Kyle Shanahan to Coach the Falcons Offense

Kyle Shanahan, who resigned as Browns offensive coordinator with two years left on his contract, has agreed to become offensive coordinator of the Falcons, a league source confirmed to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Shanahan is expected to be paired with Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who will be offered the Falcons head coach job after he faces the Patriots in the Super Bowl Feb. 1.

Quinn was a finalist for the Browns’ head coach vacancy last year, but they opted not to wait for him to play in the Super Bowl, and hired Mike Pettine instead.

A source said Quinn and Shanahan are extremely close, meaning Shanahan probably would’ve ended up in Cleveland last year even if Quinn had taken the job. Question is, would Shanahan have lasted longer here?

Seahawks DC Quinn The Favorite To Land Falcons Head Coaching Job

Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is now the favorite to land the Falcons head coach job, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. This according to league sources.

Atlanta is interviewing Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin today, and he will have his chance to impress the Falcons, and try to change their minds and anything is possible.

But sources close to and familiar with the Falcons’ situation believe Atlanta is willing to wait for Quinn, and Quinn is willing to wait for them, and he is the leading contender at this time to become the Falcons’ next head coach.

Quinn and the Falcons already have met once, and will be allowed to do so next week, whether or not the Seahawks win or lose Sunday’s conference championship game.

There is a window next week for teams that already interviewed candidates to interview them again. Under the rules, the Broncos cannot interview Quinn, but the Falcons and Bears would be able to do so. Maybe the biggest advantage and lure that Atlanta has is its quarterback, Matt Ryan. His presence has made the Falcons’ job arguably the most appealing one available.

PSL’s at New Falcons Stadium Could Run You $45,000

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The Georgia World Congress Center Authority board, at a special meeting Thursday morning, unanimously approved the Falcons’ plan for personal seat license prices on club seats in the new Atlanta Falcons stadium under construction downtown, Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The seats requiring $45,000 PSLs — representing about 1.5 percent of the building’s total seats — will be located in the lower bowl between the 45-yard lines on both sides of the stadium. These seats will include food and beverage in the Founders Club, billed as the stadium’s most exclusive space, and parking. In addition to the one-time PSL fee, tickets in these sections will be set at $385 per game ($3,850 per season) for the first three years in the stadium.

PSLs will cost $20,000 for lower-bowl seats between the 30- and 45-yard lines and $15,000 for lower-bowl seats between the 20- and 30-yard lines. These seats will include access to 30,000-square foot Champions Club lounges located below the seats and to a patio area on the field behind the team benches. Ticket prices in these sections will be $365 and $345 per game in the stadium’s first three years.

Higher in the stadium, above the suites level, sections of club seats between the 30-yard lines will carry PSLs costing $10,000 per seat. These seats will have access to a club space called the Piedmont Club. Tickets in these sections will cost $325 per game through the stadium’s first three years.

The plan covers roughly 11 percent of the seats in the 71,000-seat stadium. Seat licenses also will be required for all other seats sold as season tickets, but those prices won’t be determined until later in the year. They are expected to be set at various price points below $10,000.

A common form of stadium financing around the NFL, but never before used by an Atlanta pro sports franchise, personal seat licenses are one-time fees for the right to buy season tickets in a specific seat for the length of a team’s stadium lease — 30 years in the case of the new Falcons facility. PSL buyers are allowed to transfer or sell the licenses to family members or other parties.

Falcons Announce Firing Of Head Coach Mike Smith

The Falcons announced this morning they have fired coach Mike Smith the day after the team was blown out 34-3 at home.

It was reported yesterday that the Falcons retained a search firm in the event they were in a search for a new coach. The fate of general manager Thomas Dimitroff is unknown at this time.

Smith had a 66-46 record with the Falcons.

Falcons at Saints NFL Week 16 Inactives

Falcons: G Jon Asamoah, QB Sean Renfree, S Charles Godfrey, CB Ricardo Allen, LB Tyler Starr, DE Stansly Maponga, LB James Anderson.

Saints
: WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, S Jamarca Sanford, RB Travaris Cadet, ILB Moises Fokou, NT Lawrence Virgil, OT Terron Armstead.

Falcons vs Saints NFL Week 16 Capsule

FALCONS SAINTS
SERIES LEADER 47-43
STREAKS   2 of past 3
COACHES VS. OPP. Smith: 4-9 Payton: 12-3
LAST WEEK L 27-20 vs. Steelers W 31-15 at Bears
LAST GAME 9/7/14: Saints 34 at Falcons 37 (OT). Atlanta K Matt Bryant kicks game-winning 52-yard field goal in overtime. Falcons QB Matt Ryan passes for 448 yards & 3 TDs.
LAST GAME AT SITE 9/8/13: Saints 23, Falcons 17. New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 357 yards & 2 TDs. Saints WR Marques Colston catches 5 passes for 68 yards & TD.
BROADCAST FOX (12:00 PM CT): Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 134 (Atl.), 108 (NO). XM: 226 (NO).

