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Richard Smith: Who Is The Falcons' New Dc?

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There is a ton of excitement surrounding the new coaching regime at Flowery Branch for the Atlanta Falcons here in 2015. Dan Quinn comes from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast in his first head coaching gig. When constructing his staff, Coach Quinn opted to bring with him many seasoned coaches that have plenty of experience with player development at the NFL level.

While names like Raheem Morris and Kyle Shanahan may stand out as marquee hires by Quinn, we often overlook the man who actually is our new Defensive Coordinator: Richard Smith. And it’s about time for us to learn a thing or two about one of the most important defensive minds in Flowery Branch.

Smith has held a job in the National Football League every year since 1988 when he started out as Special Teams Assistant with the then Houston Oilers. The Atlanta Falcons are the ninth NFL team Smith has worked for in his long tenure as a career NFL assistant.

Coach Smith is best known for his time as Defensive Coordinator for the Miami Dolphins (2005) and the Houston Texans (2006-08), as well as his 8 seasons working Special Teams and Linebackers for the Denver Broncos (1993-96, 2011-14).

It seems that Coach Smith’s specialty is in developing linebackers, having spent the last six seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2009-10) and Denver (2011-14) as strictly as linebackers coach. Knowing the tradition of great linebacking play from both organizations, I would safely say that Richard Smith is responsible in those units success. He coached Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware last season.

Atlanta could really use Smith’s expertise in the front seven with arguably one of the weakest units up front in the NFL. But the Falcons do have some talented young players up front including OLB Vic Beasley, DT Ra’Shede Hageman, and LB Paul Worrilow. Hopefully under Richard Smith’s tutelage all three front seven players can have lucrative careers playing for the Atlanta Falcons.

If you do look at Smith’s four seasons an NFL Defensive Coordinator, very little stands out from his teams. The only thing that looks intriguing to me is that his 2005 Miami Dolphins Defense did a solid job against the run ( 3rd in fumble recoveries and 7th in yards/average). Then again, Miami and Houston weren’t great teams when he was on their coaching staffs.

Though his defense this year isn’t as talented as the ones in his two most recent NFL stops (Carolina and Denver), the 2015 Atlanta Falcons have a great cast of coaches to aid in player development. I believe that DC Richard Smith along with LB Coach Jeff Ulbrich, the Atlanta Falcons will not have the worst linebacker corps in the NFL by the end of the season. And with the likes of Quinn and Morris to further help defensively, the 2015 Atlanta Falcons have the chance to grow into a Top 20, even Top 15 Defense by season’s end.


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I just want to know who is going to call the plays!

there are some serious defensive minds in the building now with Raheem also.

Got to think DQ casts his eye over it though.... Strategy and gameplanning will be a group task, but gameday?! Hopefully D-Led pulls his head out of his A$$ and asks a relevant question like that for once

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At a coaches roundtable on ESPN a couple of months ago, he said that he hadn't decided on whether he would call the plays or not but said he will be heavily involved on the defensive side of the ball. Marvin Lewis was at the roundtable also and advised him not to.

He won't have time to do that, a HC has to learn to let that go.

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"And with the likes of Quinn and Morris to further help defensively, the 2015 Atlanta Falcons have the chance to grow into a Top 20, even Top 15 Defense by seasons end."

In other words, by time playoffs roll around. If this team starts to peak come playoff time, anything could happen considering we have one of the best QBs in the NFL and a lot of intriguing pieces to go along with him .

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I like Smith because just look at what he did in Denver with Von Miller prior and with Demarcus Ware. Also can't forget about Trevathan. He's a stud too.

Do I have high hopes for our guys especially Worrilow he finally have some quality experience around him staff and player wise.

Man I can't wait fit this upcoming season. Eight days til Falcons Football.

Edited by GATXBOI
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It was kind of funny to see us fans react to Smith getting hired as DC. We hired Quinn and we were so focused on his defenses that when it was announced Smith would be his DC the entire AFMB just kinda went shrug.001.gif

TBH that's still kind of my reaction. He is the biggest ? on the entire coaching staff IMO.

I find it funny Paul Worrilow is mentioned in the same sentence as Hageman and Beasley as far as talented players

His only liability is coverage - he is a thumper. Not sure what's so funny?

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