Completing an unusual exchange of offensive coordinators, the Atlanta Falcons hired Dirk Koetter from Jacksonville to replace Mike Mularkey, only days after being introduced as new head coach of the Jaguars. The Falcons announced the signing on Sunday.
Mularkey, whose Falcons’ offense was shutout in a 24-2 loss against the New York Giants last week, was introduced as head coach at Jacksonville on Wednesday. Hired former quarterbacks coach for the Falcons, Bob Bratkowski as his offensive coordinator.
The Falcons hired Koetter even though the Jaguars ranked last in the league in total offense and passing yards in 2011. Koetter’s offense ranks in the No. 29 with its average of 15.2 points per game. Basketball lines
Koetter was signed by Jacksonville as offensive coordinator in 2007. He worked with the current head coach of the Falcons, Mike Smith, for one year. Smith was the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator before becoming head coach in Atlanta in 2008.
Smith said Koetter would bring “a lot of fresh ideas to our offense. Basketball betting lines
“It’s brilliant, understands the intricacies of the vertical passing game, but he also wants to run the football, which is important in the NFL,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with Dirk and we have tremendous confidence that he will be a great addition to our team and coaching staff.”
Smith has emphasized a philosophy of run first, in front of Atlanta.
After the Jaguars dismiss Jack Del Rio this season, interim head coach Mel Tucker Koetter assigned the additional role of quarterbacks coach for the last five games of the season.
The rookie quarterback Jacksonville, Blaine Gabbert, and Luke McCown combined for 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
The strength of the Jaguars was their running game. Maurice Jones-Drew led the NFL with 1.606 yards rushing.
The Falcons lost both coordinators after the campaign. The team is still looking to replace defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who returned to college ranks to take charge of the Auburn defense.
Koetter, 52 years old, finished with a combined 66-44 as head coach of Boise State (1998 to 2000) and Arizona State (2001-06). On Wednesday, he met with Alabama coach Nick Saban, the offensive coordinator of the Crimson Tide.
In Atlanta, Koetter inherits an offense that has holders set as quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner, tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. With the exception of Jones, who had a breakout performance as a rookie in 2011, all those players and fullback Ovie Mughelli, have played in the Pro Bowl.
Despite the wealth of talent, the offensive was a deception when the team suffered its third straight playoff in four years under Smith.
As part of its draft-day trade in 2011 with the Cleveland Browns to move up and take to Jones at the site No. 6 overall selections the Falcons paid first and fourth round in 2012.
The trade leaves the Falcons draft picks less this year to address problem areas on offense, including the offensive line.