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Mike Smith, Mike Mularkey Named Coach And Coordinator Of The Year By Sporting News

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These are the glory years for Atlanta Falcons fans. Three straight winning seasons, for a franchise that had never even had two, have made head coach Mike Smith one of the most respected figures in team history. That respect is carrying over beyond state lines as well, as Smith has been named Sporting News' Coach of the Year.

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There's a reason Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is a hot NFL coaching prospect, as he picked up the coordinator award from the same publication. While Falcons fans may not always appreciate his deliberate schemes, he certainly has the eye of general managers and sportswriters.

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Smith is 33-15 in three years as Falcons coach, only bested in that time span by New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He led the Falcons to their first NFC South title since 2004, the NFC's No. 1 seed, and the team's second-best regular season record ever. In 2008 he was named AP and NFL Coach of the Year.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.