The NFL’s Conference Championship games are this Sunday, and our last, best hope to keep the Saints out of the Super Bowl in Atlanta falls to the Los Angeles Rams. It’s a tall order to snag a win in New Orleans, but if any team is equipped to do it it’s the Rams and their high-scoring offense.
On the Falcons’ front, we’re still sifting through all of the offseason stories and spotlights, and we’re bringing them to you in this handy news round-up format. Read on for Wednesday’s Falcoholinks.
Mike Smith, one of the most successful head coaches in Falcons history, is hanging it up for good. In an interview with Alex Marvez on SiriusXM’s NFL radio, Smith announced that he was done with coaching.
Smith was fired as the Tampa Bay Bucs’ defensive coordinator mid-season (after a loss to the Falcons, no less), and has clearly decided that he’s no longer interested in coaching in the NFL. Mike Smith brought stability to an Atlanta Falcons franchise reeling after the Michael Vick scandal and Bobby Petrino’s ghosting, and nearly took the team to the second Super Bowl in its history.
Best wishes, Smitty.
A Rooting Guide for Lifelong Rams Fans
Not that you really need the reasons laid out — you’re a lifetime Los Angeles Rams fan, after all — but Dave Choate provides a helpful guide for why we’re all rooting for the Rams on Sunday. A trip to the Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is on the line, and a victory over the Saints will secure their place.
Bright Spots: Deadrin Senat
The Falcons waited until the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft to select a defensive tackle, widely viewed as their largest need heading into the season. While the fanbase was somewhat divided that it took that long, Deadrin Senat proved in his rookie campaign that he’s a strong addition to the trenches. He occasionally flashed in pass rush, but Senat’s primary strength is as a stout run-stopper.
Senat figures to be an integral component to Atlanta’s defense going forward.
Bracing for the Flood
Dan Quinn announced that offensive assistant Kyle Flood had been promoted to the role of game and clock management coach for 2019, but now it appears that he may not be with the Falcons next season. A report emerged that Flood’s is in consideration to re-join Steve Sarkisian in Alabama as the team’s offensive line coach, a not unsurprising bit of news but for the fact that he was recently promoted in Atlanta. We’ll keep an eye on this one, but if Kyle Flood heads back to college, there should be more reshuffling of the Falcons’ coaching staff.