ATLANTA — Arthur Smith has started to assemble his first staff as coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator, hired by the Falcons last week to replace Dan Quinn, announced his coordinators Thursday: Dave Ragone for offense, Dean Pees for defense and Marquice Williams for special teams. Smith revealed four more additions Friday: Danny Breyer (offensive assistant), Frank Bush (linebackers), Dwayne Ledford (offensive line) and Charles London (quarterbacks).
In addition, Smith — who will call plays for the offense, something he revealed earlier this week — has retained Dave Brock to coach wide receivers.
"We want to be adaptable," Smith said. "That will be a big thing here. We will play to the strengths of our team, but we want to be flexible and adaptable, and that's one thing we are looking for schematically as we go through this process of hiring coaches."
Smith, 38, worked with Ragone and Pees during his 10 years as a Titans assistant, with Smith's final two years in Nashville as the OC.
Ragone, 41, had been a Chicago Bears assistant since 2016. He was hired as Tennessee's wide receivers coach in 2011 and coached quarterbacks in 2013. Pees, 71, will come out of retirement to join Smith in Atlanta. He was hired by Tennessee in 2018 and announced his retirement after the 2019 season.
Pees, who was 17-51 as Kent State's head coach from 1998 to 2003, has worked 16 years in the NFL, including a combined 12 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Titans. He is one of eight NFL defensive coordinators to coach in a Super Bowl with two teams — New England in the 2007 season and Baltimore in 2012. His defenses have ranked in the top 12 in 10 of his dozen seasons as coordinator.
Williams was a Detroit Loins assistant the past two seasons.
Earlier this week, the Falcons announced they had hired Dave Fontenot as the team's first Black general manager. Fontenot, 40, spent 18 seasons with NFC South rival New Orleans, most recently as the Saints' assistant GM.