Coaches

Keith Armstrong
Special Teams Coordinator

Biography

Now entering his sixth season as the Falcons Special Teams Coordinator, Keith Armstrong’s special teams units have been a staple of the Falcons success over the last five seasons. His teams have proven to be one of the most consistent units in the NFL over his first five years in Atlanta and his coverage units have finished in the top 10 each seasons. Since 2008, Armstrong’s punt return coverage group ranks second in total return yards (970) and second in punt return average against (7.3 yards per return). His kickoff coverage unit ranks in the top 10 since 2008 as well, allowing 22.1 yards per kickoff return on 289 attempts, while also posting the seventh most touchbacks during that time (137).

The Birds special teams have been guided by Armstrong since 2008 and Falcons kickers have reaped the benefits of his coaching. The Falcons kicking game has been at or near the top under Armstrong and rank sixth in the NFL in field goal percentage since 2008 (86.1 pct.) and have produced the fifth most points in the NFL (625) over that same period of time.

Last season, Atlanta’s kicking game was propelled by kicker Matt Bryant and punter Matt Bosher as the Falcons posted a 13-3 record and won their second NFC South Division crown since 2010. Bryant produced another solid season in 2012, by connecting on 33 of 38 field goals, all 44 PATs and tallied a career and franchise single-season high 143 points. Bryant not only set the franchise mark for points in a season, he also set a new franchise mark for most field goals made in a season (33). Under the watchful eye of Armstrong, Bryant has managed to be amongst the most accurate kickers in the NFL since 2009. Bryant has connected on 95 of 108 field goal attempts (88.0 pct.), which ranks third in the NFL over that time and has also posted a Falcons franchise-best 40 consecutive field goals made from 2011 (30) to 2012 (10). Bryant kicked three game- winning field goals in 2012, including a 49-yard field goal against the Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He has connected on six game-winning field goals since joining the Falcons.

Under the tutelage of Armstrong, second-year punter Bosher became one of the most productive punters in team history. In 2012, Bosher set career and franchise highs in net punting average (40.7 avg.), gross punting average (47.5 avg.) and most touchbacks on kickoffs in a single-season (45). In his first two seasons, Bosher has also set the franchise marks in career punting average (44.9 avg.) and career net punting average (39.7 avg.). The sixth round selection in 2011 has become one of the Falcons top special teams weapons under Armstrong in just two seasons. Since becoming the Falcons punter in 2011, Bosher and Atlanta’s coverage unit ranks second in the NFL in return average against (6.9 yards per return).

Atlanta’s kickoff and punt return teams continued to flourish under Armstrong. The Falcons ranked 10th in the NFL in average starting field position (29.0 yard line) in part to Atlanta’s return game. On the flipside, Armstrong’s coverage troops managed to help the Falcons rank fifth in opponents average starting field position (25.5 yard line) in 2012.

In 2011, Armstrong used two rookies to propel his coverage units in LB Akeem Dent and Bosher. Dent, a linebacker out of the University of Georgia, led the Falcons in special teams tackles (19) and Bosher finished the season with the highest single-season net punting average for a rookie in Falcons history (38.9 net yards per punt).

Armstrong’s staple on special teams was veteran kicker Matt Bryant.. Bryant finished 27 of 29 on field goal attempts and made all 45 PATs. For the second straight year, Bryant led the Falcons in scoring (126) and his 93.1 field goal pct. marked the third best single-season field goal percentage in team history.

His special team units were a big contributor to the Falcons winning the NFC South division title and posting the best record in the NFC with a 13-3 mark in 2010.

Armstrong’s troops led the League in some key categories such as kickoff return average (28.5), opponents starting field position (22.2) on kickoffs, overall opponent field position (24.3), opponent’s field goal percentage (65.2%) and fewest penalties (seven). Atlanta’s special teams also finished fifth in punt return average (12.1), fourth in field goal percentage (90.3%), eighth in punts downed inside the 20 (29-tied with Arizona).