STATS

PASSING Ryan: 356-541-4112 (2C)-27-12-96.0 Brees: 402-574-4358 (1C)-31 (2C)-12-101.4 (3C)
RUSHING
  1. Jackson: 186-698-3.8-6
Ingram: 199-869-4.4-7
RECEIVING
  1. Jones: 93 (1C)-1428 (1C)-15.4-6
  2. Graham (TE): 73-782-10.7-9
OFFENSE 382.9 422.6 (1C)
TAKE/GIVE +4 -7
DEFENSE 409.9 390.1
SACKS Biermann: 3.5 Galette: 9
INTs Ishmael: 4 (T2C) 4 tied: 2
PUNTING Bosher: 45.5 Morstead: 45.8
KICKING Bryant: 112 (37/37 PAT; 25/28 FG)
  1. Graham: 98 (41/42 PAT; 19/22 FG)

NOTES

FALCONS: In Week 1 win vs. NO, QB MATT RYAN completed 31 of 43 (72.1 pct.) for 448 yards with 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 128.8 rating. Named NFC Off. Player of Week. Has 4,112 pass yards, 4th consecutive 4,000-yard season. Has 4 of 5 4,000-yard seasons in team history…RB STEVEN JACKSON has 7 TDs in past 8 meetings. Has 100+ yards or TD in 5 of past 7. RB JACQUIZZ RODGERS had TD in Week 1…WR JULIO JONES had 7 catches for 116 yards in last meeting. In his past 2, has 21 catches for 448 yards (224 per game) & 2 TDs. WR RODDY WHITE had TD catch in last game vs. NO. WR-PR DEVIN HESTER has 64-yard PR-TD & 55-yard rec. TD in career vs. NO. WR HARRY DOUGLAS aims for 4th in row with 100+ yards or TD…CB DESMOND TRUFANT leads team with 14 PD. LB PAUL WORRILOW leads team with 127 tackles. In past 2 vs. NO, has 24 tackles. CB ROBERT MC CLAIN had INT in last meeting. S KEMAL ISHMAEL leads team with 4 INTs…SAINTS: QB DREW BREES has won 7 of 8 starts at home vs. Atl. with 103.8 rating. Last week, completed 29 of 36 (80.6 pct.) for 375 yards with 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 137.8 rating. Has 4,358 yards, his NFL-record 9th consecutive 4,000-yard season. Since joining NO in 2006, leads NFL with 43,091 yards & 314 TDs…RB MARK INGRAM rushed for 2 TDs in Week 1. Has 869 rush yards and needs 131 for 1st career 1,000-yard season. RB PIERRE THOMAS had 5 catches for 83 yards last week. RB KHIRY ROBINSON had rush TD in last meeting…TE JIMMY GRAHAM has 7 TDs in past 8 meetings. Has 4 TDs in past 3 vs. Atl. at home. Has 16 TDs in past 16 at home. Since 2011, leads NFL TEs with 343 catches, 4,289 yards & 45 TDs. WR MARQUES COLSTON aims for 4th in row at home vs. Atl. with TD. Had 5 catches for 110 yards in Week 1. TE JOSH HILL had 2 TDs last week. WR KENNY STILLS is 2nd on team with 781 rec. yards (Graham, 782)…LB JUNIOR GALETTE has 15 sacks in past 18, incl. 2 sacks & FF last week. Has 13 sacks in past 15 at home. DE CAMERON JORDAN has 11 sacks in past 14 at home. S PIERRE WARREN had 2 INTs last week.

Falcons Blow Off Saints Trash Talk About Sunday’s Game

Roddy White and his Falcons teammates collectively brushed off trash talk by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis in advance of Sunday’s NFC South clash at the Superdome, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

In the process of saying his team can’t allow Matt Ryan to throw for 500 yards in the game, Lewis went on to tell the media, “We’re definitely gonna give them their funeral.”

The 6-8 Saints, who lead the division, can eliminate the 5-9 Falcons from playoff contention with a win.

White was asked if Lewis’ trash talk bothered him.

“Nope,” White said. “May we rest in peace until Sunday.”

Receiver Harry Douglas’ familiarity with Lewis goes back to their college days, when Douglas’ Louisville Cardinals defeated Lewis’ Oregon State Beavers 63-27 in 2005.

“It is what it is because you play the game on the field,” Douglas said. “I’ve never seen anybody play the game talking. All we’ve got to do is play the type of football we have to play, and the rest will take care of itself.

“Lewis is a great player. He’s a competitor. But it boils down to New Orleans vs. Atlanta. We don’t like them, and they don’t like us. You leave it all out there on Sunday. That’s when I’m going to play the game: on Sunday. I can’t play the game on Wednesday.”

Ryan offered his take on the subject.

“It doesn’t matter,” the quarterback said. “At the end of the day, what matters is what you do between 1-4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. And if you’re worrying about any other stuff that’s going on at this point, you’re wasting your time. Let’s focus on what’s important.”

Falcons at Saints Wednesday Injury Report

ATLANTA FALCONS
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday G Jon Asamoah (back), WR Harry Douglas (foot), WR Julio Jones (hip), S William Moore (foot), WR Roddy White (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday CB Josh Wilson (hand)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
(New Orleans conducted a walk-through on Wednesday. The Wednesday practice report is an estimation.)
Practice Report
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday T Terron Armstead (neck), DE Akiem Hicks (ankle), S Jamarca Sanford (hamstring)
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