Falcons staff will coach NFC in Pro Bowl

ATLANTA -- Mike Smith and the Falcons coaching staff will handle the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff confirmed that after Saturday night’s playoff loss to Green Bay. Although the staff of the losing team in each conference’s championship game drew the honor of coaching in the Pro Bowl for many years, the NFL changed the rules last year. That’s due to the fact that the Pro Bowl was moved up to the week before the Super Bowl, instead of the week after it. The new rule is that the coaching staff of the teams with the best regular-season record of the teams that lose in the divisional round in each conference are assigned to coach the Pro Bowl squads.

The league decided that time frame wouldn’t allow coaching staffs in the conference championship games enough time to get to the Pro Bowl site and prepare a team for the all-star game. This year’s Pro Bowl is in Honolulu.

Atlanta’s staff will be joined by at least seven players from the Falcons. Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner, Roddy White, Eric Weems, John Abraham and Ovie Mughelli all were selected to the Pro Bowl. There also is the chance several other Falcons could be added as alternates.