The Atlanta Falcons hired former San Francisco coach Mike Nolan as their defensive coordinator on Wednesday, hoping he can toughen up a unit that has rarely ranked among the NFL elite.
Nolan spent the last two seasons as Miami's defensive coordinator. Prior to that, he served four years as the 49ers head coach, following in the footsteps of his father.
In all, Nolan has been an NFL coordinator for 14 years. He takes over in Atlanta for Brian VanGorder, who returned to the college ranks to take the same position at Auburn.
The Falcons will have two new coordinators next season. Dirk Koetter was hired Sunday to run the offense after Mike Mularkey left to become head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In another move toward revamping the staff for 2012, head coach Mike Smith announced that offensive line coach Paul Boudreau has been let go. The Falcons line struggled this season, most notably in an ugly 24-2 loss to the New York Giants in the opening round of the playoffs - a game ...