In 2010, WR/KR Eric Weems became the first Falcons player in team history to score touchdowns on both a kickoff return (102) and punt return (55) in the same season under Armstrong’s direction. The 102-yard return at Tampa set a new team record and sparked a come-from-behind 28-24 victory in Week 13. The key play earned Weems NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, and combined with the 55-yard punt return score against Carolina in the regular season finale he captured NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (December) honors as well.

Through Armstrong’s steady influence, Weems was voted to the Pro Bowl by his peers to become the first Falcons special teamer to be afforded such honors since Allen Rossum in 2004. He also garnered All- NFL accolades by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America.

Among his notable achievements with the Falcons, Armstrong’s punt coverage team boasted an NFL record-low 43 opponent punt return yards allowed in 2008 and a first place ranking in opponent starting field position on kickoffs (21.4 average start) in 2009.

In 2008, Atlanta ranked second in opponents starting field position, eighth in kickoff coverage, eighth in field goals made and first in points allowed on returns. Kickoff returner Jerious Norwood notched 1,311 yards on 51 attempts for a 25.7 average, which was good enough for the fourth-highest mark in the NFC.

The 47 year-old native of Levittown, Pa. joined the Falcons following seven seasons in the same capacity for the Miami Dolphins. The 19-year NFL coaching veteran was instrumental in 2007 in helping punt returner Ted Ginn, Jr. finish fourth in the AFC with a 9.6 return average. The average was also the 10th best mark in the entire NFL among all punt returners. With Armstrong’s coaching, K Jay Feely connected on 21 of 23 field goals for 91.3 percent, which ranked second in the League just behind Pittsburgh’s 92.0 percentage mark.

From 2001-2006, the Dolphins finished in the top eight in the NFL in punt return defense all but one season under Armstrong’s positive direction. During that same time frame, Miami opponents averaged 6.1 yards per punt return, including a 4.5-yard mark in 2001 when they led the League in the category, and a 4.9-yard average (third in NFL) in 2005. In 2003, the Dolphins ranked first in the NFL in opponents’ average starting field position with a 25.0-yard line mark and finished second in the same category in 2006 with a 24.9 figure. Over that same time period, the Dolphins special teams under Armstrong’s leadership only surrendered just one punt or kickoff return for a touchdown, which was tied with Dallas for the fewest number in the League.

Prior to landing in Miami, Armstrong served in the same role with the Chicago Bears from 1997-2000. In 2000, Chicago’s special teams unit ranked fourth in the NFL in punt return defense, allowing an average of just 7.0 yards per return. In his four seasons with the Bears, Chicago’s special teams ranked in the top 10 in the League in punt return average, punt coverage and kickoff coverage twice in each category.

Armstrong earned his start in the NFL with Atlanta in 1994 as Safeties Coach. In 1996, he was promoted to run the entire secondary. Before his full-time positions in the NFL, he was part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program during training camps with the New York Jets (1991), Dallas Cowboys (1992) and Chicago Bears (1993).

Armstrong coached his way through the collegiate ranks before joining the NFL. He garnered four letters as a running back and defensive back at Temple University from 1983-1986 before joining the school as a graduate assistant in 1987.

Armstrong then joined the University of Miami as the Defensive Backs and Special Teams Coach for one season(1988)beforecoachingthewidereceiversat the University of Akron (1989). His last two stops in college before joining the Falcons came at Oklahoma State as the Secondary Coach from 1990-1992 and Notre Dame as the Linebackers and Special Teams Coach in 1993.

Armstrong’s Coaching Background:
  • 2008-13 - Special Teams Coor. // Falcons
  • 2007 - Special Teams Coor. // Dolphins
  • 2001-06 - Special Teams Coach // Dolphins
  • 1997-00 - Special Teams Coach // Bears
  • 1996 - Secondary Coach // Falcons
  • 1994-95 - Safeties // Falcons
  • 1993 - Linebackers/Sp. Tms // Notre Dame
  • 1990-92 - Secondary // Oklahoma State
  • 1989 - Wide Receivers // Akron
  • 1988 - Def. Backs/Special Teams // Miami (Fla)
  • 1987 - Graduate Assistant // Temple

