Falcons looking at big names for offense

It looks like the Atlanta Falcons are aiming high in their search for an offensive coordinator.

They need to replace Mike Mularkey, who left to become Jacksonville’s head coach. The early list of candidates includes some pretty big names.

Reportedly, former Baltimore head coach Brian Billick, former Jacksonville coordinator Dirk Koetter, former Jets coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Green Bay quarterbacks coach Tom Clements are on the list.

Koetter and Billick each have deep ties to Atlanta coach Mike Smith. Koetter and Smith worked together in Jacksonville. Smith once was on Billick’s staff in Baltimore and the two are related through marriage

Atlanta quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski, who previously was a coordinator in Cincinnati, also could be a possibility.

Whatever direction the Falcons end up going in, they need to make some adjustments to their offense. Atlanta’s offense was very inconsistent in the 2011 season. There were times when Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and the passing game looked good and there were times when Michael Turner ran the ball well.

But the Falcons never truly were able to establish an offensive identity. Smith and whoever he hires as his new coordinator need to come up with a clear plan of exactly what kind of offense the Falcons want to have in the future.