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Falcons Hire Mike Nolan as New Defensive Coordinator

MIAMI, FL - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Mike Nolan of the Miami Dolphins poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images
John PhenAnalyst IIIJanuary 17, 2012

A few days after hiring their new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter, the braintrust at Flowery Branch have hired Mike Nolan to direct the Falcons defense in 2012.

Nolan had been Miami’s coordinator for the past two seasons, with a brief stopover in Denver after his failed head coaching tenure in San Francisco.

The Dolphins allowed the sixth-fewest points in the NFL (19.6 per game), ranked third in rushing yards (95.6) and tied for 10th with 41 sacks.

Now the real question, what will Nolan bring to the Falcons? Most likely the 4-3 hybrid defense he ran in his last two years in San Francisco, as the Falcons lack the proper personnel to run the 3-4. Without draft picks or any substantial trade bait, the conversion to the 3-4 may take longer than many anticipate.

Before joining the Broncos’ staff, Nolan ran a hybrid defense as the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach from 2005 to 2008. While the run defense was excellent during that time, giving up just 3.9 yards per rush, Nolan failed to manage the many different tasks a head coach is expected to handle.

Mike Nolan enjoyed the most success in a 3-4 with the Baltimore Ravens from 2001 to 2004, where his defense tied for the NFL lead in takeaways ( 106 ) while ranking fifth in points allowed.

Earlier today, the Falcons also dismissed Paul Boudreau as the offensive line coach.

This article was originally posted at stockspyder.wordpress.com

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