Koetter saying little about Boise State interview

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn’t saying much

about his recent interview with Boise State.

Koetter confirmed on Tuesday that he met with Boise State

officials, but declined to elaborate.

”All I can tell you is the same thing (Falcons head coach Mike

Smith) told you yesterday,” Koetter said. ”I did talk to Boise

State, and that’s really all I’m going to say about that right

now.”

In two seasons with Atlanta, Koetter has had mixed results.

Last season’s team, led by Pro Bowl performances from

quarterback Matt Ryan, receiver Julio Jones and tight end Tony

Gonzalez, went 13-3 and finished 10 yards shy of the Super

Bowl.

This season, the Falcons are 3-10 and have been undermined by a

porous offensive line, an ineffective running game and Jones’

season-ending injury.

Boise State is trying to replace Chris Petersen, who took the

job at Washington. Koetter was the head coach at Boise State from

1998-2000 and left with a 26-10 record to take the head job at

Arizona State, but from 2001-06 with the Sun Devils, he went 40-34

before getting fired.

Koetter, who worked as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive

coordinator from 2007-11, described the current season as one of

his most frustrating in 29 years of coaching.

Poor play by the line has given Ryan little time to set his feet

in the pocket and find receivers.

Jones broke his foot in a Week 5 home loss to the New York Jets,

and Roddy White played most of the season with ankle and hamstring

injuries that hurt his effectiveness.

And running back Steven Jackson missed four games with a

hamstring injury for a rushing attack that ranks third-worst in the

NFL.

These problems allowed opponents to consistently double-team

Gonzalez, the league’s No. 2 career-leading receiver, and limit his

effectiveness.

”Personally, it’s tough on everybody,” Koetter said. ”Nobody

has higher expectations for the Falcons than the players and the

coaches do. We haven’t lived up to expectations. We haven’t played

as well as we’re capable of on offense.”

Atlanta, which began the season as a Super Bowl contender,

dropped eight of nine games through a Week 12 home loss to New

Orleans and fell out of playoff contention.

The Falcons’ defense hasn’t played well either, ranking 30th in

scoring and 29th in both third-down efficiency and total yards

allowed.

But even with Gonzalez, White and Jackson seemingly healthy in

midseason, the offense averaged just 14.8 points during a five-game

losing streak.

Though Koetter wouldn’t cite individuals or units for the

meltdown, much of the blame publicly has fallen on the offensive

line.

Left tackle Sam Baker and right tackle Mike Johnson were lost to

season-ending injuries. The front office decided not to re-sign

longtime center Todd McClure, and Peter Konz flopped as his

replacement.

Right guard Garrett Reynolds struggled so much that Konz

eventually took his job after Joe Hawley became the starting

center.

In last week’s 22-21 loss at Green Bay, the Falcons couldn’t

hold an 11-point lead and went scoreless in the second half.

Gonzalez and receiver Harry Douglas dropped late passes that

would’ve put Atlanta in field-goal range, but the offense went

three-and-out on its first two possessions of the third quarter,

and Ryan was sacked early in the fourth and lost a fumble.

”The guys were disappointed,” Koetter said. ”The coaches were

disappointed. We just felt like we didn’t do our part, didn’t

finish on offense to get it done.”

The Falcons host the Washington Redskins (3-10) on Sunday.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org