Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPDATE: Falcons interviewing Henderson for undisclosed spot, not for DC

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Former Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Jerome Henderson is interviewing with the Falcons for an undisclosed position, but not for the defensive coordinator spot, the team said on Friday.

"Richard Smith is our defensive coordinator," the team said. "Henderson is in the building interviewing for a position on the staff."

The team clarified a tweet from Dallas.

"Cowboys secondary coach Jerome Henderson is interviewing with the Falcons today for their coordinator job, per multiple sources," Hill tweeted.

Smith, 59, was given his NFL coaching start by former Falcons coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville back in 1988.

Before joining the Falcons, Smith was Denver’s linebackers coach for four seasons under John Fox.

Smith was Nick Saban’s coordinator with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and was the Houston Texans’ coordinator from 2006-08.

Smith’s best season as a coordinator was in 2005 with the Dolphins. They finished ranked 18th in yards allowed per game (317.4) and 15th in scoring defense (19.8 points per game).

His Houston units ranked 24th, 24th and 22nd in yards allowed and 25th, 22nd and 27th in scoring defense.

The Falcons defense improved dramatically under Smith last season as they jumped from 32nd in the league to 16th overall in total yards.  Here's the Mike Check blog on how the defense improved last season.

Henderson has been the Cowboys defensive backs coach since 2012. He interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator job, which was filled internally by Todd Wash. He also interviewed for the Browns head coaching job, but was passed over for Hue Jackson.

He was the defensive backs coach (2008) and assistant defensive backs coach/director of player development (2007) with the Jets when Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the defensive line coach.

Henderson, who played in the NFL from 1991 to 1998 after a career at Clemson, has also coached with the Browns (2009-11).


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.