When the Falcons hired Arthur Smith, rumors began to swirl that the new offensive minded head coach might turn over the game day play-calling to whoever was brought on as his offensive coordinator. This alarmed some fans, since Smith’s resume is primarily bolstered by what he does on the field.
During his introductory press conference on Tuesday, however, the new head coach confirmed what fans were hoping for: he will retain offensive play-calling duties on game days.
Smith: "I'm going to call the plays".— Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) January 19, 2021
This is obviously an important detail and in line with what OC to HC hires have done in recent years. Guys like Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan have retained control of the offense, even as their responsibilities grew to cover the entire 53 man roster.
In particular for Arthur Smith, his resume was primarily driven by what he did with the Titans over the last two years as their offensive coordinator. In that span, his offenses were ranked 1st in red zone efficiency, 2nd in yards per play and 4th in scoring. The only offenses he has trailed over the last 20 years were led by Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes.
This should come as great news to Falcons fans who want some of that magic sprinkled back into a unit that has dramatically underperformed it’s talent level. Guys like Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley should be putting up numbers like the Titans did and with Smith staying in control, there’s a legitimate hope that they will in 2021.