- Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley (+300) is favorited to be named the next Atlanta Falcons’ head coach
- Riley was previously mentioned as a possibility when the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns were hiring a coach.
- See the odds, analysis, and our next Falcons coach pick in the story below
Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, known for his creative offensive mind, leads a crowded field of impressive candidates for the Atlanta Falcons’ coaching vacancy.
The Falcons fired coach Dan Quinn Sunday after an 0-5 start and replaced him with interim coach Raheem Morris who was previously Atlanta’s defensive coordinator.
Riley is a +300 favorite, putting him slightly ahead of Kansas City Chief’s offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (+400) and New England Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels (+550). Morris (+1000) is also considered a candidate.
Next Atlanta Falcons Coach Odds
|Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma Coach)||+300|
|Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs Offensive Coordinator)||+400|
|Josh McDaniels (Patriots Offensive Coordinator)||+550|
|Byron Leftwich (Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator)||+700|
|Jim Harbaugh (Michigan Coach)||+750|
|Dabo Swinney (Clemson Coach)||+800|
|Brian Daboll (Bills Offensive Coordinator)||+900|
|Raheem Morris (Falcons Interim Coach)||+1000|
|Matt Eberflus (Colts Defensive Coordinator)||+1200|
|Greg Roman (Ravens Offensive Coordinator)||+1200|
Odds as of Oct. 13
NFL Teams Have a Fascination with Riley
Whenever an NFL team fires a coach, Riley’s name is automatically connected to the vacancy. He’s viewed as the rising star in the college game because his offensive game plans are like fireworks shows.
Since 2015, when Riley was Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator, the Sooners have averaged 44.6 points per game and 545 yards of total offense. No college team has averaged more. Since he was named coach in 2017, the Sooners have won three consecutive Big 12 titles. NFL teams like what Riley did with Oklahoma QBs Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.
Already tired of the "Lincoln Riley coaching candidate for the Falcons" nonsense.
Riley isn't leaving for the NFL & why on God's green earth would you even entertain the possibility of a 37-year-old head coach w/ZERO NFL experience?
Did you not watch Lane Kiffin in Oakland?
— ☆☆☆☆☆ (@JB_MCMLXXX) October 12, 2020
The NFL covets his magic. The only problem is that Riley hasn’t shown much interest in leaving college football just yet. He talks about unfinished business at Oklahoma, namely winning a College Football Playoff game for starters. He’s only 37, and that gives him plenty of time to launch an NFL career.
Falcons’ Issue May Be Personnel More Than Coaching
Since losing in the 2016 Super Bowl, the Falcons have been on a gradual decline. They made the playoffs as a wild card team in 2017 and then followed that up with two 7-9 seasons. Last season, they needed a second-half charge to get to 7-9.
This team may be better than their 0-5 record, but they are not a contender. They don’t need an offensive coach or defensive style coach as much as they need a coach who can retool a team on the fly.
Atlanta Falcons Defensive Ranks (yards allowed) during Matt Ryan’s 13 year career:
— 💯ATLANTA ALL DAY💯 (@BigMoneyATL) October 13, 2020
Matt Ryan is still fifth in the NFL in passing yards (1,472), but he is also 35 and his completion rate of 63.2% is the lowest its been since early in his career.
The Falcons also fired GM Thomas Dimitroff. What must be decided is whether it is time to draft Ryan’s replacement. If so, the Falcons should hire one of the offensive coordinators such as Bieniemy, McDaniels or Leftwich. If they plan to retool with an improved defense, they may want to give a long interview to Eberflus.
Swinney-Lawrence Double is Entertaining Longshot
With the Falcons already 0-5, some fans have become intrigued by the idea of “Tanking for Trevor”. The idea would be to earn the No. 1 pick, selecting 6-foot-6 Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and then persuading Clemson Dabo Swinney to come with him.
But Jacksonville and New York Jets fans are thinking about the same scenario.
More importantly, Swinney is already being paid better than many NFL coaches and he’s unlikely to leave the college game. But you never know for sure.
I don’t understand why Dabo Swinney gets no NFL love. He’s a proven winner with two national titles. Although with a different style, he’s a proven leader who has built a winning culture like Belicheck and Saban. And he’s now developed two NFL QBs in Watson and Lawrence.
— Will Cain (@willcain) June 27, 2019
Bieniemy a Good Value Bet
Bieniemy is overdue to land an NFL head coaching job. Watching the Bieniemy-guided Chiefs’ offense is like watching a laser show, with plenty of flash, dazzle and modern wizardry. The Falcons would garner plenty of respect if they hire Bieniemy as coach.
If you don’t want to bet on Riley as the top favorite, but want a quality bet at a decent price, Bieniemy is a good choice. Hiring Bieniemy and drafting a young quarterback feels like a winning strategy.
Pick: Bieniemy (+400)