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Did new UCLA coach Mora take swipe at Falcons?

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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Perhaps it was just a case of Jim Mora puffing out his chest, but the new UCLA coach certainly sounded like he was getting in a dig on the first NFL franchise to dump him in explaining the imprint he left in Atlanta.

“The bottom line is this: The last time the Falcons won a playoff game, I was the head coach,” Mora told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week. “Kids remember that game, the 47-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams (in the 2004 divisional playoffs). A lot of kids around Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the Southeast follow the Falcons. They know that was the last time that the Falcons have won a playoff game.

“So kids are interested with that connection to the Falcons, and the parents are interested in that, too," he continued. "They all wonder why the Falcons haven’t won a playoff game since, and I can’t answer that question. For all the success that the Falcons have had since we left, they still haven’t won a playoff game -- and that resonates with people.”

Mora was discussing perceived advantages he has in targeting top high school prospects in the Atlanta area. The coach was fired by the Falcons following the 2006 season after posting a record of 26-21 over three years.

Mike Smith took over the Falcons in 2008 and has guided the team to a 43-21 record in his first four seasons. Despite the regular-season success, the Falcons are 0-3 under Smith in the postseason.

The AJC reported Mora signed 26 players for his first UCLA recruiting class, including two from Atlanta.

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