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Falcons Flyover: January 9, 2012

Your daily collection of Falcons and NFL news and notes from around the Web.

Scott Cunningham

Nolan, Koetter, Give Falcons Balance
It's no secret that the Falcons' change of coordinators last offseason has been a major factor in the team's success. As we head into the postseason, it's clear that the level of coaching Atlanta has will be one of the biggest differences between this year's club and the one in 2010 that also went 13-3 and earned the top seed in the NFC.

"In my mind we have the best coaching staff in the NFL," Smith said.

Falcons Prepared to Derail Seahawks
Seattle has been one of the hottest team in the NFL of late, and momentum is just about everything in the postseason. However, the Falcons have a plan in place to stop the Seahawks' in their tracks and advance to the conference championship.

"We're a much more mature team because of our experiences," Smith told reporters Monday. "I think you learn from your previous experiences in the playoffs. This is a team that’s been very focused from the beginning of the season."

With the news that Dave Caldwell has left Atlanta to become the new GM of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Falcons have a vacant spot at the Director of Player Personnel position.

The Atlanta falcons have received sub par play from punt returner Dominque Franks this season, and Harry Douglas appears to be a better option in that role.

"There’s a chance Harry could be back there," Keith Armstrong said. "Obviously, we’ll have to look at that this week and go from there and see how the guys are doing in practice."

Falcons Understand the Situation They're In
After a fast ascension up the league rankings from 2008-2010, the Atlanta Falcons can no longer be considered an rising team; but rather, they're firmly among the elite and need to perform as such in the playoffs. Conversely to the previous four years, Atlanta is facing tremendous pressure to win at least one postseason contest in 2013, as a defeat on Sunday would mean four straight in the playoffs in the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan era.

A loss to the Seahawks could mean some major changes. At the very least, it would put a few people on the hot seat.