The Perfect Coach To Replace Falcons' Mike Smith Will Shock You
This season the Atlanta Falcons, from the NFC South, entered 2014 will high expectations after having a down 2013 season. The 2013 Falcons were impacted by key injuries and the inability to come up big in the crucial spots. It led to a 4-12 record in 2013 and lots of lowlights to go along with it.
This season the Falcons started 2-1 and appeared to be a team on a mission. That has been anything but the case and now the Falcons sit at 2-6 and losers of five straight games. This season appears to be a lost cause, but their saving grace is the fact they play in an NFC South division that no one seems to be pulling away from the pack.
The Falcons blew a double digit lead in their game this past Sunday against the Detroit Lions. The Lions came out victorious 22-21 and this has left the Atlanta Falcons searching for answers. As I just mentioned, their only saving grace is that the NFC South is still winnable for Atlanta despite only having two wins to this point.
The big question will now be how long until the Falcons make a change at head coach? Falcons’ Head Coach Mike Smith has had a great run of success since becoming the head guy in 2008. After this 2-6 start his time in Atlanta may be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
If Smith was to be let go as Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons, who would be the best fit to take over in Atlanta? I have thought about this issue and one surprise name that I keep thinking of resides in Texas.
That surprise head coach that I feel would be a great match for the Falcons is Baylor Head Coach Art Briles. Yes, I know he is not a name that many people know a lot about, but he is a guy that could be a sleeper hire this coming offseason for a big time college team or even an NFL team as I have suggested here.
Briles is currently in his 7th season with the Baylor Bears and has done one of the best jobs in college football history in the way he has put Baylor on the map. Before Briles arrival at Baylor they were a rundown program that had no publicity, significant honors or even a thought in the landscape of big time college football.
Since he took over at Baylor the Bears have had the honor of having a Heisman Trophy winner, a Fiesta Bowl appearance and won a share of the Big 12 title in 2013.
Briles was a very successful high school coach in Texas before making the jump to the college game and it has been an instant success ever since he made that decision. Briles has brought a “cool factor” to Baylor with new uniforms, a new multimillion dollar stadium and most importantly, huge success in the win column.
Briles has mentioned how he is intrigued with trying his air attack type offense at the NFL level. Briles has an offensive system that allows the quarterback and receivers to air it out early and often.
The offense that Briles runs at Baylor offers more attempts of passes 20 or more yards than basically any other team in football and that goes for both college and the NFL. I believe his interest level in coaching at the NFL level is real and if the right team offers he will likely take the job.
He was rumored to be up for the Texas Longhorns’ opening this past offseason, but he turned down any serious talks to remain at Baylor. He might have made this decision to continue building his legacy at Baylor in hopes that it would eventually lead to an offer in the NFL.
The Atlanta Falcons, I feel, is the perfect spot for him. The Falcons have a big time quarterback in Matt Ryan surrounded by big time receivers, such as Roddy White and Julio Jones, which would fit perfectly into what Briles wants to do offensively.
The pieces are in place with the Falcons to run Briles' air raid offense right away. It would be a nice match for both parties. Briles would get the opportunity to try his offense at the NFL level and the Falcons would get an innovative offensive coach that is becoming a hot commodity in today’s NFL.
The success that Chip Kelly is having with the Philadelphia Eagles has opened the door for coaches like Briles. Kelly’s success at Oregon with an explosive offense landed him the job in Philadelphia and it has been instant success ever since.
Briles is in the same situation and the Falcons should make a call to Briles when they decide to let Mike Smith go. It would be fun to watch how Briles’ offense does in the NFL, especially with the explosive pieces the Falcons have.
This is something that is interesting to think about and may very well become a discussion that is had by both Briles and the Falcons down the road. The Falcons are on a road to nowhere, but a breath of fresh air like Briles would certainly rejuvenate the fans in Atlanta. It may be a long shot this ever actually happens, but the idea of the two parties combining is exciting for football fans everywhere.