Blog Entry

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:30 pm
VanGorder left the Falcons for Auburn. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, known for good defenses and a better mustache, left his gig in Atlanta for the same job at Auburn, the team announced on Monday.

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VanGorder's departure is a bit of a surprise, as the Falcons are coming off a strong defensive season, ranking third in the NFL against the rush and 12th in total yardage allowed. In his four years as coordinator (albeit under a defensive coach in Mike Smith who was hired at the same time), the Falcons defense has steadily improved in most categories, though they did slip in points allowed per game.

Plus, it's not often that a coordinator for an NFL team takes the same job at the college level. Though the title is the same, it's clearly a step down.

Which is why VanGorder's departure may be an indication that changes are coming for the Falcons; Smith is obviously safe, with the Falcons making the playoffs in three of his four years in Atlanta.

But should Mike Mularkey be worried about his job now? The Falcons offensive coordinator has done good work with Matt Ryan in his four years there, and he's up for some nice head-coaching opportunities, but if he doesn't land a gig, it's hard to imagine he wont' be scrutinized heavily in the offseason.

The Falcons offense is good and it has been good. But it's struggled mightily in three playoff games, even though two of the three were against the eventual NFC Champions (we'll let you know about the Giants).

This is nothing more than speculation, of course, but considering that VanGorder's unit outscored Mularkey's unit 2-0 on Sunday in an embarrassing wild-card loss in New York, it's hard to imagine that Thomas Dimitroff and Smith won't take a long, hard look at the coaching staff in preparing to reload for 2012.

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Since: Feb 10, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:12 am

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

Raheem Morris would be competent replacement for VanGorder. The falcons run a Tampa style of defense already. Then get a O.C who can bring a more excitement to the offense. That would fix the Falcons!

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:53 pm

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

These coaching moves happen so quickly after a season ends (and in many cases before the season ends) that it makes me wonder how the coach can be fully committed to his current job.  With the time he spent negotiating and considering ... wouldn't that time have been better spent focusing on his current job?

Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:41 pm

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

Good for the Falcons and good for Auburn.  There are no losers in this situation.  Van Gorder is just better at the college level than the NFL.  There is no shame in that.  

Also the great run defense of the Falcons is not accurate when you play a lot of passing teams like the Packers, Saints (twice) and Lions, mixed with running the score up on teams like the Bucs and Jags who are forced to pass most of the game when getting down 3-4 scores.   

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:03 pm

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

Thank you Auburn...

Don't give me the "he improved this defense little by little" each year garbage.

This team has been struggling since Bum Van Gorder's arrival to get off the field on 3rd downs. We've been stuck playin' this soft tampa 2. Blitz schemes are predictable.

We've been taking baby steps for seasons. He needed to go. We need a more aggressive scheme on both sides of the ball. Enough with this conservative garbage.

I don't even think he 'bolted'. I think he was made aware that his time in Atlanta was coming to a close, and he's been looking out for another gig since. The Falcons are a stand-up organization. They'll let the dude walk on his own without dropping the hammer on his head. He left, but knowing he'd be gone anyways.

Spags - Mike Nolan - Mel Tucker

Gettem here.

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:11 pm

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

Mulsucky has to go. He has 3 plays that he runs and they all suck. QB sneek after QB sneek... short passes and just predictable. Throw the ball down the field to at least spread it out fo rthe run game. If someone hires him for a head coaching job i feel sorry. Just ask Buffalo

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:58 pm

Brian VanGorder bolts Falcons for Auburn DC job

if you are a falcon coach, and can get another job. now is the time to take it.  the falcons ran into a more talented tougher defense, and a better quarterback. an owner invests so much effort and time and money putting toget a good team. they hire somebody to put a team together, but in the final say they make the final call. most are more coy about it than jerry jones. the owner is disapointed. in his mind changes have to be made. 

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