Despite moving on from its head coach, Atlanta’s assistant coaches have been popular in the last few weeks. Sorry, not that one. Only days after firing Arthur Smith, the Falcons were denying interview requests for defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. Once Rich McKay and assistant Arthur Blank got further into interviews, the duo decided to approve interviews with Nielsen being snapped up by the Jacksonville Jaguars very quickly.
Special teams coordinator Marquice Williams had reported interest recently as well. Williams was denied an interview for the same position with the New York Giants, but later approved for, and did interview with, the New England Patriots. Per reports, Williams was offered the job in Foxborough but turned it down.
Now we know why: Morris wants Williams back.
The #Falcons are retaining special teams coordinator Marquice Williams, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 27, 2024
Williams, 38, also had strong interest from the Patriots and Giants. But Raheem Morris is keeping him in Atlanta.
Morris’ coaching staff will be the second biggest question facing the Falcons, behind only the quarterback question. Our strong assumption is that Morris will not be announcing Desmond Ridder as the team’s starting quarterback. For coordinators, the Falcons are in desperate need of a coach who can better utilize its star players. For special teams, perhaps the biggest question is who can best utilize return specialist Avery Williams. Despite missing the 2023 season due to injury, Williams was extremely impressive in both 2021 and 2022.
Marquice Williams had a few highlights in past seasons, like multiple blocked punts in a season and multiple special teams touchdowns. Williams should provide a bit of stability in the coaching staff, which should naturally flow down to the roster. Don’t expect many major changes for special teams contributors.