The Atlanta Falcons might have their next head coach in waiting with Arthur Smith.
The NFL head coach hiring process is now watching the dominos fall in line. The Jacksonville Jaguars made the first move with the hiring of Urban Meyer. On Thursday evening, the New York Jets made it official with Robert Saleh.
Now, the Atlanta Falcons are a step closer to finding their guy.
According to reports from ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Falcons have made an offer to Arthur Smith to become their next head coach. Smith has spent the last two seasons serving as the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator.
Should Smith, 38, be the official hire, this would change the narrative found in Atlanta. Falcons owner Arthur Blank wanted to fix his league-worst defense when he hired Dan Quinn away from Seattle. Quinn helped the Falcons reach a Super Bowl in 2017 but struggled to find stability after a 28-3 debacle.
Smith feels smart for offensive personnel in Atlanta
With the offensive pieces in place, a name like Smith would be brought in for a quick turnaround. Last season in the Music City, the Titans ranked fourth in scoring, averaging 30.7 points per game. They also finished second in rushing, averaging 168.1 yards per game and 5.2 yards per play.
Perhaps the biggest success story is Smith’s work with Ryan Tannehill. The former Miami Dolphins quarterback seemed like a lost cause when being traded for a sixth-round pick. Now, he’s been a staple of the Titans’ offense and constant stability in the passing game.
In two years with Smith as his offensive coordinator, Tannehill has thrown for 6561 yards and 55 touchdowns against 13 interceptions.
Balance has been the storyline for the Titans in 2020. Derrick Henry played an essential role in the team’s AFC South-winning year. The former Alabama sensation became the eighth running back all-time to eclipse 2,000 yards in a single season with 2,027 rushing yards, the fifth-best rushing total ever.
The offense also saw breakout performances from A.J. Brown (1,075 yards), Corey Davis (984 yards) and Jonnu Smith (448 yards, eight touchdowns) throughout the season.
The Falcons will have to decide what they will do with the No. 4 selection in April’s Draft. With a new head coach, the franchise could part ways with Matt Ryan and start fresh. However, Smith’s work with veteran signal-callers might indicate the Falcons going in a different direction.
Barring any setbacks, Smith should be the new coach in Atlanta before the week’s end.