Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder will take over for Ted Roof as DC of the Auburn Tigers, Falcons coach Mike Smith announced Monday. Though he's done a solid job with the Falcons, he's perhaps still best known for his work with the Georgia Bulldogs earlier in the decade.
So, yep, he'll face UGA once a season now. At one point, his Georgia defenses ranked in the top 10 in the nation three years in a row during his 2001-2004 run. Auburn thus replaces one Broyles Award winner with another, with former OC Gus Malzahn heading to Arkansas State.
After ranking No. 5 in the NFL in points allowed in 2010, the Falcons slipped, but still ranked in the upper half in yards allowed. The team has developed excellent linebacker play and sound fundamentals, but has a hard time reaching the quarterback. Cornerbacks tend to play well, but safeties and corners haven't always communicated well.
For what it's worth, at least one Falcons fan (sad me) thinks of him as the best DC in franchise history. While there's the chance that the Falcons encouraged VanGorder to seek employment elsewhere (Smith said the decision was made by VanGorder's family), Atlanta does have room for improvement.