Falcons name Saints' Terry Fontenot as general manager
This photo provided by the New Orleans Saints shows Terry Fonetenot in an undated photo. The Atlanta Falcons named Terry Fontenot the teams general manager, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. The 40-year-old Fontenot becomes Atlantas first Black general manager after spending 18 seasons with division rival New Orleans. Fontenot helped build a consistent winner as the Saints’ vice president and assistant general manager in charge of pro personnel. The Falcons fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn following a 0-5 start this season, which led to a 4-12 finish, Atlanta's third consecutive losing season.
Falcons pick Titans offensive coordinator Smith as new coach
FILE - Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith instructs his players during NFL football training camp in Nashville, Tenn., in this Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, file photo. The New York Jets interviewed Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, for their head coaching vacancy. Atlanta agreed to terms with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Friday to become the team's head coach. Smith has served on Tennessee's staff for 10 seasons, including two as offensive coordinator. He also was an offensive assistant/quality control coach (2012), offensive line/tight ends assistant (2013) and assistant tight ends coach (2014-15).
Friends as playoff foes: Packers' LaFleur faces Rams' McVay
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay say their friendship and shared history shouldn't have much of an impact on their teams’ upcoming NFC divisional playoff matchup. The top-seeded Packers (13-3) host the Rams (11-6) on Saturday with an NFC championship game berth at stake. San Francisco’s head coach is Kyle Shanahan, who worked at Washington with Matt LaFleur and McVay from 2010-13. LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach on Quinn’s Atlanta staff from 2015-16 and worked for Mike Vrabel at Tennessee in 2018. They reunited in 2017 when McVay became the Rams’ head coach and hired LaFleur.
Falcons interview Hackett, Brady for head coaching job
Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady is becoming a popular name for NFL teams seeking to fill head coaching vacancies. A person familiar with the situation says the Chargers, Falcons and Texans have all asked for and received permission from the Panthers to interview Brady for their head coaching jobs. (AP Photo/Brian Westerholt, File)ATLANTA – The Atlanta Falcons have interviewed a pair of offensive coordinators, Nathaniel Hackett of the Green Bay Packers and Joe Brady of the Carolina Panthers, for their head coaching job. The Falcons conducted a virtual interview with Hackett on Thursday, one day after meeting virtually with Brady. “I think one of the (prerequisites) to being a good head coach is presence in front of a room," Rodgers said.
Chargers fire head coach Anthony Lynn after 4 seasons
FILE - In this Dec. 15 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn speaks after an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Carson, Calif. The Los Angeles Chargers have fired coach Anthony Lynn less than two seasons after he led the franchise to the AFC divisional round. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo, File)COSTA MESA, Calif. – A four-game winning streak at the end of the season wasn't enough to save Anthony Lynn's job with the Los Angeles Chargers. Lynn led the franchise to the playoffs in 2018 but Los Angeles had losing records the last two seasons. Hired by the Chargers in January 2017, Lynn was the first Black head coach in franchise history and had one year remaining on his contract.
Brady throws for 4 TDs, Bucs pull away from Falcons 44-27
Brady threw touchdown passes of 29 and 4 yards to Chris Godwin. Ryan scored on a 1-yard sneak and also threw scoring passes of 19 yards to Russell Gage and 1 yard to Hayden Hurst. The latter trimmed Atlanta’s deficit to 30-27 before Brady put the game away with two late drives. Brown had his most productive day since joining the Bucs midway through the season with 11 catches for 138 yards. Godwin had five receptions for 133 yards, while Evans had three catches for 46 yards before leaving the game.
Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan gets sacked by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This time, the Atlanta Falcons finished. Carolina was driving late, but Atlanta stopped the rally when Blidi Wreh-Wilson intercepted Teddy Bridgewater near the Falcons' 10-yard line with 1:04 remaining. Moore on third and 18 to move the Panthers into Falcons territory. Bridgewater was limited to 176 yards passing as the Panthers (3-5) lost their third straight game without injured Christian McCaffrey. UP NEXTFalcons: Host the Broncos on Nov. 8Panthers: Open the second half of the season at the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Nov. 8.
NFL will be cautious with players, coaches who have symptoms
ATLANTA – The NFL plans to take a cautious approach that may force players and coaches reporting flu symptoms to miss games without testing positive for COVID-19. The Atlanta Falcons closed their facility Thursday following a second positive test for COVID-19. The New England Patriots have twice had their original Week 5 matchup against Denver postponed following four positive coronavirus tests by players. “This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials,” the team said in a statement. They make sure that they know everyone is aware even if they catch you with your mask down a little bit, they’ll make sure you move it up.”The Falcons had seven players test positive during training camp.
