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Friday, 31 October 2014

Who Could Replace Mike Smith As Coach in Atlanta

The weather in Atlanta is getting cooler. The leaves are changing, chimneys are burning wood and the smell of the seasons are changing. For the Falcons, especially had coach Mike Smith, the days may be getting warmer as his team cannot find the reverse button and change five losses in a row to at least one victory. The 22-21 loss in London was the icing on the cake as the offense came out firing at Wembley Stadium, only to be shut out in the second half.

After a dreadful season last year (four wins) and six in the last 24 games, could this be the make or break season for the defensive-minded leader?

Smith was asked Monday, according to, if he has any concerns about job security, with his team on a five-game losing streak.

"No," Smith said. "None whatsoever. We're going to do what we've done for the last six-plus years and prepare each and every week like we know how to do it. And I'm going to continue to do that until Mr. Blank tells me otherwise.''

Team owner Arthur Blank recently told he had confidence in both Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff to guide a turnaround and said he would wait to see how the season plays out before evaluating changes. But Blank was noticeably frustrated after Sunday's loss in London, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "There's no way you lose that game -- just no way. There's nothing else I can say."

Smith is the team’s most successful head coach and the only one to take the team to consecutive playoff berths.

"I talk to Mr. Blank after every game and I think that those conversations do stay private,'' Smith said.”And I do agree with him. When you're up 21-0 at halftime, you should not lose that football game.''

If the Falcons do make a move, here are a few names the organization should consider.


The Falcons know about Del Rio from his time in Jacksonville. He has turned the Denver defense into a force this season. In 2003, he was named head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a position he held until 2011. In that capacity he set the NFL record for the longest tenure of any coach without winning a division championship—over eight years.


He is currently head coach at Texas A&M University. Previously, Sumlin was the head football coach at the University of Houston from 2007 to 2011.

Sumlin has been named a potential NFL coach before. He has been the brains behind the machine that helped Johnny Manziel win a Heisman Trophy.


I will take the suggestion of fellow FN writer Chris Alderson and run with it. I can see Briles gaining some attention from the Falcons.

In 2013, Briles led Baylor to arguably the best season in school history. The Bears started the season 9-0, propelling them as high as third in the nation at one point. They ultimately finished with a school-record 11 wins and only the second top-ten finish in school history. A 30-10 win over Texas in the final game of the season garnered them the Big 12 title—their first outright conference title since 1980—and earning the school's first-ever BCS bowl appearance with a trip to the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.


A long shot for the young coach, but Austin is the reason the Detroit Lions defense is so good this season. Austin’s resume is short, but it does not mean it was not successful. Austin spent time in John Harbaugh’s system in Baltimore, helping the Ravens to the franchise’s second Super Bowl title. 


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