Coaches

Keith Armstrong
Special Teams Coordinator

Biography

Keith Armstrong returns to the Falcons for a 10th season as the club’s special teams coordinator. His units have been a staple of the Falcons success over the last six seasons. His teams have proven to be one of the most consistent units in the NFL over his nine years in Atlanta and his coverage units have finished in the top 10 seven of the last eight seasons he’s been with the team. Since 2008, Armstrong’s punt return coverage group ranks second in total return yards (1,964). His kickoff coverage units also has posted the sixth most touchbacks during that time (357) and are first in the NFL in touchdowns against (one).

The Birds special teams have been guided by Armstrong since 2008 and Falcons kickers have reaped the benefits of his coaching. The Falcons kicking game has been at or near the top under Armstrong and rank sixth in the NFL in field goal percentage since 2008 (87.0 pct.) and have produced the fourth most points in the NFL (1,130) over that same period of time.

Last season, P Matt Bosher continued to grow under Armstrong’s guidance. Bosher averaged 46.8 yards per punt, which was eighth in the NFL and fifth in the NFC. He also had a total of 65 touchbacks on kickoffs, which was tied for second

Under the tutelage of Armstrong, the Falcons special teams unit continued to thrive in 2013. Armstrong’s groups were a consistent corps each and every week. Every season, Armstrong seems to find a new special teams maven and 2013 was no different. RB Antone Smith led the team in special teams tackles (11) and WR Drew Davis was close behind with seven. The duo helped the Birds allow 7.6 yards per punt return, which ranked among the NFL leaders.

Another player that made big strides in 2013 under the coaching of Armstrong was third-year punter Matt Bosher. He experienced a career and single-season franchise-best 41.1 net punting average Bosher has developed into one of the top punters in the NFL. His 41.1 net average in 2013 ranked sixth in the League. He has also handled the Falcons kickoff duties the last three years, and in 2013 Bosher proved to be a valuable weapon. Bosher’s consistency led to touchbacks on 68.5 percent of his kickoffs, a mark that ranked third in the NFL last season.

In 2012, Atlanta’s kicking game was propelled by Bryant and Bosher as the Falcons posted a 13-3 record and won their second NFC South Division crown since 2010. Bryant produced another solid season in 2012, by connecting on 33 of 38 field goals, all 44 PATs and tallied a career and franchise single-season high 143 points. Bryant not only set the franchise mark for points in a season, he also set a new franchise mark for most field goals made in a season (33). Bryant kicked three game-winning field goals in 2012, including a 49-yard field goal against the Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He has connected on six game-winning field goals since joining the Falcons.

Atlanta’s kickoff and punt return teams continued to flourish under Armstrong. The Falcons ranked 10th in the NFL in average starting field position (29.0 yard-line) in part to Atlanta’s return game. On the flipside, Armstrong’s coverage troops managed to help the Falcons rank fifth in opponents average starting field position (25.5 yard -line) in 2012.

In 2011, Armstrong used two rookies to propel his coverage units in LB Akeem Dent and Bosher. Dent, a linebacker out of the University of Georgia, led the Falcons in special teams tackles (19) and Bosher finished the season with the highest single-season net punting average for a rookie in Falcons history (38.9 net yards per punt).

Armstrong’s staple on special teams was Bryant.. Bryant finished 27 of 29 on field goal attempts and made all 45 PATs. For the second straight year, Bryant led the Falcons in scoring (126) and his 93.1 field goal pct. marked the third best single-season field goal percentage in team history.

His special team units were a big contributor to the Falcons winning the NFC South division title and posting the best record in the NFC with a 13-3 mark in 2010.

Armstrong’s troops led the League in some key categories such as kickoff return average (28.5), opponents starting field position (22.2) on kickoffs, overall opponent field position (24.3), opponent’s field goal percentage (65.2%) and fewest penalties (seven).

In 2010, WR/KR Eric Weems became the first Falcons player in team history to score touchdowns on both a kickoff return (102) and punt return (55) in the same season under Armstrong’s direction. Through Armstrong’s steady influence, Weems was voted to the Pro Bowl by his peers to become the first Falcons special teamer to be afforded such honors since Allen Rossum in 2004. He also garnered All-NFL accolades by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America.

Among his notable achievements with the Falcons, Armstrong’s punt coverage team boasted an NFL record-low 43 opponent punt return yards allowed in 2008 and a first place ranking in opponent starting field position on kickoffs (21.4 average start) in 2009.

