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Falcons make coaching staff changes, including T.J. Yates as team’s new WR coach

Some new names and faces will be on the sideline for the Falcons this season.

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Falcons announced Tuesday they’ve made some changes to the coaching staff. Headlining the moves is new wide receivers coach and former Falcons backup quarterback T.J. Yates.

Yates, who joined the Falcons’ staff as a passing game specialist last season, working primarily with the wide receivers. Before joining the Falcons, Yates spent two years with another of his former NFL teams, the Texans, serving as an offensive assistant in 2019 and as the assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020. It’s a homecoming for Yates, who hails from Marietta, Ga.

In addition to Yates, the Falcons announced that Mario Jeberaeel will be the team’s assistant offensive line coach. Per the Falcons’ release:

Jeberaeel served as the Falcons’ diversity coaching intern in 2021, working primarily with the offensive line. Jeberaeel came to Atlanta after spending three seasons (2018-20) as the offensive line coach at Abilene Christian University. He began his coaching career at Nicholls State University from 2010-12, before spending two seasons (2013-14) at the University of Arkansas-Monticello and three seasons (2015-17) at the University of Kansas as an offensive graduate assistant and assistant offensive line coach. The Las Vegas native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in university studies from the UNLV where he played along the Rebels’ offensive line from 2005-08.

The Falcons also announced the hire of Steve Jackson as a senior offensive assistant, Shawn Flaherty as a football analyst, Steven King as this year’s diversity coaching intern and Nick Edwards as an offensive assistant.

From the Falcons’ release, on Jackson:

Jackson is entering his 19th season as a coach in the NFL, having spent the past two seasons as a secondary/cornerbacks coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. Prior to Cincinnati, Jackson served as the defensive backs coach for the New York Jets from 2018-19. He also spent two seasons (2016-17) with the Tennessee Titans as an assistant secondary coach and one season (2013) in the same role with the Detroit Lions, after spending eight seasons (2004-11) as the safeties coach for Washington. The Houston, Texas native started his coaching career as the safeties coach for the Buffalo Bills from 2001-03. Jackson played safety in the NFL for nine seasons (1991-99), all of which were with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, and posted 14 interceptions and nine sacks in his career.

On Flaherty:

Flaherty comes to Atlanta after spending the past three seasons (2019-21) with the Miami Dolphins. He served as a coaching assistant from 2019-20, before being named the assistant offensive line coach for Miami in 2021. Prior to his time with the Dolphins, Flaherty spent two seasons (2017-18) as a graduate assistant at North Carolina State University where he worked primarily with the offensive line. The Oakland, N.J., native was a four-year letterman (2013-16) at Towson University where he started games at both guard and center.

On King:

King comes to Atlanta having spent the past three seasons as a special teams quality control coach at the University of North Carolina. Prior to his time with the Tar Heels, King spent three years (2016-18) at Bucknell University where he coached wide receivers and served as the special teams coordinator for his final two seasons. In 2017, King participated in the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship with the Oakland Raiders, working primarily with special teams. The Hempstead, N.Y., native has also coached at East Meadow (N.Y.) High School from 2007-10, Nassau Community College in 2011, Wagner College from 2012-13 and the University of Nevada from 2014-15. King was a four-year letterman at the University of Buffalo, where he served as a team captain and led the team in rushing touchdowns in each of his final three years.

And finally, on Edwards:

Edwards joins Atlanta’s staff after most recently serving as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Cal Poly University from 2020-21. Prior to his stint at Cal Poly, Edwards spent three seasons (2017-19) as the wide receivers and running backs coach at the University of California – Berkley and three seasons (2014-16) at Eastern Washington University where he coached future NFL wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Kendrick Bourne. Before his coaching career, Edwards played four seasons (2009-12) at Eastern Washington and was signed by the Minnesota Vikings following the 2013 NFL Draft. The former wide receiver also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.

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