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Marquand Manuel named Falcons’ new defensive coordinator

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Report: Marquand Manuel named Falcons’ new defensive coordinator
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Report: Marquand Manuel named Falcons’ new defensive coordinator

Report: Marquand Manuel promoted to take over for Richard Smith.

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The Atlanta Falcons have their new defensive coordinator.

The NFC champions promoted secondary coach Marquand Manuel on Friday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other outlets. Manuel replaces Richard Smith, who oversaw a group which allowed the sixth-most points in the league last season and ranked 25th overall.

Head coach Dan Quinn, who began calling defensive plays late in the season, is expected to remain highly involved.

It is an inexperienced but athletic unit that showed its potential in the playoffs but wore down in the Super Bowl, giving up 31 unanswered points to the New England Patriots after being trapped on the field for more than 90 plays. It should get a boost in 2017, when starting cornerback Desmond Trufant returns from injury.

MORE FALCONS

Atlanta changed both coordinator positions this week, hiring Alabama’s Steve Sarkisian to run the offense after Kyle Shanahan left to officially take the reins of the San Francisco 49ers.

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