Atlanta’s still filling out a deep coaching staff on both sides of the ball, and yesterday they announced two more additions to the defensive side of the ball. Both are college coaches making the leap to the pros, and both are interesting hires for a staff that has thus far prioritized experience on that side of the ball.
The first is assistant defensive backs coach Nick Perry, and not the longtime Green Bay Packers player you’re probably thinking of. This Perry played five seasons for Alabama and had served as an analyst for Nick Saban’s staff before taking his new role with the Falcons, and he spent time with the Eagles and Ravens during a brief NFL career. He’ll work with new defensive backs coach Jon Hoke to coach up what’s likely to be a remade secondary and is the sixth analyst on Saban’s staff to get a gig with an NFL team already, making that a pretty nice jumping off point for a job in the pros.
The second is a more experienced hire. Lanier Goethie has been coaching for 12 years in college now, as the Falcons note, and was a linebackers coach for the past three seasons at Duke. He’s chiefly coached linebackers in his career and was a linebacker at Ole Miss during his playing career, so while he has a non-specific title, chances are he’ll end up working with linebackers coach Frank Bush and outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino in some capacity.
Atlanta’s defensive staff is probably pretty close to filled out at this point, and Dean Pees has promised a flexible, disciplined defense that maximizes the strengths of its young players. We’ll see if they get there, but they’re not lacking for experienced, smart coaches, with four position coaches with college or NFL defensive coordinator experience and assistants like Goethie bringing strong track records to the table. If this coaching staff fails to get the job done, it won’t be because they didn’t bring enough experience to bear on a defense that has been frustrating for aeons.
Welcome Perry and Gothier to the staff, and we’ll see if there are more hires ahead.