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Old 01-23-2008, 06:54 AM    (permalink
falconsrule
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Default Jags Smith emerges as leading HC candidate

The Atlanta Falcons' long search for a head coach may be nearing its end.

According to league sources, Atlanta is leaning toward selecting Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith as its next head coach. An announcement could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Smith, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (who withdrew from consideration to remain with the Cowboys), and highly-regarded defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, late of the Baltimore Ravens, each interviewed with Dimitroff after the Falcons hired the former New England Patriots college scouting director on Jan. 13.
Frazier, the most recent entry, really impressed new Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and is believed to have been the Falcons' second choice.

But Smith, 48, won over the Falcons with his combination of intelligence, communication and organizational skills, and strong knowledge of personnel. Most important, the team believes Smith to be the most professionally compatible with Dimitroff.

Smith has coordinated Jacksonville's defense the past six seasons. The Jaguars finished 12th in total defense in 2007 after ranking second in 2006 and sixth in 2005. From 1999 to 2001 Smith served as defensive assistant/defensive line coach for the Ravens, helping Baltimore win Super Bowl XXXV after the 2000 season. In 2002, Smith replaced current Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio as linebackers coach.

Despite their interest in Steve Spagnuolo the Falcons decided it wasn't in their best interest to wait another week to interview the New York Giants defensive coordinator until after Super Bowl XLII, when the league allows, a source said.

Two factors led to that decision not to wait to interview and likely offer the job to Spagnuolo, with whom Dimitroff struck up a friendship when the two worked together in the then-World League of American Football and whom some believed was the leading candidate.

First, the Falcons feared being left at the proverbial altar -- again. Bobby Petrino resigned as head coach after 13 games last season. Bill Parcells spurned owner Arthur Blank's offer to run the entire football operation and chose Miami instead. Last week both Garrett and Indianapolis assistant head coach Jim Caldwell pulled out of the running. The Falcons' brass worried they would wait another week, only for Spagnuolo to perhaps remain in New York. Spagnuolo and the Giants already denied one Falcons' request to interview him earlier this postseason, therefore prohibiting a possible second meeting this week.

Second, the longer the Falcons waited to hire a head coach the less likely he would be able to assemble what the team believes is the best possible coaching staff.

The Falcons' search also included meetings with Tony Sparano, since hired as the Miami Dolphins head coach, and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz prior to Dimitroff's arrival.

Michael Smith is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:56 AM    (permalink
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I didnt see this coming I was assuming that Spags and Rex Ryan would be our next HC but It seems like they wanted to go ahead and hire someone but why not Rex Ryan.
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:35 AM    (permalink
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I now hate Dimintroff.

Screw him.

Bad choice.

No freaking pressure on the QB and I have not heard anything about his attitude.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:02 AM    (permalink
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I actually like this a lot...I love their style of football...hit you in the mouth and beat you up physically. I love that, I want a team that other guys hate to play because they wake up sore...
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:04 AM    (permalink
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Interesting.

I wouldn't get too worked up about it, Bama. He's got a fantastic coaching pedigree, and has been the co-ordinator of a consistently excellent defense. He's got more experience than any of the other candidates, and has shown really impressive consistency.

No, the Jags have not been at their best this season, but they've still been very solid, and that's with their two stud DTs being injured for most of the season, their premier DE still struggling from a major achilles injury. I'm also impressed at the way he has brought rookies, like Nelson, into the starting line-up, making the best of their abilities while covering their flaws.

In short, Smith has a fantastic pedigree. The other candidates do too, but Smith more than deserves an opportunity.

That's assuming this story isn't just pulled out of the ether...
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:10 AM    (permalink
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looks good to me. hopefully we get Rex ryan for DC and norm Chow for OC. that would really make my day.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:11 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by D-Rod View Post
Interesting.

I wouldn't get too worked up about it, Bama. He's got a fantastic coaching pedigree, and has been the co-ordinator of a consistently excellent defense. He's got more experience than any of the other candidates, and has shown really impressive consistency.

No, the Jags have not been at their best this season, but they've still been very solid, and that's with their two stud DTs being injured for most of the season, their premier DE still struggling from a major achilles injury. I'm also impressed at the way he has brought rookies, like Nelson, into the starting line-up, making the best of their abilities while covering their flaws.

In short, Smith has a fantastic pedigree. The other candidates do too, but Smith more than deserves an opportunity.

