Koetter draws interest from NFL teams

BY Alex Marvez • December 31, 2012

Two Atlanta Falcons assistant coaches have become hot commodities for NFL head-coaching vacancies.

A source told FOXSports.com that Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong have interviews planned with other teams.

Koetter, the source said, is set to meet this week with the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns and Armstrong will talk with the Chiefs and Chicago Bears. All four of those squads made head coaching changes Monday with the respective firings of Romeo Crennel (Chiefs), Andy Reid (Eagles), Pat Shurmur (Browns) and Lovie Smith (Bears).

Koetter, 53, interviewed with the Denver Broncos last January before they hired John Fox. Koetter previously served as a college head coach at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State (2001-06).

Hired by Atlanta in the 2012 offseason following five years as Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator, Koetter helped the Falcons field the most prolific passing offense in franchise history with a 281.8-yard average. Matt Ryan posted career-highs in yardage (4,719), touchdowns (32) and completion percentage (68.6) under Koetter’s tutelage.

Armstrong, 47, has established himself as one of the NFL’s top special-teams coaches during 16 seasons with the Falcons (2008 to present), Miami (2001-07) and Chicago (1997-2000). The most recent NFL head coaching hire with an extensive special-teams background was Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, who has led the Ravens to five consecutive playoff appearances.

Bears general manager Phil Emery worked in Chicago’s college scouting department for three years when Armstrong coached for the Bears.

Koetter and Armstrong are set to interview while helping the Falcons prepare for a Jan. 13 second-round playoff game against an opponent that will be determined by the results of this weekend’s opening-round contests.