Emmitt Thomas' contract not renewed by the Falcons

Longtime Falcons assistant coach Emmitt Thomas' contract was not renewed by the team.

"Everyone here in the Falcons organization has the utmost respect for Emmitt, and we deeply appreciate his contributions to our team over the years," Falcons coach Mike Smith said Tuesday night. "We wish Emmitt the best in his future endeavors."

Thomas, who served as the assistant head coach/secondary for the past two seasons under Smith, had served as an assistant under the team's past four head coaches.

Thomas first joined the Falcons in 2002 under Dan Reeves.

He was responsible for keeping the team together when Bobby Petrino left during the 2007 season and was selected to serve has the interim head coach.

Last season, the defense finished 28th in the league against the pass.