If Atlanta Falcons fans don’t know the name Arthur Smith, they need to become familiar quite quickly with their new head coach.
After another disappointing season and the future of the organization in question going into the offseason, the Atlanta Falcons have reportedly hired a new head coach to lead the team in 2021 and beyond: Arthur Smith.
Atlanta has tabbed the former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator as their next head coach after a brief search since the 2020 season concluded.
Earlier in the week, the Falcons met with Smith to conduct a formal interview with the Titans offensive coordinator. On Thursday, ESPN reporter Dianna Russini reported Atlanta made an offer to Smith to take over the helm of the team, with Adam Schefter following that up on Friday before the Falcons made the announcement themselves.
After starting the season 0-5, the Falcons parted ways with head coach Dan Quinn, resulting in Raheem Morris becoming the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2020 campaign. Following the year that saw the Falcons finish 4-12 overall, Atlanta conducted a full search for the vacant position and have settled on Smith as the person to take that role over moving forward.
What do Atlanta Falcons fans need to know about new head coach Arthur Smith?
With a new face set to lead the team on the sideline in 2021 and beyond, let’s get to know Smith and outline some of his accomplishments to this point in his career as he now takes on the challenge of trying to turn things around in Atlanta as its new head coach.
Smith, who will turn 39 years old in May, has spent time coaching at both the NFL and college levels since 2007, making stops with the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans and Ole Miss.
In Washington, Smith was the defensive quality assistant form 2007-08 before taking the role of defensive intern and administrative assistant at Ole Miss in 2010. In 2011, he joined the Titans and has held roles of defensive quality control coach, offensive quality control coach, offensive line and tight ends assistant, assistant tight ends coach, tight ends coach and most recently offensive coordinator.
For the past two years, Smith has led Tennessee’s offense as the play-caller on that side of the ball, helping the Titans offensive unit become one of the more solid groups in the NFL.
In 2020, Tennessee’s offense finished third in the league in total yards per game (396.4) and second in rushing yards per game (168.1) led by running back Derrick Henry with 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. The Titans were also fourth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 30.7 points per game.
Smith, who also interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles for their vacant head coaching positions, now joins a Falcons team that has a dominant passing attack which once again ranked as one of the best in the NFL in 2020. The insertion of Smith should help that trend continue starting next season, given the group on offense in Atlanta returns collectively for another year in 2021.
After a coaching search that also featured the likes of Morris, Eric Bieniemy, Robert Saleh, Joe Brady, Nathaniel Hackett and Todd Bowles, Atlanta has found its new head coach to lead the team on the sideline and hopefully lift the team back to the playoffs moving forward.