Now entering his sixth season as the Falcons Special Teams Coordinator, Keith Armstrong’s special teams units have been a staple of the Falcons success over the last five seasons. His teams have proven to be one of the most consistent units in the NFL over his first five years in Atlanta and his coverage units have finished in the top 10 each seasons. Since 2008, Armstrong’s punt return coverage group ranks second in total return yards (970) and second in punt return average against (7.3 yards per return). His kickoff coverage unit ranks in the top 10 since 2008 as well, allowing 22.1 yards per kickoff return on 289 attempts, while also posting the seventh most touchbacks during that time (137).

The Birds special teams have been guided by Armstrong since 2008 and Falcons kickers have reaped the benefits of his coaching. The Falcons kicking game has been at or near the top under Armstrong and rank sixth in the NFL in field goal percentage since 2008 (86.1 pct.) and have produced the fifth most points in the NFL (625) over that same period of time.

Last season, Atlanta’s kicking game was propelled by kicker Matt Bryant and punter Matt Bosher as the Falcons posted a 13-3 record and won their second NFC South Division crown since 2010. Bryant produced another solid season in 2012, by connecting on 33 of 38 field goals, all 44 PATs and tallied a career and franchise single-season high 143 points. Bryant not only set the franchise mark for points in a season, he also set a new franchise mark for most field goals made in a season (33). Under the watchful eye of Armstrong, Bryant has managed to be amongst the most accurate kickers in the NFL since 2009. Bryant has connected on 95 of 108 field goal attempts (88.0 pct.), which ranks third in the NFL over that time and has also posted a Falcons franchise-best 40 consecutive field goals made from 2011 (30) to 2012 (10). Bryant kicked three game- winning field goals in 2012, including a 49-yard field goal against the Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He has connected on six game-winning field goals since joining the Falcons.

Under the tutelage of Armstrong, second-year punter Bosher became one of the most productive punters in team history. In 2012, Bosher set career and franchise highs in net punting average (40.7 avg.), gross punting average (47.5 avg.) and most touchbacks on kickoffs in a single-season (45). In his first two seasons, Bosher has also set the franchise marks in career punting average (44.9 avg.) and career net punting average (39.7 avg.). The sixth round selection in 2011 has become one of the Falcons top special teams weapons under Armstrong in just two seasons. Since becoming the Falcons punter in 2011, Bosher and Atlanta’s coverage unit ranks second in the NFL in return average against (6.9 yards per return).

Atlanta’s kickoff and punt return teams continued to flourish under Armstrong. The Falcons ranked 10th in the NFL in average starting field position (29.0 yard line) in part to Atlanta’s return game. On the flipside, Armstrong’s coverage troops managed to help the Falcons rank fifth in opponents average starting field position (25.5 yard line) in 2012.

In 2011, Armstrong used two rookies to propel his coverage units in LB Akeem Dent and Bosher. Dent, a linebacker out of the University of Georgia, led the Falcons in special teams tackles (19) and Bosher finished the season with the highest single-season net punting average for a rookie in Falcons history (38.9 net yards per punt).

Armstrong’s staple on special teams was veteran kicker Matt Bryant.. Bryant finished 27 of 29 on field goal attempts and made all 45 PATs. For the second straight year, Bryant led the Falcons in scoring (126) and his 93.1 field goal pct. marked the third best single-season field goal percentage in team history.

His special team units were a big contributor to the Falcons winning the NFC South division title and posting the best record in the NFC with a 13-3 mark in 2010.

Armstrong’s troops led the League in some key categories such as kickoff return average (28.5), opponents starting field position (22.2) on kickoffs, overall opponent field position (24.3), opponent’s field goal percentage (65.2%) and fewest penalties (seven). Atlanta’s special teams also finished fifth in punt return average (12.1), fourth in field goal percentage (90.3%), eighth in punts downed inside the 20 (29-tied with Arizona).

