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Falcons fire quarterback coach

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (Jan. 4, 2006) -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick will have a new position coach in 2006 after Mike Johnson was fired.

"I have decided not to extend Mike Johnson's contract," coach Jim Mora said. "Mike has worked hard as our quarterbacks coach for the last two seasons and we wish him the very best in the future."

Among Johnson's possible successors could be third-string quarterback Ty Detmer, a 14-year NFL veteran who may retire. Detmer, who won the 1990 Heisman Trophy at Brigham Young, hasn't taken a snap since 2001. Mora declined to comment on Detmer's playing status.

Johnson, 38, coached the Atlanta receivers in 2002 before taking over quarterbacks the following season.

Vick, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, worked closely with Johnson in 2003, but the coach's role changed when Mora was hired two years ago and brought offensive coordinator Greg Knapp with him from San Francisco.

Vick led the NFL with 5.9 yards per carry this season, but he ran much less than in 2002 and '04, the two previous seasons in which he started and played nearly a full schedule.

In 2005, Vick ranked 25th in passer rating (73.1), which was five points lower than his final number in '04. Only three quarterbacks threw more fourth-quarter interceptions this year than Vick, who had five.

Mora also announced that strength and conditioning coaches Al Miller and Rocky Colburn won't return.

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