. 

I like what I've heard from Titans fans about Pees. He's probably only here for a few years max though, so hopefully we have someone waiting in the wings and ready to takeover by then. 

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On 1/22/2021 at 6:55 PM, swoosh said:

Have to imagine Dave Ragone will essentially be the QB coach, since Arthur will be calling the plays. That's the only thing that would make sense with our actual QB coach being a RB coach. 

I like what I've heard from Titans fans about Pees. He's probably only here for a few years max though, so hopefully we have someone waiting in the wings and ready to takeover by then. 

Ragone is essentially the guy who's gonna organize the offense. So I don't mind it at all. London is basically there to translate the offense for Ryan.

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The Atlanta Falcons have named Gary Emanuel as defensive line coach, Steve Hoffman as a senior assistant, Justin Peelle as tight ends coach and Matt Pees as a defensive assistant.

Emanuel and Pees are basically focused on the DL. Peelle at TE coach is interesting because he's caught balls from Ryan for a few years and worked next to Tony Gonzalez for a couple as a player. Hoffman is a ST guru and kicking specialist.

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Atlanta recently hired Dean Pees to be its defensive coordinator, and on Tuesday the team added Maryland defensive coordinator Jon Hoke as defensive backs coach and Ted Monachino as outside linebackers coach. Pees, 71, has extensive NFL experience, and he's surrounding himself with experienced assistants.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/11/2021 at 10:59 PM, scar988 said:

Updated with all hires. What do y'all think?


It feels weird seeing people like TJ Yates and Peelle be coaches on a team while Ryan is still the QB. The silly thing would be to be mad at that ('cause Ryan is better than them). However Ryan has to actually play, so he can't spend all his time on studying opponents/tendencies/w.e. In that regard having coaches that are familiar with his strengths and weaknesses makes sense.

Overall it seems to be a solid team of coaches. Imo the Pees hire makes or breaks this. Ravens fans hate him, Titans fans think he's okay. Looking at the histories of teh defenses of those franchises he might just be a god in Atlanta... or a complete bum.

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