Nolan has been with the Falcons since the start of the 2012 season, having come over from the Miami Dolphins where he served in the same capacity. This year, Atlanta ranked 21st against the pass and 31st versus the run after suffering a bevy of injuries, largely contributing to the team's 4-12 record.
However, owner Arthur Blank and general manager Thomas Dimitroff are comfortable going forward with Nolan, who has proven over the years to be one of the better defensive coordinators in the league. However, he had mixed results with the Falcons last year, ranking 24th in yards allowed but fifth in scoring, giving up 18.7 points per game.
Over at The Falcoholic, the reaction to Nolan getting an extension was positive:
If Nolan can work with more talent next season, I think the Falcons will show significant improvement more or less across the board. Nolan has a long track record of success across the NFL when there's more to work with, so the onus is now squarely on the front office to bring in the talent.
Nolan was a head coach at one point, getting the top job with the San Francisco 49ers from 2005-08, going 18-37 in the process.