Falcons reveal new roles for Raheem Morris’ staff, including a surprise

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

Raheem Morris’ staff is nearing completion following the Falcons’ announcement of multiple appointments, including one surprise.

Fans were made aware earlier that Jay Rodgers has been named the defensive line coach, but the addition of Steve Scarnecchia as chief of staff and coaching operations is news.

Moreover, Dwayne Ledford was being retained but received a new role as run game coordinator. Two other holdovers were revealed as well, director of coaching operations Sarah Hogan and coaching operations assistant Donavan Ellison.

The surprise was Dave Huxtable being kept on as a senior defensive assistant after it was reported earlier in the offseason that he’d be following Ryan Nielsen to Jacksonville for a similar role with the Jaguars.

Nielsen plucked Huxtable from Nick Saban’s Alabama staff last year, but their connection dates back further than that. Hux was the Wolpack’s defensive coordinator, and Nielsen was his defensive line coach and run game coordinator.

The 67-year-old spent his entire coaching career at the collegiate level before coming to the Falcons last offseason. It’s clear that Raheem Morris, Jimmy Lake, and/or the organization convinced him to stay in Atlanta.

Despite it being his only season in the NFL,  you’d be hard-pressed to find a more experienced coach than Huxtable.

The other notable addition here is Scarnecchia, who actually spent some time with the Falcons earlier in his career as an assistant to the head coach for six seasons. He returns to Atlanta after spending the last three seasons with the Jets as the chief of staff for coach Robert Saleh.

He’s the son of the great Dante Scarnecchia, who is considered one of, if not the greatest offensive line coach in league history, spending more than two decades in that role in New England and nearly 40 years with the Patriots organization in total.

The Falcons staff under Raheem Morris is about done.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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