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Mike Nolan Hired As Atlanta Falcons Defensive Coordinator

The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday that they've got a new defensive coordinator: former San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan. This was somewhat expected, as the hunt had appeared to come down to either Nolan or former St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who's also reportedly being targeted by the Saints and Eagles.

Nolan is best known as the guy who got the NFL to let him wear suits on the sidelines while coaching the Niners. Well, maybe not really, but he is that guy. He also coached the Baltimore Ravens defense from 2002 through 2004, but he's kind of bounced around a lot.

He was heralded in 2009 as the Broncos DC, but was let go by Josh McDaniel and took over the Dolphins defense. He's also coached the Jets, Redskins and Giants defenses, never really staying at any one gig for a lengthy period of time.

We'll look deeper into his background shortly, including the question of whether the Falcons may attempt a shift at some point to a 3-4 system, but there's the hire.

For more on the Atlanta Falcons, check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic. For more on the NFL Playoffs and everything NFL, go to's NFL news hub.

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