Falcons make plans for second interview with Belichick
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are planning for a second interview with Bill Belichick after talking with Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson for the head coaching vacancy on Thursday.
Belichick made the Falcons his first known interview on Monday since leaving the New England Patriots. Belichick won a record six Super Bowls in his 24 seasons with New England. He will be the first candidate to have a second interview with Atlanta.
The team has not disclosed details of the second meeting with Belichick, 71.
The Falcons are looking for a successor to Arthur Smith, who was fired after his third straight 7-10 finish.
Including the playoffs, Belichick has 333 victories, second all time to Hall of Famer Don Shula’s 347. He led the Patriots to 17 division titles.
The plans for a second meeting between the Falcons and Belichick indicates an agreement on Belichick's possible role in player personnel decisions should he accept the job. Belichick had control of player personnel with New England.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank and CEO Rich McKay are leading the coach search. Blank said recently general manager Terry Fontenot would continue to be in charge of personnel decisions while the new coach and Fontenot would report to McKay.
Johnson was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator for the 2023 season. He joined the Eagles staff in 2021.
Johnson is the second offensive coordinator to interview with Atlanta, following Cincinnati's Brian Callahan.
The Falcons interviewed Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday.
The Falcons said Thursday the interview with Johnson was held virtually. The Eagles' season ended with their 32-9 loss to Tampa Bay in an NFC wild-card game on Monday. All interviews with employees of other teams must be held virtually before the end of the divisional playoffs on Sunday.
Before joining the Eagles' staff, Johnson worked as a college coach for 10 years, including three years at Florida from 2018-20. He was the Gators' offensive coordinator in 2020.
Johnson is the eighth coach to be interviewed by the Falcons.
Other candidates to interview virtually with Atlanta: Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, Carolina defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, San Francisco defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.
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