October 19, 2021

Atlanta Falcons make Ragone, London hirings official

Former Bears assistants move to Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons poached two Bears assistant coaches, making both hires official.

Former Bears quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Dave Ragone is joining new Falcons head coach Arthur Smith’s staff as offensive coordinator. Former Bears running backs coach Charles London will work underneath Smith and Ragone as quarterbacks coach.

The Falcons made the London hiring official Friday. London, 45, has been a running backs coach since 2012, including stints in the position with Penn State (2012 to 2013), the Houston Texans (2014 to 2017) and the Bears (2018 to 2020).

Ragone, 41, worked with Smith when both were assistant coaches with the Tennessee Titans from 2011 to 2013. The Falcons hired Smith as head coach following his two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Titans in 2019 and 2020. Under Smith’s guidance, quarterback Ryan Tannehill experienced a resurgence and running back Derrick Henry emerged as the NFL’s top rusher.

Ragone has worked for the Bears since 2016, first as quarterbacks coach (2016 to 2019) and then as passing game coordinator (2020). The Bears moved Ragone into his new position last year in order to make room for new quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. Ragone worked with quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, among others.

While Ragone takes over as offensive coordinator in Atlanta, Smith plans to call the plays on game day for the Falcons.

“My No. 1 job is to be the head coach of the team, that includes all three phases and every player on the roster,” Smith said, according to the team’s website. “I understand what my job is, my job is to coach the entire team. Also to do that to call plays and there’s precedence there that it’s been done and done at a high level. So very confident if you hire the right people, it will be a collaborative effort. I will coach the entire team.”

The moves create openings on Bears coach Matt Nagy’s staff. The Los Angeles Chargers still haven’t made any official announcements about Bears defensive line coach Jay Rodgers joining their staff, but Rodgers is taking a job with the Chargers, according to multiple reports.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.