After Arthur Blank fired former head coach Dan Quinn after just five games into the 2020 season, Falcons fans have wondered just what the team would do at head coach. After finishing 4-12, would the team keep Raheem Morris in the position he fulfilled through the remaining 11 games?
Well, it looks like they have decided to move in a brand new direction while also getting younger in the process. After an interview process that saw the team talking to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and others, it appears the team is ready to hire Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith as their next head coach, and they made it official just a short while ago.
We have agreed to terms with Arthur Smith to become our next head coach.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 15, 2021
Smith has been one of the hottest coaching candidates this year after his stellar offense in Tennessee had them finish as the 4th best in the league, with an attack keyed by Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. He helped revive the career of Tannehill and after two years of calling the plays, he’ll get his shot to manage an entire roster. Among all offensive coordinators over the last two decades, his offenses have ranked 1st in red zone efficiency, 2nd in yards per play and 4th in scoring. That is an impressive resume, albeit one that is only two years long. Before that, Smith spent a long time as a positional coach with the Titans.
As we wait to see if Arthur Smith officially takes the job in Atlanta, among all OCs in the last 20 seasons, Arthur Smith offenses ranked 1st in red zone efficiency, 2nd in yards per play, and 4th in scoring.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) January 15, 2021
He will inherit a roster with cap issues, but talent on both sides of the ball. His hiring could be good news for Matt Ryan, given his experience with renewing a QB career with the Titans, but he’ll need a strong staff and additions to the offense in order to have anywhere near the same kind of success in Atlanta as he enjoyed in Tennessee. A new feature back in the draft is almost certainly coming, and offensive line upgrades could be in the offing as well.
With Terry Fontenot on the way as the team’s new general manager, the Falcons have a new regime in place and are hoping to shake off three straight losing seasons. Whether they can do so will depend on how well that duo works together, and whether Smith can bring the same kind of success for the Falcons offense as he did in Tennessee.
What are your thoughts on Arthur Smith taking over as our new head coach?