- D. Orlando Ledbetter The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Falcons special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong is a candidate to replace Bruce Arians as Arizona’s head coach and is scheduled to interview with the team next week, according to Falcons coach Dan Quinn.
“The process that the league has is good,” Quinn said. “At this time of the year, guys get some opportunities to do that and getting a chance to visit is usually the initial parts of it. Keith Armstrong will be one next week (who) will get an opportunity to do that and get going in that process.
“We are pumped for the guys when they get these opportunities, but that won’t be until next week.”
Armstrong, 54, played for Arians at Temple and has coached in the NFL for the past 24 years.
The Falcons play at the Rams in the wild-card playoff game Saturday. The interview process can begin after the game.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Armstrong said. “I’m now obviously focusing on the Rams, and we’ll take care of that later on next week. But it is obviously a great opportunity. To me, it’s a sign of respect. I’ve been doing this 24 years now. That’s quite a long time in this league. It’s good to have somebody recognize you for what you’ve done.”
Armstrong units with the Falcons have always been strong, and the team set a punt-coverage record in 2008.
“He’s a fantastic young coach,” said Arians before facing the Falcons in 2013. “He’s going to be a head coach someday. I’ve admired him for a long time ever since he played for me at Temple.”
Armstrong and current Jets coach Todd Bowles played for Arians at Temple.
Armstrong, a native of Trenton, N.J., nearly landed the Chiefs job four years ago.
In addition to interviewing with the Chiefs in 2012, Armstrong has had interviews with the Eagles and Bears.
Armstrong sent cover man and returner Eric Weems to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and returner Devin Hester in 2014. Falcons special-teams player Derrick Coleman is a first alternate this season.
Before returning to coach with the Falcons in 2008, Armstrong coached special teams for the Dolphins (2001-07), Bears (1997-2000) and was the Falcons’ safeties coach in 1994-95 and the secondary coach in 1996.
Before entering the NFL, he coached in college at Temple, Akron, Miami, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.
Armstrong also was part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program during training camps with the Jets (1991), Cowboys (1992) and Bears (1993).