Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports that the Falcons fired defensive coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox.
According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN, the Falcons are “strongly considering” secondary coach Marquand Manuel as a Smith’s replacement at defensive coordinator.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, considering that Smith’s young defense showed improvement as the season went on. On top of that, the Falcons just lost OC Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers, so they’ll be entering the 2017 season with two new coordinators.
Smith, 61, began his NFL coaching career with the Oilers back in 1988. He’s worked for several teams over the years including the Broncos, 49ers, Lions, Dolphins, Texans, and Panthers before the Falcons hired him as their defensive coordinator two years ago.
In 2016, the Falcons were No. 25 in yards allowed, No. 17 in rushing yards allowed, No. 28 in passing yards allowed and No. 27 in points allowed.
We’ll have more regarding the Falcons’ defensive coordinator job as the news is available.