Falcons close to hiring Smith

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ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons are targeting Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mike Smith to be their next head coach. A person familiar with the search, who requested anonymity because contract talks between the two sides have not been completed, says a news conference could be held as early as tomorrow to announce Smith's hiring.

Smith first interviewed with Falcons owner Arthur Blank during the playoffs, after the team hired Thomas Dimitroff as general manager. The Jags' defensive coordinator since 2003 had a second interview with the team Friday. It would be his first head coaching job in the NFL.

Smith directed the league's 12th-ranked defense this season after ranking second in 2006 and sixth in 2005.



 
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