Following a successful regular season, Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is a hot name in NFL circles to become a first-time head coach. The Falcons have already received requests from the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs to interview Koetter this week. Speculation on whether he will leave may be premature, but this is a good time to be in need of an offensive mind.
As a veteran team in need of an established offensive mind, former Arizona Cardinals' head coach Ken Whisenhunt could be the best man for the job. Leading the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense during their Superbowl XL win, he went on to the Cardinals where he took Kurt Warner and a high-powered offense to Superbowl XLIII. There may be a lot of competition for his services, and several teams who will consider Whisenhunt for their head coaching job, but the Falcons would be a very attractive destination as a coordinator.
While his tenure as head coach in Cleveland may have been unceremonious, Pat Shurmur is still regarded as a top offensive mind. While in St. Louis, he took an anemic offense, and tailored it to the skill set of rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. His ability to understand personnel would be a serious boon - especially as the Falcons are poised for changes on the offensive line, and may need to prepare to be without Tony Gonzalez, should the tight end retire.
Norv Turner is regarded as one of the league's best offensive coordinators. It's when he makes the move to head coach that his teams lose the plot. Following a six year run as head coach in San Diego it was time for the Chargers to make a change, and Turner's services will be in high demand. He's known for immensely complex schemes that take a cerebral approach to building an offense, using the talents of his quarterbacks. Every stop he's made as an OC has vastly improved his teams, and with a quarterback like Matt Ryan it could prove to be a very successful union in Atlanta.
As it stands Dirk Koetter may be an outside chance to get a head coaching job, but if he does leave for greener pastures there's a lot of good options for Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith to pull from, and perhaps offensive coordinators who can better use the Falcons' offensive talent.