NFC South: Black Monday 2012

Mike Nolan also draws interest

January, 1, 2013
As the Atlanta Falcons get ready for the postseason, they suddenly have a lot of potential distractions.

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has become the latest Atlanta assistant to get an interview for a position as a head coach. Nolan reportedly will interview in Philadelphia. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong also will be interviewing for spots.

Since the Falcons have a bye this week, their assistants are allowed to interview.

Koetter, Nolan and Armstrong are all dedicated professionals and I’m sure they’ll do their best to fulfill their duties to the Falcons this week. But that’s not going to be easy to juggle the interviews with their regular duties.

The fact they’re interviewing also could cause some distractions for the players. But, if the Falcons really are going to make a deep playoff run, they have to be able to handle distractions.

Falcons' Dirk Koetter a hot name

December, 31, 2012
The Atlanta Falcons' offensive success during a 13-3 season could come at a price.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will interview with the Kansas City Chiefs for their head-coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The Falcons already have granted the Chiefs permission to talk to Koetter and the interview reportedly will take place Tuesday.

There also is a report that Koetter will interview for the vacancy with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cleveland Browns are also reportedly interested in Koetter.

Assistants on playoff teams with a bye can interview for jobs as head coaches this week.

This isn’t a huge surprise because Koetter was expected to be one of the "hot" names this offseason. He’s had success as a coordinator and has been a head coach on the college level.

Koetter joined the Falcons this season after Mike Mularkey left to become the head coach in Jacksonville.

Word on Ron Rivera not likely Monday

December, 31, 2012
If the Carolina Panthers are going to fire coach Ron Rivera, it’s not expected to happen Monday.

Rivera is scheduled to hold his usual day-after-the-game meeting with the media at 11 a.m. ET. Team officials said no one else is expected to take part in the news conference.

We’ll see if Rivera reveals anything about what he’s been told about his status by owner Jerry Richardson. But I don’t think this means that Rivera is totally safe.

Richardson could be taking a few days to think this one through. He also could be waiting until he hires a new general manager to determine Rivera’s future.