While the Falcons may have hired a pair of offensive minds in new head coach Arthur Smith and offensive coordinator Dave Ragone, they’ll be turning to a former NFL quarterback to (partly) handle their passing game. The Falcons announced today that T.J. Yates has been hired as their passing game specialist. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle was first with the news (via Twitter) yesterday.
Yates, a 2011 fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, managed to put together a seven-year career, including stints with the Texans (thrice), Falcons, Dolphins, and Bills. He last played in 2017 with the Texans, when he garnered three starts. In total, Yates finished his career having appeared in 22 games (10 starts), completing 55.2-percent of his passes for 2,057 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Yates joined the Texans coaching staff in 2019, working his way up from offensive assistant to assistant quarterbacks coach. The 33-year-old is somewhat familiar with his new personnel; he was the backup to Matt Ryan during the 2014 season. Yates will work alongside Smith, Ragone, and new quarterbacks coach Charles London.
The Falcons also announced the hiring of two more coaches on Saturday. Lanier Goethie, who most recently served as linebackers coach at Duke, will join Atlanta as a defensive assistant. Nick Perry, who spent the past four years at Alabama, is joining the team as an assistant defensive backs coach.