It's a day of statements from the organization, apparently. Caleb covered this earlier, but I'd like to expound a little.
The rumors about Mike Smith potentially being on the hot seat in 2012 and beyond started immediately after the playoffs, intensified after the post-season press conference and have just sort of hung there like a cloud of smog ever since. It's been widely assumed that a poor season in 2012 would place his job security in jeopardy.
Not so, says Arthur Blank in an interview with Pete Prisco. And emphatically.
"I think if you tell me Mike Smith is on the hot seat, then find a hot seat on the North Pole," Blank said. "That's as hot a seat as he's on. That perception is about as far from the truth as you can get."
I believe Blank here. He's shown unshakeable faith in Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith and emphasized that at the press conference earlier this year, even as he was promising the organization would see changes. For Smitty to be fired, Blank would have to completely reverse course, and he's shown himself as a loyal owner. Some might say too loyal, but hey.
Understand: After Jim Mora Jr.'s dysfunction, Michael Vick's arrest, Bobby Petrino's abandonment and Rich McKay's years of mixed success, Blank wasn't hiring Smith and Dimitroff to be a bridge for anyone else. He genuinely believes in both of these guys, whether you believe he should or not, and he's going to stick with them barring a complete collapse.
And unlike a good portion of the fanbase weary of losing playoff games, Blank puts considerable stock into the team's regular season success:
"Since Smitty got here in 2008, we're the only team in the NFC with a winning record in all four of those seasons," Blank said.
So what to take away? We can probably retire the Smitty on the hot seat talk for the upcoming season. Love it, like it or hate it, these Falcons are going to look a lot like they have in recent years for the foreseeable future. My fervent hope is that they can build off the regular season success and win some playoff games, especially having switched up the coordinators.