As I've written before, the staff at The Falcoholic believe this will be Mike Smith's last season coaching in Atlanta. It's not something I'm exactly jazzed up about as someone who appreciates Smitty and what he's done for the franchise, but it has the feel of an inevitable move.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank has become increasingly frustrated with his team's descent into the bottom rung of the NFL and is irate about his 2014 product, according to a source close to him.
Coach Mike Smith is not expected to be back next season, according to the source, with his job security now become a regular topic of conversation in Atlanta. Blank is mulling a move for a big-name head coach to help usher his team into the new stadium he is constructing.
As always, you need to understand that we don't know who this source is and how close they truly are to Arthur Blank, but this neatly matches up with many of our assumptions about the season thus far. I won't rule out Mike Smith being retained if he can take this team on a real run in the second half, but it appears Blank is already starting to think ahead, and as predicted, the guys on his radar will be big names. The fate of the front office appears uncertain, and may depend on how some of the rookies and new acquisitions perform in the second half.
"Arthur has an angry side to him," the source said. "He can turn on someone and he can turn quickly. He's not nearly as mellow as his public perception would make you think."
I wouldn't necessarily call this quickly, but it's clear that Blank has gone from having bedrock confidence in his staff to thinking of making a change over the last season-and-a-half. Coaching changes are almost never a panacea, but they can lead to genuine improvement and certainly energize a fanbase that is increasingly moribund as the losing piles up.
We'll see how the rest of the season plays out, but don't be surprised to see events follow La Canfora's article pretty closely.