Falcons announce several changes to coaching staff


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons announced a plethora of changes to head coach Arthur Smith's staff on Monday, further restructuring his assistants after a fifth straight losing season.

Most notably, Steve Jackson will take over as secondary coach, while David Huxtable has been hired as a senior defensive assistant after spending 40 years at the collegiate level.

Jackson and Huxtable will work under new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, who was hired away from the rival New Orleans Saints last month after the retirement of Dean Pees.

Three assistants were not retained by Smith after a 7-10 season: secondary coach Jon Hoke, defensive line coach Gary Emanuel and outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino.

Hoke will be replaced by Jackson, who was on staff as a senior offensive assistant last season. He spent 19 seasons as a secondary coach prior to joining the Falcons.

Huxtable's long tenure in the college ranks includes 18 seasons as a defensive coordinator. His most recent coordinator stint was at North Carolina State from 2013-19, where he coached with Nielsen.

Huxtable spent the past two seasons as an analyst for Alabama coach Nick Saban.

In other changes, the Falcons announced Nick Perry as assistant wide receivers coach, Shawn Flaherty as assistant offensive line coach, Lanier Goethie as defensive front specialist, Patrick Kramer as offensive assistant, Steven King as offensive assistant, Mario Jeberaeel as special projects assistant for defense, Matt Baker as special teams assistant, Michael Gray as football analyst, and Mateo Kambui as a diversity coaching hire working with the offensive line.

The Falcons did not announce a replacement for quarterbacks coach Charles London, who left to take a similar job with the Tennessee Titans. Smith calls plays and largely runs the offense, while Dave Ragone serves as coordinator on that side of the line.