As the Mike Smith era at Flowery Branch comes to an end (he’s probably almost finished cleaning out his office by this point) the list of names of potential new head coaches has grown rapidly.

Arthur Blank stated very emphatically that he wanted this process wrapped up quickly, so the interviews have already begun.

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Obviously the same names have all come up… Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and of course Tony Dungy. But let’s face it, those guys have VERY lucrative TV deals. They make as much as they were while coaching and work half as much. Would you leave that job?

Neither would I.

So let’s get real here. The Falcons are probably not going to land a marquee name. But they can land some football genius with a track record of success.

So far the names that have been thrown around, based on who they are interviewing or have requested to interview, are:

David Shaw, Stanford Head Coach

Mike Shanahan, former Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins Head Coach

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Dan Quinn, Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator – We really like this one. Seriously? The man that has put together and coached the Legion of Boom? With the shape that the Falcons defense was in this year, who wouldn’t want this guy to come in and shake things up?

Teryl Austin, Detroit Defensive Coordinator – Again, another DC that might be looking to move up to HC and could help rebuild the Falcons defense.

Rex Ryan, former New York Jets Head Coach

Josh McDaniels, New England Offensive Coordinator

Todd Bowles, Arizona Defensive Coordinator – Arizona’s defense has been pretty good this year and under Todd Bowles direction they’ve managed to go 11-5 and grab the 5th seed in the NFC.

So, there are several good names out there and most of them will probably be on the short list that Arthur Blank has promised us this week.

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Who would you guys like to see as the Falcons’ new head coach from this list?