Charles London is off to Tennessee, and the Falcons now need a new quarterbacks coach. With an unsettled situation at the position and the real possibility that they roll on with a young Desmond Ridder, getting a good coach to replace London in Atlanta is a must.
The Falcons, who had to know London might leave given how many interviews he’s taken on over the past couple of seasons, must have some candidates in mind. We don’t have that list handy, but here are some logical possibilities for the team from around the league, both on their current staff and on other teams. If the Falcons are looking for a bright young to make the switch from another position to quarterbacks coach, as they did with Charles London, we’re not going to see that one coming until we get some clue about it from reporters and/or the team itself.
Please note that I’ve mostly stuck with assistant coaches here because teams will be able to block lateral moves for quarterbacks coaches. If I’ve missed anyone with strong ties to this staff, please let me know in the comments.
Falcons wide receivers coach T.J. Yates
If the Falcons want to stay in-house, Yates makes a lot of sense. A former NFL quarterback who had a stint with Atlanta, he spent a season as the assistant quarterbacks coach for Houston back in 2020 and has been part of Atlanta’s coaching staff each of the past two seasons as a passing game specialist and wide receivers coach. His playing (and limited coaching) experience and familiarity with this quarterback room and coaching staff could make him a logical candidate to slide over to a new position.
Titans pass game analyst Pat O’Hara
The man who spent each of the past five seasons as the Titans’ quarterbacks coach was just supplanted by London’s hire and is now listed as a pass game analyst. O’Hara was a longtime Arena Football League coordinator and coach who broke into the NFL in 2015 with the Texans as an assistant before rising to quarterbacks coach on Arthur Smith’s staff, and that was the job he kept after Smith left. If Atlanta’s head coach is fond of the work O’Hara did with Ryan Tannehill, essentially swapping quarterbacks coaches with Tennessee seems like a legitimate possibility.
South Carolina Gamecocks offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains
The connections here are obvious. Loggains was the offensive coordinator in Tennessee when Arthur Smith was an offensive quality control coach and then offensive line/tight ends assistant, and he served as the Bears offensive coordinator in Ryan Pace’s early years as Chicago’s general manager. A multi-time offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the NFL, Loggains would not necessarily be an inspiring choice—his track record hasn’t been stellar, especially as a coordinator—but the experience and connection to Smith might earn him a look.
Dolphins assistant QBs coach Chandler Henley
If Henley rings a vague bell, it’s because he was actually on staff as an assistant offensive line coach in Atlanta in 2021, working with Dwayne Ledford. He overlapped with Arthur Smith in Tennessee as a quality control coach from 2018-2020, and the fact that Smith brought him over should tell you that he’s fond of Henley.
This is Henley’s second stint as an assistant quarterbacks coach—his other one was while he was at Yale—and the Falcons could try to woo him back to Atlanta as their quarterbacks coach if Smith is a big believer in him. Henley is familiar with Smith’s offense and could grow into the role, if the Falcons were looking for that.
Ravens assistant QBs coach Kerry Dixon
A longtime collegiate assistant who spent three seasons as Georgia Tech’s wide receivers coach from 2019-2021, Dixon joined Baltimore last year and served as the assistant quarterbacks coach, working with Lamar Jackson and somehow-Pro Bowler Tyler Huntley. He had a pair of stints coaching quarterbacks in college and was both a wide receiver and quarterback himself, so he’d also be an intriguing wide receivers coach if the Falcons moved Yates to quarterbacks coach.
Of course, if you’re importing Jackson (or Huntley, for that matter) from Baltimore this offseason as many fans have fantasized, it would make sense to give them a familiar face who has already worked with them. That remains to be determined, obviously, but Dixon’s drawn enough praise from a smart staff in Baltimore to think he’d be a nice fit.
Eagles assistant QBs coach Alex Tanney
He’s connected to Smith from their shared days in Tennessee—Tanney was a backup quarterback there from 2015-2017, when Smith was coaching tight ends—and has been a useful assistant for a tremendous Eagles offense. It’s fair to say that teams will be pilfering coaches from the Philadelphia staff this coming offseason, and Tanney could be among the first to go if he interests Atlanta.
Seahawks assistant QBs coach Kerry Joseph
He has some light ties to the current Falcons regime—primarily a training camp internship with Terry Fontenot’s Saints—but Joseph has had an interesting playing and coaching career. He played safety in the NFL, went to the CFL to try his hand as a quarterback and wound up winning a Grey Cup, rushing for over 1,000 yards in a season, and spent over a decade as a quarterback in that league. As a coach, he’s handled offensive coordinator duties and been a running backs coach in college, as well as an assistant wide receivers and quarterbacks coach in the NFL with the Seahawks.
That’s all to say that he has a rich, varied career, which would make him worth considering for this staff.
Falcons offensive coordinator Dave Ragone
Longtime Falcoholic contributor and current ESPN producer Eric Robinson raised this possibility to me yesterday, and I thought it was worth mentioning. Quarterbacks coach would be an additional responsibility for Ragone, but the former NFL quarterback has worked closely with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder in Atlanta and certainly has a wealth of experience to draw on, including as a quarterbacks coach with the Bears and Titans.
We’ll likely find out who the new hire is well before the draft, so feel free to throw in any names you’d like to see land in Atlanta in addition to these, or predict who from this list will end up with the Falcons.