Quick hits on new Falcons coaches Richard Smith, Raheem Morris

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn won't be named the Atlanta Falcons' new head coach until after the Super Bowl. However, the staff around Quinn is taking shape by the day.

On Monday, former Denver Broncos linebackers coach Richard Smith and former Washington Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris agreed to be a part of Quinn's staff as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach/defensive backs, respectively. Smith and Morris join offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as new members to the Falcons' staff, while special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, defensive line coach Bryan Cox, wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie and tight ends coach Wade Harman will be holdovers from the previous staff.

Here is a quick rundown of the two newest addition: Smith and Morris


Title: Defensive coordinator

Age: 59

Alma mater: Fresno State (offensive lineman, 1977-78)

Years of coaching experience: 36

Coaching stops: Rio Hondo Junior College (offensive line, 1979-80), Cal-State Fullerton (defensive line, 1981-83), California (outside linebackers/special teams, 1984-86), University of Arizona (linebackers/special teams, 1987), Houston Oilers (special teams, assistant tight ends, linebackers, offensive line, 1988-92), Denver Broncos (special teams/assistant linebackers, 1993-96), San Francisco 49ers (linebackers, 1997-2002), Detroit Lions (assistant head coach/linebackers 2003-04), Miami Dolphins (defensive coordinator, 2005) Houston Texans (defensive coordinator, 2006-08), Carolina Panthers (linebackers coach, 2009-10), Denver Broncos (linebackers coach, 2011-2013)

Quinn connection: Was the defensive coordinator of the Dolphins in 2005 when Quinn was the Dolphins' defensive line coach.

What he inherits: Quite a challenge. The Falcons ranked last in the league in yards allowed, passing yards allowed and third-down defense while finishing second to last in sacks per pass attempt. When he was in Houston, Smith played an aggressive 4-3 scheme and wasn't afraid to blitz, but the Texans had marginal defensive success. Quinn, with a simple but extremely successful 4-3 scheme in Seattle, is sure to have his hand on the defense. However, he likely won't hold back a veteran coach such as Smith. More than anything, the Falcons have to equip Smith with an array of quality pass-rushers and stout linebackers to fix a broken defense.


Title: Assistant head coach/defensive backs

Age: 38

Alma mater: Hofstra (defensive back, 1994-97)

Years of coaching experience: 17

Coaching stops: Hofstra University (graduate assistant, 1998; defensive backs, 2000-01), Cornell University (defensive backs, 1999), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (defensive quality control, 2002; defensive assistant, 2003; assistant defensive backs, 2004-05; defensive backs, 2007-08; head coach, 2009), Washington Redskins (secondary, 2012-14)

Quinn connection: Described as Quinn's "best friend'' by folks around the league. Was the defensive backs coach at Hofstra University when Quinn was the defensive coordinator there. Morris also played defensive back for Hofstra for two seasons while Quinn was the defensive line coach.

What he inherits: Morris has a gem to work with in cornerback in Desmond Trufant and could have two solid veteran safeties if William Moore comes back healthy off a shoulder separation and Dwight Lowery is re-signed. His main project will be getting the most out of Robert Alford, who has plenty of athletic ability and speed but needs to play with more discipline. It will be interesting to see if the Falcons re-sign nickelback Josh Wilson, who played under Morris in Washington. But all indications are the Falcons want to upgrade that position significantly.