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Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Tracker: Running list of candidates

Here is a collection of names being reported as candidates for the Falcons' head coach position


Editor's note: This story was last updated at 5:12 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 15.

On Friday afternoon, the Atlanta Falcons announced that they agreed to terms with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to become their next head coach. The announcement is the culmination of a lengthy and thorough search to find the team's next leader, which included a number of quality NFL coaches.

Here is the full list of candidates that were reported by various media outlets (listed in order as most recent report):


Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith is the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. Smith has been with the Titans since 2011 and has held a number of positions, including tight ends coach, offensive line assistant, offensive quality control coach and defensive quality control coach. Other NFL experience includes working as a defensive quality assistant coach with the Washington Football Team from 2007-08. Under Smith in 2020, the Titans offense ranks No. 5 in the league in total yards per game (390.1) and No. 2 overall in rushing yards per game (160.1). The Titans are also third in the league in scoring, putting up 30.0 points per game. (First reported by

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Todd Bowles

Todd Bowles is the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Prior to joining the Buccaneers coaching staff in 2019, Bowles was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2015-18 where he compiled a 24-40 overall record in four seasons. Bowles also served as interim coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2011 and went 2-1. Under Bowles this season, the Bucs defense has emerged as one of the league's best units. Tampa is plus-seven in turnover differential (No. 6 in the league), has a total of 23 takeaways (No. 4), has surrendered 323.3 yards per game (No. 6), and is giving 21.9 points per game (No. 7). Tampa Bay has the No. 1 rushing defense in the league, surrendering just 77.5 yards per game. (First reported by

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Joe Brady

Joe Brady is the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator. Brady made a name for himself when he joined the coaching staff at LSU in 2019 and helped transform that offense into a juggernaut. The Tigers won the 2019 CFP National Championship and quarterback Joe Burrow went on to win the Heisman Trophy and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals after playing under Brady. The next season he joined first-year coach Matt Rhule in Carolina to guide the Panthers offense. This past season the Panthers' offense ranked 21st overall in total yards per game (349.5), No. 18 in passing yards per game (243.0), No. 21 in rushing yards per game (106.5) and were 24th overall in points per game (21.9). (First reported by Joe Person of The Athletic.)

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Nathaniel Hackett

Nathaniel Hackett is the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Matt LaFleur hired Hackett as his offensive coordinator shortly after he was named the Packers head coach in January of 2019. The Packers finished 13-3 in 2019 and earned the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Under Hackett, the Packers averaged 23.5 points per game, 112.2 rushing yards per game, 233.3 passing yards per game and 345.5 total yards per game. In 2020, the Packers were even better on offense as they once again finished with a 13-3 mark and the No. 1 seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. Green Bay was No. 1 in the league in points per game (31.8), No. 5 in total yards per game (389.0), No. 9 in passing yards per game (256.6) and No. 8 in rushing yards per game (132.4). (First reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.)

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Robert Saleh

Robert Saleh is finishing his fourth season as the San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator. Under Saleh in 2020, San Francisco's defense ranks No. 5 in the league in total yards of offense allowed per game (316.7), fourth in average passing yards allowed (211.2), is tied for sixth in total rushing yards allowed per game (105.5) and is allowing 24.3 points per game. The 49ers also have 20 takeaways this season despite suffering a number of key injuries on that side of the ball. (First reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.)

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Eric Bieniemy

Eric Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs and has held the role since being promoted from the running backs coach there in 2018. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who once coached Bieniemy while the head coach in Philadelphia, moved him into the role after Matt Nagy took the job with the Chicago Bears. In 2020, the Chiefs offense currently ranks first in total yards per game (425.7), first in passing yards per game (309.1), and No. 2 in points scored per game (30.1). In 2019, the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV. (First reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.)

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Brandon Staley

Brandon Staley took over as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator in 2020. Prior to that Staley served as the outside linebackers coach with the Denver Broncos in 2019, and he was also the outside the outside linebackers coach with the Chicago Bears from 2017-18. Under Staley in 2020, the Rams defense is ranked No. 1 in the league in total yards allowed per game (286.5), No. 1 in passing yards allowed per game (192.3), No. 3 in rushing yards allowed (94.1) and third overall in points allowed per game (19.3). The Rams have forced 21 turnovers this season, which is tied for the fifth-most in the league. (First reported by

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Raheem Morris

Raheem Morris took over as interim coach of the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 12. At the time, the Falcons were 0-5 and coming off a 23-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Since then, the Falcons have gone 4-6 under Morris and five of those losses were by five points or less. Morris began the 2020 season as the Falcons defensive coordinator and split the play-calling duties with linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich. Following a 1-7 start in 2019, Morris moved over from coaching the receivers to the defensive side of the ball where he coached the secondary. The play-calling duties were assigned to Morris and Ulbrich and Atlanta went 6-2 down the final stretch, including winning four straight games. Prior to his Falcons coaching stint, Morris coached the defensive backs coach in Washington from 2012-14. That followed his up-and-down run as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he compiled a 17-31 record from 2009-11. (First reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.)

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