Atlanta Falcons: Smith Calling Defense, Not Quinn


The Atlanta Falcons will host the Tennessee Titans for their first preseason game of 2015.  According to D Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Defensive Coordinator Richard Smith will call the defensive plays for the Atlanta Falcons this year from the booth, not Dan Quinn from the sidelines.

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Smith will also have Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Passing Game Coordinator Raheem Morris up with him in the booth to best position the 2015 Atlanta Falcons team defensively.  This is a no-brainer move for Dan Quinn to make as a first-year head coach in the NFL.

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  • It doesn’t serve him to bite off more than he can chew as a first year head coach.  Quinn’s focus should cater more towards clock management and all three phases of the game, not just defense.

    I’m not surprised that Dan Quinn has given the defensive play calling responsibilities to Smith as he was a former DC for four seasons in the NFL with Miami and Houston (2005-09).  Sitting beside Smith in the booth is a defensive back guru and former Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raheem Morris (2009-11).

    I like the move to second the defensive play callers up to the booth and keep new Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan on the field, likely right beside Dan Quinn.  Being that Quinn is defensive-minded it serves him to have his counterpart offensively down there on the field with him and two men he fully trusts up in the booth, seeing the game from a bird’s-eye view.

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    This move bodes well for Matt Ryan as with Shanahan down on the field with him, the Atlanta Falcons can play more up-tempo than they previously had under former OC Dirk Koetter.  Though Koetter did come down to the field in some games last year, he mostly spent his time in the booth with DC Mike Nolan down on the sidelines.

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    By sending major coaches on the defensive staff up to the booth gives the Atlanta Falcons’ staff multiple angles to better see how to coach up this young defense that is hopefully on the rise in 2015.  Though Dan Quinn may see himself one day as a Head Coach capable of calling his own defensive sets like Arizona State’s Todd Graham, it’s best for Coach Q to put himself in the best possible situation to succeed in his first season as Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

    By delegating defensive responsibilities to men he trusts like Richard Smith and Raheem Morris, Dan Quinn should have a smoother adjustment as a first-year head coach than he would otherwise.  While I expect the defense to improve in 2015, so does the entire team for the Atlanta Falcons to end their two-year playoff absence and get back to play sound football for Rise Up Nation.

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