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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Wednesday, Jan. 9

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DEFCON: DIRK

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images

The coordinator search is over as the Falcons have agreed to terms with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter as their new OC. Rumors had been swirling since Sarkisian’s departure, but the Atlanta Falcons finally made it official by bringing Koetter in to coach the offense. With that, here’s Falcoholinks for Wednesday.

DIRK ALERT

The biggest offseason news thus far is the Falcons hiring Dirk Koetter for a second go-round as their offensive coordinator. Koetter was reportedly considering a number of opportunities, but ultimately Atlanta was the team to secure his services. Mike Mularkey, another former Falcons offensive coordinator, is also joining the reunion parade as the team’s newly-minted TE coach.

Koetter ran the Falcons’ offense from 2012-2014, the highlight of his tenure an appearance in the 2012 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. We all know how that one went, so we won’t rehash it here. He’s had an up-and-down career as a play-caller, but continuity and his relationship and familiarity with Matt Ryan may be what ultimately sealed the deal for his return.

We don’t yet have the figures on either coach’s deal, but we’ll be sure to pass them along once they’re released.

A Ballhawking Bright Spot

2018 was full of moments that would make Ray Liotta start smoking again, but throughout all of the tumult were a few bright areas that we can lean on. In the first installment of The Falcoholic’s series looking at the positives from the past season, our David Walker takes a microscope to Damontae Kazee’s sophomore campaign. Kazee showed why the Falcons selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, tying the league lead with seven interceptions and filling in admirably for Ricardo Allen at safety.

Penciling him into a healthy secondary in 2019 should have everybody excited.

Trench Warfare

The Falcons head into the 2019 NFL Draft looking to address the immediate need in the trenches, and Kevin Knight’s initial mock draft does just that. With nine picks in the forthcoming draft, the Falcons should look to fortify the defensive and offensive line early, particularly at the EDGE and guard positions.

We’re months away from draft festivities, but there will be plenty of speculation and wishful thinking as we head forward. Kevin’s projections will surely change as the inevitable rise and fall of NFL prospects takes place from now until April 25.