NFC South: Glenn Thomas

Around the NFC South

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
10:40
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Former New Orleans offensive lineman Willie Roaf and former Carolina linebacker Kevin Greene are this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists most often identified with NFC South teams. But there’s another tie. That’s seniors candidate Dick Stanfel. He did two stints as New Orleans’ offensive line coach and also was interim head coach for the Saints in 1980. But his main claim to fame was as a player. Stanfel was an offensive lineman for Detroit and was selected to the All-Decade team for the 1950s.

The Atlanta Falcons filled out their coaching staff with two moves that were expected. Glenn Thomas was promoted from offensive quality-control assistant to quarterbacks coach and Joe Danna was hired as defensive backs coach. Thomas has been with the team since 2008 and has a good relationship with quarterback Matt Ryan. Danna previously worked with new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan in Miami the last two seasons and was a defensive assistant in Atlanta for two years before that. The Falcons also made Andrew Weidinger an offensive assistant. He spent the last four years in Atlanta, providing administrative help for the coaching staff.

Although the Panthers have unveiled a new logo, which is only slightly different from the past, there won’t be any major changes to their uniforms, Scott Fowler writes. The new logo will be incorporated into helmets and jerseys, but the uniforms will remain the same otherwise.

Former NFL coach Steve Mariucci said he believes Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is on his way to greatness. I don’t think Mariucci is the first to have that thought.

The Buccaneers reportedly haven’t given up all hope of bringing in Arizona receivers coach John McNulty as their offensive coordinator, even though the Cardinals refused to grant permission for an interview. The Bucs may make a plea straight to Cardinals ownership. I suppose a trade also would be a hypothetical possibility, but it’s hard to imagine a team giving up a draft pick for an assistant coach.
The Atlanta Falcons may stay within the organization when they fill their vacancy at quarterbacks coach. Glenn Thomas is a leading candidate for that role, D. Orlando Ledbetter reports.

It makes plenty of sense. Thomas, 34, has been an offensive quality-control coach for the Falcons since the arrival of coach Mike Smith in 2008. He obviously has to know quarterback Matt Ryan pretty well.

The Falcons lost quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski, who became the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville when former Atlanta coordinator Mike Mularkey became the Jaguars' head coach earlier in January.

Bratkowski spent only the 2011 season with the Falcons. He replaced Bill Musgrave, who had been Ryan’s quarterbacks coach in his first three seasons. Musgrave left after last season to become offensive coordinator in Minnesota.

Former Jacksonville coordinator Dirk Koetter has been hired as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. Koetter obviously will bring some subtle changes to Atlanta’s offense. But promoting Thomas to quarterbacks coach could provide some familiarity and continuity for Ryan.

Smith is a coach who believes in loyalty and promoting Thomas would illustrate that. It’s also not a bad thing to start moving young coaches up the ladder.

The best example I can give you of that is Mike McCoy. I saw him join the Carolina Panthers as a quality-control assistant under George Seifert. McCoy later worked his way up to quarterbacks coach and he had a strong relationship, and a fair amount of success, with Jake Delhomme.

That success put McCoy on the radar for bigger things and he was hired as Denver’s offensive coordinator in 2009. He was reunited there with former Carolina coach John Fox in 2011 and McCoy largely was credited for the success of Denver quarterback Tim Tebow. That led to McCoy getting several interviews for jobs as a head coach this offseason.

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