Falcons make Musgrave assistant head coach after other teams call

The Atlanta Falcons promoted quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to assistant head coach Tuesday, filling the job previously held by Emmitt Thomas.

Thomas, who also coached the Falcons' secondary, didn't have his contract renewed after the season, then joined the Kansas City Chiefs' staff.

"Bill has been an integral part of this coaching staff, and this is a well-deserved promotion," Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team. "We will look to utilize his tremendous amount of coaching experience for years to come."

Musgrave, who will continue to coach the Falcons' quarterbacks, had drawn interest from outside the organization, NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reported. Other teams called the Falcons requesting permission to interview Musgrave, possibly for offensive coordinator positions.

Musgrave previously was an offensive coordinator in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles (1998), Carolina Panthers (2000) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04). He worked with Smith, then a defensive coordinator, on Jacksonville's staff.

Musgrave has been the Falcons' quarterbacks coach since 2006 -- under Jim Mora, Bobby Petrino, then Smith -- and helped Matt Ryan develop into the 2008 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Before he came to Atlanta, Musgrave coached quarterbacks for the Oakland Raiders (1997), Panthers (1999), Jaguars (2004) and Washington Redskins (2005).

Musgrave also was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Virginia in 2001 and 2002.

Musgrave played quarterback in the NFL for six seasons and threw for 402 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions in 12 games. He was a fourth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys out of Oregon in 1991 and was on the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX-winning 1994 team. He finished his career with the Denver Broncos (1995-96).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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