Falcons name Raheem Morris interim replacement for Quinn
The Atlanta Falcons have named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris interim head coach after firing Dan Quinn. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)ATLANTA – The poor performance of Atlanta's defense under the leadership of Raheem Morris won't matter if Morris finds a way to win as the Falcons' interim coach. The more Morris wins, the better he'll look to Falcons owner Arthur Blank as perhaps more than just a temporary replacement for the fired Dan Quinn. Can Morris, elevated Monday to interim coach, be a candidate for the full-time job? Blank noted 11 games provides an unusually long opportunity for an interim coach to make his mark.
End of the line: Coach Quinn, GM Dimitroff fired by Falcons
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn stands with Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Quinn was hired by the Falcons in 2015 after a highly successful run as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, highlighted by two straight trips to the Super Bowl. After going 8-8 his first season, Quinn guided the Falcons to one of the greatest years in team history. The Falcons made the playoffs again the following year, losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, but never seemed to fully shake their Super Bowl debacle. Dimitroff kept his job when Smith was fired at the end of the 2014 season after two straight losing campaigns.
Falcons fire coach Quinn, GM Dimitroff after 0-5 start
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn gestures as he walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. In the midst of his sixth year with the Falcons, the 50-year-old Quinn became the second coach to be fired during the season in Arthur Blank’s 18 years as owner. Quinn was the second NFL coach this season to lose his job after Houston’s Bill O’Brien was let go following an 0-4 start. Quinn departed with an overall record of 43-42, but he just 14-23 since the beginning of the 2018 season. The Falcons made the playoffs again the following year, losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, but never seemed to shake the stigma of their Super Bowl debacle.
Another Falcons collapse: Foles' 3 TDs lead 30-26 Bears win
Chicago Bears strong safety Tashaun Gipson (38) celebrates his interception of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. The Chicago Bears won 30-26. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Another Falcons collapse: Foles' 3 TDs lead 30-26 Bears win
The Falcons surrendered a 16-point advantage in the final 6 1/2 minutes to the Chicago Bears, who got three touchdown passes from backup quarterback Nick Foles and pulled out a 30-26 win on Sunday. It would have seemed downright improbable — if it hadn't happened for the second week in a row. The former Super Bowl MVP won it with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller with 1:53 remaining. He tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Graham to make it 26-16 with 6:20 to go. But Foles got his chance after Trubisky threw an interception in the third quarter that led to a Falcons field goal, pushing the lead to 26-10.
Column: Another grim chapter for Atlanta's sports history
Dallas Cowboys cornerback C.J. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)ATLANTA – As the ball spun slowly along the turf at Jerry’s World, the black-clad players backing away like it was a live grenade, Atlanta’s grim sports history flooded the consciousness. There was never any doubt a Dallas player would fall on the onside kick before the Falcons did. There was never any doubt the game-winning kick would almost perfectly split the uprights, handing a team from Atlanta an almost unfathomable defeat. The Falcons led 20-0 in the first quarter after Dallas fumbled the ball away three times.
Cowboys' rally stuns Falcons 40-39 in McCarthy's home debut
Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones (6) and others celebrate with kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) after Zuerlein kicked a field goal to help the Cowboys to a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Cowboys' rally stuns Falcons 40-39 in McCarthy's home debut
Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones (6) and others celebrate with kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) after Zuerlein kicked a field goal to help the Cowboys to a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – One gamble after another failed for coach Mike McCarthy in his home debut with the Dallas Cowboys. Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and the Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 on Sunday. The Falcons pushed the lead to 39-24 on Younghoe Koo's fourth field goal with just under eight minutes left. Calvin Ridley was the leader for the Falcons this week with 109 yards and two touchdowns.
NFL training camps opening with eye on baseball, babysitting
Brady and Brees aren't the B words dominating the opening of NFL training camps. And weve got some good guys on the team I think that can help get that message through to them.The biggest news from NFL teams Tuesday dealt with opt-outs. The Cowboys placed defensive tackle Dontari Poe and defensive end Tyrone Crawford on the physically unable to perform list. Atlanta placed rookie safety Jaylinn Hawkins on the teams reserve/COVID-19 list hours after coach Dan Quinn said all rookies had negative tests. Hawkins, a fourth-round pick from Cal, could have tested negative and placed on the list after exposure to the coronavirus.
More than half of NFL coaching staffs not at team facilities
More than half of the 32 NFL teams did not have coaching staffs at their facilities Friday even though the league has approved such returns where local governments allow them. Most of the Bengals coaching staff returned to the facility today, including head coach Zac Taylor. NFL teams have been performing all offseason duties virtually since Commissioner Roger Goodell closed club facilities in late March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league is taking a slow approach to reopening those team buildings, with the latest step allowing coaching staffs to return. The Saints are working up protocols to allow coaches the choice of working from team offices or home depending on individual circumstances.