Falcons hire UCLA coach Cable as line assistant

Updated: February 2, 2006, 6:13 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Atlanta Falcons on Thursday hired UCLA offensive coordinator Tom Cable as their new offensive line assistant, culminating a search that began nearly two weeks ago, when Jeff Jagodzinski departed to become the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator.

Cable, 41, is a 19-year coaching veteran and regarded as one of the top offensive line coaches in the college ranks. The job with the Falcons will be his first in the NFL. The hiring came just one day after national signing day, and with the Bruins having recruited one of the top offensive line classes in the country.

Coach Jim Mora spoke with several candidates for the key post before settling on Cable, who has produced solid blocking units at each of his stops. Veteran offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who considered leaving his consultant's role with the Falcons, apprised Mora earlier this week that he will stay on in that capacity.

While the Atlanta offensive line doesn't figure to undergo a dramatic remaking this offseason, the unit did slip in 2005, and starting left tackle Kevin Shaffer may depart as an unrestricted free agent in the spring. So there is some work to be done and the Falcons are counting on Cable to help address their inconsistencies.

He is the second new addition to the staff since the end of the season. The team recently hired former Washington Redskins quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave in the same capacity. Musgrave replaces Mike Johnson, whose contract was not renewed.

Cable was at UCLA for only two years but, during that period, the Bruins had one of the nation's highest scoring offenses.

Before coming to UCLA, he was the head coach at the University of Idaho, his alma mater, 2000-2003. He had previously served as a graduate assistant at Idaho (1987-88), and his resume also includes stops at San Diego State (1989), Cal State-Fullerton (1990), Nevada-Las Vegas (1991), the University of California (1992-97) and the University of Colorado (1998-99).

The Falcons on Thursday lost defensive assistant Dennis Allen to the New Orleans Saints, who hired him as their assistant defensive line coach.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.