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Former Falcon Harry Douglas among 6 Bill Walsh Coaching fellows for the team

Atlanta’s bringing in several fellows for the offseason program.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Atlanta has announced their 2022 Bill Walsh Coaching Diversity Fellowship coaches, and there’s a very familiar name in the group this year.

The six coaches, as announced by the team, are Harry Douglas, Antreal Allen, Holman Copeland, Ryan Davis, Mickey Grace and Deron Wilson. All six will work with the Falcons coaching staff during the upcoming offseason program in some capacity.

We’ll start with Douglas, who you should remember well. He was a third round pick for the Falcons as part of that great 2008 NFL Draft class, and served as a reliable third receiver for Atlanta for six seasons. He’s likely best remembered for his 2013, when Douglas stepped into the void left by injuries to both Julio Jones and Roddy White and put together a career season where he posted 85 receptions for 1,067 yards and two touchdowns. In all, he spent a decade in the NFL, putting up 310 receptions for 3,759 yards and 10 touchdowns.

You probably have seen Douglas on ESPN programming recently, including during the NFL Draft, and he’ll bring energy and familiarity with the city, team, and coaching staff (he overlapped with Arthur Smith in Tennessee) to his time as a coaching fellow. It’s cool to have him back, and we’ll see if he winds up parlaying this stint into a coaching gig in Atlanta or elsewhere down the line.

Grace joins up with a cool and varied background, as she’s currently an offensive analyst with Connecticut but has spent time as an assistant defensive line coach at Dartmouth, scouting apprentice for the Rams, defensive line coach for the women’s pro tackle team the Philly Phantomz, and has appeared in multiple television series highlighting her career. This is also her second go-around as a Bill Walsh Fellow, as she was a fellow with the Dolphins back in 2020, per the Falcons’ writeup.

Allen joins up from Georgia State, where he’s currently the assistant secondary and safeties coach after previously spending time there as a player and graduate assistant. Copeland also has a strong background in coaching defensive backs, as he’s the secondary coach and recruiting coordinator for Delaware. Both will have an opportunity to work with a young, jam-packed secondary in Atlanta, as will Wilson, who is a quality control coach at Florida with a focus on cornerbacks.

Davis will likely spend more time working with Marquice Williams and special teams, given that he’s the coordinator at Florida A&M University after cutting his teeth in analyst and assistant roles in Washington and New Mexico State.

Last year, the Falcons brought on four fellows, including former defensive lineman Cliff Matthews.

As the Falcons’ article by John Deighton notes, this fellowship leads to opportunities in the NFL, as nine coaches on Atlanta’s staff were fellows at one point. That includes quarterbacks coach Charles London, special teams coordinator Marquice Williams, and new running backs coach Michael Pitre. That means you’ll likely see some of the names on this year’s list popping up as coaches in the NFL down the line, which is pretty cool.

Congratulations to all six fellows, and it’ll be fun to see Douglas back with the Falcons in some capacity for a bit.