After coaching together in 2011 on Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle, Jeff Ulbrich and Robert Saleh have familiarity with one another. As Saleh, who was hired by the New York Jets on Jan. 14 fills out his staff, appears to be looking at Ulbrich as someone to add to his staff, according to one report by Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
Ulbrich has spent the last six seasons as the linebackers coach for the Atlanta Falcons. Ahead of the 2020 season, Ulbrich was promoted to assistant head coach/linebackers coach. When Dan Quinn was fired after an 0-5 start and Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach, Ulbrich was named defensive coordinator.
Under Ulbrich's leadership, some of Atlanta's best defenders over the last five years have come from his position room. Deion Jones, De'Vondre Campbell and Foye Oluokun are a few that come to mind. Jones, selected as a second-round pick in 2016, has already been to a Pro Bowl. Oluokun, a sixth-round pick in 2018, was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week and will likely make the Pro Bowl following this season. Campbell, a fourth-round pick in Jones' draft class, went on to sign a significant one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason after becoming a starter and leading the Falcons in tackles in the 2018-19 seasons.
The Falcons agreed to terms with former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to become Atlanta's next head coach on Jan. 15. The following day, Smith and the Falcons made it official. Smith will spend the next few weeks filling out his staff.
Smith, 38, has spent the last decade with the Tennessee Titans and was the Titans' offensive coordinator for the last two seasons, helping revive quarterback Ryan Tannehill's career (he was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2019) and featuring running back Derrick Henry, who has developed into one of the most productive – and feared – backs in the league.
The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator becomes the 18th head coach in Atlanta Falcons franchise history.