The Atlanta Falcons called a news conference for this morning at which it was widely expected that Dan Henning, the Redskins' assistant head coach, will be named head coach.

Atlanta media could not pin down the appointment as fact, but were reporting that Henning had flown to Atlanta and met with officials including Eddie LeBaron, the team's chief executive.

Before the Redskins party left the West Coast following the Super Bowl triumph, Washington Post staff writer Paul Attner reported that club officials believed they almost certainly will lose Henning, a leading candidate for three NFL head coaching jobs.

"My gut feeling is, we are going to lose him," Coach Joe Gibbs said. "I hope we don't, but he is in demand. And he should be. He's a very good coach."

Atlanta, Kansas City and Los Angeles asked permission to talk to Henning. The Falcons also were considering John Mackovic of the Dallas Cowboys staff and Joe Walton, Redskins' former offensive coordinator now with the New York Jets.

The Rams were the latest team to show an interest in Henning, hired by Gibbs two years ago off the Miami Dolphins' staff. General Manager Ray Nagel indicated he wanted to talk to Henning soon.

Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke said, "I'll do everything in my power to keep him, but obviously, I'm not going to keep him from moving up."

"I don't want him to go," Gibbs said. "He is creative and mentally tough. He is very intelligent and has an excellent offensive mind."

Henning has kept a low profile, but is credited with influencing Gibbs in such areas as use of personnel and balanced running and passing.