Jagodzinski will take over full time
ATLANTA -- For the second time in his career, burnout has claimed Alex Gibbs as a victim, and the Atlanta Falcons assistant head coach regarded as one of the top offensive line mentors in recent history, will reduce his role with the club.
Gibbs, 63, will scale back his schedule and adopt an approach similar to the one that marked the 2001-2003 seasons, when he was working with the Denver Broncos. That truncated schedule likely will include working a game Sunday, grading game tapes on Monday and then helping prepare the next game plan on Tuesday.
In the offseason, and likely in training camp, Gibbs will have a full-time role.
Six-year NFL veteran Jeff Jagodzinski, who has worked primarily as a tight ends coach during his NFL tenure, will become the full-time offensive line coach. Jagodzinski has considerable experience as an offensive line coach in the college ranks. Clancy Barone, who was the Falcons' assistant offensive line coach in 2004, will now handle tight ends.
Given the grueling pace which Gibbs typically sets and the long hours he puts in every week, the switch is not surprising. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported three weeks ago that Gibbs approached Atlanta general manager Rich McKay shortly after the season concluded and apprised him he was having second thoughts about returning to the NFL on a full-time basis.
At that point, McKay advised Gibbs to take some time off and consider his situation. It is believed that Gibbs considered retirement before settling on the part-time arrangement, one which proved effective in Denver.
There is no denying Gibbs' impact on the Atlanta ground game. Reviled by opponents, largely because of the cut-block scheme he originated in Denver, the veteran assistant typically is able to glean superior results from lighter, quicker linemen. The result in Atlanta was dramatic, as the Falcons led the NFL in rushing in 2004.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here .
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