The Atlanta Falcons hired 38 year old Arthur Smith to be the next head coach of the franchise.
Smith becomes the 18th coach in Atlanta Falcons history.
We have agreed to terms with Arthur Smith to become our next head coach.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 15, 2021
The formal announcement was made on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
Here are three cold hard facts about the new Falcons head coach.
1. Formerly With The Tennessee Titans
Smith has been with the Titans organization since 2011.
He held the following positions as he worked his way up through the ranks:
- Defensive quality control – 2011
- Offensive quality control – 2012
- Offensive line assistant – 2013
- Assistant tight ends – 2013-2015
- Tight ends – 2016-2018
- Offensive coordinator – 2019-2020
Smith remained with the Titans through four different head coaches.
He is widely credited for creating a balanced offensive attack between Derrick Henry and the passing game.
Smith’s work with Ryan Tannehill has revitalized Tannehill’s career.
Tannehill recently praised Smith’s coaching efforts by saying:
“He’s a great coach all the way around. Everything that you look for in a coach and a leader and a great offensive mind he does a good job with.”
The Titans finished 11-5 this season and qualified for the playoffs.
They lost to the Ravens during wildcard weekend.
2. Courted By Multiple NFL Teams
Arthur Smith interviewed with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars also.
Smith was drawn to Atlanta because of the ownership.
“I’m honored and humbled to have the responsibility of leading Atlanta’s team. I’d like to thank Arthur Blank, Rich McKay and the entire Falcons organization and the city of Atlanta for this opportunity. I’d especially like to thank my family, Allison and our three children, for not only joining me, but for supporting me on this journey. We are beyond excited to become a part of the Atlanta community, embrace its culture and experience all the city and our fellow citizens have to offer.”
“The Falcons organization stood out to us in this process primarily due to the leadership and support from the top in Arthur Blank. His actions and core values provide a great model on how to operate for so many, and align with how I plan to move forward in reaching the levels of competition the passionate Atlanta fans so richly deserve. That will all start with the culture we as a team create and thrive in. I’m excited to get started on this new journey and cannot wait to see what the future holds for our city and its fans.”
3. Positive Reaction To Smith’s Hiring Immediately After Announcement
Social media lit up in support of the Smith hiring.
Was Matt LaFleur’s TE coach in Tennessee in 2018. Replaced LaFleur as the Titans OC the last two years. https://t.co/jmMYrLh5SR
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) January 15, 2021
Current Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown added this:
Held me accountable from day 1 . Always trying to improve. Atlanta got a good one . 🤞🏽 https://t.co/TvWcfN0Qu2
— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) January 15, 2021
Now the hard work begins for Arthur Smith.
The Falcons finished 4-12 in 2020.
Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan, 35, is under contract with the Falcons through the 2023 season with a potential out in 2022.
31 year old wide receiver Julio Jones is also under contract until 2023.
Smith is an offensive mind so he will have to weave youth into the lineup that has established veterans.