Arthur Smith placed emphasis on diversity when building Falcons’ coaching staff

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In an interview with Dave Archer, Arthur Smith provided some valuable insight into how he built the coaching staff in Atlanta.

Smith noted first that the staff fell into place, which is unusual in the NFL as many teams can block others from interviewing or hiring assistants and coordinators. The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator then went into how he built the staff of coaches with various experiences as each is at a different stage in their careers.

Dean Pees, Dave Ragone, and Marquice Williams are the coordinators and exemplify this diversity Smith refers to. Pees came out of retirement coming to Atlanta with 16 years of NFL experience; Ragone comes with 11 years of experience, and Williams comes with eight. Every member of the coaching staff illustrates how Atlanta wants to be multiple and adaptive to all the schemes that are being put in.

Ted Monachino (outside linebackers), Frank Bush (linebackers), Gary Emmanuel (defensive line), and Jon Hoke (secondary) are all experienced defensive minds who have coached in Pees’ system or a similar scheme elsewhere. Monachino has over 15 years of NFL experience and coached under Pees in Baltimore — knowing the system inside and out. Bush has over 25 years of experience; Emmanuel and Hoke have been coaching since the early eighties in some capacity.

The younger coaches supplement these old bulls by way of Lanier Goethie, Matt Pees, and Nick Perry — who have a combined one year of NFL experience but have spent years coaching at the collegiate and high school levels. There is a quality mix of older and younger coaches who come from different backgrounds, but the essence of the staff is that Smith didn’t want “yes” men.

Ragone will coordinate the offense, while the head coach will still call the plays; having someone like him will allow Smith to be present in all three phases instead of just focusing on the offense. Dwayne Ledford is the top offensive line coach in the country; in Smith’s words, their beliefs in the wide zone scheme align perfectly. Chandler Henley will assist Ledford with the offensive line and has a past connection to Smith, enabling him to understand how Smith gameplans and approaches different situations. Justin Peele (tight ends) and T.J. Yates (passing game coordinator) have different offensive backgrounds, which gives the team differing views for how the offense should go.

Moving onto the third phase, Smith mentioned he didn’t know Williams, but he came highly recommended. Steve Hoffman is a senior analyst who Smith has known for a long time and will assist Williams with the special teams and provide an ear for Smith to bounce ideas off. There is a lot of experience among the coaching staff, whose values and teaching abilities should propel this team back into the playoff conversation.



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