Coaching in the NFL is not only about schemes and player development. A large part of the profession centers around relationships, and the Falcons have a pair of coaches on their staff in position to show just how beneficial a strong bond can be.

Atlanta hired former Cleveland Browns defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi to act as the team’s run game coordinator and coach the Falcons’ defensive ends. In that role, Lupoi will work in tandem with Jess Simpson, who will focus on coaching the team’s defensive tackles.

Improving the play along the defensive line, most notably its ability to affect the quarterback, is of paramount important for Atlanta in 2020. Therefore, the partnership between Simpson and Lupoi has to be seamless. That bond isn’t one they will need to spend time developing, however; they have a friendship that dates back to well before Lupoi arrived in Atlanta.

“Tosh and I go way back,” Simpson explained. “Tosh and I have probably gotten together and talked football for the last five or six years. I’ve always respected him as a coach. We see things the same, when [Dan Quinn] was able to bring him on I was really fired up. We’d really always talked about working together. Sometimes you go, ‘Man, did this really just work out?’ It was one of those things.”

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