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Falcons defensive coordinator VanGorder leaves for Auburn


Another disappointing playoff exit by the Falcons will be followed by a surprising coaching change.

Falcons coach Mike Smith said Monday that defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder is leaving for the same position at Auburn.

Van Gorder is making a lateral move, so it’s fair to wonder if this is a move Smith was looking to make either way. Smith is a defensive-minded head coach, so changing coordinators on that side of the ball shouldn’t cause a huge disruption.

There is also a chance the Falcons could be making a change on offense. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is getting at least two interviews to be a head coach elsewhere.

The Falcons have lost in the playoffs two times before, but we get a sense this loss has created the most frustration. Smith said the team will do a “deep diagnostic” of everything in the organization.

“You’re either getting better or you’re going backwards,” Smith said. “There is no neutral.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan said after Sunday’s game the team definitely didn’t take a step forward this year. So it looks like the Falcons will re-tool after a 2011 campaign that fell short of expectations.

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30 Responses to “Falcons defensive coordinator VanGorder leaves for Auburn”
  1. dohpey28 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:12 PM

    how about Spags to the Falcons as new dc?

  2. kenosando says: Jan 9, 2012 3:14 PM

    War Eagle

  3. rgweiser53 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:15 PM

    Someone should tell the HC that his offense is WAY TOO conservative.

    Lousy play calling yesterday against the Jints, and that’s not the first time I’ve seen that.

  4. falconsfan1991 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:21 PM

    Have to say I am happy about this. I thought the defense unachieved and lacked creativity. We need a strong defensive coordinator to get to the next level; similar to what the saints did with Gregg Williams

  5. clintonportisheadd says: Jan 9, 2012 3:21 PM

    Matt Ryan is fast becoming the Joe Flacco of the NFC……..

  6. skippynj says: Jan 9, 2012 3:22 PM

    That’s a crying shame because I like the falcons just the way they are.

  7. crabboil says: Jan 9, 2012 3:23 PM

    As an Alabama fan, I think this is great news.

  8. dionoil says: Jan 9, 2012 3:24 PM

    Only an idiot would hire Mularkey after he sent his offense out there completly unprepared yesterday

  9. bbrophy1 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:29 PM

    perhaps his brother-in-law Brian billick will suggest his good buddy Jack Del Rio. That could be a good fit.

  10. fitz66 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:29 PM

    The playoffs are like kryptonite to that dude – which is why he’ll be perfect in college.

    He’s also a .gif Hall of Famer:

  11. bobulated says: Jan 9, 2012 3:33 PM

    BVG did creative things like drop his best pass rusher into coverage and constantly run a 3 man rush whenever the Falcons had someone in long yardage situations. Considering how bad they were on 3rd down the last few seasons this comes as no surprise.
    That being said Van Gorder was an excellent DC and coached some very good D’s when he was with UGA so maybe the college ranks is where he belongs.

  12. damnsureis says: Jan 9, 2012 3:35 PM

    Isn’t Mularkey interviewing with the Bucs? I think it’s a ploy by the Bucs to make him look good so Atlanta keeps him.

  13. fan555 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:50 PM

    The change they need to make is to get rid of Smith.

    He’s TERRIBLE!!!

  14. axespray says: Jan 9, 2012 3:51 PM

    falcons need an oline and a secondary
    and an OC that isn’t scared.

  15. rajbais says: Jan 9, 2012 3:56 PM

    Who’s succeeding BVG, Jack Del Rio???

  16. rajbais says: Jan 9, 2012 3:58 PM

    BVG’s defenses never scared anyone!!!

    That was a big reason for why the Falcons were a stupid Super Bowl pick!!!!

  17. nomad57 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:08 PM

    Les Miles’ reaction- Yes!

    Sean Paytons’ reaction- NOOOOOO!

  18. rolltide510 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:09 PM

    Is going from NFL DC to college DC a lateral move?

  19. daknight93 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:19 PM

    who is a leader on the falcons team to take them to next level? Tony G(never won a playoff game in his career) Matt Ryan(0-3 in playoffs) same for Roddy…these guys are not leaders…Bring in a new DC and results could still be same

  20. grogansheroes says: Jan 9, 2012 4:25 PM

    The Falcons in the NFC, the Chargers in the AFC. Everyone’s darlings in the fall. Everyone seems surprised when they fail. Why? They ALWAYS FAIL! Quel surprise!

  21. prmpft says: Jan 9, 2012 4:29 PM

    was that before or after the back to back thrashings atlanta just suffered…

  22. nflovercollegefb says: Jan 9, 2012 4:30 PM

    Good Riddance! In two year’s he’ll probably be DC at Ole Miss, then in two more Arkansas State, a coaching gypsy!

    Dude looks like he’s stuck in 198o and probably drives a Bandit Trans-Am.

    Dear Mr. Blank, if you are as committed to winning as you say you are then open the checkbook for Spags!

  23. wicky888 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:38 PM

    Thank god. Generic soft zone coverage with no disguises or surprises? And a creepy molestache to go along with it. Kick rocks BVG, take Mularkey with you. Maybe your basic schemes will work at the college level

  24. pb420 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:42 PM

    This report is inaccurate. He is leaving Atl to become the third geico caveman. You heard it here first!

  25. screamingsheep69 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:55 PM

    Its still Mike Smith’s defense. You think he would bring someone like Spags or Del Rio in to run their system? He’s too full of himself to do something like that. Watch for a promotion within.

  26. Derty Ernie says: Jan 9, 2012 5:31 PM

    Auburn probably made a huge mistake since the Falcons have gotten kicked big time in the last three playoff games.

  27. commandercornpone says: Jan 9, 2012 7:34 PM

    the falcons get pushed around by good teams all the time.

    and abraham only really shows up to play against bad teams. just like julianne pfeffers.

  28. tatum064 says: Jan 9, 2012 11:00 PM

    Time to jump ship. I remember when Petrino was with the Falcs for a one year, then bounced.

    They have to re-evaluate a lot of personnel in that organization as they have seemed to hit the wall. Wondering if they would make a run at Gregg Williams to replace Mike Smith altogether…very much a team that needs to “man-up”. Ryan appears to be Carson Palmer 2.0 as well.

  29. mrsroper says: Jan 10, 2012 10:22 AM

    This guy has possibly the weakest moustache ever. Looks like a caterpiller with male pattern baldness.

  30. tmar1961 says: Jan 11, 2012 4:40 AM

    generic defenses, generic offensive play calling both of those positions leaving for other pastures can only be a good thing for falcons fans because its hard to get any worse at those positions. Consider that even with that being true, they still made the playoffs 3 out of the last four season and with some creativeness MAYBE will get a playoff win before their talent window is closed.

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