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http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/f...orce_plank.html

ajc.com > Sports > Falcons

Force's head coach joins Falcons staff

Plank also will remain with Arena League team

By D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/22/08

Doug Plank, the Georgia Force's highly successful coach, was named to the Falcons' coaching staff on Tuesday.

Plank will serve as a coaching assistant and will be assigned to special projects, according to Reggie Roberts, the Falcons vice president of football communications.

Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com

(ENLARGE)

Doug Plank, who has a 47-25 record (.650) record and guided the Force to ArenaBowl XIX in 2005, played professionally with the Chicago Bears but has not coached in the NFL.

Plank met with Falcons coach Mike Smith to close the deal and clarify his role. He will be involved on offense and defense and with special teams.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank also owns the Force, which plays in the Arena Football League. In addition to working the Falcons, Plank will remain as coach of the Force.

Plank, who has a 47-25 record (.650) record and guided the Force to ArenaBowl XIX in 2005, played professionally with the Chicago Bears but has not coached in the NFL.

Plank did not return a call to his cellphone.

There was some speculation about Plank joining the Falcons staff if his former Chicago Bear teammate Mike Singletary had been hired as coach.

Plank, who played at Ohio State for the legendary Woody Hayes, started for eight seasons for the Chicago Bears, including for the legendary Super Bowl championship team of 1985.

The Bears' famed "46 Defense" created by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan was named for Plank's number and his rugged style of safety play.

The Falcons already have Emmitt Thomas (assistant head coach/secondary) and Alvin Reynolds (defensive backs coach) working with the secondary.

One of Plank's assignments will likely include helping to develop young safeties on the roster. Behind veterans Lawyer Milloy (13 years), Erik Coleman (six years) and Deke Cooper (five years) is a young, but talented trio of safeties in Thomas DeCoud, a third-round pick in 2008, Daren Stone, a sixth-round pick in 2007 and undrafted rookie signee Eric Brock from Auburn.

It is not unprecedented for a coach to work in both leagues. In 2002, Joe Avezzano coached the Dallas Cowboys special teams and also served as coach of the AFL's Dallas Desperados in 2002.

Under Plank, the Force made four consecutive playoff appearances and won three Southern Division titles. They were upset 73-70 in the divisional playoff round by the Cleveland Gladiators on July 7.

Before joining the Force, Plank was the defensive coordinator for the AFL's Arizona Rattlers under former Cowboys quarterback Danny White.

(Join Falcons beat writer Steve Wyche for a live two-hour blog Friday as the team prepares to open its 2008 training camp. Wyche will be online from noon-2 p.m. to answer your questions about this year's team.)

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based on from the mid to late rounds of the draft and several moves the falcons made during the off season, the front office seems to believe the special teams is a very important part of building a football team and made the moves to try to build one of the top notch special team units. dimitroff brings this from new england as belichick stressed having a top notch special team and was a special team coordinator before becoming head coach of the pats. Reason is they deal with both offensively and defensively, they deal with all player types on both sides of the ball.

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ForceFan27 (7/22/2008)
miKevicK777 (7/22/2008)
Plank is weasling his way into the falcons staff so he can lure Shockley to play for the Force

Shockly couldn't start for the Force...he's not good enough.

 

Ditto. Greisen is one **** of a QB--owns most single season passing records after just 2 years I believe.

On Plank though, the guys an incredible motivator and a special coach. I think this is an awesome move on the Falcons part, and I'm suprised they haven't done it sooner.

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norwoodfan2132 (7/22/2008)
ForceFan27 (7/22/2008)
miKevicK777 (7/22/2008)
Plank is weasling his way into the falcons staff so he can lure Shockley to play for the Force

Shockly couldn't start for the Force...he's not good enough.

are u kidding...LMAO :w00t:..o goodness where is georgiafan?

Greisen is the best QB in the AFL. Shockley's game wouldn't translate to the AFL very well.

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ForceFan27 (7/22/2008)
norwoodfan2132 (7/22/2008)
ForceFan27 (7/22/2008)
miKevicK777 (7/22/2008)
Plank is weasling his way into the falcons staff so he can lure Shockley to play for the Force

Shockly couldn't start for the Force...he's not good enough.

are u kidding...LMAO :w00t:..o goodness where is georgiafan?

Greisen is the best QB in the AFL. Shockley's game wouldn't translate to the AFL very well.

yeah Greisen is the man..obviously..but i do believe shockley could dominate the AFL if he wanted

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norwoodfan2132 (7/22/2008)
ForceFan27 (7/22/2008)
miKevicK777 (7/22/2008)
Plank is weasling his way into the falcons staff so he can lure Shockley to play for the Force

Shockly couldn't start for the Force...he's not good enough.

are u kidding...LMAO :w00t:..o goodness where is georgiafan?

Agree. Are you freaking kidding me? Shockley has a really good arm and he really accurate. Just a perfect fit for AFL. Plus his scrambling ability can bring a new dimension to the AFL.

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Andrew (7/22/2008)
I like this move. Plank has always struck me as a great football personality. With our secondary, it can't hurt to have him around.

Indeed. And if all else fails, I say we throw some pads and a helmet on him and stick him on the sideline...ala Burt Reynolds.

In all seriousness, I would be shocked to see Plank as a HC in the next five years.

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norwoodfan2132 (7/22/2008)
(Head coach DougPlank)just saw it on the homepage..i wonder what he will be..is this a good thing?..i have no idea, he seems like a good coach..i dont really watch any afl

Thats pretty bomb!

AJC.com just reported this also: http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/f...orce_plank.html

Plank will serve as a coaching assistant and will be assigned to special projects, according to Reggie Roberts, the Falcons vice president of football communications.

He sure as **** knows what he is doing in the AFL, hopefully his experience will help.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Shockley has a really good arm and he really accurate. Just a perfect fit for AFL. Plus his scrambling ability can bring a new dimension to the AFL.

The scrambling dimension has been done before. Adrian McPherson did it, Michael Bishop did it - it really doesn't work in the AFL because of the dimensions of the field. Michael Bishop smashed the AFL rushing records... on the last place team.

I have no interest in supplanting Greisen, but I would be curious to see if DJ could play the arena game. It's very, very fast, and a lot of guys with good overall "football skills," strong arms, etc., even those with good NFL experience, have been absolute busts in the AFL because they can't adapt to the speed and make decisions fast enough.

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