In 2008, Atlanta ranked second in opponents starting field position, eighth in kickoff coverage, eighth in field goals made and first in points allowed on returns.

The 48 year-old native of Levittown, Pa. joined the Falcons following seven seasons in the same capacity for the Miami Dolphins. The 21-year NFL coaching veteran was instrumental in 2007 in helping punt returner Ted Ginn, Jr. finish fourth in the AFC with a 9.6 return average. The average was also the 10th best mark in the entire NFL among all punt returners. With Armstrong’s coaching, K Jay Feely connected on 21 of 23 field goals for 91.3 percent, which ranked second in the League.

From 2001-2006, the Dolphins finished in the top eight in the NFL in punt return defense all but one season under Armstrong’s positive direction. During that same time frame, Miami opponents averaged 6.1 yards per punt return, including a 4.5-yard mark in 2001 when they led the League in the category, and a 4.9-yard average (third in NFL) in 2005. In 2003, the Dolphins ranked first in the NFL in opponents’ average starting field position with a 25.0-yard line mark and finished second in the same category in 2006 with a 24.9 figure.

Prior to landing in Miami, Armstrong served in the same role with the Chicago Bears from 1997- 2000. In 2000, Chicago’s special teams unit ranked fourth in the NFL in punt return defense, allowing an average of just 7.0 yards per return.

Armstrong earned his start in the NFL with Atlanta in 1994 as Safeties Coach. In 1996, he was promoted to run the entire secondary. Before his full-time positions in the NFL, he was part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program during training camps with the New York Jets (1991), Dallas Cowboys (1992) and Chicago Bears (1993).

Armstrong coached his way through the collegiate ranks before joining the NFL. He garnered four letters as a running back and defensive back at Temple University from 1983-1986 before joining the school as a graduate assistant in 1987.

Armstrong then joined the University of Miami as the Defensive Backs and Special Teams Coach for one season (1988) before coaching the wide receivers at the University of Akron (1989). His last two stops in college before joining the Falcons came at Oklahoma State as the Secondary Coach from 1990-1992 and Notre Dame as the Linebackers and Special Teams Coach in 1993.

Keith Armstrong returns to the Falcons for a 10th season as the club’s special teams coordinator. His units have been a staple of the Falcons success over the last six seasons. His teams have proven to be one of the most consistent units in the NFL over his nine years in Atlanta and his coverage units have finished in the top 10 seven of the last eight seasons he’s been with the team. Since 2008, Armstrong’s punt return coverage group ranks second in total return yards (1,964). His kickoff coverage units also has posted the sixth most touchbacks during that time (357) and are first in the NFL in touchdowns against (one).

The Birds special teams have been guided by Armstrong since 2008 and Falcons kickers have reaped the benefits of his coaching. The Falcons kicking game has been at or near the top under Armstrong and rank sixth in the NFL in field goal percentage since 2008 (87.0 pct.) and have produced the fourth most points in the NFL (1,130) over that same period of time.

Last season, P Matt Bosher continued to grow under Armstrong’s guidance. Bosher averaged 46.8 yards per punt, which was eighth in the NFL and fifth in the NFC. He also had a total of 65 touchbacks on kickoffs, which was tied for second

Under the tutelage of Armstrong, the Falcons special teams unit continued to thrive in 2013. Armstrong’s groups were a consistent corps each and every week. Every season, Armstrong seems to find a new special teams maven and 2013 was no different. RB Antone Smith led the team in special teams tackles (11) and WR Drew Davis was close behind with seven. The duo helped the Birds allow 7.6 yards per punt return, which ranked among the NFL leaders.

Another player that made big strides in 2013 under the coaching of Armstrong was third-year punter Matt Bosher. He experienced a career and single-season franchise-best 41.1 net punting average Bosher has developed into one of the top punters in the NFL. His 41.1 net average in 2013 ranked sixth in the League. He has also handled the Falcons kickoff duties the last three years, and in 2013 Bosher proved to be a valuable weapon. Bosher’s consistency led to touchbacks on 68.5 percent of his kickoffs, a mark that ranked third in the NFL last season.

