Falcons fire defensive staff after Super Bowl collapse

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2016, file photo, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith signals to his players during an NFL football practice in Flowery Branch, Ga. After squandering a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl, the Falcons are shaking up their defensive staff. The team said Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, that coach Dan Quinn has dismissed coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox, though there's a chance Smith could stay with the Falcons in an advisory role. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) – After squandering a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons are shaking up their defensive staff.

The team said Wednesday that Coach Dan Quinn has dismissed coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox, though there’s a chance Smith could stay with the Falcons in an advisory role.

The changes mean the NFC champions will have two new coordinators next season. Kyle Shanahan left to become head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and was replaced as offensive coordinator by Steve Sarkisian.

Also, the Falcons will need a new quarterbacks coach. Matt LaFleur is expected to be named offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.

Smith will likely be replaced by a coach already on staff. The Falcons are considering defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel, linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich and defensive passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson.

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