Earlier on Monday, our very own Dave Coats wrote about how the loss to the Bears felt like a death blow to the current staff. He nicely summed up how bad this team has performed and how the team's owner must be feeling.
I don't think Arthur Blank has enough faith to assume that they'll turn the ship around in 2015 and beyond, which means what lies ahead is unknown. You can't have watched the last three games of this season without getting the sinking feeling that the team's biggest holes are irreparable in the here and now.
The team still looks stunningly the same as 2013. At least last season we were able to blame our terrible play on injuries. I do not plan to run through the long list of problems, but every week Mike Smith says the same vague things about improvement and changes. Smith then trots out the same players, schemes and game plans that have failed again and again and again. Short of a quick turnaround, and a dramatic change we have never seen under Smitty, I would be shocked if he can hold on to his job until the end of the season.
Whether Thomas Dimitroff makes it into 2015 with the Atlanta Falcons is a tougher question. But I'm not good with tough questions. Instead, I like easy answers. Like Jim Harbaugh.
Arthur Blank is all for making a big splash.
It was only 2007 when Blank grabbed a young, rat-faced offensive guru in Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino.
Ratboy Petrino signed a huge five-year, $24 million contract and was a bold, splashy hire. It had Blank's fingerprints all over it.
After the Petrino experiment ended in the same way most of Petrino's jobs ended, Blank surrendered control to new General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. Dimitroff hired relatively unknown defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who signed a shorter deal for less than half the yearly average as Petrino. Not quite the flashy move that I would expect from the owner.
Blank has never been afraid of signing expensive players, making big trades, building a big new stadium and trying to help his team win. I fully expect Blank to make a big move after being stifled through these losing seasons and counteract some of the Dimitroff moves.
That big splash:
John Jim Harbaugh.
Could Jim Harbaugh be Arthur Blank's kind of coach?
There have been reports for nearly all year that Jim Harbaugh will be allowed to walk from the San Francisco 49ers, due to strained relationships between the Harbaugh and both the General Manager Trent Baalke and the players. This should not be a surprise considering Harbaugh appears to be a terrible, obnoxious person. He is harbauxious.
A coach does not have to be likable, he just needs to win. While Mike Smith's coaching record is quickly nearing .500, the Harbs is nearly .750 while playing with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick at quarterback.
The Falcons could use an aggressive, offensive-minded head coach that could get the most out of the Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Jake Matthews trio during their prime years. It must be frustrating to watch bad coaching wasting the best years of Ryan, Julio and Roddy White
and Tony Gonzalez.
Our next coach will likely be getting the last of Matt Ryan's prime. The Falcons do not have the time for a full rebuild, some young college coach or an unproven coordinator.
All these ideas lead to one possible replacement coach.
Blank needs a big name to help sell PSLs for his new stadium. He wants to win, and will need a quick turnaround before the team's best players are on the downslope of their careers. To win, he needs a coach that can get the most of their players and adjust his team to his personnel. One with experience turning around a team.
Maybe even one who acts like giant, bratty jerk.