Falcons Part Ways With Coach Arthur Smith

The Atlanta Falcons are looking for a new head coach.

The team has fired Arthur Smith, who had been in that position for three years. In all three of those years, the Falcons had a 7-win, 10-loss season, with a .412 win percentage.Β  This year, the team’s losing season was capped by a 48-17 loss to division rivals New Orleans Saints this Sunday, which seemed to seal Smith’s fate. The Falcons finished 3rd this season in the NFC South, missing the playoffs.

Arthur Smith (Wikipedia)

Smith was hired on January 15, 2021, previously the Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator. His overall record during his tenure with the Falcons is 21-30.

Smith seems to be among several head coaches in the NFL to be dismissed on what has become known as “Black Monday,” the day after the regular season when coaches from unsuccessful teams are fired.

“Decisions like this are never easy and they never feel good,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank in a statement. “We have profound respect for Coach Smith and appreciate all the hard work and dedication he has put into the Falcons over the last three years. He has been part of building a good culture in our football team, but the results on the field have not met our expectations. After significant thought and reflection, we have determined the best way forward for our team is new leadership in the head coaching position.”

The Falcons will start looking for Smith’s successor immediately and Blank and the team’s CEO Rich McKay will lead the effort, with input from team General Manager Terry Fontenot. The official statement adds that other members of Falcons’ parent company AMB Sports and Entertainment will offer assistance. There is no timetable for filling the head coach position.

This is the third head coach the Falcons have hired in the last ten years, following Dan Quinn (2015-2020) and Mike Smith (2008-2014). Smith was the 13th head coach the Falcons have had in its history. The Falcons have not had a winning season since 2017.

Blank will speak to the Media Monday at 4 PM.

Photo credit: Wikipedia (Creative Commons) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en