The Atlanta Falcons confirmed Wednesday they will replace Richard Smith as defensive coordinator, just days following the historic collapse in the overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
The team also said defensive line coach Bryan Cox was fired. Smith could return to the Falcons in an advisory role but he plans to explore other options.
The Falcons are considering three internal candidates in secondary coordinator Jerome Henderson, defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel and linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The Falcons' defense surrendered 31 consecutive points and 546 total yards in Sunday's 34-28 overtime loss in the Super Bowl. The Falcons led the Patriots 28-3 early in the second half before the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Smith, 61, had been the team's defensive coordinator since 2015 after Quinn was hired. Before coming to Atlanta, Smith was the linebackers coach of the Denver Broncos.
Cox, 48, had coached the defensive line since 2014 and was one of the holdovers from previous head coach Mike Smith's staff. Cox was an All-Pro linebacker during a 12-year playing career and has coached in the NFL for a decade.
The Falcons started their staff shakeup on Tuesday, replacing outgoing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan with Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Shanahan was named the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.
Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner could be leaving to join Shanahan in San Francisco, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.