In 2012, Atlanta’s kicking game was propelled by Bryant and Bosher as the Falcons posted a 13-3 record and won their second NFC South Division crown since 2010. Bryant produced another solid season in 2012, by connecting on 33 of 38 field goals, all 44 PATs and tallied a career and franchise single-season high 143 points. Bryant not only set the franchise mark for points in a season, he also set a new franchise mark for most field goals made in a season (33). Bryant kicked three game-winning field goals in 2012, including a 49-yard field goal against the Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He has connected on six game-winning field goals since joining the Falcons.

Atlanta’s kickoff and punt return teams continued to flourish under Armstrong. The Falcons ranked 10th in the NFL in average starting field position (29.0 yard-line) in part to Atlanta’s return game. On the flipside, Armstrong’s coverage troops managed to help the Falcons rank fifth in opponents average starting field position (25.5 yard -line) in 2012.

In 2011, Armstrong used two rookies to propel his coverage units in LB Akeem Dent and Bosher. Dent, a linebacker out of the University of Georgia, led the Falcons in special teams tackles (19) and Bosher finished the season with the highest single-season net punting average for a rookie in Falcons history (38.9 net yards per punt).

Armstrong’s staple on special teams was Bryant.. Bryant finished 27 of 29 on field goal attempts and made all 45 PATs. For the second straight year, Bryant led the Falcons in scoring (126) and his 93.1 field goal pct. marked the third best single-season field goal percentage in team history.

His special team units were a big contributor to the Falcons winning the NFC South division title and posting the best record in the NFC with a 13-3 mark in 2010.

Armstrong’s troops led the League in some key categories such as kickoff return average (28.5), opponents starting field position (22.2) on kickoffs, overall opponent field position (24.3), opponent’s field goal percentage (65.2%) and fewest penalties (seven).

In 2010, WR/KR Eric Weems became the first Falcons player in team history to score touchdowns on both a kickoff return (102) and punt return (55) in the same season under Armstrong’s direction. Through Armstrong’s steady influence, Weems was voted to the Pro Bowl by his peers to become the first Falcons special teamer to be afforded such honors since Allen Rossum in 2004. He also garnered All-NFL accolades by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America.

Among his notable achievements with the Falcons, Armstrong’s punt coverage team boasted an NFL record-low 43 opponent punt return yards allowed in 2008 and a first place ranking in opponent starting field position on kickoffs (21.4 average start) in 2009.

In 2008, Atlanta ranked second in opponents starting field position, eighth in kickoff coverage, eighth in field goals made and first in points allowed on returns.

The 48 year-old native of Levittown, Pa. joined the Falcons following seven seasons in the same capacity for the Miami Dolphins. The 21-year NFL coaching veteran was instrumental in 2007 in helping punt returner Ted Ginn, Jr. finish fourth in the AFC with a 9.6 return average. The average was also the 10th best mark in the entire NFL among all punt returners. With Armstrong’s coaching, K Jay Feely connected on 21 of 23 field goals for 91.3 percent, which ranked second in the League.

From 2001-2006, the Dolphins finished in the top eight in the NFL in punt return defense all but one season under Armstrong’s positive direction. During that same time frame, Miami opponents averaged 6.1 yards per punt return, including a 4.5-yard mark in 2001 when they led the League in the category, and a 4.9-yard average (third in NFL) in 2005. In 2003, the Dolphins ranked first in the NFL in opponents’ average starting field position with a 25.0-yard line mark and finished second in the same category in 2006 with a 24.9 figure.

Prior to landing in Miami, Armstrong served in the same role with the Chicago Bears from 1997- 2000. In 2000, Chicago’s special teams unit ranked fourth in the NFL in punt return defense, allowing an average of just 7.0 yards per return.

Armstrong earned his start in the NFL with Atlanta in 1994 as Safeties Coach. In 1996, he was promoted to run the entire secondary. Before his full-time positions in the NFL, he was part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program during training camps with the New York Jets (1991), Dallas Cowboys (1992) and Chicago Bears (1993).

Armstrong coached his way through the collegiate ranks before joining the NFL. He garnered four letters as a running back and defensive back at Temple University from 1983-1986 before joining the school as a graduate assistant in 1987.

Armstrong then joined the University of Miami as the Defensive Backs and Special Teams Coach for one season (1988) before coaching the wide receivers at the University of Akron (1989). His last two stops in college before joining the Falcons came at Oklahoma State as the Secondary Coach from 1990-1992 and Notre Dame as the Linebackers and Special Teams Coach in 1993.

 

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