Fight or Flight: Arthur Smith’s coaching staff brings youth and experience

Illustration by Myah Anglin |The Signal

Welcome back to Fight or Flight. 

Last week, we looked at the developing Falcons coaching staff under Arthur Smith. 

As for the defense, Smith has the experienced two-time Super Bowl-winning coordinator Dean Pees to help change his unit’s poor defensive culture.

What about the rest of the offense?

Fight: A loaded coaching staff beaming with potential

After Dave Ragone’s hiring as offensive coordinator comes the positional coaches with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and offensive line coaches.

Let’s have a rundown of the current staff.

Quarterbacks coach: Charles London 

London has also come over from the Bears organization, formerly a running backs coach at Penn State, with the Houston Texans, and with the Bears from 2018-2020. His work with David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen in Chicago went mostly well.

Wide Receivers Coach: Dave Brock Brock is a holdover from last season as he returns to his post as the receiver’s coach. It is not hard to see why, considering his work in developing Russel Gage, while both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley missed significant time and never seemed to play at full-health.

Tight ends coach: Justin Peelle

After ten years of playing tight end in the NFL, Peelle got on with the Philadelphia Eagles as a tight ends coach from 2015-20. He was instrumental in developing Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, two of the NFL’s best tight ends. Paired with the talented Hayden Hurst, Peelle may bring yet another tight end to a higher level than last year.  

Offensive line coach: Dwayne Ledford

Pulling from the college ranks comes Ledford, who last worked with the Louisville Cardinal as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. 2021 marks his first-year coaching in the NFL, but Ledford spent time in the league as a player as well. Hopefully, with the offseason and prior experience, he will be ready to help once next season rolls around.

A somewhat younger group in terms of experience, but they have the chance to establish themselves in Atlanta along with Arthur Smith and grow into their roles as their time goes on. Depending on how successful the team is, they may grow into being head coaching candidates themselves.

Flight: Inexperience across the assistant coaching staff

Smith likely could have gone out and searched for a staff that was more experienced in terms of age and different places they have coached in the NFL, but he went with people he knew. Since Smith is calling plays and coaching, he must trust them, though there will surely be growing pains.