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Del Rio, other coaches praise Falcons' choice


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Del Rio, other coaches praise Falcons' choice

By D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 01/23/08

Mobile 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."

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How can you trust anything Del Rio has to say, since the all-knowing Marcellus Wiley has said that Del Rio let his "puppet" Smith collect a paycheck for so many years without contributing to the team? LOL! YES, I'M BEING TOTALLY SARCASTIC! Wiley's comments seem disrespectful not only to Smith, but to Del Rio as well, as if to say Del Rio would let some non-contributor stay on his staff and payroll that long.

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