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Falcons hire former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter as new OC

Dirk Koetter is staying in the NFC South.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach is returning to Atlanta as the Falcons offensive coordinator, the team announced. Atlanta also hired former Titans coach Mike Mularkey as its tight ends coach.

Koetter held the same title in Atlanta on Mike Smith's staff from 2012 to 2014.

The Bucs fired the coach after leading the team to a 19-29 record and zero playoff appearances over three seasons. Despite the club's overall struggles, Tampa Bay's offense was consistently dangerous during Koetter's tenure and improved every season, from 18th to ninth to third in total offense.

The 59-year-old coach takes over for the departed Steve Sarkisian, who was fired following his second season as Falcons OC. Under Sark, Atlanta's offense was still among the league's best, but notably regressed from 2016 when the Falcons had the league's top scoring offense and rode it to a Super Bowl appearance.

Koetter's hiring reunites the coordinator with Matt Ryan. During their three seasons together, Ryan averaged 4,642.7 passing yards, 28.7 touchdowns and 15 interceptions per year with a 94.1 passer rating. The Falcons' franchise quarterback led the league in completion percentage in 2012 (68.6).

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