Report: Richard Smith won’t return as Falcons defensive coordinator
Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith will not be back in his role with the team next season, Alex Marvez of Sporting News reported.
The report said Smith could end up taking another job on staff but won’t be back as coordinator after the Falcons’ Super Bowl meltdown. It also said Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox will be dismissed.
Smith has been with the team for two seasons, and Cox has been with the team for the last three seasons.
These moves mean the Falcons will follow their Super Bowl appearance with significant staff changes on both sides of the ball. Kyle Shanahan was hired as head coach of the 49ers after two years as offensive coordinator, and the Falcons officially announced Steve Sarkisian as his replacement on Tuesday. Per multiple reports, quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur will also leave the team to become offensive coordinator with the Rams.
The Falcons’ defense had made significant strides under Smith, who was previously a coordinator in Miami and Houston. He joined head coach Dan Quinn’s first staff with the Falcons after four seasons as the linebackers coach in Denver.
Cox had previously coached in Tampa Bay, Cleveland and with the Jets following a long playing career as a linebacker.