Doug Plank, namesake of the 46 defense, back in the NFL

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Here's some good news for a former Bear--Doug Plank has a job coaching in the NFL.

The man who the 46 defense was named after was hired Tuesday by the Atlanta Falcons as a special assistant for first-year coach Mike Smith.

Plank had expressed interest in the Northern Illinois opening during the offseason and has been looking to branch out beyond the Arena League, where he has been the head coach of the Georgia Force (also owned by Falcons owner Arthur Blank). Plank guided the Force to four consecutive playoff appearances and a .650 winning percentage. In his new role he will work with offense, defense and special teams.

``We finally got him back into the NFL,'' said Danny More, Plank's agent. ``Doug has the opportunity to help the Falcons and coach Mike Smith and he's very, very excited about a return to the NFL on a full-time basis. Hopefully this will be the first step in him climbing the coaching ladder in the league.''

The plan for now is for Plank to remain as the head coach of the Force.

The Bears play at Atlanta Oct. 12.

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Plank was one of the hardest hitting safeties I have ever seen in a Bears uniform. I am glad to see he is getting a shot to coach in the NFL. Once you get in the door, the possibilities are tremendous. Maybe sometime in the next 4-5 years, you will see him as a Special Teams coordinator, or possibly a DB coach. I would love to see him make it. The more former Bears that get into the higher ranks of coaching, the more it moves the "old boy" network of Parcells, Gibbs, Walsh, Knoll, and Reeves disciples out the door and rings in the next generation of coaches. The game is ready for them, although the ownership seems to be reluctant to go for these younger, more innovative coaches.

This is a good thing for the league.

Bears v. Facons...Can't wait! I can't wait for any of their games!

I always remember Plank zooming into the pile JUST before the whistle blew! lol He musta worked his butt off timing the whistle.
Great for him!

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