Falcons bringing in Packers assistant for new-look defensive staff

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The Falcons are experiencing a ton of personnel turnover on the defensive side of the ball. After hiring Ryan Nielson to take over for Dean Pees, Atlanta parted ways with several key assistants as the former Saints co-defensive coordinator builds his own staff. And it seems Packers assistant Jerry Gray is one of their targets.

PerĀ NFL Network, Atlanta is “working on a deal” with Gray to have him join Nielsen on the coaching staff. The Falcons interviewed Gray for the coordinator position but ultimately went with Nielson. Still, it seems the team is having its cake and eating it.

Gray is a 60-year-old veteran in this league, with ties to Arthur Smith when the pair spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons in Washington together as well as in Tennessee from 2011 to 2013. The Falcons parted ways with defensive line coach Gary Emanuel, outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino and defensive backs coach Jon Hoke, so new faces were always expected.

Frank Bush is the only position coach to be retained, and despite it not being official, the Falcons are clearly targeting Jerry Gray to join the staff in a defensive backs role. He’s spent the last three seasons in Green Bay but isn’t under contract for the 2023 season. He also interviewed for an unspecified position on the Bears staff, so he has options. The Falcons would welcome his experience as he’s spent time as a defensive coordinator for the Bills and Titans, stretching more than six seasons.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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