Dan Quinn's big press conference today was impressive, as it featured the new Falcons coach talking intelligently about the team and his plans for the defense. Today also brought us official word about all those reported hires for the Falcons, who are assembling a coaching staff that looks damn good on paper.
Falcons announce Richard Smith as DC, Kyle Shanahan as OC and Raheem Morris assistant head coach/defensive passing game coordinator. #RiseUp
— Atlanta Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) February 3, 2015
Shanahan comes to us by way of the Cleveland Browns, where he had some real success with Brian Hoyer and the team's young running backs before the wheels came off. He's a divisive hire in many ways because he's had largely effective offenses at every stop but has had clashes with his bosses and hasn't always had effective running back rotations. Quinn had high praise for him, calling him one of the toughest offensive coordinators to play against when you're running a defense, and we'll hope he can get more out of a moribund run game and sometimes inconsistent passing game in Atlanta.
Smith was the linebackers coach in Denver, where he presided over the growth of guys like Von Miller and Danny Trevathan. He has a reputation as a player's coach who does nice work developing the guys he works with, and as the defensive coordinator he'll presumably work hand-in-glove with Dan Quinn to implement a simple, aggressive scheme and get the most out of the Falcons' currently middling defensive talent.
Morris is the former secondary coach in Washington and the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a stint that has led to a dismissive, sad series of groans whenever his name comes up. He's always been respected for his ability to work with secondaries, however, and he's clearly got a terrific rapport with Quinn. Expect him to also be heavily involved in developing the defense, and particularly in trying to coax more out of the young, promising defensive backs the Falcons have added in the last couple of drafts.
In smaller but important news, the Falcons also have a new running backs coach.
Bobby Turner will be the Falcons RB coach, not Gerald Brown.
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 3, 2015
Turner has a long history with Kyle Shanahan's father Mike, having served as his running backs coach in Denver and Washington. That means he's presided over the careers of guys like Terrell Davis and Alfred Morris, so I would have to give the hire a hearty thumbs up. I wish Gerald Brown well, as I thought he did a fine job with the team's running backs these last several years.
There are still openings on this coaching staff, including rumored ones that haven't been officially announced, so keep your browser tab open to The Falcoholic and we'll keep you informed on those.
Your thoughts on all these hires?