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In the late hours of Sunday Evening, Arthur Smith Has Been Relieved of His Duties.

At exactly midnight (ET), it was confirmed by Arthur Blank and Rich McKay that Arthur Smith had been relieved of his head coaching duties. This decision comes after a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints and an underwhelming season. 

Smith was hired in 2021 and finished with a record of 21-30, with zero playoff appearances. Under his tenure, Smith had four starting quarterbacks: Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, and Taylor Heinicke. Smith also drafted first-round talents like Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson. Smith produced an elite rushing game in two out of three years but failed to have a top-10 offense in all three years. 

This decision comes with little surprise. The Falcons had the easiest schedule for the 2023 regular season (in terms of opponent's win percentage) and finished under five hundred. Atlanta also had notable losses against the Washington Commanders, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Carolina  Panthers, and the Tennessee Titans. Those teams are all picking in the top 10 in the 2024 draft; Chicago is picking 1st overall (via CAR) and 9th overall. 

Atlanta will be an attractive spot for future head-coaching candidates as it holds a top-10 draft pick and has plenty of cap space to use in free agency. I’ll come out with a future article on who I'd like to see be the next head coach for the Falcons. But, off the top of my head. Eric Bieniemy, Ben Johnson, and Ryan Nielsen are my favorites. There's also a particular New England Patriots head coach that could draw interest… Again, I’ll have a future piece of who the Falcons should hire. 

To end, I wish Arthur Smith the best wherever his coaching talents take him. The NFL is a results-oriented business, and Smith failed to produce successful results. Even with the questionable decisions Smith may have made, he is still a great football mind and will likely end up as an offensive coordinator for another team. Smith built a culture in Atlanta that the players and ownership appreciated. Best of luck, Coach Smith. 

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