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The Atlanta Falcons are a head coach factory

There are two ways to become a head coach in the NFL: years of hard work, dedication, and success, or getting a spot as a coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Minicamp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been an odd history in the NFL the last decade. Coordinators for the Atlanta Falcons are getting head coaching jobs like gangbusters. And head coaches in that time are 50/50 on running off in the middle of the night, then getting fired after lying about getting their mistress a paid position with their team but eventually landing on their feet with the team they left a decade ago.

OK, head coach is obviously a much smaller sample size. Regardless, Chase Stuart of Football Perspective looks at this issue with the aptly titled Be A Falcons Coordinator If You Want To Become A Head Coach. Former Falcons coordinators Mike Zimmer, Hue Jackson, Mike Mularkey, Dirk Koetter, and Kyle Shanahan are currently head coaches. Jim Mora is technically a head coach of UCLA, but we are stretching this idea a bit.

According to Stuart, this is the most active head coaches of any team in the league. While a number have went on to high paid coaching jobs, guys like Brian Van Gorder, Mike Nolan, and Richard Smith have not done quite as well.

Atlanta has two new coordinators this season, including Steve Sarkisian (43) and Marquand Manuel (37). Sarkisian is working with a ton of talent, and could be a candidate in two to three years if he keeps the offense moving. Indeed, every single coordinator overseeing Matt Ryan has seen success and become a head coach. Manuel is highly respected and working with a young and talented group that appears to be improving. He would have to buck trends to be a defensive coordinator advancing.