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Big Moves


In case you forgot during all the recent draft talk, the Falcons have already made a number of moves that figure to go a long way toward helping continue the recent success of the franchise.

Even though they weren't player-related moves, the signing of the new coaches and front office moves will still play an impact on the 2012 Atlanta Falcons. In case you got lost through all the announcements of the new additions to the coaching staff, here they are once again.

The Falcons hired Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator on January 15. Koetter previously served as the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011. With his 30 years of coaching experience, he brings a high-level of knowledge about the passing game and hopes to help take quarterback Matt Ryan into the elite level.

Upon his hiring, head coach Mike Smith shared how excited he is to have Koetter come to his staff.

"Dirk is a veteran offensive coach who will bring years of NFL experience as an offensive coordinator," Smith said. "I look forward to working with Dirk and have tremendous confidence that he will be a great addition to our team and our coaching staff."

Glenn Thomas was promoted to assume the quarterbacks coach position and Ryan recently said how much of a help Thomas has been to the quarterback in recent seasons behind the scenes.

Two days after Koetter was hired, the Falcons announced the hiring of Mike Nolan to the defensive coordinator position. The former 49ers head coach spent the last two seasons as the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator. He brings with him 14 years of experience as a defensive coordinator in the NFL. Nolan is recognized as one of the best defensive minds in the league and has the accomplishments to back it up.

Smith was most excited about the reputation Nolan has earned when he spoke about the coach after the hiring.

"Mike has a history of developing physically intimidating defensive units, and we are fortunate to him join our staff," Smith said.

The Falcons also hired Pat Hill, the former Fresno State head coach, to coach the offensive line. Hill was the college coach of current Falcons offensive lineman Andrew Jackson.

"He has a history of producing tough and physical offensive lines and we are pleased to have him join our staff," Smith said of Hill.

Back on the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons rounded out their new hires with Joe Danna, the new defensive backs coach. Danna worked with Nolan in Miami as an assistant defensive backs coach and spent the two prior seasons as a defensive assistant in Atlanta.

Smith said he was excited that Danna brings a familiarity with Nolan's scheme with him to Atlanta.

The Falcons also promoted Andrew Weidinger to offensive assistant, Dave Caldwell to director of player personnel and DeJuan Polk to director of pro scouting. Weidinger and Caldwell have the spent past four seasons with Atlanta and Polk has been with the franchise for the last six years.

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