When the Falcons canned Emmitt Thomas, I wondered who they could possibly pick up who would be an upgrade on paper. After all, despite the spotty nature of play from the cornerbacks and strong safety for much of the season, Thomas was a well-respected coach and someone who had been around a long time. I still am a little bit puzzled by it.
Well, the Falcons went out and got a bigger name. Tim Lewis was a head coaching candidate for several teams a few years back, but his stock has dropped dramatically since then. Once known for his aggressive scheming on several vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers defenses in the late 90's and early 2000's, Lewis was increasingly criticized in during his late tenure with the Steelers and later with the New York Giants for rolling out a "soft" zone coverage. From there, he bounced from a position coaching the secondary in Carolina to Seattle and now to the Falcons. You've got his history, now, but is he any good?
Well, probably. He was a first round pick at corner who lost out on a promising career to injury, so he has the previous playing experience. He's known for his work with the secondaries of at least three teams, and whatever failures he may have had as a defensive coordinator didn't necessarily carry over to his work with secondaries. Many will point to his tenure with the Seahawks as a negative, but they weren't terrible despite a lack of top-flight talent. He'll be inheriting a reasonably talented, deep young secondary that will probably add a piece or two in the off-season. If the Falcons hired him, I can only assume they think he fits the current defensive philosophy, since any other reason would be foolhardy.
I guess what I'm saying is that he has a track record. He's had some success with young secondaries in the past. I'm not completely blown away, and you probably shouldn't be either, but he could prove to be a very successful hire. I like it. What do you think?