That's assuming this story isn't just pulled out of the ether...
Smith was a HC before though. he was a long time HC for Tennessee Tech. so he has the organizational skills and has knowledge of it. he just needed an opportunity. and this is hiring a NFL coordinator with college HC experience. so in a way we are hiring a former HC.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:21 AM    (permalink
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I'd forgotten about that. That makes his impressive pedigree even better. I'd be perfectly happy with Mike Smith.

On a tangent, it's an amusing coincidence that this story was broken by Michael Smith...
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:23 AM    (permalink
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I am really conflicted. On one hand the Jaguars defense is usually one of the best in the league; however, the last memory I have is of the Jaguars allowing Tom Brady to pick them apart. As long as Smith brings more of the former, I will be happy.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:39 AM    (permalink
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Yeah...then when they brought pressure they knocked him around...I don't understand what happened in that game...they brought him down on the very first play of the game...but then didn't get after him again until it was too late.

He has a similar situation in the Defensive Backfield...maybe a little better here...but Mathis and Hall both are up high on the list in the top 10 corners...but Chris Houston I think would give Atlanta the edge, Milloy is a stud too, but then they have a Reggie Nelson coming up...but we still don't know about Stone, who appears to be a stud...

We have Boley who is a big draw here...but they have better DTs than we do...but we have Abe on the end, and a different style in the middle...don't know if he's going to like the Coleman / Babs type of pass rushing UT...
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:44 AM    (permalink
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All I know is his resume is sterling. Although his defense isn't the style I would prefer (Spagnuolo and Ryan...), his defense has been very good on a consistent basis.

Points allowed in his year's in Jacksonville:

'07 - 10th
'06 - 4th
'05 - 6th
'04 - 7th
'03 - 18th

He was a LB coach for the Ravens back in '00 when they won the Super Bowl.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:24 AM    (permalink
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Interesting comments made by former Jag Marcellus Wiley on First Take.

He basically said that Mike Smith was a figurehead in Jacksonville, and that Jack Del Rio and even Mike Peterson were the defensive coordinator more than Mike Smith. He said that no one in the locker room really respected him, and that he was just a guy that stood in the front of the locker room.

Jaguars fans all knew Jack Del Rio really ran the show defensively, but Marcellus's comments are very interesting. I think he's exaggerating the truth a bit, but I think his main point - that Mike Smith was secondary to the Jaguars defensive success and that JDR is the man behind the machine - is true.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:04 PM    (permalink
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looks good to me. hopefully we get Rex ryan for DC and norm Chow for OC. that would really make my day.
ryan will stay in baltimore as dc if he does not get a hc job and chow is oc for ucla
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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I can believe that...but honestly...I'd rather have that. I don't want a coach who's trying to focus on one thing and ignore the other...I want a coach that has 2 great coordinators running their part of the show.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:01 PM    (permalink
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Former Jaguars player Marcellus Wiley had a different view of Smith.

"I was looking at this saying, 'Wow, they went way down low on the totem pole for this,' " Wiley said on ESPN's First Take Wednesday. "I say this because when I was in Jacksonville, Jack Del Rio was the defensive coordinator. ... Mike Smith, I won't say he was a puppet figure, but at the same time, Mike Smith wasn't the guy guys in the lockerroom respected. He wasn't the one you looked at and said, 'OK, he's our leader.' ... We just knew he was standing in front of the room while Jack Del Rio called the shots."
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:05 PM    (permalink
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I don't like it. At all. Hopefully he is a draft whiz.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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i dont know why they just dont wait for spagnuolo, they have been looking for a hc for so long, another 2 weeks to get the man they actually want wont do much harm. i know they say that they need to start buliding the staff around the new head coach, but rushing into this will set the franchise back even further. what that former jags player said about smith worries me.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:34 PM    (permalink
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He was in Jacksonville for one year, back in '05. I wouldn't put too much into what he had to say. Now if that was Mike Peterson or John Henderson I would say differently.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:39 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
News of the Falcons hiring of Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mike Smith, drew positive reaction Wednesday morning at the Senior Bowl.


"Nobody works harder," said Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio. "He's got a great mind for football. He's prepared for this opportunity and I think he'll do a nice job with it."

