Options Abound If Atlanta Falcons OC Dirk Koetter Leaves for Boise State HC Job

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIDecember 10, 2013

Jun 18, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons  offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter shown on the field during minicamp at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is a legitimate candidate for the Boise State head-coaching job. If he leaves, the Falcons will need to replace him. Luckily, there are a few excellent candidates out there who could replace Koetter and help the Falcons take that next step.

Vaughn McClure of ESPN points out that it's a very real possibility that the Falcons lose Koetter to Boise State, citing a news conference for Koetter to fly out to Idaho as a potential introductory news conference for the potential new head coach.

This would be a big blow to the Falcons, as they would have their third offensive coordinator in the Mike Smith era with the move.

It's OK, though. The coaches who will be available should be able to help Atlanta produce much better results than Koetter did.

Among candidates across the league, the best ones have NFL experience at the position. Ideally, the Falcons would bring in Gary Kubiak, a former Texans head coach and Broncos offensive coordinator. But other options include Terry Robiskie, Hue Jackson, Eric Studesville and Joe Lombardi.

When all is said and done, any of the five men would be brilliant choices to replace a departing Koetter. But the best choice will be the one who understands how to use best all of the talent currently with the Falcons.


Dec 5, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Kubiak

Kubiak has an offensive scheme that seems to fit the Falcons personnel almost perfectly. He runs an Air Coryell offense with some West Coast concepts and a zone-blocking scheme for the running game. It's essentially what Atlanta was trying to run from 2004 to 2006 without the proper personnel.

That's changed now.

Julio Jones would be the perfect featured wide receiver for the offense, and Levine Toilolo could break out at tight end considering the scheme's heavy use of multiple-tight end sets. The biggest plus is that the offensive line is better suited for zone-blocking, so Kubiak would be able to help fix the run game.


SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 30: Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie of the Atlanta Falcons works on the sideline in the game with the San Diego Chargers on November 30, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  The Falcons won 22-16.  (Photo by Stephen
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Terry Robiskie

This is the most unique option of the three. While Hue Jackson and Kubiak both have recent experience at offensive coordinator, Robiskie hasn't been one since 2004.

However, he is the Falcons' current assistant head coach, and a move up to offensive coordinator from wide receivers coach isn't out of the question.

He has a great grasp of the Falcons' current personnel, especially at wide receiver. And his move up could allow someone to come in as a receivers coach who has been looking for a coaching job.

A name like Keenan McCardell comes to mind for that role.


MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09:  Starting quarterback Joey Harrington #13 of the Atlanta Falcons shares some words with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson during warm up prior to facing the Minnesota Vikings during week one NFL action at the Metrodome on S
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Hue Jackson

This would be a bit of a dark-horse hiring for the Falcons. However, Jackson is unique in that he not only has offensive coordinator experience, he also has head coach, receivers coach and even defensive assistant experience.

Jackson was the offensive coordinator who helped Roddy White truly break out in 2007. It would be interesting to see how he utilizes the multitude of options this time around. The biggest thing he'd have now that he never had before is a legitimate starting quarterback in Matt Ryan.


DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23: Running backs coach Eric Studesville of the Denver Broncos looks on during a game against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Eric Studesville

A hot name brought up over the past few years as an option for offensive coordinators is Studesville from the Broncos. He'd be interesting because no one knows what kind of tendencies he would have; this would be his first coordinator job.

If he could bring in the cut-style zone-blocking scheme that he should be learning from Alex Gibbs, the Falcons could have a great running game again.

However, one has to wonder how he would design a passing game as a former running backs coach.


May 31, 2012; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi during organized team activities at the team's practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Lombardi

The Saints' offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach since Sean Payton has been with the team is the grandson of the legendary Vince Lombardi. The Falcons would be wise to steal him and also the concepts of Payton's offense to help Ryan grow into the best quarterback he can be.

With Jacquizz Rodgers and Julio Jones, Lombardi would have talents that could help him feel right at home. The Falcons would need a tight end similar to Jimmy Graham if they could find one, but this year's draft is very deep there.


So Falcons fans, whom do you think the Atlanta Falcons have at offensive coordinator if Koetter leaves?


All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.

Follow @ScottCarasik


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