FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter interviewed for the head coaching position at Boise State, Falcons coach Mike Smith confirmed Monday.
Koetter wasn’t available for comment and Smith declined to discuss Koetter’s candidacy other than to say he’s aware Koetter has talked with Boise State officials about the position.
“My focus and Dirk’s focus is on cleaning up the game from (Sunday) and that’s what he’s doing right now,” Smith said, referring to Atlanta’s 22-21 defeat at Green Bay.
Koetter, 54, is a native of Pocatello, Idaho, and an alumnus of Idaho State University. Chris Petersen recently left Boise State to become head coach at the University of Washington.
Koetter was Boise State’s head coach from 1998 to 2000. His teams posted a 26-10 record with the team’s first-ever trip to a bowl game before Koetter left to become head coach at Arizona State in 2001. He was fired after the 2006 season. He joined the Falcons in 2012 after five seasons as Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator.
Koetter guided one of the NFL’s best units in 2012 with top 10 rankings in total yards (eighth), red-zone touchdown percentage (eighth) and points (seventh). But Atlanta’s offensive production has declined this season to ranks of 13th in yards, 20th in red-zone touchdown percentage and 22nd in points.
Injuries to running back Steven Jackson and wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, as well as plus subpar offensive line play, have contributed to the troubles.
The Falcons have been unable to establish a consistent running game in the past two seasons. Koetter was able to mask the weakness in 2012 with an explosive passing game, a variety of screen plays and red-zone efficiency but those elements have faltered this season.
Falcons guard Justin Blalock said Koetter has had a positive effect on the offense.
“The thing I think the most with him is his attitude and energy,” Blalock said. “He always has a smile on his face, never seems to have a bad day, although we’ve had more than we’d like to lately here. He’s a guy who has great, positive energy and it’s really contagious.”