Report: Falcons' Smith won't be returning as DC; DL coach Cox fired

Richard Smith will not be returning as the Atlanta Falcons‘ defensive coordinator for the 2017 season and the team fired defensive line coach Bryan Cox, according to Alex Marvez of Sporting News.

There’s a chance Smith will be retained by the Falcons in a different role, but further details were yet to be revealed, Marvez reports.

The surprising changes come two days after the Falcons blew a 25-point lead against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI on Sunday. Atlanta led 21-3 at halftime, and held a commanding 19-point advantage in the fourth quarter.

New England scored 31 consecutive points, defeating Atlanta in the first Super Bowl to ever require overtime.

Smith served as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, previously operating as the Denver Broncos’ linebackers coach from 2011-2014. Cox worked as the Falcons’ defensive line coach for the past three seasons.

The Falcons’ staff is undergoing a major overhaul following their Super Bowl defeat. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan became the San Francisco 49ers head coach on Monday, creating a void which will be filled by former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.

It’s been widely rumored that Shanahan is looking to bring numerous Falcons’ coaches with him to San Francisco as he looks to rebuild a moribund franchise.

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NFL | theScore

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