In 2010, WR/KR Eric Weems became the first Falcons player in team history to score touchdowns on both a kickoff return (102) and punt return (55) in the same season under Armstrong’s direction. The 102-yard return at Tampa set a new team record and sparked a come-from-behind 28-24 victory in Week 13. The key play earned Weems NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, and combined with the 55-yard punt return score against Carolina in the regular season finale he captured NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (December) honors as well.

Through Armstrong’s steady influence, Weems was voted to the Pro Bowl by his peers to become the first Falcons special teamer to be afforded such honors since Allen Rossum in 2004. He also garnered All- NFL accolades by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America.

Among his notable achievements with the Falcons, Armstrong’s punt coverage team boasted an NFL record-low 43 opponent punt return yards allowed in 2008 and a first place ranking in opponent starting field position on kickoffs (21.4 average start) in 2009.

In 2008, Atlanta ranked second in opponents starting field position, eighth in kickoff coverage, eighth in field goals made and first in points allowed on returns. Kickoff returner Jerious Norwood notched 1,311 yards on 51 attempts for a 25.7 average, which was good enough for the fourth-highest mark in the NFC.

The 47 year-old native of Levittown, Pa. joined the Falcons following seven seasons in the same capacity for the Miami Dolphins. The 19-year NFL coaching veteran was instrumental in 2007 in helping punt returner Ted Ginn, Jr. finish fourth in the AFC with a 9.6 return average. The average was also the 10th best mark in the entire NFL among all punt returners. With Armstrong’s coaching, K Jay Feely connected on 21 of 23 field goals for 91.3 percent, which ranked second in the League just behind Pittsburgh’s 92.0 percentage mark.

From 2001-2006, the Dolphins finished in the top eight in the NFL in punt return defense all but one season under Armstrong’s positive direction. During that same time frame, Miami opponents averaged 6.1 yards per punt return, including a 4.5-yard mark in 2001 when they led the League in the category, and a 4.9-yard average (third in NFL) in 2005. In 2003, the Dolphins ranked first in the NFL in opponents’ average starting field position with a 25.0-yard line mark and finished second in the same category in 2006 with a 24.9 figure. Over that same time period, the Dolphins special teams under Armstrong’s leadership only surrendered just one punt or kickoff return for a touchdown, which was tied with Dallas for the fewest number in the League.

Prior to landing in Miami, Armstrong served in the same role with the Chicago Bears from 1997-2000. In 2000, Chicago’s special teams unit ranked fourth in the NFL in punt return defense, allowing an average of just 7.0 yards per return. In his four seasons with the Bears, Chicago’s special teams ranked in the top 10 in the League in punt return average, punt coverage and kickoff coverage twice in each category.

Armstrong earned his start in the NFL with Atlanta in 1994 as Safeties Coach. In 1996, he was promoted to run the entire secondary. Before his full-time positions in the NFL, he was part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program during training camps with the New York Jets (1991), Dallas Cowboys (1992) and Chicago Bears (1993).

Armstrong coached his way through the collegiate ranks before joining the NFL. He garnered four letters as a running back and defensive back at Temple University from 1983-1986 before joining the school as a graduate assistant in 1987.

Armstrong then joined the University of Miami as the Defensive Backs and Special Teams Coach for one season(1988)beforecoachingthewidereceiversat the University of Akron (1989). His last two stops in college before joining the Falcons came at Oklahoma State as the Secondary Coach from 1990-1992 and Notre Dame as the Linebackers and Special Teams Coach in 1993.

Armstrong’s Coaching Background:
  • 2008-13 - Special Teams Coor. // Falcons
  • 2007 - Special Teams Coor. // Dolphins
  • 2001-06 - Special Teams Coach // Dolphins
  • 1997-00 - Special Teams Coach // Bears
  • 1996 - Secondary Coach // Falcons
  • 1994-95 - Safeties // Falcons
  • 1993 - Linebackers/Sp. Tms // Notre Dame
  • 1990-92 - Secondary // Oklahoma State
  • 1989 - Wide Receivers // Akron
  • 1988 - Def. Backs/Special Teams // Miami (Fla)
  • 1987 - Graduate Assistant // Temple
 

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