I admit that I was a staunch advocate for hiring Arthur Smith. He coached a similar offense for the Titans that had been successful here, had resurrected the career of a journeyman quarterback and was considered one of the bright offensive minds of the NFL. Yet curiously he drafted no running backs, although he ran a power scheme in Tennessee and was going into the season with a journeyman and a kick returner/receiver as his primary options. Rhamondre Stephenson, Chuba Hubbard and Kenneth Gainwell were available in the fourth round and with multiple fourth rounders he passed on all three. He held out all starters in preseason, promised that everyone would play in the final game, then reneged on that promise (some would say that is a polite way of saying that he lied.).
Then with the promise of multiple sets, deception, pre-snap motion and diversity, we instead got the worst performance in a home opening game in Falcons history. Let that sit for a moment. For all of the Norb Heckers, Dan Hennings, Bobby Petrinos and Marion Campbells of Falcon lore, Smith had the worst home opener of any of them. That's saying a lot.
Still, it's one game out of 17 but what is his mantra? Offensive diversity? What we saw looked more of the same old and in fact it was cosmetically worse than the first game of derided Steve Sarkisian. Discipline? The Falcons ran penalty laps in training camp for mistakes yet they committed a whopping 14 penalties.
So what exactly is his message? Is he overconfident? Is Smith the offensive version of Dan Quinn, i, e the coordinator de jour who was hired based on merit on the performance of his coached unit? Just what is he trying to sell to us and the players? Right now the product is looking bleak.
We all hope for the best but as long suffering Falcon fans, we are conditioned to prepare for the worst.