Del Rio was not sure what assistants that Smith might want to bring with him to Atlanta from the Jacksonville staff.
"We'll work through that," Del Rio said.
Del Rio guided the Jaguars to the AFC divisional round of the playoffs this season.


"We worked hard to put together a strong staff," Del Rio said. "We'll just continue to do all that we can to win. Obviously I wish Mike the very best with this opportunity that he's getting."


Joe DeCamillis, a former Falcons assistant and Jacksonville's special teams coordinator, said he would not join Smith's staff in Atlanta. Mike Tice, Jacksonville's assistant head coach/tight ends and former head coach with Minnesota, does not plan to come to Atlanta.


When asked if he would be joining the staff in Atlanta, Tice said, "We've got a pretty good thing in Jacksonville."


Both DeCamillis and Tice praised Atlanta's choice.


"He tries to make it complicated for the teams he's playing, but simple for the players that he's got," said DeCamillis. "It's a very physical defense that's technique sound. I think he'll do a great job for them."


"He's a very bright man," said Tice. "He's very diligent in what he does with his preparation. A great leader. Great character. I think that everything about him exemplifies a guy that has worked his way up through the ranks. He was a college coach, NFL assistant and defensive coordinator."


Another coach at the Senior Bowl, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto, worked with Smith when both were on staff with the Baltimore Ravens.


"When he first came to Baltimore, he kind of assisted the defense. You could tell he was really a sharp guy. He did a heck of a good job with those guys," said Colletto.


"He's done a great job in Jacksonville and he's really a good guy. A genuine, honest, loyal, and good guy."
http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sp...otes_0123.html

I'll take their word over the word of Marcellus Wiley.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:59 PM    (permalink
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Wow...they sold me...maybe I shouldn't be sold that easily...but sounds good to me =)
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:24 PM    (permalink
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Interesting comments made by former Jag Marcellus Wiley on First Take.

He basically said that Mike Smith was a figurehead in Jacksonville, and that Jack Del Rio and even Mike Peterson were the defensive coordinator more than Mike Smith. He said that no one in the locker room really respected him, and that he was just a guy that stood in the front of the locker room.

Jaguars fans all knew Jack Del Rio really ran the show defensively, but Marcellus's comments are very interesting. I think he's exaggerating the truth a bit, but I think his main point - that Mike Smith was secondary to the Jaguars defensive success and that JDR is the man behind the machine - is true.
Lol, of course that is who we hire.

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Originally Posted by D-Rod View Post
Interesting.

I wouldn't get too worked up about it, Bama. He's got a fantastic coaching pedigree, and has been the co-ordinator of a consistently excellent defense. He's got more experience than any of the other candidates, and has shown really impressive consistency.

No, the Jags have not been at their best this season, but they've still been very solid, and that's with their two stud DTs being injured for most of the season, their premier DE still struggling from a major achilles injury. I'm also impressed at the way he has brought rookies, like Nelson, into the starting line-up, making the best of their abilities while covering their flaws.

In short, Smith has a fantastic pedigree. The other candidates do too, but Smith more than deserves an opportunity.

That's assuming this story isn't just pulled out of the ether...
I will repeat: it does not fit. The best way to cover up a young team is big plays. He is a zone guy with little pressure. We do not have the power to dominate up front. We are speed. He is Ed Donatell. But then again it is early.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:31 PM    (permalink
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looks good to me. hopefully we get Rex ryan for DC and norm Chow for OC. that would really make my day.
norm chows with ucla. hes gone.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:18 AM    (permalink
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Wiley has whined his way through the past four years of non-production, being cut left right and centre. The last person to cut him was Mike Smith. He's basically been forced into retirement. Bitter much?
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:25 AM    (permalink
D-Rod
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Being blitz-happy works both ways. Big plays for and against. There are plenty of very good defenses which don't blitz all the time. There's nothing wrong with making an offense work hard for every yard. Two other things:

1. Smith is evidently not stupid. If he thinks a slight adjustment will fit our personnel better, he will make it. Good coaches aren't straight-jacketed into a rigid scheme.

2. Apart from the two defensive tackles - who've been injured the past couple of years - he arguably has better talent to work with. In particular, he has more turnover-creating playmakers: namely, Hall, Abraham, and Boley.

Finally, there's not much point in moaning about it. It's done. You've registered your discontent, great. But unless you want to keep moaning about it for the next few years, you may as well suck it up.
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