ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons' search for a new head coach
continued to focus on defensive assistants as Minnesota Vikings
defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier had his first interview with
the team Saturday.
Smith previously talked with Falcons owner Arthur Blank before
Friday's first meeting with the team's new general manager, Thomas
Frazier, contacted by The Associated Press after Saturday's
interview, wouldn't disclose details of the talks.
"Anything going forward would have to come from the Falcons,"
A league official who confirmed the interviews with Frazier and
Smith said no further interviews are scheduled for Sunday, when the
Falcons likely will have great interest in the outcome of the NFC
Championship Game between the New York Giants and Green Bay.
If the Giants lose, the Falcons may again seek an interview with
New York defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. They were denied
permission to interview him while the Giants are in the playoffs.
The 48-year-old Frazier was a candidate to be head coach in
Miami before the Dolphins hired Dallas assistant Tony Sparano, who
also interviewed with the Falcons.
When asked if he has been approached by Washington or any other
team, Frazier said "There were inquiries by a couple of different
In his first season in Minnesota, the Vikings led the NFL in
rushing defense but ranked last in passing defense.
The Vikings led the league with eight defensive scores.
Before moving to Minnesota, Frazier coached defensive backs in
Indianapolis for Tony Dungy.
Indianapolis assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, who also has
interviewed with the Falcons, has been announced as the successor
if Dungy retires.
Among the other defensive coaches to interview with the Falcons
are former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who has
met with the team twice, and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Ryan, who was fired with head
coach Brian Billick, will be asked back on new coach John
Harbaugh's staff if Ryan doesn't get hired by Atlanta.
Smith first interviewed with the Falcons before the Jaguars lost
to the New England Patriots in a divisional playoff game.
Joining Smith and Ryan as the only candidates believed to have
had two interviews with the team is Jason Garrett, who said
Thursday he will remain in Dallas as the Cowboys' offensive