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Falcons name Jim Mora, Jr. head coach

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Atlanta,

GA (Sports Network) - The Atlanta named former San Francisco defensive coordinator Jim Mora, Jr. as their new head coach.

Mora was

formally introduced during a Friday afternoon press conference. The 42-year-old Mora takes over the spot vacated when Dan Reeves was fired on December 9. Wade Phillips ran the team on an interim basis for the final three games as the finished the 2003 campaign at 5-11.

"I'm very excited to be joining the Atlanta ," said Mora. "(Owner) Arthur Blank is committed to building a top-flight organization, and I am privileged to be a part of it. The have a tremendous opportunity and plan in place to win. It's about as good a situation as you can find in the league."

team president/general manager Rich McKay, who came over in December from the Tampa Bay organization, combined with Blank to make the decision.

"Jim Mora is a strong addition to the , and he will be a great head coach for our players," said Blank. "Jim has spent his entire life preparing for this opportunity, and he has a real passion for building a championship football team on and off the field."

Defensive coordinators Lovie Smith (Rams) and Romeo Crennel (Patriots) were considered to be front-runners for the position, but it was Mora who was selected following his five strong years as San Francisco's defensive coordinator.

Mora, the son of former New Orleans and Indianapolis head coach Jim Mora, was a finalist for the ' head coaching vacancy last year, before Dennis Erickson was eventually hired for the position.

In addition, the named Greg Knapp as the club's offensive coordinator. He was previously the offensive coordinator with the San Francisco .

Knapp had spent nine seasons with the , the last three as offensive coordinator. He came to the team in 1995 as the offensive quality control coach and, after three seasons, became quarterbacks coach, coaching Steve Young for two years in that position.

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