On Tuesday, Rams executive had a second interview with the Atlanta Falcons for the open general manager position. Not much else happened by late Wednesday until news broke the Falcons met again with Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. The Falcons previously met with Smith on Monday so the team is showing quite a bit of interest.
It is unclear what general manager candidate is pitching Smith as head coach, but the Falcons are unable to hire any general manager from a team still in the playoffs. That means the aforementioned Holmes and Terry Fontenot of the Saints could actually have a deal in principle worked out, however, it cannot be official until their respective team is booted from the playoffs.
And we sure hope Fontenot becomes available for hire Sunday night whether or not the Falcons plan for him to replace Thomas Dimitroff.
The news comes from Ian Rapoport, who calls Smith a “red-hot” candidate.
The #Falcons had a second interview today with #Titans OC Arthur Smith, who then flew to New York to have dinner tonight with #Jets brass, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Next up for Smith: The #Eagles on Thursday and #Lions on Friday. A red-hot head-coaching candidate.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2021
Smith’s scheme, which shares a lot of conceptual similarities to Kyle Shanahan’s , has surprisingly become the top candidate if rumors are to be believed. Smith is using these shortened Skype interviews to spread his net far and wide.
We know the Falcons are interested in Smith but is it more than other perceived favorites? Per Jeremy Fowler, Smith is Atlanta’s top choice.
Several people around league have believed #Titans OC Arthur Smith is the front-runner for the #Falcons job. #Panthers OC Joe Brady still in the mix and did well in his interview. But with Smith having a second ATL interview today (as NFL Network said), could become his to lose— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 13, 2021
Joe Brady, the Panthers offensive coordinator, had been connected with Fontenot and the Falcons across the last week. The Falcons may still be interested in Brady, but Smith is their top target.
The rumor is apparently making its way through the league.
Smith being the front runner has been making the rounds with coaching agents and some coaches around #NFL over the last 24 hours. We'll see how this develops over next few days.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) January 13, 2021
Quite the rise for the #Titans OC. https://t.co/y9mqY4deQ4
It is not hard to understand why. Brady turned around a mediocre offense and got great performances by Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, and A.J. Brown. Using the same concepts, Smith could extend Matt Ryan’s career and develop a strong run game.
However, the Falcons will need to move very quickly. Smith is all but certain to get signed within the next few days. This late in the process, it is time to break out the checkbook.