Black Monday Update: Falcons Fire Offensive, Defensive Line Coaches

We saw far too much of the above in 2013. - Scott Cunningham

Atlanta's coaching staff did not make it through the day unscathed.

All season long, both offensive and defensive lines were clear sore spots for the Atlanta Falcons.

Now, in the wake of a loss to the Panthers that saw Matt Ryan sacked nine times and hit 14 times while Cam Newton was sacked and hit just once, the team has decided to cut ties with defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Paul Dunn and Pat Hill. The news was made official Monday night:

Neither of these decisions should come as much of a surprise.

From Peria Jerry to Lawrence Sidbury, the Falcons have struggled to develop young linemen under Hamilton and were never able to attain a dominant pass rush during any of his six seasons with the team. This year was no different: the Falcons once again finished towards the bottom of the league in sacks with 32.0 on the season, of which only 21.0 came from defensive linemen. On top of that, the Falcons fielded one of the worst run defenses in the league (2nd worst in terms of total yardage and YPC).

On the other end, Atlanta's O-line was just as much of a disaster. Just about every lineman on the roster started a game, and almost none of them found success. Peter Konz regressed in his sophomore year while Lamar Holmes looked thoroughly unprepared and unfit to start at this point in time. Ryan spent most of his time on the turf and Steven Jackson had almost no running lanes to work with. You could maybe argue that Hill deserved one more year, seeing that it was only his second season with the team, but I'm certainly not one to disagree with the move. The line looked atrocious, no more so than on Sunday, and so it's Dunn and Hill that take the fall.

The Falcons got bullied at the line of scrimmage time and again through the 2013 season. They'll need to significantly improve in both areas this offseason if they want the "quick turnaround" Thomas Dimitroff believes is within this team's grasp.

And with seven of Atlanta's 12 losses coming by a touchdown or less this season, perhaps that is possible. Nobody ever wants to cheer at someone losing their job, but these changes were needed, and it represents an important first step on what will be a long offseason journey.

What do the lot of you think of the news?

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.