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Falcons opt not to renew Emmitt Thomas' contract

Emmitt Thomas, a Hall of Fame defensive back who has coached the Falcons’ secondary since 2002, is leaving the team.

Per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Thomas’ contract has not been renewed.

“Everyone here in the Falcons organization has the utmost respect for Emmitt, and we deeply appreciate his contributions to our team over the years,” coach Mike Smith said, per Ledbetter.  “We wish Emmitt the best in his future endeavors.”

Thomas served as interim head coach after Bobby Petrino bolted during the 2007 season.

In 2003, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis wanted to hire Thomas to serve as defensive coordinator, but the Falcons declined to grant permission.

Thomas, 66, interviewed for a handful of head-coaching jobs during his 29-year career as an NFL assistant coach.  The future plans of the former Chiefs defensive back currently aren’t known, but the fact that he didn’t retire from the Falcons suggests to us that he plans to keep working.

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5 Responses to “Falcons opt not to renew Emmitt Thomas' contract”
  1. chunky soupy sales says: Jan 13, 2010 9:36 AM

    The secondary wasn’t their strongest unit but I thought all those coaches were fairly safe for at least another year or so.
    that was pretty unexpected.He is a fine gentleman.

  2. tian says: Jan 13, 2010 9:44 AM

    Emmit Thomas was the fall guy for the Falcons’ debacle. See, it wasn’t technique that the secondary was bad this season, but it were the calls. Plus, with the injuries of some key players in the secondary, the Falcons had to rely on youth in order to get by.
    But they sure looked better the last games, though. Those youngsters matured very well.
    But here’s the thing: Emmit Thomas should go and coach in college. He’ll be fine.

  3. samh says: Jan 13, 2010 10:08 AM

    @ninerblitz
    And whose fault is that but the fans’?

  4. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: Jan 13, 2010 10:43 AM

    tian thinks Emmitt Thomas was a fall guy for the pitiful defense. OH THE INJUSTICE OF IT ALL. He’s old & seen many regime changes over the years, you gotta go some time. Vet CB Brian Williams was injured and starting in September B4 he was lost for the season, but that was the only significant injury for the DB’s this year, William Moore doesn’t count. Little D-line pressure much of the year screwed up everythang, but don’t be sold on the “maturing” Brent Grimes or Chris Owens or a new & improved Chris Houston or Tye Hill making an impact. The last few games were likely an amorition. Cornerback in round 1 is in the cards.

  5. God's Own Silver and Blue says: Jan 13, 2010 12:17 PM

    “We wish the best in future endeavors.”
    Is this verbiage printed on a cheat sheet somewhere deep in the bowels of press release land? Everybody seems to use the exact same wording.

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