FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
Head coach Mike Smith said Monday that his coordinators - Mike Nolan on defense, Dirk Koetter on offense and Keith Armstrong on special teams - will return next season.
The firings of Hamilton, Hill and Dunn were hardly surprising.
Atlanta's offensive and defensive lines rarely won game-long battles on the line of scrimmage. Smith said Monday afternoon that those problems contributed largely to a 4-12 season that ended with a one-point home loss to Carolina and that the Falcons need to get tougher.
Quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked a career-high 44 times. Poor play on the defensive line led to Atlanta being ranked last in third-down efficiency, 29th in scoring and 28th in total yards.
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