Once Arthur Blank gave Mike Smith a vote of confidence, it didn't seem particularly likely the head coach would be out in Atlanta. The DW outlined arguments for and against keeping Smitty earlier today, and you can make a valid case either way. Smith is going to be the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons heading into 2014, however.
Smith says no changes have been made to coaching staff as of now.— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) December 30, 2013
Smith says team will change some things about offseason training, within limits of CBA.— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) December 30, 2013
The franchise was willing to bet that 2013 was the fluke year, and that Smith is the right coach for this Falcons team going forward. He's got the regular season record and the players' trust to indicate that, but the team will have to start getting over the hump in the playoffs regularly if he's going to remain the coach for several more seasons.
I don't think this is the end. Smith, Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan should return, but I anticipate position coaches will be gone once the team finishes evaluating. I also don't know if Smith is going to get an extension, or if he'll have one year to prove he deserves a new contract. It's very, very early yet.
Here's a few more interesting thoughts from the afternoon presser featuring Smith and Thomas Dimitroff.
Smith: The season doesn't start in September. The 2014 season starts tomorrow. #RiseUp— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) December 30, 2013
Smitty asked if #Falcons need to be nastier. Basically says yes. Have to win line of scrimmage and a lot of nasty things go on there.— John Manasso (@jmanasso) December 30, 2013
Smith says in order to be effective, have to control the line of scrimmage. Again, the fronts look to be theme this offseason. No surprise.— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) December 30, 2013
Dimitroff said the Falcons have no desire to be a finesse team.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) December 30, 2013
Tone of both Smitty and Thomas is very humble, not defiant at all. Admitting to mistakes. #Falcons— John Manasso (@jmanasso) December 30, 2013
Thoughts on Smith and the franchise? I know many of you have strong feelings, but please be civil in your disagreements.