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Falcons Head Coach Rumor Roundup

The latest on the Falcons' search for a new head coach.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Fans are waiting impatiently for the Falcons to name the replacement for Mike Smith, who was released from his contract after the conclusion of a 6-10 2014 season. Let's round up the latest news and rumors about the Falcons' head coach search to get a sense of where they are in the process.

We know that the Falcons have requested permission to speak with or have already interviewed current special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, former Bills head coach Doug Marrone, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

It's probably going to be a few days before we know anything definitive. Reports indicate that the Falcons plan to have a second round of interviews with their top candidates.

Atlanta's interviews with Todd Bowles and Teryl Austin will take place today and tomorrow, respectively.

We know that Bart Scott can't wait to tell everybody how great his former coach Rex Ryan is, as he expressed in this great read from ESPN's Vaughn McClure. McClure mentions that Ryan is believed to be Arthur Blank's favorite candidate, and Blank did indicate that the final say in the head coach hire is his alone.

And while Rex Ryan may be Blank's favorite candidate, reports are circulating that Ryan's preferred destination is San Francisco due to his affection for the Niners' quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

It's reasonable to assume, based on history and existing relationships, that the favorite candidate of Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli should be Josh McDaniels. Jason LaCanfora basically confirms it.

What do Falcons players want in a new head coach? Well, Roddy White says he prefers an older coach, for one thing.

Todd Bowles is apparently making a strong impression on teams in his interviews. It may move him to the top of a number of teams' lists, including Chicago. Bowles was the first candidate the Bears' new GM, Ryan Pace, interviewed.

In terms of other vacancies in Atlanta following the Bucs' hiring of Dirk Koetter, Kyle Shanahan is now available, although his name is also in the mix for head coach roles in Buffalo and San Francisco.

As far as the restructuring of responsibilities for Dimitroff and Pioli, Albert Breer said that coaching candidates are open to working with Dimitroff.

What are your thoughts on the head coach search so far? Which candidate is your favorite?