Falcons coaching hot board

Keep up with all the rumors here as the Falcons search for a new head coach.

Rex Ryan | Former NY Jets Head Coach | Age 52

Rex Ryan

Why he fits: Ryan was fired Monday after six years as the head coach of the Jets. There is talk that seven years ago Arthur Blank wanted to hire Ryan, while Thomas Dimitroff wanted Mike Smith. Dimitroff won that war, but Blank might get his man now. How good of a head coach is Ryan? He had the early success in New York, which set him up for failure in that media market. Would he be more relaxed in a very subdued media market like Atlanta? The Jets made the AFC Championship in his first two years and then never saw the playoffs again. Ryan will interview next Tuesday. If Blank wants an experienced head coach and a name to sell tickets for the opening of the new Dome, Ryan might be the leading candidate.

Doug Marrone | Former Buffalo Bills Head Coach | Age 50

Doug Marrone

Why he fits: The New York Post reports the Falcons will interview Marrone, who opted out of his contract with the Bills Wednesday night. Marrone was 15-17 in his two seasons in Buffalo. He is believed to be the favorite to replace Rex Ryan in New York, since he was an assistant coach with the Jets for four seasons from 2002-2005. Marrone does have ties to Georgia. He was George O’Leary’s tight end and then offensive line coach at Georgia Tech from 1996-1999 and then moved to Athens to coach the offensive line in Jim Donnan’s final season at Georgia in 2000. Marrone was Syracuse’s head coach from 2009 through 2012 before he took the job in Buffalo.

Adam Gase | Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator | Age 36

Adam Gase

Why he fits: Veteran NFL writer Les Pasquarelli reported Monday that Gase is the leading candidate for the Falcons job, and Atlanta’s front office did request permission to interview Gase. He’s been the Broncos offensive coordinator for the last two seasons. The 49ers already reportedly are interested in Gase, who actually was brought to Denver to work with Josh McDaniels. That was McDaniels first head coaching job, and he too is a candidate in Atlanta. Gase also worked for the 49ers in 2008, the Lions from 2003-2007 and started his coaching career at LSU as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. Gase’s Broncos are obviously led by Peyton Manning, so while people may be skeptical of Gase’s involvement, he’s had to learn from Manning. Gase will interview Friday with the Falcons.

Josh McDaniels | New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator | Age 38

Josh McDaniels

Why he fits: Thought to be the favorite of Thomas Dimitroff because of the ties to the Patriots, McDaniels’ first coaching job was at Michigan State as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. McDaniels’ dad Thom, a high school football legend in Ohio, is a friend of Saban. McDaniels then joined the New England Patriots and rose up the ranks of the coaching staff. He replaced Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and was then hired by the Broncos to replace Mike Shanahan for the 2009 season. McDaniels lasted only two seasons as head coach. He then joined the Rams for one season as offensive coordinator before returning to the Patriots in 2012. He’s obviously learned a lot from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Would he be better the second time around as a head coach?

Dan Quinn | Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator | Age 44

Dan Quinn

Why he fits: Except for the two years he joined the Florida Gators as their defensive coordinator (2011-2012), Quinn has been a NFL assistant since 2011. He’s led the Seahawks impressive defense the last two seasons, and obviously Seattle’s defense set records in 2013 when they won the Super Bowl over Denver. He spent four seasons with the 49ers, two with the Dolphins and two with the Jets before initially joining the Seahawks in 2009 for two seasons. Quinn has never been a head coach before, but the Falcons are one of several teams wanting to interview him for the vacancy. He is scheduled to interview on Saturday.

Todd Bowles | Arizona Cardinals Defensive Coordinator | Age 51

Todd Bowles

Why he fits: Remember the three-game tryout Bowles got as head coach in 2011 after Miami fired Tony Sparano? Most believed Bowles was ready for a head coaching job then. But instead, the Dolphins went with Joe Philbin. Bowles has bounced around since 2000, working for the Jets, Browns, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles and for the last two seasons with the Cardinals. Bowles played in the NFL from 1986 through 1993 with the Redskins and 49ers. He’s expected to get an interview in San Francisco for their vacancy. Bowles coached in Atlanta one year – in 1997 at Morehouse College as the defensive coordinator.

Teryl Austin | Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator | Age 49

Teryl Austin

Why he fits: The leader of one of the most improved defensive units in the NFL, Austin has been a defensive coach in college and in the pros. He started as a graduate assistant with Penn State and then coached at Wake Forest, Syracuse and the University of Michigan before making the jump to the NFL. Austin was Seattle’s defensive back coach for four seasons before moving to Arizona for three seasons. Then he went back to college and was Florida’s defensive coordinator in 2010. After Will Muschamp took over in Gainesville, Austin went back to the NFL and coached three years as the secondary coach for Baltimore. He got his first coordinator gig this season with Detroit. The Lions have the second-best defense in the NFL, with the best numbers against the run. Austin has said the Falcons have requested permission for an interview. Expect it to happen after the Lions play the Cowboys this weekend.

Pep Hamilton | Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator | Age 40

Pep Hamilton

Why he fits: Expected to be a candidate in Oakland as well, Hamilton rejoined Andrew Luck with the Colts the last two seasons after coaching him at Stanford. Hamilton went from a player at Howard University to coaching there in the late-1990s. Then he joined the Jets as an offensive assistant in 2003 and spent three years there. Hamilton then went to the 49ers for one season and to the Bears for three years before joining Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford.

Brian Schottenheimer | St. Louis Rams Offensive Coordinator | Age 41

Brian Schottenheimer

Why he fits: He’s never been a head coach, but Marty’s son seems to be on the cusp of a big job. Ironically, Schottenheimer’s name has popped up in Athens as the Georgia Bulldogs search for a new offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer has been with the Rams the last two years after six seasons with the Jets. Schottenheimer not only has the knowledge passed down from his father, but remember he was a backup quarterback for Steve Spurrier at Florida in the mid-1990s.


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