With the season that the Atlanta Falcons have had in 2012, it would be a shame to see the coaching team of Mike Smith, Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan break up. The rumors began last week that both Koetter and Nolan were going to be interviewing for some of the many head coaching jobs that had become available.
Reports are today that offensive guru Dirk Koetter has decided to remain with the Falcons, and forego any interviews for head coaching jobs at this time by signing a contract extension with the team. Quarterback Matt Ryan and the rest of the Dirty Bird nation can breathe a big sigh of relief now.
Under Koetter’s direction, the Falcons offense has soared in many respects. Ryan has has a record-breaking season as a passer, and the flock of Atlanta receivers has been the envy of the league. If Atlanta spends a little money and effort upgrading personnel in the backfield this off-season, the offense could look to set some NFL records.
The screen game has been the big addition to Atlanta’s offensive playbook. Koetter is the master of the screen and disguises the plays in varied formations. He’s also not afraid to throw a screen pass to anyone – eligible linemen included. Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling have both benefited from extra touches by the addition of so many screen plays.
Koetter also seems to know what he has in Matt Ryan, and scripts things to play up to his strengths and to avoid his weaknesses. Ryan is not a speedster or scrambler, but using moving pockets from time to time has helped the Falcons quarterback from looking flat-footed in the pocket and remaining a sitting duck for speedy defensive ends who want to add heads to their trophy case.
In just one season, Koetter has turned around what was a bland and predictable offense. And although there is still work to be done, it should be exciting to see how things grow with more time and experience with these players.