Former Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith was named linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday.
Smith, who was with the Falcons for two seasons, was fired after Super Bowl LI. However, the Falcons contended that his departure was not related to the defense blowing a 25-point lead while playing 95 defensive snaps, including the two two-point conversion attempts.
After the bye week, head coach Dan Quinn became more involved with defense, which was playing eight rookies or second-year players. He got better results from defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman and took on more of the play-calling.
Smith will enter his 30th season in the NFL and has coached with the Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Lions and Oilers.
Smith has been praised for his work with some of the game’s top linebackers over his tenure, including Von Miller, Jon Beason, DeMeco Ryans, Julian Peterson and Ken Norton Jr.
The Falcons nor Smith have commented about his departure.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.