Should the Atlanta Falcons go after Mark Richt for offensive coordinator in 2017?

As of Tuesday evening, former Georgia head coach Mark Richt is being courted by a number of schools to be their next head coach. There are reportedly some big names, like Miami and Maryland, and it’s likely that he’s going to land somewhere for next season, if that’s what he wants.

But what if Richt takes Door No. 2, which he has hinted may be an option, and sits out a year from coaching to regroup? If he’s still available in 2017, and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan hasn’t figured out how to make his guys click, is Richt a guy the Falcons might consider?

Indeed, this is a long shot. The Falcons, at least externally, have confidence that Shanahan is the guy they want to lead the offense. Things would have to go really sour for the team to fire their offensive coordinator after two seasons.

(Also read: Here’s the real reason Mark Richt was fired)

The Falcons have fallen to 14th in the league in scoring, and they’d have to do a lot worse than that to get Shanahan canned. But what if they finish this year on a lousy note and don’t recover in 2016? If Richt is still around and looking to return as an assistant coach, the Falcons would be crazy to not at least reach out.

You’d have to think Richt would be open to the idea of coaching Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and whoever else is starring in the Falcons’ offense in 2017. New stadium, excited fan base and the freakin’ NFL.

With so many Falcons fans spending fall Saturdays in Athens, it would be a seamless transition. Monday’s press conference to announce Richt’s departure from UGA was as amicable as could be, and there are certainly no hard feelings.

Plus, I can’t imagine Richt’s failures in Athens would leave UGA fans unwilling to give him a shot in a coordinator role in Atlanta, but maybe I’m totally wrong in that assumption.

What do you think, UGA and Falcons fans?

Photo: AP/John Bazemore

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